It's not often that two news stories catch my attention, and never that this causes to write a third blog entry in one day.
First is the report that a society representing blind persons was conducting a protest today against hybrid cars because they are so quiet. Unfortunately, I can say that I think this is one of the most ridiculous protests I've seen in a long time. This is one group that is kinda missing the point. We all hafta adapt to the ever changing world. Things change. Paradigms of the past become out moded. This protest strikes me as a bit underthoughtout. Instead of protesting the quietness of a new car (which is preferred since it reduces noise pollution, among other reasons), they need to start working with cities about better city management of crosswalks and driveway entrances onto public streets. Also, discuss this matter with technology groups to get people to start investing in portable motion or metal detectors, or some other proximately alert system. Protesting the advancement of technology? Can anyone say "Amish"? It would be much worse to implement some arcane artificial function that would create stigma against the blind.
Another story that seemed a bit odd was recent industry comments regarding the Northwest Passage which will likely be opening up during summers within the next 20 years. It is the much fabled passage through the Northwest Territories of Canada that would shorten trips between Europe and Asia by several thousand miles. The route is currently frozen over most of the time. I'm commenting on an article that was highly critical of the idea of using the Northwest Passage once it opens up yearly during the summer months. The article made several points about its danger and unpredictability. The conclusion of this "news" article was that any use of the NW Passage would be unlikely. To this I say, what complete nonsense! The nature of industry is to take risk in the effort to make money! The more risk, the more money to be made. The challenge of the NW Passage isn't going to scare everyone away. It's going to be a magnet for profiteers looking for a new way to make big money in the shipping industry. Some of these dissers quoted in the article would likely be the first in line to take advantage of the NW Passage if it were to open up today.