Posts Tagged ‘safety’

NASA Clears Toyota for Takeoff

February 9, 2011

NASA Clears Toyota for Takeoff

NASA engineers at Goddard Space Flight Center and the the NASA Engineering and Safety Center examined the Toyota automobile models implicated in episoides of sudden unintended acceleration. So did engineers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Verdict: no design flaws in the Toyota electronic throttle control. There were no electronic causes of the acceleration episodes.



Boo! No Trick or Treat for Sex Offenders.

October 29, 2010

Boo! No Trick or Treat for Sex Offenders

Lights out for registered sex offenders this weekend. They’re forbidden from displaying Halloween decorations, keeping the porch light on, or handing out candy to neighborhood trick-or-treaters.

Police in Maryland, California, Texas, Long IslandLouisiana,  Georgia,  Indiana, and elsewhere will spend Halloween night ignoring the riotous hordes of drunks careening down streets and sidewalks, the gangs of teenage arsonists, and other seasonal threats in order to babysit former offenders. Of course, it’s worth it if it keeps our children out of danger.

But it doesn’t. Why? Because there is no evidence of a threat.

 A comprehensive study released last year shows that when it comes to nonfamilial sex crimes against children, Halloween is just another day. “These findings raise questions about the wisdom of diverting law enforcement resources to attend to a problem that does not appear to exist,” conclude the researchers.

The real Halloween threat to kids? Getting hit by cars.



Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Annoying Oil Rig Alarms Silenced

July 28, 2010

Annoying Oil Rig Alarms Silenced

The recent CEO-juggling at PB may have distracted you from an alarming news item. Mike Williams, an electronics technician for Transocean, reported that the alarm for the Blowout Preventer valve (BOP) on the Deepwater Horizon drill rig was intentionally disabled to avoid waking the crew with false alarms.

The result: no alarm for the real emergency, which cost 11 lives. A similar alarm bypass at the Upper Big Branch Mine killed 29 miners in an explosion, notes Johnny Kilroy.

 It gets worse. A supervisor told Mr. Williams that the entire Transocean fleet of drill rigs runs the alarms in bypass.


Distracted Flying

October 27, 2009

Distracted Flying

The pilots of Northwest flight 188 told the National Transportation Safety Board that they were so engrossed in their personal laptop computers they lost track of time and overshot Minneapolis airport. A flight attendant on the Airbus A320 finally got their attention an hour later.

Work can be so boring sometimes you’ve just gotta surf the Web.

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Turkey Trouble

March 19, 2009

Turkey Trouble

A wild turkey knocked a man off his motorcycle in Maine last Sunday, according to state police. Jeffrey Russell of Hartford was riding along route 117 near Streaked Mountain when the big bird flew at him, pushing him off his Kawasaki.

“That’s like hitting a bowling ball at 45 miles per hour,” State Trooper Corey Huckins told Andie Hannon of Lewiston’s Sun Journal. “It took the driver right off the seat.”

Mr. Russell, knocked unconscious, was evacuated by helicopter to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston and hospitalized with a broken collarbone. Passenger Kyle Johnston suffered minor injuries.

Unlike the two men, the turkey was not wearing a helmet, and perished in the accident. Mr. Johnston claimed the remains on behalf of Mr. Russell. Funeral arrangements have not been announced.