Driving down the highway -- 03/06/10

I took this picture two weeks ago (well, two weeks ago tomorrow) as I was driving back to Rhode Island from the gathering that Kate & Jim had hosted. This is on Interstate 84, somewhere near the New York / Connecticut border. This is not a truck going in the wrong direction; it is actually being towed. It certainly did look strange... and was a bit unnerving to be in the right lane, traveling at 65 miles an hour with this huge vehicle facing you, looking as if you are about to have a head-on collision with it. Thus, I quickly pulled over into the left lane in order to pass it. Sorry about the somewhat blurry picture but all I did was to quickly grab my little digital point-and-shoot camera, point it (one-handed), shoot the picture, and then concentrate on driving. (Note to those of you in Australia or the British Isles, etc.... this may not look quite as frightening to you until you realize that this is a limited access divided motorway so both lanes on this side are going in the same direction.)

I find that driving along a stretch of highway in the winter can be visually disturbing... when the sun is low on the horizon (and in mid-winter the sun never gets to be overhead even at noon) and you pass a wooded area filled with leafless trees and the long shadows of those bare trees stretch out across the highway and the alternating flashes of sun and shadow coming through the driver's side window produce a strobe effect. I wonder if that can sometimes cause some people to have an epileptic seizure? Think of the warnings posted sometimes at venues that may use strobe lighting or of the time (a number of years ago) when a trance-like state that was introduced into some children in Japan who were watching a certain cartoon show on television... and then some Japanese TV news programs showed a clip of that cartoon as part of a news story about the incident and some of their viewers also had problems. (Part of our corporate accessibility rules we have at work includes a ban on rapidly blinking or flashing images.)

I took this short video on that same trip home. The effect is not very pronounced because I am driving eastward so the sun is on the passenger side of the car. It is usually much stronger westbound when the sun is coming in the driver's window and the strobe effect is right on the driver's face. (Nevertheless, if you are prone to problems with strobe effects, feel free to skip the video.)

It's a bright sunny day here, mild temperatures, quite pleasant... and I've got lots of stuff to do, so I'd better get away from this computer and go get things done...

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