Friday, July 06, 2012

Nobody Asked Me, But...

1) 56 percent of the United States is in a drought. it will get worse. There will be food shortages and higher food prices. But hey, global warming doesn't exist!
2) You might have heard the story about the Florida man who was fired from his job as a lifeguard for saving a swimmer outside his designated zone. A few interesting facts:
  1. The beach in Hallandale is a public beach.
  2. The lifeguard positions were contracted out, privatized.
  3. The contractor who fired the lifeguard claims that the insurance company kept their premiums in check by insisting on clearly defined rescue zones: swim outside those zones, even with a lifeguard on duty, you swim at your own peril.
  4. The idiot, I mean, victim, was a full quarter of a mile outside the safe zone.
  5. The lifeguard post was not left unattended while the lifeguard, Tomas Lopez, went off to bail yet another Floridian asshole out of life-threatening danger.
  6. It's Florida.
I'm not sure what to make of this, other than the unidentified idiot who forced the situation ought to be thrown in jail for 30 days on moral grounds. On the one hand, rules are rules and its not like the guy started out in the safe zone and drifted off unwittingly. Where does the responsibility of a lifeguard end? A quarter mile? Half? A mile? Within line of sight? What if it's a false alarm, some douchebag playing at drowning to call attention to himself, leaving a person who might actually be drowning in the safe zone with less coverage? How can a lifeguard tell from a distance? Isn't the lifeguard's responsibility to the people who are there legally, primarily?
I lifeguarded when I was a youngster, and was fortunate enough to be assigned pool duties mostly (their own set of challenges, I assure you) but I have been involved in open water rescues and let me tell you, no matter how calm the water, they are far harder than pool rescues (which usually involve tossing a rope or a ring.) Kudos to Lopez for making the right call, since he saved a life, but this is a pretty knotty problem.
3) Ladies and gentlemen, but especially ladies, I present to you London's largest erection.
4) Excuse me....a WikiLeaks movie??
5) Welp, so much for that Syrian summit last weekend...
6) The reality of quantum computing is now two seconds closer.
7) International elections in the news.
8) The real threat the SCOTUS ACA ruling made to Romney's campaign.
10) California gets plenty of whales off shore and they delight tourists and residents alike. But this is once in a lifetime: these are blue whales, the largest animal ever to stalk the face of the earth.