Bigger & Harman, APC - October 2019


about the Hollow Earth Theory and meeting the mole people than his larger interest in learning more about such a remote part of the world. However, Adams’ reputation as a naturalist didn’t protect him from scrutiny. Even in the early 1800s, the Hollow Earth Theory was like the Flat Earth Theory today; there were a couple avid supporters, but most people knew it was ridiculous. Having a sitting U.S. president greenlight the expedition was shocking. However, you didn’t learn about Symmes’ expedition in your history class for a reason. Adams wasn’t a popular president, and not just because he might have wanted to meet the mole people. He only served one term. By the time the expedition started to get off the ground, Andrew Jackson had been elected, and he quickly killed the project. In 1936, Congress would approve funding for an expedition to the South Pole, though this expedition focused on exploring the surface of the Earth, not what is underneath it.

Today, some of the most fantastic discoveries are being made in the far reaches of space, but there was a time when people were more interested in what was going on beneath their feet. In the early 1820s, a United States army officer named John Cleves Symmes Jr. traveled the country teaching audiences about the Hollow Earth Theory. Symmes and some others at the time believed the Earth was made up of several solid spheres, one inside of another. They also believed each of these subterranean worlds was habitable and full of life. This is where the myth of the mole people originated. Symmes wanted to lead an

expedition to the North Pole, where he believed he would find an entrance to the center of the Earth. He went to Congress and lobbied for money to fund his expedition. Congress shot him down, but Symmes found an ally in an unlikely place: President John Quincy Adams. John Quincy Adams was the sixth president of the United States and son of the second president and founding father, John Adams. He traveled the world with his father, graduated from Harvard with honors, helped create the national observatory, and secured funding for the Smithsonian Institution. It’s possible Adams’ interest in Symmes’ trip to the North Pole was less


The Real Danger of Hazmat Trucking

Getting a coveted hazmat endorsement is one of the last ways to make trucking profitable. For those who get the certification, the higher demand and extra pay are all big pluses for the job, assuming you don’t mind towing metric tons of caustic or explosive material behind you at all times. However, this job carries with it a hidden risk to your wallet and livelihood. THE WRONG ROUTE TICKET When most people think of wrong route violations, they think of cars taking a wrong turn down a one-way street. But for hazardous cargo transporters, California Vehicle Code applies this law more broadly. Because your payload can potentially cause mass casualties, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) releases approved routes and a list of safe stopping places. Hazmat truckers are required to stick to these approved routes or face heavy fines. A COMMON MISTAKE The CHP frequently updates their maps and alters safe stopping locations, often to the detriment of hazmat truckers. Many of

these drivers have been working the same route for years and have their favorite stopping places along the way. But, once these veteran drivers feel like they know the run like the back of their hand, they may not keep up to date with CHP alterations. Suddenly, one day they’re confronted with a $4,175 misdemeanor for stopping at the same coffee place they’ve been using for years because, unbeknownst to them, their route changed. PROTECT YOURSELF Obviously, the best way to prevent route violations is to keep your maps up to date at all times. But, if you do receive this serious ticket, it’s important to fight the charges. Even if you feel the evidence is stacked against you, many traffic judges see this charge as a “wobbler” offense, meaning they can be convinced to reduce the misdemeanor to an infraction thus saving your money and driving record. If you’re facing such a serious offense, give us a call. We have years of experience fighting in California’s traffic courts and know the routes to a favorable outcome.

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