Saturday, May 22, 2010

Obama warned us about this...

Obama warned us about political intimidation. But he didn't mention that it was his good friends on the left (Obama has close ties to SEIU leadership) who practice these tactics.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Big Brother is watching...

House votes to expand national DNA arrest database, civil libertarians yawn:

DNA evidence may not be as good as we think:

Human "chimeras" can fool DNA tests:

An iTunes Competitor?

This is big news, to me anyway:

And some of the other Android improvements in the "Froyo" release.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Self-Destructive Unions (Is that redundant?)

There are things I understand. And there are things that, no matter how much I might try, I will never understand. In the latter category, we have the group of people described in this article.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Your eyes are trying to kill you. And me!

As a motorcyclist I have to be aware that drivers sometimes just don't see me while I'm on the bike. How can this possibly happen? Here's one possibility: motion induced blindness. Take a look at this web page:
Amazing, isn't it?

This brings up the topic of vision in general. And, to be more expansive, how we humans have developed over the years. (Where could I possibly be going with this?)

We have to remember several things.

1) Our eyes are not perfect transducers. They do not perfectly reproduce what they see and send that to our brains. The example given above (motion induced blindness) demonstrates this.

2) Even when our eyes pass accurate information to our brains, our brains do not interpret it correctly. Consider how we perceive distant objects:

3) Our brains retain some programming from our past that causes us to deliberately focus on the wrong thing. This is a survival instinct that really does not help us when we are on the road. Consider target fixation:

Keith Code has observed that this is something that is hardwired within us, but we need to fight our natural instincts. Even when he trains very young riders, who haven't had the opportunity to develop bad habits, they exhibit the same behavior. In the past, when we encountered a large animal such as a bear, it may have been an advantage to focus on the source of danger. But not anymore. Consider these examples. No reason for these crashes. The riders just fixated on the side of the road or another bike that crashed and rode straight at those things.

And here's how to do it right, focusing on the clear path and not the danger: