Tag Archives: Speed

Stop Signs Are Not Suggestions

When you see an octagonal, red sign with the word STOP written in big, white, bold letters standing tall on the side of the road, the correct behavior is:

a) Laugh and speed up
b) No cop, no stop
c) Slow down, look carefully to see if there are any people or pets and then speed through intersection
d) Tap the breaks once, slightly, then continue
e) What stop sign? Was that what that text was?
f) Actually come to a complete stop. Make sure it’s safe to go and then proceed.

Unhappily, the answer to that question might come to a surprise to a lot of people.

If the sample size by which I’m going is indicative of the population as a whole, most of them seem to believe the answer is anything from a) to e).

Yeah, I’m getting a bit touchy about the whole thing.

There’s a stop sign at the intersection of our cul de sac and the slightly less minor road that connects us to the outside world. The stop sign is at the top of a hill on the connecting road so there’s reduced visibility going both ways. That is, as you’re approaching the stop sign, you can’t see what’s happening on the other side.

And, yet, people just blow through that stop sign like it’s not even there.

There are at least 10 little dudes under the age of 10 living in a very narrow radius of that stop sign. These are kids without the normal ability to think their way out of a paper bag or notice a nuclear explosion going on if they’re busy doing something else. They’re kids.

But these deadly drivers just don’t care. It’s more important that they save the several SECONDS it would take them to actually stop at the sign than it is to worry about the safety of the people, kids and pets who actually live in the area.

It drives me absolutely bonkers when this happens.

Heck, last year while a group of six kids were waiting right next to the stop sign for their bus, I was out walking Buzz, the garbage disposal who walks like a dog, when a car pulled near the stop sign. It didn’t stop. So I stepped in front of the car, intending to force it to obey the law or hit me.

The jerk driving the car still didn’t slow down. He drove around me, rolled down his window and began loudly cursing at me for being in the way. It was only because I didn’t want to set an even worse example for the kids that I didn’t hurl the package of dog poop I had in my hand through his open window.

But it was close. Oh, so very close.

So here’s the big takeaway, dudes. Especially in a residential area, those stop signs are there for a reason. If you’re so late that the extra seconds you’ll gain by not stopping will actually matter, then you’re too late so you might as well slow down and get there safely.

STOP at the STOP signs, folks. Don’t be the driver who blazes through the sign and then hits another car or a person. You’re not that dude.

Don’t be stupid: Stop at the sign.

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Awesome Science Trick With Hot Coal

Every once in a while I’ll be reminded that the world around us is just abso-frakkin’-lutely amazing. That just happened yesterday.

Here’s a bit of background. Fire and rust are exactly the same thing, only happening at vastly different speeds. Rust is the oxygen in the air bonding very, very, v-e-r-y slowly with the iron molecules, which creates a new, flaky and very brittle material. Fire is the oxygen molecules in the air bonding with great rapidity to the molecules of, say, wood, creating a new material called ash that is completely different than the material with which you started.

The exact same thing happening. Completely different speeds. Completely different reactions. The one thing they have in common is the oxygen in the atmosphere. Yeah. The oxygen, which is about less than 20 percent of the air and is relatively diffuse or spread out.

Not imagine what would happen if, say, a hot coal were immersed in liquid oxygen. That is, oxygen that has been slowed, slowed and slowed some more so that it condenses out of the atmosphere and forms a liquid. This liquid is pure oxygen, but so cold it will amputate any body part you put into contact with it.

That, dudes, is cold.

So, what happens if you drop a hot, but not burning, coal into a pool of liquid oxygen? Oddly, we don’t have to wonder. Yah, internets! Yeah, there’s an actual science-y video to explain the whole thing.

And it is very, very cool. No pun intended.

And it’s just something I thought I’d share with you dudes as we head into the the first week of summer vacation. It’s never the wrong time to learn.


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Star Trekking Into Darkness Isn’t The Only Way To Avoid Sun Exposure

You dudes see what I did there?

How I used a really cool film that’s coming out today to sort of talk about my actual topic? Not that I’m trolling for click bait or anything like that. It’s not like I’m mentioning sex or nudity or naked or something like that in the third sentence.


Anyway, let’s get the last of this sunscreen out of the bottle and onto the blog.

There is, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, a right way and a wrong way to apply sunscreen so you don’t get burned. Who knew?

I figured just slathering it on until you could slide down a grass-covered hill at full speed was the way to go. And the grass leaves would scrape off the excess. Of course, that left grease tracks in the steep hills and killed the grass, but hey. . . That’s just the way we roll. See what I did there? A punne, or play on words?

Let’s head on over to listen to the fine skin doctors at the American Academy of Dermatology before I speak another horrible punne and really deserve punishment.

We’ve already talked about how the sunscreen you should be using should have a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 and be broad spectrum to block out ultraviolet A and B rays (UVA and UVB). The next thing you need to know is that you’ve got to start slathering yourself up well before you head outdoors.

Apply sunscreen generously before going outdoors. It takes approximately 15 minutes for your skin to absorb the sunscreen and protect you. If you wait until you are in the sun to apply sunscreen, your skin is unprotected and can burn.

Which means you also need to make darn sure you cover every bit of exposed skin if you want the benefit of sunscreen. I mean, if you do most of the body and then leave, say, an unprotected stripe down the side of your torso where your arm would be if it weren’t in constant motion playing beach volleyball — just to pull an instance out of the air — it can really, really, really hurt.

Even worse, getting a severe sunburn can be bad news for future you. Damaging your skin with major doses of UVA and UVB can lead to more of a chance of skin cancer. Cover up. Get slathered. And make sure you use enough of the right kind of sunscreen.

Now watch this cool public service video. I’m sure it’s not corny at all.

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