March 15, 2007

Spring Forward

Current Netflix rental:

The signs of spring are everywhere. The trees are blooming. The weather is warmer. Mostly every capable woman I know is engaged or expecting. I'm having a hard time adjusting to Daylight Saving Time. I'll be fine in a few days, but right now my internal clock just doesn't wake me up on time for work. Why does Daylight Saving get a bad rap? I like it. I like getting home with daylight hours left. It's the first time I've seen my neighborhood in the daylight in months. Plus, I read that the time change could save me 86 cents. That should buy me a candy bar an apple or two.

How in the world did they come up with the 86 cent figure? I'm starting to get annoyed by people and their random statistics and polls. It's dumbing down the news and feeding a culture of scared sheep. I watched Scared Stiff: Worry in America, a 20/20 special a couple of weeks ago, mainly because I wanted to see what Stephen Dubner of Freakonomics had to say. John Stossel talked about how people are scared to fly, vaccinate their children, and climb tall flights of stairs.

Today at work, I got a "Progress Notes" e-mail from administration with helpful information such as:

  • Talking on the cell phone while driving gives you the same reaction time of having a Blood Alcohol Concentration of .08%, the legal limit in the state of Texas.

  • Talking on the cell phone while driving is the cause of 25-50% of all crashes according to NHTSA, leading to $40 billion in social and economic expenses.

  • Talking on the cell phone while driving increases your chance of a collision by 400%.

  • All "Brought to you by the Injury Prevention Committee of [my workplace]. Research by Bryan Stewart, Lubbock EMS."
What kind of statistics are those? Might as well have said cell phone use while driving could cause 10%-80% of all car crashes. More nanny culture. What about the wrecks caused by stupid drivers? There's a blood alcohol limit for drivers, but no IQ threshold. Which impediment is really more dangerous?

We've got a whole culture ready to ban trans fats and foie gras. Kids pass judgment on their parents for smoking. (I'll take this opportunity to plug Thank You for Smoking. Great show.) "Live free or die" is the state motto of New Hampshire. The death clock will tell you how much time you have left to enjoy your vices. I'm supposed to make it to 2061.

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