August 17, 2010

Last weekend the Minister for Sports Hector Rodriguez (There is such a Ministry?) said with respect to the stray bullet that hit Hong Kong’s player during a game of the Womens Baseball Tournament taking place in Caracas. The touranment is being played within a military facility, the safest” of them all, Fuerte Tiuna:

“It was an isolated incident, so says the technical report”

Well, I live in one of Caracas less dangerous areas. There is a barrio next door, but it is relatively safer than most of the city. Despite this, the picture below shows another “isolated” incident which fortunately ended well a couple of years ago.

As you can see, a bullet hit my glass window. This isolated incident was such that obviously the bullet had lost momentum and was not even able to penetrate the glass. But I would not mind Minister Rodriguez sending his technical team to determine whether my incident was also isolated or not.

I imagine the technical report that the Minister is referring for the incident of the baseball player, goes something like this:

“We use the Drake Equation as applied to the number of possible civilizations in the Universe with whom we may communicate, but applied to stray bullets (CICPC Report # 3.1415)

Where N is the number of bullets that hit someone, R* is the average number of bullets in the air at any given time, fp is the fraction of those bullets flying at or below eye level, ne is the number of people out in the streets at that time, fl is a coefficient which depends on the  the time of day, fi is the fraction of bullets that reach the target at a speed capable of killing someone, fc is the safety of the area of Caracas and L is whether you are in a military facility or not.

Using CICPC Handbook of Data Tables # 2.718288 for all of the parameters, we conclude that this is an isolated incident”

There you have it, for all of you skeptics. It’s a formula, it’s mathematical, it’s isolated.

As simple as that.

1. Roy Says:

In any public gathering, the Oppo candidates should ask the crowd for a show of hands on the following questions:

– How many of you have been robbed in past year?

– How many of you personally know someone who has been robbed in the last year?

– How many of you personally knew someone who was murdered in the last year?

So, Mr. Chavez, don’t tell us it is all a pack of lies!

2. Antonio Says:

A stray bullet from an AK47 fired 3 miles away killed a child in Atlanta not so long ago (it was on the occasion of a New Years celebration). The effective range of an AK47 is something like 200m, so premeditation can be ruled out in the case of the Chinese young lady. Hand guns, of course, have a much shorter range and poorer stopping power, meaning you are more likely to get caught. The stadium is within range of stray bullets fired from the freeway or even the nearby El Valle popular residential area uising these Russian assault rifles. I wouldn’t go to Fuerte Tiuna, just in case. Not even to play softball.

3. Dillis Says:

Maybe the bullets are being fired from all the stolen planes…..

http://www.laht.com/article.asp?CategoryId=10717&ArticleId=363333

4. Deanna Says:

For me, it’s a fan of one of the other teams that was losing to the Hong Kong team because of that player. What the h…, no one should be hit by a stray bullet anywhere, let alone in a supposedly secure place like Fuerte Tiuna.

5. loroferoz Says:

“For me, it’s a toss-up between an idiot playing with his gun and an incompetent trainee with inadequate supervision on the range.”

I thought that this could be. Fuerte Tiuna has several military and civilian shooting ranges. But this explanation is not more flattering that the one with the shooting from the barrio.

6. island canuck Says:

Tuesday’s bit of humour from the PSUV

http://www.eluniversal.com/2010/08/17/pol_ava_psuv-rechaza-campan_17A4347931.shtml

PSUV rejects the “Campaign of Lies” against the revolution. In the story is another reference to the “5th column”. This is another new pet phrase that started yesterday & we’ll be hearing every day until the end of September.

Unfortunately they didn’t specify which lies they were referring to.

Those darn details – let’s not bring them up.

7. Halfempty Says:

Nothing at all about brilliant bullets.

Still it’s a start on formal model of the current insanity

8. RWG Says:

Is there any way that one of the stray bullets flying around Caracas can be isolated to hit in one spot at a specific time?

9. Roberto N Says:

CICPC= F x C-k*n.G Ixdx1/ots is a closer approximation to the reality

10. never mind pi and e

11. GeorgeS Says:

Oh! It’s a satire!

12. Miguel

I be darned! I never thought that one day someone would be able to include Drake’s equation in a satire! I loved it.

13. liz Says:

Miguel,
I have had two of those ‘isolated incidents’ in a couple of my windows at home. Both of them facing the highway…. one in my bedroom!

Not so ‘isolated’ for me….

14. A_Antonio Says:

MO,

Using your knowledge in physics, if you count all isolated hurts or murders by cold bullets in a year in Caracas, using the equation you can gets how many bullets are now “in the air of Caracas” looking for “isolated incident”.

15. concerned Says:

It was the CIA backed opposition shooting from the grassy knoll.

The chavistas must be running out of creative excuses when “isolated incident” is the best they can come up with. They should go rent conspiracy theory for a few pointers.

16. julieta salas de carbonell Says:

Ive been told there is a lot of angry people at Fuerte Tiuna as in the rest of the country

17. julieta salas de carbonell Says:

someone from inside the military establishment, disaffected with chavismo, shot the women just for fun!
Ive been told there is a lot of angry people at Fuerte Tiuna as in the rest of the country

18. An Interested Observer Says:

Of course it’s isolated. Another woman baseball player from Hong Kong won’t be hit by a bullet while playing in an international tournament at Fuerte Tiuna for decades, at least.

Fuerte Tiuna? Seriously? My understanding is that’s a pretty big place. Unless the baseball diamond is right by the edge of the base (which seems unlikely, if it’s the same diamond where Hugo occasionally plays), then it’s probably a military accident. For me, it’s a toss-up between an idiot playing with his gun and an incompetent trainee with inadequate supervision on the range.

19. Gringo Says:

Drake Equation: for extraterrestrials.
Miguel: what a wit!

There were ~16,000 “isolated incidents” of murder in Venezuela.