Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: Home, straight

117 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 Newer→ Last

  • 81stcolumn,

    So you think the police might be a bit suspicious of my mate who likes to juggle knives on the bonnet of a moving car ?

    On the Kieth Slater thing - There is an ugly logic which prevails in these cases that appears to operate like this:

    This is bad so the scientists must be wrong.

    Can anyone alse see a link with the herceptin debate here ?

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    I just don't get that TAC Drug Driving one, the guy's not even driving or are they suggesting the other driver was on something? weird.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    my mate who likes to juggle knives on the bonnet of a moving car ?

    You know Zoe Bell?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • James Liddell,

    The show opens with a pretty frank exchange of views between me and Keith Slater, producer of the TV3 documentary Let Us Spray.

    This just confirmed my suspicions of the extent to which TV3 have been hoodwinked by Andrew Gibbs. The guy's a paranoid conspiracy theorist of Wishartian proportions who will find cover ups and conspiracy in any bland MoH report. For an investigative journalist to give his disproven and unqualified ravings prominence over those of scientists is disgraceful.

    And my heart bleeds for poor Keith Slater and TV3 over the awarding of costs. Perhaps they could have saved themselves a bit of money by not fighting the order to hand over their field tape.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2007 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Thomas,

    I just don't get that TAC Drug Driving one, the guy's not even driving or are they suggesting the other driver was on something? weird.

    They're probably suggesting that you shouldn't try crossing the road while high ;)

    For me, the TAC ads were effective. Unpleasant, definitely, but they get the point across. Roads are dangerous places. Splat!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 317 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    I will provide the research and evidence, which is the same Min. Transport and LTNZ (or whatever they are now) have also used in the road safety strategy.

    That's interesting. I just had a quick nose, and found a swedish study. They autopsy 97% of all road fatalities including full toxicology. Presently the Swedish limit is 20mg, but the upswing in fatal crashes occurs around 100mg. It might be of course that because their limit is so low that people are either behaving and not driving at all, or are mostly driving drunk. However, it was interesting that their findings neatly mapped onto those from an Australian study and Washington state.

    Note the interesting data is not displayed in the abstract. That is, of 1403 drivers killed over 5 years, 21% had BAC over 50mg, 19% over 80 mg, 19% over 100mg. The 2% different between 50 and 80mg represents 17 driver deaths (or 3.4 per year).

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 703 posts Report Reply

  • John Fouhy,

    One wonders if they will test for people under the influence of (legal) prescription drugs...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • Kiwiiano,

    I can't figure out why the powers-that-be haven't used reaction time tests to determine driver impairment by any cause, alcohol, illegal or legal drugs, fatigue, dementia, stupidity, whatever. Even the simple ruler test will pick up that someone shouldn't be in control of a car. Dangle a 12" rule in front of the testee, with their finger and thumb ready to try to grab the rule as it is released. A drunk will be lucky to react in time to catch the rule at all.

    Another version used a Palm Pilot, that displayed random dots on the screen, requiring the testee to tap them with the stylus to make them disappear. The tempo of the dots' appearance slowly increased until they couldn't be cleared, giving a pretty good indication of the ability of the driver to respond to the unexpected. There's any number of cheap handhelds that to handle that test.

    ChCh • Since Nov 2006 • 46 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    So if barriers on state highways and other key highspeed areas could reduce that by even 50% that is 1.37 billion dollars saved per year, or over five years a return on investment of 6.8 billion dollars.

    I like how you slipped that 50% figure in there. Because half of all crashes would clearly be completely prevented by the barrier, no one hitting someone on the same section of motorway as them, or indeed, off the motorway.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Even the simple ruler test will pick up that someone shouldn't be in control of a car. Dangle a 12" rule in front of the testee, with their finger and thumb ready to try to grab the rule as it is released. A drunk will be lucky to react in time to catch the rule at all.

    This sounds like a test to discriminate against people who are uncoordinated.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    Motorcyclists call them cheesecutters with good reason.

    Don't ride a motorbike then.

    The cheesecutter site notes that there are modifications you can make to make them safe for motorcyclists. No costings given, but surely less expensive than steel barriers ? I wonder if thick coreflute is the go. If so, we could sell advertising on this things - they'll pay for themselves ! :)

    On the lowering of the blood alcohol limit, it would be nice if you could pass a (thorough and strict) test that proves that you are able to drive at 0.08, and which adds a certification to your drivers licence that is a defence against being over 0.05. Any kind of transgression (eg. speeding) whilst over 0.05 (and under 0.08) would revoke it immediately.

    The law assumes the same bland quality of driving from all drivers, whereas I think that some are better than others and it would be useful if we actively rewarded good driving with positive reinforcement.

    I also like the idea of ordinary citizens being able to reward good drivers with 'mod points", and when you get enough mod points you get a prize or something. Lots of issues with this idea (such as modding up your mates), but if we could do it we could have a positive impact on our driving culture.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And on a tangent, if we're talking about Home. Straight. I'm utterly gob-smacked by Brian Edwards' rationale for opposing allowing same-sex couple to adopt.

    There will always be kids without gender models - boys without fathers and (fewer) girls without mothers. Those, if you like, are the breaks. But that is very different from setting out, planning to deny a child the experience of having both a father and a mother.

    I'm having trouble articulating all the levels on which Edwards epically fails to make any sense at all.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler,

    I also like the idea of ordinary citizens being able to reward good drivers with 'mod points", and when you get enough mod points you get a prize or something.

    Surely the point of mod points is to be able to mod other drivers down, eg. I drive well, you piss me off, you lose your licence / get a '-1 Troll' note on your file.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    The cheesecutter site notes that there are modifications you can make to make them safe for motorcyclists. No costings given, but surely less expensive than steel barriers ? I wonder if thick coreflute is the go. If so, we could sell advertising on this things - they'll pay for themselves ! :)

    I understand there are a number of ways they can be modded, reasonably cheaply and easily. The key thing is for a body (or car) to slide along or bounce off on the same side of the road, or for the impact to be absorbed.

    Corflute is probably fine for sliding or bouncing. Most impacts are probably going to be at a shallow angle, so the panels don't have to be that thick - just thick enough to deflect any impact.

    Large bushy shrubs growing up and around the wires have also been suggested - a whole bunch of small branches would act as 'springs' to absorb any impact. Advantageous from a green perspective, but would require a wider central strip, and would make maintenance difficult.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    Found a few more studies now. It seems that lowering the BAC from 80 to 50 is likely to have some impact, but it's quite a small effect. Of course, when you're talking about fatalities, small effects become much more interesting.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 703 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Oh Craig, I can't handle any more Things Which Make Me Hate People today! Damn you! :)

    My opposition is not rooted in homophobia.

    Except that it is. And gender essentialism. And sexism. And stupidity. FAIL.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    I like how you slipped that 50% figure in there

    I don't have the inclination or the time to really rush off and become an expert in road safety. I chose that number because it seemed a reasonable ball park figure for some back of the envelope calculatons to check if Mr. Matthew-Wilson (who is something of an expert) was making any sense.

    The point is everyone rushes off to fluff about the edges arguing the small stuff around the legal alcohol limit and how to check for drug-impaired drivers when it seems to me a social engineering solution is a lot harder, intrusive and expensive over time to achieve than a simple, physical, highway engineering one.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2214 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler,

    Hard News: Home, straight

    PS Russel, have you been reading The Up Front Guide to Strategic Comma Placement?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    This just confirmed my suspicions of the extent to which TV3 have been hoodwinked by Andrew Gibbs. The guy's a paranoid conspiracy theorist of Wishartian proportions who will find cover ups and conspiracy in any bland MoH report. For an investigative journalist to give his disproven and unqualified ravings prominence over those of scientists is disgraceful.

    After viewing the documentary and reading as much as I could in the time available, I was struck by the fact that there are no scientists making the documentary's case at all. Scientists really only appear as handy cyphers for shady dealing.

    They do imply that Bruce Wildblood-Crawford's PhD thesis is in some way a scientific paper, but you only need to see the name -- Environmental (In)Justice And ‘Expert Knowledge’: The Discursive Construction Of Dioxins, 2,4,5-T And Human Health In New Zealand, 1940 To 2007 -- to guess that. It's more about yer hegemonic discourses ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Oh Craig, I can't handle any more Things Which Make Me Hate People today! Damn you! :)

    I know what you mean -- a link came up in my Twitter feed, and I thought the headline was a piss-take. Apparently not.

    Except that it is. And gender essentialism. And sexism. And stupidity. FAIL.

    And abandonment issues with his father -- which are tremendously sad (no, I'm not being snarky) but not all that relevant when it comes to arguing against the Adoption Act being changed to allow otherwise qualified same-sex couple to adopt. (A process, BTW, that is a little more involved than picking up a sprog from the corner shop along with the paper and a bottle of milk.)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    One wonders if they will test for people under the influence of (legal) prescription drugs...

    Why wonder? Just read the Land Transport Amendment Act =)

    The answer is yes.

    But if you had a prescription, and complied with all the instructions given by the manufacturer, in the prescription and by your doctor, you can use that as a defence.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3207 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    My opposition is not rooted in homophobia.

    Except that it is.

    How so? His opposition seems, to me, to be rooted in his belief that boys who grow up without fathers are significantly disadvantaged by it; a belief based on his own experience. Having also had that experience, I agree with him, though I'm not sure that the conclusion follows. However, Edwards clearly has a basis for his position which one could reasonably not ascribe to homophobia, doesn't he?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Scientists really only appear as handy cyphers for shady dealing.

    Would be entirely cynical of me to suggest that they weren't going to let the science get in the way of one hell of a 'human interest' story -- the very element of Let Us Spray Marie McNicholas ripped shit out of brilliantly, BTW. the personal anecdotes were relevant and temperately expressed in a manner the story under discussion failed to do. Her comment about her family "letting our heads rule our hearts" was on the button.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    His opposition seems, to me, to be rooted in his belief that boys who grow up without fathers are significantly disadvantaged by it; a belief based on his own experience. Having also had that experience, I agree with him, though I'm not sure that the conclusion follows.

    Not to ring the familiar too hard here, but research simply doesn't back that belief up.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    However, Edwards clearly has a basis for his position which one could reasonably not ascribe to homophobia, doesn't he?

    3410: If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and is buying into the noxious and reality-deficient stereotype that gays and lesbians don't relate to the opposite sex just because they don't fuck 'em, it's nothing more than potential pate to me.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.