Eating ice cream with your eyes closed essay - what is a thesis statement in a rhetorical analysis









eating ice cream with your eyes closed essay

eating ice cream with your eyes closed essayEating ice cream with your eyes closed essay -It’s not just loud music or a tight deadline or even an impending visit from your mother-in-law. By the late nineteen-nineties, it had become the most profitable factory of any industry in the world. Some factory workers, with overtime, were making two hundred thousand dollars a year. boom was like Apple’s bringing back the Macintosh, dressing it up in colorful plastic, and suddenly creating a new market. ” Bradsher brilliantly captures the mixture of bafflement and contempt that many auto executives feel toward the customers who buy their S. Clotaire Rapaille, whose speciality is getting beyond the rational—what he calls “cortex”—impressions of consumers and tapping into their deeper, “reptilian” responses. buyers thought about safety they were thinking about something that reached into their deepest unconscious. 1 feeling is that everything surrounding you should be round and soft, and should give,” Rapaille told me. Then there’s this notion that you need to be up high. If you asked the young parents of America whether they would rather strap their infant child in the back seat of the Trail Blazer or the passenger seat of the Boxster, they would choose the Trail Blazer. Within twenty minutes, I had a two-hundred-and-seventy-one-dollar speeding ticket. Dogs were restrained by a harness, so that they couldn’t move, and then repeatedly subjected to a series of electrical shocks. On August 9, 2000, the Bridgestone Firestone tire company announced one of the largest product recalls in American history. The cost of the recall—and of a follow-up replacement program initiated by Ford a year later—ran into billions of dollars. In the fall of that year, senior executives from both companies were called to Capitol Hill, where they were publicly berated.That you can look down is psychologically a very powerful notion. ” The Boxster is better when it comes to “active safety,” which is every bit as important. We live in an age, after all, that is strangely fixated on the idea of helplessness: we’re fascinated by hurricanes and terrorist acts and epidemics like sars—situations in which we feel powerless to affect our own destiny. It’s also worth remembering that during that same ten-year span almost half a million Americans died in traffic accidents. You could drive it up on someone’s lawn with impunity. According to a profile in Fortune (and people loved to profile Victor Gruen), he was a “torrential talker with eyes as bright as mica and a mind as fast as mercury.” In the office, he was famous for keeping two or three secretaries working full time, as he moved from one to the next, dictating non-stop in his thick Viennese accent. “The metric that people use is size,” says Stephen Popiel, a vice-president of Millward Brown Goldfarb, in Toronto, one of the leading automotive market-research firms. In the consumer’s mind, the basic equation is, If I were to take this vehicle and drive it into this brick wall, the more metal there is in front of me the better off I’ll be. The vehicle is designed to overcome its environment, not to respond to it. Having the engine provide power to all four wheels, safety experts point out, does nothing to improve braking, although many S. Champion says that one of the occasions when he came closest to death was a snowy day, many years ago, just after he had bought a new Range Rover. “Safety, for most automotive consumers, has to do with the notion that they aren’t in complete control,” Popiel says.It was that your mother fed you, and there was warm liquid. Getting the Trail Blazer to travel in a straight line, after that sudden diversion, hadn’t been easy. Standing still, the Boxster didn’t feel safe: I could have been sitting in a go-cart. The numbers are expressed in fatalities per million cars, both for drivers of particular models and for the drivers of the cars they hit. Our fixation with helplessness distorts our perceptions of risk. And, of those, a fair proportion involved people in S. V.s who were lulled by their four-wheel drive into driving recklessly on slick roads, who drove aggressively because they felt invulnerable, who disproportionately killed those they hit because they chose to drive trucks with inflexible steel-frame architecture, and who crashed because they couldn’t bring their five-thousand-pound vehicles to a halt in time. At night, he performed satirical cabaret theatre in smoke-filled cafés. Gruen got on the train to Princeton and came back with a letter of recommendation from Albert Einstein.More to the point, people eat at Legal Sea Foods only during the lunch and dinner hours—which means that if you put the restaurant in the thick of things, you’d have a dead spot in the middle of your mall for most of the day.“Cheap interior, cheap plastic,” he said, batting the dashboard with his hand. The national and local press wore out superlatives attempting to capture the feeling of Southdale. It is situated off I-494, south of downtown Minneapolis and west of the airport—a big concrete box in a sea of parking. It does not seem like a historic building, which is precisely why it is one. compact pickup subcompact subcompact subcompact pickup Are the best performers the biggest and heaviest vehicles on the road? Among the safest cars are the midsize imports, like the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord. In a head-on crash, an Explorer or a Suburban would crush a Jetta or a Camry. In Europe and Japan, people think of a safe car as a nimble car. The car is so small and close to the ground, and so dwarfed by other cars on the road, that an intelligent driver is constantly reminded of the necessity of driving safely and defensively. And I came to a stop sign on a major road, and I was driving probably twice as fast as I should have been, because I could. But I also weighed probably twice as much as most cars. “The car driver whose wheels spin once or twice while backing out of the driveway knows that the road is slippery,” Bradsher writes. People feel that the elements of the world out of their control are the ones that are going to cause them distress.Back at his office, on Fifth Avenue, Taubman took a piece of paper and drew a simple cross-section of a two-story building. You have an escalator here and an escalator here.” He drew escalators at both ends of the floors. No.” A full circuit of a two-level mall takes you back to the beginning.If I can put my coffee there, if I can have my food, if everything is round, if it’s soft, and if I’m high, then I feel safe. He got together with some other German émigrés and formed the Refugee Artists Group. It was a “customer trap.” This was a brand-new idea in American retail design, particularly on Fifth Avenue, where all the carriage-trade storefronts were flush with the street. Gruen designed Ciro’s on Fifth Avenue, Steckler’s on Broadway, Paris Decorators on the Bronx Concourse, and eleven branches of the California clothing chain Grayson’s. It covered a hundred and sixty-three acres and had nearly ten thousand parking spaces.Today, Short Hills has average sales of nearly eight hundred dollars per square foot; according to the Greenberg Group, it is the third-most-successful covered mall in the country. “But it cracked easily and was difficult to repair. We found that they are very sensitive to the surface, and when they get on one of those terrazzo floors it’s like a skating rink. The only direct contact you have with the building is through the floor.The Expedition was essentially the F-150 pickup truck with an extra set of doors and two more rows of seats—and the fact that it was a truck was critical. Ford had planned to sell the Expedition for thirty-six thousand dollars, and its best estimate was that it could build one for twenty-four thousand—which, in the automotive industry, is a terrifically high profit margin. That’s clearly because minivans are family cars, and parents with children in the back seat are less likely to get into accidents.Recently, Taubman’s fortunes took a turn for the worse when Sotheby’s, which he bought in 1983, ran afoul of antitrust laws and he ended up serving a year-long prison sentence on price-fixing charges.When Taubman and I approached the mall, the first thing he did was peer out at the parking garage. How you feel about it is very important.” Then he looked up and pointed to the second floor of the mall. “We don’t want anything to disrupt the view,” Taubman said.Then his company had to fend off a hostile takeover bid led by Taubman’s archrival, the Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group. Taubman directed the driver to stop in front of Bloomingdale’s, on the mall’s north side.The idea is to overcome what Taubman likes to call “threshold resistance,” which is the physical and psychological barrier that stands between a shopper and the inside of a store.One day not long ago, I asked Taubman to take me to one of his shopping centers and explain whatever it was that first drew people like him and Victor Gruen to the enclosed mall fifty years ago.Can you optimize lighting in a traditional downtown? Suppose that there was a downtown where the biggest draw was a major department store.Why, for instance, are so many malls, like Short Hills, two stories?Before long, the Michigan Truck Plant was the most profitable of Ford’s fifty-three assembly plants. But the overwhelming majority of consumers don’t need four-wheel drive. As Keith Bradsher writes in “High and Mighty”—perhaps the most important book about Detroit since Ralph Nader’s “Unsafe at Any Speed”—what consumers said was “If the vehicle is up high, it’s easier to see if something is hiding underneath or lurking behind it. ” According to Bradsher, internal industry market research concluded that S. V.s tend to be bought by people who are insecure, vain, self-centered, and self-absorbed, who are frequently nervous about their marriages, and who lack confidence in their driving skills. ” One of Ford’s senior marketing executives was even blunter: “The only time those S. V.s are going to be off-road is when they miss the driveway at 3 a. ” The truth, underneath all the rationalizations, seemed to be that S. To the engineers, of course, that didn’t make any sense, either: if consumers really wanted something that was big and heavy and comforting, they ought to buy minivans, since minivans, with their unit-body construction, do much better in accidents than S. ) But this desire for safety wasn’t a rational calculation. Over the past decade, a number of major automakers in America have relied on the services of a French-born cultural anthropologist, G. In my mind, I was still at the wheel of the Boxster. In psychology, there is a concept called learned helplessness, which arose from a series of animal experiments in the nineteen-sixties at the University of Pennsylvania.eating ice cream with your eyes closed essayThe factory that had begun as just another assembly plant had become the company’s crown jewel. Detroit is a town of engineers, and engineers like to believe that there is some connection between the success of a vehicle and its technical merits. But at the reptilian level they think that if I am bigger and taller I’m safer. What we forget, though, is that in the Trail Blazer you’re also much more likely to hit the tractor-trailer because you can’t get out of the way in time. But most of them didn’t; they just huddled in the corner, no longer believing that there was anything they could do to influence their own fate. The man who gives up his sedate family sedan for an S. That sounds like a lot, until you remember that the total number of tires supplied by Firestone to the Explorer from the moment the S. The allegation against Firestone amounts to the claim that its tires failed, with fatal results, two hundred and seventy-one times in the course of six hundred and thirty billion vehicle miles.In 1998, the Michigan Truck Plant grossed eleven billion dollars, almost as much as Mc Donald’s made that year. The demand for Expeditions and Navigators was so insatiable that even when a blizzard hit the Detroit region in January of 1999—burying the city in snow, paralyzing the airport, and stranding hundreds of cars on the freeway—Ford officials got on their radios and commandeered parts bound for other factories so that the Michigan Truck Plant assembly line wouldn’t slow for a moment. And what Rapaille concluded from countless, intensive sessions with car buyers was that when S. That’s a contradiction, because the people who buy these S. V.s know at the cortex level that if you are high there is more chance of a rollover. We feel that way because in the Trail Blazer our chances of surviving a collision with a hypothetical tractor-trailer in the other lane are greater than they are in the Porsche. Then the same dogs were shocked again, only this time they could easily escape by jumping over a low hurdle. ” For years, we’ve all made fun of the middle-aged man who suddenly trades in his sedate family sedan for a shiny red sports car. But at least it involves some degree of engagement with the act of driving. is saying something far more troubling—that he finds the demands of the road to be overwhelming. Because of mounting concerns about safety, the company said, it was replacing some fourteen million tires that had been used primarily on the Ford Explorer S. Millions more were spent by both companies on fighting and settling lawsuits from Explorer owners, who alleged that their tires had come apart and caused their S. It was the biggest scandal to hit the automobile industry in years. According to federal records, the number of fatalities resulting from the failure of a Firestone tire on a Ford Explorer S. V., as of September, 2001, was two hundred and seventy-one. was introduced by Ford, in 1990, was fourteen million, and that the average life span of a tire is forty-five thousand miles.And because the stores are arrayed along a road with cars on it, you don’t really have a mall where customers can wander from side to side.Gucci, Versace, and Chanel were placed near the highest-end department stores, Neiman Marcus and Saks.He gestured to a Legal Sea Foods restaurant, where he wanted to stop for lunch.At Short Hills—and at most Taubman malls—the ring road rises gently as you drive around the building, so at least half of the mall entrances are on the second floor.The average American mall has annual sales of around three hundred and forty dollars per square foot.It was off the main mall, at the far end of a short entry hallway, and it was down there for a reason.” During the design of Chrysler’s PT Cruiser, one of the things Rapaille learned was that car buyers felt unsafe when they thought that an outsider could easily see inside their vehicles. I started at the conservative speed of thirty-five m.p.h. I tried again, this time at thirty-eight m.p.h., and that small increment of speed made a dramatic difference. He began work on it almost exactly fifty years ago. It cost twenty million dollars, and had seventy-two stores and two anchor department-store tenants, Donaldson’s and Dayton’s.If there is a car that has no cupholder, it is not safe. On the straightaway, I steadied the Boxster at forty-five m.p.h., and ran it through the obstacle course. At fifty m.p.h., I navigated the left and right turns with what seemed like a twitch of the steering wheel. They took the first plane they could catch to Zurich, made their way to England, and then boarded the S. Statendam for New York, landing, as Gruen later remembered, “with an architect’s degree, eight dollars, and no English.” On the voyage over, he was told by an American to set his sights high—”don’t try to wash dishes or be a waiter, we have millions of them”—but Gruen scarcely needed the advice. Victor agreed to design it, and the result was a revolutionary storefront, with a kind of mini-arcade in the entranceway, roughly seventeen by fifteen feet: six exquisite glass cases, spotlights, and faux marble, with green corrugated glass on the ceiling.If Victor Gruen invented the mall, Alfred Taubman perfected it.Ideally, you ought to put the garage across the street and two blocks away, so shoppers, on their way from their cars and to their destination, would pass by the stores in between—dramatically increasing the traffic for all the intervening merchants.Taubman, who just turned eighty, is an imposing man with a wry sense of humor who wears bespoke three-piece suits and peers down at the world through half-closed eyes. It’s what happens when a larger number of drivers conclude, consciously or otherwise, that the extra thirty feet that the Trail Blazer takes to come to a stop don’t really matter, that the tractor-trailer will hit them anyway, and that they are better off treating accidents as inevitable rather than avoidable. The driver is seated as high and far from the road as possible. All it really does is improve what engineers call tracking—that is, the ability to accelerate without slipping in perilous conditions or in deep snow or mud.“They rent the space based on whether it fits, not necessarily on whether it makes any sense.” Taubman shook his head. The Boxster can come to a complete stop from sixty m.p.h. That’s a difference of about two car lengths, and it isn’t hard to imagine any number of scenarios where two car lengths could mean the difference between life and death. ” This is a new idea, and one largely confined to North America. The wheelbase is short enough that the car picks up the undulations of the road. Even four-wheel drive, seemingly the most beneficial feature of the S. “Everyone around me was slipping, and I was thinking, Yeahhh. “There are unexpected events that at any moment in time can come out and impact them—an oil patch up ahead, an eighteen-wheeler turning over, something falling down.At the far end of the mall is Neiman Marcus, and Taubman wandered in, exclaimed over a tray of men’s ties, and delicately examined the stitching in the women’s evening gowns in the designer department.But, on a recent trip from his Manhattan offices to the Mall at Short Hills, a half hour’s drive away in New Jersey, Taubman was in high spirits. “When I bought that property in 1980, there were only seven stores that were still in business,” Taubman said, sitting in the back of his limousine. It was done by a large commercial architect who didn’t understand what he was doing.” Turning it around took four renovations. Altman—two of the original anchor tenants—were replaced by Neiman Marcus, Saks, Nordstrom, and Macy’s. He walked through the short access corridor, paused, and pointed at the floor. “People used to use monolithic terrazzo in centers,” he said. I had another lesson in active safety at the test track when I got in the Trail Blazer with another Consumers Union engineer, and we did three emergency-stopping tests, taking the Chevrolet up to sixty m.p.h. People who wear their seat belts are almost half as likely to die as those who don’t buckle up.Of course, making windows smaller—and thereby reducing visibility—makes driving more dangerous, not less so. I’m not getting much communication back from the steering wheel. But, when it came time to swerve back to avoid the hypothetical oncoming eighteen-wheeler, I found that I was wrestling with the car. Southdale was introverted: the exterior walls were blank, and all the activity was focussed on the inside. eating ice cream with your eyes closed essay The result is heavy and rigid and not particularly safe. Forty-year-olds are ten times less likely to get into accidents than sixteen-year-olds.They used to call them hot spots.” This happened more than half a century ago.It’s amazing that intelligent, educated women will look at a car and the first thing they will look at is how many cupholders it has. In the early fifties, he designed an outdoor shopping center called Northland outside Detroit for J. This was little more than a decade and a half since he stepped off the boat, and when Gruen watched the bulldozers break ground he turned to his partner and said, “My God but we’ve got a lot of nerve.” But Gruen’s most famous creation was his next project, in the town of Edina, just outside Minneapolis.Even though over-exertion can increase your risk for headaches, staying sedentary doesn't help either. Talk to your doctor before beginning or revising any exercise regimen. But knowing what works for you (and what doesn’t) can help you avoid headaches in the future. Taubman’s malls average sales close to five hundred dollars per square foot.A shopping center is an exercise in coöperative capitalism.In 1950, when Taubman was still in his twenties, he borrowed five thousand dollars, founded his own development firm, and, three years later, put up a twenty-six-store open-air shopping center in Flint, Michigan.“We put fifteen per cent more parking on the upper level than on the first level, because people flow like water,” Taubman said. And we put our vertical transportation—the escalators—on the ends, so shoppers have to make the full loop.” This is the insight that drove the enthusiasm for the mall fifty years ago—that by putting everything under one roof, the retailer and the developer gained, for the first time, complete control over their environment.It’s four or five floors high, and shoppers are like water, remember: they flow downhill.On the day of my visit, Champion set aside two vehicles: a silver 2003 Chevrolet Trail Blazer—an enormous five-thousand-pound S. V.—and a shiny blue two-seater Porsche Boxster convertible. Champion warmed up the Chevrolet with a few quick circuits of the track, and then drove it hard through the twists and turns of the handling course. The idea is to see how fast you can drive through the course without knocking over any cones. In the middle he put a kind of town square, a “garden court” under a skylight, with a fishpond, enormous sculpted trees, a twenty-one-foot cage filled with bright-colored birds, balconies with hanging plants, and a café.Fifty years ago, Victor Gruen designed a fully enclosed, introverted, multitiered, double-anchor-tenant shopping complex with a garden court under a skylight—and today virtually every regional shopping center in America is a fully enclosed, introverted, multitiered, double-anchor-tenant complex with a garden court under a skylight.It is considered successful (and the mall owner makes the most money) when the maximum number of department-store customers are lured into the mall.If you’re walking on the first level, he explained, you have to be able, at all times, to have an unimpeded line of sight not just to the stores in front of you but also to the stores on the second level.So it’s going to be hard to generate traffic on the upper levels.The Bose electronics store was next to Brookstone and across from the Sharper Image, so if you got excited about some electronic gizmo in one store you were steps away from getting even more excited by similar gizmos in two other stores.“But the main reason is that it allows us to open up the store to the customer.” Taubman began making his way down the mall.It is tucked away in the woods, in south-central Connecticut, on the site of the old Connecticut Speedway. ” He turned onto the straightaway and stopped a few hundred yards from the obstacle course. Gruen had the idea of putting the whole complex under one roof, with air-conditioning for the summer and heat for the winter.“In Detroit, prior to the nineteen-fifties, the large department stores, like Hudson’s, controlled everything, like zoning,” Taubman said. They had enormous clout, and that’s why when Sears wanted to locate in downtown Detroit they were told they couldn’t.The point of a mall—the reason so many stores are clustered together in one building—is to allow smaller, less powerful retailers to share in that traffic.For a decade, he gave speeches about it and wrote books and met with one developer after another and waved his hands in the air excitedly, and over the past half century that archetype has been reproduced so faithfully on so many thousands of occasions that today virtually every suburban American goes shopping or wanders around or hangs out in a Southdale facsimile at least once or twice a month. One of Gruen’s contemporaries in the early days of the mall was a man named A. eating ice cream with your eyes closed essay A few years after that, inspired by Gruen, he matched Southdale with an enclosed mall of his own in Hayward, California, and over the next half century Taubman put together what is widely considered one of the finest collections of shopping malls in the world.It is headed by a trim, white-haired Englishman named David Champion, who previously worked as an engineer with Land Rover and with Nissan. Then he has to steer hard to the left, guiding the vehicle through a gate set off to the side, and immediately swerve hard back to the right, and enter a second sixty-foot corridor of cones that are parallel to the first set. Gruen put stores on two levels, connected by escalators and fed by two-tiered parking.When you try to explain this to your teacher she says, “Come on, you can do better than that excuse.” Instead of arguing, you take that as a challenge and come up with an elaborate story as to what happened to your homework. “You buy something because it is available and attractive,” Taubman said. The goods have to be all there.” When Taubman was designing stores in Detroit, in the nineteen-forties, he realized that even the best arcades, like those Gruen designed on Fifth Avenue, weren’t nearly as good at overcoming threshold resistance as an enclosed mall, because with an arcade you still had to get the customer through the door.Taubman fusses about lighting, for instance: he believes that next to the skylights you have to put tiny lights that will go on when the natural light fades, so the dusk doesn’t send an unwelcome signal to shoppers that it is time to go home; and you have to recess the skylights so that sunlight never reflects off the storefront glass, obscuring merchandise.In the history of the automotive industry, few things have been quite as unexpected as the rise of the S. You feel secure because you are higher and dominate and look down. In the parlance of the automobile world, the Trail Blazer is better at “passive safety. Learned helplessness is now thought to play a role in such phenomena as depression and the failure of battered women to leave their husbands, but one could easily apply it more widely. Manufacturers usually win prizes for failure rates that low. You could see if someone was lurking behind or beneath it. Victor Gruen was short, visit stout, and unstoppable, with a wild head of hair and eyebrows like unpruned hedgerows.“Hi, my name is Alfred Taubman—I’m your landlord,” he said, bending over to greet a somewhat startled sales assistant.Victor Gruen didn’t design a building; he designed an archetype. Drivers of the tiny Jetta die at a rate of just forty-seven per million, which is in the same range as drivers of the five-thousand-pound Chevrolet Suburban and almost half that of popular S. The benefits of being nimble—of being in an automobile that’s capable of staying out of trouble—are in many cases greater than the benefits of being big. Bringing five thousand pounds of rubber and steel to a sudden stop involves lots of lurching, screeching, and protesting. ” Jettas are safe because they make their drivers feel unsafe. That feeling of safety isn’t the solution; it’s the problem. Traffic-fatality rates vary strongly with driver behavior. 6 times more likely to die in accidents than non-drinkers.That’s why cupholders are absolutely crucial for safety. “I think you took out a few pedestrians,” Champion said with a faint smile. But when I ran it through the handling course I felt that I was in perfect control. (For example, in the first case, for every million Toyota Avalons on the road, forty Avalon drivers die in car accidents every year, and twenty people die in accidents involving Toyota Avalons.) The numbers below have been rounded: Toyota Avalon Chrysler Town & Country Toyota Camry Volkswagen Jetta Ford Windstar Nissan Maxima Honda Accord Chevrolet Venture Buick Century Subaru Legacy/Outback Mazda 626 Chevrolet Malibu Chevrolet Suburban Jeep Grand Cherokee Honda Civic Toyota Corolla Ford Expedition GMC Jimmy Ford Taurus Nissan Altima Mercury Marquis Nissan Sentra Toyota 4Runner Chevrolet Tahoe Dodge Stratus Lincoln Town Car Ford Explorer Pontiac Grand Am Toyota Tacoma Chevrolet Cavalier Dodge Neon Pontiac Sunfire Ford F-Series large minivan mid-size subcompact minivan mid-size mid-size minivan mid-size compact compact mid-size S. “When you feel safe, you can be passive,” Rapaille says of the fundamental appeal of the S. Yet, out of all those fatalities, regulators, the legal profession, Congress, and the media chose to highlight the .0005 per cent that could be linked to an alleged defect in the vehicle. He emigrated in 1938, the same week as Freud, when one of his theatre friends dressed up as a Nazi Storm Trooper and drove him and his wife to the airport. By the summer of 1939, the group was on Broadway, playing eleven weeks at the Music Box. Jeffrey Hartwick recounts in “Mall Maker,” his new biography of Gruen, one day he went for a walk in midtown and ran into an old friend from Vienna, Ludwig Lederer, who wanted to open a leather-goods boutique on Fifth Avenue.Cars have to meet stringent fuel-efficiency regulations. The handling and suspension and braking of cars have to be built to the demanding standards of drivers and passengers. Cars are built with what is called unit-body construction. Sales, the company predicted, weren’t going to be huge. Frank Mc Kenna, a safety expert at the University of Reading, in England, has done experiments where he shows drivers a series of videotaped scenarios—a child running out the front door of his house and onto the street, for example, or a car approaching an intersection at too great a speed to stop at the red light—and asks people to press a button the minute they become aware of the potential for an accident.But, when the first flood of orders started coming in for the Expedition, the factory was entirely given over to S. They bolted a new grille on the Expedition, changed a few body panels, added some sound insulation, took a deep breath, and charged forty-five thousand dollars—and soon Navigators were flying out the door nearly as fast as Expeditions. But when, in focus groups, industry marketers probed further, they heard things that left them rolling their eyes. Schaafsma, a top engineer for General Motors, says, “Sport-utility owners tend to be more like ‘I wonder how people view me,’ and are more willing to trade off flexibility or functionality to get that. ” Toyota’s top marketing executive in the United States, Bradsher writes, loves to tell the story of how at a focus group in Los Angeles “an elegant woman in the group said that she needed her full-sized Lexus LX 470 to drive up over the curb and onto lawns to park at large parties in Beverly Hills. buyers thought of big, heavy vehicles as safe: they found comfort in being surrounded by so much rubber and steel. The same numbers in a Ford Windstar minivan—a vehicle engineered from the ground up, as opposed to simply being bolted onto a pickup-truck frame—are, respectively, two per cent, four per cent, and one per cent. Any conception of safety that revolves entirely around the vehicle, then, is incomplete. (At the end of my day at Consumers Union, I parked the Boxster, and immediately got into my own car to drive home. ascendancy is that it excludes the really critical component of safety: the driver.“Lots of developers just rent out their space like you’d cut a salami,” Taubman explained.But Ford executives decided that the Expedition would be a highly profitable niche product. The “highly profitable” part turned out to be true. Ford had intended to split the assembly line at the Michigan Truck Plant between the Expedition and the Ford F-150 pickup. Ford executives decided to build a luxury version of the Expedition, the Lincoln Navigator. buyers said they liked the elevated driving position. designers took their cues from seeing “fashionably dressed women wearing hiking boots or even work boots while walking through expensive malls. crash test, for instance, the driver of a Cadillac Escalade—the G. counterpart to the Lincoln Navigator—has a sixteen-per-cent chance of a life-threatening head injury, a twenty-per-cent chance of a life-threatening chest injury, and a thirty-five-per-cent chance of a leg injury. Mc Kenna’s work shows that, with experience, we all learn how to exert some degree of control over what might otherwise appear to be uncontrollable events. In the hands of, say, my very respectable and prudent middle-aged mother, the Boxster is by far the safer car. On the open road, my reaction to the Porsche’s extraordinary road manners and the sweet, irresistible wail of its engine would be to drive much faster than I should. In the summer of 1996, prescription buy the Ford Motor Company began building the Expedition, its new, full-sized S. V., at the Michigan Truck Plant, in the Detroit suburb of Wayne. But it’s an awfully inexpensive way to build an automobile. Drivers of minivans, Wenzel and Ross’s statistics tell us, die at a fraction of the rate of drivers of pickup trucks.And what happens when they get to the department store? boom represents, then, a shift in how we conceive of safety—from active to passive. Nor does the feature necessarily make it safer to turn across a slippery surface: that is largely a function of how much friction is generated by the vehicle’s tires.The facility has two skid pads to measure cornering, a long straightaway for braking tests, a meandering “handling” course that winds around the back side of the track, and an accident-avoidance obstacle course made out of a row of orange cones. Measuring accident avoidance is a key part of the Consumers Union evaluation. The driver has to navigate his vehicle through two rows of cones eight feet wide and sixty feet long. I was thrown toward the passenger-side door as the truck’s body rolled, then thrown toward Champion as he jerked the Trail Blazer back to the right. The whole maneuver had taken no more than a few seconds, but it felt as if we had been sailing into a squall. We both looked back: the Trail Blazer had hit the cone at the gate. Almost every other major shopping center had been built on a single level, which made for punishingly long walks.Taubman was the first to put a ring road around the mall—which he did at his mall in Hayward—for the same reason: if you want to get shoppers into every part of the building, they should be distributed to as many different entry points as possible.But that’s the puzzle of what has happened to the automobile world: feeling safe has become more important than actually being safe. One day this fall, I visited the automobile-testing center of Consumers Union, the organization that publishes Consumer Reports. Suburban shopping centers had always been in the open, with stores connected by outdoor passageways. eating ice cream with your eyes closed essay That you can look down is psychologically a very powerful notion. ” The Boxster is better when it comes to “active safety,” which is every bit as important. We live in an age, after all, that is strangely fixated on the idea of helplessness: we’re fascinated by hurricanes and terrorist acts and epidemics like sars—situations in which we feel powerless to affect our own destiny. It’s also worth remembering that during that same ten-year span almost half a million Americans died in traffic accidents. You could drive it up on someone’s lawn with impunity. According to a profile in Fortune (and people loved to profile Victor Gruen), he was a “torrential talker with eyes as bright as mica and a mind as fast as mercury.” In the office, he was famous for keeping two or three secretaries working full time, as he moved from one to the next, dictating non-stop in his thick Viennese accent. eating ice cream with your eyes closed essay

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