The Daily Incite - March 11, 2008

Submitted by Mike Rothman on Mon, 2008-03-10 19:19.
Today's Daily Incite

March 11, 2008 - Volume 3, #25

Good Morning:
By the time you read this, I'll be in the air probably mid-way over the Atlantic on my way back to the States. As I mentioned yesterday, it was great to get "across the pond," but I'll also be glad to be in my bed and hanging with mi famiglia tonight. Of course, I have some other observations about Europe.

Smart fortwo carFor those of us in the States, we take room for granted. I guess in some cities, they build up - but for the most part folks in the US build out. That's what urban sprawl is about. In Europe, that's not really an option. Space is a premium, so they do everything they can to conserve it and use it effectively. The most obvious indication of that is the cars.

The cars are small. Like ALL of them. Many of you have seen Mini Coopers. The Mini is a giant over in Europe. The Smart fortwo is real small deal and kind of cute in a weird Luigi kind of way. But I will admit that every time I saw one pass by, I checked for clowns. Seriously, anything that small has to be a clown car in the circus. The Europeans thought I was crazy, but so now they can join the Americans in that realization.

The fortwo is so small I wanted to put it in my carry-on bag and take it home. I'm pretty sure it would fit in the overhead bin. But knowing Delta, they'd charge me for an overweight bag. They have to get paid somehow. And the Europeans drive these things fast. As you are walking on the sidewalk, they'd buzz by - but you'd pay no heed. How much damage could a toy car do?

Of course, the car isn't a toy. And allegedly it's coming to the US very soon. I'm not sure how it will go over with the US mentality - bigger is better and more power is best crowd. They say it's safe, but I learned a bit about Physics in college and I have to imagine the Smart fortwo versus the Expedition doesn't really end well, for the passengers in the Smart anyway.

Though interestingly enough, I saw no mini-vans. I wonder what the soccer moms drive over here, although I guess they should be called futbol moms to be geographically correct. I did see one Hummer on the streets. I guess that guy got lost and took a wrong turn somewhere along the line. That car was sorely out of place. Can you imagine the conversation? "Damn Alice, we should have made a LEFT at Ocean City - what kind of crappy navigator are you?" Again, it is good to get out of my little comfort zone and see other cultures.

Hopefully you've gotten a little flavor for my quick roadtrip, if you consider 9 hours in a plane quick. We'll tackle important stuff on Thursday. Like the idiocy of Daylight Savings Time. Or maybe Eliot Spitzer's most excellent adventure and my new favorite acronym - KYDIYP. Bonus points for anyone that can tell me what it means. And no, don't put a blog comment in, this is a family blog. Send me an email.

Have a great day.

Photo credit: Blue Smart fortwo uploaded by Fleur-Design

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