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September 28, 2006 12:03 AM

Broken: Concrete truck sign


Elizabeth Perry submits a picture taken on Interstate 84 in New York and writes:

While the company may boast that they are "Not Just Concrete..." it looks as if they forgot to fill in the entire form when they requested a sign.


I wonder what kind of plants will grow in "Item 4"???

The need a proofreader.

Posted by: Uzumaki at September 28, 2006 01:34 AM

Doesn't look very concrete to me. HA!

Posted by: LKM at September 28, 2006 03:52 AM

"The" certainly do need a proofreader :)

Posted by: Lionfire at September 28, 2006 03:55 AM

"Item 4" must be a specialized product that only this company can sell. *yea right*

I suppose the template required 5 fields and they only supplied 4. Broken.

Posted by: freedomlinux at September 28, 2006 06:42 AM

Man, that's good for a laugh :). I wonder if anyone at the company has noticed yet?

Posted by: David at September 28, 2006 07:27 AM

Stuff like this always makes me wonder how it didn't get caught... Certainly at SOME point before it was permanently put on the truck at least ONE person had to have looked at it. Even if it was painted by a machine, someone had to have typed it in. And then there's the person that picked it up... Talk about asleep at the wheel! Either way, it's definitely funny!!

Posted by: ambrocked at September 28, 2006 08:44 AM

I wonder if this isn't a doctored picture. Look at the alignment of the "I" in "Item" in relation to the bullet points. Doesn't it look closer than all of the other lines?

Posted by: gedstrom at September 28, 2006 11:17 AM

This post is broken... if you download the pic and zoom in... the area around the text is at a different pixle resolution as the rest of the picture... in short, doctored photo...

Posted by: VHoratio at September 28, 2006 11:42 AM

VHoration, an image can only have one resoluton; perhaps what you mean is that there is pixellation around the letters? That may be due to jpeg artifacts from photo compression.

However, I agree that the photo may be doctored, because the letters do not seem to follow the perspective of the surface on which they are placed, though it is hard to tell.

Posted by: mmcwatters at September 28, 2006 12:42 PM

Alas, the pic has been PhotoChopped.

While the truck is seen in perspective, with a vanishing point off the top of the pic, the text is NOT in perspective - verticals in the text are parallel.

Posted by: DavesBrain at September 28, 2006 01:40 PM

If this was seen on an interstate freeway, the implication is that the photo was taken from one moving vehicle of another moving vehicle, likely while passing it.

However, the Goodyear logo on the tires is clearly visible - quite unlikely if the truck's wheels were spinning at 70mph. Perhaps traffic was stopped?

I agree that all the type on this truck was added in Photoshop. It's too clean and bright, not soiled or scratched in any way.

Time for Elizabeth Perry to step up and fess up.

Posted by: Andrew Tonkin at September 28, 2006 03:32 PM

This doesn't looked Photoshopped to me. There's no "perspective" issue. The portion of the truck we're seeing isn't rectangular and we're looking it straight on. (Which is what you'd expect if you were looking at it from the next lane.)

Ordinary JPEG artifacts aren't a reliable indicator of manipulation. The artifacts around the white lettering are a result of the high contrast and the monochrome background.

And, finally, I can't speak for the cleanliness of the company's expensive truck, but there's no reason for the Goodyear lettering on the tire to be all blurry. It looks like a bright sunny day, and if the automatic shutter speed was probably in excess of 1/500 of a second. Take a few photos and you'll see that you don't get much motion blur under those conditons.

Posted by: Bryan C at September 28, 2006 04:13 PM

Item 4 is indeed a standard product name in the crushed-rock and quarry business.

Posted by: dave in NY at September 28, 2006 04:13 PM

The pixelation is suspicious, but what's even more suspicious is that everything else in the picture is CRYSTAL CLEAR.

Posted by: Forebodingburger at September 28, 2006 06:51 PM

Dave in NY is correct. This is not broken. Item 4 is an actual product. See

Posted by: ebob at September 28, 2006 08:19 PM

OK, someone has to say it...if the rock and cement business actually uses "Item 4" as the industry-wide standard name of a product, the whole industry is broken. Heh.

Posted by: David at September 28, 2006 09:48 PM

Not broken. It seems like it is because they put 'Item 4' as the 4th bullet in the list, but that still doesn't make it seem broken.

Posted by: Trent Chernecki at September 28, 2006 09:51 PM

The photo was taken out the open passenger window on a sunny day in very slow-moving traffic. Re-sized for the web in iPhoto - sorry about the artifacts.

I am fascinated to hear that Item 4 is an actual product. (And a little disappointed - the one bright thought in a two hour traffic jam was that I had gotten a photo I could submit to "This is Broken.")

Posted by: Elizabeth at September 28, 2006 09:53 PM

"This doesn't looked Photoshopped to me. There's no "perspective" issue. The portion of the truck we're seeing isn't rectangular and we're looking it straight on. (Which is what you'd expect if you were looking at it from the next lane.)"

I know the cab isn't rectangular. I used reliably vertical objects to establish perspective.

BTW, note that there can't NOT be perspective. The horizon is WELL below the centre of the picture. We MUST be looking UP at it or the horizon would cut straight across the centre of the pic.

This is corrobated by the lamppost. If we were looking straight across at the lamppost, we would see at least a short section of it perfectly vertically. (Even accounting for the distortion of the wide angle lens.)

Posted by: DavesBrain at September 29, 2006 09:27 PM

While we're all making accusations, I think ebob hacked that site. I couldn't find 'item 4' listed as a building material anywhere else.

Posted by: ambrocked at September 30, 2006 07:21 PM

ebob probably copied the link from a Google search, but it doesn't work from Google. Try this one: which lists :Clinton Point Item 4" as "Used as a sub base under roadways, compactable fill material." Disappointing that it might be a real product!

Posted by: scootergirl at October 5, 2006 07:27 PM

Did anyone else notice that the "Item 4" bullet character isn't correctly aligned with the other bullets? It's a little too low and a little too far to the left. That might be more evidence that makes me wonder if the pic is real or not - but on the other hand, the "Stone" bullet and text don't perfectly line up either. If there's convincing evidence that "Item 4" is a real product, then I'll believe this photo.

Posted by: Sashazur at October 9, 2006 07:58 PM

I think this is broken for another reason. The "more than just concrete" is so subtle that I didn't even know the HAD concrete. At a glance it seems like they specialize in just the 4 bulleted items.

Posted by: svinteractive at December 20, 2006 01:49 PM

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