Afternoon Inquisition

AI: culture

Recently a friend said to me, “My son asked me where he could get some green clothes.” My mind immediately wandered to the myriad of local “green clothing” stores that sell environmentally sound, eco-friendly, compassionate clothes, vegan wear, cruelty-free products and hemp gear.

Then it struck me, “Oh, do you mean green-coloured clothes?” He did…

Then I realised I’d been in California way too long!

What are some moments where you realised you had become a product of your local culture?

The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear daily at 3pm ET.

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64 Comments

  1. These are the sorts of things that happen a lot when my wife and I leave the cultural bubble that is New York City.
    We are used to being who we are without anyone batting an eyelash, just like everyone else in this city.
    One memorable moment occurred when we were driving down to New Orleans to do some house building / recovery work. We were at a rest stop somewhere in the south (Alabama or Mississippi, I think). My wife has naturally blond hair and had been dying it dark brown for a while and when she tired of it, she shaved her head. Not ‘Bic’ short but buzz cut short. It’s also worth mentioning that she has lots of tattoos.
    So, we were at the rest stop and she was waiting on line for the bathroom when another woman cut in front of her. My wife said “Oh, I think I’m next in line”. The woman paused, looked my wife up and down and said “Honey, I didn’t even know you were REAL”.

  2. I live in Tucson, Arizona. I was on the phone with a friend of mine in Texas who’s never been out here, and I told her it was raining. It took me a little bit to remember that that’s not that interesting to people who don’t live in a desert.

    There was also the time I went into a Starbucks and asked if their coffee was Fair Trade. The cashier did not know what that meant, and it occurred to me that everyone I see at the farmer’s market would accept nothing less, and yet your average Joe working in a coffee shop has never heard of it. Right then it seemed like people just don’t talk to each other.

  3. Computer culture has affected me more than anything else. A friend was giving a group directions to their house on Liza Lane.

    “What’s the number?” I asked.

    “127”, he replied.

    “Oh, that’s easy to remember.”

    Everyone else stared at me quizzically. I tried to explain, “It’s 2 to the 7th minus one.” The explanation didn’t help. It’s true though. That was 17 years ago and I still remember the address. Unless it was 255…

  4. I’ve had the opposite experience. I’ve lived in Ohio, Northern California, and for the last 10 years, in Indiana. My fiancee has spent her entire life in Indiana, and it took years of protestations from me, a friend from Michigan, and others who have lived outside the state to convince her that breaded pork tenderloins are pretty well reserved to Indiana and are not, in fact, a national favorite.

    As for the direct experience, I can’t think of any times when my local geographical culture has hit me too bad, but the skeptical/scientific/rationalist culture has caused profound culture shock when talking to folks who don’t spend hours a day reading science news and blogs. I sometimes forget, because I’m surrounded by people with similar academic interests, that people outside our circle probably don’t give a damn about the things that are so important to us.

  5. I live in upstate New York, so I’m surrounded by a lot of Republicans. This has the effect of making libertarianism seem reasonable sometimes since if you hear “Government=evil” often enough, it gets stuck in the brain. Fortunately, even with the constant din, I never lose my powers of questioning common “wisdom” and examining the evidence, so I never go over to the dark side.

  6. I’m so full of typical Pacific Northwest cultural norms I wouldn’t even know where to start to point out one in particular. I love visiting other places and experiencing the differences in local customs, food, language, and social norms.

  7. I’m from Michigan so when I’m out of state I get constantly reminded:
    Me: “Cool Beans!”
    Some Random person: “That’s a Michigan expression”

    Me: “Can I get a pop?”
    Random person #2: “Are you from Michigan?”

    Me: “The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
    Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
    The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
    When the skies of November turn gloomy.”
    Random Person 3: “I didn’t realize all people from Michigan knew all the lyrics to that song!”

  8. @Chakolate: So you’ve seen “Green” Clothing stores in other states, because I certainly haven’t, and I live in a fairly progressive place. She never said that people outside of California are more environmentally conscious than anyone else, it’s just that she’s been there so long that the phrase “green clothing” makes her think first towards the shops that promote environmentally friendly clothes instead of clothes that are green in color.

  9. You know, when I left that comment, I tried to make it as unconfrontational as I could, tried to make it be just an observation. I figured that I would be able to tell how successful I was by how quickly and how hard I got jumped on. Apparently, I was very unsuccessful.

    I don’t know where you are, killysaur42, but yes, we do have such stores here.

    We’re also used to ‘coastal bias’. I was once told by a NYC dweller that my outlook was provincial because I didn’t live in a big city. (I’m in Chicago.) We often notice that both coasts seem to think the entire middle of the country is full of backward hicks, and we tend to get a bit touchy.

    Still, even if it was a hot button for me, I don’t think I was out of line in suggesting that the implication of the original post was that only in California are people so green-aware.

  10. After living almost 15 years in NH I now think “if you don’t want to wear a motorcycle helmet it’s your head”.

    I’m pretty liberal, but personal choice and “minding your own business” is now part of who I am. In Vermont, where I work, people will think nothing of coming over and inspecting your recylables and pointing out any mistakes or flaws. In NH if you want to dig a pit and just chuck your trash in no one will care until it spills over on their property. “Live Free or Die” sounds silly, but you really begin to appreciate that freedom that being able to be yourself, and not conform to any “norm” gives you. You are an adult, don’t wear a seatbelt, we aren’t going to tell you how to behave. Stupid is an acceptable choice.

  11. @Chakolate: I’m in Michigan, so nearby. But what I was getting at (I didn’t mean to sound like I was jumping you so hard) was that you seemed to have taken offense to an innocuous statement by an Aussie living in California. I don’t think, and never got the impression that she was implying that these stores or environmental consciousness doesn’t exist outside of California, but that this isn’t something that she dealt with as much before, and that when her son asked about “green clothing” she immediately thought of the Environmentally safe clothing stores instead of clothing dyed green. I think you were being a tad oversensitive to the statement by suggesting that her “California myopia is bigger than you think.” She certainly doesn’t appear to be attacking Midwesterners or suggesting we are any less green aware than the coasts.

  12. We once were on the subway with two friends and I looked at a sign with an emergency phone number (in case something bad happens down there, I guess). The number was “31416”. I shouted with a big smile while pointing to the sign.
    “Look!”.
    They looked at me, then at the sign and back at me with an empty look in their faces.
    “What are you talking about?”
    “It’s an approximation to Pi!. 3,1416”
    “You are weird”

    That’s when I realized that loving the number Pi is not necessary share by everybody.

  13. Am really tired, so please excuse any grammatical errors and what-not in my comment here:

    I live in MPLS and understand what you were saying. While uptown MPLS is considered very art-based and while we do have many different organic and vegan resteraunts/markets, and even many stores that sell “earth-friendly” clothing and merchandise, I (just like @KarenStollznow ) would have to agree that her comments are based on our own experiences.

    Reason I say that is because I spent 20 years living in North Dakota (the state many jokes are made about, and no we all don’t sound like the blokes from the movie FARGO), and once I moved to Minneapolis it was like the blinders were taken off of my eyes and I was dropped into what seemed like a totally different world. As growing up in Grand Forks we didn’t have indie films or organic markets, and the town didn’t shy away from being very conservative/religious. That doesn’t take anything away from living in Grand Forks, nor do I mean to make anyone that lives there sound simple or out-of-culture, but it took me a little while to adjust to the differences.

    So when I go back there and I see the people I once went to school with that seem happy and content with living in the bubble of their small town, I feel better knowing I didn’t buy into the idea of not caring much for what else is there in the world, and ultimately not being stagnant. As that is a culture I just cannot buy into.

    Great post Karen ~

  14. i live in queensland and the area i live in is pretty casual, i went for a bike ride to this point near us and there was a woman dressed up in heels and a dress there (its by the sea, barbecue/picnic area) and it was just strange that people outside my area value their appearance so much more than most of the locals.

  15. When I moved to the south. After living in New York for 32 years ending up in Charlotte was a culture shock to say the least. For the most part I have accepted the differences. The only thing I can’t seem to adjust to is the pace. Life really does proceed slower here.

  16. I’ve now lived in the South for just shy of 20 years (coming home from college in Kansas for summers in Texas), and the frequency with which I say “y’all”… and correct people on its spelling… is sometimes alarming.

  17. @Chakolate: …Why are you getting so defensive? No where did Karen say or even imply that only California cares about the environment. Nor did killyosaur42 jump on you.

    There was no “coastal bias” in Karen’s brief statement.

    Still, even if it was a hot button for me, I don’t think I was out of line in suggesting that the implication of the original post was that only in California are people so green-aware.

    Where exactly was that implication, though? “I’ve lived in California too long!” isn’t an implication of anything. California is perhaps TOO insistent about the green movement — they are saturated in it, which isn’t necessarily a good thing.

    Nowhere did she imply that California was the only place that cares about the environment, and your defensiveness was unwarranted.

  18. I was born and raised in LA and have been living in Wisconsin for the last ten years or so.

    I’ve noticed myself ‘going native’ over the years in a lot of areas… mostly to do with the weather, but recently I got what is perhaps the most conclusive proof. I noticed that in Madison (and 20 miles away where I live in Arena) when people pass you on the street they wave or nod or somehow acknowledge you and sometimes say “hi” or something similar. I missed that somehow. It kind of shocked me the first week or so I was in Wisconsin. I have nothing against it. It’s kind of a nice thing to do, but I never noticed that people did that in LA. Maybe they did, but it never caught on in my neighborhood and I never picked up the habit. I remember remarking on it shortly after I got here and then after I got used to it, I never gave it another thought.

    Four months ago I was visiting the folks in LA… (in the burbs of La Crescenta) and was out walking my dog (road trip… she always comes with me) and passed an old couple on the other side of the street and caught myself in a wave and a smile.

    I don’t know if I’d done this before and hadn’t noticed or if this was the first time, but I remember thinking “Wow… I’m not from here anymore, am I?” :)

    On the other hand I WILL NOT call it a ‘bubbler’ You can’t make me.

  19. When people complain about it being hot and it’s 90 degrees. I can tell when someone is new to Arizona when they are hot at this time of year — it’s in the upper 90s and it’s FANTASTIC! I helped the non-profit I volunteer for work the all weekend, and people were like, “It’s SO HOT!” It was 92! It was gorgeous, silly people.

    Also, I live in Phoenix, AZ, but I happen to live in a VERY liberal bubble (yay Central Phoenix!). Whenever I encounter homophobia or extreme religious views, it’s like a wake-up call. My political culture is much different from the average Arizona resident. I just happen to live in a very liberal area surrounded by gay bars, and all of my friends are left-leaning and progressive. Even most of the churches are gay friendly (I seriously live next to THREE super gay-friendly churches and about 20 gay bars).

    So then I go to Mesa or something and it’s a total culture shock for me.

  20. @kittynh: “You are an adult, don’t wear a seatbelt, we aren’t going to tell you how to behave. ”

    People who don’t wear seatbelts are putting other people in danger, not just themselves. This is why I think most libertarians are dolts. They don’t really think things through.

    If you don’t wear a seatbelt and you get into an accident, how likely is it that you’re going to be able to keep control of your car while you’re bouncing around? This means the accident may be much worse than it would have otherwise. And let’s not forget flying people inside cars can hurt other people in that car. And if you fly OUT of the car, you could very well hit another car or person.

    This, “But I’m the only one it’ll hurt!!!” in regards to not wearing seat belts is a sore subject with me, becuase it’s 100% false.

  21. @Tim3P0: You grew up in Grand Forks?! That’s where my mom is from and where my grandmother and uncle still live! My grandfather — Elton Barnum — was a flight instructor at the university there before he passed away. You may know my grandmother. Lee Barnum. :) I’ve been to Grand Forks all of once. It was pretty, but flat. So very flat.

    Also we went to the river or lake or something, and everyone was putting on sunscreen, and I was like … but where’s the sun? Is that the moon? That has to be the moon. This is not a sun!

  22. @kittynh: That’s fine, it certainly your choice, but only if you don’t expect the government or insurance to have to dole out thousands of dollars to help you with your medical care or or permanent disability if your unlucky enough to survive.

  23. @Vengeful Harridan (Elexina): Yeah. Exactly. Let’s not wear a seatbelt, get into a pretty minor accident, but you can’t control your car because you’re bouncing around, and therefore you slam into someone else making the accident much worse and possibly hurting other people, whereas if you’d had your seatblet on, you could keep control of your car and hit no one.

    Sigh.

  24. I’m curious, disagreeing with anyone in particular. I wear my seatbelt and everything because I value MY hide at least, and I understand the idea of protecting people inside your car from projectile bodies, but how can you get into an accident violent enough to cause you to leave your seat if you didn’t have a seatbelt on, yet not violent enough to allow you to control your car effectively if you did keep your seat?

  25. @swordsbane: Again, I’m talking about controlling your vehicle. Acceleration, sudden stops and turns, navigating tight corners… A street accident involves impact. An autocross course involves control. I realize they are not the same thing. I’m just saying that if you want an example of why you would control your car better wearing a seat belt than not, try an autocross course. Hell, just turn a corner sharply and quickly. You’ll see that the seat belt keeps you where you should be.

  26. “Hell, just turn a corner sharply and quickly. You’ll see that the seat belt keeps you where you should be.”

    Been there, done that, and leaving your driveway increases your chances of getting into an accident too, but that’s not the point.

    Does not wearing a seatbelt increase your chances of getting into an accident to dangerous levels? I’ve had a few near misses, but I’m not convinced that those would have been accidents had I not been wearing my seatbelt. Once I get into an accident, wearing a seatbelt is very effective. I just don’t know how effective it is as PREVENTING an accident.

  27. @swordsbane: NO. You’re not reading.

    If you don’t have your seatbelt on, you are less likely to stay in one spot. You WILL move around your seat more. You WILL be less likely to reach the gas and break pedals because you will be moving around and NOT STAYING IN ONE SPOT. You WILL be more likely to leave your seat, therefore not being able to reach the gas and break pedals, and therefore not able to control your car. You WILL be more likely to fly into someone else In the seat, or fly out of the car and hit oncoming traffic/pedestrians, and therefore not able to control your car.

    Will the same conditions occur during a street accident that would cause you to lose control of your car on an autocross course?

    Not exactly, but haven’t you ever almost gotten into an accident, or had to swerve around something?

    What if you lose control of your car for whatever reason (slick road, someone bumps you, you had to swerve to miss a tree branch), and since you’re not wearing your seatbelt, you are being jostled around your seat/car and can’t reach the pedals?

    Being unable to stay in one position, behind your wheel and at the pedals, means you are less likely to be able to control your car.

    I thought this was pretty clearly what we were discussing.

  28. Anyone else want to try then? I’m really not trying to be difficult. I’m just trying to understand this idea that my seatbelt protects other people on the road (sidewalk?) Maybe I’m slow.

    I don’t wear a helmet when I ride. Does that mess with my ability to control the motorcycle?

  29. Also, if you don’t stay in one spot, it will be harder to control the wheel to try to avoid an accident, because, well, you’re flying around your car!

    I think it’s pretty evident that if you aren’t in a secure position in your seat, you’ll be less likely to keep in control of your car.

  30. @swordsbane: No, a helmet doesn’t keep you in one spot, it’s just there to protect your head.

    What is a seatbelt? A restraint. What do restraints do? Keep you in position. What can’t you do if you’re not in a steady position? Control the wheel and reach the pedals.

  31. @marilove: Being unable to stay in one position, behind your wheel and at the pedals, means you are less likely to be able to control your car.

    I rarely wear a seat belt myself, but I agree that it’s been proven over and over that they do decrease injuries from accidents. Has it ever been shown, however, that wearing a seat belt increases your chances of avoiding an accident? Logically, intuitively I agree with your points, but is there data?

  32. “Not exactly, but haven’t you ever almost gotten into an accident, or had to swerve around something?”

    Yes. That is what I was talking about. I don’t think that if I did not have a seat belt on that I would have lost control of my car.

    I’m not disputing that it is more likely you will keep your seat when you have a seatbelt on, but I’m not convinced that it is that much of a danger. Are there any statistics on how accidents happen? How many of them might have been prevented by wearing a seatbelt?

    “What if you lose control of your car for whatever reason (slick road, someone bumps you, you had to swerve to miss a tree branch)”

    All have happened to me. Same as above. In fact, once when I slid on some ice, my seatbelt locked because of how the car was moving and I almost couldn’t turn the wheel far enough to get out of the slide.

  33. @davew:

    that wearing a seat belt increases your chances of avoiding an accident? Logically, intuitively I agree with your points, but is there data?

    I’m not sure if there is data. I was going to google, but we’re having network issues :(, so if you find something, please post it!

    I don’t think it necessarily decreases your chance of getting into an accident, but I DO think it would make it much more likely for you to be able to keep control of your car.

    I mean, you cannot expect to keep control of your vehicle if you’re bouncing around.

  34. “I mean, you cannot expect to keep control of your vehicle if you’re bouncing around.”

    I think that’s the problem I’m having. I don’t think that there is enough bouncing around before you get into an accident to cause you to leave your seat, and after an accident, controlling your car is the least of your worries.

  35. @swordsbane:

    I don’t think that if I did not have a seat belt on that I would have lost control of my car.

    Logically, I think it would make it more likely that you would lose control of your car. There is a reason why Vengeful Harridan (Elexina) mentioned autocross racing: It’s much easier for them to control their vehicles during sharp turns when they are wearing their seatbelts.

    Swerving suddenly is very similar to that — except worse, because it’s not expected or planned.

    I’m not disputing that it is more likely you will keep your seat when you have a seatbelt on, but I’m not convinced that it is that much of a danger.

    Really? How is not being in your seat when you’re attempting to keep control of your car NOT dangerous? How do you expect to keep control of your car if you aren’t in your seat and therefore can’t reach the pedals or keep a handle of the wheel … since you’r bouncing around like a bag of potatos?

    All have happened to me. Same as above. In fact, once when I slid on some ice, my seatbelt locked because of how the car was moving and I almost couldn’t turn the wheel far enough to get out of the slide.

    It’s not exact. Of course some situations will be different. However, what if you got thrown to the passanger seat instead and couldn’t reach the wheel AT ALL? I’d say you were probably better off staying in one spot.

    Also, seat belts sometimes DO get in the way — if you flip and get tangled, for instance. It happens. They aren’t perfect. But they do FAAAR more good than harm.

  36. @swordsbane: …Again, look at autocross. Seatbelts keep them in one spot so they can turn sharply without moving around in their seats.

    What if you are on a slick road, and you suddenly start spinning out of control? Do you honestly think you’re going to stay in one spot if you’re spinning out of control? If you’re spinning and therefore getting tossed into the passanger seat, you can’t control the wheel! If your’e in one spot, you can.

  37. Let me put it this way, folks. I always wear my seatbelt because I was trained that way in aviation. I feel …weird…not wearing one in a vehicle of any kind. Besides, if you’ve ever ridden one of those crash simulators the police departments have, you’ll be convinced of the utility of seatbelts very quickly.

    As far as culture goes, the airlines have the same industry-related jargon problems as I.T. and other industry communities. We had to remind ourselves not to use our jargon in public contact positions, because it can sound like we’re speaking Greek. Airport codes, acronyms, technical terms, industry-specific terms, etc.

    And, yeah – I miss Wisconsin, too. I miss “pop,” “bubblers,” etc. :-D I miss the friendly waves and “Hi’s” from total strangers a lot, too.

    @killyosaur42: Love those mixed up lyrics…Longfellow and Gordon Lightfoot… :-D

  38. “If you’re spinning and therefore getting tossed into the passanger seat, you can’t control the wheel! If your’e in one spot, you can.”

    To what end? I think it’s a question of degrees. If you’re in such a spin as you say, only a professional driver is going to be able to get out of it anyway, seat belt or not. Your average street driver might make it worse even if in full control of the vehicle. There is a difference between shifting in your seat and getting thrown from it.

    If you can convince me that there is a situation where the car is moving about violently enough to cause me to lose control of my car if I don’t have a seatbelt on, yet not so violent that I have already lost control, then I can buy your theory. So far I am not aware of such a situation.

  39. “If you can convince me that there is a situation where the car is moving about violently enough to cause me to lose control of my car if I don’t have a seatbelt on, yet not so violent that I have already lost control, then I can buy your theory. So far I am not aware of such a situation.”

    After reading this thread and seeing how long and OT it’s gotten, I don’t expect or desire another round of comments, but if you seriously can’t think of any example of how not being thrown from your seat would come in handy, either you’re feigning ignorance to maintain your position or your imagination is painfully lacking. Accidents, whether single-car or multiple, happen in wildly varying circumstances. Also, a basic appreciation for physics will inform you that the forces involved in even a small accident could certainly be sufficient to move you out of any position where proper control of the car is possible.

    Let’s imagine you’re on a road with a drop on one side. Coming around a corner, a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction in encroaching on your lane. You swerve to avoid and put yourself into a slide. There’s glancing contact, not enough to disable the car or eject you from the vehicle, but you’ve been thrown into the passenger seat. Imagine the car rolling toward the edge of the road and you’re unable to reach the brakes, the parking brake, etc. If you’d remained in your seat, you could correct the motion of the car and not end up rolling down the drop into whatever happens to be at the bottom.

    You asked. I provided. Deconstruct the situation if you wish, but I don’t think you can deny that such a situation could occur, or that countless others with similar outcomes (additional damage due to inability to reach controls) are possible.

    Beyond that, regarding your point on amateur vs. professional car control, I would think that the amateur driver (i.e. daily drivers with no professional driving experience) would WANT a restraint in an accident avoidance/recovery maneuver, given their tendency to over-correct and upset the balance of the car. A professional driver is much more likely to achieve the desired end (get car where car needs to be) with the minimum of input, whereas an amateur is likely to be panicky and to use an excess of steering, gas and/or brake input, or the wrong input entirely, for whatever situation.

  40. but if you seriously can’t think of any example of how not being thrown from your seat would come in handy, either you’re feigning ignorance to maintain your position or your imagination is painfully lacking

    That is not what I’m having trouble with. Being thrown from your seat is probably not a good thing… FOR YOU. My problem is the idea that being thrown from your seat could cause you to have an accident that you could have gotten out of had you kept your seat.

    Let’s imagine you’re on a road with a drop on one side. Coming around a corner, a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction in encroaching on your lane. You swerve to avoid and put yourself into a slide. There’s glancing contact, not enough to disable the car or eject you from the vehicle, but you’ve been thrown into the passenger seat. Imagine the car rolling toward the edge of the road and you’re unable to reach the brakes, the parking brake, etc. If you’d remained in your seat, you could correct the motion of the car and not end up rolling down the drop into whatever happens to be at the bottom.

    Yeah.. I guess I should have asked for something that is A) likely to happen and B) something your average driver would be able to handle if they had control of the vehicle. You can contrive a situation where having wings would save you, but that is not really the point. The situation you described is not typical. What would typically happen is that the car would strike you in a head-on, smack the rear of your car with enough force that skill is irrelevant after that point, or miss you altogether. To judge something dangerous, you have to demonstrate that it is generally dangerous, not just in specific circumstances. That is why I asked for statistics on crashes. If a major portion of accidents involving cars who’s drivers did not wear seatbelts would have been averted if the driver wearing a seat belt, then you’ve got something. Otherwise…. you can say it might help, and I have not disputed that, but to say not wearing a seatbelt makes you a danger to other drivers is just not supportable.

    “Beyond that, regarding your point on amateur vs. professional car control, I would think that the amateur driver (i.e. daily drivers with no professional driving experience) would WANT a restraint in an accident avoidance/recovery maneuver,”

    What an amateur driver would want is entirely besides the point. What would keep him from having an accident is what’s important. It doesn’t do any good to maintain control of a car if you’re just as likely to crash anyway. If a lack of skill makes your first reaction to swerve into oncoming traffic instead of to the shoulder of the road (assuming there is one) how does being in control of the car when you do that going to help? On the other hand, if the car is out of control, then at least you have a built in 50% change the car will swerve the other way, thereby possibly saving lives… maybe even your own, seatbelt notwithstanding. However, being a good driver is more important than a seat belt in reacting in the right manner to save both yourself and those around you…. unless you actually hit something, then your skill doesn’t matter. Wearing your seatbelt does.

    But I think I’ll go with your original thought about this discussion. Too long and OT.

  41. @marilove: More people who are hurt indirectly when you don’t buckle up:

    Your co-workers and employer, if you miss work at a vital time, or if they have to waste a lot of time and money finding and training your replacement.

    Your friends and family.

    The critically ill patient in the emergency room who dies because the ER was overwhelmed dealing with you and all your unbelted passengers coming in with preventable injuries at the same time.

    The EMTs and police officers who have weeks of nightmares about your horribly mutilated body that they couldn’t save, instead of feeling good about successfully treating less grisly and survivable injuries.

  42. @marilove: you have a point, there are some indie films (moreso now, but still not that many), though most indie movies I had to drive to MPLS to see (since the Columbia 4 or the Empire, back when they were still open and functioning as theatres only, only seemed to get the mainstream dumb popcorn movies).

    I will have to ask my family next time I go back there, if they knew Lee Barnum. Haha, it would be the Red River that you are referring to, as lakes in Grand Forks (and Northern/Eastern North Dakota) are pretty much non-existent. :)

  43. @swordsbane: This doesn’t resolve the question directly, but it is at least a related issue: The engineers who designed airbags were very concerned about the bags deploying in minor accidents, and thus causing a follow-on serious accident because the driver would likely lose control of the car due to the airbag deployment. Thus, there’s a pretty high trigger threshold for airbags – you don’t want the bag to deploy just because you merely knocked over a frangible road sign, and then as a result slam into a bridge abutment with your airbag already spent. Doesn’t fully resolve the seat-belt question, but it does show that experts do in general worry about moderate accidents leading to follow-on serious accidents due to loss of control.

    Consider jumping a high curb or running over a large piece of solid debris in the road at over 40 mph. That’s a common accident, and violent enough to potentially jar your hands off the wheel, slam your head into the roof, and shift your body. Yet your car will still be traveling fast and still be potentially controllable after banging over the curb or debris. I can see the seatbelt helping prevent a follow-on accident here.

  44. I don’t know that I have. The other night I was talking about the fact that casual Friday is inconvient. My wife told me to just wear my suit. I said I was trying to fit in with the rest of the staff. At which point my family laughed at me and told me I would never fit in anywhere.

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