The Sideshow
  • Persuading people to put down their phones while behind the wheel is an ongoing struggle for companies, police departments, your mom and just about everybody who has a vested interest in your not dying.

    And yet, people still do it. Perhaps this interactive PSA from Volkswagen will do a bit of good. In a video that's quickly going viral, a crowd of moviegoers enters a theater and gets ready to enjoy a flick (hopefully not "Blended").

    The lights dim and what looks like a commercial begins to roll. It's a first-person-POV video of somebody driving. Just motoring along, la dee da. Not much going on. The seconds tick by, the crowd is lulled into boredom, until everybody in the audience receives a "location-based" text message from someone behind the scenes.

    As soon as the moviegoers take their eyes off the commercial to reach for their phones, the car swerves off the road and crashes. The audience members gasp and then are silent as they ponder what just happened.

    The point is clear: Don't

    Read More »from VW produces eerie, interactive anti-texting PSA
  • The words "paddle boarders" and "deer rescue" don't often belong in the same sentence, but when they do, it's usually a story worth writing about.

    Two paddle boarders helped authorities from New Hampshire Fish and Game and the Hampton, N.H., police department rescue two deer that had wandered into the ocean Friday.

    Paddle boarders Matthew Roy and Eric Tidman told WMUR that they were enjoying their morning out on the water near Hampton Beach when they saw two deer struggling to swim in the surf. Authorities were called, and Operation: Aqua-Bambi was underway.

    The rescue took more than two hours, and the paddle boarders ended up playing a big role. Initially, rescue crews attempted to coax the deer back to the beach, according to WMUR. However, rather than return to shore, the distressed and clearly exhausted deer kept swimming.

    The paddle boarders, who we're guessing had no idea their morning was going to take a turn for the heroic, paddled out into the ocean to assist. Roy used a snare

    Read More »from Operation Aqua-Bambi: Paddle boarders assist in deer rescue
  • Fair or not, the postal service isn't exactly known for innovation. But 55 years ago, they tried something very different — maybe a little too different: delivery via guided missile.

    The missile wasn't intended to replace your friendly neighborhood mail carrier, make 53 different stops on Main Street, and develop an irrational fear of dogs. Instead, it was tested as a new way of getting large amounts of mail from point A to point B, where it would then be delivered the old-fashioned way, CBS News explains.

    The method was tested on June 8, 1959, when an unmanned missile was launched from a submarine off the coast of Florida. Inside the missile were 3,000 pieces of mail to various VIPs around the country, including one letter from Postmaster General Arthur Summerfield to President Dwight Eisenhower.

    The missile took off without a hitch, landed as planned, and the mail was then delivered. In the letter to Eisenhower, Summerfield wrote about how this new technology will "be utilized in

    Read More »from Once upon a time, snail mail was missile mail

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  • Formula One delivers dramatic year of rivalry and tragedy
    Formula One delivers dramatic year of rivalry and tragedy

    Formula One delivered a dramatic year of riveting rivalry, political controversy, human tragedy and financial uncertainty in 2014 as Lewis Hamilton joined the sport’s hall of fame as a double world champion. As Hamilton ended his year as champion, Jules Bianchi remained in a serious condition in hospital after suffering severe head injuries when he crashed in Japan and the sport’s finances, and future were the subject of much speculation. The sale in December of a nose section from a Marussia car, driven by Max Chilton, for £15,000 (pounds sterling) in an online auction sale that followed the team’s collapse was followed by reports that the sport’s commercial owners were struggling to find a leader to succeed 84-year-old ring-master Bernie Ecclestone. At the same time, after a winless season, Ferrari confirmed more staff departures – including the exits of engineering director Pat Fry and chief designer Nikolas Tombazis -- following a year of unprecedented upheaval that saw two-time champion Fernando Alonso, tempted by a massive salary, departing for McLaren.

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