I Am Above the Law!

Why do some people think that rules and regulations don’t apply to them?

In May this year, we got some unusually hot weather in the South of Norway. Temperatures rose over 30 degrees Celsius, which is not only uncommon for May; it’s not even temperatures we associate with an ordinary Norwegian summer. The hot weather, combined with almost no rain, naturally had some consequences. People migrated en masse to the nearest beach, the use of disposable grills skyrocketed, the forest fire hazard quickly rose to bright red, and the water levels in local drinking water reservoirs sank like a stone.

One of the popular locations to cool down in the Norwegian capital Oslo when it’s hot, is Sørenga. Most people go there by bike or foot, and the shortest way is by crossing a floating bridge. On a good day, thirty thousand people use the bridge to get to and from Sørenga. In May, however, the bridge started to show serious signs of decay, and Five-O temporary closed the bridge with police tape to prevent more people to cross it in case the bridge should collapse into the water. A lot of people didn’t give a flying fuck, though, ignored the police tape, and continued to cross the bridge.

Continue reading "I Am Above the Law!"

A Boost of Energy: Reloaded?

Once upon a time i reviewed energy drinks. Then I didn’t. Now I might do it again.

Energy drinks have long been the source of great controversy. They’re being marketed to young adults, and thus the young and hopeful go ahead and kill themselves drinking too much. I covered this issue extensively in the post “Death by Energy Drink!” last year. Personally, I’m a big fan of energy drinks. I’m nowhere near the product’s target audience, though. Having just broken the magical Big Four Oh, I can’t say that I’m a young adult, neither mentally nor physically. Neither am I a particularly active extreme sports athlete, and I hope I don’t qualify as your stereotypical energy drink gulping douche.

Even though I’m not your average energy drink consumer, I enjoy a sparkling can now and then. I’m at my most creative early in the morning, after a couple of sips from one of the available brands, from Red Bull to Monster Energy. My love for the fizzy creative juice culminated in a series of energy drink reviews, seven in total. The series ran for about a year, in 2015 and 2016.

The reviews had two major problems, however. First of all, the format I chose was too strict, and therefore very limiting. Secondly, the energy drinks I reviewed were surprisingly boring. Most of them tasted like cheap Red Bull knock offs. Because of this, the reviews quickly started to feel stale, boring, and dull. So I simply stopped writing them.

But now, with unexpected inspiration from a popular Norwegian blogger, I might just give the series another try.

Continue reading "A Boost of Energy: Reloaded?"

Murderous Self-Driving Vehicles Strike Again.

For the second time in under two months, one of those deadly self-driving vehicles has been involved in a crash in Arizona.

On March 18, a female bicyclist was killed when she crossed the road in Tempe, Arizona. A self-driving car from Uber failed to avoid her, and she was struck by the vehicle. I covered this incident in the post Self-Driving Cars Must Be Banned Now!. A week ago, on May 4, another self-driving car was involved in a car crash in Arizona. This time, the incident happened in Chandler, and the autonomous car was not operated by Uber, but by Waymo.

Three cars were involved in the Chandler incident. The driver of the first car jumped a red light, and had to swerve to avoid the second car, which was moving into the intersection on a green light. That maneuver propelled it in to the oncoming lane, where it hit the third car, a self-driving van from Waymo. Here’s a video released by the company, showing how the incident was captured by the cameras attached to the Waymo.

Continue reading "Murderous Self-Driving Vehicles Strike Again."

The Big Four Oh.

Yes, yesterday was the day. I’m now in my forties.

When I turned 30, I also wrote a post, appropriately titled “The Big Three Oh“. It contains a few bullet points summarizing my universe at the time:

  • I’m still enjoying playing video and computer games.
  • Getting kids is still a very distant idea.
  • I don’t want to buy a motorcycle yet. But maybe that’s what men do when they get to 40, not 30.
  • Marriage is right up there with the whole kids thing.
  • Politicians still confuse me.

10 years later, a lot of things have definitely changed, while other things haven’t changed a bit. The revised lists goes like this:

  • I still enjoy playing video and computer games, although it’s been ages since I turned on my PS3 for gaming. It’s mostly being used for movies now, and notice that I never made the jump to PS4. These days, it’s PC gaming all the way. I play much less than I did 10 years ago, though.
  • I’ve got two kids now!
  • I don’t want to buy a motorcycle yet. Maybe that’s what men do when they get to 50, not 40.
  • I’m actually married! Who would’ve thunk it? Not this guy.
  • I’ve pretty much given up on politics. Lately, it’s been an unbelievable mess, both at home and abroad.

So there you have it. Quite a lot has happened during the last 10 years. As I’m now entering the half-way point in life1, I’m in reasonably good health both physically and mentally, have no real worries, exercise semi-regularly, sleep well at night, and have a loving family.

What more can a scrawny guy with a rapidly receding hairline ask for? Nothing.

Continue reading "The Big Four Oh."

Self-Driving Cars Must Be Banned Now!

Or perhaps not?

People have gotten themselves killed by Tesla autopilot for quite some time. The first known fatal incident happened in 2016, when a Tesla Model S with the autopilot engaged slammed into a 18-wheel tractor-trailer. The autopilot didn’t notice the white side of the crossing tractor-trailer against a brightly lit sky, and the brakes were never engaged. The Tesla went so fast the roof of the car was cut off, and the vehicle didn’t come to a stop until it snapped a telephone pole a quarter-mile down the road. The driver in this particular accident was watching a Harry Potter DVD while driving.

Now self-driving cars have taken it to the next level, and are killing not only their drivers, but also unsuspecting pedestrians. On March 18, a woman crossing the road with her bicycle in Tempe, Arizona, was struck by a self-driving car operated by Uber. She was taken to the hospital, where she later died from her injuries.

Uber has naturally pulled all their self-driving cars off the road after the accident. Not surprisingly, many people are now calling for all autonomous vehicles to be removed from public roads until the cause of the Uber crash has been found. Other’s are demanding that the whole idea of a self-driving car being banned and buried.

Crying out for a ban is often the knee-jerk reaction when something new and scary goes awry. But it’s not necessarily the rational thing to do.

Continue reading "Self-Driving Cars Must Be Banned Now!"