Signs of the Times: Stick Figures in Action

I’m a big fan of stick figure signs, especially when the stick figures have a personality. While never having been electrocuted — just minor tingling when I tried to unplug my hair dryer with a wet hand — I’m guessing the second sign is a more accurate depiction of what it’s like to touch a high voltage power box.

Sign One (sorry about the blurriness)

This stick figure could easily be on a caution sign as someone climbing, dancing, falling off a swing etc.

This stick figure could easily be on a caution sign as someone climbing, dancing, falling off a swing etc.

Sign Two

Now here is someone that accurately reflects (I think) being electrocuted.

Now here is someone that accurately reflects (I think) being electrocuted. Plus, how evil high voltage can be!

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Signs of the Times: “Dumb Ways to Die” – a Twisted (yet fun) Train Safety Campaign in Melbourne

© Stephanie Glaser 2013

© Stephanie Glaser 2013

Metro Train Stations, Melbourne, Australia. While waiting for a train at the Flinders Street Station, I noticed a rather interesting piece of art by the bathrooms. A partial skeleton was somewhat incinerated after sticking a fork in a toaster. I didn’t think too much about it other than: “hmmm that’s a bit odd.”

Then a large mural caught my eye. My sister, Suzanne, was checking it out as well. Cute little jellybean characters all stood around proclaiming “I solemnly swear to be safe around trains.”  At the bottom of the mural was a series of dashed lines in the shape of a person. It’s an outline that you tell your kid to go stand next to for a photo op.

© Stephanie Glaser 2013

© Stephanie Glaser 2013

Upon further inspection, we realized that all the cute jellybeans were enduring horrific deaths — all while smiling in good fun. I believe the metaphor of “train wreck” is fairly appropriate at this ironic morbid moment. Fascinated, we tried to guess the culprits of the killings.

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The Travel Oops Interview

Introducing Travel Oops’s new feature: The Travel Oops Interview.

Ed and Judy Schuck, my parents.

Forty years ago this year, Judy Schuck, who happens to be my mom and a prominent figure in Travel Oops, traveled with my dad, Ed, and friends of theirs, Audrey and Harry, to Bulgaria during the Cold War. Engineers for Medtronic, Ed and Harry had been invited to attend a medical conference in Sophia, Bulgaria.

The reminder of Communism was ever present and the feeling of being watched was very real. However, according to Judy, the Bulgarians were lovely people. Ultimately, politics again entered the scene because when the Schucks were leaving Bulgaria, it was right after the tragic shootings at the Munich Olympics. Their flight back to the United States was detained because the pilots of the plane were not going to fly through Syrian airspace.  That, however, was just one of the mishaps.

Where was one of your most memorable Travel Oops?

Bulgaria in 1972.

What happened in Bulgaria?

© Audrey Friedman

This was 1972 and although they were letting tourists in, Bulgaria was still in control of the Communists and the government. And to get there from Yugoslavia, we took the Orient Express. It was the worst [train] you could imagine and the only difference between first class, which we paid for, and coach was that in first class, you had cushions and pads on the wooden benches.

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