Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Yes, Virginia, Bicycle Helmets Work!

One of the strangest arguments I hear regularly from cyclists is that bike helmets discourage bicycling and therefore should be abandoned.  They claim that helmets do not actually make riding on two wheels any safer, but discourage the fashion-conscious or the stubborn.  (Personally, I suspect if a little hat will scare you away from cycling, you never intended to ride anyway.)

But a new study from Australia - where bike helmets are mandatory - shows that bicycle helmets dramatically reduce head injuries in accidents and crashes.
The risks of severe head injury were more than five times higher in cyclists not wearing a helmet compared to helmeted ones, and more than three times higher in motorcyclists not wearing a helmet at the time of injury.
Severe head injuries were defined as any with significant brain haemorrhage, complex skull fracture or brain swelling.
Some 70% of such patients end up on a ventilator in intensive care units; many patients with severe head injuries are left with permanent brain damage.
 It's time to abandon the attitude of "If I don't like it, it must not be effective."  Helmets save lives.  If you'll be out and about on your bike, buy one and wear one.  Just keep a comb in your back pocket to deal with "helmet hair" when you get there.

Helmet hair

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Defining Our Terms: Untruth

With the presidential cycle upon us, it is becoming painfully clear that we need to sit everyone down and explain language to them. This means YOU if you watch FoxNews, MSNBC, read Reddit, or basically any other political blog. Remember, this simple truth:


NOT EVERY NON-TRUTH IS A LIE.

Before calling someone a "liar", "blatant liar", or "stinking liar", consider these definitions:
Lie: Speaking an untruth while knowing it to be untrue, with an intention to deceive. (ex. "Jimmy broke the vase, but lied and claimed that Donny did it, hoping to avoid punishment.)

Mistake: Speaking an untruth, because you do not know it to be untrue. (ex. "The Bush administration was mistaken in claiming there were WMDs in Iraq.")

Pander: Speaking with the intent to flatter or reinforce the beliefs of an audience, without special focus on precision. (ex. "President Obama pandered to the Democratic audience by saying that George W. Bush was the worst president in history.")

Argue/Debate: Making a point in an attempt to convince the other side, or defend your own position. This may include data which is not fully accepted by both sides. (ex. "Mitt Romney cited the Rasmussem report in his argument for lower taxes, but critics dismiss the study as flawed.")

Blather/Bloviate: Speaking without thinking - often while tired and distracted - which may lead to pandering, argument, and mistakes. (ex. "After his 10 day whirlwind tour, John McCain wearily blathered on, at one point claiming Senator Obama was born in Kenya.")
Thank you. Please be more careful in your rhetoric. You may now return to your regularly scheduled election season.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

As MSPowerpoint kills presentations, so MSProject kills morale

The relevance of this comic to my work experience is uncanny. To say I have come to despise detailed Project Plans is not an exaggeration. On many occasions, I have been taken to task for my work not exactly matching the written project plan... even when I am far ahead of what it demands.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mom could really use to give this lecture

From Rose Is Rose. Perhaps they need to add technology to reduce squirrel-based impact to the feeder.