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#0848: Click and Clack's Campus Counseling: A's are Overrated!

Original Air Date: 11.29.2008

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On this week's encore edition of Car Talk, college student Lea pleads for guidance though the existential crisis otherwise known as freshman year. How does she deal with the prospect of becoming an adult? And, come to think of it, why in Bluto Blutarsky's name does she think Tom and Ray can help? Also, a cross-country move gets expensive for one caller, after her Great Dane decides to see the USA from the hood of her pickup, a Mazda owner wonders what a flashing coolant light and low coolant could mean, aside from the fact that she's low on coolant, and is there any car-related sound more annoying than a mechanic endlessly repeating, "I promise, this time it really is fixed!" All that, plus greetings from the self-proclaimed Automotive Bermuda Triangle of the Midwest, this week on a special encore edition of Car Talk.

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Nothing to do with Car Advice

by Anonymous

Who would have ever thought I would search out this review to send to my daughter - 3 months after I heard the review - on the evening she was having a panic attack over making a B. Nothing to do with cars - Just good life advice.

Open Air Dogs

by Robin

I was wasting a perfectly good hour driving in to work listening to Car Talk, amused and bemused, and then horrifed. I was absolutely stunned by the utter ignorance of the self-proclaimed university professor who thought it was not only OK to let her dog run around in the back of a pickup, but to think it funny that it ended up on top of the cab. Presumably she has a PhD but is seriously lacking in any common sense or respect for her own canine companion. First, it's illegal, at least here in Mass., for an animal to be in the bed of a pickup unless it is in a kennel that is securely tied down. I think this is the case in many states these days. I'm really, really surprised that Tom and Ray hadn't mentioned this. I was shocked by this caller, actually. Would she have laughed if the dog got killed? Would she have thought, oh well, it's just a dog? and shrugged it off, because she seemed completely repulsed by the idea of her dog riding inside of the vehicle. It sounds like she shouldn't own a dog. I was simply horrified. Tom and Ray's response didn't seem to fit with the unexpected seriousness of the situation. Tom and Ray, I realize she was from California and living in Georgia (kinda says a lot) but please review the following: The law. Massachusetts, New Hampshire, California, Maine, Oregon, Washington, Florida and Rhode Island restrict dogs from trucks or open vehicles. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 22H states that no person shall transport any animal in the back of a motor vehicle in a space intended for any load on the vehicle on a public way unless: the space is enclosed or has side and tail racks to a height of at least 46 inches extending vertically from the floor; the animal is cross-tethered to the vehicle (simple, inexpensive cross-tethering devices are sold at pet-supply stores for $15-$40); the animal is protected by a secured container or cage; or the animal is otherwise protected in a manner that will prevent the animal from being thrown or from falling or jumping from the vehicle. Violation of this law is punishable by a fine not less than $50. In addition, transporting your animals in an unsafe manner may also, in certain circumstances, constitute criminal animal cruelty pursuant to Mass. General Laws Chapter 272 Section 77. Prior to this law passing in 1998, in a statewide survey, 71 percent of Massachusetts veterinarians reported having treated animals (mostly dogs) injured as a result of riding unsecured and unprotected in the back of open-bed vehicles. This resulted in more than 600 dogs being injured while transported in this unsafe manner. If truck bed transport is necessary, use a pet harness that encircles shoulders and rib cage (not just a neck collar). Attach the harness to a cross-tether, which hooks to a truck anchor on each side. Most pets will actually feel more comfortable and secure when they are restrained. In short, while Tom and Ray's suggestion of a harness type restraint might theoretically be within the law, it's still a bad idea. It's more of a last resort option, not standard operating procedure. That university professor needs a good dope slap. Or three.

Grades do not equal "the best"

by Anonymous

This was a good show and I enjoyed hearing the comments about college. However, I have to throw my two bits in on this subject. Grades only reflect on how much the student agrees with the professor/teacher. Their were classes where I produced Bs and As with one professor then in another class with the same professor, I would get Cs and Ds. This was in part because much of the class was theory and therefore subject to debate. In this day and age, college is not worth what it was thirty to fifty years ago. I would swear that college degrees are a dime a dozen and if you were to want a comfortable job, you need to go to graduate school this days. And in my college experience at Shippensburg University, I found that the education was fantasic in my field (being History with a minor in Anthropology). However, they were extremely lacking in helping with finding internships, finding a job, pretty much doing a horrid job of preparing myself for post college. This is not to say that I did not try. I have tried and still am trying after eight years now. I have done volunteer work at an archive and am disgusted to find that in order to get a job there, I need grad school courses or job equivalant. But the catch-22 is all the skills that I had performed at the volunter-level, were skills I learned back in elementary school (no exaggeration). Maybe the system is a little more complicated, but the concepts of organization and research are still pretty much the same.

Favorite Moment: When Leah called in at the end of the show.

More Show Gone to the Dog

by Robin

And another thing: the university professor didn't do her research before calling. She didn't seem to believe that one of them did indeed teach college. Apparently she wasn't clued in to the fact that both Click and Clack graduated from MIT because the truth is, they really CAN speak intelligently about chemistry. That was the funniest part. Leah the freshman has more sense than the university professor.

Dogs in the Cab

by ral

As usual, I laughed my way through the hour. However, when the call came from the Geochemist professor who was traveling across the country, I stopped laughing. Traveling across the country at highway speeds with a dog tethered in the back of pickup with a tether evidently so long that a 100 lbs dog can easily stand upright on the roof the truck is dangerous and reflects a shocking level of ignorance and lack of consideration for a companion animal in an otherwise well educated person. How the dog made it alive from California to Atlanta is a mystery to me. But, that situation is dangerous for the dog, the driver, and others on the road. I was alarmed that Tom and Ray laughed this off, while recommending/encouraging safer solutions, without explicitly making the evidently completely unaware owner of how dangerous this situation could have been and borderline cruel to the pet. I had the feeling that the owner was rather callous to the safety of her dog, but maybe she is just a new owner and unaware of the danger to both herself, her dog, and fellow travelers. I think an opportunity to to offer numerous solutions to traveling more safely with pets was missed here. What about putting a camper on the truck with a dog harness, there are also seatbelt harnesses designed for dogs in the back of the interior cab (my dog adjusted quickly to her seatbelt in the cab), or a kennel for the bed of the truck.

Horrified Dog Lover

by ktrumpatori

I have to agree with Robin's review of the (clearly) clueless "college professor" who thought it was ok to let her dog ride on top of her pickup's cab. I was listening to this show while in the car with my veterinary surgeon husband-- we were utterly disgusted by this woman's lack of common sense to protect her dog from danger. On a daily basis my husband sees, fixes, and ATTEMPTS to fix, dogs that idiotic human owners have put in danger by letting them ride in the back of pick up trucks. These dogs are injured and killed because of so-called "responsible" owners who have allowed their dogs to ride in the back of an unenclosed vehicle. Note: Even crates in the backs of pick up trucks are NOT entirely safe--though at the very least a MORE safe alternative. This woman, Hope, from Atlanta, needs to educate herself on being a responsible pet owner. Her ignorance for dog safety makes me wonder what kind of person she really is. If you're not willing to be responsible for another being's life, you should not own a pet. Click and Clack's significant lack of reprimanding and/or alternative (safe) suggestions (save for the one-liner to "go buy a harness") was deplorable and at the very least irresponsible.

Favorite Moment: None- I turned the channel after listening to that ignorant "college professor" Hope... I was disgusted.

Thanks you!

by Jacmac

I was surprised and so pleased when you talked about and to Lea. Like her, I'm a Mount Holyoke freshman, and throughout high school I strove for a perfect GPA. But you've helped me put things back into perspective. So thanks for the wonderful wisdom! PS: So.. how much for homework now?

Favorite Moment: When you told Moran to shape up. Ha!

Moonlight Sonata Spoof

by Charles218

I found the spoof on Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata", it is here - http://www.amazon.com/Bonus-Track-Beep-Moonlight-Sonata/dp/B001CKFK48 A great little ditty!!!

hills and valleys

by koni

Your advice to the Mt Holyoke student was wonderful, but you fell far short with the idiot professor who tied her dog so it could stand on the roof and drove from California. I think we should tie a rope around her neck and take her on a test drive. I'll drive.

Bs as good as As? Nuts!

by mmersic

Sorry, I only got to hear the part of the show where good grades were being denounced...so my comments relate to that: With no other information to decide on, I'll take the doctor that got As vs the one that got Bs to operate on me. I'll take the engineer that got As vs the one that got Bs to build my bridges...Saying that the person who gets Bs is just as good at X as the person who got As is delusional. High school grades determine (in part) what kind of college you can get into (as they should). College grades (in part) determine what kind of job you can get (as they should). What else should a college or an employer look at, how well you play World of Warcraft? Give me a break...Grades should and do matter. Of course, grades aren't everything. You have to do your own personal cost/benefit. Maybe getting into the best college isn't important to you, maybe getting the best job out of college isn't important to you, then the best grades should probably be less important to you.

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