Ooh, road safety campaign makes a move

Why the devil the Royal Gazette have made wholesale site changes, and simultaneously breaking every previous link to their website for every page on the Web, I don't know. Not even a redirect or anything like that. Before their sports editor boasts and brags about their alleged superior CWC coverage coming up (I suppose they got an in to hottfm as well), they ought to work on relaunching their site properly without making myself, the IMHO.bm webmaster, the politics.bm webmaster and others throw their hands up in frustration.

Anyway it was reported that something may actually be in the works regarding dangerous driving practices, namely cell phone usage. Anyway, with no law in the books and none really looming, I only yawn and just prepare to hear about the next road traffic fatality. Did you know we're at FOUR and February isn't over yet?

Meanwhile some police officer was on the TV news talking about how there really was a police presence and they were booking people for traffic offences. Again, I'll believe it when I see a cop somewhere besides the Esso Tigermart or double-parked outside KFC. The crux anyway, was that they're asking motorists to take responsibility on the roads. And seriously, you can't do that and then hope that things miraculously get better. How reactive are the powers-that-be behaving?


PLP Supporters on the Web

People used to complain on the Limey in Bermuda blog that the views expressed on his site tended to lean towards the UBP political party and not towards the PLP. Limey, as is his right, stood by his guns as the articles he posts are his own, and I think he's right. Other pre-eminent bloggers, particularly the owners of politics.bm and imho.bm, have also been defined similarly. The fact of the matter is that these are private individuals with their own views and if they lean one way or another, that's up to them. As it is for myself, and please don't ask for my political views, because there's no way to pigeon-hole me in any kind of party based on my beliefs, heh.

Anyway, the youth wing of the PLP, known as Progressive Minds, have launched their online blog with forum to follow, and kudos to that organisation. I think people are realising that the Internet is a great way to express opinions and reach members of the community and it's great to have their web presence. I'm setting up their articles to be accessed from the Beachlime home page, but you faithful readers can easily head straight there to see what they're saying.

Keep on erecting those office buildings

Yet another giant office building has been approved for the city. Whoo-hoo.

Meanwhile, where are the people who're going to fill all these office buildings going to live, park and eat? The rate of housing bring provided for these people is laughable. The Bulls' head car park will be adding a story, but there's no change in the streets themselves so the overall traffic in and out of the city, guess what? Gonna increase. As for eating out, heck. Tuscany's closed, MR Onions has to find a new home (yep, for another office block's going to take over), Pickled Onion is renovating, Flanagan's will renovate, Portofino's may renovate.

And dear lord, I forgot to mention the closure of retailers such as Trimingham's and Smith's. Not easy for local retailers to thrive here because of high prices.

But a boon to those who are trying to make the city look like the urban meccas of New York City. Well I suppose I ought to be grateful that Bermudians will profit from all of this... wait a second, it's only the already-wealthy Bermudians. Never mind.


Oba and Marion?

Wow. Just heard that Barbados's Olympic hero, and a guy known to many Bermudians, Obadele Thompson, is getting married to no other than former world champion and Olympic gold medallist Marion Jones.

For the record, I hope that's my first and only foray into celebrity gossip. Because seriously, shut up Britney. And shut up, CNN and everyone else making noise over Anna TigOle Smith.


Michael Holding's lost respect

Cricketing legend Michael Holding was invited by the Bermuda Cricket Board to speak at a banquet the other night as we prepared to send our cricket team to the Caribbean for the Cricket World Cup.

He gave us a pretty bizarre speech, as reported in the Gleaner. He slammed us and the other qualifying countries, posed his belief that our participation would lower the entertainment value for fans, said that we'd be humiliated utterly and in the end cricket loses out.

Damn, my opinion of him as an analyst just fell apart.

The FIFA World Cup expanded in similar fashion a few years ago. Partly because of this, Holding's native Jamaica qualified for this tournament for the first time ever. And opponents of expansion used much of the same arguments that Holding's using now. Minnows getting slaughtered, etc.

By his argument of only having the top teams make the World Cup, he forgets that Sri Lanka used to be an Associate member as well. They eventually became World Cup champions and are currently one of the highest-ranked sides in the tournament.

He throws out this gem as well: "I see nothing wrong with giving the smaller teams the odd tour and a few games against the bigger teams from time to time", as some kind of bone that we minnows should lap up.

With teams playing Test cricket year-round now, what Test nation is going to be interested in touring or inviting to tour, one of the Associates for some limited-overs or four-day matches? They'd say it'd be a waste of time and money for the Test nations. I cannot see the West Indies for example, touring Bermuda for a one-day series. There is no way that Bermuda would have the opportunity to play a leading nation apart from the World Cup.

I wonder if Holding is now subscribed to the same fears of losing a bigger chunk of the ICC pie that many of the established nations hold, and if things were different and it was the USA, China and Japan (and the possibilities of much more revenue gathering) competing, would his stance hold the same.

ETA: There's the beginning of some debate on the Caribbean Cricket Forum as well.


Clearly politicians don't take the bus to work

In the 2007 Budget, Government's increasing the frequency of operation of buses on the majour routes (7/8 to Somerset, 10/11 to St. George's) to 15-minute intervals. This is going to have zero effect on the needs of the travelling population.

People need to have more frequent bus service during certain periods, i.e. rush hour. 15-minute intervals between 10pm and midnight is not going to "minimise the incidence of drunk-driving". Maybe if they had half-hourly service between 10pm and 2am. As for the rush-hour scenario, why not have buses every 10 minutes between 8 and 9am and 5 and 6:30pm on the major routes?

Finally, there's nothing said on the "lesser routes". The 2, 3, 4, and 9 routes don't seem to be addressed and they travel along populated circuits, however service ends at 6:15pm on weekdays (earlier on weekends). Where's the attention there? I don't live on those routes but I can easily tell that the change in the route service has no effect whatsoever on their routine and they're still stuck with limited options. Not even an extension of an hour in the evenings.

Something was mentioned in the newspapers about "neighbourhood buses" but there's nothing definitive to reference on the Government web portal at this time.


Kids on bicycles, with phones

Yesterday I'm heading home along Palmetto Road and I see this kid on his pedal cycle, one hand motioning a left-turn (props for that!), but the other hand's wielding a cell phone. So this kid's riding one-handed, briefly no-handed, with a cellphone to his ear!

I was impressed with his ability to maintain balance on an uneven road, but really, that's a sign it's gone too far. 10-year old kids shouldn't be doing that.


Bermuda's online community quiets a bit?

With the creator and editor of the Limey In Bermuda website taking a leave of absence from new blogs, there's a bit of a void in the Bermuda online community. While there's no official stats to indicate for sure, I'd wager that Limey's visitor stats rank near the top of the charts as far as local sites are concerned. I don't think there's another website that has a larger contibuting segment in Bermuda.

Where will people go to now for non-traditional-media driven debate on Bermuda issues? Imho.bm, Bravozulu.bm and Denis Pitcher's blog are updated frequently and offer feedback sections. Politics.bm is also active but doesn't allow for feedback. Bermudasucks.com, which has a fairly active discussion forum, probably won't shake its unfairly garnered label of being unfriendly to Bermudians. Bermynet doesn't have any interactive sections despite its overall popularity. Bermuda.com, which used to have some kind of interaction, has been reduced to a tourism site of sorts.

I suppose that the standard online newsmedia sites, namely the Bermuda Sun, will pull more visitors and get more feedback. Again, Bermuda Broadcasting is missing the boat, and what's going to happen is that some independent party is going to launch a service and trust me they'll be pulling all kinds of ad revenue.


Superbowl ads and local eccentricities

Not the best Superbowl played for sure, but it was quite entertaining to watch. Congrats to the Indianapolis Colts on their victory. In recent years there's been an increased focus on the TV commercials airing during the event, and with a global audience in the hundred millions and the costs of a TV ad spot in the million dollar range it's no surprise. This year's entries however were overall much poorer than years past. Check Slate's quick review.

In local events that you won't find reported on the Gazette or Sun, there was some guy at the intersection enar my job with a big old banner wishing everyone an "Irie Bob Marley Day". I'm not sure if it's an official holiday in Jamaica, but it was interesting to see someone out and about promoting One Love.

And finally, when coming into work, I noticed that one of the buses was heading for a place called "Barnes Coners". Um, can someone at the Transport Board let us know where this Coners place is, or if there's simply another joker around here who needs to take spelling/punctuation/grammar classes?


Cursive lettering licence plates?

This is weird, I was riding to work and in front of me was this yellow Hyundai car, looked like a sportscar. But what really caught my eye was the licence plate. "Yah mon".

In cursive lettering.

What the hell?

If the car wasn't so easily identifiable by the bright-yellow, then what? Suppose that licence plate was on the back of some generic white sedan? Someone clearly gave the go-ahead for this obnoxiousity (my word, heh), and they ought to be slapped for it.