You have to smile sometimes. I just received this email. It’s just a hunch, but it might be a scam.
From: Charles Koch <email address removed>
Subject: CONTACT ME URGENT
How are you today, I hope all is well .Be informed that due to your delay ,YOUR FUND worth of (USD$950,000.00) was converted into ATM-Card which you can use to withdraw in any ATM Cash Point Machine Worldwide and have been programmed by the issuing bank .Note that the issuing bank has packaged the ATM CARD with the secret code and registered it with DHL courier service. Also you can withdraw the sum of US$5,000.00 per day.Therefore, quickly contact DHL COMPANY with below
Your full name……..
Your age …………
Your Phone number……
Director :Mr Charles Koch
Email address: (Zimbabwe email address removed)
The only money you have to send to DHL COMPANY is only US$95 only,according to the director of the issuing bank for the smooth delivery of your package to your door step. Also you should reaffirm your full NAME, ADDRESS,TELEPHONE NUMBER AND DRIVER’S LICENSE OR PASSPORT to them to avoid wrong delivery.
Funds Remittance Department
The really frightening thing is that there will be some prat who responds to him.
This story has appeared in a few newspapers recently. It concerns the stopping distances in the Highway Code (HC), and “research” by Brake – one of the usual suspects when anything like this kicks off. The charge being levelled is that the HC is wrong, and stopping distances are actually much longer.
The first thing to point out – even though it’s too late, and people on the forums are already running with scissors over it – is that only the typical driver’s reaction time is being questioned. It has nothing to do with the braking distance (remember that overall stopping distance is equal to the thinking distance + braking distance). The second thing to recognise is that it isn’t even a new issue. It had been ably discussed at least as long ago as June 2016 on Chalkdust Magazine, and if I was being cynical I would suggest that Brake had been at a bit of a loose end since its last crusade, seen this article, and picked up the reins.
The HC’s standard figures for stopping distances date back to the 60s, and this has led many to argue that they must be out of date just based on that. Consequently, most arguments start with the premise that stopping distances are wrong, and then proceed to cherry-pick disparate data which appear to support that premise. Most arguments focus on the braking distance.
I’m not going to repeat Chalkdust’s calculations here, but it is important to understand from the outset that braking distance in real situations has nothing to do with the weight of the vehicle. Braking distance is all to do with friction, and since any vehicle on the road has brakes which can freeze the wheels instantaneously if they’re applied hard, and an amount of rubber in contact with the road surface which is proportional to the size and weight of the vehicle, it is the overall friction between the tyres and the road which matters.
As an aside, if we’re going to be pedantic about it, tyres are better than they were in the 60s, road surfaces are better, and brake systems are better. So, if anything, a car in the 21st Century would probably stop more efficiently than one in the 60s did. But as I say, the issue isn’t about braking distance.
Chalkdust pointed out last year that the HC stopping distances allow for a thinking time of 0.68 seconds, and they suggest that this appears to have been chosen because it meant that the “thinking distance” in feet is the same as the speed in mph – which is one of the methods learners use to memorise the stopping distances table in the HC. By comparison, the United States uses 1.5 seconds, and Canada assumes 2.5 seconds. Chalkdust suggests a new “thinking distance” in metres which is numerically equal to mph, and which equates to 2.24 seconds.
|Speed||Current Thinking Distance||Current Stopping Distance||New Thinking Distance||New Stopping Distance|
Brake has decided to argue something completely different, coincidentally adopting the American thinking time of 1.5 seconds (but following “research” into “average thinking times”). Consequently, its proposed stopping distances are somewhat shorter than Chalkdust’s– and horrendously un-rememberable!
|Speed||Current Thinking Distance||Current Stopping Distance||New Thinking Distance||New Stopping Distance|
Even without the decimal fractions, there is no pattern to aid remembering them. At least with Chalkdust’s figures, the “thinking distance” is memorable, thus more or less eliminating one of the variables involved.
In my opinion – and I’ve said this before – knowing the actual stopping distance at any given speed is as useful as a chocolate fireguard. Knowing that the current 70mph stopping distance is about as long as a football pitch is much more useful than knowing it is 315 feet or 96m. Let’s face it, if you’re in a situation where this is suddenly important, and you’re trying to push the pedals through the floor to avoid something in front of you, you’re not going to be worrying about how far 96m is from where you are now.
The “two-second rule” (which would probably become the four or five second rule based on this), or some variation of it, is infinitely more useful.
Modern cars are lighter than they were in the 60s
No, they’re not. A Ford Anglia – the car allegedly used to set the current numbers – weighed about 740kg. A Ford Focus weighs around 1,400kg. Even a Citroen C1 weighs over 800kg. A BMW Mini weighs about 1,200kg, compared with about 650kg for an original Mini back in the 60s.
Tyres were different back then
Yes, and they are unlikely to have been as good as those we have today. Modern cars have better tyres and better brakes, and more of them is in contact with the road. Modern roads have better grip. If anything, modern cars can stop much more quickly that their 60s counterparts could under the same conditions.
The BBC reports that an electronic billboard in Cardiff has been hacked, and until it was turned off was displaying offensive images and messages. You can probably guess the nature of these.
They should have taken a look at the one at the rear of the Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham last week, prior to the Pride march at the weekend. And that one wasn’t classed as having been hacked, even though it was a hundred times more offensive.
This story has been in the news the last day or so. It concerns a new roundabout in Mickleover, Derbyshire, where there were 10 accidents within 48 hours of it opening.
Resident Peter Hall told the Derby Telegraph: “These accidents are not driver error but the result of a poorly designed, unlit roundabout on a 70mph dual carriageway.
“By my reckoning at least 10 vehicles have had accidents within less than 48 hours of this new junction opening – so it is probably the most dangerous roundabout in the country.”
Sorry, Peter. It IS driver error. It’s people being too thick to drive in accordance with what they have in front of them, choosing instead to put their heads down and hammer into the unknown. That sort of behaviour is one of the biggest problems with driving standards on our roads today.
It isn’t just young and inexperienced drivers, either. Far too many of these younger drivers will go through life not having a clue, and then they will become older drivers without a clue. Of course, there are already plenty of clueless older drivers from earlier generations, and they are almost as bad right now as today’s snot noses will be in 30 or 40 years’ time.
Some years ago, when they were building the tram system in Nottingham, they removed three roundabouts in Clifton and turned them into junctions. I can remember one of my pupils was on a lesson, and we drove down Farnborough Road towards where the first roundabout would have been several weeks earlier, and he actually stopped to look around. In the middle of nowhere! This shows what is going on inside some people’s heads. And sometimes, it’s not a lot.
Derby Telegraph has a video of traversing the roundabout from several directions, and it doesn’t look anywhere near as bad as is being suggested. It is clearly signed, and only a complete prat would miss it. There are “SLOW” signs, primary route direction signs, triangular roundabout signs, illuminated/flashing matrix signs, blue “left only” circles, both normal black and red “left bend” chevron signs, not to mention cones – which are always a bit of a give away that something might be ahead.
The most obvious physical “problem”, as distinct from the mental ones already highlighted, is that the approach roads are NSL – one of which is a dual carriageway. Being Derbyshire, that will translate to most of the residents as meaning “as fast as you can in your Audi or Corsa, whilst simultaneously peeling your banana and picking parasites out of your mate’s fur”.
To be fair, it would appear that some of the signage has gone up since the accidents, but not as much of it as the Telegraph (or Peter Hall) is suggesting. The direction signs – big green “primary route” roundabout signs – look very well-established, and if you know that a roundabout is coming then you start looking for it.
Extensive government research has identified several areas in the UK where broadband is quite slow.
Note that the population density in the UK as a whole is over 270 people per square kilometre. The population density in the areas identified as having the slowest broadband – mainly the extremities of Scotland and rural Wales – is as low as 3-4 people per square kilometre (and in one area, 3-4 probably represents the average IQ of the population there as well).
MPs are apparently planning next to spend a lot more money on identifying that it is darker at night than it is during the daytime, and that ice melts when it warms up.
A real non-story, this one. It seems that social media has been “going wild” over a “mystery beast” spotted in Scotland.
Let’s just cut to chase on this one. It ain’t Nessie, or any other weird animal. My guess is that it is still there, in the exact same pose.
It’s a tree stump.
I told you! Back in January, I speculated that the odds of the next Doctor Who being female were good.
Let’s not beat about the bush here. The fact that the new Doctor Who will be female is contrived – contrived with a capital “C”. The media response to it just highlights the fact.
The Huffington Post has “Girl’s Reaction To Jodie Whittaker Announcement Sums Up How Important A Female Doctor Is “. The BBC is busy blowing its own trumpet, with “Jodie Whittaker and the other sci-fi women breaking the glass ceiling”. The BBC also has “Doctor Who: Prime Minister welcomes first female Time Lord”.
As I said back in January, the titular character in Doctor Who was never intended to be anything other than male. That’s no slight on women, it’s just the way it is. This current situation might well satisfy the right-on BBC and the rabid feminists out there, but it is roughly the equivalent of casting Tom and Jerry as an aardvark and a lemur (in that order). It just doesn’t make any sense.
Now, when this one’s tenure ends, what are the odds of the next Doctor being transgender?
I’ve been getting a few comments from people on this story. Just to clarify:
- The Doctor was a male character
- The Doctor has always been a male character
- yes, there were female Timelords, but The Doctor was not one of them
- the decision to “regenerate” The Doctor as a female is absolutely a decision motivated by political correctness
- before the decision was finally made, there were various pushes to make The Doctor into a character representing minority groups
No matter how you try to put spin on it, it was a deliberate decision to put a woman into a role which was always intended to be masculine. I’m sorry, but it was. The only way of justifying it is to rewrite the historical storyline in order to claim that it was always possible – and then pretending that you believe it.
I have just seen what must rank as the biggest pile of feminist bollocks ever written. It claims that women’s clothing doesn’t have pockets because of a male conspiracy to restrict their freedom!
Let’s get something straight. At least 99.999999% of women’s clothes are concerned with style and appearance. And 99.999999% of women want it that way. Unfortunately, the universal laws of nature mean that storage of any physical item requires space. The net result is that you can’t have a smooth and stylish outline if you’re trying to store the contents of a tool chest about your person. Nor can you store even a small object if the rest of the item of clothing needed to be applied out of an aerosol can in order to get it on.
Another problem with style is that function goes straight out of the window. I’ve lost count of the number of times over the years I’ve bought a smart shirt, then ripped it across the shoulders or back as I’ve lifted up a sofa or any other heavy object. Or when I’ve bought a posh pair of shoes, and managed to make the sole and upper part company when I’ve twisted whilst carrying something. Even the act of walking more than a few hundred metres is enough to knacker some shoes, which is perhaps why women spend so much money on the bloody things, since theirs are usually all about style.
…journalist Chelsea Summers puts it most simply when she writes, “the less women could carry, the less freedom they had”.
This is complete crap. It implies that a group of men sat around a table somewhere and plotted it this way. It also naively applies 21st Century attitudes to the 16th-20th Centuries.
No pockets also means women need to invest in clutches and handbags – a strategy that earns the fashion industry more and more money.
This is even more crap. If women wear baggy and functional clothes, they have ample pocket space available to them – though perhaps not enough to fit the entire contents of a typical handbag into. And many women actually want to carry a handbag – often, a very expensive one. It isn’t a conspiracy in any way, shape, or form.
This story beggars belief. It started in 2011, when a British photographer went to Indonesia to photograph macaques. After a bit of bonding, he managed to get the monkeys to press the camera shutter, and the image above is the now infamous “monkey selfie” that has caused the trouble.
In 2014, David Slater, the photographer, asked Wikipedia to remove the image from their site since he had not given permission to use it. Wikipedia – which is renowned for being written by monkeys anyway – refused, arguing that the copyright belonged to the macaque in the photo, and not to Mr Slater.
As an aside, I wonder if Wikipedia got the monkey’s permission to use the photo?
Although the US Copyright Office ruled that animals cannot own copyright, it didn’t stop PETA finding someone who would represent the monkey – whose name is Naruto, by the way – and sue Mr Slater back in 2014. The case has dragged on and on since then. Well, we’re talking about America here, so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that you can’t just state the obvious and say that “monkeys can’t own copyright” and throw the case out. As a much more detailed account of the story indicates, if they did that, PETA would just sue again and again. All they’d have to do is find someone else to stand up on the monkey’s behalf, and everything would just kick off again, and since PETA obviously has nothing better to do with its time, it wouldn’t hesitate to do that.
The best part is that no one is actually certain that the monkey, Naruto, is the one in the picture.
With hindsight, it would probably have been better if Mr Slater had not tried to have Wikipedia remove his photo. But then again, why should a bunch of arseholes get everything their own way just because they ARE a bunch of arseholes, and are prepared to prove it to the power of ten by involving other arseholes if you point it out to them?
The big question is: if the monkey won, who’d get the money? What would a monkey do with several million dollars? Buy a huge banana?
I have a solution to this potential nightmare. They should decide in the monkey’s favour, then award all damages to Mr Slater – since he is the only one in all this who actually had the monkeys’ welfare in mind. PETA would win, so it couldn’t sue again, and Mr Slater would not be anywhere near as much out of pocket as he will be if he has to pay the scumbags at PETA.
Unfortunately, I am only joking. If the monkey were to win, there’d be a flood of similar cases as a result of the new precedent. And then we might end up with a Planet of the Apes scenario, where they start to get involved in politics. One might even run for POTUS. Oh, wait…
One of the more difficult road layouts for learners to understand is the T-junction with priority over vehicles from the left or right. The majority of allegedly “experienced” road users haven’t got a clue about them, either.
Essentially, what they are is a T-junction, but instead of the naturally assumed arrangement whereby the upright of the ‘T’ meets the cross-bar at a give way line, the give way is actually on one the the arms of the cross-bar. For all practical purposes, you have a junction on a bend – with the bend being 90°. You generally find them on relatively quiet roads. On busier roads – and in places where the local authority has at least two brain cells to rub together – traffic lights take over and the issue of priority becomes moot, since safety is far more important.
They can be quite dangerous simply because people don’t understand them, ignore them, or just don’t see them. So take a look at this video.
It’s from my dashcam, recorded during a lesson on 11 July, and shows the T-junction between Canal Street and Collin Street just outside Broadmarsh. Until we encountered the junction on this lesson, I was not aware this junction was going to be altered other than the likelihood of it having temporary lights while they demolish the shopping centre car park.
For at least 40 years, this junction has been controlled by traffic lights. It is one of the busiest junctions in Nottingham, and it has five lanes coming in from Collin Street. Since it features on Colwick test routes, it is vital that pupils know how to deal with it. Unfortunately, for the last 10 years, Nottingham has become one complete set of road works and semi-permanent gridlock, and the Broadmarsh demolition is just the latest in a series of major development plans which serve to introduce huge traffic restrictions on the busiest routes for ridiculously long periods of time.
The thing about traffic light-controlled junctions is that the vast majority of road users abide by them. Even the most inept of drivers will have had to understand the concept of red means stop, and green means go in order to scrape their test pass, and although you do get the occasional retard who is so stressed out by driving in the city they don’t actually see the lights, the worst red light jumping morons usually don’t push it too far.
Nottingham City Council, who have repeatedly demonstrated themselves to be incompetent when managing every aspect of Nottingham, has decided that this busy junction is no longer to be controlled by lights, but instead has turned it – literally overnight and with no significant prior warning that I am aware of – into one where Collin Street traffic has permanent priority over that coming into the city along Canal Street.
Let me just put that in a different way: Nottingham City Council has altered an extremely busy light-controlled junction into one where anyone using it has to interpret new road markings and make decisions beyond the basic “is that light red or green” type. After more than 40 years.
You can see from the video that if my pupil had exercised his right of way, that pink lorry – operated by Seth Punchard Storage and Distribution (tel. 07557 193040), and with the registration number AY08 AHZ (which, incidentally, is not the white colour it is registered as being) – would have gone straight into us. He hadn’t slowed down at all, and I am fairly certain that we would have been seriously injured or even killed had he hit us.
Several other cars went through, and although you can’t see it, I was angrily gesticulating to a DPD courier van off to the left and pointing at the give way lines, because he was trying it as well.
The new layout is an accident waiting to happen. The Nottingham Post (I advise you to have a pop-up blocker if you follow this link, otherwise it’ll take 10 minutes for the page to load) is reporting drivers’ consternation already. Naturally, the idiots in the Council are defending their incompetence.
The part that makes me laugh is where they naturally start quoting clueless people in order to try and maintain a balance where there isn’t one.
Laurie Harking, a retired librarian, said: “…it looks like a pretty big give way sign to me, I’m not sure how you would miss it.”
Yes, dear. I’m sure the family of most of the person potentially lying across several different tables in the local morgue would be comforted by that. My video, above, clearly shows that innocent people are being put at risk.
Changing the layout would have been bad enough. Changing it to this particular layout is stupid. Criminally stupid.