Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sustainable Saturday - Dashcam Fever

The Mayans didn't get the last laugh.  The Russians did.

Yesterday, I went online to see if the asteroid I had blogged about on February 5 had, indeed, missed the Earth - and saw the Internet was full of news about a meteorite hit in Russia.  It took a few minutes to establish that it wasn't the asteroid that was supposed to travel within 17,000. miles of our planet, but a small (as they go) meteor.  Just imagine if it had been bigger....

It wasn't too funny to the Russians, but it taught Americans a bit about Russian culture.  Not your normal Sustainable Saturday post but I am really fascinated by this entire story.  Maybe there is a lesson here about living in Nature.

The lesson is:  we are not in control. Not by a long shot.  And, it is the small and unexpected that will get us, if we don't prepare. If we don't watch and learn.  If we aren't on guard - or if we are distracted. For example, there are now reports of a meteor spotted overnight, in the San Francisco area. What else is happening that we don't know about?

For that lesson, we can thank the universal Russian dash-cams.
Americans now know that almost every Russian who drives has a webcam in their vehicle.   Good thing, too, as we now have thousands of videos featuring the descent of the meteor, its sonic boom, and its power in breaking out thousands of acres of glass.

Yesterday, I sat at my computer wondering:  really?  How did we get thousands of videos?

My son is visiting right now, and he told me, "Yes, Mom, didn't you know that all Russians have dash-cams in their cars?"  Apparently, for young men his age, watching videos of Russian vehicle crashes is a favorite spare-time activity.  You Tube has the tamer ones.  There are Russian sites that have uncensored ones, featuring blood, gore, and even fatal duels between crashed drivers.

In my youth, there would have been no humor.  Would these Russians have thought they were under attack by the U.S.? I think we here in the States may have thought the opposite.

So now, Russia is on the mind of most Americans, at least for the next few days.

I got to wondering if the Russians have a sustainability movement.  The good news is, they do.

And, yes, farmers markets.

(A long way from the Communist Soviet Union that existed in my youth, and for a lot of my life.  I realized I know little about the modern Russia.  So do many Americans.)

One of my in law cousins is going to visit Russia later this year for a river cruise.   I hope she brings back some exciting stories.

But hopefully, not as exciting as what happened yesterday.


  1. I had no idea that Russian cars had dash-cams. Kind of a crazy idea in some ways, but to capture so much meteorite footage is amazing! Thanks for the info!

  2. I didn't know about the dash-cams but I think it's a great idea! I can imagine many "whose at fault" accidents solved just by that feature alone!

  3. I guess I always assumed that what ever it was the US did it first and better - aha We do not have the info dash cams could provide. How great it is after yesterday. Everyone now knows the sights of a meteor. Thanks For Sharing!

  4. Wow. You learn something new every day. Russia has always fascinated me, and now I want to go check out some of these (less gory) dash-cam videos on YouTube.

  5. I heard a news reporter claim there was panic but the videos I saw did not show the panic we saw in Godzilla! Most of the citizens were curious, startled, and then anxious to share the experience or check on their loved ones via cell phone. Oh, a few people were running but they probably needed to get a bandage or see if their families were okay.

  6. Wow - Its a scary world sometimes - I dread the news and wonder deeply about some people - dash cams ? Ugh

  7. I read why so many Russian people have dashcams in their cars in The Guardian yesterday. It appears there's a lot of road rage and violence when people have minor accidents and that it's notoriously difficult to get courts to prosecute violent drivers without extremely solid evidence, so people use dashcams just in case they need evidence in court....

  8. Dash cams are on the rise in the US, as well.
    They are actually quite useful not only in the unfortunate event of an accident, but also for scenic routes or in case anything cool or interesting happens on the road that you'd like to keep and share.


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