The trouble with iPods

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Now let me say first off that I am a big fan of the iPod as a piece of tech. I use one in my car when I am not using the radio (and missed it terribly when a software update stopped it linking through my stereo). I also use it at work when I want to ‘zone out’ and stop people asking me stupid questions!

Use with caution!

Now I am including any personal music player in this, not just iPods, but like Hoovers, iPod is now the accepted term for any personal digital music player (and the best in my view).

But, getting back to the matter at hand – my problem is where people use them. When listening to any such unit the beauty of them is that you are able to lose yourself in the music – totally unaware of what is going on around you. Great if you are in an office, on an airplane, or train. But not when crossing the road! This phenomenon has a name ‘iPod oblivion’.

Earlier this week I almost ‘took out’ a pedestrian who walked straight across the road in front of me while listening to his iPod. Now I was perhaps a little unkind as I saw what he was going to do from a long way back, and let him get level with me on the road before I blew my horn. Suffice to say he was just a little surprised – but I doubt he will cross roads without looking in future!

We can’t stop people using this type of equipment in this type of location, but perhaps some sort of health warning should be made by the government? After all we don’t have that many health warnings to think about do we!

Seriously though, this is an issue, it appears that there are around seventeen serious accidents a day in the UK caused by iPod oblivion! You have been warned!


First Aid

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For a number of years I have felt that I should have a basic knowledge of first aid, particularly when I had a young family. However the opportunity to take a first aid course did not present itself to me and I relied upon my wife (a nurse) to be available when needed.

However, last year I attended a course for basic work first aid and can confirm that I found it very informative and ‘a good life skill’ to have, one which I would recommend to all.

The St John Ambulance have recently undertaken a study and believe that a wider knowledge of simple first aid techniques could save thousands of lives each year,

It is focusing a new campaign on five health emergencies which account for 150,000 deaths each year in England and Wales.

These include heart attacks, choking and severe bleeding.

The charity is offering a free pocket guide which it feels will boost the survival chances of many more patients.

It believes that if confident first aiders were present on more occasions, many lives would be saved.

The charity’s own poll suggests that most people would still not feel confident attempting first aid techniques, while a quarter would do nothing and wait for other people or paramedics to arrive.

Its chief executive Sue Killen said:

We believe that anyone who needs first aid should receive it. Our latest research shows that’s just not happening. We can’t rely on other people to have the skills – everyone should take the responsibility to learn first aid themselves.

I am also amazed to discover that certain European countries have very high levels of first aid training. Germany has almost 80% of its population with basic training. This should be something we teach at secondary schools as a life skill. I know I feel far better prepared for dealing with a basic emergency since my training.