Posts Tagged ‘behaviour’

My Latest Brush

March 10, 2008

With a bit less luck, one of last weeks treks over to the local neighbourhood mall for a bit of exersize and a cup of java and some socializing might well have been the last walk that I ever took!

pic 01 pic 02
pic 03 pic 04
pic 05
pic 06

I’ve written before about the topography of this area, most notably the dangerous situation that exists for pedestrians at the Commissioners/King Edward intersection because of the ‘valley’ that it lies in (click on pic 01).

In fact, that intersection is where I had my previous serious scare. One of those hills, the one which crests at Frontenac Road (east side of crest shown; click on pic 02), poses considerable danger to pedestrians on it’s west side as well.

Let me explain that there is no signalized crossing on Commissioners Road East between Frontenac Rd. and Adelaide Street. It’s a long stretch of often very busy 4-lane arterial (speedway). And with a couple of large apartment buildings on either side of it (pic 05, pic 06), not to mention the Eagle Crescent residential neighbourhood, the absence of any assisted crossing poses a considerable risk to pedestrians and public transit users.

So, here’s the deal. Given the absence of any assisted crossing, I always try to cross at the intersection of Commissioners Rd. and Eagle Crescent. Waiting as usual for a break in the eastbound traffic coming from Adelaide St. in the west, and seeing no vehicles between me and the crest of the hill at Frontenac Dr. to the east, I started across as quickly as my bad knee would allow. About 5 seconds later (and two steps away from the semi-safe mid-road median), I feel the wind at my back followed by the sound of it’s passing. I tell you, this idiot had to have been going over 100 clicks! By the time I could turn my head to confirm what had just happened, he (?) was already starting to make the turn onto Adelaide St.

How much more dangerous is this situation going to become once the City decides to allow further development of the south side of Commissioners at Eagle?

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Rising Car Use

January 23, 2008

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Statistics Canada has just released a report called ‘Dependence on cars in urban neighbourhoods.’ It’s based on data from the 2005 General Social Survey and is part of the Agency’s Canadian Social Trends series, and it should serve as a call to arms for anyone who’s intelligent enough to be concerned about urban sprawl and our reliance on automobile travel.

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Assault on LTC Driver

December 31, 2007

It’s been reported that after being asked to keep wet boots off of a bus seat early Saturday evening, a 25 y.o. male passenger “spat in the driver’s face…then punched through the front window of the bus, causing more than $2,000 in damage” and that the man’s 24 y.o. female companion “kicked the driver” (‘Couple arrested after bus driver assaulted‘; Daniela Simunac; London Free Press; 2007/12/31).

Public transit users who behave discourteously toward other passengers (feet on seats, occupying more than one seat, profanity, failure to surrender seats to elderly/disabled persons, etc) don’t deserve the priviledge of using the service and ought to be asked by the operator to cease such behaviour or disembark. In doing so, the operator helps to preserve the service for all of us. Any assault upon an LTC operator is an assault upon the entire community of users which public transit serves. It must be condemned loudly and by all of us.

Changing Urban Perceptions

December 20, 2007

One of today’s articles (‘Prestige About Being in the City‘; National Post; 2007/12/20) quotes James McKellar (Academic Director; York Univ. School of Business). Here are some comments that I think are worth taking note of:

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Fast-Car Ads Hit Quebec Roadblock

December 18, 2007

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An amendment to Quebec’s Bill 42 (highway safety) would “give the provincial auto insurance board the mandate to come up with guidelines to ban [car] ads that depict ‘heedless, careless or dangerous behaviour and gestures’ “ and more.

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Food Additive Safety

December 16, 2007

Today’s Daily Telegraph warns that “HUNDREDS of popular Australian children’s snack foods and sweets are laced with suspect additives which international researchers have linked to adverse behavioural reactions…such as allergies, asthma, hyperactivity and rashes.”

According to Health Canada, “Generally speaking, a food additive is any chemical substance added to a food during manufacturing or processing that becomes a part of the food or affects the food’s characteristics, such as its colour or texture. Some food additives are derived from natural sources. Others are made synthetically.”

Only food additives listed in the Tables of Division 16 in the Food and Drug Regulations are permitted to be used in food.
(source: Health Canada)

The Health Products & Food Branch of Health Canada is responsible for evaluating and approving new food additives. The legislative mechanisms under which the Government of Canada controls them are the Food and Drugs Act and the Food and Drug Regulations. And the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) enforces Canada’s food labelling laws and the food safety standards set by Health Canada.

Links:
Health Canada: National Surveillance of…Hazardous Chemicals in Foods
EFSA: Food Additives
Action On Additives website
2004/05/25 – The Independent: Artificial colorings…boost…hyperactivity…
2007/05/08 – Food Standards Agency: Additives and children’s behaviour
2007/05/09 – Daily Telegraph: New evidence links E-numbers to hyperactivity
2007/05/12 – Daily Telegraph: Tantrum-linked additives in 132 new products
2007/09/ – Food Standards Agency: Intolerance to additives
2007/09/06 – Food Standards Agency: …revised advice on…artificial colours
2007/09/06 – Daily Telegraph: Parents warned about artificial food additives
2007/09/06 – BBC: Parents warned of additives link
2007/09/17 – TimesOnline: Subtracting the additives

Procreation Carbon Tax

December 16, 2007

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Every newborn baby…represents a potent source of greenhouse gas emissions for an average of 80 years, not simply by breathing but by the profligate consumption of resources typical of our society” (source: B. Walters )

Barry N. J. Walters (Clinical Assoc. Professor of Obstetric Medicine; University of Western Australia) thinks that the ‘polluter pays’ principle should apply to having children. He proposes that a couple be allowed two kids free, but for each additional child they pay a $4,400 tax at birth, plus $350 to $700 per year “for the life of the child” (‘Personal carbon trading; eMJA; 2007/12/03).

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Academic McMotivation

December 9, 2007

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ad jacketResponding to criticism about it’s report-card promo in Florida’s Seminole County, fast-food giant McDonalds insists that it’s motives are entirely honourable. As opposed to a crass marketing campaign?

The campaign consists of a Happy Meal coupon, a cartoon of the chain’s Ronald McDonald brand mascot, the golden arches logo, and photos of Happy Meal menu items – all printed on the cover of a report-card jacket at the corporation’s expense ($1,600 for the 2007-2008 school year). Children who present their report cards to the local restaurant are entitled to receive a free Happy Meal, provided that they’ve scored As and Bs, have exhibited good behaviour or have had two or fewer absences.

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In-Car Metered-Taxi Cameras

December 9, 2007

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Also on this week’s ETC meeting agenda, a proposal by Ward Four’s Councillor Stephen Orser for consideration of an addition to the Taxicab Licensing Bylaw. Click HERE to read the Councillor’s written submission.

As someone who operated a taxi in this city for many years, I have some concerns with respect to mandating lease-operators to bear the possibly prohibitive cost of this technology; that reservation does not extend to private plate owners and the taxi companies, however. Otherwise, I fully support this initiative.

Links:
2007/12/10 – LFP: Cabbie cams focus of push today

Accessible Parking Violators

December 9, 2007

It’s a pretty sad commentary about the nature of some people, but it’s the time of year when there’s a marked increase in the number vehicles unlawfully parked in Accessible Parking spaces.

On-street metered parking is free in London for those who display a disabled parking permit (for the maximum time permitted on that meter), and the City also permits free parking in City Municipal parking lots (two hours max).

74(c). No person shall use or permit the use of a current original identifying marker furnished by the Ministry of Transportation except the disabled person to whom the current original identifying marker is furnished; or a person transporting such disabled person.” (City of London; Traffic & Parking By-law)

27(2). A person who contravenes…is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not less than $300 and not more than $5,000.” (GovOnt; Highway Traffic Act)

Links:
MOT: Accessible Parking Permits
2007/12/14 – LFP: Disabled parking crackdown…

The Fight For Personal Privacy: Already Lost?

December 1, 2007

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Dan Brown’s post about stealth advertising (‘There’s a new word for product placement: it’s now called “integration”‘; 2007/11/28) and his subsequent post about the modern technological capability to monitor your personal behaviour (‘TiVo in Canada‘; 2007/11/30) reminded me of the movie in which the multimedia display ads in various store windows automatically assailed one of the movie characters (personalized their content as he walked past). Somebody help me out… what’s the movie’s title?

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Molson Promo Dissed

November 28, 2007

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It appears that Molson Canada felt compelled to end it’s ‘Campus Challenge‘ contest early, following criticism from the university community that it promoted the abusive use of alcohol. Post-secondary students were enticed to upload their pictures from campus parties, with top honour going to the university which simply had the most submissions.

Given recent media reports about obnoxious Fanshawe student behaviour, it’s a timely reminder that not all students are created equal.

Or corporations either it seems.

Links:
2007/11/15 – The Gazette: Memorial is the number one party school?
2007/11/20 – CBC: Molson’s Facebook contest leaves some …
2007/11/21 – Canada.com: Molson bashed over Facebook contest
2007/11/22 – Globe & Mail: Molson photo contest brews up anger
2007/11/25 – Globe & Mail: Molson pulls plug on Facebook photo contest
2007/11/26 – Globe & Mail: Molson ends Facebook contest
2007/11/28 – The Gazette: Molson promo challenged by universities

Off-campus Student Conduct Codes

November 22, 2007

It seems that the Police Service Board rejected Councillor Bernie MacDonald’s proposal at it’s meeting last week, preferring to ask that UWO and Fanshawe apply their student codes of conduct off-campus (read more: ‘Police Board wants off-campus code‘; Mike Hayes; The Gazette; 2007/11/22).

Links:
2007/11/28 – The Gazette: Police hitting the streets…

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Human Nature = ZAP!

November 21, 2007

An XKCD sketch.
The Difference

Driver Behaviour Requires Reduced Speed Limits

January 9, 2007

In her latest article (“Crashes down, severity up”; London Free Press; 2007/01/09) Kelly Pedro quotes Sgt. Tom O’Brien (head of the city police traffic management unit) as saying that “My concern is that although the number of collisions may not be going up significantly, the seriousness of these collisions is getting graver.”

And Ms Pedro attributes him with blaming the more serious crashes on aggressive driving, drivers running red lights and impaired driving.

Driving is a privilege, not a right. And along with the privilege comes responsibilities. If significant numbers of drivers are becoming a danger to pedestrians and others, then it’s time to expect some leadership from the police and from the administration and politicians at City Hall.

A good place to start would be a reduction in the speed limit on all city streets, despite the inevitable wailing that would be sure to follow.