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'[OT] rules, was Yes, I canned Olin again. Focus on'
2004\09\22@183422 by John Hansen

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At 03:23 PM 9/22/2004 -0600, you wrote:
>James Newtons Massmind wrote:
>>Just a thought. And we do kill 50,000 to 60,000 every darn year on the road
>>here in the USA.
>>http://www.massmind.org/other/911.htm

Well, the national insurance journal (you'd think they have a dog in this
hunt!) reports 43,220 in 2003:

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2004/04/30/41664.htm

In any case, I have seen in a number of places that US highways are the
safest in the world... certainly much safer than those in Europe.  I do
think that you have to be very careful of highway statistics.  For example,
in one column in Car and Driver magazine a couple of years ago the editor
made the statement that the reason alcohol seemed to be involved with so
many accidents was because the agency that collects these data assumed that
every accident that occurred after dark was alcohol related regardless of
whether there was actually alcohol reported to be involved or not.  If
true, this really causes one to wonder about all of this
data.  Unfortunately, almost everyone who collects this data has a stake in
the outcome.


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2004\09\22@193655 by John Ferrell

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I (and many,many other Americans) chose to be your adversary on each of
these points.
I also choose to behave in a much less inflammatory manner. I respect your
position and I expect you to respect mine.
We like our culture and are willing to do whatever is necessary to maintain
it.

John Ferrell
http://DixieNC.US


{Original Message removed}

2004\09\22@203121 by James Newtons Massmind

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That is highway only. Add local roads to get to the total figure. And in any
case, compared to other sources of terror, 40,000 on the road still beats
9/11 by a factor of better than 10. EVERY YEAR. And the road kill has been
pretty consistent since the 60's. If you average 9/11's 3k out over 40 odd
years (less than 100 per year), you have a factor of 400 times more deaths
from Ford, et all than Osama, et all.

It's like chickens worrying about the fox on the way to the butcher.

They are holding Cat Steves outside the USA as a dangerous terrorist but you
can wreck other peoples cars with your SUV as long as you can afford to buy
insurance and even kill other drivers with impunity as long as you aren't
drunk or speeding, etc... "It was just an accident"

Someone told me that Hitler invented the freeway. If that is true, he may
have killed more people with that than in gas chambers. Think about it. 2.2M
in the US alone on the roads, 5 to 6M in the Holocaust over 14 countries.
http://www.deathcamps.info/new_page_7.htm I'm not sure you can find another
2.7 to 3.7 million road deaths outside the USA, but you might.

I always feel like that guy in Catch 22 when I talk about this...  thousands
of people I haven't even met are trying to kill me. And no one else seems to
get that it doesn't matter if they are the "enemy" or not. I'll still be
just as dead.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0065528/quotes
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/asin/0684833395

But they follow the rules, more or less, so who am I to complain?

---
James Newton, massmind.org Knowledge Archiver
spam_OUTjamesTakeThisOuTspammassmind.org 1-619-652-0593 fax:1-208-279-8767
All the engineering secrets worth knowing:
http://techref.massmind.org What do YOU know?



> {Original Message removed}

2004\09\23@000853 by James Newtons Massmind

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Are the people who are killed intentionally any more or less dead than the
ones killed in accidents?

Dead = Dead

And the point is that accidents can (technically) be prevented. No one has
figured out how to prevent war. Or hate. Or stupidity. Politicians, moral
leaders, and educators can only do so much.

But WE, as engineers, have a hope, and a responsibility, to make things
SAFER.

I don't know if freeways are more or less safe than highways, but in any
case, trains are safer than cars. Why move from highways to freeways when
you could move from long range, big, fast cars to small, short range cars
that can join a train? Oh, I know, its because the chickens are spending all
their time looking for the fox, and the one or two sane ones who are trying
to draw attention to the need to avoid the butcher are being totally
ignored.

---
James Newton, massmind.org Knowledge Archiver
.....jamesKILLspamspam@spam@massmind.org 1-619-652-0593 fax:1-208-279-8767
All the engineering secrets worth knowing:
http://www.massmind.org What do YOU know?



> {Original Message removed}

2004\09\23@001715 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
Did I hit a nerve? <GRIN> Sorry.

No, I was not trying to attack the SUV. Rather the attitude that
"accidental" killing is somehow more acceptable than the _potential_ for
some intentional action.

I'm saying that the reality is stupidity in all its forms kills more than
intentional attack. We could do more to save lives by forcing poor drivers
to take the bus than by imprisoning suspected friends of Osama.

---
James Newton, massmind.org Knowledge Archiver
jamesspamKILLspammassmind.org 1-619-652-0593 fax:1-208-279-8767
All the engineering secrets worth knowing:
http://techref.massmind.org What do YOU know?



> {Original Message removed}

2004\09\23@013547 by William Chops Westfield

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On Sep 22, 2004, at 5:42 PM, Robert Rolf wrote:
>
> So 50 to 60 thousand PREVENTABLE traffic deaths a year is OK?
>
>
What makes you think they're preventable?  What makes you think that
you'd be willing to put up with what might be necessary to prevent them?

It scares me when people won't take responsibility for their own
actions,
but I think it scares me more when people have to find blame for every
accident.  And I worry that the things that get made illegal in the US
are the things that insurance companies are afraid that they might have
to pay for...

BillW

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2004\09\23@014548 by Wouter van Ooijen

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> 60,000 people die on the roads in the US every damn year.
> That is more
> US citizens than died in the entire Viet Nam war by about 2,000. "
>
> AMEN!
>
> And don't forget the 10's of thousands of deaths and injuries a
> year in the USA caused by handguns. (snip)

Even do agree with what you say I definitely don't agree with
- the way you say it
- the place you say it

There were long discussions about policy on this list. As far as I am
concerned (but I don't devote my free time to managing this list, so I
don't have much saying in this) your post is not over the edge (you are
not realy calling people names), but dangerously close to it (it
certainly does not show much respect for the opinion of at least a large
part of the US population, and it almost invites to retaliate in an even
more agressive way).

If you have thechnical answers to share whith us please don't behave
like this or we might have to miss both you and your ansewers .....

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu



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2004\09\23@015902 by Mike Singer

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James Newtons  wrote:

> Someone told me that Hitler invented the freeway. If that is true, he may
> have killed more people with that than in gas chambers. Think about it. 2.2M
> in the US alone on the roads, 5 to 6M in the Holocaust over 14 countries.
> http://www.deathcamps.info/new_page_7.htm I'm not sure you can find another
> 2.7 to 3.7 million road deaths outside the USA, but you might.
>

Can't comment for now :-(((

Mike.
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2004\09\23@032133 by William Chops Westfield

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On Sep 22, 2004, at 11:42 PM, Robert Rolf wrote:

>> What makes you think they're preventable?
>
> Statistics from when your speed limits were dropped to 55MPH.
> Highway death rates declines significantly, then rose again
> as the limit was removed, in spite of safer cars decades later.
>
>
Hmm.  Which statistics are you looking at?  I had the impression
that this was expected to happen, and didn't, and can find web
sites to that effect (http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-346es.html),
but I have no idea who's lies best with statistics these days.

there is also here:
http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/finalreport.cfm?
title=States&stateid=0&year=2002&title2=Fatalities_and_Fatality_Rates
which shows that the number of fatalities remained more or less
constant when the 55mph limit was removed (1995), and that the
fatality rate per mile driven has been in steady decline since 1994...

BillW

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2004\09\23@050026 by hael Rigby-Jones

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>On Sep 22, 2004, at 5:42 PM, Robert Rolf wrote:
>>
>> So 50 to 60 thousand PREVENTABLE traffic deaths a year is OK?
>>
>>

William "Chops" Westfield write:
{Quote hidden}

Bill, you have hit the nail on the head.  There is currently a regime of
motorist persecution in the UK, blaming speeding motorists for a significant
portion of our ~2400 road deaths p.a. which has lead to vast numbers of
speed cameras being installed and an equally vast amount of money generated
from fines.  Unfortunately, despite publishing false or mangled accident
stats to prove otherwise, the "safety camera partnerships" focus on speeders
has not reduced fatalities whatsoever, in fact they have increased in the
last couple of years.  The powers that be have decided that the only cause
of this must be not enough speed camera's...

We now have a huge network of cameras couple to automatic number(licence)
plate recognition systems.  It's possible to know where any vehicles on the
road equiped with such cameras are, although we have been assured that this
data is only used for traffic flow information.  Big brother is watching.

Regards

Mike

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2004\09\23@050353 by hael Rigby-Jones

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>-----Original Message-----
>From: .....piclist-bouncesKILLspamspam.....mit.edu [EraseMEpiclist-bouncesspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTmit.edu]
>On Behalf Of Robert Rolf
>
>There is ALWAYS blame assignable, even if it is mechanical
>failure. There are no 'accidents'. Just stupid decisions made
>by drivers, be it drinking, speeding, lane changes, running
>lights, failing to be rested, failing to maintain vehicle etc.
>

What about 'acts of god'?  Does he have insurance you can claim against?

Mike

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2004\09\23@053626 by Russell McMahon

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>>> What makes you think they're preventable?

Some accidents would be hard to prevent without disproportionate effort.
BUT
The vast majority of accidents are caused by a person doing what they don't
usually do and what other people also don't usually do and what nobody is
meant to do (eg crossing the centre line). Or by someone doing what they
often do but that most other people don't usually do and that most people
are never meant to do (eg driving drunk).

The 30%+ "drift off accidents" in the US (if the stat I read be true) are
surely almost all preventable if there was the will. Assuming suicides are a
small fraction (maybe not) then it's inattention or going to sleep. MAYBE
also excessive speed for the corner. If you don't rate these as preventable
then I guess they're not preventable.

As has been pointed out, some people are far safer drivers measured over
long periods, than others. Some of this is just plain skill. Much is, I
think many will agree, just plain carelessness and/or attitude. For the
areas where it's skill (or it's inverse, inability) then fitting the
behaviour to the capability should have an effect. The fact that we are not
financially or politically prepared to do this does not make them
unpreventable  - it just means that we don't wish to prevent them for
whatever reason. As long as the road death toll hovers within the realm of
acceptable social contract we are not liable to get TOO much change. In the
US, somewhere around a few percent of total annual death rate is acceptable
social contract apparently. What this is traded off against is part of the
deal. Vietnam got the US, in the end, years of pain, criticism all round and
vast expenditure for no apparent return (although I'd say that the US does
appear to be heading towards winning the war in Vietnam based on present
trends.) (Unlike eg North Korea where the war looks like it will last far
longer). Back at home, in exchange for 60,000 lives pa you get fantastic
flexibility, mobility, powerful social and sex symbols and valuable materiel
to help maintain the consumer cycle. A fair trade, apparently. (That's all
rather cynical of course BUT in fact that is about the tradeoff. How much
each person values their own part of the tradeoff and how much they seek to
contribute to or reduce the cost is up to them.)


       Russell McMahon


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2004\09\23@061207 by Howard Winter

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Robert,

On Wed, 22 Sep 2004 15:23:26 -0600, Robert Rolf wrote:

>> 60,000 people die on the roads in the US every damn year. That is more
>> US citizens than died in the entire Viet Nam war by about 2,000. "
>
> AMEN!
>
> And don't forget the 10's of thousands of deaths and injuries a
> year in the USA caused by handguns. Yet you have no 'homeland security'
> response to THAT carnage. In fact, assault weapons just became legal
> again. Leadership?? WHAT leadership?

Well all these figures pale against the number of people who die from smoking.  In the UK that's about 120,000
a year (in a population about a fifth of that of the USA).  That's about one death every 4 minutes so if it
maps to the USA it would be more than one a minute there.  Speed cameras?  If Government(s) *really* want to
save lives, they would ban smoking.

> 'If you aren't for us, you must be against us'. G.W. Bush.
> How childish.

And wrong, and dangerous!  Look what it leads to: assisting and arming the "friend of my enemy" ended up with
two wars against Iraq.  Binary thinking in politics is ridiculous, and if a leader engages in it, it's going
to lead to big problems...

> I guess you get the leaders you deserve.

Let's hope the USA deserves better leaders then, and soon!

</rant>

Cheers,

Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


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2004\09\23@064000 by Howard Winter

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John,

On Wed, 22 Sep 2004 18:34:21 -0400, John Hansen wrote:

> I have seen in a number of places that US highways are the safest in the world... certainly much safer than
those in Europe.  I do think that you have to be very careful of highway statistics.

Quite!  For a start, "Europe" is a large number (and growing) of different countries, with differing laws,
standards of road design, building and maintenance, and national "personalities", leading to different
statistics.  France, for example, has about the same number of drivers as the UK, but has twice as many
fatalities.  Having seen driving there that looked almost suicidal, I can understand why!  :-)

Driving from Calais to Amsterdam (about 200 miles, if I remember rightly) you pass through three countries,
with different speed limits and laws.  There's a little sign at each border (not much more than that and
another sign with the name of the country, incidentally) that tells you the speed limits pictorially.  France
has a limit of 130kph in the dry, 110 in the wet.  Sounds like a good idea, but I'm not aware of any other
country that does this.

Motorways in the UK are the "safest" of all types of road here, but I wonder how they define "safe"?  It could
be deaths per mile travelled, or per mile that exists, or any number of other ways to calculate it.  (The
other thing that springs to mind: more people die on the hard shoulder of Motoryways than on the road itself!)  

Because of the size of the place and the relative average sparsity of traffic as a result, it's probably
inevitable that the USA has lower accident-per-mile figures.

Remember "Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics"!  :-)

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


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2004\09\23@065357 by Russell McMahon

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> Well all these figures pale against the number of people who die from
> smoking.  In the UK that's about 120,000
> a year (in a population about a fifth of that of the USA).


I'm suspicious of that stat.
But then, I'm always suspicious of ALL stats :-)

But, without doing the sensible thing and looking it up, lets see what it
says.

1/5 USA is about 70,000,000 popn.
Death rate will be under about 1M pa
So 120,000 pa from smoking is about 12+% of all deaths.

Smoking is a decreasing habit.
Assume semi randomly that ABOUT 10% of the population smoke.
As smoking causes about the same number of deaths then we conclude that ALL
smokers die of smoking.
Which may or may not be so.

The only way for this to not be so is if some of the above assumptions are
wrong.Google would tell me, but i should be working.
If anyone cares they could check the figures above.

Aaagh. Can't stand it.
Quick (hopefully) Google
Hmm   25% !
So we conclude from the stat that about 50% of UK smokers die from smoking.
Could be true.

Back to work ...



       RM

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2004\09\23@070333 by Howard Winter

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Russell,

On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 14:31:42 +1200, Russell McMahon wrote:

{Quote hidden}

There was a tragic event here one night a few years ago, when a Landrover towing a trailer (I can't remember
what was on the trailer, if anything) left the motorway *just* before the Armco barrier protecting a railway
bridge, went behind the barrier down the embankment into a field, and then into the railway cutting, stopping
across the nearest railway track (of 4).  The driver got out just before it was hit by an express train, which
then derailed and carried on for some hundreds of yards, encroaching on the next track across, where it was
then hit by another train.  A number of people died, and the driver was eventually convicted of "causing death
by dangerous driving", I believe.  The police investigation showed that he must have fallen asleep (he claimed
he hadn't) and it turned out he had been driving for many hours, and had had very little sleep ofer the past
two days.  There were an awful lot of "ifs" that would have stopped this happening - if the barrier had been
fifteen feet longer (they have revised the standards since), if he'd stayed awake another 5 seconds, or had
been going 1mph faster... but like most disasters it takes a whole series of random chances to make it happpen
- but happen they do!

Having worked night shifts many years ago, I know that the human body *will* fall asleep if it needs to badly
enough.  Driving with your head out of the window, with the radio turned up, physically holding your eyelids
open (!) will all fail if you're tired enough.  On more than one occasion I pulled over for a 30-minute nap to
be able to get home!  I can, and have, fall asleep standing up on a train  :-)

It's very hard to collect figures for accidents caused by tiredness (there's no "TiredAliser" to check,
especially on a body) but those that are known seem to show that it kills many more people than most people
think.  And, of course, "It'll never happen to me"...

Cheers,

Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


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2004\09\23@071810 by Howard Winter

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Imre,

On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 08:31:21 +0200 (CEST), dr. Imre Bartfai wrote:

> I think there is a missing political willingness. IMHO approx. (very
> approx.) about a half of people having a driver licence should be
> withdrawn because of they are simply not able to drive below an expectable
> hazard minimum. It would be a blessing for all the country. BUT: the
> problem is that people does not have any (former: no <G>) insight about
> their inability. Therefore, this measure would be a political suicide and
> no one government dare to do this.

I agree that a lot of people shouldn't be driving, and that would free up the roads for those of us who
should!  :-)))

In Britain there are a number of ideas being kicked around by the Government to "reduce traffic congestion" -
the London Congestion Charge is one that's actually in place, and they are talking about "Road Pricing", which
in its extreme implementation would have every car fitted with a a GPS unit that records/reports where you've
been, and when (Big Brother must be rubbing his hands with glee!).  Then you'd have to pay for the distance
and type of roads you've used, on a scale that varies according to traffic.  As a sop to the masses, they say
this will replace Road Fuel Duty, which currently runs at about 70p/litre, I believe.  "And some people will
end up paying less" - yeah, right!!!

My personal feeling is that rather than restrict the roads to those who can afford the charges (or who work
for companies who will pay it for you), it would be a better idea to restrict them to the better drivers.  
Have periodic driving tests that decide whether you are (still) a good enough driver, and if you're not quite
good enough restrict you to driving "safer" vehicles.  I would much rather work harder to improve my driving
skills (and have some feedback on how I'm doing) than have to give up driving certain times/places or pay a
huge premium for doing so.  And it should improve the average skill level, so it has the chance of improving
safety as well as traffic congestion, which road pricing will never do!

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


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2004\09\23@072228 by Gerhard Fiedler

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> I think there is a missing political willingness. IMHO approx. (very
> approx.) about a half of people having a driver licence should be
> withdrawn because of they are simply not able to drive below an expectable
> hazard minimum.

That's really nicely put :)

I think the biggest problem is that this is not a clearly defined thing.
It's difficult if not impossible to distinguish the potentially hazardous
from the rest. And pretty much all are hazardous at times.

Gerhard
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2004\09\23@073055 by Howard Winter

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Russell,

On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 20:18:25 +1200, Russell McMahon wrote:

Such a long message, such a short reply... :-)

> When the guy (almost always a guy) behind doesn't observe safe following  distance on a freeway etc leave
more room in front to compensate.

This used to be the case here, but sadly equality seems to be looming, and it's quite common to be tailgated
by a female driver here nowadays.  Or to see someone lane-hopping, overtaking on both sides, and so on, and to
discover that the drive is female.  Twenty years ago that was definately the case, but something has changed a
lot of women drivers' (safer) habits.

> Don't be fussed by people who pull into the large space in front - just drop back again.

I find this to be a national passtime in the Netherlands - if there is a gap that is longer than their car,
they will pull into it, at any speed!  You see it occasionally in the UK, but somehow in the NL it seems to be
the norm!  (Hope I don't offend Wouter here, but it's what I've observed)...

Cheers,



Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


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2004\09\23@073243 by Howard Winter

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On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 10:07:05 +0100, Michael Rigby-Jones
wrote:

> What about 'acts of god'?  Does he have insurance you
can claim against?

And can God claim against acts of man?  :-)

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


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2004\09\23@074037 by Bob Ammerman

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Re: Drunk Driving and penalties

Of course, penalties can only be applied if a drunk driver goes to trial.

Some years ago my wife served on a Grand Jury. (In the US legal system a
Grand Jury has the responsibility of determining if there is sufficient
evidence to support bringing a case to trial). She was disgusted that many
(most?) of the drunk driving cases were, by the vote of the jury, not even
taken to trial. In discussions in the jury room the reason people gave for
voting against sending a case trial was "There for but the grace of God go
I".

Disgusting!

Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems



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2004\09\23@074347 by Howard Winter
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Russell,


On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 22:53:49 +1200, Russell McMahon
wrote:

> 1/5 USA is about 70,000,000 popn.

I said "About" - it's a tad under 60million.

>...<
> Smoking is a decreasing habit.
> Assume semi randomly that ABOUT 10% of the population
smoke.

I wish!  As I think you found out, it's about 25%.

Your calculation ignores the number of non-smokers who
die of it by being in smoky environments - not a vast
number, but not sero either.

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


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2004\09\23@075829 by Howard Winter

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"Post in haste, repent at leisure"...

On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 12:30:52 +0100 (BST), Howard Winter
wrote:

> Twenty years ago that was definately the case, but
something has changed a
> lot of women drivers' (safer) habits.

Should of course have been: "Twenty years ago that was
definately NOT the case"...  :-#

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


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2004\09\23@080740 by Gerhard Fiedler

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> A good test is to ask "If someone else killed my family because  they did
> xxx would I consider that they were acting in an acceptable manner  and
> that it was 'just an accident'?".

This accident thing is really strange. Think about it... someone running
around in a crowded city swinging a hammer and eventually hurting or
killing people, not many, just one or two every few years -- he would
obviously get prosecuted. But his friend, taking is 2 ton hammer on wheels
every night to the bar, also eventually hurting or killing people, also not
many, is only causing "accidents".

We've gotten to accept most anything that happens on the road as an
"accident", as if it were god-given and not a matter of choice. In Germany
(and I suspect in most countries) there is a basic /law/ that says you may
only drive as fast as is safe within the circumstances. In my
interpretation, that means if you hurt or kill somebody, you drove too
fast, or in the wrong place, and violated the law. Yet one needs to do some
pretty outlandish things to actually get prosecuted for manslaughter in a
traffic accident.

This is a matter of collective choice. Most countries have chosen to adhere
to an "individual vehicle mass transit" type of life style, and also have
chosen to accept most losses that are due to that choice as inevitable
"accidents" -- mostly because it's too disturbing to classify these losses
as the result of a choice. (Something like "the end justifies the means" or
so plays here, too...)

It would be very possible, by legal standards, to prosecute everybody who
hurts someone with a vehicle with the same rigor we use to prosecute people
who hurt others with a hammer. Yet we choose not to. It's a choice. If we
did, traffic most likely would change, not immediately but over time, and
most likely many other things like city structure, life styles, and so on.

And for those who think that I'm against cars: I'm not. I'm for clarity.

> My partial list would be an unexceptional one.

Probably one of the most effective ones (in addition, of course, to
everything you wrote) is to only drive when necessary. And to constantly
minimize the necessity -- it's a matter of organizing your life. Organize
it around your car, and it of course seems extremely necessary to use the
car a lot. Organize it some other way, and the perceived necessity starts
to diminish.

Gerhard
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2004\09\23@080750 by Russell McMahon

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**** SUGGESTION *****

What say we remove the Olin reference from this and other subject lines.
It is less than respectful to a person of his acknowledged skills to be
plastering his name over such unrelated material in this manner . A little
thing perhaps, but ...


       Russell McMahon

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2004\09\23@081730 by Russell McMahon

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How about changing the subject line ....

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2004\09\23@081740 by Russell McMahon

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This is a  reply to yet another different post.
How about changing the subject line ...
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2004\09\23@082127 by Gerhard Fiedler

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> Well all these figures pale against the number of people who die from smoking.  In the UK that's about 120,000
> a year

IMO /the/ difference is that smokers primarily hurt themselves, drivers
very much also (if not primarily) hurt others.

And it's not about prohibiting anything. I wonder where this comes from. As
I recall, nobody here who talked the dangerousness of individual motor
vehicle traffic said anything about prohibiting anything.

It's about responsibility. Killing or hurting someone with a vehicle should
be treated the same as killing someone any other way. It's as preventable,
and it's as tragic to whoever it happens to.

Gerhard
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2004\09\23@083209 by Russell McMahon

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> Such a long message, such a short reply... :-)

Have to take a trip tomorrow to pick up some equipment.
I'll *try* to remember my advice :-)


       RM
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2004\09\23@084628 by D. Jay Newman

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> > Twenty years ago that was definately the case, but
> something has changed a
> > lot of women drivers' (safer) habits.
>
> Should of course have been: "Twenty years ago that was
> definately NOT the case"...  :-#

As near as I can tell from the studies I've read, woment drivers were
*not* any safer then men, they just drove less often. When a couple
were out together, it was almost unheard of for the woman to drive.

There are still some (the one's I know are very old) where the women
doesn't even know how to drive - as in doesn't have a license).

And to be honest, when Lee and I are out together, even in her car, I'm
the one driving.
--
D. Jay Newman           ! DCX - it takes off and lands base down,
jayspamspam_OUTsprucegrove.com     !       as God and Robert Heinlein intended.
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2004\09\23@111619 by James Newtons Massmind

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The automobile, under human control at all times, without any guiding force
(like a train's rail) is inherently unsafe IMHO.

James

> {Original Message removed}

2004\09\23@111749 by William Chops Westfield

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On Sep 23, 2004, at 3:53 AM, Russell McMahon wrote:

> So we conclude from the stat that about 50% of UK smokers die from
> smoking.
> Could be true.
>
Everyone dies from something.  I had a college friend, now a doctor
(from
a long line of doctors) who used to say "of course more people die from
cancer these days.   We can cure almost everything else!"

BillW

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2004\09\23@112410 by William Chops Westfield

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On Sep 23, 2004, at 4:22 AM, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

>> I think there is a missing political willingness. IMHO approx. (very
>> approx.) about a half of people having a driver licence should be
>> withdrawn because of they are simply not able to drive below an
>> expectable
>> hazard minimum.

It's not just political.  I suspect it's hard to imagine, from outside
the usa, just how entrenched "driving" is in American society.  To
withhold the ability to drive from someone means condemning them to
a 2nd class citizen status, unless they're very lucky or very careful.

BillW

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2004\09\23@113740 by Dave VanHorn

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>
>It's not just political.  I suspect it's hard to imagine, from outside
>the usa, just how entrenched "driving" is in American society.  To
>withhold the ability to drive from someone means condemning them to
>a 2nd class citizen status, unless they're very lucky or very careful.

With the mass transit system being what it is, other than in the large cities, you're totally hosed if you can't drive.  

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2004\09\23@114205 by hael Rigby-Jones

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{Quote hidden}

James, I don't disgaree with you here.  The problem is that some people seem
to have decided exactly why it is unsafe and what should be done to fix this
without actually checking the facts.  Still, why lets the facts get in the
way of a good policy eh?

Mike


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2004\09\23@132105 by Byron A Jeff

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On Thu, Sep 23, 2004 at 08:16:06AM -0700, James Newtons Massmind wrote:
> The automobile, under human control at all times, without any guiding force
> (like a train's rail) is inherently unsafe IMHO.

Excellent point. The fact of the matter is that I'd happily give up driving
if the substitute could meet the needs that driving affords: 1) unscheduled
travel to 2) multiple destinations in a 3) timely fashion with 4) Personal
space (stuff, music, choice of co passengers and the like). Mass transit
generally fails all these criteria big time. The nearest bus stop to my house
is 4 miles away and even if I caught the bus, getting to and from work
would be a 2.5 hour affair each way involving 3 buses, a train, and two
different transit systems. And BTW every day I take a midday break to pick
up kids from school as the thought of having a 6YO in the house alone is
a very very scary thought.

As it is, I can get to and from work in 20 minutes flat driving each way. It's
the only effective transportation mechanism for me.

But given all of that I'd still give up driving in a minute if a personalized
automated mass transit system could be devised where coupled caravaned cars
that rode on tracks at high speeds, splitting off into smaller units near
the destinations. Couple that with some automated way of transferring
personal items and the like, and I'd probably even be willing to give up
the personal vehicle altogether and pay nearly what I'm paying for
car payment, car insurance, gas and maintenance, to be able to do somthing
like this and not have to drive at all.

There needs to be a shift in the thinking of how folks get around.

BAJ

>
> James
>
> > {Original Message removed}

2004\09\23@140336 by Herbert Graf

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On Thu, 2004-09-23 at 02:42, Robert Rolf wrote:
> I would have no problem with driving the posted speed limit rather
> that 15mph above, as most traffic does.
> I have no problem with NOT driving drunk. (I don't drink, period).
>
> Zero tolerance for drunk driving seemed to work quite well in
> Venezuela (circa 1980). If you drove drunk, and cause an accident,
> the soldiers patrolling the streets executed you on the spot.
> There are NO repeat offenders, and first time DWI is nearly
> non existent. The severe deterrent seemed to work well enough there.
>
> Zero tolerance for DWI (driving while intoxicated) with mandatory
> jail time would go a LONG way to reducing the current carnage.

Actually I think the best solution is simply to reduce the legal limit
to zero. Why we tolerate ANY level of alcohol in the blood simply
doesn't make sense to me.

Many people have NO CLUE how many drinks comprise the "legal limit",
which dramatically increases the number of drunk driving occurrences
because people simply "didn't know" they were over the limit. On top of
that the limit isn't even a constant, it depends on person, physical
activity, time, heck even genetics.

> An protester who pied our premier just got sentenced to
> 30 days in jail for assault. Earlier this month a woman
> who had a history of drunk driving killed someone by going
> the wrong way down a one way highway. She was sentenced to
> one year probation. e.g. NO JAIL TIME. Where is the justice in that?
> Where is the message that driving drunk will have severe consequences?

Yup, but then many sentences in Canada are a joke these days. Some
people consider the small amount of jail time they get "the cost of
doing business", what kind of deterrent is that?.



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2004\09\23@140448 by Mike Hord

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> But given all of that I'd still give up driving in a minute if a personalized
> automated mass transit system could be devised where coupled caravaned cars
> that rode on tracks at high speeds, splitting off into smaller units near
> the destinations. Couple that with some automated way of transferring
> personal items and the like, and I'd probably even be willing to give up
> the personal vehicle altogether and pay nearly what I'm paying for
> car payment, car insurance, gas and maintenance, to be able to do somthing
> like this and not have to drive at all.

I would pay a bit more than I pay for vehicle costs to get that time back.
If I don't have to worry about controlling my vehicle, I can catch up on my
reading, play with a computer, talk to my family over the phone (or in
person), etc.  All of those things have a positive monetary value (for me),
which I would gladly tack onto my commuting expenses in return for such
things.

Mike H.

PS- two weeks ago at the Minnesota State Fair I saw an exhibit by a group
who is attempting the "small cars on tracks" thing, where you summon up
a pod which automatically takes you to your destination.  That would be a
fairly ideal solution- if traffic along one route gets too heavy, the system can
automatically adjust and reroute.  Alas, I doubt I'll live to ride in such a
system (and I'm only 25), but perhaps I'll someday get to work on the design
of such and MAYBE my grandkids will.
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2004\09\23@144532 by Mike Hord

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> Many people have NO CLUE how many drinks comprise the "legal limit",
> which dramatically increases the number of drunk driving occurrences
> because people simply "didn't know" they were over the limit. On top of
> that the limit isn't even a constant, it depends on person, physical
> activity, time, heck even genetics.

A lot of that also depends on the person.  I have no idea what I would need
to drink to reach the legal limit, or what the legal limit "feels"
like, and so I
just don't drive after drinking.  Period.  At all.  I wait about a
half hour after
a single beer before driving.

It's not worth it.  And don't say "But then how do I get home?" because if
you're drinking in a situation where you can't get home afterwards, you
shouldn't be.

Mike H.
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2004\09\23@160830 by Herbert Graf

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On Thu, 2004-09-23 at 14:45, Mike Hord wrote:
> > Many people have NO CLUE how many drinks comprise the "legal limit",
> > which dramatically increases the number of drunk driving occurrences
> > because people simply "didn't know" they were over the limit. On top of
> > that the limit isn't even a constant, it depends on person, physical
> > activity, time, heck even genetics.
>
> A lot of that also depends on the person.  I have no idea what I would need
> to drink to reach the legal limit, or what the legal limit "feels"
> like, and so I
> just don't drive after drinking.  Period.  At all.  I wait about a
> half hour after
> a single beer before driving.

That's exactly what I do. If I know I'm driving home that night I don't
even have ONE drink, no matter how many hours my drive home might be.
It's just not worth it.

I just wish the law would be changed to FORCE people to do it that way.
I've seen people at the limit, and trust me, you DON'T want them driving
ANYWHERE near the limit. I've seen others who were at the limit and
still had pretty normal motor control. The fact is alcohol reacts with
everybody differently, to set an arbitary line is simply foolhardy. TTYL

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2004\09\23@174314 by James Newtons Massmind

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It's a catch 22.

---
James Newton, massmind.org Knowledge Archiver
TakeThisOuTjamesEraseMEspamspam_OUTmassmind.org 1-619-652-0593 fax:1-208-279-8767
All the engineering secrets worth knowing:
http://techref.massmind.org What do YOU know?

> {Original Message removed}

2004\09\23@181506 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face

>
> James, I don't disgaree with you here.  The problem is that
> some people seem
> to have decided exactly why it is unsafe and what should be
> done to fix this
> without actually checking the facts.  Still, why lets the
> facts get in the
> way of a good policy eh?
>
> Mike
>


Very true. I guess that is what I would be happiest with: If people would
stop worrying about rules and start looking at effect (this is the dead=dead
thing) and then also stop making policy without doing serious clinical
research as to the cause of the problem.

I have a hero worship thing for the people who investigate accidents for the
NTSB and other agencies like that. Also CSI's. Finding out why something
actually happened is SO important and is often very... Perhaps not
suppressed exactly, but sort of swept off and ignored.

Does anyone remember flight 800? The one that they suspected was shot down
with a missile? The NTSB found that a long list of combined causes resulted
in an effect previously thought impossible. The center fuel tank got so hot
while the bird was sitting on over 100 degree (F) tarmac with the A/C
running (the A/C unit is in the same area) that the resulting vapor DID in
fact have the explosive potential to rip out the sections of the hull around
the fuel blast vent. That caused the next sections to fail because of the
stress of the climb and the entire thing sort of unzipped around that cross
section of the fuselage and split the plane in half. The explosion was
caused by a wire insulation failure which was also thought to be impossible.
1. jet fuel can't explode with enough force to damage the edges of the vent
2. the hull can't fail under climb stress 3. this insulation can't fail in a
fuel tank environment 4. temperature in this nacelle can never exceed safe
levels 5.. Etc...

All that was NEVER reported as far as I know. The public just sort of forgot
about it, but I was at a "mandatory" company party and the presidents
daughters idiot husband was telling me that flight 800 was known to have
been shot down by Islamic extremists and their home country (Iran he said)
was paying 10 million to each family of the passengers so that we wouldn't
invade them. He was combining the Lockerby Scotland flight with reparations
paid by Libya with the flight 800 "missile" scare and with the current Islam
bashing. He drives a huge Chevy truck to his desk job every day. Perfect
paint, never used to haul anything as far as I can see. Gets about 10mpg
probably. Makes him feel safe and compensates for his lack of height and ...
Other things most likely.

So, we can:
A) really crack down on the boarder patrol and/or go kill us some rag heads,
sue the heck out of the airline and Boeing, et. all because dead /= dead and
we need to find someone to blame.

B) avoid setting in an air-conditioned plane on a hot day for better than 4
hours (passengers WERE given the option to deplane and reschedule) because
dead = dead and even if the airline is very safe, and no one is out to get
me, accidents like this HAVE happened.

C) redouble our efforts to make sure that more than sufficient venting is
available in anything we design. Because dead = dead, we can learn from the
past, and make it better. Without worry about whose fault it was.

Michael Crichton  "Airframe" is an excellent read on this sort of thing.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/asin/0345402871

---
James Newton, massmind.org Knowledge Archiver
RemoveMEjamesspamTakeThisOuTmassmind.org 1-619-652-0593 fax:1-208-279-8767
All the engineering secrets worth knowing:
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2004\09\23@182113 by James Newtons Massmind

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Http://http://www.massmind.org/techref/idea/sanecar.htm

{Quote hidden}

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2004\09\23@182307 by Dave VanHorn

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At 04:43 PM 9/23/2004, James Newtons Massmind wrote:

>It's a catch 22.

I agree.. Our local system in Muncie does not run on sundays, and quits at 9PM on weekdays, Just a bit too early for anyone in a retail job to use it.
Starts at 7:00, which is sort of ok, this isn't a big town.
There's no provision for going to any other town.

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2004\09\23@183816 by Dave VanHorn

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>
>Does anyone remember flight 800? The one that they suspected was shot down
>with a missile?

I had tickets on that flight, along with another engineer, our CEO, and marketing guy.
We were taking a new prototype to Paris for a meeting.
It wasn't ready in time, so we delayed the trip by a week.

He drives a huge Chevy truck to his desk job every day. Perfect
>paint, never used to haul anything as far as I can see. Gets about 10mpg
>probably. Makes him feel safe and compensates for his lack of height and ...
>Other things most likely.

I never did see any point in having a pickup, unless you're going to haul things.


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2004\09\23@213917 by Russell McMahon

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> Actually I think the best solution is simply to reduce the legal limit
> to zero. Why we tolerate ANY level of alcohol in the blood simply
> doesn't make sense to me.

A SMALL amount of alcohol (about 1 glass of anything) actually improves
performance in a small but noticeable manner. After that it's downhill all
the way. Mayhaps this is part of the body's mechanism for dealing with low
levels of fermentation products in some food.



       RM

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2004\09\23@221953 by Randy Glenn

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Johnny Fever anyone? :)

(For those unfamiliar: a reference to the late-70s-early-80s sitcom
WKRP in Cincinatti. The episode in question is
http://www.epguides.com/WKRPinCincinnati/guide.shtml#ep021)

On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 16:08:29 -0400, Herbert Graf
<RemoveMEmailinglist2EraseMEspamEraseMEfarcite.net> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

--
-Randy Glenn
Computer Eng. and Mgt. Year IV, McMaster University
Chair, McMaster IEEE Student Branch

randy.glenn-at-gmail.com - glennrb-at-mcmaster.ca
randy.glenn-at-computer.org - randy_glenn-at-ieee.org
http://www.randyglenn.ca
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2004\09\23@235200 by William Chops Westfield

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On Sep 23, 2004, at 3:22 PM, Dave VanHorn wrote:
>
>> It's a catch 22.
>
>
It might have been at one time.  Now, it's next to impossible to
add public transportation infrastructure to existing urban areas,
and it seems to me it would be really difficult to keep up a mass
transit system with the fluctuations in the economy that seem to
be so common in the US.  Existing mass transit is always over
crowded, or losing money, and sometimes both...

BillW

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2004\09\24@060300 by Howard Winter

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James,

On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 15:14:55 -0700, James Newtons Massmind wrote:

> Does anyone remember flight 800? The one that they suspected was shot down with a missile?

I remember it well - I was Wizop on a Compuserve forum at the time and it was the talk of the place for a
number of days.  Personally I wouldn't say that it was as strong as "suspected" - more like "rumoured"!  We
had a US ATCO on the forum, and I was an active private pilot at the time and I was rather surprised that she
and I were asked by others what we thought had caused it... my response was that I had no idea as I hadn't
seen any evidence, but lots of people seemed to like to speculate based on that same evidence!  :-)

> The NTSB found that a long list of combined causes resulted in an effect previously thought impossible.

Indeed, like most disasters it needed a chain of events, absence of any one of which would have stopped it.

>...<
> 1. jet fuel can't explode with enough force to damage the edges of the vent

I don't know where they get that - *any* volatile fuel can cause a huge explosion when it has just the right
mix of oxygen with it: a fuel/air bomb is the most powerful non-nuclear weapon.  The centre tank on a 747 is
about the size of a domestic garage (you can easily stand up and walk around in it) so the volume of fuel
vapour / air in an empty tank is enormous.

> All that was NEVER reported as far as I know.

Ah, that's where I love UK television!  There was a documentary here about it, which went into the whole
thing, from playing the radio traffic at the time (sad, an aircraft reported seeing an exlosion, and the ATCO
called flight 800 repeatedly, getting no reply, of course), through the investigation, explained the chain of
events that caused it, and described changes that resulted.

One thing that they showed was a "fuel tank inerting system".  It was invented a number of years ago, but no
airlines installed it because it weighed 800lbs.  They did install 3,000lb entertainment systems, however...

The idea is that instead of just letting air into the tanks as they empty, you remove the oxygen so the
"empty" space is pretty-much just nitrogen.  It is a unit about a foot in diameter and about fout feet long,
and I'm not sure how it works, but air goes in at one end and de-oxygenated air comes out of the other to fill
the fuel tank's "airspace" (oxygen comes out of the side and is dumped overboard).  It costs nothing to run -
it's a chemical process with no moving parts, I believe.  The airline just needs to buy and install it.  I
understand that a number of airlines have now done so, but I don't think it's mandatory.

{Quote hidden}

I *really* hate it when morons put about their pet theories as facts, based on zero evidence, and who would
much rather hate some class of people than try to live with their differences.  Apart from anything else,
terrorists publish what they've done - that's the whole point!  Vandals do things anonymously, but nobody ever
suggests that people go about shooting down aircraft just for fun...

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


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2004\09\24@080112 by Gerhard Fiedler

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>>> It's a catch 22.
>>
> It might have been at one time.  Now, it's next to impossible to
> add public transportation infrastructure to existing urban areas,
> and it seems to me it would be really difficult to keep up a mass
> transit system with the fluctuations in the economy that seem to
> be so common in the US.  

I think you underestimate human (and possibly specifically US) ingenuity. I
think /if/ the US population at large put their hearts and minds to it, it
could happen within a generation -- mass transit, or otherwise making the
roads safer.

Look at the residential streets in the USA, for example. Compared to almost
any European country, they are /very/ safe. And that's only because there
is a social consensus, not because of any rule or such. Heck, even
revolting youngsters seem to drive pretty decently on residential streets
in the USA. (I only know the West, mainly the Southwest, some of the South
and Ohio. But this seems to be pretty uniform in all those otherwise quite
different regions.)

This is what I meant by those situations being a collective choice.

> Existing mass transit is always over crowded, or losing money, and
> sometimes both...

I don't know of any country that has a decent accounting of costs. They
should start to run countries like well-administrated companies, financial
administration-wise, with cost accounts and everything. There are so many
collateral costs to individual transit that its perceived cost
effectiveness is probably only the effect of hidden costs buried in other
"cost accounts". Then of course there are all the non-monetary effects
which are even then hard to account for. The space between the houses used
to be living space... :)

Gerhard
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2004\09\24@082547 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Thu, Sep 23, 2004 at 03:21:01PM -0700, James Newtons Massmind wrote:
> Http://http://www.massmind.org/techref/idea/sanecar.htm

Interesting idea. It still seems to require an actual driver. Also it doesn't
address flow. All the cars of a bullet train can go 200 MPH because they are
all connected together on a track.

James, I think you had the right idea the first time. Trains are inherently
safer than cars. So if an efficient system for linking up car segments
into adhoc trains that ran on tracks could be devised, it should be possible
to both speed up the overall flow and to automate it too.

As another poster pointed out, I'd happily pay for the ability to get other
stuff done instead of driving just as long as I could get to where I needed
to be in a time efficient manner. and let's not even get started with the
fuel efficiency.

Most subway systems are nearly fully automated. Airplanes have had true
autopilots for decades. I just can't figure out why there hasn't been any
significant application of these types of technologies to the transportation
task that gets performed far more often than the others.

I live in the Atlanta area. Both mine and my wife's family are in New Orleans.
We take the (now long and painful) drive between the two cities at least 4
times a year. Invariably I get to thinking about why it is that I have to
sit in the chair and direct the vehicle upon what is really a very well
defined space. I just can't see how the human that gets sleepy and tired can
be a better driver than an autopilot engineered for the task. I can't see
why it's better to drive 70 or 75, when an automated system of linked
vehicles could easily average over 100 MPH on the same terrain. BTW I know
that for a fact because in my younger days with a faster car I made the 470
mile trip in 5.5 hours flat!

I think that personalized, automated, mass trasit is going to be the touchstone
for the 21st century.

BAJ
>
> > {Original Message removed}

2004\09\25@094854 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
> Most subway systems are nearly fully automated. Airplanes have had true
> autopilots for decades. I just can't figure out why there hasn't been any
> significant application of these types of technologies to the transportation
> task that gets performed far more often than the others.

Look at ads for cars. They don't get sold for practical transportation,
they get sold for being cool or sexy, making you free, letting you go where
nobody else goes...

Also look at the cars people have. Mostly that's not a problem solving
oriented decision. This is fundamentally different from airplanes and
trains -- nobody owns a train to "express themselves" :) and few can afford
airplanes to do so.

Gerhard
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