Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wednesday Tracks

Tracking some of the marginal moments in-between nuclear tests and supreme court appointments, in the ongoing ride through our modern world on a clouded Wednesday morning.

Helping: A 21st century updating of the parable of the Good Samaritan. Debt-ridden man on a bridge is threatening to jump to his death, when he is approached by a retired soldier, Mr. Lai, who was passing by; after shaking his nervous hand, the passer-by pushes the hesitating jumper off the bridge.

"I pushed him off because jumpers like Chen are very selfish," the newspaper quoted Mr Lai as saying.
"Their action violates a lot of public interests. They do not really dare to kill themselves. Instead, they just want to raise the relevant government authorities' attention to their appeals."
Mr Chen is said to have suffered spine and elbow injuries and is recovering in a Guangzhou hospital.
The bridge has gained a macabre reputation, attracting at least 12 would-be suicide jumpers since the start of April, according to the China Daily report.
None of the 12 has jumped, although each has held up traffic for several hours, it said.
Packing: Our neighboring state hits upon a novel way of cutting down on the cost of garbage clean-up: by cutting down on the number of garbage cans in its parks, hinting to park users to cost-effectively carry their garbage back home with them instead of tossing it out at the park.
Seattle is converting more parks to "pack it out" parks, with no trash cans, in a budget-cutting move the city hopes will morph into an all-out culture shift.
This year, in response to a midyear city budget crisis, the parks department planned to save about $160,000 by removing 400 more — some from well-used parks... Cutting down on trash cans is part of a larger effort to develop a more efficient maintenance program in the city parks system. It saves the city from having to send workers to empty cans.
"When you invite people through picnic tables and nice facilities ... I just don't think you can really expect them to pack out a lot of picnic supplies and dog waste and the like to take home and put in their own garbage cans," [local resident] Rovig said.

Mercurial: Here in Vancouver it seems that we get at least two different kinds of weather every day, so I can easily sympathize with the beleaguered British weather forecasters, who are under fire for the unpredictability of their island's climate changes:

Weathermen are being blamed for costing seaside towns millions of pounds a year by deliberately being too 'cautious and negative' with their forecasts.
'If they can't get it right, they should be honest enough to tell people that.' Debbie Payne, owner of a Bournemouth guesthouse, said: 'It's very frustrating when the forecasts say it's going to be raining and it turns out to be a really nice day.
'We lose a lot of business because people cancel their bookings and last-minute visitors are put off.
'It's going to be even more important if more people are taking holidays in Britain instead of abroad. We really need to get the weather right.
'They have thousands of pounds worth of equipment but we might as well just look out the window..."

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