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The Capitulations of Santa Fe
Whereas, Most Christian, High, Excellent, and Powerful Princes, King and Queen of Spain and of the Islands of the Sea, our Sovereigns, this present year 1492, after your Highnesses had terminated the war with the Moors reigning in Europe, I saw the royal banners of your Highnesses planted by force of arms upon the towers of the Alhambra; and in the present month, in consequence of the information which I had given your Highnesses respecting the countries of India, how, at many times he, and his predecessors had sent to Rome soliciting instructors who might teach him our holy faith, and the holy Father had never granted his request, whereby great numbers of people were lost, believing in idolatry and doctrines of perdition.
AAA: Don't Drive Intexticated
Despite bans on handheld use of smartphones, the threat is growing. A new AAA distracted driving survey of California drivers shows 10 percent of adults say they always or frequently use their smartphone while driving, even though it is against the law. The study also finds adult drivers who are significantly more likely to drive ‘intexticated’ are between 25 to 39 years old and/or those who send and receive more than 50 text messages per day on their smartphones. The survey also revealed: • Nearly half (46 percent) of those who admit to driving ‘intexticated’ do so for navigation. Other popular reasons cited for using smartphones behind the wheel included searching for audio or music, believing that someone required a quick response, and feeling more productive. • Ten percent of those surveyed say they have been involved in a crash in the last five years in which they believe distraction played a role. • Drivers surveyed said they were most likely to drive while ‘intexticated’ when they were alone in the car. The survey is part of the Automobile Club of Southern California’s (AAA’s) “Don’t Drive Intoxicated. Don’t Drive Intexticated.” Initiative, which aims to make texting while driving as socially unacceptable as drunk driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 9 people die every day from distracted driving and more than one thousand others are injured. AAA member DeeDee Gonzalez was one of them. In 2017, she was riding her motorcycle in Rancho Palos Verdes when a driver hit her head-on while he was looking at his smartphone. She was thrown from her bike, sustained multiple traumatic injuries, and could not walk for months after the crash. She will need some form of physical therapy for the rest of her life. “The legal consequences for texting and driving are not as severe as drinking and driving, which I will never understand. They’re both reckless behaviors,” said Gonzalez. “The law has not caught up with technology and I’m hopeful, maybe I’m optimistic about things getting better,” she said.
Value-Added Tolling: A Better Deal for America's Highway Users
The Interstate highway system is wearing out. Over the next two decades, nearly all of its 47,000 miles will have to be rebuilt, to make it serviceable for another 50+ years. In addition, several hundred major interchanges are horrible bottlenecks and need to be replaced with more modern designs, and some corridors need additional lanes to cope with growth, especially in truck travel. A major Reason study last year estimated the cost of Interstate reconstruction and modernization at $1 trillion.
Texas-sized pothole is big enough to swallow a Lexus, and nearly did
FORT WORTH A giant sinkhole opened up on West Seventh Street Thursday, nearly swallowing a Lexus during a rainy morning rush hour. The monstrous collage of collapsed road pavement occurred at the intersection of West Seventh Street and Carroll Street, right next to the Velvet Taco and Montgomery Plaza. The sinkhole appeared to be about 10 feet in diameter, and several feet deep. Police were called to the area at 8:44 a.m., police spokesman Buddy Calzada said. No injuries were reported, but a Lexus had to be extracted from the giant hole and towed away, city workers said.
When the California “high speed” rail was approved, I was quite disappointed, as I know many others were too. How could it be that the home of Silicon Valley and JPL – doing incredible things like indexing all the world’s knowledge and putting rovers on Mars – would build a bullet train that is both one of the most expensive per mile and one of the slowest in the world? The train in question would be both slower, more expensive to operate (if unsubsidized) and less safe by two orders of magnitude than flying, so why would anyone use it?
East Coast Loop Tunnel Construction
It’s not much now, just a parking lot with a discarded gin bottle and an old exterminator receipt. But the slice of pavement near the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in the District could be the gritty precursor to a tunnel network that could propel pods filled with people and speeding platforms topped with Teslas and Toyotas between the nation’s capital and New York in 29 minutes. Or it could be just be a parking lot littered with dashed transportation dreams.
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