On Friday’s “Real Time With Bill Maher,” the titular host said something pretty dumb about cars, driving, and the stunt driving seen in car chase movies that have graced movie screens for ages.
It’s not the most galactically stupid thing he’s said this year – that award goes to use his use of a racial slur while interviewing a sitting U.S. senator – but it was so off the mark that I felt compelled to rant.
In the interest of disclosure, I generally like Bill Maher. I don’t watch every week, but I catch the show when I can. Politically I agree with him on some things and not others (we’ll leave it at that), but as a TV host I find him to be relatively funny and smart, and I applaud his willingness to invite folks from all political stripes onto his show.
However, he can be smarmy, and occasionally I wonder if his staff has fact-checked something he’s prattling on about. And sometimes he just goes off the rails.
The Ontario Provincial Police set up a traffic stop on Highway 400 over the weekend to halt a mob of motorists engaging in an illegal road rally. On Sunday, the department received numerous reports of vehicles driving aggressively and passing on the shoulder at speeds in excess of 150 kilometers an hour — 93 mph — on Highway 407 and Highway 400, north of Toronto.
Sgt. Kerry Schmidt of the OPP tweeted that at least 12 drivers charged with stunt driving had their vehicles impounded. Among the towed cars were an Audi R8, Mercedes-AMG C 63, Lamborghini Huracan, Porsche 911, BMW M3, Nissan GT-R, Jaguar XF, and a Chevrolet Corvette Z06.
Because precision 90 degree slides
At the Willow Springs International Raceway, about 90 minutes north of LA, stunt school owner and veteran stunt driver Rick Seaman describes a maneuver to a group of four students. We are seated around a folding table on the oval infield as he demonstrates using a 1:32 scale Dodge Viper. Nothing in Rick’s demeanor suggests boredom, despite this being at least the 1,000th time he has described this maneuver.
Soon, an instructor emerges from the far end of the track to demonstrate the move in a real car in real time. Sharpie — not sure if that’s his real name — makes the 90-degree slide look easy, several times. Students then strap into their assigned Caprice, each seemingly held together with a roll cage, stickers, and overspray. We line up. Rick calls each car to action one by one.
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