“Just another guy with a blog.  No big whoop.”

February 23, 2010

Tracy (CA) Residents to Pay Big Bucks For 911 Calls

I was born and raised in Southern California and lived most of my life there. I've known for a long time that the state has been run into the ground by the seemingly unending cavalcade of inept and venal politicians who have been running (and ruining) the show there for decades.

I know things in California are going from bad to worse, but I didn't realize it had come to this:

Tracy residents will now have to pay every time they call 9-1-1 for a medical emergency.

But there are a couple of options. Residents can pay a $48 voluntary fee for the year which allows them to call 9-1-1 as many times as necessary.

Or, there's the option of not signing up for the annual fee. Instead, they will be charged $300 if they make a call for help.

"A $300 fee and you don't even want to be thinking about that when somebody is in need of assistance," said Tracy resident Greg Bidlack.

Residents will soon receive the form in the mail where they'll be able to make their selection. No date has been set for when the charges will go into effect.

You're not seeing what you think you're seeing

Incredible, mind-blowing technology is being used in movies these days that convinces you you're seeing something that's not really there, as this series of back-lot scenes from TV-shows and movie sets reveals.

From an entertainment standpoint, I think all this is truly marvelous. I love how they can simulate anything, any location, any situation using green-screen shoots overlaid with computer graphic illustration (and other such technically devised illusions). But this is also a cause for concern if this grand technology were ever employed nefariously in an effort to deceive people on a wide scale — e.g., to make them think they are seeing, let's say, something menacing or enticing in the sky.

Don't get me wrong. I am happy to see these amazing advances in technology which allow us to expand our ability to imagine. I'm just a little leery about the potential for its misuse. In any case, sit back and enjoy a few minutes of cinematographic magic.