February 21, 2005

"Fake it 'til you make it!"

In 1550, primitive railroads called Wagonways were being used in Germany. They consisted of wooden rails over which horse-drawn wagons or carts moved with greater ease than over dirt roads. By 1776, iron had replaced the wood in the rails and wheels on the carts, however horses still provided the power. In 1803, a man named Richard Trevithick (1771-1833) built the first steam engine locomotive. On February 22, 1804, the locomotive hauled a load of 10 tons of iron, 70 men and five extra wagons a distance of 9 miles in two hours in Wales. By the 1830's, steam-powered railroad engines were being used in the United States of America.

In other words, for almost two centuries, people have known that when they see train tracks, that a train could possibly pass through on it at any given moment, yet in this year of 2005, there have been a rash of train deaths recently from people being caught with their vehicle on a train track (wrong place) at the wrong time. In one ironic story, an ambulance got hit where the 3 paramedics died, yet the patient lived. Also, about a year ago and less than a mile from my house, a truck driver was leaving the Mobil refinery in Chalmette (the same one I wrote about that has problems adhering to EPA standards) with a trailer tanker full of fresh gasoline. The driver saw the flashing lights and warnings, but decided to try to beat the train anyway only to be blown to bits when the train collided with the tanker. I saw the after effect of the blast and let me say, that truck was nice and crispy. The driver got what he deserved for being a moron and making an uncalculated risk, but the train operators who died shortly after suffering in agony from being douched with ignited fuel and burning alive did not deserve their fate. Besides these stories, there seems to be a train/automobile/human accident in Louisiana seemingly each year. Normally, I may say it serves someone right for being so careless, but since innocent people can be victimized (i.e. passengers or train operators), I'll take the high road and talk about the other side of the problem. If engineered correctly, it could have been done where all roads could have over or underpassed all tracks... or at the very least, light signals and crossing arms installed at each locale. No mode of transportation is completely safe, but certain risks can be eliminated. Of course you can never discount the moron factor... that's America though, folks. That's the one variable that will ruin most safeguards.

In other news... Prince Charles may have open wedding to public (did you say open bar as well???) Apparently under Britain's 1994 Marriage Act, the public must have unfettered access to witness a marriage so they can object if they wish. This is plain absurd and I'm just glad it's not a US issue, we have enough laws that make no logical sense. We've also had a few "celebrity" deaths, but only one mattered. Hunter S. Thompson. As little as I know about this man and writer, I did read a few of his columns in ESPN's Page 2 about sports and such, and he did have a way with the words. Certain rare skills, historical significance, and innovative are very admirable traits of people who are special & unique and are most certainly worthy of mass public appeal for all to enjoy... those are the ones whom I'd deem worthy of celebrity status. Most so-called "celebrities" are nothing special at all and not worth knowing in my opinion. Take Lindsey Lohan.. her dad (Michael Lohan) is in the spotlight now as someone who hit a utility pole while intoxicated and obliterated his vehicle in a fiery crash! Now, losers just like Michael Lohan, who could have easily killed innocent people due to his unwise decision to drive while intoxicated, are prevalent all across our United States of Morons, yet this makes front page CNN website news not once, but twice on the same page. Who cares??! Who, besides anyone in the Lohan family, gives a fuck about Mr. Lohan? He's a nobody loser just like millions of others. He stumbled out of the car just before it burst into flames. It's really a shame that he lived, but I have a feeling that Darwin would say that it's a bigger shame that he lived long enough to have offspring.

Ok, so Bush tried some of that marijuana back in the day. The way he supposedly abused alcohol, it's no big surprise to me. And as much as I despise him as president, as a person, I see nothing wrong with his actions. It's just a shame that his past drug experiences didn't open his mind enough. Now, I say this with complete conviction as a person who has NEVER tried weed nor any other so-called "illegal" substance in my life, but I am definitely an advocate for the rights of individuals prerogative to eat, drink, or smoke whatever they wish. I don't need uncle Sam wiping my ass nor attempting to protect me from my competent self. It's all about personal rights and not having a morally parenting government. Besides, if Bush was afraid of kids or teens idolizing him and doing drugs because their "president" did it, well.... I'd think that any young person who idolizes Bush would probably be the same kind or person that would grow up and get wasted and stoned all of the time anyway. Either way, it really doesn't matter now, does it?

Posted by Reese at February 21, 2005 8:29 AM