Monday, June 23, 2008

The Perils of ECR Chennai

The East Coast Road!

It is advertised as a route with scenic splendour. It can take you from Chennai to Pondicherry in no time. It can also take you from road to heaven (or hell or wherever) in no time too.

Especially during the nights. The markers are showing their age. It is obvious that whoever is maintaining them are not too worried about a few counts lesser in the population. The government can afford a few thousands to the family of the deceased, with the chance to be in the news offering condolences to the bereaved families.

The road is dotted with invisible road blocks that are veritable death traps during the night.

These are the problems I saw during my recent travel on the ECR.
  • Reflective road paint are covered with sand and dust at most places, making the road borders invisible
  • No advance notification of road blocks ahead, which might take you by surprise/shock, leading to instant heaven or hell or whatever, according to your religious inclination. In some cases, the road blocks are setup at curves (Imagine the intelligence and road sense of whoever did it). And these road blocks do not carry reflective paint or stickers on them. These road blocks are also completely opaque, which means, you do not see the vehicles coming in the opposite direction, even during the day (unless yours is a bigger vehicle).
  • Deteriorating road quality, unsatisfactory maintenance
  • Reflective road markers that do not reflect, leading to insufficient visibility

If you still want to drive, do not exceed the speed of 80 kilometres per hour. It might take a little longer, but it will take you where you want to go.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

STOP! Don't forward that eMail!

Today I received another one of those special mails! Chain mails, I mean. This was about how instant noodles cause cancer in you. It told me in no uncertain terms, to stop eating instant noodles. It told me that Instant noodles contain wax that is not easily expelled from your body. It is also carcinogenic and so on. It claimed that many people had died after eating instant noodles, (not instantly, I think).

I did some preliminary search and found that this particular email has been doing rounds since 2002. Imagine, a simple mail going around and around for 5 years now.

These kinds of letters come in all flavours; religious, business, medical, political, philanthropical and what not!

Irritating though they are, one still wonders how gullible and naive our readers can be that believe them. Probably, the concern that they have for others is taken advantage of. And, in any case, I do not lose anything when I forward just this one mail. Or does it affect somewhere?

One should ask oneself. How many people are using email everyday all over the world? And, if one mail is forwarded by everyone every week, just how much of bandwidth is consumed? How much of your friend's time is wasted in reading that particular mail, which he/she could use spending with the family. We could probably use that bandwidth better. And certainly not be a part of spreading misinformation and spam.

So, beware. Before you forward that next mail, try to do a little research yourself. Or, if you aren't so sure, just ignore it. You are not here to save the world. God (or if you are agnostic, Nature) will take care of it.

For some insight into the various ways that people get baited, I suggest you follow the below :

Happy surfing!

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