This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.
The speed limit was 65 miles per hour.
I was doing 65.
Then I hit 66.
Got stopped by police.
A speed increase that makes no practical difference cost me $150.
399 ppm, 400 ppm what's the diff?
This is an area of highly complex philosophical arguments.
I had thought that the question of what does "Six Items or less" mean at a supermarket checkout was complex enough since the actual number "6" seems to have little actual relevance to the true number of items processed and is deepened when the checkout is at the cigarette counter where items such as newspapers, cigarettes and snack foods from the adjacent counter are included, not forgetting lottery tickets and scratch cards.
Speeding is just such a challenging arena of interaction with the forces of the state.
e.g. A man is driving along at 80mph, a speed which does not vary in any way, and travels for a distance which takes him through four different speed cameras. He receives four different speeding tickets. He challenges this as he committed only the one, prolonged, speeding offence. The state denied his claim (Jim Davidson). This means that if you are seen committing a single murder of one person but caught by four different CCTV cameras, you could be faced with four life sentences.
Another driver is travelling at an average speed which is below the posted limit. He briefly exceeds the limit and is charged.
He is guilty. (but curiously enough, when travelling through roadworks on the M25 with a speed limit of 40mph, there may be a sign showing "Average Speed Checks" implying that the law is prepared to consider average speed. Ah, but if the average speed is below the limit then the law will prosecute based on a single brief excursion. If the average speed is above the limit the law this time will take into account speed averages.
But, a prosecution for 66ph in a 65mph limit is a perfectly fitting example for our discussions of 0.7 as number of the month for April.
I have noted that my satnav speed and my speedometer speed differ. The speedometers speed is determined from the ratio of the various mechanical bits and pieces that relate the indicator to the road wheels. In my car there seems to be a bias such that the indicated speed is marginally higher than the actual speed even though I routinely have my tyres at full pressure.
The Sat nav calculates speed from the time taken to travel a given distance as measured by the satellite data.
(The police know that vehicle speed indicators in cars are unreliable. There was and possibly still is a section of straight road near Reading which is rumoured to be used by police cars to perform speed checks of their own cars.)
Next we should consider the "legal bubble".
Traffic cars on the motorway will be seen to be travelling at 65mph. That is, once you have progressed far enough through the many miles of rolling traffic jam to reach the front and find the police car.
Driver response is to speed up to a legal 68-70mph when they are able and then to overtake the police car. Once a few cars ahead of the police car they then resume 80-90mph cruising.
This thus gives credence to the old adage that at the head of every traffic jam there is a policeman. (From the early days of motoring when some policeman with striped armbands would be stood in the middle of the road at a junction or whatever and "directing" traffic; lots of pedestrians with red flags each followed by a single car.)
I can't think which dummy in Westminster it was, there are so many to choose amongst, but one bright idea, no doubt sponsored by yet another of the vile activist groups (the Road Safety group this time I suspect) wanted to introduce a sliding scale of charges based on the number of MPH above the limit and basically starting with 1 or 2mph excess, within the limits of error, it seems to me.
Instead they have now come up with that wondrous money making scam, the "Speed Awareness Course". This is reserved for those motorists whose speed appears to exceed the limits by only a marginal amount. AN amount they might want to challenge if prosecuted. However, though more expensive than the speeding fine, the extortion factor is the promise that the impact on insurance premiums would be financially crippling if the motorist elects for the £70 fine and the points rather than pay the £84 speed awareness course fee.
This is supposedly a one off offer an no returns within 3 years. However, since both my wife and I have been invited to these exclusive events, she reports that on her course she met several recidivists who couldn't wait 3 years to be invited back again.
I have met people in California that make very good livings off of giving these courses.
If they are just a little bit edgy, they can make their living even cushier. It is mostly just a signature.
Soon their will be an online version of the course.
I saw another example like that of an environmental journalist bringing some strange religious material into an article a couple of months ago. This one was the final article written by Michael McCarthy after fifteen years as environment editor of the Independent newspaper, available on this link:
In three paragraphs towards the end he comes out with the religious stuff, the gist of it being that Man is fallen but was redeemed by Christ, and the environmentalists are the new redeemers of mankind.
The title of the McCarthy article "Man is fallen and will destroy the Earth – but at least we greens made him wait" pretty much sums up the philosophy of the Green movement- it is basically all about delaying anything they don't like, of which the most recent example in the UK would be Ed Davey's antics in creating a two year delay in the exploitation of UK shale gas.
On the subject of Prince Andrew being made an FRS to the disgruntlement of many in the Royal Society (which relates to the "Have I got news for you" clip where he was elected by a Soviet-style ballot in which nearly everybody abstained), I think the RS fellows have to put up with that as being part of what goes along with the title of the organisation. If they don't like the idea of Royals being made members, they should take the bold step of changing the name of their society even if that means losing the historic 'brand name'.