Brace Position

October 30, 2006

Well here’s a surprise. I have just been on a Qantas flight and got to thinking about the phrase “brace position – which one would you use?”.

Does it really matter about the correct brace position in a crash? Surely if a plane crashes, you’re stuffed?

Well, apparently not!

I was not hard to find references to research into plane crash statistics and it seems that I was wrong. It does matter. In the extraordinary serendipity that seems to operate frequently, the BBC science series – Horizon – has investigated this very question almost to the day that I was pondering it.

Tom Barth from AmSafe Aviation, an expert in how to survive an impact, is quoted by the BBC as saying “The brace position is a position that will offer you the best chance to survive in a crash because it stops you from flying forward and striking the seat or interior in front of you,”

I am moderately reassured by the fact that in the US alone, between 1983 and 2000, there were 568 plane crashes. Out of the collective 53,487 people onboard, 51,207 survived. Reassured until I realize that those statistics include survival figures from small planes as well as huge, heavy, fast jet aircraft. I wonder what the survival rate is for passengers in large aircraft?

Fortunately the only clear stats I could find, show that all 122 passengers and 7 crew survived a crash in Sweden in 1991. It appears that the brace position saved their lives.

So I feel better. Except for one question. The pilot survived as did the co-pilot. Were they in the brace position? And if so, who was flying the plane?


Using Windows Live Writer

October 5, 2006

This blog is being written with Windows Live Writer which is available in Beta.

At first glace it seems quicker and more intuative that the editor supplied by WordPress. Even the addition of a ‘UNDO’ command will make a difference to me.

Let’s see how it goes. 

Joni Mitchell summed up the hippie commune atmosphere of Laurel Canyon in 1970 in her song Ladies of the Canyon.

Trina with her beads and drawings and lacework. Annie making babies and brownies and gathering flowers. And Estrella making music.

Doing my usual daily cyberslacking, I find myself in a large loop of links to (mostly) women of a certain age in various countries who write about fruit and flower growing, painting and handcrafts. Clearly the hippies never died, they just started writing blogs. Peas Corner is as typical as any, with a fair list of links to other such delights.

Take this quote from A Growing Delight

Have you ever stopped to wonder just how many different flowers there can be in the world? How come each tiny seed or bulb can produce its own unique plant, with flower and seeds? It may be as tiny as a crocus or as huge as a Californian Redwood, and every size in between, each has its own characteristics.”

Don’t tell me that doesn’t belong firmly in 1970!

It is sometime hard to avoid the religious and the sentimental, but there is much to be enjoyed from the Bloggers of the Third Age.

While wallowing in the photos of flowers, I notice there are also recipes to try. Unfortunately, it would seem that the one hippie virtue that has not survived in the USA is the idea of quality fresh ingredients. I am astonished how unapologetic the American recipes are about using commercial pre-prepared ingredients – frozen cookie dough, packet soups, spray cheese etc. There may be some wholesome fresh food recipes to be found, but by-and-large they have eluded me so far. I’ll stick to my tried and true recipe sites, but that is for another blog on another day.