Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Hometown Homeland Security

As a youth (not that I am no longer) I worked for the guy who had the concessions at the town beaches. You know -- hot dogs, hamburgers, fried dough pizza, soda, snow cones -- pick your poison. We'd operate with the outside doors hooked open, but as the health regulations required, we had screen doors. Not that they were any deterrent to the flies, but still.

So along comes the fire inspector. "All doors must open out," he tells Wally. Now think about it. (That is assuming that, unlike a fire inspector, you possess the power of thought.) We're in there in the morning doing prep work, in the evening cleaning up, in the winter doing maintenance. Both doors are closed. You can't open the door. You are trapped. You cannot open the screen door, because the outside door is in the way. You cannot reach the doorknob to open the outside door, because the screen door is in the way. The fire inspector did not care. "Here it is in the regs, Section 7, paragraph 14, sub-paragraph b. All doors must open out."

So Wally remodeled to make all the doors open out, then he cut the corners of the screens to make flaps so you could reach the outside doorknobs. If the health inspector had seen that, he would have made Wally repair it, in which case . . .

But enough of bashing Big Government. I'm off the a conference today, where who knows, I may bump into a Revere or two. I will talk, among other profound and wondrous topics, about emergency communication with "special populations." Those are people who, for one reason or another, it's hard to get the word out to, such as about how to go to the emergency dispensing site (see below). Examples are people with limited English, socially marginalized people, and societal dropouts (you know who you are), people who for historical and/or cultural reasons are inclined to think you are full of crap (Hey! Could I be a special population?), insular communities, etc. I'll let you know what I have to say about this once I figure out what it is, which hopefully will be before my presentation, rather than after.

Catch you later.

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