Mar 082018

There are tons of stories about poor unfortunates being caught out by the weather last week – in both Storm Emma, and it’s predecessor – and whilst they no doubt had a terrible time being stuck on roads or trains, should we be uncritically sympathetic?

As an extreme example, Friday brought stories about the poor motorists stuck on the M80 overnight. Yet to get stuck, they would have to travel during a red weather warning. And these warnings were not exactly difficult to find.

And the reason for travelling?

  • Making deliveries. Very few deliveries are so urgent they cannot wait 24 hours.
  • Trying to get to the airport to catch a flight for a netball competition. Sorry, but a netball competition isn’t more important than your life.
  • Travelling home from work? Get a hotel room.
  • Travelling to catch a show? Really??

It would be interesting to see the media start questioning people in such circumstances a bit more. Just ask them why did they travel, and whether it was important enough to ignore the warnings.

Grazing In The Misty Morning

Dec 102015

So Donald Trump wants to ban muslims from entering the US does he?

Perhaps he really is not only a vicious racist but also as gormless as he looks in the photo (apologies for those of a sensitive disposition). There are others who have covered why banning muslims from entering the US is morally wrong, and if you do not understand why that is so, then explaining here is not going to make things any clearer.

But in addition to being morally wrong, it is also dumb in the extreme. There are two important question to ask when looking at a policy …

Is It A Practicable Policy?


Islam is a religion and is not apparent from someone’s appearance. There is no label on their forehead!

So a policy of restricting muslims would be limited to either asking them. Which would lead to a situation where you were excluding muslims who do not lie about their religion, or in other words you are letting in the kind of muslims that you should perhaps be excluding, and excluding the muslims there is no reason for excluding.

Or you could do some sort of racial profiling, which amounts to not excluding muslims, but excluding light-brown skinned people. Again this will exclude the kind of muslims you do not want to exclude, whilst allowing through ones up to no good.

Will It Accomplish The Mission?

It really depends on what is intended by excluding muslims. If it is intended to portray the US as an intolerant country blundering around with incompetent measures that do more to annoy than to protect, them yes it can be said to accomplish the mission.

If however it is intended to make the US safer from terrorists, then no. Terrorists are more interested in accomplishing their own mission than telling the truth, and will go out of their way to avoid being identified is muslims if they think that this will help in their mission.

There is one small category of terrorists that this may protect against – those who are initially ordinary muslims but who later become radicalised whilst in the US. However having said that, the likelihood that this measure will protect against those vulnerable to becoming radicalised is pretty low.



Oct 122009

On the news this morning are increased figures for those killed by acting stupid with rail level crossings. Given the level of stupidity shown in some of the videos :-

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It is perhaps time to concentrate more on the effect these accidents have on the train drivers and train passengers. And those who have to scrape up what is left behind after this sort of accident.

After all those who mess around on train lines and level crossings should really be taking responsibility for their own stupidity. You do not have to be too bright to realise that taking the risk of crossing a train line when the barriers are down (or when the lights are red) is taking the risk of being hit by a train. And you don’t live through being hit by a train.

Oct 092009

My local supermarket which is part of one of those immense corporate empires, has started doing something immensely stupid. Not exceptionally inconvenient, but just one of those irritating examples where some bright spark has come up with an idea that has not been fully thought through (or even tested properly).

What they have started doing is printing in addition to your standard till receipt, a little note about some loyalty scheme. Which means you have two silly little bits of paper to collect.

Which is hardly very environmentally friendly and probably costs them a surprising amount. Just a small amount of stupidity really – a simple poster would be just as effective and far less wasteful.

However when you get to automated tills, the receipts are dispensed automatically. The printer has a mechanism by which it drops any uncollected receipts on the floor before it prints your receipt. Except when two receipts are printed you have a window of opportunity of about a second (whilst you are fumbling with bags, and change) to collect the first. And guess which one is your real receipt ?

Yes, it is the first one printed. So everyone ends up with a note about a loyalty scheme rather than their real receipt. Kind of useful if you need to return something, or prove that you’ve just bought something to the security guard on the door!

The conspiracy theorists would come up with something about collecting the receipts to discover your shopping patterns or something. Nothing of the sort. This is just corporate stupidity!

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