Sociology

Atlantic Crossing

this is a hack!

What am I talking about?

Things that did not make it to the other side.  Of the Atlantic Ocean that is.

Some great stuff from the US never made it to Europe, and vice-versa.  One wonders why.  See if you can add to the list:

Failed to get to Europe Failed to get to the US
  • Crowncorks you can screw off the bottle.  I've seen attempts, but it did not catch on.  Perhaps because certain of our beers need much tighter caps?
  • Traffic lights you can see from the other side of the street.  We still have to crane our necks to see the light that is just over our heads.  In France there are often extra miniature lights at the height of the driver, but putting the light on the other side of the crossing or suspending them in the middle is much simpler.
  • Metal-sided trucks:  this is an interesting one.  Why are most trailers of European long-haul trucks covered with weather-proof cloth while in the US they have all metal sides?  I suspect it may have to do with loading/unloading, which is easier from the side in Europe's narrower streets.
  • Street names you can find and read.  No problem figuring out where you are in the US, but often no way to find the name of even large avenues in a European city.
  • Grass-roots involvement of people in local affairs through associations.  Already de Toqueville thought this was a most distinguishing feature of American society, sadly lacking in Europe.
  • Shower heads you can take off the wall.  The single most annoying thing in US bathrooms.  There are signs that this may take off, but certainly not in hotel rooms.
  • The metric system (once more).  Ever more attempts, but none seem to work.  There may be an explanation.
  • Cloth-covered trucks:  this is an interesting one.  Why are most trailers of European long-haul trucks covered with weather-proof cloth while in the US they all have metal sides?  I suspect it may have to do with loading/unloading, which is easier from the side in Europe's narrower streets.
  • Two-level traffic signs.  If you can't read English, don't drive in the US.  For example, you will see a rectangular sign "Left turn only", and somewhat later another equally rectangular sign "No left turn".  I don't know if the red lettering of the second one is a rule or not, but it is a lot of reading to do while driving.  We have quite easy to understand, language-independent signs with two-level semantics.
  • 240V.  Smaller cables, better quality plugs, better sockets, less current and less power loss.
  • Tax included:  our prices include taxes.  In the US you often have an unpleasant surprise when you get to the check-out counter, where state tax gets added.  This is also the reason why there are still 1 cent coins:  the final result may be some weird number involving cents.

And so on.