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I've had this stuck in my head for days: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cVOOXQo22o Hope Eyrie, by Leslie Fish, about the first moon landing. Truly goosebumpy.
Toggle Commented Jul 20, 2009 on let's go to the moon at WWdN: In Exile
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I was hit from behind at 35 weeks pregnant myself!
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I was taught a two-second rule. Apparently my father was taught a 1 second rule and my grandfather was taught to get as close as he possibly could to save gas.
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I've had one true surprise when I was driving... a kid on a bike came flying through on the sidewalk in front of my house, instead of the bike lane (kid=12 or 13). The neighbors have high hedges right there, we have zip visibility until we pull forward enough... with pedestrians there's plenty of time to react, but that kid ended up putting a hand on my bumper as I stopped hard and he swerved. It's actually a violation in my town for people to ride bikes on sidewalks on streets where there's a bike lane. I saw a girl break her leg getting hit by a car coming out of a driveway, because the driver pulled forward to see traffic, and didn't see her come because a building blocked the view.
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I once saw a really shocking crash... I was driving a tiny little Geo Metro and thought, "You know, that light is hanging on green a long time..." And it was still green as I got into the point of no return, but I'd noticed some flash out of the corner of my eye and slowed a beat... the car in the left lane next to me went flying through the intersection, still on a green light (they weren't speeding, but were going as fast as one ever goes in that area)... ...When their SUV was slammed so hard by a pickup truck that had run the red light that the police looked at me in disbelief when I told them which car had come from which direction, because they'd flipped and spun so much that it looked like they'd been coming from the left and right and the car that got hit had been making a left turn rather than my way and to my right. But I know what I saw. I don't even know what in me noticed that truck not slowing down, but my reflexes saved me.
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Don't let the what-if eat at you. The mental stress is not worth it. Yes, terrifying. Yes, an object lesson in not driving like an asshole. But... I was in a situation where my tire blew on a highway going 65 mph. I had my daughter in the car, back in the bad old days when we turned carseats around at 20 pounds OR 1 year, so my 6 month old was sitting facing forward in the passenger seat, and when the tire blew, I had no idea what had happened, but I lost control, the car spun, and I brought it to a stop perpendicular to traffic. The thing that left me shaking? After I got it to a stop, I was thinking that it was a slick spot on the road, and I looked out the window to see a semi truck bearing down on my little girl. I had one of those moments where I was trying to think if I could get her out and away fast enough... but the truck stopped about 6 feet from us... because it was my tire and not some slick spot on the road. It felt like I'd experienced her death, only I hadn't, and that "what if" ate at me for months, I eventually had one of the rare times in my life when I seriously needed counseling to get through it. It wasn't you. The drivers walked away. Take a deep breath, remember the object lesson, and let it go. I know it's so so scary to think about... but it's done and you're okay.
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The woman sitting next to me in the theater became a fan of the original series when it aired, when she was 10 years old, which puts her in her 50's. She loved it so much that at the midnight screening, it was the second time she'd seen it in one day. The theater was PACKED. AT MIDNIGHT!!!!! A girl who looked, oh, 19 at the most, said as it ended, "Now I want to go home and watch ALL of Star Trek over again!" And so do I.
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