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The week ahead

Web sighting. Big thanks to James Williams from the Mass Transit Railway Corporation (MTRC) in Hong Kong who has brought our attention to a web site they use a lot. It's run by Hong Kong project planners who have a large database of construction build times and output rates. MTRC uses it for the heavy civils section, which has lots on bored piling, walling and heavy civils stuff. The site has planners and project managers registered from all over the world.

So have a look on:

http: //www.PlanningPlanet. com 25 May The last great adventure of the century: Danger in the jetstream. The story behind the first balloon flight around the world. Millionnaire Richard Branson, American stock market trader Steve Fossett and Swiss psychiatrist Bertrand Piccard are the three challengers. Mr Branson's credentials are of course enhanced by the seamless timetabling and organisation of his railway operation. Alternative titles to the programme could be Flight of fancy or Ego trip, perhaps.

Discovery channel, 11am 30 May Forgive and forget - personal forgiveness. Writer and journalist Melissa Benn explores the processes of forgiveness in the first of three programmes. More pointless navel gazing for your licence fee, readers. Unfortunately, the limitations of the written word prevent me from effectively representing the sound of snoring, but it makes a career in civil engineering sound more worthwhile and exciting than ever.

Radio 4, 11am 31 May Jambusters. More from the congestion busting series. This week we meet the councillor behind a traffic degeneration scheme in Vauxhall, where some people believe drivers are being sidelined in favour of pedestrians and buses. A popular guy with the motorists, I bet.

Discovery channel, 1pm 4 June The money programme. The toxic Texan. No prizes for guessing the identity of the programme's subject. President Bush is planning a massive expansion of America's energy industry and this report examines his links with the coal and oil industries. What goes on under the Texan hat remains to be seen, but there certainly seems to be plenty of room in there.

BBC2 7.30pm 6 June The Englishman who went up a hill, but came down a mountain.

The story of two English cartographers who cause a stir in a Welsh village when they decree a local summit is not big enough to qualify as a mountain. A film starring professional fop Hugh Grant and with a tenous link to civil engineering, though not as tenous as some entries in this esteemed column.

BBC2 7.30pm 6 June Mean streets. Another film. This one stars Robert de Niro as a traffic bureaucrat who implements a crippling congestion charge upon innocent motorists in a large metropolis at the behest of the deranged Doctor Livingstone.

Martin Scorsese directs.

ITV 11.30pm

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