I’ve recently felt like the United States really had the market on stupid.  Of course, the majority of the news I read is what’s available here in the States, so I don’t get exposed to other countries’ stupid as much.  Thankfully, Sweden and CNN.com managed to help me feel a little better about that today.  Only briefly, mind you, because shortly after reading the article I got a headache and had to weep for humanity.

Enter Sweden, where a law requiring everyone 15 years old or younger was passed a few years ago.  Naturally, people started discussing the idea that everyone, adults included, should wear helmets while riding their bikes.  In the US, we often struggle against things that seem…you know…smart.  I mean, why would you want to protect your head?  But Sweden managed to one-up us.  They were against this new legislation because it would be a “fashion disaster.”  With that in mind, Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin began development on the Hovding.  An inflatable “helmet” that would deploy like an airbag out of a stupid looking collar you would wear around your neck.  Yes….that sounds much better.

“To people like us, who wouldn’t be seen dead in a polystyrene helmet, the thought that we might be forced to wear one by law was cause for concern”

Hovding

The Hovding (Picture source from cnn.com)

The primary reason for a helmet is to protect your head, your brain, so that you don’t get any stupider.  Obviously, with these people, it’s a little late for that.  As you can see from the picture, that’s certainly much more fashionable.  I’ve always wanted to wear a fanny pack around my neck.  The deployed version sort of looks like an alien face-hugger latched on to the back of your head.  I’m not really sure I’d trust a balloon over a rigid helmet as it’s sliding across the concrete.

I guess I shouldn’t be frustrated by something like this.  It’s just one more way nature can weed out those genes that probably shouldn’t be reproduced.

The Invisible, Inflatable Bike Helmet  (Source: CNN.com)


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