Channel 19 – December 20081

NOTHING BUT A SMILE! SCIENCE VALIDATES DEL REEVES EFFECT
Researchers at Vanderbilt University have found that a glimpse of a sexy photo distracts
drivers for much longer, up to eight times as long as the glimpse. New Scientist
magazine expects safety advocates to push for a ban on sexy billboards because of this “attentional rubbernecking.”

We prefer to call it the Del Reeves Effect. The trucker in his 1965 hit “Girl on the Billboard” sees 20 wrecks a day “caused by the girl wearing nothing but a smile and a towel in the picture on the billboard in the field near the big old highway.”


JUST IN TIME GIFTS? CLUTCH HAS THE TOUCH
The new book A Semi for a Sleigh is a fable about a toy-hauling trucker named Clutch who does a Christmas Eve good deed and is helped in return by a certain jolly old elf.

Retired trucker Mark Mendonsa of Wasilla, Alaska, thought up the story years ago, while dashing through the snow in a 1975 Kenworth. “My chains hit a dry spot in the pavement, and they sounded just like sleigh bells ringing.”

Mark and his mother, Mary, wrote the book; Karen Whitworth illustrated it; and Mark’s musician brother, Charles Victor, composed and recorded the accompanying CD. The package is $15.95 from this site.


SWISS RECYCLERS WARP TARPS
All the rage in Europe is the canvas Freitag bag, made of recycled truck tarps.

Swiss brothers Markus and Daniel Freitag were design students living next to a busy Zurich highway when they got the idea in 1993. They’ve sold more than 400,000 bags at $120 to $220 apiece. European truck tarps tend to be colorful and graphics-heavy, even when chopped into briefcase-sized rectangles. A Freitag bag is even on display in New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Visit this site.


KATRINA LEFT HIM SHAKEN AND STIRRED
“I figured if I didn’t keep moving, I would end up with one large milkshake.”
– Bob Armstrong tells the Carlsbad (N.M.) Current-Argus about hauling milk through Hurricane Katrina.

HOLD YOUR WATER, SAMARITAN TOLD
“He went there to help, and now he’s sorry. He’s a victim now. He’s hungrier and thirstier than the victims.”
– Dispatcher Stacy Lopez tells NBC-4 in Los Angeles about Phillip Jacobs, as he waited for
a fourth day in Gulfport, Miss., for FEMA to unload his bottled water.

NOT-SO-RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS
“Some people say the hurricane was an act of God. The act of God is what is happening, the community helping out.”
– Jeff Striker of Silverton, Ore., as he helped owner-operator Matt Streeter get relief supplies to Katrina victims, in the Silverton Appeal Tribune


Have something for Channel 19?
Send it to Andy Duncan, Overdrive, P.O. Box 3187, Tuscaloosa, AL 35403 or aduncan@randallpub.com.

You’ll get an Overdrive tag if your item is published.

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