All About Red Lights

If you live or work in the vicinity of a large, North American city, you are likely to encounter red lights—instead of the roundabouts favored (or favoured) by Jim Jocifero and his ilk—with an unwelcome frequency. So no doubt you, like us, have formulated a surprising number of questions about this common roadway phenomenon. Here, as always, The Flying News is here to help answer your questions and unravel your conundrums:

  • Question: Why are red lights red?
    • Answer: The most plausible theory is that communists were involved. However, some theorists opine that, as red light is predominant in the evening, it is a more restful color, and thus appropriate to a state of rest.
  • Question: Why are red lights on top?
    • Answer: Since, as A. Einstein famously discovered, energy is convertible with mass, green lights, since they signify motion, have greater symbolic energy than red lights. Thus, the more massive green light sinks to the bottom and the relatively lighter red light remains in the superior position.
  • Question: Why do we stop at red lights?
    • Answer: This gives us a chance to send a quick text message. Possibly “red” is a pun here.
  • Question: Why do motorists speed up when the light turns red?
    • Answer: As is well known, red is used in bullfights because of its attractiveness to bulls. Although not actually members of the genus bos, motorists are similar in their significant power and relatively insignificant brain. Thus, the most likely explanation of this fact is that motorists are attracted towards the red color of the red light, and are in a hurry to get as close as possible to the object of their desire. Sometimes the vehemence of this attraction even impels a motorist past the red light.
  • Question: Why is there a potato on my desk?
    • Answer: Probably a red light was involved. No further details have been uncovered.

“Emergency Light with Grill,” by angie from Sawara, Chiba-ken, Japan. CC BY 2.0.

1 Comment

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  1. On “Why are red lights on top?” I thought it was because “stop” rhymes with “top” and “go” rhymes with “bottom”–I mean, “below.” But then, my education was mostly in English, rather than Physish. Vim, you have ENLIGHTENED me.

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