Saturday, September 22, 2012

More new disaster stories & stuff

Some stories are depressing.  I spent last week researching two horrific van crashes in Canada.  One last year killing itinerant farm workers and one in 2008 which obliterated most of a high school basketball team. There's nothing really positive about these stories; the collision was with trucks in both cases, and the victims were thrown from the vans and killed on impact. The vans ripped apart like pop cans. This makes sense, when you consider that stretched 15 person vans are just flimsy elongated versions of flimsy regular size vans, which are taller versions of flimsy cars, which get their strength from artfully folded flimsy sheet metal.  Compare metal thickness of new cars with the old and bulbous vehicles of the forties and fifties and you see what cost-cutting can do. Bang on the hood of an old truck or antique fire engine and you'll hurt your hand.  Nobody will prevent someone from falling asleep at the wheel, and crashes with trucks will still kill people, but we can reduce the number of victims by making sure the vehicles they are in are sturdier.  
       School buses are a case in point. My friend Jim suggested I mention school bus races in my gruesome story and I believe I will. At Brighton Speedway they race school buses in September.  Kids pee themselves with delight to see these behemoths try to race around and knock each other off the track. Can hardly be done. I know one driver who was desperate to flip his old bus but he couldn't. Year after year he tried.  With the same bus.  What are we missing here?  Old school buses can be bought for a couple K, and sure they are slow and boring and burn too much gas, but if you happen to get into an accident, the extra sturdy frame, the massive U channel bumpers, the won't-release-on-impact door hinges, and the stay-bolted-to-the-ground ugly bench seats keep whoever's in there, in there. These old buses, if they ever get flipped on the track, are just fork-lifted upright again and they're good to go.  Wanna stay safe?  Check out old BOBO down below.     

Too late for the victims I'm writing about, but it could save a life some miles down the road.

Happier News!
Our son Adrian is in Africa.  This is his fourth continent now. He moved to Vancouver at age 17, worked his way across Australia as a bricker to go see S.E. Asia, returned and worked the oil rigs to earn the cash to go see Africa. We worry, yes, but good on him.  He's doing what others (me) might aspire to but wouldn't dare to.

You see Adrian in previous blogs helping us with the house build.  In November he plans to see Central America, maybe S.America too.  Continent five.
After that he will go to University.

Younger brother Dan is doing a reverse journey.  School first at U. of Ottawa, and then to Asia (for starters) when he graduates to teach E.S.L.

 We get tired just thinking about their ambitions. But they have ambitions.  God bless them!

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