A County woman’’s grief turned to tragedy yesterday when her husband and son died in a horrific early-morning collision, hours before her father’’s funeral. The two-vehicle collision at Line 21 and Road 179 about 8 a.m. yesterday also claimed the life of a young man who, his family said, loved farming since he was a boy. None of the victims was wearing a seat belt, police said.
One of these days we will make a serious effort to teach Newtonian Mechanics in all schools.
Driver’s Licenses will demand demonstrable knowledge of same.
(On security and hand luggage) “You don’t need much to depressurize an aircraft. Limiting the size of hand luggage, if this is in relation to security, it’s of little or no consequence. The individual factor of the size of the bag is pointless almost,” he said. “At a time when there’s a high terror alert we can see why it’s being done, but reducing the size of luggage, I’m not sure why they are doing that. The size doesn’t make a huge amount of difference.”
This is not about aircraft security – we all have our own opinions – it’s about searching for all possibilities before letting the mind snap shut.
I think that if I were in charge of inspecting passengers for nasty items, size (of carry-on luggage) would make a great deal of difference.
A simple thought experiment should suffice:
Imagine that anyone can take on board whatever they want six-foot long wooden crates etc. Not a good idea, agreed? Right.
Now imagine the other extreme – everyone must board the aeroplane stark naked after spending 24 hours in a laxative camp. Also not a good idea. I agree. Going overboard, you might say.
Now imagine something in between. Fully dressed, but with a purse no larger than twelve inches by six inches by six inches. It’s not too costly and not too slow to have each passenger tip the contents of the purse onto a tray for a quick and cursory inspection by a staff member.
95% of the purses will be passed in five seconds: A passport, a plastic comb, two aspirin in a sealed pouch.
5% of the purses will warrant more detailed inspection – what is in the tube? What is in the jar? Let’s unscrew the ball-point pen (or replace your cheap plastic pen with one of ours), and this can be done at a side station equipped with senior staff, a sniffer dog, a super x-ray machine, what have you. Whatever it takes to vet that 5%.
But note that 95% of the passengers have suffered no longer a delay than they had previously.
A purse twelve inches on a cube holds four times as much, and takes longer to search. A small purse fits on a dinner-tray: take your dinner-tray over there.
Size does matter.
Reducing the size of carry-on luggage significantly reduces the time to do a thorough search, and significantly increases the chance of discovery, and that means it significantly decreases the chance of a nasty.
Size Does Matter. Stretch Your Mind!
Not even an Acronym, fer heaven’s sakes. P-l-u-t-o to T-o-p-p-l-e-d, and I don’t care.
“Pluto loses full planet status” sez the headlines.
“Pluto is automatically disqualified because its oblong orbit overlaps with Neptune’s.” says the article.
I’ve had it with these astronomers.
In 1959 in Merredin High School (Google Earth and lat -31.488457° long 118.282798° as far as I can make out) we learned “Mister Venus Entered My Jolly Submarine Under the North Pole”. It was the International Geophysical Year, and in the sun-baked wheat belt of Western Australia, we were reaching for the stars, or so we thought, while others were plodding across Artic and Antarctic wastes. Or Under. WE weren’t fussy.
I did not raise my voice in complaint when, twenty years later, Mister Venus Entered My Jolly Submarine Under the Pole North”. Far be it from me to complain. I waited ANOTHER twenty years until Mister Venus Entered My Jolly Submarine Under the North Pole”, and there, I feel, I have done my bit.
I ought to be able to live the last years of my life knowing that the planets whirl in their appointed places.
I’m not waiting another twenty years for a bunch of strutting mathematicians to argue about what is right and what is wrong.
Mister Venus has Entered My Jolly Submarine Under the North Pole.
And there he will STAY, as far as I’m concerned.
I rose early this morning, my window faces east. There hangs Venus in the dawn sky. I know it is Venus. I see it each clear morning, but not evenings. My window faces east.
On a whim I fired up SkyGlobe, and sure enough, SkyGlobe confirmed my view.
SkyGlobe told me that little Mercury was close to Venus, and should be visible.
Armed with binoculars I found Mercury. Talk about TINY!
Then I looked for Mercury with my naked and aging eyes. Spotted it!
Can you say you have seen the planet Mercury with the naked eye? I can. Twice!
I saw it about eight years ago when I lived in an apartment facing West. One night I watched Venus set below the distant building skyline. The next night I saw Mercury without the aid of glasses.
So why a Rave about technology?
SkyGlobe is a DOS-based program, that boasts to be compatible with Windows95. Yup!
It is “old” technology.
Not “as old as the stars”, but old.
And it still works for me.
Old technology is not bad, as long as it works, and SkyGlobe, with its myriad locations and help screens is a superb tool. Kudos to KlassM SoftWare, Inc (which sadly no longer exists), but thanks to John Brown for keeping the stars alive for us all.
Download a copy today.
Saturday February 12th 2011.
Sadly I now use Windows 7, 64-bit, which will not run SkyGlobe.
Nothing wrong with SkyGlobe.
Something wrong with Microsoft’s idea of progress …
I would love to earn a dollar per item for vetting headlines and news stories in the local paper. Sadly I suspect that unpaid spell-checkers have replaced poorly-paid keen-eyed editors of middling intelligence.
On my first reading I thought they should have used Title Case, and a European migrant had succumbed to the drive-on-the-other side phenomenon.
On my second reading, with my background in Statistics & Probability, I wondered whether a light poll was one abbreviated to at most two questions.
Car hits pole on south Yonge St.
Traffic is being redirected at a busy downtown intersection after a truck ran into a light pole, police said.
The incident happened around 2 p.m. today on Yonge St., near the Gardiner Expressway, blocking all traffic going south on Yonge St. A witness said, a “light poll has fallen and wires are on top of the car.” Ambulance assistance was not required, but Toronto police continue to investigate.
Logic tells me that if one drew a line, telemarketing firms would have to be on one side of the line or the other. Either they are moronic, or they are not moronic. If you see a grey area, move the line a little bit. There, now, either they are, or they are not moronic.
Let’s assume they are moronic. In that case I shouldn’t spend any time with them, and by comparison they ought not to spend time with me, because I am too smart for them.
Now let’s assume they are not moronic. Let’s say they are “smart”.
In the morning, my telephone rings. I pick it up and answer “Chris Greaves”, as is my wont. Silence. Then the click.
I know what happens next.
Three hours later my telephone rings. I pick it up and answer “Chris Greaves”, as is my wont, and a young voice at the other end says “Could I speak to Chris Greaves please”.
Right. They weren’t listening to what I said, they were dialing a number harvested this morning and the computer-generated script on their screen tells them to “ask for Chris Greaves”. Which they do. Or at least, which they have just done.
I know that they are speaking to him, me. I’m the only one here.
I say, quite courteously, “Just a moment”, put down the telephone on the desk, and continue trying to make the vacuum cleaner work. Or I continue hunting for the stack of blank CD disks that were underfoot as late as last week.
Whatever they are selling, I’m not buying. And I know that they won’t buy what I sell (logic), so this does not have the promise of a long-term business relationship, whereas with just three more minutes work with this long-handled screwdriver, I might just get the vacuum cleaner open so that I can see the problem.
Once the beans have boiled for an hour, I take them off the stove and set them aside, and hang up the telephone.
If telemarketers were smart, they’d dream up a better way to attract my attention.
Giving me three hours notice is NOT SMART.
Having a human trained NOT to listen to me is NOT SMART.
Believing that I don’t know it’s a telemarketing call is NOT SMART.
Hence I infer that telemarketers are moronic, and I don’t waste my time with them.
On the other hand, I kept at least one young operative on hold for ten minutes this afternoon.
No, you don’t need to thank me.