Kerning! Do you speak it?

I followed a white Impala for quite a distance on my way to a mall this afternoon. I was entirely distracted by it. See for yourself:

IMG_0749.jpg: iPhone5s, back camera @ 4.15mm, 1/800, f/2.2, 32 ISO

IMG_0749.jpg: iPhone5s, back camera @ 4.15mm, 1/800, f/2.2, 32 ISO

Every letter of the LTZ designation is crooked, and the ‘L’ and ‘T’ pair suffers from wretched kerning! Whoever attached those letters clearly did so by hand and has no idea what kerning even means. What a mess.

Odometer ‘error’

The other day I had some errands to run. This is not unusual. It got weird when I sat in the car, inserted the key, and reached for my seatbelt. My eyes slid over the instrument cluster and I saw a row of vertical LED lines lit up. Uh oh, I thought. Maybe the ECU crashed. Or the electronics handling the display malfunctioned. Would the car start? How much was this going to cost me!? You know how quickly thoughts can run through your mind. By the time I finished fastening my seatbelt and looked back at the display, it was clear what those vertical lines were trying to tell me.

Oops. It was informing me of the distance I have used it to travel, just like it’s supposed to.

Happily there’s no surprise automobile repair bill in my immediate future. I’ll take the good news where I can find it.

That word ‘ever’

I was watching The National last night and one of the stories was about air safety. With the July 24 crash of Air Algerie Flight AH5017, the July 17 crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, and the March 8 disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, it’s been a bad year for air safety. The story really got my attention when the reporter, Peter Armstrong, said that 2013 had the lowest number of air passenger fatalities ever. Ever! 

Even if you ignore all the years before commercial air travel, what about the early years of passenger service in which the number of fliers were so few as compared to today? He specified no start date, so were there fewer fatalities last year than in 1919 when Aircraft Transport and Travel started flying military biplanes modified to carry two passengers each between London and Paris?

It could be that last year was the safest year on record in terms of the number of fatal commercial airline crashes per people/miles flown. Wikipedia claims that the worst year by that reckoning was 1929. During that year there were 51 fatal commercial airline crashes killing a total of 61 people. Figuring in the distance, it works out to one fatal crash for every 1,000,000 miles flown. With today’s volume of air travel, an equivalent rate would mean 7,000 crashes annually! And do note that the 61 fatalities from 1929 is fewer than the 210 fatalities from 2013.

Maybe this is what Armstrong meant, but it is certainly not what he said. Come on CBC, you’re better than this.

I sent a query to the show about this. If I hear back, so will you.