Saturday, July 30, 2011

Newton's Law

Newton's first law of motion is very soothing I find :-

"A body will continue in its present state of rest or, if it is in motion, will continue to move with uniform speed in a straight line unless it is acted upon by a force."

I was working from home Friday morning and decided to take a bit of a bike ride in my lunchhour to clear my head. I was proceeding down the main street of a local village, very much at a uniform speed in a straight line, when an external force, in the shape of a BMW, came out of a sidestreet and acted upon me.  

The physics became quite complicated after that. The car hit my back wheel, I skidded 180 degrees and ended up facing the way I had come, on my back with my right foot trapped under the bike.

24 hours later - this is what we have (yes, I am using one of my crutches to hit the button that takes pictures on my webcam) :-

No broken bones, just a bunch of what are coyly described as "soft tissue injuries". Could have been much worse - I'll just be hobbling around on crutches for a day or two.

Now, as a Magistrate I know very well that "emerging from a side road into the path of another vehicle" is a specific example of "driving without due care and attention" and he could be in line for a fine plus 3 to 9 points or a possible discretionary disqualification. As it happens I don't have any inclination to bring the law into this. Once I've given the bike a lookover I might send him a bill for any damage to that, but otherwise I just want to move on.

Sometimes stuff happens and the criminal law really doesn't help. Too early to tell how this might affect my thinking next time I get a careless driving case in court.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Woman Killed With Kindness @ National Theatre

I've always loved the bit in the computer game "The Sims" where you've finished tinkering with the zillions of different settings that actually probably don't make any difference to the health or happiness of your virtual family, and you hit the button to fast-forward them through their day - stopping when they start yelling at you in Simmish so you can sort out their problems or (more often) so you can look on helplessly while tragedy unfolds.

That's pretty much what they've done with the play "A Woman Killed With Kindness", currently on preview at the National Theatre. The stage is split in two - and two barely connected plays take place in each half. Sometimes one side will fast-forward : the actors moving slow or not at all while servants whizz around moving stuff. Sometimes they both fast-forward. And then eventually everyone is on the same side and doing the equivalent of yelling at The Player in Simmish.

The actual plays are guff of the worst order - leaden iambic nonsense - but the acting was of a high quality and the staging was tremendous, which just about made it worthwhile for me. If only that team and that cast had picked a play with some substance. Grr!

Or as they say in Simmish (while shaking their fists) : "No pala!!! Ooh kay kay keelah!!!"