Bright Stove

Reflecting information risk journey

Archive for December 2005

Traffic jam opportunity

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In Manila this week, and have to travel between two cities every day, passing through and tagging along lines of heavy traffics. The higher than average humility, and the frequent brusts of honks and engine yawns and yells make one feels trapped and uncomfortable. Many drivers become frustrated and easily annoyed. Less developed they may be, no middle finger was shown by anyone when they were overtaken, and even cut off from their occasional short span of unhindered rides by other rude drivers. The Filippinos road users also have their own unique way of leveraging the situation. Small carts of peanuts (which are kept warm by a mobile stove to give the best taste and smell), as well as other tip-bits, and bottled water are peddled by the street hawkers in the middle of the traffic, running in opposite direction against them, for the hungry, thirsty, and those drivers and passenger who just want something to bite. This, in a small way, helps to losen the tension of the condition while everyone moves forward with the slow traffics. While the economists talk about the negative impact of traffic conditions to the country’s economy, in an indirect way, such condition also gives opportunities for those who could not find a living otherwise. Or at least, people are adapting and leveraging, not just complaining, making a positive difference.
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Written by mengchow

December 22, 2005 at 1:36 am

Posted in Risk Management

Warning signs and vandalism

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NZ-20051211 012Road crimes in the Kiwi land seems to be a major concern (perhaps at least to the authority.) As in many other places, trust in people is also a diminishing thing. From the store fronts in the city, to car parks in national parks and various sight seeing places, to honey stall along the country motorways, there were a variety of warning signs helping to keep us all out of troubles. The irony, or may be the motivation of all this, vandalism, remain unattended in national parks (see photo below), now becoming a human addition to the scenic view of the country.
Whether there’s a lack of actions, or responsive counter-actions, is uncertain as a passer by observing. In any case, mere warning and messaging will certainly add to the burdens of the already disciplined ones, not changing the behaviors of the perpetrators.
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Written by mengchow

December 15, 2005 at 5:54 am

Posted in Awareness

Action speaks louder

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NZ-20051204 003The Kiwi land that I just came back from is indeed beautiful and very scenic, with clear blue skylines that look like the artworks of those fine watercolor paintings, and natural greens of a variety of shades padded over the surfaces of mountains and hills across country. But driving along the motorways of this country did not give me a similar feel of calm and easiness. Of course, driving is not a calming exercise, and not necessarily easy as well, especially given the mountain roads that are full of turn and twist, ups and downs. Such stress in driving however can get relieved quickly by the beautiful country sights around, but not until you encounter some kind of drivers on the road.
In several occasions, we were either too slow on our way, did not filter out fast enough, or simply overtaken someone whom do not like to be overtaken, we were immediately met with the driver showing his middle finger on the way pass. Such gesture immediately destroyed the beauty of the country sights, not just inducing a surge of distress. I shaked my head and drove on.
Ironically, I have not experienced such behaviors from people on the road in the many travels that I have made in the less developed countries like India, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

Written by mengchow

December 14, 2005 at 2:02 am

Posted in Risk Management

Safety signs along New Zealand roads – a learning for security messages

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Just returned from a 10 days family vacation from the Kiwi land – the New Zealand. This is my first trip to the place, and the general impression is positive, although I did encounter a few unpleasant experiences. I will leave them for another blog entry if time permits later. One of the observations made during this trip around the Northern island is the interesting safety signage along the motorways that are not found on the roads in most other places, in particular, in Asia. Along one of the motorways (from Rotorua to Taupo), there is a series of signage with messages like, “I’m tired now“, “I need a rest” followed by an informational reporting a statistical measure of the number (or percentage) of accidents caused by sleepy drivers to alert ongoing drivers that they may be experiencing such symptoms, and subtlety hint to them that they should perhaps take a rest and not continue driving if they feel the same.
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On the road from Rotorua (or rather, Matamata) to Auckland, the signs changed to playing with the abbreviation – JAFA – from “Just another fatal accident“, to “Just another foolish accident“, then followed by a final signage – “Do you know that more than 35% of accidents on the road are caused by POOR OBSERVATION?” Again, another subtle but different message to highlight the needs for caution and drive safely. Unfortunately, while I carried two digital cameras and a DVD camcorder for the trip, I didn’t get a chance to capture any photos of those signage to get a closer look of the messages 😦 Nevertheless, I did manage to capture two quite similar images of these safety signs when returning from Paihia to Auckland. See the two images embedded in this blog. One on the need for the eyes to stay focused, and the other on the number of fatal crashes.
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The variation of safety messages fit the notion of anti-habituation. Not sure if this was done in purpose, or by accident (pun not intended). I guess it is more the latter, as the signs appeared to be posted by different authorities from the Kiwi land. In any case, they do catch the attentions of both my brother-in-law (the main driver of our trip) and I when we drove along the motorways and highways in New Zealand this summer (over there.) This is perhaps one of the form of awareness messages that are also needed for online users along the Internet highway, to remind them of the security and safety measures while using the Net, in a variety of interesting forms, not just sticking to the same set of F.U.D. messages.
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Written by mengchow

December 13, 2005 at 6:05 am

Posted in Awareness

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