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LEDs, black holes and bankers

01-12-2008

We were on holiday in Cornwall on the day of the Great Day of Banking Nationalisation (as it will become to be known), and I was looking forward to walking into our local NatWest with clenched fist raised: ‘Good Morning, Comrades!’ By the time we got home it felt like old news, but I was impressed by how quickly the wallpaper had been scraped off the wall of the Dorchester branch, giving it that ineffable East-European stylee.

Which all makes it a tad difficult for a semi-humorous columnist writing some time ahead of the publication date. But I think it behoves me to put aside the light-hearted comment and the knowing chuckle and take a look into my solar-powered crystal ball. Here are just a few of my Pulitzer-winning exposés of ground-breaking developments in the industry that have happened this month:

Stratospheric rise in costs of fluorescent lamps:
As a result of the global credit crunch, tribal warlords, in those mountainous regions that are squeezed between countries that you’ve actually heard of, are finding it increasingly difficult to fund their opulent life-style from the sale of city-boys’ white powder, and have resorted to hi-jacking the supply route of that other white powder, the sort that you find inside fluorescent lamps. You know the stuff I mean – no matter how hard you try, every time you take a hammer to a failed fluorescent tube to fit it into the swing-top rubbish bin, the damned powder gets everywhere, making you sneeze and getting all over the bread board.
The resultant reduction in the supply of the white powder has seen an inevitable rise of lamp prices at the supermarket check-out. At the time of writing, a 23W self-ballasted compact fluorescent lamp is retailing at Waitrose for £7,250.00. Although it has to be noted that the rising cost of electricity still makes it a cost-effective alternative with a pay-back time of less than a year.

Improved safety for CFL users:
Following recent safety warnings on the use of fluorescent lamps and, in particular, the problems arising from using these lamps within an inch of naked skin, leading manufacturers have agreed to supply all fluorescent lamps with a Safety Head Cage. This fits snugly over the head of the user, ensuring that all lamps are kept at least 75mm away from the face.
There is talk of a full-body Safety Cage for naturists, but Philips report that there has been a setback in development, following unexpected problems with certain body parts inexplicably changing size and thereby bringing the Cage outside of EU guidelines.

LED heatsink problems solved at a blow!
Following the creation of a micro-black-hole by the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the entire facility has been purchased by a Chinese LED conglomerate and all LEDs are now to be fitted with a ‘Black-Hole Heat Sink’. This ensures that all of the heat produced by an LED chip is sucked out of this universe and is delivered into a parallel world, much the same as our own, though due to a quirk of evolution, the dominant species on the planet is the kwantity surveyor. It is not known how this is possible.
Environmentalists have warned that the thoughtless disposal of such enormous quantities of heat may accelerate the melting of polar ice caps in the parallel world, though most lighting designers are secretly hoping that a suspected empathic link between kwantity surveyors throughout the universe may result in their total extinction.
And in an associated development, the launch of a 1-Gigawatt LED is expected any day now. Producing as much light as the sun, the lamp is expected to be of interest to the ailing retail sector.

RIBA CPD in 2015

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