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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 17, 2014/ 16 Shevat, 5774

The Vanishing Hitchhiker

By Lenore Skenazy



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | This summer, I did something strange, considering it was just me and my son in the car.

I picked up a hitchhiker. A male one!

Clearly, I am here to tell the tale. But the real story is not that everyone was fine — jolly, in fact, because it was fun for us to help a stranger, and the stranger was delighted to get a lift to his construction job. No, the real story is that hitchhiking has gone the way of poodle skirts, Ovaltine and kids walking to school; it's nearly vanished from modern life, for no good reason.

"Oh, but it's so dangerous!" That's what you're thinking, right? Maybe you saw the movie "The Hitcher" and remember the stabbing, the shooting, the attempted raping and — let's just say the disconnecting. Or maybe you remember the "Death in Disguise" FBI poster, featuring a hitchhiker. Warnings like that started appearing in the 1950s. In the '60s, the warnings got flipped, telling hitchhikers to beware of the dastardly drivers who picked them up.

You'd think that the mere fact it didn't seem to matter who was being warned about whom would make the warnings sound a little less than well-reasoned — like warning rabbits to beware of hunters and hunters to beware of rabbits. But no matter. Fear inside and outside the car kept growing. By 1973, Reader's Digest ran an article saying that if a female hitchhiked, "the odds against her reaching her destination unmolested are ... literally no better than if she played Russian roulette."



Ginger Strand, author of the book "Killer on the Road," dug up all those warnings, along with the only study that seems to have been done on this great menace, a 1974 California Highway Patrol analysis that found hitchhiking did not even factor into 1 percent of the crimes in the state. Yet look what fear hath wrought: an end to a great social, carbon-neutral mode of transportation once as American as Jack Kerouac.

But of course, hitchhiking was international, too. In a 1979 guide, "Hitch-hiker's Manual: Britain," Simon Calder studied every aspect of the activity, including how long it took different demographics to get a ride: A single female waited an average of 10-15 minutes. Three men together? An hour and a half.

Back then, the people thumbing rides most often were students and bird-watchers — at least in England. Like hitchers everywhere, they stood by the road, ready to jump in and dispel a driver's boredom, swap some stories or even help defray the costs.

"Why is this tribe of people virtually extinct?" asks Joe Moran, author of "On Roads: A Hidden History." He blames fear less and the rise of car culture more. As society became more affluent, more people could afford their own cars and didn't need to bum a ride. (And even the term "bum" suggests a certain economic desperation.)

Then, too, Moran says, maybe it's just that cars became so comfy. If you've got your stereo on and a cup holder at hand (and now your phone and GPS), who needs a human companion?

Whether fear or comfort killed off hitchhiking, it died a senseless death. Some ridesharing programs are reviving the idea on the Internet, but it's time to bring hitching back to the first information highway.

The interstate.

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