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Friday, February 23, 2007

Just one more reason why you should not tailgate

This is a story that I found at Detroit News. Tailgating is a potentially dangerous practice, but this driver got so angry that she decided to take the law into her own hands. Luckily, no one was hurt by her brash actions. I can see how having someone tailgating you can fill you with dread or anger you. But to take out a pistol and try shooting someone is not thew way to handle this type of situation. Brandishing a weapon in a moving is a felony, and firing it from the vehicle in question just makes things.
The only way out of this situation safely is just to keep your head about you. Getting violent obviously, is where people always go wrong and it is then when people end up getting hurt or worse. Nobody has the right to intimidate anybody on the road. But to overreact to this by shooting is an unacceptable to handle a situation like this.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

German flying wings

I was watching a piece on the History Channel which was shpwing the development of the B-2 stealth bomber and the history of the flying wing design. It was interesting that at the same time, both of the Horton brothers and Jack Northrop were working on what was to become the future of stealth aricraft. The HO 229 was an aircraft that was definitely way ahead of it's time. Part of their idea for using low observables in the design of the HO-229 came from the DeHavilland Mosquito fighter-bomber, which was also made out of wood and had a very low radar signature. The Hortons, however, had the very unique idea of burying the engines in the wings. This was overall a very cool design. They showed what the future of aircraft could possibly be.

Ice bound road rage

I am sorry about my slight absence here. I had intended a few more posts, unfortunately Blogger's antispam algorythms flagged this blog as a spam blog which it is not. Thank you to the Blogger personnel who investigated and found this to be a non spam blog.
Anyway, I was reading the MSNBC.com website and found this article that I thought to be very interesting. It concerns two drivers and the subject of road rage. It seems that last summer in Virginia that a mother of three got cut off a few more times than she thought she should have.
But did she pause to use her brain to solve her problem or just put it behind her, which should have been the smart thing to do? No she did not. She did the McMissile attack. That is, she threw a McDonald's cup full of ice at the driver of the offending car. And right in front of her own children to boot. What a poor example to set for her to show her children how to handle anger management issues.
How many of us have witnessed stupid drivers pulling stupid stunts? I myself have lost count. But throwing something at someone is illegal and more than a little extreme. A more appropiate manner to handle this situation would to have been to just shrug it off and get on with your day.
On the other hand, though, her initial sentence was just way out of line. Probation was more appropiate. Her initial sentence was to have been two to five years in prison. Does anyone else think that is stupid? Where is the justice when real criminals go free while concerned mothers go to prison?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

What do I see when I see the world of Islam?

What I see when I take a look at the world of Islam is, in fact what I see when I see the early history of the Catholic Church and the Protestant Church. When I speak of this, I speak primarily of the Muslims of both the Sunni and Shiite sects.
The early Catholic Church and the early Protestant Churches both had their differences in how they believed people should worship our God. At times, we have even been willing to go to war over those differences. It was by order of the Pope that the early Catholic Church sent entire armies to wipe out what it believed to be the heathens even though both churches worship the same God. The Pope even was the one who sent the armies of the European nations against the Ottoman Turks who had invaded Jerusalem adn tried to drive them back. Millions needlessly died because the Pope at the time was an ignorant fool who couldn't see past the hypocrisy he attempting to spread called the word of God. All three religions that claim Jerusalem as their holy land, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have all at one time been religions spread by violence. Any who would say otherwise are both liars and hypocrits.
Muslims the world over protested when their was referred to as a religion that spreads violence and terror. In their protests, when they burned buildings, synagogues, and churches and government buildings, instead of showing that theirs was a religion of peace, they have proved their critics right and reacted violently. Of course, the same could be said to be true of religious fanatics in all three of those religions.
The Israelis and the Christian world have shown that they are willing to live in piece with their different sects and with Islam. It is the Sunnis and the Shiites that could learn how to conduct themselves. They think that the only for their religion to survive is to convert everyone else or wipe them off the face of the Earth.When are they going to learn that violence only begets violence and does not solve anything. Sunnis and Shiites claim to worship the same God, yet because of small differences in their beliefs, lives have been needlessly lost.
Yet, if you follow the early history of both the Catholic and Protestant Churches, you would realize that we have not really been any different. Maybe the Shiites and the Sunnis could learn something from us.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Alaskan Bush Pilots

Alaska is home to some of the most dangerous and deadly occupations in the world. One of those that I find most interesting is the job of the bush pilot. Bush pilots can be found in most remote areas of the world where there are villages that can only be reached by airplane.
It si the extremes of weather in the state of Alaska that make flying there difficult but interesting. Alaska covers an area roughly the size of half the United States. But with only 5,000 miles of paved roads, most of the small communities can only be reached by small aircraft and their unique brand of pilots. These villages more often than not have most of their supplies flown in by aircraft.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The whale flies!

Although it looks promising, it is in the opinion of this blogger that the Airbus A380 does not pose a serious threat to Boeing's domination of the commercial airline market. For one, the only routes that this aircraft would be useful on would be intercontinental routes. The real money would be short-haul routes, where Boeing still reigns surpreme. Airports also have to be rebuilt to accomodate an aircraft of these dimensions; it is simply too large for current airports. And that is going to cost the airports, and the airlines, more money. This is happening to an industry that is already strapped for money.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

MIsguided reactions

Bush's invasion of Iraq was a misguided reaction to the attack on the Twin Towers. When Saddam had been removed from power, that was when we accomplished our objectives and should have moved out and left.

When we continued our actions in Iraq, we lost focus on the real target: Al-Quaeda and the Taliban. Because of this, the Taliban has been able to regain a foothold in Afghanistan again. The war on terror is a global war that has been going on sincce decades before the attacks on the WTC.

Bush let the attack go forward so that the American people would back his attack on Iraq. This is the same thing that FDR did to draw the American people into WWII. He knew that the Japanese were going to attack Pearl Harbor and used that knowledge to draw our nation out of isolationism.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Whiteout freakout!

Well people, winter is officially here. And with winter driving comes the blizzard condition called whiteout. Now, any person with half a brainwould tell you to be smart and slow down, but some people like to show off just how small a brain they really have. When in the course of doing this, these moronic drivers show just how little they care about the safety of others when they don't think to slow down.
They think that if they hit the driver in front of them, it will automatically be the other driver's fault. The human brain is the most useful tool when it comes to winter driving. But some people always seem to think that technology will always come to the rescue. I tell you, all this technology, no matter how great it is, it is strickly a backup to practicing good driving habits.
How many decades did the American people survive on the road without such things as skid control or antilock brakes? I drive a 1995 Ford Taurus. It is the first car I have had antilock brakes. The first five did not. Three of those were not even front wheel drive. But I am still here today because I used my brain when I drove those cars during the winter periods.
Just goes to show it is not what you drive, it is how you drive it. I used to hear how peoples say that having a front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehiclemakes it possible for them to drive faster in poor weather. I wonder, does it help them see better or stop faster stop faster? If they are having trouble seeing in this weather, then they should slow down no matter what kind of vehicle they are driving. As a general rule of thumb, if your antilock brakes activate when you hit your brakes, that simply means that you are too driving fast for the existing road conditions.
P.S. If you hit the person in front of you in whiteout, YOU are the one at fault in that collision, not the slower driver. On the other hand, if you get rear ended in whiteout conditions, you are not the one at fault. That would be the other driver. Some people think that they can avoid an accident by keeping up their speed in those conditions.