Visit the Cellar!

The Cellar Image of the Day is just a section of a larger web community: bright folks talking about everything. The Cellar is the original coffeeshop with no coffee and no shop. Founded in 1990, The Cellar is one of the oldest communities on the net. Join us at the table if you like!

What's IotD?

The interesting, amazing, or mind-boggling images of our days.

IotD Stuff

ARCHIVES - over 13 years of IotD!
About IotD

Permalink Latest Image

Oct 18th, 2018: Florida Slime

Recent Images

Oct 17th, 2018 : Mosquito trap
Oct 16th, 2018: Faces Below
Oct 15th, 2018: Chateau Artisan
Oct 14th, 2018: Whole World In Your Hands
Oct 13th, 2018: Oddly Tall Bike Zebra
Oct 12th, 2018: British Houseboats
Oct 11th, 2018: Bee Whisperer

The CELLAR Tip Mug
Some folks who have noticed IotD

Mental Floss
Boing Boing
GruntDoc's Blog
No Quarters
Making Light
Church of the Whale Penis
Sailor Coruscant

Link to us and we will try to find you after many months!

Common image haunts

Astro Pic of the Day
Earth Sci Pic of the Day
We Make Money Not Art
Strange New Products
Geisha Asobi Blog
Cute animals blog (in Russian)
Yahoo Most Emailed

Please avoid copyrighted images (or get permission) when posting!


Philadelphia Pawn Shop
The best real estate agent in Montgomery County
The best T.38 Fax provider
Epps Beverages and Beer, Limerick, PA
Sal's Pizza, Elkins Park
Burholme Auto Body, Philadelphia
Coles Tobacco, Pottstown
ERM Auto Service, Glenside
Glenside Collision
Moorehead Catering, Trappe
Salon 153, Bala
Dominicks Auto Body, Phoenixville

   Undertoad  Wednesday Mar 9 11:52 PM

Mar 10, 2011: Ink truck down on the highway

This beaut is found at, along with the story, which I will now re-write.

OK, it's 6 am on a cold Wednesday morning in Boston, Massachusetts. The previous week's snow is still on the ground in spots, as the UPS freight driver leaves his facility with a "tandem": a tractor-trailer with not just one, but two trailers.

For our Brits, that's an articulated lorry with a second articulation.

And the trailers are heavy. They're filled with ink, which has probably made its way from Indianapolis to Boston by train, and was being trucked to Portland, Maine where it would be used by a newspaper.

You may have heard of "CMYK" in relation to color and printing. It stands for Cyan Magenta Yellow blacK. You notice this if you have a color printer; there are four print cartridges, and those are the colors. Four-color printing is based on this process, even from before the time when ink jets and lasers were used to apply print to paper.

And since the newspaper would print mostly in black, with occasional color, it stands to reason that they would order ink in volumes similar to the average ink jet printer: three times as much black as in the smaller color "cartridges".

Thus the lorry driver was hauling color ink in the front trailer, black in the rear trailer*. He drove the long, turning ramp connecting Boston's most important highway, Route 128, with America's most important highway, I-95**. And one figures all that heavy ink might have shifted a little - the liquid finding its own level - as the truck took that ramp.

And one might notice that the ramp has a tighter curve than some highway entrances, because the turn from 128 to 95 is a little more than 90 degrees.

And so, at some point, the driver realized that his trailer was tipping and his tractor was going with it. Somehow, he managed to avoid any injury - as well as hitting any other vehicles - when the trailer finally went all the way over.

And somehow, the first trailer managed to tip without taking the second trailer. But now its contents had been breeched, and Cyan and Magenta leaked out, enough to color the side of the road and half the highway in blue and red. Drivers were able to get by in one lane for a while, and they must have been amazed at what they saw when they drove by.

And as I write this, 500 feet of highway is being torn up and repaved... so that, by tomorrow morning, the commute will be much less colorful.

huge version of image hosted at

* There is nothing in the story to actually indicate that black ink was in the rear trailer. I made that part up.

** I have no qualified opinion or facts to suggest that I-95 is the most important highway in the country. I simply believe it to be true, that's all.

wolf  Thursday Mar 10 12:00 AM

Watch out where the huskies go ...

Undertoad  Thursday Mar 10 12:08 AM

And yes the ink was manufactured by the Flint Group.

zippyt  Thursday Mar 10 12:22 AM

All Flints fault !!!

Technicolor Mess !!!

Oh and here in the States thats called a DUB , as in Double Trailer

Roumer Is that they May Allow Triples on Some Hi ways

I bet each one of those totes ( Ink containers ) Weigh Approx 3-5000 lb

SPUCK  Thursday Mar 10 06:10 AM

It's writ large..

glatt  Thursday Mar 10 08:19 AM

That sucks if they really are paving it over. I'd love to drive by that scene, and would actually detour on my way up to Maine sometime to see it. It would also be a warning to future truck drivers to slow down on that particular curve if they left it there.

Great picture.

glatt  Thursday Mar 10 08:29 AM

"The ink reached two storm drains, but it is not considered a hazardous material. An environmental cleanup company has been summoned to the scene and a "careful cleanup" will be conducted under the supervision of state environmental officials, State Police spokesman David Procopio said in a statement."

Hope they finished that cleanup before today's heavy rains.

Sheldonrs  Thursday Mar 10 09:00 AM

Looks like the driver BLUE it.

Pete Zicato  Thursday Mar 10 09:46 AM

Maybe there's a reason, but I'm seeing blue and red in that picture, not cyan and magenta.

The container on the left looks like a huge ink cartridge.

monster  Thursday Mar 10 10:10 AM

Why are they tearing up and repaving? Does the ink compromise the integrity of the tarmac/whatever? I'm not cyan it

ToastyOhs  Thursday Mar 10 10:40 AM

The CAT in the background is there to help clean up the snow, ice, and sawdust, not for paving purposes.

Who would be liable here I wonder? Ink is more expensive than blood.

Undertoad  Thursday Mar 10 11:05 AM

Apparently the ink is slippery, so they had to grind down the roadway and repave. Also there was some fear that the ink would land on people's cars, which they would hate.

And reports say they did finish in time for this morning's commute.

monster  Thursday Mar 10 11:16 AM

Originally Posted by ToastyOhs View Post
The CAT in the background is there to LOL and make poorly spelled comments about the situation


BrianR  Thursday Mar 10 11:28 AM

Zippy: They already allow triples on some highways in certain states. I have that endorsement.

The repaving is also due to road damage from the truck scraping and gouging until it came to rest.

The reminder to slow down is already there in the form of a little sign that tells drivers to slow to a certain speed (probably 25 mph on a ramp) and truckers should know that that is for cars and to slow down further, due to their higher center of gravity. Liquid loads even more so since they slosh around. Yes, even bottled water or soft drinks.

footfootfoot  Thursday Mar 10 04:12 PM

Originally Posted by Pete Zicato View Post
Maybe there's a reason, but I'm seeing blue and red in that picture, not cyan and magenta.

The container on the left looks like a huge ink cartridge.
It might be that in a highly concentrated form the inks appear darker or it might be that reporters got the info wrong. CMYK are certainly 4 color process inks, but other colors exist for spot color printing but I doubt they'd be red and blue. I'm guessing we're just seeing really concentrated colors.

Gravdigr  Friday Mar 11 02:17 AM

Originally Posted by Sheldonrs View Post
Looks like the driver BLUE it.
The writing was on the wall, he just wishes he'd RED it.

noviceathome  Friday Mar 11 09:23 AM

In a bunch of places in Oz it's not unusual to see a tractor, a small trailer and another 4 regular size trailers behind that. Typically referred to as a 'road train'.

Shawnee123  Friday Mar 11 09:27 AM

Originally Posted by monster View Post

I can has inkberger? :catsmilie:

Man we need a cat smilie. All I can find is a hamster that looks like a potato chip.

onetrack  Saturday Mar 12 08:53 PM

Oooohh! .. I've seen some spectacular "technicolour yawns" before, after some hours of heavy boozing .. but THAT one, takes the cake, as the best technicolour yawn of all .. a truck-sized one ..

chrisinhouston  Thursday Mar 17 03:07 PM

And there's hamburger all over the highway in Mystic, Connecticut

Sundae  Saturday Mar 19 09:10 AM

Pizza, shurely?

Your reply here?

The Cellar Image of the Day is just a section of a larger web community: a bunch of interesting folks talking about everything. Add your two cents to IotD by joining the Cellar.