Archive for August 6th, 2007

06
Aug
07

The “Hello Kitty” police!!

Unruly members of the Bangkok Thailand, police force are soon to become a part of an unusual brigade:

Thai police officers who break rules will be forced to wear hot pink armbands featuring “Hello Kitty,” the Japanese icon of cute, as a mark of shame, a senior officer said Monday.

Police officers caught littering, parking in a prohibited area, or arriving late ā€” among other misdemeanors ā€” will be forced to stay in the division office and wear the armband all day, said Police Col. Pongpat Chayaphan. The officers won’t wear the armband in public.

The striking armband features Hello Kitty sitting atop two hearts.

“Simple warnings no longer work. This new twist is expected to make them feel guilt and shame and prevent them from repeating the offense, no matter how minor,” said Pongpat, acting chief of the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok. -[USA Today]

HA! I’d like you all to give a warm round of applause for the “Hello Kitty” Brigade!! I am totally enthused by the number of creative disciplinary measures that I have been seeing lately. And this one is a doozy.

I mean what better deterrent is there than for a tough, macho Thai police officer to have to parade around in public with a hot pink “Hello Kitty” arm band on their arm, with hearts and everything!! I’m sure their adoring public with absolutely love it!

I love it…!

Bad Thai cops to endure Kitty shame – [USA Today]

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06
Aug
07

First no arms… Now no sight? Aren’t these driving hazards?

Look, I have nothing against differently abled people trying to remain mobile. In a previous post I talked about a guy with one leg and no arms who taught himself to drive. Remarkable. I would not attempt to impose my own limitations upon what they should be able to do. But anyone with a modicum of common sense would apply some self imposed limits on what they should or should not be doing:

Police in the Baltic state of Estonia stopped a man who was driving erratically at the weekend, only to find he was blind.

The 20-year-old was driving in the southern city of Tartu early Sunday — helped by instructions from his 16-year-old passenger.

“At first they thought he was just drunk, but the man kept missing the tube for the breath test, then they realized he was blind” and arrested him, Tartu Police spokeswoman Marge Kohtla said Monday. – [Reuters]

I suppose if you watched the move Scent of a Woman in which Al Pacino plays the part of a blind ex-military man, you may remember the scene where Chris O’Donnells’ character is persuaded to let him drive, guiding him verbally, as they careen through the streets of Brooklyn NY.

Newsflash! That was a movie folks!! Trying this for real is simply irresponsible. Driving is a visual sport. You can’t have blind folk driving any more than you can have a boy girl scout. What was he thinking?!

It is hard enough to drive when you can see. Forget it if you can’t. At least until technology comes up with cybernetic optical implants. Then you can do whatever you want. Really. You can. You will. Just wait and see. Literally…

Blind man arrested for driving car – [Reuters]

06
Aug
07

The Fermi Paradox rears it’s ugly head…

The Fermi Paradox refers to the apparent lack of evidence of the existence of extraterrestrial life, when all other probabilistic scientific determinations would indicate that the alternative should be true, and there should be intelligent life out there.

In other words, if we assume that the way life developed on earth is stereotypical of the development of life in general, and that given the same conditions, life should developed again in the same way, then given the high probability of similar conditions existing on other planets in the universe, having existed far longer than the earth has, why have we not seen any evidence this extraterrestrial life?

At first people thought that we simply lacked the technology to detect the signs of this life, but recent scientific advancements have suggested that this may not be the case. It is an interesting dilemma. What I find equally interesting is that in spite of this paradox, the possibility that we were created, as opposed to simply springing out of some prehistoric primordial soup does not seem to have been honestly considered.

I’ve always thought this argument an interesting one, and being that I consider myself both a theist (of sorts) as well as a firm believer in science, I would offer this thought. Maybe we are still not advanced enough to detect extra terrestrial life. Or maybe theists are right, and we were all created. The absence of evidence can never be the evidence of absence, so as a scientist, in my own humble opinion, all I can honestly say is that we simply do not have enough data to rule anything out. Nor should we assume that the two are mutually exclusive…

Just a thought…

The Fermi Paradox is Back – [Slashdot]

The Fermi Paradox: Back with a vengeance – [Sentient Developments]

06
Aug
07

A good boss is worth more than gold… Mostly…

I just read an article that confirmed something that I have believed strongly all along:

More than a third of respondents to a survey conducted by communications group BT rated working for a caring and responsible employer as more important than the size of their salary.

Nearly half (44 percent) of respondents said they would discount an employer that had a bad reputation, while nearly half said corporate social responsibility policies should be compulsory.

Ben Booth, global technology officer for market research group Ipsos, agreed CSR policies help retain, as well as recruit, good IT staff although pay remained important, he believed.

More than a third of respondents to a survey conducted by communications group BT rated working for a caring and responsible employer as more important than the size of their salary.

Nearly half (44 percent) of respondents said they would discount an employer that had a bad reputation, while nearly half said corporate social responsibility policies should be compulsory.

As I pointed out in a previous post, many businesses today tend to go after employees that are strong producers, regardless of how they get there, and end up hiring crass, inconsiderate, insensitive, uncaring and emotionally irresponsible managers. I believe this is what happens when you hire someone whose only motivation is the bottom line.

Employers need to realize that there is a whole lot more to running a profitable business than having cutthroat employees. Having happy employees generally means more productivity, and a good manager can leverage that to make money, just like a mean manager might, except without the back stabbing, high employee turnover, and passive aggressive undercutting that often occurs in a high stress work environment.

It’s makes all kinds of sense. Dollars and Cents… OK that was bad… I apologize… šŸ˜‰

Good Boss: Better Than Big Bucks? – [Yahoo/PCWorld]

06
Aug
07

China’s gentler, kinder side…

China has banned crude birth control advertising slogans for it’s national one child per family policy:

China has banned crude and insensitive slogans promoting the country’s ‘one-child’ family planning policy, such as “Raise fewer babies but more piggies,” which have stoked anger in rural areas, state media said Sunday.

China’s 28-year-old family planning policy limits most urban couples to just one child and allows some families in the countryside to have a second child if their first is a girl.

Critics say that has led to forced abortions and sterilizations and a dangerously imbalanced sex ratio due to the traditional preference for male heirs, which has prompted countless families to abort female fetuses in hopes of getting boys. – [Yahoo/AP]

Now the real reason I posted this was not because of the slogans, but because of the interesting detail that it seems that many Chinese families are aborting female fetuses in order to get boys.

It seems to me that, after a few generations of aborting female fetuses, your overall population production ability would drop dramatically. Which could be a good thing to begin with, but could turn bad really, really, quickly.

And it would suck to try and find a wife if you are a guy, because your selection would be slim to none. I really hope the Chinese what they are doing…

China bans crude birth control slogans – [Yahoo/AP]




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