You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2009.

A study out of Western Washington University is the latest in a long list of experiments that demonstrate just how distracted the human mind can be when focusing on a mental task like talking on a cellphone. In psychology, this phenomenon is called “inattentional blindness” and it’s the reason that cellphone usage should be banned for drivers altogether – both hand-held and hands-free. It’s not only the physical dialing or texting on a phone that distracts drivers and causes accidents but the conversations themselves. When the mind is busy focusing on something, even the most obvious things can escape our attention.

Not convinced? See if you can count the number of basketball passes the team in white makes when there is another team in black shirts running around them distracting you in this awareness test (video) from the UK.

Although Ontario’s new law banning hand-held devices is a good start, it’s simply not enough if we want to prevent distraction-caused accidents. Besides concerns about the actual impact of bans and their enforcement, I think what truly needs to happen is a movement that makes people aware of the consequences of driving while distracted and makes it socially unacceptable, much like the anti-drunk driving movement has accomplished in the past two decades. Maybe a TV spot showing a mom driving her children to an activity, the kids buckled snuggly in the backseat while mom is having an animated conversation on her cellphone. The camera angle switches to an upcoming street light, which turns quickly from yellow to red. Mom doesn’t notice and continues into the intersection, where the SUV is broadsided by a fast-moving transport truck. Squealing tires, crunching metal, shattering glass, and then the commercial fades to black while a car horn blows continuously. “Driving while distracted kills” in big bold letters. That kind of thing.

Don’t ever send an email to the mayor!

You know, I can’t say I have a final opinion one way or another about the Lansdowne Live proposal; I haven’t done the in-depth research required to hold an educated opinion. I’m hesitant because it’s a lot of money and it appears that only one company/group was able to submit a proposal. On the other hand, I think Ottawa needs to stop cancelling projects and concentrate on developing an all-encompassing vision of its future. What will make this city better? What will make people want to live here? What will make residents at their wits’ end want to stay?

Until city council has developed such a vision, I think they’ll just be chasing their tails until election time.

Scientists confirmed today what most have already expected…that the scientific community spends far too much time confirming things we already know instead of discovering things we don’t know yet and/or want to know. Did you know that girls cry more than boys? http://www.ottawacitizen.com/Women+more+than+longer+Researchers/2100091/story.html

Hmm…who would have thought a gun-crazed attitude would lead to a violent end? http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/10/08/gun.soccer.mom.dead/index.html

I only feel sorry for the poor children who are left to pick up the pieces. Hopefully they’ll learn the lesson that guns are bad.

Well, I’ve been at it for more than a year! Not writing as often as I would like, mind you, but it’s always nice to leave some room for improvement, right?

Joe and I are in the process of starting a master to-do list for the house – we’ve decided it will be much easier to organize and far less overwhelming to get everything down on paper and start assigning some deadlines to the top priorities. Otherwise, the winter will pass just as quickly as the summer did and we’ll still sitting around saying “gee, we should really…”.

Maybe I’ll post a few things just for fun so everyone can see if we’re really accomplishing what we’ve set out to do. Nothing like making yourself accountable to your plans to ensure you get things done!

Why I’m here

My name is Sonya. I live with my husband and our cat in the suburbs of Ottawa. I started this journal to document my thoughts and experiences and share them with friends, family and anyone else who happens to pass this way. My hope is that it will help to keep me focused on the simple things I value most in life and, above all, keep me writing.

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