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February 16, 1990 - Image 18

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-02-16
Note:
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0

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Buying an auto
Tossed on 4e motorway..."
Sh in the Decade

': \ h 4 ' v<; -x th*~pv ''v

of

The Big Three have a lot to
answer for. There is more bad
news coming from Detroit than a
sane person can handle. The
more technology they shove into
new cars, the smaller they
become - and after all, how
many workers does it take to
build cars the size of T.V. sets?
However, you will probably buy a
car sometime this decade, unless
you move to Tibet to raise money
for the dolphins.
Salespeople will bludgeon you
with technological gibberish that
they scarcely understand
themselves. To this end, I would
like to offer you a list of the terms
that will drip from the lips of car
salespersons in the nineties,
followed by a sensible
explanation of the terms. Armed
with this knowledge, you can
have a lot of fun buying a car, or
even just cruising the showrooms
taking test-drives on a slow
Wednesday afternoon.
ABS - Advanced braking
system, or anti-lock brakes. In
other words, you cannot go into a
decent skid. They work in the
snow too, which means you will
probably avoid accidents. This is
a shame, because nobody really
minds if you crash in bad weather,
and it's actually kinda fun.
AERODYNAMICS - If the car
looks like Godzilla sucked on it
for an hour, then it is
aerodynamic. A sleek car is of
absolutely no use for the average
city driver. It can be useful if you
encounter Hurricane Gloria on
your way to work every morning,
in which case your life probably
sucks so much that you don't care
about drag coefficients anyway.
AIR SUSPENSION - A compressed
air system in place of springs
originally developed in the
Greyhound bus (possibly the least
comfortable form of transport in
America), which the salesperson
will try to convince you is the
wave of the future.
CRUMPLE ZONES - Because cars
are now made out of recycled
Green Giant tins, and are prone to
crumbing like cheesecake, some
have crumple zones which absorb
energy in a collision by caving in,

instead of mangling the other car,
like a real American car should
do. In other words, half of your
car is guaranteed to disappear
upon impact. (Invented by body-
shop managers).
DOMESTIC MODEL - A car built
in America, Canada, Mexico,
Taiwan, Southend-on-sea, Cairo
or Nepal, but mostly in America.
ELECTRONIC ENGINE CONTROL -
An engine which looks like an
Apple Macintosh, and can only be

the

car that has no traction in snow.
MID-ENGINE - Instead of
having the engine in the front, it
goes in the middle, which means
the car is a Fiero, and will
probably explode after a couple of
thousand miles.
PASSIVE RESTRAINT SYSTEM -

eenie
car for Adolf, and put the engine
in the trunk by mistake, a galactic
error which the supposedly smart
Germans have never noticed. The
rear engined car results in a
weight distribution worse than
Tip O'Neill.
REAR-WHEEL DRIVE - A sort of
car that has never has any traction.

Car.
my vision, spill my coffee, shove
my cigarette through my tonsils
and turn into a giant condom
hanging from the wheel. Shock
therapy coverage is recommended
with this one.
SUPERCHARGER - For cars built
by companies that couldn't figure
out how to build a turbocharger.

worked on by
qualified
neurosurgeons.
ENERGY-
ABSORBING
BUMPERS -
The bumper is
made of a
special
composite and
will assume its
original shape
after a low
speed collision
(in a parking
lot, for
example). This
means that
when you
arrive home
from shopping,
you discover
an old woman
and her
shopping cart
neatly
integrated into
the front of
your car.
ERGONOMICS
- The science
of human and
machine. If the

J I
' r
t 'y
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Michigan Union last semester by
UAC's Special Promotions
committee) but no one knew we
sponsored it."
Some well-known
organizations, like Eclipse Jazz
and the Office of Major Events,
have become so popular they
moved out from under uAC's wing.
But the present committees are
content with uAC and enjoy their
relative autonomy.
"The best thing is that no one
is hanging over our shoulders,"
said LSA senior Stacey Beneville,
co-chair of MUSKET, a committee
that produces a large-scale
musical each semester.
"Everything that is connected
with the show is done by us."
Events, like MUSKET's
upcoming performance of "The
Best Little Whorehouse in
Texas," do not come cheap.
Expenses can range from
approximately $2,000 for renting
the Power Center to a $250 rental
charge for meter bags (used when
blocking off South University for
the Homecoming parade).
"The entire campus is trusting
you with its money," added Jayne
McClinton, LSA sophomore and
MUSKET co-chair.
And like the many people who
do not recognize UAC, some
students fail to realize they are
giving the group a fee of $2 per
term.
"We are recognized as an
organization worthy of student
fees," said Helen Welford, a uAc
advisor. "[The Regents] deemed
that UAC was going to be
worthwhile for student
participation."
But first-year student Ciaravino
wasn't so sure.
"It sounds to me," he said,
"that the best way to get student
fees is to allow each student to
check a box on their tuition bill,
consenting to the $2. I think uAc
would be surprised at how many
contributions it would get.
"Even though I might not go to
any events, it would be something
I would contribute to, and out of
32,000 students, UAC could get
enough volunteer contributions to
support itself."

The sizable segment of the
campus that does take advantage
of UAc's programs takes for
granted the organization's
existence, Cantor says.
"Other schools don't have a
UAC," said Cantor. "They usually
have a programming body that is
either linked to the student
government or linked to the
student union. I have no ties with
either."
At Ohio State University, the
equivalent organization is,
indeed, a product of the Ohio
Unions.
"The Student Events
Committee plans entertainment
in the Union," said Martha Kuhn,
OSu staff member and part-time
graduate student. "We are both a
department of the Union and a
student organization."
Future plans for UAc include
sponsoring a student band staging
The Who's rock opera, Tommy,
bringing figures to campus like
filmmaker Spike Lee, and
perhaps even creating a
publication for student
organizations.
UAC's broad scope and practical
experience has proved invaluable
to many of its members. Vice
President of Human Resources
Susan Goldfarb, LSA and
Education senior, said, "uAc has
made me grow up and become a
leader."
"You learn a great deal about
yourself and giving of yourself,"
said Lerner. "You realize there's
more to the college experience
than writing your thesis."
Cantor, who calls himself a
"major organizer," says his
ultimate dream would be to
organize the Olympics. Maybe
that galaxy is not so far away. It
may just be somewhere over the
rainbow of the UAc logo.
by Jennifer Worick

U

s
Check out the J shops for
g'eat spring break ouffits'
They've got just what you
nee . Swm sut nd beach -
GOTCHA, Quicksilver,
Sassafrass...and MORE! .
Really cool casual looks .
something to 'suit" you!
COS
Jaoso: :

car is ergonomically designed, it
means there wasn't enough room
to fit everything in the right
place, so you'll find the radio on
the steering wheel and no place to
set your beer down when doing
U-turns.
FOREIGN MODEL - A car built in
America, Canada, Mexico,
Taiwan, Southend-on-sea, Cairo
or Nepal, but mostly somewhere
else.
FRONT-WHEEL DRIVE - A sort of

No, this is not for the kids. The
PRS means automatic seat belts
which operate when you open or
close the door. When you climb in
and close the door and drop your
keys, the seat belt wraps around
your neck, and then wraps around
your shoulders and face when you
open the door to get it off.
REAR-ENGINE - If you are in the
market for a Skoda or a Porsche,
you may encounter a rear-engined
car. Ferdinand Porsche got
twisted one night while building a

SAMURAI - A type of car/jeep
that you can kick over on its side
when you get angry.
SUPPLEMENTAL RESTRAINT
SYSTEM - The much touted air-
bag. In the event of a collision
above 20 mph or so, an air bag in
the steering wheel inflates and
deflates in 1/20th second
(explodes, in other words) to stop
you shooting forward. This
sounds fine and dandy, but if I'm
in an accident, the last thing I
want is the Goodyear Blimp to fill

TURBOCHARGER - The car takes
two seconds to respond to
stomping on the gas, by which
time a truck has come around the
corner and you've changed your
mind, but the car is all for it.
Happy Hunting, in this, the
Decade of the Weenie Car.
by Ronan G. Lynch

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6 WEEKEND February 15,1990

6

s INEE[EN February 16,1990

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