The delightful whine of summer days

May 29th, 2011

I'm willing to bet that whatever my neighbor has been vacuuming or blowing for the last 30 minutes could be handled with a broom.

I'm also willing to bet that a guy with a Cheney bumper sticker who spends his days shooting squirrels off his bird feeder doesn't give a shit what I think.

Watermelons & Cyclist

May 28th, 2011

Old Folks Do Indeed Drive Horribly

May 27th, 2011

Link: http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/27/elderly-drivers-fail-a-test/?hp&gwh=A45D55C4E144E1D73BE98E354BA4242D

Interesting. Not unexpected that older drivers drive unsafely.

Yet, perhaps this research suggests a remedy.

[R]esearchers . . . using a novel method to gauge how well people drive, have concluded that serious errors are alarmingly commonplace. ?We are seeing a ubiquitous increase in driver errors with age,? said Kaarin Anstey, a psychologist at Australian National University and lead author of the report, just published in the journal Neuropsychology.

Dr. Anstey and her co-author, Joanne Wood, administered a battery of cognitive tests to 266 adults ages 70 to 88 and asked them about their driving history ? standard stuff. But then the researchers took their subjects out on the road for a 12-mile swing through urban and suburban Brisbane in a dual-brake car. A professional driving instructor in the passenger seat directed the driver for part of the route, but for about a quarter of the course, the driver had to follow signs and find his or her own way to an unfamiliar destination. In the back seat, a trained occupational therapist observed and recorded everything from unsignaled lane changes to speeding to abrupt stops.

. . .

[T]he so-called critical errors ? in which the instructor in the front seat either had to grab the wheel or hit the auxiliary brake to avert a crash ? quadrupled among the eldest drivers, compared with the youngest. Those ages 70 to 74 averaged less than one critical error during the nearly hourlong excursion; those older than 85 averaged almost four.

One interesting thing is that these were healthy, independent seniors who were tested as free from dementia and Alzheimer's.

This suggests to me that part of the dangerous driving/loss of mobility problem could be addressed with another round of driver's ed or testing.

Great Title

May 25th, 2011

Link: http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks07/0700431h.html

My Ten Years in a Quandary AND HOW THEY GREW by Robert Benchley.

I was astonished to find that someone wrote a book with this title and that that someone wasn't me.

Watched the News Last Night, Oh Boy

May 25th, 2011

Just the local TV news. No wonder people have irrational fears. It was like a parody of a news show.

The lead story? Hooligans attack a Dunkin Donuts and steal doughnuts and drinks!

Good Plan

May 22nd, 2011

Magnify the image

Heh. Heh. Heh.

May 20th, 2011

From the NYTimes:

On Thursday, in a report on the ?CBS Evening News,? [Lance's team mate Tyler] Hamilton said he had seen Armstrong inject himself with the banned performance-enhancing drug EPO to win those Tours. A full interview with Hamilton will be broadcast Sunday on ?60 Minutes? on CBS.

?I saw him inject it more than one time,? Hamilton said. ?Yeah, like we all did. Like I did many, many times.?

The evidence was there but gullible people didn't want to look at it.

A Source of Wonder

May 19th, 2011

Michele Bachmann has a law degree. She went to Oral Roberts Law School.

I wonder what classes are like at Oral Roberts Law School.