All entries for December 2006

December 20, 2006

Why do drivers use their fog lights when it's foggy?

Serious question, this…

Why is it that drivers automatically turn on their fog lights as soon as there’s any fog? I followed somebody in this morning whose fog lights were so bright that I couldn’t see their brake lights! As a result I had to make sure I had plenty of stopping distance so drove as though the person in front had no brake lights… whose fault would it have been if I’d run into the back of their car?

Don’t drivers make the connection that if they can see the car 400 yards in front that has only their tail lights on, the person behind them can see their car without needing to be assisted with fog lights? The time to put your fog lights on is when there’s no one visible behind you so that the idiots who drive at 80 mph in fog can see you appear out of nothing and take evasive action before wiping you and them out!

Like people who flash their headlights to say ‘thanks’ at night when they’re less than 5 feet from you, ‘thanks but no thanks’ for dazzling me with your fog lights!


The guy that draws the world…

The guy that draws the world anew each morning seems to have got up late today and only did the bit between home and the university. I’m hoping he’s going to fill in the rest later.


December 18, 2006

The Ashes are gone… what happened?

Amidst flashes of English inspiration, the Australians have reiterated just what a fine team they are and sorted out the Ashes series in short order. I assume that the rest of the series will be more of the same, possibly ending up 4-0 or 4-1.

One positive that can be drawn from the wreckage is just how much character the team has. It had a lot of it last winter and clearly has much more now. In a relentless search for something to be upbeat about in front of the media, character is certainly something the England team has too much of presently, and it could do with a bit less.

The umpires have the wood on poor old Andrew Strauss at the moment and it remains to be seen how many more times they will get him out this series. I am, in fact, a qualified umpire so I will put my hand up to how hard a job it is. And how hard it is to practice (look at a wall and count to six regularly?) but there have been some poor decisions made and I think it has not evened out yet. Possibly the umpires are underprepared, too, by the lack of preparatory cricket that’s been played on tour and so are unused to the pitches themselves. It makes it hard to keep hold of the Ashes if some of the Australian batsmen have to be got out two or three times before they are out.

But let’s look for the positives and say, hey, it looks like we have some players who are getting their games sorted out and approaching some sort of consistency: Bell, Pietersen, Collingwood. I think the main problem is that the bowlers have not really fired as a unit. With Harmison, one swallow never makes a summer and it’s too early to tell with Panesar to be fair. And then look at the Australians: Ponting, Hussey, Clarke, the other Clark, McGrath. Those are great players in comparison and to have all of them in one side: wow! I know I should add in Shane Warne, too, but so far, he’s having to buy his wickets at quite a price. However, just to show that it’s not all firing for the Australians, Brett Lee is a terrific athlete but he’s not contributing much in this series thus far.

No wonder the Aussies won! I think people forget how close the 2005 Ashes really were. The England team in 2009 needs to be better than that.

Maybe the Ashes are done and sorted now we can get down to some serious cricket.


December 08, 2006

"Two women were reported killed"

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/6220518.stm

My point is not the story itself – which is bad enough – but the manner in which the news was reported. The quote comes actually from the news as reported on BBC Radio this morning which went “Twenty al-Qaeda militants were killed by US forces this morning. Among them, two women were reported killed”.

Why is there this need among the news media to make draw attention specifically and emotively to the deaths of women and children? I agree wholeheartedly that the death of any innocent is terrible enough, but my point is: why are the deaths of innocent women and children more newsworthy than the death of innocent men? It’s as though here is some sort of reverse sexism going on because they know that Middle England will pull a collective face and say to each other over their cereal bowls how terrible it is that women and children are dying.

What about the dead men? Don’t they count?


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