Crash for cash – helping to make roads safer

Deliberately induced road collisions (‘crash for cash’) are on the increase, apparently. Criminals cause a crash typically by braking hard and unexpectedly in front of the victim’s vehicle, and profit from the resulting claim for damage and personal injury.

This dangerous and illegal practice exploits the fact that the victim cannot stop in time to avoid hitting the vehicle in front. In other words, it can only succeed when the victim is driving in an unsafe manner. As Rule 126 of The Official Highway Code says:

Drive at a speed that will allow you to stop well within the distance you can see to be clear.

If all motorists obeyed this rule perhaps there would be no incidents of ‘crash for cash’.

Watts in a name?

The apocalyptic natural disaster in Japan has been compounded by the enormity of the sinister nuclear threat from the crippled power plant at Fukushima Daiichi.

These appalling events, still unfolding, gave rise to an entirely trivial observation on my part about nomenclature. They measure radiation dose in sieverts, temperature in degrees, length in metres, power in watts, and so on.

The seismic energy released by an earthquake, however, would be expressed for example: ‘magnitude 9.0 on the Richter scale’. Well, you wouldn’t say ‘a distance of 1500 on the metre scale’ or ‘the temperature reached 22 degrees on the Celsius scale’. So when it comes to earthquakes, Why don’t they just say ‘9.0 richters’?

Product placement in the opera

A sprinkling of silly gimmicks including a Domino’s pizza box, hand held desk fans and such like fail to lift the stodgy, leaden, inanimate production of Carmen now showing at the Lowry in Salford.

If you want a modern take on Bizet’s 19th century tale of steamy sexuality, jealousy, and violence check out instead Carlos Saura’s 1983 film which (like Karel Reisz’ The French Leuitenant’s Woman) tells a story within a story.

Animal Kingdom (2010)

It’s 12 hours since I watched Animal Kingdom. A small whisky and a night’s sleep have helped restore my pulse rate but I don’t know if somewhere in my brain one or two of the dwindling stock of precious cells have turned a funny colour and permanently ceased to communicate with the others.

Don’t misunderstand me – this film is Continue reading