Friday, 16 October 2015

Friday Five News items of the week 16/10/15

Well I prepared most of this on Thursday and tried out scheduling the post so hopefully it really is Friday Five News articles from the week.

In INTERNATIONAL  news I spotted an article reporting on how car manufacture Tesla is providing a software update for its cars to give them an autopilot mode.
Tesla chief executive Elon Musk said the autopilot mode was designed to increase driver confidence on the road.
However, Mr Musk said users adopting the software - available in North America from Thursday - should exercise caution while using it.
"It should not hit pedestrians, hopefully," he told the media. "It should handle them well."
He added that if the car is involved in a collision, the driver is still liable.
"The driver cannot abdicate responsibility. That will come at some point in the future."

I’m not sure I would want to rely on hope while driving this vehicle.  Or as a pedestrian to be “handled well” by a car on autopilot. 

We have auto park on our car but I’ve never used it.  I prefer to be in control of my vehicle at all time.  However solicitors must be rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of legal challenges in the future where drivers can “abdicate responsibility” and blame it on the car.  Or the manufacturer of the car.  I can see a legal minefield over this where only the lawyers will get rich.

LOCAL  news reported on how talks to sort out the pay and conditions dispute over the introduction of tube trains at night have ground to a halt, again, with no date set for them to resume.  I’m not particularly bothered about the tube running at night but I’m sure for some shift workers it would be a blessing.  I just hope now that they will wait until they have everything resolved before announcing a launch date for the service.  I’m sure many people got excited about the prospect of night tubes when it was announced some time ago but the launch date keeps moving.  It doesn’t look as it if will happen this side of Christmas now which is a shame.

Moving on to SPORT: This article is above the cost of supporting your football team.  It’s an expensive business if your team is in the Premier League.
Arsenal again have the most expensive match-day ticket in the Premier League at £97. ($150)
The cheapest match-day ticket in the Premier League is offered by Leicester City at £22. ($34)

It then adds that At £52, ($80) Chelsea's cheapest match-day ticket is the highest priced of the Premier League's least expensive.
Is it just me or is that sentence very confusing?  What determines the least expensive range?

Moving on to merchandise:
The average cost of a replica football shirt is now £42.18 ($65) for adults and £33.78 ($52) for children. In the Premier League this rises to £49.68 ($77) and £38.42 ($59) thanks to a 4.82% increase in the average price this season.

Add to all that the cost of transport to get to the match, programme, snacks, drinks etc. and going to a football match seems to be beyond the average person.  Or maybe not since several of the biggest clubs are in the process of building new, bigger stadiums.  (I've quote costs in dollars for any American readers.  Would be good to get a feel for how our prices compare to American football games etc.)

In ENTERTAINMENT   Stephen Fry has announced he is standing down as presenter of the popular “QI” show after 13 years.  He is to be replaced by Sandi Toksvig.  I like Sandi.  She has a very dry sense of humour.  But Fry will leave big shoes to be filled.  Maybe switching to a female presenter will detract from comparisons.  I hope so.

And finally MISCELLANEOUS: I spotted the article about the youngest body to be frozen. Matheryn Naovaratpong was just two years old when she died earlier this year and her parents decided to have her body frozen in the hope that her brain will be preserved and could, at some date in the future, when technology exists to do so, be placed in another body so that Matheryn could live again.

If you want to know more about how this (gruesome) process is carried out you might want to check out this article Cheating Death which does go into the specifics.

Personally I find this whole idea rather worrying.  Of course it’s horrific to lose a child at that age.  It’s hard to lose anyone before we think it’s “their time” such as through an accident or illness.  But the facts are we are born, we live our lives and then we die.  We have to die because if we reached a point where we could stop people dying (and I wonder if this is where some people think this science is going) we would have to stop people being born.  We could not keep adding to the world population.  Look at where we are already.

Maybe that’s a rather simplistic take on the subject but in my view, hard as it may be, you have to let the dead go.  Hopefully to a better place.

All links are courtesy of the BBC website. Opinions are my own.

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