"What commonly happens in the invention process is that people are driven by the constant irritations and annoyances of life," Hobson said. "And traffic lights appear to have a malicious intent whenever you approach them." Waiting at a red light, he noticed a tremendous amount of traffic in one direction but nobody in the other. Yet the traffic lights still obediently kept to their programmed pace of red, yellow, green. Worse: the light tried to accommodate non-existent pedestrians, further delaying things.
Catalonia's president has accused Spain's central government of "totalitarian" behaviour, after police arrested the region's junior economy minister and 12 others in raids of Catalan government offices in the run-up to a planned independence referendum. Carles Puigdemont, the regional leader, denounced Wednesday's operation as "a coordinated aggression by the Spanish government's police force" in order to stop the Catalans from going ahead with the October 1 vote. "The Spanish state has by all rights intervened in Catalonia's government and has established emergency rule," Puigdemont said in a televised address. "We condemn and reject the anti-democratic and totalitarian actions of the Spanish state," he said, adding that Catalans should still turn out in force to vote in the referendum on a split from Spain that the central government in Madrid has declared illegal. Besides arresting Josep Maria Jove, the junior economy minister, police also entered the local governmental offices of the economy, interior, foreign affairs, welfare, telecommunications and tax, Catalan government sources said.