Wednesday, November 14, 2007


When a 3-year-old can buy a car and adults admit to daydreaming behind the wheel, it's time to buy a wig.

Chicks dig pink

The Neal family figured they'd buy their son a car one day, but not until he had his license—or was at least big enough to see over the dashboard.

That minor technicality was not enough to stop 3-year-old Jack, who had other plans when his mom left him momentarily unattended with her computer. She had unknowingly left her eBay account open, and after just a few random clicks. Jack, who isn't even old enough to read, managed to place the winning bid on a $17,000 Barbie pink Nissan Figaro.

Jack's parents had no idea what he had done until they received a confirmation e-mail from a car dealer who was delighted over what he thought was his very first sale through eBay.

At the Neal house, panic quickly turned into confusion. But all was made clear the following morning when Jack awoke and announced, "I've bought a car."

Jack's father called the dealership and explained what happened, and the dealership agreed to cancel the purchase and put the car back up for sale.

When asked if they were worried about Jack pulling future stunts on the Internet, the Neals said they were a little more concerned about their son's taste in cars.

The new look of safety

If you're looking for the perfect Christmas gift for the cyclist in your family, don't buy a helmet unless it comes with a wig.

So says researcher Ian Walker who recently took to the streets of England to determine if motorists take any fewer precautions when driving around bicyclists based on the rider's apparent level of safety.

To conduct his experiment. Walker rode a bicycle equipped with an ultrasonic distance sensor and recorded data from more than 2,500 passing motorists.

Walker first tried riding around with and without a helmet. He found that when he wasn't wearing a helmet, drivers gave him an average of 3.3 extra inches of room when passing. Conversely, when he had a helmet on, he was hit by a bus and later a truck.

Walker also tried wearing a blonde wig to see if drivers would react differently to what they perceived to be a female cyclist. This time he was given 5.5 extra inches of room, not to mention a few stares.

In the end. Walker concluded that while a helmet will certainly reduce the likelihood of a head injury in a crash, the crash itself probably won't happen if motorists think you're Tootsie.

Keep your mind on the road

We've all heard the warnings about how dangerous driver distraction can be, but it turns out that distraction can be more subtle than talking on your cell phone while eating a jelly doughnut and shaving.

According to a new study by a British car insurance company, one in five drivers admits to being distracted behind the wheel more than 25% of the time by his or her own thoughts.

So what has motorists so preoccupied? The most popular response was work, followed by family issues, with still millions more admitting to daydreams of sex.

The study also revealed motorists' biggest pet peeves. Topping the list was tailgating (28%), lane hogging (20%), being cut off (11%), and cross-dressing cyclists (2%)