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window dots, car facts, windshield

What are those small black dots?

You’ve probably noticed that every car you’ve ever had—unless you got your license in the ’50s—has had small black dots on the bottom of the windshield. They appear to be meaningless decorations or some kind of dot-matrix-style graphics but they have a very important job that keeps you safe and the windshield attached to the body of your car.

Windshields were originally held in place by metal trim that secured them to the car’s body. In the '50s and '60s, manufacturers transitioned to using an ultrastrong adhesive to keep the window in place.

That’s why, if you’ve ever had to have your window replaced, it’s a pretty simple process. All it takes is for the old adhesive to be removed so the old window can be popped out. Then, the new adhesive is applied and the new window is dropped in place in the car’s body.


To keep the unappealing adhesive hidden around the edges of the windows, manufacturers created black dots from ceramic paint known as “frits.”

The dots are baked into the window to make an aesthetically pleasing transition from the thick black line that obscures the adhesive to the rest of the window. They are positioned in a halftone pattern so they get smaller as they recede from the black tinted area that hides the adhesive.

This gives the appearance that the black area is slowly fading into the clear windshield.

"This makes the windshield a structural component of the vehicle's body," Richard Reina, product training director for CarID.com, said according to Travel and Leisure. "The frit is black painted enamel that's baked onto the surface of the glass, and it provides a secure point of contact between the glass, urethane adhesive, and windshield frame."

The frits also play a role in manufacturing the window. They provide temperature control when the glass is being heated. The black painted glass heats up faster than the rest of the glass and the frits evenly distribute the heat to prevent unnecessary warping.

Craig Campbell, an automotive repair expert and founder and CEO at Auto Parts Guideline, says the only thing you should worry about is if the frits appear to wear off.

"This is because the adhesive is what keeps the glass in place," Campbell said according to Travel and Leisure. "Without it, the glass could become loose and fall out of the frame. While this is unlikely to happen, it's still something that you should be aware of. If you're unsure of how to replace the dots, you can always take your car to a professional for help."

Now the next time you’re at a party you can wow everyone with your incredible knowledge of car windshields. If that information goes over well, you can let everybody know what that handle is for on the roof of your car.

Some folks think it’s for holding on to when the driver gets a little crazy. In reality, it’s for helping people get in and out of the vehicle.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

This article originally appeared on 08.21.18


Addie Rodriguez was supposed to take the field with her dad during a high school football game, where he, along with other dads, would lift her onto his shoulders for a routine. But Addie's dad was halfway across the country, unable to make the event.

Her father is Abel Rodriguez, a veteran airman who, after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was training at Travis Air Force Base in California, 1,700 miles from his family in San Antonio at the time.

"Mom missed the memo it was parent day, and the reason her mom missed the memo was her dad left Wednesday," said Alexis Perry-Rodriguez, Addie's mom. She continued, "It was really heartbreaking to see your daughter standing out there being the only one without their father, knowing why he's away. It's not just an absentee parent. He's serving our country."

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Pop Culture

She bought the perfect wedding dress that went viral on TikTok. It was only $3.75

Lynch is part of a growing line of newlyweds going against the regular wedding tradition of spending loads of money.

Making a priceless memory

Upon first glance, one might think that Jillian Lynch wore a traditional (read: expensive) dress to her wedding. After all, it did look glamorous on her. But this 32-year-old bride has a secret superpower: thrifting.

Lynch posted her bargain hunt on TikTok, sharing that she had been perusing thrift shops in Ohio for four days in a row, with the actual ceremony being only a month away. Lynch then displays an elegant ivory-colored Camila Coelho dress. Fitting perfectly, still brand new and with the tags on it, no less.

You can find that exact same dress on Revolve for $220. Lynch bought it for only $3.75.
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