Twelve Monkeys (or One Stupid Man)

Reports are circulating now about a guy who, while infected with a rare, drug resistant form of tuberculosis, traveled extensively from America to Europe and back through Canada – while he was aware of his disease and having being told not to travel. Great. You just have to think he’s either incredibly stupid or incredibly selfish, or both. Worryingly he traveled through Montreal and New York, but we won’t know if he had any impact as the incubation period can be up to decades.

New York vs. Mobile Audio

Apparently New York is over it’s love relationship with mobile music players. Both the iPod and Zune have come in for some slagging over the last few days, if for different reasons.

First up, Microsoft are being blamed for disturbing Lower East Side residents with their beefed up boombox SUV blasting marketing music at 3am up and down the street. This was on the corner of Ludlow and Stanton, which as anyone who lives here knows, is not the quietest place in New York most nights. I used to have a friend who lived above that corner and I was amazed she could ever sleep – it’s crazy loud until 4am with folks partying, then at six the trash collection starts up and morning rush hour. Ouch.

It’s all too easy to bash Microsoft, but also this week we have to watch out for Apple. Their evil iPods are being blamed for two recent pedestrian deaths in Brooklyn, so a local senator is proposing banning pedestrians from listening to iPods or cellphones while they cross the road. Wow. That’s the most amazing piece of transferred blame I’ve ever heard (other than the whole Iraq war thing). If you want to stop pedestrians from getting run over on New York crosswalks then enforce the ban on drivers user cellphones! It’s amazing how often you can be crossing the road only to look across and see a car suddenly turning into you, with the driver having one hand pressed to their ear with their phone and the other distractedly turning the wheel. I’ve got three words for you idiots: hands free headset. At least taxi drivers have learnt that one, but even they seem to be less aware of pedestrians than before – plus I really miss the random conversations that used to happen to pass the time whenever you got a cab.

It’s high time we started to name and shame these drivers, who are supposed to be in control of these large metal boxes but who insist on risking lives by using cellphones dangerously while they drive. Maybe we could create a site where you can upload videos and photographs of these people driving with one hand on the wheel, the other on the phone. Or maybe if the fines/penalties were in line with the human impact, people would start to take notice. I look forward to a day when I can cross the road in New York again without worrying, back like it used to be in ’98 when I first got here.

Stupid person diverts plane

The other day a plane was diverted in the US due to a woman’s flatulence. No, it didn’t cause turbulence or anything like that – but almost all news sources reported that flatulence caused a plane to divert, land at another airport, waste everyone’s time and then carry on its journey. Wow. That must have been bad flatulence.

Oh wait a minute. It wasn’t her flatulence that caused the situation. It was the small fact that she lit matches to burn off the smell. Lit matches. On a plane. Wow. How stupid do you have to be to not realise this is a pretty dumb thing to do – especially in the current state of heightened security?

And to add insult to injury, the authorities apparently let the culprit off without even a fine. Even after the costs (fuel/time) of diverting a plane, the fear to other people and so on. How’s that going to discourage other people from being so stupid? I guess she wasn’t foreign looking with a beard then, otherwise she would have been in jail in seconds, if not killed by everyone else on the plane.