You’d probably buy something that has that promise. It sounds really good!
Put into real life though, it’s pretty crap.
A car has around 30,000 parts.
If each part was only 99% good, then you are looking at 900 parts failing out of those 30,000 parts.
Put it another way…
A large airliner, such as an A380 Airbus has around 3 million parts.
That 99% good is terrible as it allows 30,000 parts to fail.
That’s every part of a car failing. Not just a switch, but the spring, washer, fulcrum, each electrical connector, the plastic button itself, the bulb, every part of that switch would fail.
Literally everything on the car failing. Each wheel nut, every tyre, every single component on the stereo, even the cup holder and each section of upholstery… A bit like a British car from the 1970’s.
Would you feel okay flying in an aircraft that boasts it’s parts are 99% fail free? ‘Only 30,000 parts likely to fail!!!’
Even 99.9% fail free still allows for 3,000 parts going wrong in that aircraft. Still not great.
500,000 open heart surgeries are carried out a year. That’s not all heart operations – that’s just full cut open and hands in wet work. 99% success would accept 5000 of those to die.
International air transport saw 3 billion people flying around this year. Just standard passenger flights – not including any other flights.
3,000,000,000 people a year. If 99% of those people survived their flights, that would accept 30 million deaths per year… 99.9% survival would accept just 3 million deaths a year, so that’s okay…?
2014 has been a terrible year in civil aviation. Due to several airliner losses (including shoot downs/missing), 761 lives were lost. Usually this number is much lower. In 2013 it was just 265 lives lost out of around 3,000,000,000 that flew commercially.
That’s more than 99.99999% surviving their flights – and we’re still driving that number
down because even one loss is not acceptable.
That’s why automotive, aviation and medicine etc. work to much, much higher quality standards than a terrible low target of just 99%.
Back in the 1960’s my dad (a scientist at RAE Farnborough) worked with an Alsatian in a project to use them to find black boxes at air crash sites. The old recorders were very susceptible to getting wiped by people searching crash sites with metal detectors, so alternate methods needed to be found.
My dad loved the dog that was trained at RAE Farnborough for this task.
The dog was called Rusty.
As many people will no doubt know, we love our animals, be they hens, crows, cats or horses, but we have wanted a dog for some time. So, in memory of my dad, and his Rusty work mate, we looked for a dog to fill our homes dog shaped hole. It had to be a GSD (German Shepherd Dog) with a good temperament and fine with children and other animals. Chris did a lot of research and found a breeder in Ireland called Alsace Royale German Shepherds, who had exactly the style of GSD we wanted, and raised from a pup with children and animals around it. Chris did her homework, asked around and decided that these were the ones for us.
These dogs were originally called German Shepherd dogs until the war, at which point having something ‘German’ became unsavoury. As such, they were renamed ‘Alsastian Wolf Hounds‘, and then shortened to ‘Alsatian‘. Much campaigning took place, and in 1977 the original breed name was given the okay to register under again. In 2010 the ‘Alsation‘ tag was officially dropped.
We also knew who we wanted as the parents of our pup, so were going to wait until next year when they would breed the pair again… but in the meantime I went behind Chris’s back and talked to the breeder. I wanted to see if I could get a head start and somehow get a puppy ahead of the time Chris and Alex thought we’d be getting one, and then it would be a great surprise for them both.
Alex has been using pocket money and treats to buy dog toys, ready for when we got a dog, even though he knew we weren’t getting one for a long time. Even when asked what he wanted Santa to get him for Christmas, he replied “Dog toys please“. When asked why he didn’t ask for a puppy, he said “That’s not going to happen for a long time, so I’m not even asking”.
I asked what could daddy get you to make daddy better than Santa (expecting “a puppy!!!”) and he said… “A hug…”
Yeah, that knocked me back a bit too.
Well, that really made me want to surprise him. What a lovely, selfless answer. He didn’t want toys for himself, he wanted things for a dog that we wouldn’t be getting for a very long time, and the one thing he did want cost nothing.
Then Jackie from Alsace Royale called me just over a week ago. She had some news. One of the previous litters from the parents we wanted, had to be returned to the breeders because the new owners had some news after 8 weeks of ownership that meant they would not be able to keep a dog. A 15 week old female short hair GSD was available. Okay, she wasn’t a 10 week old GSD next summer… but what’s six weeks older, just to see the looks on Christine and Alex’s faces?
How could you not love me?
Here she is as a few weeks old, from the Alsace Royale web site (she’s the one who sniffs the camera):
After some careful planning, lots of calls with Jackie and a traffic jam encountered by Lenny, the Alsace Royale specialist dog courier, Alsace Royale Rusty showed up at our meeting place. I had intended to keep this all secret from Chris, and then turn up at Alex’s school that afternoon and wait at the gates as they left… but in the end, I took Chris with me, and some excellent friends picked Alex up after school – telling him that mum and dad had broken down in the car, and would be around later to pick him up.
Rusty meets Chris
Well, it goes without saying that Chris and Alex were really surprised and incredible happy. Rusty absolutely loves Alex, and her temperament is perfect. She gets on with our hens and cats, and is a really well behaved around strangers and other dogs.
Alex and Rusty – “Santa didn’t stand a chance daddy…”
She’s already become close friends with Ytsur, the mirror dog…
… and she’s discovered the lake, where she doesn’t care less about the swans and ducks…