by syaffolee

A Meandering Drive

It’s red. Break. Drum the steering wheel as Saint-Saëns pours out of the speakers. Watch a stream of cars cross the intersection. And out the corner of my eye, I watch the car on the next lane inch forward and then gun it on green.

Is this a nation of impatient drivers? Why is everyone so antsy to go from A to B even traveling at 65 mph? Surely not everyone is late to their next appointment. Surely no one’s schedule is so full. Is everyone itching to get to the nearest bathroom? Does everyone have a pregnant woman in labor in the backseat?

I thought not. So back off and stop tailgating. Stop going 70 in a 45 mph zone. Stop the sniveling and the sneering because I’m going so “slow.” I blame those car commercials for extolling the virtues of powerful engines. Unless you’re a race car driver, what’s the point? Every car must go the speed limit. You’re not getting to grandma’s house any faster if you have one car model rather than the other.

Aggressive driving–perhaps a phenomenon purely endemic to this technology for personal transportation. Do we have tailgating fishing boats or airplanes? If we have “beam-me-up-Scotty” technology, would people jostle each other to get to the transporter room first? A car is something that the driver controls, an extension of us, a shell which we can manipulate with impunity. It reminds me of the Internet. Just as online anonymity can embolden a person to say things beyond social tact, so can driving. After all, who’s going to arrest you if you drive a little too close to the next car or flip the bird to the truck driver?

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Cool Links from the Blogroll

The 50 Best Robots Ever. (via A Sweet, Familiar Dissonance) Although I have a bit of a quibble with the order, it’s a very cool list. Also for some reason reminds me of the magazine, Giant Robot.

Perfume Whom. The 2Blowhards talk about the inverse relationship between a woman’s attractiveness and how much perfume she sprays on. Personally, I’ve never noticed that relationship–for women or men. I just notice the perfume and run away. If I can.

Pharyngula. Yeah, yeah, this blog is already on my blogroll, but I just found out he moved! I am so behind on a lot of stuff–including reading weblogs–that it definitely is not funny any more. Go check out his Friday Cephalopod–aw, he’s so cute!

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Other Kinds of Links: Digital Libraries

The Hours of Jeanne d’Evreux. An illuminated manuscript made for the fourteenth century queen of France, Jeanne d’Evreux.

Electronic Biologia Centrali-Americana. A way cool resource of biology books, digitized. Who can resist this monkey from Edward R. Alston’s Mammalia or shudder with morbid delight at these little beasties from Reginald Innes Pocock’s Arachnida?

Tales from the Vault! An awesome archive of Canadian pulp fiction.