Roadside cartoon characters give Boston drivers the bird

| December 12, 2008

Roadside LED displays of obscenely gesturing characters from the Cartoon Network series “Aqua Teen Hunger Force,” about crime-fighting fast-food items, prompted Boston to shut down I-93 and other arteries Jan. 31, for fear they were bombs. Officials denounced the “hoax” and arrested two publicity guys, who at their press conference would answer questions only about 1970s hairstyles. In nine other cities, the displays caused nary a ripple. The network apologized and has pledged $2 million to pay for reimburse Boston emergency responders and to pay for homeland security programs. After all this, the “Aqua Teen” movie – airing this month – has to be a letdown.

I-93 and other arteries Jan. 31, for fear they were bombs. Officials denounced the “hoax” and arrested two publicity guys, who at their press conference would answer questions only about 1970s hairstyles. In nine other cities, the displays caused nary a ripple. The network apologized and has pledged $2 million to reimburse Boston emergency responders and to pay for homeland security programs. After all this, the “Aqua Teen” movie – airing this month – has to be a letdown.


ICE-ROAD HAULING GETS MORE SLIPPERY
Maintaining the 370-mile ice road to the Canadian gold and diamond mines north of Yellowknife is an even greater challenge thanks to global warming, says the February Popular Mechanics. Because of temperatures jumping 40 degrees above normal, truckers leave seat belts unbuckled in case they have to leap free of a sinking cab. Engineer Sam Proskin calls ice an unpredictable building material: “If you heated steel to near its melting point and put loads on it, it would act strangely, too.”


IF YOU CAN’T PUMP IT, WALK IT
Our Word-A-Day Calendar tells us that “deasil,” pronounced just like “diesel,” is an old English word meaning clockwise. The ancients ritually “walked the deasil” around sacred stones. Perhaps if you walked the deasil in reverse around fuel pumps it would produce some counter-clockwise motion on fuel prices. Now that would be a dea-
light!


OVER THE LINE
Thanks to new travel requirements, the U.S. State Department issued a record 320,000 passports in a single week in January. Soon, passports or FAST (Free And Secure Trade) cards will be required for cross-border trucking, too.


HAVE SOMETHING FOR CHANNEL 19?
Send it to Andy Duncan, Overdrive, P.O. Box 264, Frostburg, MD 21532 or aduncan@rrpub.com. You’ll get an Overdrive tag if your item is published.

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