A classic episode of the HBO comedy series “Curb Your Enthusiasm” involved Larry David investing in an exciting new invention that would have revolutionized driving in New York: a periscope that one mount on the hood of ones car so that one can spot openings in traffic several cars ahead.
The reality of such a device is that it would, for one, be cumbersome. Extending a six, seven, eight foot periscope through the roof of ones car means never being able to get through a fast food drive through, it means one won’t be able to get through a lot of tunnels, and one will have to map out ones trips the way a long-haul trucker might, ensuring that one always have clearance for ones ridiculous car-periscope. A periscope of such unwieldy size would be difficult to collapse in an efficient manner, as well, even if one could shrink it down to three feet in length, one still got to find somewhere in the car to store a three-by-one glass and metal pipe. Finally, there’s the simple fact that one can’t really use a car periscope and drive at the same time, so if one doesn’t have a navigator, then what’s even the point of the device? … (Read more)