Sunday, 13 April 2008

Worlds biggest killer

For this next post I am returning to something already visited in my blog, road traffic accidents.

This has been brought on by exposure to another catalogue of incidents and I can only see these increasing in our lifetimes.

I was reading one of the Sunday papers the other week and came across an article relating to a WHO (World Health Organisation) report on road traffic accidents that had identified that RTA's were the biggest killer in the world for the age group under 25. With nearly 400,000 young people killed a year it is far higher that AIDS or any other disease and that figure doesn't include those that survive with disabilities.

Later this week I read that one of Liverpool FC's academy hopefuls was involved in a car accident which sadly two of the other passengers died in and one other is still in intensive care.

Then just this morning I read of an accident near my home village that has killed 4 and seriously injured 2 others.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all involved in road traffic accidents and hope that the survivors make a full recovery.

When I had my last accident, a Police office corrected me when I used the term RTA, they no longer call them RTA's but now called them RTI (Road Traffic Incident) which I saw as a positive step. This was because most incidents were caused by something, they weren't just accidents. I don't know the details of either of the above mentioned collisions and therefore I am not inferring anything to those particular cases.

But the two I have been involved in from my knowledge were not accidents, somebody took and action that caused the collision. This action might have been tuning the radio or answering your mobile, or talking to someone in the rear of the car, it doesn't have to be overtaking or some other more dangerous action.

We all seem to think that it will never happen to us, until it does . . .

Cars are inherently dangerous, large over 1 ton objects that can travel at speeds of over 100mph. Would you answer your mobile while pointing a gun at a stranger or look over your shoulder while taking aim? That's effectively what you are doing. I still see some many people talking on their mobiles while driving, but don't worry they're good drivers and nothing will ever happen to them.

Yesterday a watched a women coming through the lights on Eccleshall Road, Sheffield in her large Mercedes 4x4 nonchalantly chatting away on her mobile while negotiating a corner onto a dual carriageway with traffic lights, but don't worry she's a good driver, we're all safe. I see drivers driving down slip roads onto the motorway while chatting on their mobiles, but don't worry it won't happen to them. For want of a better description, all of these people are idiots risking my life and the life of all those around them for the sake of a phone call, yes you madame in your Mercedes 4x4 you're an idiot, you may look smart and intelligent and hold down a cushy job, but to me that's all you are, an idiot.

One of my friends stated something the other day that rang so true that I thought I would share it with you, he said "in years to come they'll look back on this era with horror, I mean what madman would drive around in a metal box, passing other people in metal boxes at combined speeds of up to 120mph with only centimetres between them, protected only by an air bag and seatbelt?"

Pay attention while you drive, it could only be a short time you are in the car, but it could affect the rest of your life and several others that you have never met.

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Friday, 11 April 2008

Defiance

My 10 month old daughter had her first act of defiance today, I mean we've had tears before for when she wanted something, but this was different.

We were eating raisins together from the little packs of Sun maid raisins you can buy, when she started to take more of an interest in the cardboard box than the raisins. So I let her chew the box for a while as I saw no harm in this and then when it had become so wet that she had a chance of pulling some of the cardboard box off into her mouth, I took it off her . . .

She looked at me and then at the recently removed box and then back at me and started to to cry, not just a little cry but as close to a scream without being one . . . I gave her the box back to see if it was the removal of the box that had caused the tears, she stopped instantaneously . . . I then removed the box and she cried until she had forgotten all about the box, approximately 30 seconds later.

To celebrate this momentous occasion I installed our first stair gate today . . .

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Thursday, 10 April 2008

Old School . . .

Whilst making a delicious Sumatran lamb curry (if I do say so myself) last night I decided to plug in my headphones and let my i-pod do the entertaining.

It's been a long time since I listened to music through headphones and I'd forgot just how good it is. It had me reminiscing in no time, playing an old playlist of mine with lots of oldish electro.

The likes of the fantastic Yulquen - Autechre, Ptolemy - Aphex, Yak - Plaid and Psychodelik - LFO graced my ears for the first time in a while and what tunes they are.

I was "big" into my electro during my Uni years and for several years after, well I still am but there isn't as much stuff of this ilk being produced any more and I have lost touch with the music scene.

Touring the country to visit nights and small festivals like the one in Wales where I hitched to with my younger brother. What a weekend, the hitch hiking was great we got there in no time. The trip back started with a memorable trip in the back of an open backed pickup lying on our backs as we travelled through the local woods, which was great therapy after the weekend we had just encountered. I did a quick search to see if I could find the "do" and found some old photos from the night "Baskerville Hall".

Anyway, I look back on Oscillate nights now with rose tinted glasses, they were fantastic and for just an hour last night while I cooked I felt like I was back there. Perhaps I'll take a trip to the Sheffield LoveBytes festival that was advertised on the Oscillate site and see if fulfils some of the potential that my past experiences still hold.

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Wednesday, 9 April 2008

And the Reds go marching on . . .

Okay, time to reveal some allegiance to my favoured football team, Liverpool.

What a game last night! Non stop action from the start to the finish.

I must admit I was a little bit taken aback by the pace with which Arsenal started the game, but even at this early stage I did wonder how long they could keep that up.

Their passing in the first 25-30 minutes was subliminal, but at the end of the day it's the goals that count and there were plenty of those to talk about.

In the first half the area of the field where we seemed to be losing the ball the most was our powerhouse midfield, our usual area of dominance. But Xabi was off form last night to begin with and it altered the midfield that was supposed to feed the already altered aggressive but odd new front line that included Torres, Kuyt, Crouch and Gerrard all playing attacking roles.

But after the ever youthful Sami scored the goal from the corner, yes Liverpool scored a goal from a corner, it was a different Liverpool that started playing.

Coming on in the second half Arsenal started to show heavy legs after their first half exertions and Liverpool started to show what they do best, which is applying continued pressure.

Torres and Gerrard, who had been almost missing previously due I think partly to the formation, started appearing all over the pitch and showing some of the world class skill that they are capable of.

Torres's goal was sublime, a truly talented individual we have there and I am looking forward to see how he can improve further, yes imagine that!

But then the unimaginable, a goal from Arsenal and a good goal at that, with the fresh legs of Theo Walcott proving unstoppable.

Moments later a penalty, which in itself could have been the talking point of this post, but all I am going to say is that in this game sometimes you get the shout and others you don't, Liverpool have had plenty of decisions not go their way and even if Arsenal had got their penalty last week we would have still qualified 5-4.

Gerrard tucks the penalty away with cool composure and we see a light at the end of a tunnel. Moments later our fresh legs goes on his own one man show by running the length of the pitch, but goes one better than Walcotts effort earlier by scoring the goal himself. Ryan Babel is an act to watch in the coming seasons, I expect great things from him.

All in all a great night of football and we are back to Stamford Bridge for the 3rd Semi-Final in 4 years. Bring on Moscow I say!

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