Irregular Reporting of Societal IssuesSM

"Get your news weakly"SM 19 September 2005

Young Professional Has Too Much Disposable Income

Local software developer Steve Alpers, a recent graduate of James Madison University, issued a statement Saturday night indicating that his job is "really sweet" since his employer "pays me loads of cash". Mr. Alpers continued to address the gathered crowd at the local Mexican Restaurant, saying "I spent, like, all this money on really cool stuff". As evidence, Alpers referenced recent investments in a flat-screen TV and a new X-Box.

Alpers´ financial advisor and long-time confidante Mike Depuis urged caution, citing economic uncertainty, the rising cost of transportation, and a belief that "all that stuff you are buying is just useless crap, and TV is rotting your brain".

Mr. Alpers countered that Mr. Depuis´ financial conservatism is "a real bummer sometimes".

IT Professional Frustrated With Career

Local IT professional Stewart Mauler began writing sarcastic and ironic humor late last month. Experts feel this represents a cry for help.

Automakers Increase Focus On Safety

Citing increased pedestrian-vehicular interaction, automakers across the globe are beginning to place as much emphasis on safety outside the vehicle as they have within the vehicle. Such changes have been a focus of attention since unequal outcome was recognized in accidents involving SUVs and passenger cars. The latest attention, however, is directed primarily at making pedestrians safer for SUVs and light trucks.

Work has begun somewhat sporadically across the industry as several manufacturers addressed the front-end design of their vehicles. The intent was to design hoods and fenders that would allow pedestrians to bounce from the front of the vehicle in relative safety1, but many engineers grasped that more could be accomplished.


Always seeking to achieve more, Honda is said to be pursuing a highly secretive program to devise an Active Pedestrian Enhancement System (APES). APES, it is hoped, will save human lives by taking the full force of any unintended meeting of people and vehicles. Testing on APES is said to be well underway.

At General Motors, management has created a department of Road Kinesthetics & LifeLines (Road KiLL) with an aim toward making pedestrio-vehicular interactions a win-win situation. Some sources report brainstorming on safety devices that trace their pedigree to the "cow catchers" of historic All-American railroads.

While air bags have long been standard on the interior of many automobiles, similar protection has been slow to grace the exteriors of the same vehicles. German innovators at Daimler-Chrysler are working to rectify the situation. Bumper-deployed air bags seem promising, but engineers are still working to reduce the critical bounce-factor. Potential solutions include partnerships with 3M and Velcro.

Not to be outdone, Ford Motor Company´s newest SUV project code-named "Moses" has active Pedestrian Modified Safety (PMS) Units that are designed to clear a path in front of the SUV, as it moves through an unruly crowd, limiting damage to the paint job, while significantly reducing occurrence of minor injuries in loiterers and others not safely ensconced in a light truck, or at least a car.

The pedestrian-oriented safety features of the next generation of SUVs and light trucks are truly impressive, but industry experts acknowledge there is still a long way to go before all unsafe passenger cars can be replaced with pedestrian-friendly SUVs.

1 This one is completely true.

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© 2005 Lea Ann Mawler & Stuart Mawler