Friday, August 24, 2007

21st century bumper sticker

I'm in the lab a lot, and even when I try keeping a personal journal, the only thing I can think of to write is a list of what experiments I need to do next. Hence the lack of posting here.

But I did have a wonderful idea, stemming from my many strange highway driving experiences. First, a story:

Jane is driving down the highway at a comfortable 71 mph. There isn't much traffic. In fact, the only cars in sight are a cluster of five cars about half a mile in front, and another about half a mile behind Jane. And there's one other car, going a steady 65 in the right lane. Jane, also in the right lane, pulls up behind this car and, of course, slows down so as not to hit the car. But she also doesn't bother changing lanes to pass the car. Instead, she rides along on its tail for three miles, even as the cluster behind them passes. Jane's not on the phone, and she doesn't seem to be distracted, but she still won't pass the car. It's like she's trying to find out how close she can get to the car without hitting it, and how long she can stay that close.

Currently, there are two possible endings to the story:

1) The car slows down to 50 mph before Jane decides to make the effort to change lanes and pass the car. On the way, she gives the other driver the bird.

2) The car changes lanes, allowing Jane to pass on the right. Jane has pwned this driver.

But today I introduce a third possible ending: The Lite Brite message system (see below). By flipping a switch on the dashboard, the other driver turns on the Lite Brite installed on the bumper of her car. The message flashes, startling Jane, who lets up on the gas. Recovering from the surprise, Jane thinks, "WTF?" and decides not to mess with Texas. She changes lanes and passes the other car, giving a long stare to the other driver.

The best part of this system is that the message can be changed for any occasion. If road rage isn't your thing, replace the message with a peace symbol or "baby on board." If you're driving to Fenway, try "Go SOX!" or, "Yanks suck!" Even religies can spread the gospel with a friendly, "WWJD?" The Lite Brite message system can be useful to all drivers.

Created using Lite-Brite.

Coming soon: The Lite Brite bike messaging system.

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