A TEXTING AND DRIVING SOLUTION – POST #4

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People debate the topic, but I’ve heard few, if any, solutions. After doing some quick research online I’ve found the top reason for automobile accidents is, obviously, distracted driving. Within this rather broad category texting ranks at the top, radio and personal audio devices come in at number two, and the fifth is eating. Not to put to put my neck in the noose, but I’m guilty of all three, though texting I’ve kept to stop lights. 😉

While there are laws designed to address the issue, they do little to deter those determined to keep up the habit. I drive a lot, and most people (yes, I really do mean more than half) I pass or glance at are preoccupied with handheld devices. I suppose technology will eventually perfect the ease of use with voice commands, but what do we do in the meantime?

So, at the risk of pissing off a lynching party, here is my proposal. I feel a failsafe device could be installed that does two things. One- If pressure and heat aren’t registered in two places on the steering wheel for less than say, ten seconds, then a loud annoying alarm sounds in the cab. Two- All the outside lights begin to rapidly flash letting other motorists know what the offending driver is doing. Yea, I can hear the crowds groaning in opposition already, but I think I can solve their objection to the idea.

Don’t make it mandatory, offer it as either an option or as required by the courts; more on that a little later. If installed, the rates in insurance might drop dramatically, especially for young drivers. This wouldn’t be for everyone, that’s for sure. Many, including myself, like to drive using only one hand, but we are talking about a severe solution to an even more severe problem.

Our vehicles are packed with safety features. To those just beginning drive at the turn of the century some6b1ef39acddee577aad6affd4c0c0389 one-hundred and fifteen years ago airbags, back-up lights, turn signals, seat belts, electric starters, anti-lock brakes, and even windshield wipers would probably come across to those folks as overwhelming, expensive, and unnecessary.  Even today most use most, and a few reject a few. Heck, all of us know someone who still refuses to wear their seatbelts.

Let’s say there’s a driver who has been in multiple incidents where texting was an issue. Perhaps the courts would allow leniency to this individual if they were to install this device on their vehicle. Don’t forget, breathalyzers that will disable the starting system if an elevated alcohol content is detected ARE installed in some cases by court order to monitor and offer some freedom to people who must drive to earn a living. Extreme? You bet, but it IS a solution, at least for the moment. And let’s face it, how hard would it really be to get used to using both hands on the steering wheel if it meant lower insurance bills and in some cases keeping your driver’s license? This seems to be a rather small price to pay in the long run.

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I envision a locking battery-powered steering wheel cover that sends a remote signal to the lighting system of the car in use. The interior alarm would also be connected in the same fashion. There’s no way our technology can’t come up with a relatively inexpensive and easy to install  setup.

Those who own and run commercial fleets might want to maintain even more discipline from their drivers using this idea. Let’s face it, they already have the options of speed governing controls and GPS tracking.

I’m open-minded to other solutions but I haven’t heard anything past writing more laws. If you’ve got another idea I’d love to hear it.

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With Love and Compassion, Daniel Andrew Lockwood

Please feel free to visit my other blog dedicated to Recovery and Self-Help for beginners at http://www.danielandrewlockwood.com

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MOVING PAST OIL – POST #3

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Our world runs on oil. Almost everything that moves uses it at some level not to mention the millions of by-products it’s essential for. It’s a juggernaut for the moment, but time will inevitably slow this seemingly unstoppable force simply because the resource is unsustainable. We will eventually run out. In the meantime we continue to pollute our homes and the environment through constant overwhelming use. We look the other way because oil is readily available and everything we do and own depends on it.

Without transportation a vast number of us would be thrown into a primitive and threatening lifestyle. As we would inevitably step backwards from this convenience I’m sure crime rates would skyrocket, health problems would escalate, famine would sweep the planet, and so on. Oil is the first domino in the planet’s economy. Once pushed every other “domino” would fall. If we are to avert this coming crisis we must turn towards new (and less destructive) forms of energy. In my opinion the future belongs to hydrogen. As it stands now it costs more to capture and store the gas than it does to use it. In other words, more energy goes into creating it than utilizing it, at least for the moment.

I just MIGHT have an answer to this hurdle. It will take a lot of cooperation from a lot of parties, but in the long run it should provide an answer where once was only questions.

Producing hydrogen from water is a relatively simple process. No need to go into too many details here other than to say a water source and an electric current is necessary along with a way to capture and store it.

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I few years ago I did some work at NREL here in Golden, Colorado. For those who have not heard of this facility NREL stands for National Renewable Energy Laboratory. I was working on a simple project, it was nothing fancy and I’m sure I can’t say anything more about my duties. During my work I stopped one of the scientists and asked a few questions about my idea. This is what I pitched.

“Is it feasible to hook an electrically run hydrogen conversion and storage set-up to the grey water (sewage waste without solids) of a given structure so the gas can then be used in the vehicles associated with the same building? I don’t see why the necessary power for the mechanics can’t be provided by a combination solar/wind set-up on the roof. The vehicles would be designed to simply pull into a designated space and re-fueled automatically from below.” I had even drawn up some sketches to explain my point a bit easier. “In my opinion we should go to the current power companies and ask them to build and maintain the systems for a monthly fee so they would not have their assets threatened by another form of energy. I don’t think it should be free, that’s for sure, so why not urge those with both the capital and incentive to begin with to try this?”

He seemed genuinely intrigued by the idea. Hydrogen,  I was told, is quite caustic and storage can be tricky. The tanks need changing from time to time because of it. I suggested lining them with a strip of something that would deteriorate faster than what it’s constructed of. This could let the home or business owner know it’s time to swap out for a new one. We discussed a few more kinks and he went about his way. The one thing I have no idea about is just how much hydrogen must be pumped into a vehicle to make it worthwhile. I’m sure it can be compressed (not necessarily to a liquid form) so it can hold more than normal atmospheric conditions would, but I have no idea if it could go two hundred feet or two hundred miles. My guess is a range of at least one-hundred and fifty miles would be demanded by the consumer.

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I’m well aware where water (and wind or sunshine) is scarce this is a bad idea. What we use now is cleaned at our sewage treatment systems and eventually released back into the environment; usually a river. A drop in the outgoing volume might mean disaster for those downstream who rely on it. Perhaps we could pay for water to supply the fuel? In turn this money could be used to run desalination plants and cover the cost of replenishing what’s being used. There are no doubt many obstacles to overcome as well as an expected amount of opposition from naysayers, but I’m sure the essence of the idea is sound.

I’m also well aware the same idea can be used to power electric cars. Set up the wind/solar system to feed current power grids and then use the household A/C to “fuel” the car. I would even go so far as to suggest creating the same parking set-up where the owner simply pulls into a modified space and is automatically charged. My argument is the power and torque electrical vehicles currently deliver do not (yet) equal what an internal combustion engine can.

Even if this entire idea is illogical to those who have a higher understanding of mechanics, there is another part of the bigger picture that might make sense to people.

Please read on……..

This might be a bit of a pipe dream, but I feel the very best place on planet Earth to develop and cultivate new green technologies is……..Detroit. Just because the automotive industry is no longer the giant it once was doesn’t mean someone or something can’t step in and make use of the vast unused utility networks left behind from those who abandoned them. It sprang into existence because it’s a port city. easily connected to both the nation it sits in and the rest of the world. I see no reason to not at least entertain the idea. Surely there are silent factories and unused tracts of land just waiting for such an opportunity, and there’s little doubt the native population would cheer and embrace the revitalization of a once powerful metropolis. Just a thought.

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With Love and Compassion, Daniel Andrew Lockwood

THIS WORLD IS WORTH SAVING

Do you agree?

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If so, I want this and the rest of these posts to go viral. Where’s the harm in asking? PLEASE share, PLEASE care, PLEASE let others be aware. I WANT FEEDBACK, I will acknowledge anything said with sincerity and kindness. Let’s begin discussions that REALLY will bring about action.

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Contemplate this FACT for just a moment and you will see how little energy it takes to change things.

“Never-doubt-that-a-small-group-of-thoughtful-committed-citizens-can-change-the-world.-Indeed-it-is-the-only-thing-that-ever-has.”-Margaret-Mead

What a powerful truth this is, because once known, how difficult can it be to follow through? I intend to try, and I don’t even care if my name is attached to the final outcome. This journey we are on isn’t about fame, power, or wealth. It’s about “what if?” What if we stood as one and lived to help each other? What if we actually stopped fighting long enough to see our harmonious visions come to fruition? I intend to die supporting this philosophy.

Do you?

I do not see a world better off without people. We are miracles. We are the opposite of the entropic nature of the universe. We have the power of choosing unification over selfishness; each of us a part of the whole. We have the means to alter our destiny for the better. We can put aside petty differences fueled by false lines drawn in the earth.  We are not animals with pure instinct and we have the means to choose an evolved co-existence. We can come together for a better good. We can combine our resources, dreams, desires, and hopes to either step down into the abyss and be forgotten by time as Earth continues it’s voyage through the cosmos, or we can step up to the stratosphere and beyond in search of new meaning and resovle. I choose the latter.

How indeed do we find those causes that move us to our best destiny? What will fuel the next celebration be that unites us as a planet?

What I’ve attempted to lay out here are parameters for world changing incidents. Please feel free to ask me to alter the following in any way. This is a work in progress and therefore subject to addition or subtraction as you wish. I am completely open-minded; no ego in play what so ever.

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First Observation- What world events have changed the planet for the better?

  • The man who stood in front of the tanks in China’s Tiananmen Square
  • The crucifixion.
  • Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat.
  • Nelson Mandela’s incarceration and subsequent release that led to the end of apartheid
  • Gandhi’s hunger strikes protesting British rule over India.
  • Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad.
  • July 20th, 1969.
  • The fall of the Berlin wall.
  • The discovery of penicillin.
  • The world-wide web potentially allowing an equal voice to almost everyone.

This next entry is a post I put on my other blog that represents to me just what we can accomplish in such a short amount of time.

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TWENTY REASONS WHY I KNOW THE WORLD IS A MUCH BETTER PLACE THAN IT WAS ONLY 150 YEARS AGO….

  1. Indoor plumbing.
  2. Soap, bathing, deodorant, and a general acceptance toward a cleaner lifestyle.
  3. The 40 hour work week.
  4. We don’t gather in the town square and watch people get hung for lack of entertainment anymore.
  5. The accessibility to a highly educated and well informed life (past even the most scholarly of people) is literally lying in wait to be absorbed at libraries and the internet for FREE.
  6. Refrigeration. It has been suggested that this is the most important invention since the wheel. I agree.
  7. We as a world are recognizing more than ever the potential equality of every human.
  8. More people are working on more solutions for those who suffer than ever before.
  9. The ability for one voice to be heard around the world is easily within the grasp of those who seek it. All change throughout history has started this way, and now it can happen at the speed of light.
  10. Medical advancements have not only relieved hardship and misery from millions, the average life span has been extended so further progress in all areas of existence can be explored by those who survive.
  11. Radio, television, movies, and now the internet now brings to even the most remote regions of the world our capacity to express beauty, art, and our common threads in the form of music, imagery, and literature.
  12. The idea of freedom is the magnetic pull that seeks to unite all mankind. It expands daily and will not be stopped. Hope grows in the minds of those who never dared think it.
  13. Self-help, community support, and 12 step groups have given countless sufferers a path out of darkness that never previously existed.
  14. The electrifying of the planet has done more to bring comfort and convenience into our lives than almost anything else.
  15. The scientific community as a whole, from micro-technology to space travel, drives us to continued exploration of of our boundaries, both inside and out. These achievements perpetuate unity and purpose.
  16. We are finally recognizing we cannot continue exploiting our support system, a.k.a- the planet itself. “Saving the Earth” is NOT about whether or not it can overcome our abuse, it will. I’t’s about whether or not we will be on it when it eventually does. We are finally seeing we can only s**t  where we sleep so long.
  17. A largely unrecognized step in our recent evolution is the rise of humor. From visual media to literature, from stand-up comics to comic strips, we have embrace the desire to share and perpetuate laughter.
  18. Feats of engineering have improved almost everyone’s lives. Roads, buildings, heating and air conditioning, all forms of transportation, etc. are part of a better, more connected, world. The list is vast and continues to grow.
  19. Prejudice is waning and forgiveness is growing.The treatment of groups that were once trod upon for ethnic, political, spiritual, mental, and sexual issues reasons is slowly fading away. In return these groups are learning to release the hate they have expressed towards their oppressors and move on into lives of self-empowerment; dropping the need to blame or accuse current situations on past events.
  20. The beauty of our universe is being revealed in ways never before dreamed. The magnificence of this infinite painting that God has so eloquently created is beyond description. If united we can look upon this and realize just what a miracle it is even to do so, then perhaps we have a chance to grow beyond our differences and continue in peaceful coexistence.

Do I know there are circumstances in the world that need to be erased? Do I know the aforementioned conditions are not everywhere? Of course I do. The goal here is NOT to dwell on problems, but solutions. Please feel free to add to this list and make it grow. Focus on what is already good and getting better. This isn’t a wish list, it’s a recognition one. The dreams of today are the cradles of our children. May future generations have the hindsight to thank their ancestors better than we have.

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Second Observation -What are the Common Threads?

  • Public (NOT protests, rallies….big difference; don’t fight against someone else’s agenda, stand up for your own. I.E.- don’t fight against violence, stand up for peace. This approach is an absolute must.)
  • Always passionate, focused, and unifying in nature.
  • Anger, hostility, and bitterness towards others is not allowed.
  • Large sacrifices are usually involved either before or eventually that consist mostly of time, patience, money and sometimes even life itself.
  • There always seems to be an underlying element of spirituality (not religion.)
  • The cause is usually about freedom, unification, or exploration (equality, independence, human rights, expression, or just plain old curiosity.)
  • People are drawn to the cause; there is magnetism to the message (the turn of the century labor strikes, civil rights, the hippie movement, etc.)
  • It makes good media.
  • It makes the “bad” guys look foolish. The more “they” try and stop progress, the more they put their own necks in the noose.

Now we simply “reverse engineer” the specifications mentioned above to find further experiences that fits the boundaries set up by previous events.

As this blog progresses WE will try to come up with some examples of what might help mankind within the “rules” set up above. I do not want to do this alone, surely there are others who feel as I do. Please send in suggestions, Some posts will be funny in nature, some serious, some will be slight, some extremely powerful, but I guarantee all will be entertaining. The goal here is to generate one post per month and we will see how it goes from there.

My first entry past this introduction will address the possibility of creating thousands of jobs in the United States all without hardly spending a dime. Everyone I’ve pitched this idea to has demanded I go public with it. Perhaps it will find traction here if you are willing help.

Ideas mean nothing without action. Dreamers gather seeds while visionaries plant gardens and recruit workers to tend them. Am I asking a lot? Yes, you better believe it. Stepping up to save this beautiful planet is not something that’s going to be easy, but in the long run won’t it be nice to know that this is where it started?

Please follow this blog. Comment and share as you wish

With Love and Compassion, Daniel Andrew Lockwood