This is Scientific American — 60-Second Science. I'm Emily Schwing.
"You know how it is when you're driving behind a car and you notice the bumper sticker, and you think to yourself 'Oh, it's that kind of person' or, 'Why would somebody put that on their car?'"
Walter Goettlich, a sociology graduate student at the University of Kansas.
"I was coming back from a vacation with my family...and I was behind a car and the bumper sticker on the car was almost illegible, the type was really tiny and it said, 'When this baby hits 88 miles an hour, you're going to see some serious s**t.'"
This was Goettlich's AHA! moment. As you may guessed, the bumper sticker was a reference to the movie Back to the Future..."...when this baby hits eighty-eight miles per hour, your gonna see some serious shit."...It's moments like this, on the highway, driving at speed, that can seem so solitary, but in fact there are opportunities to connect—and with perfect strangers.
"That's' what I'm trying to get at...the way that we think about the world, based on how we read what other people put on their cars."
To sample the kinds of messages being sent on our roads, Goettlich drove more than 10,000 miles on interstate highways throughout the eastern United States. He says one major variety of bumper sticker refers to things nearly everyone knows about—an election, a church, a social issue. But other bumper stickers may require an observer to access what Goettlich calls "outside resources." For example, the bumper sticker that says, "The Dude Abides" might drive some people to do a quick Google search. But a few viewers may feel an instant bond, being fans of the movie The Big Lebowski.
"So, the kinds of stickers I tend to like are the ones that don't make sense to me, because what they do is they challenge my preconceived notions of the world."
Another type of sticker is a response to other stickers. For example, you know those window stickers of stick families? Some even include a stick dog or a stick cat? "And then I saw recently another example which was 'making my family,' and it was what were clearly male and female stick figures having sex."
And then there are the ones that say, "My son beat up your honor student."
So, when you're on the road, check the messages sent by other cars around you. You might just connect, in a way you never expected. And without even bending a fender.
Thanks for listening for Scientific American — 60-Second Science. I'm Emily Schwing.
这是让戈特林奇眼前一亮的时刻 。可能你已经猜到了，那个车尾贴引用了电影《回到未来》的台词 。“……当这辆宝贝车的车速度达到每小时88英里时，你就开眼了……”这种时刻就像，驾车在公路上高速行驶时，虽然看似很孤独，但事实上却有机会与他人建立起联系——而且是和完全陌生的人 。
为了对这种在道路上发送的信息进行抽样调查，戈特林奇在美国东部的州际高速公路上行驶了1万多英里 。他表示，车尾贴提及的主要内容是几乎人尽皆知的事情——选举、教堂、社会问题 。但是其他车尾贴则可能需要观察者利用戈特林奇称为的“外部资源” 。例如，写有“The Dude Abides”的车尾贴可能会令有些人迅速去谷歌搜索 。但是少数人看到后会马上明白，车主是电影《谋杀绿脚趾》的粉丝 。
另一种贴纸是对其他贴纸的回应 。比如，你知道那些把家人的简笔画贴在窗户上的贴纸吗？有些贴纸上甚至还有简笔画的狗或猫？“我最近看到了另一种‘家人'贴纸，很明显那是一个男性和一个女性正在做爱的简笔画 。”
因此，当你驱车行驶在路上时，观察一下周围其他车辆所传递出的信息 。你可能会以一种从未想过的方式同他人建立起联系 。甚至都不用弄弯挡泥板 。
谢谢大家收听科学美国人——60秒科学 。我是埃米莉·施温 。
1. think to oneself 心中想，盘算；
例句：And I think to myself: what a wonderful world
2. get at 意指；暗指；
例句：'What are you getting at now?' demanded Rick.
3. make sense 可以理解；讲得通；
例句：There are some stylistic elements in the statue that just don't make sense.
4. beat up 痛打；殴打；
例句：He just stood by when the police beat up the demonstrators.