Archive for December 23rd, 2007

23
Dec
07

Drivin’ & Yakkin’

The UK is ratcheting up their pressure on folks who insist on chatting it up while trying to pilot a car. Unlimited fines and up to two years in jail! And a motorist in Chicago was fined and got a temporary license suspension in Chicago for doing the same thing. As Ars Technica discusses, figuring out a solution to this distracting issue is going to be complex and contentious.

I think that many of us have witnessed “impaired” talkers behind the wheel. Weaving back and forth across lanes as they try to dial a number, missing turns because they were engaged in some conversation that was more important than driving a two ton leviathan down the lane, pulling out in front of you with not so much as an inkling that you were even there… Yep, talking on the phone can be a recipe for disaster. And let’s be honest, those wireless headsets don’t help. They just make you look silly. Yes, it is irresponsible action that can have major consequences. But does it need to be legislated away? And if so…

What about eating while driving? Applying make up? Brushing your hair, shaving, adjusting your tie, lighting a cigarette,┬áchecking your teeth in the rear view mirror? How about reading the newspaper while driving in on your morning commute (don’t laugh, my wife sees it every day)? Forget talking on the phone… how about texting? Quieting unruly children? Arguing with the passenger(s). Ogling the hot woman in the short shorts walking down the sidewalk? All of these are as potentially dangerous as talking on the phone while driving. Shouldn’t we have laws against this? Of course not. We should have laws against careless/reckless driving (we actually do) and enforce those. If a law enforcement type sees you driving irresponsibly, you should get a ticket, fine, suspension, whatever. If you cause an “issue” and were “impaired” with a phone or a Big Mac, your punishment should be increased. Forget new laws. Use the old ones. They work just fine if we’d actually enforce them.

As for me… I have a teenaged daughter who is starting to drive. Turning her vehicle into a giant roving Faraday cage seems like a pretty good idea.

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23
Dec
07

Chuck Norris Will Kick The Penguin’s Ass

The Chuckster is in court. Yep. Tough-guy actor and martial arts expert Chuck Norris sued publisher Penguin on Friday over a book he claims unfairly exploits his famous name, based on a satirical Internet list of “mythical facts” about him. At issue seems to be a published list of satirical “facts” about Chuck that have been widely circulated for a long time. Gems such as:

  • Chuck Norris’s tears cure cancer. Too bad he has never cried.
  • Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits.
  • Chuck Norris can charge a cell phone by rubbing it against his beard.

Carlos Ray’s (Chuck’s real name) lawsuit states that the publishers (Penguin) have misappropriated and exploited Mr. Norris’s name and likeness without authorization for their own commercial profit. I predict a bad TV mini-series, complete with a height challenged female sidekick that has some type of physical disability.