Prof Hector Schlenk, of the Bogton Institute
As a scientist, I was pleased to see Aberdeen leading the way with the deployment of a fleet of hydrogen-powered buses. These vehicles will be “virtually silent” – a great improvement from the old gas-guzzling monsters, although potentially an issue if one is virtually silently heading straight for you on Broad Street.
But what exactly is hydrogen power? Well, in contrast to the declining fossil fuels on which Aberdeen has been long dependent, hydrogen is the universe’s most abundant element, so there is, in a very real sense, a lot of it about. If we think of the periodic table as the pop charts in 1998, then hydrogen can be seen as the band Steps. It has the atomic number 1 and chemical symbol H, as well as being flavourless, tasteless and highly combustible.
When hydrogen and oxygen produce water, that reaction can be harnessed to power an electric motor. Thus these vehicles are able to save a kilo of harmful CO2 for every kilometre they are driven.
This is a laudable attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and Aberdeen City Council, which should be congratulated for being the first to deploy such a fleet, has called this initiative “Net Zero Vision”, presumably hoping no one will emphasise the second and third words.
The lucky few first able to take up this new service will be passengers on the number 19 FirstBus route, which makes the anthropologically fascinating journey between Bieldside and Tillydrone.
The brand new vehicles will be easily identified by proudly displaying the words “Hydrogen, Zero Emissions”. A brave design feature, given the current reputation of claims written on the side of buses.
Sadly, as a scientist, I can make no promises that these vehicles will remain pristine for long, given the universe’s one-way march towards entropy and disorder; a phenomenon particularly observable on a bus which goes between Bieldside and Tillydrone.
Tanya Souter, Lifestyle Guru
I da ken aboot youse, but I’m nae sure I approve o’ Boris’s trip tae Scotland.
It sets a bad example, dis it? My bairns are hard enough tae keep under control at the best o’ times wi’ oot the prime minister helping them tae gi’e me chick.
Fan I tell them “Dinna dae ‘at” and they say “How?” I canna say “’Cos I’ll belt ye” onymair (cos they ken it’s a bluff. Cheers, Nicola.) so I hiv tae say “cos it’s dangerous”. Like yon time Beyonce Shanice wiz daein her nails files rollerskating doon the Lang Stracht. Or fan my Jayden wiz lighting his fags off the gas hob. But fan they see Boris enjoying a road trip during lockdoon they say “Weel, if he can ging oot fit wye can we nae?”. It’s jist irrisponsitive, is it?
I suppose, seeing as naeb’dy wis telt in advance far exactly he wis ga’an, maybe he didnae think he’d come intae contact wi’ naeb’dy. Unless by some chunce there wis a big photo opportunity for him tae pose wi’ a mask on and his thumbs up files getting in the road of professionals trying tae dae their vital work.
I reckon, tae minimise the risk of infection, Boris should be totally isolated fae the rest of us. Of course, some wid say he a’ready is.
Cava Kenny Cordiner, the football pundit who is at broiling point
What have Davie Dodds, Theo Snelders and Ryan Jack all got in common? Yes, they has all nibbled on the forgiven fruit, and crossed over to the Dark Side by leaving Aberdeen for Rangers.
Now Scott Wright has become the latest Dandy to take his boots to Ibrox, after he signed a prenuptial agreement. The gaffer has come out praising him for “being up front”. I thought he played in midfield, which maybe explains the Dons’ current run of results.
I think most football fans know they don’t own their heroes. Players are at a club to bring home the baking, and if somebody with a bigger rain check comes calling, they don’t need the fans’ squeal of approval to move on to greener postures. But for some of the Red Army a move to…them… is considered indispensable.
But I don’t not have no time for the keycode worriers dishing out online abuse. Those bad apples bring the whole barrel of monkeys into sharp repute. No matter how disappointed Old Kenny may feel about the move, you won’t hear me using words like ‘turncoat’, ‘quisling’ or ‘Judas’. Because I don’t not know what they mean.