Friday, February 24, 2017

Top Three Killers

Drivers in cars, trucks, minivans and SUVs put a record 3.22 trillion miles on the nation's roads last year, up 2.8 percent from 3.1 trillion miles in 2015.

It's the fifth consecutive year of increased miles driven on public roads and highways, reflecting a strengthening economy, but it also "underscores the demands facing American's roads and bridges," according to a statement from the Federal Highway Administration, "and reaffirms calls for greater investment in surface transportation infrastructure." ....

Another downside to more traffic is more crashes. The National Safety Council says traffic fatalities increased 6 percent last year and topped 40,000 for the first time since 2007, but only part of that sharp increase can be attributed to the less than 3 percent growth in vehicle miles traveled. What's even more troubling is that the rate of fatal crashes is increasing at a time when vehicles mechanically are becoming safer. Experts cite speed, distracted driving, and alcohol as the top three killers on the road.

-- David Schaper of National Public Radio, "Record Number Of Miles Driven In U.S. Last Year" (21 February 2017)

Thursday, February 23, 2017

ACL And Meniscus

On a personal note, the MRI of my right knee shows:
  1. Complete ACL tear.
  2. Oblique tear of posterior horn of medial meniscus articulating with inferior articulating surface.
  3. Small suprapatellar bursa effusion.
  4. Mild prepatellar bursitis.
This is the result of landing a jump-turning kick while sparring in Tae Kwon Do class the evening of Friday 20 January.  The surgeon is giving it another month to settle down before I can get on his calendar for ACL Reconstruction surgery.  As luck would have it, this is the same guy who gave me good results for left shoulder surgery in February 2002.  Post-surgery recovery time for the ACL is 9 months to become fully active, and 12 months to return to the activity that caused the injury.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Simpler The Trap

The more cunning a man is, the less he suspects that he will be caught in a simple thing.  The more cunning a man is, the simpler the trap he must be caught in.

-- Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky (1821 - 1881), Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist, journalist and philosopher, Crime and Punishment (1866)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

One Man's Ways

One man's ways may be as good as another's, but we all like our own best.

-- Jane Austen (1775 - 1817), English novelist, Persuasion (1818), Ch. 13

Monday, February 20, 2017

Hospital Parking Lots

Here locally, people are shooting up in hospital parking lots in case they overdose.

-- Steve Moran, a deputy coroner in Jefferson County, KY, which includes Louisville.  In a span of 32 hours last week, emergency workers in Louisville responded to almost two calls per hour for overdose patients, New York Times, 14 February 2017

Thursday, February 16, 2017

I Read Them Openly

Critics who treat adult as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves.  To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence.  And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms.  Young things ought to want to grow.  But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development.  When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so.  Now that I am fifty I read them openly.  When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.

-- C. S. Lewis (1898 - 1963), Irish author and scholar of medieval literature, "On Three Ways of Writing for Children" (1952), in Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories (1967), p. 25

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

World-Size Robot

Broadly speaking, the Internet of Things has three parts. There are the sensors that collect data about us and our environment: smart thermostats, street and highway sensors, and those ubiquitous smartphones with their motion sensors and GPS location receivers. Then there are the "smarts" that figure out what the data means and what to do about it. This includes all the computer processors on these devices and -- increasingly -- in the cloud, as well as the memory that stores all of this information. And finally, there are the actuators that affect our environment. The point of a smart thermostat isn't to record the temperature; it's to control the furnace and the air conditioner. Driverless cars collect data about the road and the environment to steer themselves safely to their destinations.

You can think of the sensors as the eyes and ears of the Internet. You can think of the actuators as the hands and feet of the Internet. And you can think of the stuff in the middle as the brain. We are building an Internet that senses, thinks, and acts.

This is the classic definition of a robot. We're building a world-size robot, and we don't even realize it.

-- Bruce Schneier (1963-), American cryptographer, computer security professional, privacy specialist, and writer, New York Magazine, "Security and the Internet of Things" January 2017