Tuesday 27 November 2018

Demise of Petroleum Fuel Cars

Facing Reality is Extremely Tough

Yesterday November 26th, 2018 many families were shocked to hear that their livelihood with General Motors would soon disappear. GM named 3 car production plants - 2 in America and 1 in Canada, and 2 transmission plants in America that have been scheduled to close.

This must be devastating news. The truth is however, that it is inevitable and probably overdue. The internal combustion engine and the entire industry that produces its fuel have to wind down. They are killing or will be killing either us or our future generations - our kids.

I have to think that the families of all those associated with steam locomotives; coal miners; horse-drawn buggies; tube driven electronics; the Telex and telegraph services; taxi driving; and paddle wheel water craft to name a few all felt similar emotions.

We only have ourselves as consumers to blame. To their credit countries in other parts of the world at least have a history of driving much smaller and more efficient vehicles than the North American gas guzzlers and muscle machines. We all should have been pushing governments and industry to provide us with less polluting alternatives years ago. Many cities elsewhere also made sensible public transportation a priority.

An Indian company - Tata - produces a vehicle powered by compressed air. I just viewed a list of 10 cars from India, China, France and Italy all priced under $10,000. At present however, most North Americans would turn their nose up at the prospect of driving these. And there is the biggest problem.

We have generally moved away from the monster cars of the '50s and '60s but it is time to downscale again. It will be much easier to power such vehicles on other energy sources like electricity.

I suggest that one way government(s) could help out is to create a division whose sole purpose is to find inventions and technology being pursued by others elsewhere in the world and to make it known to us. Then they should state areas of priority and make money available to private individuals and corporations to develop our own versions of them. 

Another objective should be to cooperate and form relationships with those other countries to develop and enhance these potential products together. This seems to work well in the space industry - why not transportation here on earth?

Governments throw money at problems usually resulting in more reports and studies - aka stalling. It is time for a leader who can deliver some new solutions and the jobs associated with them. JFK boasted that America would land on the moon within 10 years. They did.

The Brewster

Friday 16 November 2018

Hazing Etc.

Sick: Too Much Harry Potter?

Recently in the local Toronto news was a story that unfortunately is all too common both in Canada and beyond. It described a so-called "Hazing" or initiation incident at a local and generally highly regarded private school for boys - St. Michael's College School.

The event apparently involved new students being subjected - sick as it is - to being forcibly sodomized by more senior students with a broom handle while others watched, pointed their cameras, and did nothing. Many of them now have this video on their cameras.

In the feature it also mentioned similar incidents where the victims were new football players at the university level at a different institution of "higher learning."

I was a "Frosh" once at university. Yes some just plain silly and sometimes humiliating things were done to new students. Never were they forced and never did it involve these kinds of acts. Participation was expected but voluntary. Sometimes you wore silly clothes; sometimes you were to repeat embarrassing phrases about yourself; often you were to pretend you were a dead horse with arms and legs in the air. Violence was rare and somebody would step in if it went too far.

The above however is just plain sick. To their credit the school involved police and parents after the media published the story. The police have now said this meets the definition of child porn and recommended deleting any copies of it. 

In my view, the perpetrators should be immediately expelled - apparently some students were - and perhaps the parents should forfeit their tuition or a large portion of it. I would even favour mandatory court-imposed counselling. What else will change future behaviour? Maybe responsible parents would warn their kids of the consequences.

Some will say this reaction is extreme - they were only having fun that got a bit carried away. Carried away? What is fun about pushing a piece of wood up someone's anus against their will while they are held down? What kind of mind even conceives of such stuff? Is this some quirky Harry Potter syndrome - the all powerful broom? (No offence intended to all the legitimate readers and fans.)

There have been cases over the years where young people have been seriously injured and died during such rituals. Surely it doesn't matter if it involves men, soldiers, women,  or teammates of the toughest character - it is sick. Try it on anyone outside of a school or team environment and you will end up behind bars for assault.

Maybe it is just that Harry came after my childhood. Anybody hold similar views?

The Brewster