31 Mar 2017

30th March 2017 It's still a bløødy accident!??!


Thursday 30th 44F, 7C, grey, wet start and breezy. Rain until after lunch. I wonder if I'm still waterproof enough for a walk? I hear it can wear off with age. My trouser knees became damp as I strolled down the twig-littered road. The tractor had been along and spread its spiny hedge clippings as far as the opposite verge. I amused myself by kicking anything over thumb thickness, or over a meter long, or both, into touch. There was also much jumping onto the verge, to avoid a free [but involuntary] car wash with every passing vehicle. So I enjoyed quite a decent workout in the half mile, or so, before deciding to turn back to face the wind and increasing rain. It is becoming quite misty now after a much clearer start. A rest day being busy at home.

Friday 31st 50-64F, 10-18C, grey but dry and quite breezy. The forecast is up to 18C, 65F and windy [25mph gusts] mid afternoon. The Danish news is all about traffic speeding if you ignore the choreographed, political dance of the seven veils. One million flashes in one year of the speed camera vans in a total population of only 5.6 million. The cameras only flash when a driver exceeds the speed limit. These million flashes represent only a tiny fraction of those exceeding the speed limit. Because, quite obviously,  the police vans can't be everywhere, all of the time. Not even a minuscule fraction of place and time.

The news articles emphasize that speed is directly responsible in 50% of accidents. That increased speed greatly increases the risk of injury and death. I have always thought that speeds should be equated to heights of free fall. If you fall involuntarily off a chair you are unlikely to be seriously injured but it will probably hurt like hell if you don't land on bent knees. Try falling off your own roof. Does that hurt?

It's not the fall which hurts you but the sudden deceleration. Most road accidents involve violent deceleration. The car hits a solid object or [far worse] oncoming vehicle. The human bod continues at the original speed of the vehicle until it hits something. Soft air bag or hard windscreen and steering wheel? Choose your accident vehicle with care.

Or acceleration, where a vehicle hits a soft object like a human being. People aren't designed to go from 0 to 40+mph in a fraction of a second. Nor to stop from that speed in a similar time. Hit a cyclist with a heavy car and their machine is whipped out from under them. With luck, they free fall onto the road [or verge] without being struck by the vehicle or their own machine. The problem is that such a fortunate set of circumstances is highly unlikely. Once the bike has gone the cyclist falls straight into the path of the same vehicle. To be brutally accelerated to the impact speed of the vehicle. That is very likely to hurt more than a simple fall! Strangely only the lethal driver is protected by an air bag. An airbag on the front of the vehicle would spoil the manufacturer's carefully groomed, radiator styling.®

Being hit on the head with a hammer at a modest 15m/s or 30mph is very likely to kill you. Imagine being hit much harder with a huge hammer weighing well over a ton and moving at twice that speed! You get killed several times over if that helps your surviving family.

Hit somebody with a hammer and you are looking at very serious prison time. Hit a person with a car and it's always an accident. It's still an accident even if you were texting or speeding or talking on your mobile phone. It's still an accident if you finding a radio station or music track or reading a map or reading a written address or listening to GPS directions or drunk or drugged or affected by medicine. Or [even] turning around to admonish your devil's spawn for fighting in the back seat while you are driving along, above the speed limit, in deep snow.

Is it still an accident if you were overtaking at high speed on double white lines on the blind brow of a hill on a blind bend in thick fog? You can't usually prove premeditation when the victim is taken away in several plastic bags. Even if you were "accidentally" doing all of the above instead of driving like a normally intelligent person. One who knows and understands the problems of driving safely and well with all the relaxed concentration and care they can possibly muster for such a complex and difficult task.

Walked to the village to find one of the Coots building a massive nest of dead pond leaves amongst the Irises. The other tootled around the pond showing no interest at all despite the vocal protestations of it's erstwhile partner. The sun is breaking through now. To scatter brightness amongst the clouds with some difficulty. 11am and it is already 60F. [16C] By far the highest temperature, so far, this year.

Late morning ride to the shops. Headwind going. Tailwind coming back. Only 17 miles. My knees have been hurting recently. I think my cadence [pedal revs] has dropped. I shall have to make an effort to pedal faster again.

It reached 64F [18C] this afternoon. Several parts of Denmark had the warmest day in 27 years with 21.3C or 70F. I have just seen a Robin! First in ages. A shy, retiring creature over here in on the Continent. In Gravely Blighted they feed from the gardener's hand and their tinkling, bell-like song can be heard everywhere.

It seems the Danes have had enough of wind turbines. It is becoming increasingly difficult to get permission to erect any new turbines. Those with turbines in their neighborhood cannot sell their homes. The low frequency noise is claimed to harm lots of people.

Only the landowner where the turbine is sited and the investors gets anything out of the deal. The locals get no share in the turbine's income despite their own proximity and all the disadvantages of LF noise and flicker from the constantly moving shadows. Even plans for sea based wind parks are being scrapped amid demands they be sited literally far enough away to be out of sight. The Swedes ensure the locals have some income from the turbines. This is seen as a possible remedy to stop the major groundswell of resistance against them. The pressure on Danish councilors is becoming intolerable if they do not reject new plans for wind farms.

I sometimes pass windmills [turbines] quite close by on my rides but haven't noticed much noise except in strong winds. Though I can well imagine that some rooms of nearby houses will become excited by the LF noise. Certain dimensions and volumes can easily be excited at a distance by LF noise as if they had an inbuilt, audio subwoofer. Even open or closed doors can have strange effects.  The problem is exacerbated by the wings passing their tower. The larger the wind turbine the lower the frequency of generated noise and the trend is towards ever larger turbine blades. With new records set for blade length and power output constantly being broken. The west coast of Jylland [Eng.Jutland] has the best onshore winds for power generation and it is here that many hundreds of windmills are sited.

It is a shame that rooftop solar electric panels cannot be far better democratized if green energy is really to be prioritized. Solar electric proved to be an expensive burden on the taxpayer when ridiculously over-generous payments were made to panel owners. The middle classes suddenly found themselves being handed huge tax breaks. Which allowed them to pay off the cost of their installation on borrowed money in a few short years thanks to the guaranteed payments for energy generated. With the banks offering no interest on savings solar electric rewarded those who invested beyond their wildest dreams. Many farms sprouted huge areas of panels on barns. Once the installation cost of the panels had been paid off [under five years] the income from the power companies was pure profit.       

Click on any image for an enlargement.


No comments:

Post a Comment