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London and Midlands Diving Chambers
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Walker's Salt and Vinegar Crisps

Whilst I'm still at the airport and thus haven't technically left Blighty yet, I've gone through security and am therefore now a non-UK resident. As such, I am entitled to look back on London with nostalgia.

I miss the tubes.

Catfish Dive & Safari

For an even better blog than this... Read the Battersea Blog

Baggy Scene

The world tour begins tomorrow, and I have nine days worth of hangover to show for it. As an exciting prelude, I'll focus on what 90% of letters to dive magazines seem to be about: baggage.

Ed claims to have solid scientific evidence that bags on wheels are causing the diving nation to evolve into weedy, narrow-shouldered types and that the only cure is a hold-all. I believe he stumbled across this evidence approximately 32 seconds after spending £50 on a hold-all at the last London Dive Show.

I have a bag on wheels. It is enormous. I also have a backpack. That too, is enormous. I also have a mini-backpack. That is not enormous, but having thought about it at this twelfth hour, it would seem I will need to hang it off my ears in order to carry it.

Fortunately, I have the ears but not, as we have already ascertained, the shoulders.

Catfish Dive & Safari

For an even better blog than this... Read the Battersea Blog

"Send em Back"

I'm still here, so on with my obsession.

For some years now, the staff at Clapham North have been daubing a "Thought of the Day" on the noticeboard next to the exit from the escalators. These are usually twee quotes from New Age hippy types like Paul Coelho, but they are, nonetheless, a genuine effort to personalise a station in a pleasant way.

So, they've also started doing them at Stockwell now, except they seem to have a slightly more sinister edge to them, usually starting with phrases like: "You'll never be happy unless..." or "What's wrong with your life is..." Sadly, I'll probably have left by the time they get around to: "Life is slow dying: Philip Larkin", but I'd like to hear any suggestions anyone out there may have, as, I'm sure, will they.

50 Reasons to Hate the French

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Yellow Line, Not Wee

I've been banging on about the London Underground for a bit too long, so I promise I'll stop that now.

Just kidding. Clearly, the great joy in travelling by tube lies in having the same two or three sentences bellowed at you every thirteen seconds by a fat girl with an unconventional number of chromosomes, and the smooth diction of a breaking vase. Either that or having a tube driver with the verbal continence of an amphetimine addict switch the amplification dial up to eleven whilst he mistakes teenage sarcasm for humour. One can't help but wonder, whilst standing on the Southbound platform of Seven Sisters at 7.30am, how many people need to be reminded to stand behind the yellow line every twenty seconds (with accompanying feedback squeal). Perhaps, one speculates, such announcements would be better saved for more central underground stations, such as Leicester Square or Kings Cross, where there might conceivably be gathered tourists who are unused to tube travel, or at least don't use it three or four times EVERY SINGLE DAY of their lives, and hence might have a fairly good idea of what that particular streak of jaundiced paint represents.

Come to think of it, the one time recently when announcements might really have been useful (during the strike), the driver on the tube I was on decided it was best to leave off announcing that we would not be stopping at St John's Wood station until the train had actually come to a standstill at the platform and I and several other people were waiting for the doors to open.

Now, I'm fairly sure that were the above rantings popped into a Transport For London suggestions box, a sixteen or seventeen page response would eventually arrive by return post (diligently written by someone whose sole purpose on this planet is to make your life less fun), citing various legal reasons for having the announcements and etc. and so on and it makes me want to cry just thinking about it. The thing is though, I don't care about the litigation aspect (which they would just be making up anyway because they know no one can stand to actually research the matter further as doing so would inevitably be so convoluted and boring it would kill you): the announcements annoy me and they should stop.

We should, for this (rabidly insane) reason, be legally entitled (nay, obliged) to forget about the fact they're probably nice people, it's hard to find work and they're just doing their job, and punch free-paper distributors in the face as we pass. As they fall beneath our blows, the thing that will hurt them the most is the knowledge that were they just a few metres away, actually inside the tube building, their "safety and security" would have been ensured as "CCTV cameras are in operation in this station".

Halcyon Eclipse Infinity

For an even better blog than this... Read the Battersea Blog

Brave Sir Robin

Has anyone else noticed that the "information" announcer at Green Park station sounds just like an unfunny version of Eric Idle?

Diving Chamber Treatment Trust

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Well, it's been a while, so I'd better start with something especially salient:

When I was about six years old or something (I dunno, I hadn't started drinking yet anyway), I had a game called Crossfire. This was essentially two pieces of plastic track that formed an X shape with little launchers at the ends which allowed you to propel your toy cars along the track at high speed. This was done in the hope that they would collide in the middle, thereby allowing you to wistfully imagine the scenes of carnage had it been a real life accident, probably involving an ageing, miserly relative.

Anyway, it occurred to me this morning that this seems to be the exact same principle of civil engineering that the passenger tunnels on the tube are built on: particularly at busy stations with lots of different interchanges of lines, where you can't help but crash into other commuters dashing in front of you at a ninety degree angle.

In central areas, you also get bonus obstacles of tourists, pausing at the bottom of escalators to get confused by maps; plus small vehicles containing small humans and, best of all; weedy posh people towing those ridiculous armoured cases on wheels (not the big ones which might conceivably contain something useful like dive gear but the little ones probably containing a tissue or something and designed only to trip you up) when really they should get a handbag or backpack or at least just get out of MY way.

Oh yeah, I haven't left London just yet.

I wonder though, before I do, if Transport For London will get round to fully realising its grand scheme and operate its trains on the Crossfire principle, as surely they've always been planning to. You start one train at the end of each line and just fire them through the tunnels to see where they crash. Passengers should only be allowed on if they are towing small, armoured suitcases.

Halcyon Eclipse Infinity

For an even better blog than this... Read the Battersea Blog

On Breaking Ribs

Ah, how well we remember Our Tune by that Holy Chalice of 80s DJs, The Batester himself...

How other peoples ****ed up lives could make us feel better in ourselves for a few minutes.

Exam stress/marital disputes/cats gone missing... all would fade into nothingness when compared to the tale of woe that Bates would read out in his sympathetic way.

So let's hear a few sorry diving tales form our inbox to make us all cheerier...

[To the tune of Accidents will Happen by Elvis Costello]

Let's start with the routine diver on a bike:

"I am currently in Mexico doing my divemaster education. Saturday one week ago I had a scooter accident but the doctor said that I was alright. After a couple of days I decided to see the doctor again, because I had a constant pain in my chest. The X-ray shows that I have a small fractured in the 3rd rib on the left side."

3 out of 10 I think.

OK, from bikes to boats:

"I am emailing to find additional information about an accident i had last month. I fell on my boat and broke 4 ribs in a total of 6 places. My lung was also punctured. I had a very incompetent surgeon put a chest tube in the wrong place, way to high. I was with only one lung for 2 1/2 days."

5 out of 10 here with an extra point for the crap surgeon...

Now can it get worse..:

"Nine months ago I suffered a number of broken ribs and a punctured lung when I was attacked and trampled by some cows whilst out walking my dog.

I was hospitalised but the x-rays and scans didn't pick up a sharp sliver of broken rib protuding into the chest cavity. Three days later, this cut an artery and I had emergency surgery to repair the damage."

Oh yes, when animals attack... poor bloke.

Hoodie cows, the country is a dangerous place... best stay underwater.


For an even better blog than this... Read the Battersea Blog

Tubes and Boobs

Everybody relax: there was an attractive female on the same tube carriage as me today.

In the event of a societal apocalypse in which the only survivors on Earth were the people in my tube carriage, I would, therefore, find someone acceptable to procreate with, ensuring the existence of future generations and the survival of the human species.

Somedays, humanity is not so lucky: particularly in the event that no alcohol survived the apocalypse. On other days though, one is spoilt for choice, resulting in the difficult administrative task of prioritising according to breast-size, hair-colour, leg-shape, distinguishing features (or lack thereof) and in a very tight pinch: personality. Who'd've thought a nuclear winter would require so much bureaucracy?

Still, it was the weasel-faced sweat-gland of a man sitting by the door I felt sorry for. The gargantuan ox that was clearly his genetic destiny had crisp crumbs around her mouth and was forever threatening her hyperactive children with violence.

Fortunately, it's never occurred to me that the hot, apocalypse-surviving ladies might not find me attractive. The world is saved!

Aquamarine Silver

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We're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat

RIP Chief Brody.

London and Midlands Diving Chambers

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Reef(er) Madness

They want it decriminalised,

but some want it racked up to Class A,

either way there are diving implications....

heres some research.


January 27, 2008

Long term marijuana smoking might increase risks of pulmonary barotrauma

A new study reports that there is an increase in the formation of “bullous lung disease” from marijuana smoking. The effect comes on marijuana smokers some twenty years ahead of cigarette smokers. This is important to diving because bullae or blisters can and do rupture due to the effects of pressure changes on trapped air in ascending the water column after a dive.

A condition often caused by exposure to toxic chemicals or long-term exposure to tobacco smoke, bullous lung disease (also known as bullae) is a condition where air trapped in the lungs causes obstruction to breathing and eventual destruction of the lungs.

The study “Bullous Lung Disease due to Marijuana” also finds that the bullous lung disease can easily go undetected as patients suffering from the disease may show normal chest X-rays and lung functions. High-resolution CT scans revealed severe asymmetrical, variably sized bullae in the patients studied. However, chest X-rays and lung functions were normal in half of them.

Lead author Dr. Matthew Naughton says, “What is outstanding about this study is the relatively young ages of the lung disease patients, as well as the lack of abnormality on chest X-rays and lung functions in nearly half of the patients we tested.”

Patients who smoke marijuana inhale more and hold their breath four times longer than cigarette smokers. It is the breathing manoeuvres of marijuana smokers that serve to increase the concentration and pulmonary deposition of inhaled particulate matter – resulting in greater and more rapid lung destruction.

This paper is published in the January 2008 issue of Respirology.

London School Of Diving

For an even better blog than this... Read the Battersea Blog

I know me t'interweb two point nowt and I want me chuffin' Big Fat Feed of RSS fed to me.
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