What Is Birmingham Famous For?

In a place as diverse as Birmingham, you can look forward to coming face to face with plenty of its famous aspects in a whole range of areas, from its position as the birthplace of Cadbury’s chocolate to Aston Villa and Birmingham FC, the city’s main professional football clubs. Birmingham has had many famous residents in its time and some of these celebrities have gone on to achieve worldwide fame, such as Ozzy Osbourne who is not only an esteemed musician and frontman of Birmingham heavy metal band Black Sabbath but one of the eponymous stars of American reality television show The Osbournes.

Black Sabbath is one of the most famous bands to have come out of Birmingham, but other musical acts have also seen their first few performances and subsequent fame take place in this fantastic city. Thanks to Black Sabbath and similar bands such as Judas Priest, Napalm Death, two members of Led Zeppelin and several more, Birmingham became known as the birthplace of heavy metal, a reputation which it proudly defends today. There are also plenty of other musical styles in the city’s music scene, however, two of the strongest being orchestral performances and jazz.

Birmingham is also famous for its vast world of theatrical performance. With myriad theatres displaying countless professional and amateur performances alike, including the Hippodrome, The Rep, the Alexandra and the Old Rep, Birmingham is considered something of a centre for theatre and is one of the best theatre cities in the UK outside of London. The city also served as something of an inspiration for some of the world’s most influential writers, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and J.R.R Tolkien, who penned several scenes in his globally famous trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, using areas in Birmingham as the inspiration behind their appearance.

For a little bit of something different to enjoy while you’re on your travels through Birmingham, make sure you stop at a local eatery to try out the city’s lovingly crafted Balti curry, which was created in Birmingham as an amalgamation of Indian and British tastes into a curry that was palatable to Brits who found some Indian food not quite to their tastes. The creation of the Balti curry is one that Birmingham is staunchly proud of and this delicious dish should be sampled while you’re staying in Birmingham hotels.

If you’re hoping to take in plenty of famous culture in a city that’s as welcoming as it is exciting, choose Birmingham as your next holiday of choice and enjoy walking the streets that were home to famous faces as different and diverse as Ozzy Osbourne and J.R.R Tolkien.

Rearend Repair For Your Rear Wheel Drive Car and Truck

Rearend repair is a complex and tedious task best left to a qualified master of this craft! Truth, most mechanics today do not know how to repair differentials. They send these jobs out to a differential rebuilding shop. I know it sounds unbelievable, but for this job you require a specialist. Many factors go into securing a quiet and long lasting service job on a rear differential!

I will elaborate further, you will require premium parts Timken bearings National seals for an American made car or Koyo bearings and NAK seals for a Japanese make vehicle. Ring and pinion sets factory oem or original from the factory work best. Second best are the aftermarket such as Motive, Richmond, and US gear. Gear oil choice is a primary concern for gear life I recommend 85-140wtgear oil. Synthetic gear oil simply has insufficient cushion for the impact between the ring and pinion. Great for an engine but rearends need a thick like molasses gear oil! This will give you long life on your gear set in your rearend of your car!

Four wheel drive trucks racing applications normally do not come with a warranty! Its best if you go to a differential specialist to have your differential custom built for these applications. Always go to someone who does this work as a specialist. Most repair shops do this work one here and one there. You want someone who does this daily. Break in period is critical! no excessive speeds over 75mph for the first 500 miles and make sure your differential repair shop runs the differential in with no load! Meaning just let the rear wheels turn above the ground slightly above idle before the vehicle is driven. Thanks for reading!

Stand Up Electric Scooter

A Few Basics

There are dozens of stand up electric scooters to choose from today. They range in price from a few hundred to a few thousand or more US dollars. The speed on these little rigs can go from around 8 to 35 mph!

Most stand up e-scoots today are still powered by good old 12 volt lead acid batteries. This works since the somewhat heavy battery pack is mounted under the riding deck, which lowers the center of gravity nicely. The batteries are usually placed in series so that 2 batts gives you a 24 volt system, 3 batts gets you 36 volts and so on up to 48 volts. 24 volts is the most common configuration, followed by 36 volts.

Motor power ranges from 100 to well over 1000 Watts. As an adult you want at least 400 watts or so. As a kid (small kid anyway) you need less for safety reasons. Check the manufacturer’s age guidance before buying for kids.

If you plan to get a high powered scoot, check out your local regulations. Passing a law enforcement professional at 30 mph will likely cause raised eyebrows and an explanation at least.

The Scooters

At the lower end of the scooter spectrum are some of the Chinese clones and Razor type scooters. These scooters can be had in some cases for well less than a few hundred dollars. Remember that you get what you pay for. These scooters are probably not very high quality and will likely suffer from broken plastic parts, short battery life, and so on. These scooters make great kids toys however if you find the extra cash. Again, check the manufacturer’s age guidance for kids.

The clones and Razor brand scoots are actually not bad for kids. The lower end ones are mostly plastic, and frankly a little flimsy. You can see them in WalMart a lot of times. They go by the name Sweet Pea and the like.

Next in the Razor line are the e200 and e300 scooters. These are more serious kid’s scooters. Here are specs for the e200 and e300:

Motor: 200 and 300 Watt motors, 24 volt power, weight about 50 pounds. Battery pack: 2-12Volt SLA batts in series for a 24Volt system. The top speed is about 12 and 15 mph, respectively, with prices from about $175 to $300 USD. Both scoots will carry 220 pounds, with a range given as 45 minuets run time. Amazon currently markets the Razor. Reviews on these scooters vary. It seems that you may get lucky and get a well built Razor…or not.

Currie offers a range of models: 400, 500 Watt and 750 Watts, powered by 24 volt packs, and a 1000 Watt model run by a 36 volt system. Prices on Amazon at the present are: $250, $290, $365, and $470 respectively. Load ratings on these models are 220 lbs except for the 1000 Watt model which is rated to haul 260 pounds.

The Currie line is regarded as generally good, with some limitations. This is a product that would probably be better test ridden and purchased from a dealer rather than an online e-purchase.

A step up in price and power from the Currie line is the Go-Ped stable of stand up electric scooters. The Go-Peds all sport 1,000 Watt motors. The different models are defined by the battery packs installed. The Go-Ped scooter may be outfitted with up to 4 Lithium Battery packs for extended range and speed. Go-Peds are crafted with premium grade lightweight alloys.

Prices for the ESR 750 EX model start at about $750, and range upward to near $2,300 for the ESR 750 Hoverboard L-Ion model. Go-Peds are considered a classic scooter, well made, and generally you get what you pay for with a Go-Ped.

There are several custom made scooters such as the Diggler. The Diggler is a large wheel scoot suited to rough ground off road riding. These scooters are relatively expensive, up to $2,500.

Last on this brief outline of stand up electric scooters are the 3-wheel models. The 3 wheelers are practical for a range of work options from delivery to Police work. Check out E-Bikeboard, Zap and Zummer.

These scooters have ranges and speeds similar to the 2 wheel models above, with increased range for some models capable of carrying larger battery packs. As for cost, a few of the Zap models can be had for less than $1,000. The rest range on up to as much as $3,000 for a top of the line E-Bikeboard.

That is a quick summary of some of the stand up e-scooters on the market today. There are many more for your consideration.

The Wonders of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa

The province extends from the spectacular Drakensberg Mountains to the coast in the southeast. Some highlights to see and do whilst in KZN include:

A visit to the Battlefields Route – Major wars between the British, Boers and Zulus were fought here. There are over 50 battle sites which can be visited. This is best done through an organized tour.

Natal Midlands – This truly is a beautiful area with fertile landscapes, crystal-clear water, forests and is also rich in history. The Midlands Meander which is very popular with arts and crafts lovers should not be missed.

The most evocative area is of course Zululand – homeland of King Shaka in the early 19th century. This area also has some of the best game reserves. Not to miss is Shakaland in Eshowe.

The Dolphin Coast – The Dolphin Coast is a malaria-free stretch along the North coast of KwaZulu Natal from Zimbali in the South to the Tugela in the North. It includes holiday towns such as Ballito, Sheffield Beach, Blythedale, Zinkwazi, Tinley Manor, Salt Rock and Shakas Rock. It also includes inland areas Ndwedwe, Maphumulo, KwaDukuza, Shakaskraal, eNdondakasuka and Umhlali. Snorkeling, Scuba Diving, Surfing, Fishing, Dolphin and Marine excursions, museums, arts and crafts, bird hides, crocodile farms, game reserves, hiking, golf, horse riding and many more.

Durban – Africa’s largest port, wide beaches, fantastic nightlife and bustling markets. Not to miss is a visit to Victoria Embankment, UShaka Marine World and of course the Golden Mile. Also try the Victoria Street Market which has over 170 stalls!

Drakensberg – Rising to over 3,000 metres in height the Drakensberg escarpment can frequently be seen covered in snow in the winter providing wonderful photo opportunities. The area is very popular with hikers, rock climbers, trout fishermen and general holiday makers and is served by Hotels, Guest Houses, Lodges and camp sites. For the more athletic among you there are many trails up the mountains where caves are used as overnight stops.

Natal Sharks Board – The Sharks Board is also worth a visit on Herrwood Drive. Here the life cycle of local sharks is studied investigating how best to protect the sharks as well as the swimming community.

Gateway Shopping Centre which is said to be the largest shopping mall in the southern hemisphere. In addition to the shops and restaurants here there is a range of activities from cinema to an artificial surf wave.

Valley of a Thousand Hills -with its dramatic scenery and landscapes – this is one of KwaZulu Natal’s best kept secrets. Many artists are attracted to the area.

Umhlanga Rocks – upmarket resort with safe beaches, vibrant nightlife, great restaurants and much more.

La Lucia Wetlands and diving in Sodwana Bay – this area achieved World Heritage status in 1999 and incorporates Mkuzi (a Big 5 reserve), Sodwana Bay (a world famous scuba diving destination) and Kosi Bay (a natural paradise). There are ecosystems and a unique biodiversity which are found nowhere else on earth, it is not hard to see why the earliest name for St Lucia, given by Portuguese explorers, was “River of the Sands of Gold”. St Lucia boasts 300 sun-filled days a year the area with magnificent sub-tropical forests, grasslands and lily-covered pans which abound in animal life.

Curry – don’t miss out on the wonderful Indian Cuisine whilst in the area – particularly Durban with a variety of Indian restaurants and markets. Do try a Bunny Chow which was created in Durban in the 1940’s. It consists of a hollowed out loaf of bread which is then filled with curry.