A huge problem in the world today is road accidents that happen under the influence of alcohol. A small amount of alcohol is usually allowed when driving a vehicle, but many are calling for this to be stopped so that we can keep roads as safe as possible. Even a small amount of alcohol can reduce reaction times and make a driver more reckless with their decisions. The Canadian federal government wants to lower the legal alcohol limit a person is allowed before driving a vehicle, and this will be a welcome change for those who have lost family and friends in drink driving accidents.
The Saskatchewan government changed drinking and driving laws back in January. They have a zero tolerance policy for those under the age of 21, and if you’re caught drinking with a blood alcohol level between .04 and .08, you could have your vehicle suspended for 3 days.
The Canadian federal government are hoping to go one step further, however, by changing the legal limit from .08 to .05. This change will hopefully make the law easier to enforce, as well as more coherent and efficient. South Africa has one of the highest vehicle accident rates in the world, with 15,000 fatalities every year. They experience more drink driving deaths there than anywhere in the world.
It is already illegal for anybody under the age of 21 to drink alcohol in the states, but the limit is currently .08. Should the US follow suit and lower the limit? For each drink, thinking distance can increase by 20%. This is the distance it takes you to make a decision. For example, a car pulling out in front of you, or an animal running out into the road. Alcohol can greatly slow down your reaction times, even in small quantities. There are also huge penalties that can be handed out when found guilty of a DUI. A criminal defense attorney may be able to reduce those penalties, but you may still be responsible for injuring others and putting them at risk.
An Example Of Punishments For DUI in the USA
- Blood Alcohol 0.5 but under 0.10 – 1-9 month disqualification, $1,706 max fine.
- Blood Alcohol 0.10 and over but under 0.15 – 3-12 month disqualification, $2,438 max fine.
- Blood Alcohol 0.15 and over – minimum of 6 month disqualification, $3,413 max fine.
Alcohol And You
Many things can affect the way alcohol affects you. The same drink can affect two different people in different ways. It will depend on:
- Your metabolism
- Your gender
- Your height and weight
- How much you’ve had to eat
- And more
Refusing to drive at all when going out drinking is always going to be the safest idea. It will save you from embarrassment, a fine/disqualification, and maybe even save lives. Appointing a designated driver is a tried and tested method, but changing the law in the USA as well as globally could be the only way to reduce DUI fatalities in the long-run.
Are Robots Really Living Among Us?
It’s been the staple of science fiction for decades. The notion that there will one day be robots living among us. Robots that are able to perfectly mimic human behavior but who are superiors in every way. Their strength supersedes ours, their intelligence makes our brightest minds seem infantile by comparison and they walk among us with their own agenda. Heck, in many iterations they’ve looked at our long and disastrous track record on this planet and decided that the world’s really much better off without us. But while they may permeate our popular culture, from The Terminator to Blade Runner to Avengers: Age of Ultron, real life robots have been too primitive to warrant the philosophical and moral quandaries that the world of fiction has written for them… Until now.
As of October this year, the world has just one robot who has been granted citizenship rights and that is the robot Sophia who was recently granted citizenship of Saudi Arabia. She is the first robot in the world to have achieved this status… But will she be the last? Sophia, while she represents a landmark in robotics and artificial intelligence, she is not the kind of autonomous artificial organism one might expect having watched Ex Machina. That said, she has demonstrated that she has an understanding of human social behaviours such as gestures and facial expressions and their meaning. Her open-source, cloud based AI is capable of learning and she has already demonstrated a sense of humor, an understanding of human speech patterns and the ability to be upset or offended. Her AI has been built around our most valuable and virtuous characteristics like compassion and kindness. She, like Ex Machina’s Ava (played by Alicia Vikander) has been modelled to be aesthetically beautiful and approachable and it’s telling that her appearance was crafted by former Disney Imagineer David Hanson. There’s clearly an effort at work to upend the uncanny valley with Sophia’s presence which raises some interesting questions about humanity’s prospective relationship with robots.
Robots and Transhumanism
Robots raise some interesting questions in the realm of transhumanism (the science and philosophy of using science to refine and redefine the parameters of what it is to be human). Transhumanism is unclear to most people with many misconceptions, but it has some clear views on the roles of robots in human evolution. Aside from the use of robotics for prosthesis and human enhancement, robotics may help humanity to advance itself by doing a lot of the “heavy lifting” in industry, agriculture and the various other ways in which humanity has traditionally sustained itself.
Our relationship with robots
While time will tell when it comes to specifics, there can be no denying that robots will be instrumental to human survival in an increasingly post-scarcity economy. Indeed, the rise of automation in a wealth of industries is hardly the stuff of science fiction. Sophia herself represents a specific example of Saudi Arabia’s attempt to move towards a post-oil economy as the nation (and the world) grows increasingly cognizant of the urgency with which our natural resources are depleting. There are many ways in which robots could change the world’s economies, making the prospect of Universal Basic Income more appealing to even the most fervent capitalists. As robots become more sophisticated and autonomous will we one day see a world like that of Wall E where robots do all our work for us leaving us with nothing to do but consume?
Only time will tell.
What’s Involved in the Aftermath of a Crime Scene?
We have almost all seen TV shows like CSI where the scene of a crime is examined to reveal clues as to who the perpetrator was, and while this is certainly a very interesting aspect of investigative work, it doesn’t really show us the whole story when it comes to what happens at a crime scene.
Crime Scene Clean-Up
When a crime that involves bodily damage has been committed, for instance an assault or murder, it can leave behind hazardous materials like blood and other bodily fluids which need to be appropriately cleaned up. This is also the case when someone has committed suicide, or when someone has died of natural causes at home in an unsupervised situation.
In these cases, the requirement to clean up after the event is handled in a similar way to when foul play is suspected, however, as the cleaning process does not begin until after the coroner or police ‘release’ the crime scene, meaning they have completed their own processes in terms of gathering and taking evidence.
Why Is This a Specialist Cleaning Job?
One might think that cleaning up things like blood after a crime would be no different to cleaning up bodily fluids in other situations, and be something that a non-specialist cleaner or the owner of the location could do. However, it is protocol to assume that crime scene biological waste may be infectious, and needs to be cleaned up and disposed of as a biohazard. There are companies who specialize in doing this, and depending on the state, they may need to be licensed by the Department of Health or be registered to transport hazardous waste with the Department of Transport.
The Cost of Crime Scene Clean-Up
Cleaning a crime scene and disposing of waste is a job done by private companies rather than the police, and while these companies do sometimes work in collaboration with government agencies (for instance when engaged to clean up materials at scenes of death where a potential Ebola outbreak was a concern). Professional crime scene cleaners are not government employees. This means that if you are the owner of a premises where crime scene clean-up is required, this is a service you need to pay for. Crime scene cleanup pricing does take into account the specialist nature of the job and the unpleasant scenes the workers may have to face, but is also designed to be as affordable as possible and may also be covered by insurance depending on the situation.
The All Clear
Crime scene clean up professionals are fast and efficient, and so if you ever find yourself in the situation of needing to use them, you shouldn’t need to stay off site for too long. However, it is vital that you and any other people outside of the cleaning team are kept away from the location until cleaning is officially completed and you have the all clear.
Crime scene clean up may not feature as often in TV dramas or movies as the evidence gathering phase of the aftermath of a crime, but it is still a very important part of the work!
If Milennials Can’t Afford To Buy Homes, How Will The Next Generation Cope?
Fewer young people are buying real estate than ever before – and it’s no mystery as to why. The average home in 1997 cost 3.6 times the average salary. Last year, a study found that the average home is now worth 7.6 times the average salary. The property boom has long since slowed down, but rather than plateauing as many expected, property prices seem to still be steadily increasing. If young people are struggling to get a foothold on the property ladder now, how will the next generation stand a chance?
Here are some solutions that are already being discussed now. Are they enough?
Those lucky will be able to inherit
Older generations are still buying property at a steady rate and fewer are downsizing. These properties then end up being inherited by the next generation who can choose to live in them (some may be mortgage-free) or sell them and buy their own property.
Of course, this doesn’t work in the long-term as it could mean owning a property becomes a privilege for the wealthy only. Inheritance tax could lead to each generation having to downsize. Besides who will be buying all the property for the remainder of people to rent?
Property investors will have to evolve
Fewer people will be able to become landlords as owning multiple properties becomes harder to do. Only rich investors and large property rental companies will be able to cope. Already, rental companies are struggling to buy housing for tenants. Some are finding creative solutions – the likes of California company Invitation Homes have found that by merging with another rental company they can share and lower running costs. This could result in a future of rental corporations the size of supermarket chains battling each other. Will this save the property market? Would a population of renters be a good thing?
Cheaper homes will have to be built
In many places, it’s a shortage of property that’s leading to such high prices. Without enough competition, property sellers can get away with charging more than the value of their home. Governments around the world are trying to build more housing, although in most cases it’s not enough or not the right kind of housing. People have to want to live in these homes after all – there have been too many cases of luxury apartments or cheap housing sitting empty because it was built in an inappropriate neighbourhood. Property planning companies like Ethical Property are behind this. Will less ethical property planners see the light, or will they continue to build properties for short-term gain?
Will there be a property price crash?
A property price crash could be around the corner, which could make properties cheap enough again for average people to get into property. However, this might not be a positive outcome for everyone. As the Dublin property crash showed, few young people were actually able to buy properties afterwards. Banks and mortgage lenders were destroyed by the crash and less willing to give out loans, whilst many property owners clung onto their properties – why sell if you’re then only able to buy a smaller home?
Business12 months ago
Protect Yourself From An Economic Crash Taking These Steps
Business7 months ago
5 Points to Consider Before Starting a Website
China2 months ago
A Lovers’ Quarrel: What Now for India and China?
Economy10 months ago
Denmark goes cashless: it’s not about money, it’s all about freedom of choice
Opinion2 months ago
Changing The Rules of the Game: What to Expect When Social Media Dictates the News
India4 months ago
Struggling over Water Resources: The case of India and Pakistan
Culture and Lifestyle8 months ago
Escaping Your Addiction For Something Safer
Culture and Lifestyle11 months ago
Why Selective Veganism Might Just Be The Diet Of The Future