“Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?” The Shadow, of course, but also Clemson student Nathan Weaver. Weaver is interested in the declining box turtle population in this part of the country (Clemson is about 90 min. – 2 hrs. from Mondoville), and believes that part of the problem can be found in the fact that quite a few of the little critters get turned into pothole filling.
So Weaver has conducted fairly simple studies, putting a realistic plastic turtle in roadways and recording what happens to it. The results are disheartening, even if you aren’t a turtle:
The first time Weaver went out to collect data on turtles, he chose a spot down the road from a big apartment complex that caters to students. He counted 267 vehicles that passed by, seven of them intentionally hitting his rubber reptile.
He went back out about a week later, choosing a road in a more residential area. He followed the same procedure, putting the fake turtle in the middle of the lane, facing the far side of the road, as if it was early in its journey across. The second of the 50 cars to pass by that day swerved over the center line, its right tires pulverizing the plastic shell.
“Wow! That didn’t take long,” Weaver said.
Other cars during the hour missed the turtle. But right after his observation period was up, before Weaver could retrieve the model, another car moved to the right to hit the animal as he stood less than 20 feet away.
“One hit in 50 cars is pretty significant when you consider it might take a turtle 10 minutes to cross the road,” Weaver said.
This is why Ellsworth Toohey may have had a point when he said “I play the stock market of the spirit — and I sell short.”