Friday, February 22, 2013


THE MINI COOPER JCW 2012 HAS DONE IT  (do NOT try this at home !)


Electric Cars 

     The Trans-Canada Highway is being billed as the “world’s longest greenest highway project”. Sun Country Highway founder  (Kent Rathwell) has provided FREE dedicated car charging stations located in businesses such as hotels and restaurants from coast to coast. According to their site on Jan 30th, 2013:
     "Currently the average distance is about 150 kilometers. We have stations every 1 to 230 kilometers across the entire country. Our next goal is to shorten that distance by creating a more dense infrastructure that will allow all EV's to travel coast to coast".
     To make a point, Rathwell drove an electric car in temperatures as low as minus 32 degrees from St. John’s to Victoria. O.K. – so he drove in a $125,000 Telsa with a large battery, but it still makes a point. 
     A charger is available that cuts recharging time for a Ford Focus electric from 15 hours to four hours. The range on a single charge is from a certified 75 miles (120 Km)  to 100 miles (160 Km)  depending on driving habits.

Click HERE to open an interactive page to find a Fueling Station
Locator for ELECTRIC (EV) charger plugins in Canada.
Click HERE for a page an Alternative Fueling Station Locator for USA filling
stations (Electric, LNG, Ethanol, Hydrogen, Propane, Bio-diesel).

Hybrid Cars 

       A hybrid car never needs to be plugged in for a recharge - whenever you step on the brakes, some of that energy is stored in the batteries. If the batteries get really low, the car can just run on gas until the combustion engine recharges them, so range is not an issue. For an explanation of hybrid cars, check out  How Hybrid Cars Work
     The Honda Accord Hybrid has a two-motor hybrid system for larger vehicles and competes with the Chevy Volt, Ford Fusion, and ToyotaCamry hybrids in the marketplace.

Hi-tech goodies

    In 2003, BMW set up a Group Technology Office in Silicon Valley to do technology research into connectivity to your music, navigation and favorite electronic devices and to develop a unique level of customization.

     In 2007 they joined GOOGLE in developing car computers to provide assistance in driving/parking. Most of the major car manufacturers have followed BMW in increasing card ability to detect pedestrians as well as other cars an to assist the driver in avoiding them.

 (Street legal racing cars)

1) Chevrolet Camaro
      Thanks to a supercharger, the ZL1 now makes a whopping 580-hp, allowing it to hit 60 mph in under 4 seconds, 
     The magnetic ride control allows suspension settings to be adjusted up to 1,000 times per second. This allows the car to be as responsive as possible, and provides precision on the track, and comfort on the street.

2)  Ford Shelby GT500 
    It is a 550 horsepower Mustang with a supercharged 5.0 L V8, Brembo brakes and  white racing stripe.

3)  Ford Mustang Boss 302
     It puts out 24-hp more than the normal Mustang GT for a total power of 440 hp.

4) Taurus SHO
      Twin-turbo direct-injection 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 rated at 365 horsepower, 6-speed automatic and all-wheel drive with the practicality of a large sedan

5) Chevrolet Corvette
      The style of the beloved stingray returns for the 7th generation with:
     - added muscle in a  6.2L V-8 LT1 engine with over 450 horsepower
     - a nod to being eco-friendly by having half of the eight cylinders deactivated when
       not needed  (which I think could be most of the time)
    The car is not yet available so the price is not known, but it will be determined by a variety of optional goodies which are alluded to by the company's own words:

"Controlling all this is the console-mounted Drive Mode Selector, which dials from Tour to Weather, Eco, Sport, and Track. It alters the operating parameters of the electronic differential (if equipped), cylinder deactivation, throttle mapping, stability control, traction control, launch control, auto transmission shift mapping, Performance Traction Management (if equipped), Magnetic Ride Control (if equipped), steering weight and ratio, and the gauge cluster display . . .  Performance Package, available Performance Traction Management offers five settings of torque reduction and brake intervention for more confident driving on the road. The machine serves the driver . . .  a precision-born machine."

      I have only the foggiest idea what all that actually means but it sounds impressive.   


1) LINITOL  (also called "muscle" or "magic" wire is a nickel titanium alloy)
     Nickel titanium alloys exhibit the unique property of shape memory. Shape memory is the ability to undergo deformation at one temperature and then recover its original shape upon heating above its "transformation temperature". 
     It is being used in the 2014 Corvette where a shape memory alloy wire opens the back hatch vent whenever the deck lid is opened in the rear of the car. Heat from an electrical current activates the small wire, which moves a lever arm to open the vent, allowing the trunk lid to close. Once closed, the current switches off, and the wire returns to its original shape.      This replaces a conventional motorized system that weighs approximately one pound more. Chevy points out that "there are about 200 motorized movable parts on the typical vehicle that could be replaced with lightweight smart materials". 
     The following "magic trick" video demonstrates how well Nitinol works. To purchase check eBay for good prices.

2)  LiveScribe, the creators of the Lernstift digital pen hope to bring handwriting into the 21st century by having the pen vibrate to indicate when the writer makes spelling and grammatical errors or exhibits poor penmanship.

(use <+> to magnify picture)

There are two modes for the pen: calligraphy and orthography. Calligraphy mode senses “if a letter is written wrong or illegibly,” according to the company, and then vibrates once to alert the user to the error. With the Orthography setting, “the pen vibrates once for a misspelled word and twice to point out grammatical errors in a sentence.” Note that the pen simply alerts the user that an error has been identified; it’s then up to the user to figure out the problem and correct it. It’s a teaching pen, not a spellchecker.

3) "LivesOn" App
          Soon (March?) you will be able to tweet after you die 
          Click on the link above - this is so weird on so many levels I am speechless.


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