Saturday, February 16, 2013

Meteors and Dashcams

I'm sure all those videos of the awesome Russian meteor made you wonder why they were all filmed from inside moving cars. I found the answer here:

The dashboard-camera videos of the meteor, which proliferated on the Internet all Friday morning, represent an intersection of astronomical forces with the technological and sociohistorical conditions of Russian life. Dash cams, as reported in Animal, have become ubiquitous in today’s Russia, where road hazards range from “insane gridlock” to “large, lawless areas” habited by “police with a penchant for extortion and deeply frustrated drivers who want to smash your face,” and where courts rarely award damages without video evidence. A large percentage of Russian car crashes are thus captured on video and aggregated on a devoted LiveJournal page that gets more than four million views per month.

The link in that excerpt elaborates on why so many Russians drive around with a video camera on their dashboards. It also features a video collection of raw footage of many, many colliding vehicles, and men going berserk. [Caution: Another video at the bottom is too gruesome to watch; you've been warned.]