The BBC had an article today regarding the a proposed change to the highway code requiring vehicles to give way to the left at junctions. The proposal was presented with the idea of safeguarding roads for cyclists and pedestrians as well as other road users. While if followed (and enforced) such a proposal would perhaps make the road safer in reality it is unlikely to be followed and will make the road more dangerous especially for cyclists.

Any public message that encourages cyclist to use the inside line along vehicles when approaching any junction is one that encourages cyclist to places themselves in danger. Remember the indicator only offers proof that a light bulb works, nothing else. Riding up the inside of taxis, busses, coaches and heavy goods vehicles is always a very bad idea. As cyclists we have to take responsibility for our own safety but that does not mean that we can’t ask government to help us.

I would propose that rather than a rule regarding left turns, the highway code is amended to make it illegal to overtake any moving road user within a 20 or a 30 zone. Such a rule is easy to explain, obvious when violated, can be imposed by a minority of road users and makes the road safer for all users. I suspect it also will have limited negative impact on most journeys due to congestion and traffic lights. Finally it requires very little expenditure as signage is already in place (the speed limit signs).

The proposal of no over taking in 20 and 30 zones does very little for pedestrians users crossing roads unaided who undeniably would benefit from further protection.

A few weeks ago Casey Neistat, upload a YouTube video indicating his decision to vote for a particular presidential candidate in the upcoming american presidential election. As well as endorsing a candidate he also challenged other YouTubers to endorse a candidate as well.

This challenge was met with a wide variety or response from those who made simple endorsement videos, to others who suggested that calling out other YouTubers in such a manor was a TOS violation as it incited cyber bullying. Some however questioned the reason why they should have the right to tell there viewers who to vote and questioned the value of doing so.

While celebrity endorsement is not in anyway a new feature of elections, YouTubers often lacking legal and staffing support are perhaps poorly equipped to offer an informed endorsement. This practical reality combined with the relativism of private truth and the current post truth, political discourse makes an interjection difficult.

However, engagement in politics is a crucial role of the citizen (this is the reason I tend to indicate my voting intentions online here) and the lack of engagement of any part of the electorate is inherently problematic. Therefore, I think Casey Neistat interjection should be welcome and his challenge to others, to consider there political position is worthwhile.

A New Phone The Nokia 215

Back in 2015 I gave up on smart phones blog here. I ended up getting a second hand Nokia E71 which has been awesome(I knew it would be I had an E61). However the E71 battery life (it was an original battery) slipped to less than a day so I thought it was time to get a new phone.

I had been using the E71 in combination with an iPod touch which I intend to continue doing. After a little investigation I ended up going for a Nokia 215.

I have used it for over a month now so the summary review would be, very long battery life, very good reception, speaker phone could be louder and the Facebook Messenger implementation is usable but not quick. The built in Twitter app work well. A slight issue is the address book which really struggled with contact importing, especially with contacts with more than one telephone number.

In summary if you want a phone to be a phone and occasionally a little more than the Nokia 215 is a great choice.

While published over a year ago I was recently remind of this great video by New York based film marker, Casey Neistat, Life Explained in 27 Seconds.

Seamed kind of appropriate with teaching starting on Monday!

Deep Space 9 The Best Star Trek

Recently I finished rewatching DS9. I remembered it being good but did not remembering it being that good. In fact I would go as far as declaring it as the best of all the Star Trek franchises.

Perticular highlights of the show for me are, the dominant war, evil Ricker, the Defiant, Bashir and Miles, and the Ferengi. I also really like the singing as well, with Vic in the hollow suite and Worf with his love of Klingon Opera.

I admit the DS9 is much harder viewing than TOS and TNG. But, it is the greyness of the characters and the complexities of the relationships which make the show so compelling to watch.

If it was possible to change one thing about then I must admit that I had kind of hoped that the Enterprise with Picard turned up as part of the final fleet!

So if you have never watched any Star Trek and someone is nagging you to watch it, go for DS9 first.