No, What Is A Turning Indicator?

By: Eric Feezell

Chill, man! I can see that you’re upset, but you don’t have to get in my face, okay? Let me just roll up my window, shut the motor off, and we can move to the sidewalk and talk it over. No need for aggression. Nice and easy like.

You seem incredulous, so allow me to reiterate: No, I really have never heard of a turning indicator before. Should I have? It doesn’t ring a bell, to be honest. Is it an iPhone app? Turning indicator, turning indicator, turning indicator…nope. It’s kind of scientific sounding, though — like something you’d find on a highly technical robot arm.

Is that why you’re so angry? That I’m not in the loop about some trivial detail in what sounds to be obviously specialized subject matter? Who are you, the knowledge-about-turning-indicators police? (Don’t answer those questions, by the way — they were rhetorical.) Obviously the topic is near and dear to you, seeing how offended you are by this. Not everyone is into what you’re into, okay?

Let me ask you this: You ever heard of King Crimson? Oh, yeah? All of them? Well I congratulate you on your exacting musical tastes. Okay, what about Mahavishnu Orchestra? Gotcha! See, it’s not really possible to know or care about every little tiny detail that exists in the world, is it? The fact that I don’t happen to know or care what a turning indicator is doesn’t make your scientific research in the field of robotics any more or less meaningful — it just is. It takes all kinds in this crazy world, those who know about turning indicators and those who know John McLaughlin is the greatest living fusion guitarist and perhaps guitarist period.

If it’ll appease you any, I’d be happy to research the basics about turning indicators, though I’m obviously not going to be an expert like you are after what I assume to be years of scholastic endeavor and a PhD in electrical engineering. A quick Google search on my phone here and we’ll be in business. Just one sec. Okay. Oh, my. The first link is an entire Wikipedia entry on Automotive Lighting. Are they like robotic headlights? I’ll have to scan through the content outline. Let’s see. “Lighting system of a motor vehicle…” “Driving lamps…” “Cornering lamps…” “Daytime running lamps…” “Dim-dip lamps.” Ha! That last one makes me think of Dippin’ Dots.

Let me just scroll down and zoom. Okay: Turn signals. Hmm. Close, but nothing here about turning indicators, per se. Oh, they are? Okay, that’s slightly misleading on Wikipedia’s part, but I’ll take your word for it. That’s the problem with the English language, am I right? Eighteen different ways to refer to one thing. God help us. It probably makes your field research unbearable. Though it could be worse. You could be an Eskimo writing a thesaurus. Don’t they have like a hundred words for snow?

Sorry for the tangent. Let’s see, so it looks like most cars have these. It says: “used to indicate to other drivers that the operator intends a lateral change of position.” What a fabulous idea! Does my car come with these? I’m going to be stoked if it does — I didn’t even know I had a five-disc changer for like a month after I bought my car! Let’s see…”Electric turn signal lights were devised as early as” — oh, man, they’ve been around since 1907! Someone’s out of the loop, eh? Mahavishnu Orchestra’s only been around since the seventies. Eek! Foot in mouth!

Fascinating stuff, man! I’m just curious, but how did you get into the field of robotic car lighting? No, wait. You don’t have to answer that — you don’t even know me! I hope there are no hard feelings. Honestly, I’m pretty excited to learn more about turning indicators, so if you’ve got any book recommendations for beginners that’d be great.

Be sure to check out Mahavishnu Orchestra — and Shakti, while you’re at it. I think for your musical sensibilities, John McLaughlin would be a perfect match!

Now if I can just get your insurance info, it looks like my trunk suffered some pretty extensive damage. I wish it could be settled another way, but you know what they say: the rear-ender is always at fault! Sucks to be you, man. Sorry.


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