Sunday, July 29, 2007

Sunday Musette...

And you thought cyclists were bad!

The next time someone cites that bit of nonsense about 'all cyclists are law-breakers because none of them stop at red lights' just direct them to this nice little piece in today's Tulsa World. Is it too much to presume that the law applies equally to all of us, without excepting Lyndsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, or the Drummond family? Does someone have to die before our police and courts take one of these driving menaces off the road and give them a nice, comfy jail cell? I thought we did away with an aristocracy in the late unpleasantness of 1776-1781.

Honestly, if one of us unwashed proletarians committed a similar string of driving offenses, we'd have been put away long ago. This story really stinks.

Excerpts follow:

By ZIVA BRANSTETTER World Projects Editor

Four Drummonds received more than 40 citations in the last decade, records show.

When he gave the driver a warning for allegedly going more than 100 mph, Osage Nation Police Officer Tug Broughton thought the man would be relieved.

Instead, Broughton said, the older man driving a new GMC pickup cussed at him and said: "You must not know who I am."

Before the man drove away, he told Broughton, "You will see me again."

The man, Charles R. Drummond, is a member of a prominent Osage County ranching family. At one time, the Drummonds were listed among the country's top 100 landowners, with 100,000 acres, including the Drummond Land and Cattle Co.

True to his word, Charles Drummond did see Brough ton again, three months later, on July 8, 2007. Broughton said Drummond was driving 100 mph and passing cars in a no-passing zone with a child in the back seat.

...The tickets Broughton wrote to Drummond, 61, that day are among more than 40 speeding tickets that Drummond and three of his relatives have received in the state in the last decade, records show. At least 18 of those have been dismissed in their home county.

The tickets reviewed by the World were written to Charles R. Drummond; his sons, Tim Drummond, 40, and Ladd Drummond, 38; and his nephew, Thatcher Drummond, 34.

They could not be reached for comment.

The four members of the Drummond family have been clocked by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol driving 95, 97 and 112 mph, all speeds listed on tickets that have been dismissed by judges in the county.

Although the Drummonds paid a fine and court costs on all dismissed tickets, the tickets do not go against their driving records.

Nanotubes in the news....

Another article in today's TW. I think nanotubes are a fascinating development. Imagine a bicycle frame, for instance, made of nanotubes but also operating as a computer. Long ago, someone (Arthur C. Clarke?) predicted that computer circuitry would be grown from molecules rather than etched with lasers. It's looking more and more probable every day. Light, strong, and conductive - what's not to love?

By MICHAEL OVERALL World Staff Writer

Ground is broken in Norman for a $3.9 million factory to make nanotubes.

NORMAN -- The mayor admitted that she has only a vague idea of what a nanotube is.

"But I know enough," Cindy Rosenthal declared last week, "to know that this is a very big deal for Norman and for the entire state of Oklahoma."

...With the potential to change everything from cell phones to cancer treatments, nanotubes are such a big deal precisely because they are so very small.

Made out of carefully aligned carbon molecules, a bundle of 50,000 nanotubes would be the size of the period at the end of this sentence. Yet, they are stronger than steel.

Lighter than plastic, they conduct electricity better than metal. And scientists envision seemingly endless possibilities: a television screen that folds up like a newspaper, or a newspaper that reprints itself
every morning....SWeNT's new factory will make 1,000 grams per day.

At that pace, commercial applications will become possible for the first time, Arthur said. The earliest products will include touch-sensitive displays on cell-phones and other devices, while the aviation industry will use SWeNT nanotubes to make carbon-fiber composites.

By this time next year, Arthur expects the new factory to be selling $250,000 worth of nanotubes every week. And with 18 employees now, SWeNT will double its work force within a couple of years.

And finally...

Number One Son and I spent some time working on his elderly Toyota this afternoon. We inflated the tires and went to the auto parts store for a new battery. I installed it and showed him how to see that it was installed properly. For some reason, the old battery had its terminals reversed. I almost connected the new one backward, which would have led to interesting problems with the rest of the electrical system. But I double-checked before connecting any cables and showed him how the negative cable bonded to the car body. That's ALWAYS a good thing to check!

We got the car started. It wheezed and and blew out a big cloud of oil smoke. I drove it carefully to our local elementary school before letting Jordan behind the wheel. The brakes are spongy, so we'll have to check the brake pads and maybe add some fluid. It misses now and them so it may need new ignition wires. And there's a noise coming from the back end that could be a bearing, the differential, or simply a bad tire. We're hoping it's just the tire.

The interesting part will be next weekend when he gets to change the oil and filter! I'm not doing that - he is. I'll sit on the sidelines and take pictures! I'm soooo mean.


Blogger Fritz said...

That bit about the Drummonds is outrageous, though not entirely surprising. I wonder if anything will happen as a result of the newspaper article. I suspect most OK residents are too apathetic to care.

12:10 AM  

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