Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Brilliant answers to car repair questions - Tom Magliozzi and Car Talk

It was sad to hear that Tom Magliozzi, 77, had died on Monday. MIT trained engineer Tom and his younger brother Ray used to host the Car Talk radio program on NPR. If you ever heard it, you wouldn’t forget Tom’s infectious laugh and how he didn’t seem to take much seriously. (Their Harvard Square office window had gold lettering with the name of the mythical law firm, Dewey, Cheetham and Howe). 

Car Talk had an apparently absurd premise - that the brothers could diagnose automobile repair problems over the phone. Beneath their silly banter, like “Is that Cindy with a y, or Cindi with an i?” and “Was that a blue car?” they asked a series of pointed questions that eventually led to a solid differential diagnosis.

In September 2011 Dr. Gurpreet Dhaliwal even wrote a brief magazine article about Car Talk titled The Mechanics of Reasoning in the Journal of the American Medical Association. You can read the first page here, or download a pdf of both here.

Yesterday the Boston Globe had a wonderful article celebrating Tom titled “Don’t Drive Like My Brother’: Tom Magliozzi’s Biggest Hits.

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