Do You Know What to Do When a Traffic Light Stops Working?

Do You Know What to Do When a Traffic Light Stops Working?

Do You Know What to Do When a Traffic Light Stops Working?

With all of the technology around us that helps keep the world running, it can be hard to imagine what things used to be like before that tech existed. How could people have lived without all of this amazing stuff? Well, every once in a while we get to find out. As amazing as all of this tech is, it isn’t indestructible, and can sometimes come crashing down.

Take for instance one of the most important bits of technology for drivers, especially those traveling through cities: Stoplights. These simple bits of tech may not seem like a big deal, but when they go down, they can cause quite a commotion.

Who Would Have Thought Traffic Lights Would Have Such an Impact

As drivers, everyone expects that everything will go their way. Cars will drive on the right side of the road, drivers will stay in their lanes, and use turn signals when needed. When something like this doesn’t work properly, such as a driver not signaling their turn or lane change, it can be frustrating.

What can be more frustrating, and even confusing for some, is when a traffic light goes down. Traffic lights can go down for a few different reasons, such as:

  • Power outage
  • Computer failure
  • Maintenance

When this occurs, all of the lights in the intersection will either blink the red light on and off, or they will go black entirely. This can cause a lot of confusion for drivers who were expecting the light to be working and telling them how to proceed through the intersection.

So, what are drivers supposed to do when they come across and intersection with stoplights that are not working?

How to Drive Through Downed Stoplights

The answer to that questions is actually very simple and straight forward. When stoplights go down, drivers are supposed to treat the intersection the same way they would one controlled by stop signs.

This means that drivers need to come to a full stop before entering the intersection. They should allow other drivers who reached the limit line before them to go first. So long as everyone is polite and takes their turn, things will move smoothly.

Some drivers assume that if the road they are on is a main road, and the other one a minor one, they on the main road do not have to stop. This is wrong. All cars in all directions have to stop before entering the intersection. Ironically, by stopping this keeps traffic moving in all directions.

Everyone has seen a working stoplight intersection before, and can reproduce it on a smaller, turn-based scale. For example, the traffic could proceed as follows, one car at a time per lane:

1. Cars on the up and down road seeking to make a left can go first.
2. Cars going straight on the up and down road go next.
3. Cars making left turns on the right and left road go next.
4. Cars going straight on the right and left roads go next.
5. Repeat the process.

So long as everyone works together, things will run smoothly.

Just Take Turns

Dealing with a downed traffic light isn’t exactly fun. When people are driving, they expect everything to be working properly so that they can get to their destination on time. With all of the technology at our disposal, this should be easy, but sometimes, tech fails.

Something as small as a traffic light going down can greatly slow down a person’s commute. However, trying to rush through a down intersection only create more problems for everyone else. It is in everybody’s interest to work together and take turns.

Do you have another good example of when a small bit of tech goes down that had a bigger impact than you might have guessed? Share it in the comments down below.

Viral Internet Challenge: Licking Ice Cream In Store

Viral Internet Challenge: Licking Ice Cream In Store

Viral Internet Challenge: Licking Ice Cream In Store

Now, a new challenge is starting to spread across the internet and some people think it is just a harmless prank. This is often due to the fact that they never have to see the repercussions of their actions. However, because these people were dumb enough to post the videos of themselves committing the “prank” online, they are often subjected to criminal charges.

Licking Ice Cream Can Get You Arrested

With summer here, everyone is looking for ways to cool off. For the most part, this means going someplace like a beach or pool. However, there are other ways to cool off. One favorite method is by having a frozen treat. Ice cream is a preferred favorite. Kids and adults alike get excited picking out their favorite tub of ice cream form the store. It’s cool, creamy, sweetness will provide an excellent escape from the heat of summer.

However, that tub of ice cream may not be all it’s cracked up to be thanks to a new internet trend.

A few weeks ago, a video was posted to social media showing a woman removing a tub of ice cream from a store shelf, opening it, licking the top of the ice cream, then closing the container and returning it to the shelf. While not inherently dangerous, this prank poses a threat to people’s health and is an easy way to spread germs. As such, this prank was taken very seriously by Blue Bell, the company that produces the ice cream seen in the video, and law enforcement agencies.

Despite the anonymity that the internet provides, a person is not safe simply due to the vastness of the World Wide Web. Law enforcement agencies and Blue Bell were able to track down the carton in the video, and the culprit behind the act. As it turns out the woman in the video is a minor, and the case has been handed over to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department.

Copycats Beware

As if one instance of the instigator of this trend wasn’t enough, consider what happened to a copycat in Louisiana. A 36 year old man copied the prank at another store local to him, and even took things further by sticking his fingers in the ice cream. He then posted the video to social media. However, things get interesting from there.

The store caught the man on security cameras and called the authorities. However, they failed to notice, and the posted video did show, that the man did end up taking the tub of ice cream out of the freezer again and buying it. Despite that fact, the man was arrested and transported to jail. He was charged with unlawful posting of criminal activity for notoriety and criminal mischief.

This just goes to show that no one should be licking any ice cream that doesn’t already belong to them. Doing so could get you into serious legal trouble.

Don’t Lick Ice Cream Unless It Is Yours

Ice cream is a sweet treat that pretty much everyone enjoys. Don’t ruin it for others by licking it and putting it back on the shelf. Not only is that unsanitary and gross, but it is also illegal. Stores will alert authorities to the activity and they will track people down and arrest them. No one wants to go to jail because they licked ice cream.

Everyone has their own favorite sweet treat to cool off with in the summer, what is yours? Do you have a particular ice cream flavor that you just have to have, or do you prefer a nice popsicle? Share it in the comments down below and stay cool this summer.

Be Careful Where You Walk Your Dog This Summer

Be Careful Where You Walk Your Dog This Summer

Be Careful Where You Walk Your Dog This Summer

Taking care of others isn’t always easy. Often times, the other person or creature needs constant supervision to keep them safe and healthy. Without a constant, watchful eye, the dependent could cause trouble, get hurt, or worse. This is often the case with pets, especially dogs.

Dogs need to be walked and cleaned regularly. Luckily, with summer here, walking dogs is no big deal. The mornings and evening in summer provide the best weather for taking a pup on a nice stroll around a park or along a hiking trail. However, there is a danger for dogs lurking along trails and out there in the wilderness, one that many people would not initially expect.

Foxtails Can Be Harmful to Dogs

Everyone knows that summer brings warmer weather with it. While this warmer weather can be enjoyable for going outside, it cooks the landscape. As plants begin to dry up, many of them begin to seed before dying. One grass in particular has what, at first glance, may appear harmless, but in actuality can be dangerous to dogs. These plants are called foxtail grasses.

Foxtail grasses are clumps of grasses that come in varying sizes. The grasses can be recognized by their fluffy looking flower and seed cluster. These seed clusters often hold hundreds of seeds that all look like tiny foxtails, which is where the name comes from.

A person has often encountered these seeds while hiking when they feel something poking them in their sock. These seeds are great at getting lodged into anything scraggily, such as socks, and can be very uncomfortable. Luckily, when a person feels the seed poking them, it can be removed easily enough with a bit of firm pulling to untangle it. Unfortunately, for fury companions, getting stuck with one of these seeds can be more harmful.

These seeds like to get lodged in dog’s furs, ears, and noses. Not only is this likely incredibly annoying for the poor pooch, it can cause a bit of harm to the pup if left untreated. The seeds can end up getting lodged further into the skin, where it can cause an infection. The infection can become lethal to the dog if left untreated.

In order to keep dogs healthy and happy, and owner needs to brush down their dog after any walk. This should remove any foxtails from the pup’s fur. Then the owner should checks for any foxtails in their dog’s ears, nose, and in-between paws. If any are found, they should be removed as soon as possible. If things start to get bad, the person should take their dog to the vet.

Keep an Eye out for Foxtails

After California’s surprisingly rainy spring, there are plenty of foxtails out their just waiting to get lodged in some poor dog’s fur. A dog owner should choose their walking locations carefully, and avoid any areas where foxtails. A person should also weed their yard and get rid of any foxtail grasses there to help keep the yard safe for dogs.

All any good dog owner wants to do is keep their pup healthy and happy, and keeping the pooch away from foxtails is a great way to do that. Has your pooch ever had a bad encounter with foxtails? Do you have any tips for dealing with foxtails, or for any other problems that a caring dog owner should know about? Share them in the comments below and help others keep their pups safe from harm.

Does the ShakeAlert System Work?

Does the ShakeAlert System Work?

Does the ShakeAlert System Work?

While people all over the country were celebrating the Fourth of July, Southern California got quite a shocking surprise. A magnitude 6.4 earthquake centered near Ridgecrest, California struck around 10:35 am. People from as far away as Orange County and Las Vegas felt the shaking from the quake. The area remained seismically active for the rest of the day, with another 5.4 quake striking the area around 4:07 am.

This quake was followed by a larger one, 7.1 magnitude, on July 5th.

This was all an important reminder for Californians that larger earthquakes can and will happen here. This drew the usual concern about how people should prepare for earthquakes. Some tips that we have gathered in the past on how to do this can be found here. This also drew some concern as people in Los Angeles wondered why they did not receive an alert from ShakeAlert.

What Is ShakeAlert?

ShakeAlert is an early earthquake warning system meant to alert people to earthquakes before they start shaking an area. The system began working in the fall of 2018. There are thousands of earthquake sensors all over the state of California. When one of the sensors detects a quake, it sends an alert to a research facility that then sends the alert out to anyone who has the app on their phone.

It is important to note that this system does not detect earthquakes before they occur. It simply detects the shaking at the epicenter and alerts surrounding areas. Thanks to modern technology, an earthquake can be detected and an alert send to the surrounding areas almost minute before the shaking reaches those areas.

The technology is still in development is largely being used by researchers to study quakes and fine tune the tech. they hope that they will be able to expand the system and give people greater early warnings. While a warning of less than a minute doesn’t sound like much, it can do a lot for people. This kind of warning can help prevent planes from taking off and landing during the shaking. It can stop people from driving onto bridges or into tunnels. It can help utility companies shut down systems and prevent fires from flaring up because of the quake. Those few seconds can actually make a huge difference.

While this tech is amazing, many people in Los Angeles realized that they never received an alert about the quake.

Why Weren’t LA Citizens Notified?

While many suspect that they didn’t receive an alert simply because the system doesn’t work, they would be wrong. The system worked, however it determined that the quake would not be strong enough to warrant alert residents of LA County to the earthquake.

As it currently stands, the system only alerts LA County residents if either:

  • An earthquake of magnitude 5.0 or stronger strikes within the boundaries of LA County.
  • An earthquake that happened outside of LA County will shake the area with an estimated shaking intensity of 4.

While the recent July 4thearthquake was a magnitude 6.4, it was not located within LA County. The ShakeAlert system estimated that shaking in the LA County are would only be intensity 3 . This is understandable from a scientific standpoint, as the difference in shaking between a magnitudes is bigger than people realize. A magnitude 5.0 earthquake is 10 times more violent than a magnitude 3.0.

However, for many people, not being alerted to the shaking before it began worried them, and caused them to question the effectiveness of the ShakeAlert system.

The System Does Work

The thing to take away from this is that the ShakeAlert System does work. It only sends alerts to areas that are about to experience large amounts of shaking. This is likely done to keep the alerts more important. If the system sent out alerts for every single earthquake, which California experiences hundreds of little ones each day, people would begin to ignore the alerts all together. It would become a lot like the story of the boy who cried wolf. No one would believe the system when a big earthquake finally hit.

Instead of getting upset that the system didn’t issue a warning for minor shaking, use this as a reminder to stay prepared. A person should have an exit strategy for any room they spend a lot of time in, whether that be at home or work. It is also a good idea to have some supplies stored away in the event that roads are too damaged to use and stores run out of supplies.

Did you feel the Fourth of July quake? Tell us about it, and how well you handled the shaking in the comments down below.