Random Brain Squeezings

9 11 2006

No, I will not be doing the traditional post-election “analysis”. I’m not interested in “what it all means”- as told by the empty-headed dolts in the media. If any of you are interested, feel free to rot your brains in front of the TV.

I should probably write something witty and urbane, filled with polysyllabic words and references to obscure authors and historicl figures. Since I figure Dennis Miller pretty much sewed that market up before he turned into a drunken shill for the Repubelickans, I’ll pass.

Because my brain is pretty much turned to mush by the painkillers my doctor prescribed for me, I’ll just spew whatever random nonsense happens to be rattling around my skull.

Is it just me, or does The Weather Channel seem to be the place they send not-quite-cute-enough-for-network bimbos to get pregnant? What the hell do they do when they’re not on camera? It seems that one of those women is pregnant every other week.
Both of my cars are equipped with a heads-up display (HUD). This is very similar to the HUD used in combat aircraft. My HUD displays the current speed, turn signal, high/low beam, and will also flash basic warnings for problems detected by the car’s computer. In my opinion, this is the single greatest aid to driver safety ever developed. In lieu of taking one’s eyes completely off the road to check out the speedometer in the dashboard, the driver can see the current speed on the windshield itself. My question: Why is this not installed on every car manufactured or sold in the US?

Here’s another car-related topic. Using a cell phone while driving impairs the driver almost exactly as much as being legally drunk. According to several studies, it doesn’t even matter whether or not the driver is using a hands-free device. let us take this as a fact, for the purposes of argument. Assuming the preceding statement is a fact, why haven’t there been studies about carrying on a conversation with someone in the car with the driver? If it’s the conversation and not the device which is at fault, then talking with your passengers ought to be just as dangerous as talking on a cell phone.

Don’t get me wrong- like many people, I’ve been victimized by the mindless herds of drivers chatting blindly away on their phones when they should be paying attention to the road. I think that these idiots deserve whatever happens to them as a result of their idiotic compulsion to blather while they drive. Unfortunately, these chatty imbeciles rarely get into trouble by themselves- they usually crash into someone else. A pox on all their houses!

I like Monty Python. I’ve seen all of the movies, bought CDs and books, and memorized favorite sketches and scenes. Give me half a chance, and I’ll wear your ears out on the subject. I find it surprising that many people in the US can recognize famous Monty Python lines and sketches but have never seen the original material. When I was in the Navy, I gathered a few like-minded shipmates and we did the “Parrot Sketch” as part of the ship’s underway “Talent Show”. We got thunderous applause- and several people came up to us and gently chided us for making a few mistakes in the dialogue. What really stunned me, however, was the fact that few of the people who corrected us had ever seen the original. It’s remarkable that six whackjobs from a 1970’s BBC comedy have had such an impact on the lives of Americans who hadn’t even been born when the show was originally on the air.

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2 responses

10 11 2006
PF

Well Archvillian, you have plucked the magic twanger of the flounder. (Flounder Twanger would be a good name for fishing boat) One of my hot topics around the fire besides Monty Python skits and who would you do from Star Trek is the inanimate object is responsible argument.
I cringe when ever I here a news report that use the following:
Gun Violence, or Alcohol or Drug related crime.

Guns don’t shoot by themselves, Alcohol and drugs don’t sneak around and jump into your mouth and cell phones don’t cause accidents with cars.
It’s operator error. The human who chooses to talk on the phone in the car during a time where a distraction would be risky is the one that causes accidents.
This kind of crap is training modern man to look for solutions by removing the tools or blaming the victim.
Go ahead, make cell phones in cars illegal, how about making it illegal to speak to your passenger, or listen to the radio, or smoke, or have a coke, or a quadruple beef cardiac burger.
Can you imagine a car that is safe enough so you can’t get hurt no mater how bad you drive? That’s where we are heading.

The best way to make things safer is to make the price of stupidity higher. I drive my HPM like a grandma because my first mistake in that death trap will be my last. I am counting on my brains to keep out of trouble. If some one is determined to kill me and I am still not prepared then so be it. However I shoot back.

10 11 2006
archvillain

You seem to have missed my point. My point was that the data from the studies about driving with cell-phones isn’t actionable. The data implies that the conversation is the distracting element (shown by the fact that using hands-free devices does not reduce the likelihood of a crash). If that is the case, why aren’t there studies about the distraction value of talking with a passenger in the car? If you want people to act on the data, make the data useful.

You could be the best driver on the planet, but your safety on the roads is at the mercy of every besotted oaf and phone-chatting mouth-breather who shares the road with you. There is a limit to how much you can do to protect yourself without becoming just as much of a hazard as the idiots out there. In the case of cell-phone use while driving, you have no control over whether or not the whackjob in the other lane is chatting away on the phone or is drunk as a lord. If the moron on the phone drifts into your lane, you have very few useful options to try and avoid a collision- especially in heavy traffic.

For that reason, I loathe people who develop diarrhea of the mouth as soon as they get behind the wheel. In my opinion, they belong in the same category as the semisentient hominids who drink and drive. They’re both a threat to me and mine whenever they get on the roads.

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