In July 2012 a video showing a man locked inside a car as temperatures rose to deadly levels went viral. In just thirty minutes, the temperature rose from 95°F to 117°F, and you can see from the video below the incredible discomfort that a healthy, fit adult finds himself in.
Dr Ernie Ward, a North Carolina veterinarian, made the video to highlight the dangers of leaving pets locked in hot cars. As Ward says, it’s a lousy way to die, and Ward relates a story in which he observed a dog locked in a car outside his own clinic starting to suffer from the heat. The well-meaning owner had popped into the clinic for two minutes to pick something up, but two stretched into ten, and then into fifteen. It’s a lousy but all too easily preventable way to die.
On average, 37 children a year die the same way in the United States every year. Most are left purposely, in the same way as the dog above, by well meaning but busy parents who underestimate the time they’ll be away and the incredible speed with which temperatures can rise to fatal levels. But sometimes, they’re left by an entirely different means.
Continue reading “The dual life of Justin Ross Harris”
I’m a big fan of podcasts. I have been since I first discovered them, probably because I’m just a geek for radio generally. Continue reading Bank account bans; aka, frantically digging for a story where there is none
“The force’s priorities at that time were mainly crimes including robbery, burglary and car crime due to mandatory targets set by the Home Office.” 
“The assistant chief constable of Greater Manchester police, Dawn Copley, acknowledged “mistakes were made and victims let down”. She laid some of the blame at the force’s focus in 2008–10 on targeting such crimes as burglary.” 
“In the early days of family planning in India, program goals were defined in terms of the number of IUDs implanted. So doctors, in their eagerness to meet their targets, put loops into women without patient approval.” 
The first quotation pertains to the systematic sexual grooming and abuse committed against young women in South Yorkshire, particularly Rotherham, dating primarily from 2007-2010. The second quotation relates to a similar set of crimes committed in Rochdale around the same time. The third quotation is from a 2008 book that stems from the thinking of Ludwig von Bertalanffy in the 1940s, and all three quotes are examples of the same thing. The thing is called ‘systems thinking’ and the clue is in the ‘targets’/’goals’ language.
Continue reading “Systems thinking and sexual grooming; or, “be careful what you wish for””
I’ve been angry all day (I’ve been angry since 1970) but my mood was not improved by the news about the TV debates prior to the General Election. Continue reading General elections and general bias
For a single-issue party based consisting of mostly lunatic fringe members, Ukip have done very well for themselves over the last few months. In particular, they’ve established themselves as the protest vote for people who aren’t really that bothered about politics but “just want to see something done”. I’m not sure that Ukip or their voters know exactly what they want – and if you think I’m wrong about that, then please feel free to show me Ukip’s manifesto. I’m not really sure how you can even support a party that has no manifesto, and is considering buying policies in – as was reported by the Guardian on April 27.
Continue reading “What the Left needs is its own Ukip… without all the baggage”
If Nick Griffin read out a selection of Keith Lemon’s best material while slathering himself with goose fat, it would still be called more of a victory than Miliband’s lamentable performance today. Continue reading Local elections: early predictions