A recently published tome called The Big Book of Death is (honest!) a compilation of actual documented stories of strange ways people have died, been killed or committed suicide. One of the book's more bizarre entries, related on a Cleveland talk radio show, involved a fight between two truckers at a truck stop. During the struggle, one of the combatants pulled a knife and threw it at the other guy. He missed and the knife instead became embedded in the sidewall of one of his rig's tires.
The air pressure escaped the ruptured tire with such force, it flung the knife back at the trucker who threw it, lodging it in his chest and killing him.
Dumb way to almost die
``Tort reform'' seems to be the popular buzz phrase of late.
In a column distributed by the Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service, Roger Conner, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based ``American Alliance for Rights and Responsibilities,'' singled out some frivolous litigation.
Take for instance a New York City couple who Mr. Conner said sued the transit authority for carelessness and negligence. Why? Because they were hit by a subway train as they were having sex on the tracks. A quick-acting motorman prevented them from getting seriously hurt.
No wonder the trains always seem to run late in the Big Apple.
It's art, by golly
The lowly Yugo (has your dealership repaired any lately?) may be gone, but some students of New York's School of Visual Arts found a way to preserve the cars for posterity.
Their artwork, displayed in a gallery in Grand Central Station in Manhattan, included redesigns of 28 of the failed economy cars, sans mechanicals, in such objets d'art as a barbecue grill, a slot machine and a mousetrap. A Yugo tipped on its side became an accordion.
Judging from the results, maybe somebody should get these creative sorts working with scrap tires.
And even more art
Speaking of scrap tires, the Pennsylvania Resources Council recently announced the winner of its ``Lens on Litter'' contest.
First place-and a $1,000 U.S. Savings Bond-went to David W. Coulter of Delaware Water Gap, Pa., for his photo entitled, ``Blow Out on Pensyl Creek.'' It featured a scrap tire-a whitewall, no less (see, they are making a comeback)-in the middle of a woodland stream.
A global success
A seven-member team of adventurers recently completed custom wheel maker American Racing Equipment's (ARE) first ``World Expedition.''
The intrepid voyagers began their expedition in Santiago, Chile, and ventured to the Patagonian Region of South America, one of the world's least explored areas.
They traveled for 10 days and 2,400 grueling miles through rivers, beaches, mountains, jungles, volcanoes and glaciers, driving two modified '95 Jeep Wranglers and a '95 Jeep Grand Cherokee supplied by Chrysler Corp.
The team included '94 SCORE Class 8 champion driver Brian Stewart, photographers and videographers from Chile, off-road racer Darren Skilton, and Jim Dindinger, motorsports manager for Rancho Dominguez, Calif.-based ARE.
Along the way, they donated supplies to a small Chilean school without electricity, where students sang for the crew in the light cast from Jeep headlights.
Among trip sponsors too numerous to mention was Goodyear, as well as many aftermarket equipment makers.
Nothing to sneeze about
The Columbus Dispatch reported that ``daily mold and pollen count reports one day may include another measurement-the amount of tiny airborne particles that spin off automobile tires.''
The article said experiments suggest the latex in tires may cause allergic reactions, one reason asthma is on the rise in some urban areas. Studies are being conducted in California on rubber tire particles collected from a guardrail near a Los Angeles freeway.
Maybe they should also check for allergic reactions to watching too many hours of the O.J. Simpson trial.