Of flags and red lights

October 20, 2014

In a recent post we mentioned the flag folding
ceremony done at military funerals and the
significance of the first three folds. Here is a
video that explains all the folds.

And after the flag is completely folded and
tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked
hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served
under General George Washington and the sailors
and marines who served under Captain John Paul
Jones who were followed by their comrades and
shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States,
preserving for us the rights, privileges, and
freedoms we enjoy today.

If you watched the video you now know that the
flag folding ceremony is much more than most
believe. It honors the veteran, bravery, mothers,
fathers, women, our faith, our flag, and even our
weakness.

On a lighter note, around our part of Iowa we have
red light cameras and speed cameras which were
placed in various locations in our city. We were
told they were for safety and the infraction didn’t
get sent on to state to go against our license.

But after a friend sent a video about the dancing
traffic light I thought this might be a better
solution to the traffic problem.

Finally, we found a video about a camper from
Practical Motorhome. Based on a VW van, and not
available here yet, this van really is a home on
wheels.

And that’s what we found interesting today. Have
a good one.
Comments are always welcome


Interesting subjects

October 15, 2014

We like things that get us thinking and new
inventions that seem amazing to us. So we’ll share
some with you.

We’ve been following the development of the
drehplattentur (flip panel door) for a few years
now and though not available yet we really like
this version. The video is only 34 seconds long
but if you’re like us you’ll watch it several
times.

Do you weld, grind, heat parts, sweat copper pipe,
or work with other heat sources. Then you probably
know something about fire safety and have a fire
extinguisher or two around. Fire Service Plus now
sells FireAde. An environmentally friendly foam
that can be cleaned up with water.

Have a cold spot in your house and would like to
warm it up? You could always make a solar heater
out of tin cans and odds and ends. For around $50
you can keep your toes toasty all winter.

Not really brand spanking new, but interesting, is
the nuclear-powered, ballistic missile submarine.
For those who think submarines in general are new
we offer this tidbit; the Navy accepted its first
submarine in 1900.

Older still is an article we found in the Onion
from March 21, 2011. It is not politically correct,
and will upset some, but since it mentions our
little city on the river we’ll share it.

The article is titled Town of Davenport, Iowa
Descends Into Hell Following Gay Marriage Ceremony.

And finally, a Budweiser commercial.

That’s what we found interesting and hope that you
did too. Until next time…
Comments are always welcome.


While I was in the dog house

October 7, 2014

Before the wife went to bed this afternoon she
said “and I don’t want to hear any explosions
today”. She swore she heard a big one yesterday and
claimed it was my fault.

So to play it safe I cruised the information
highway instead of the garage. And since I’m fond
of saying there isn’t anything “new” it’s just an
improved version is now available I looked into
something most people think is a newer invention.

Yes, we’re talking air suspension on cars. Most I
have talked to believe this is something invented
around 1970. William W. Humpreys patented a
“Pneumatic Spring for Vehicles” in 1901! But when
did they start using them you ask?

messier

George Messier, buit a car called the Messier featured
a suspension to hold the car aloft on four gas
bubbles from 1922-1930.

1946_scarab

In 1946, William Bushnell Stout built a prototype
Stout Scarab that had four-wheel independent air
suspension.

Yes you say, but when did a domestic automaker use
them on a production model?

1957_cad

That would be the 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham.
It had an air dome at each wheel which had sensors
to automatically maintain the car’s height as
standard equipment. Cadillac offered air
suspension through the 1960 model year.

Not to be outdone, in 1958 Buick debuted “Air-
Poised Suspension” which had air bags at each
corner for automatic leveling. It also could raise
the car over 5 inches for steep driveways or to
help when changing a tire.

1958 Rambler Ambassadors and American Motors
“Cross Country” station wagons offered air
suspension as an option. Called the “Air-Coil Ride”
an engine driven compressor pumped up the air bags,
which were inside coil springs, and had ride height
control.

Air suspension disappeared until 1984 when Lincoln
introduced it as standard equipment on the
Continental Mark VII.

Today Cadillac, Ford, Lincoln, Jeep, Ram trucks,
Maybach, Rolls-Royce, Land Rover, Subaru, Tesla,
and many others offer an air suspension system.

So those who use air bags on their hot rods,
low-riders and other vehicles aren’t really on to
anything new. Just a different way to do it.
Comments are always welcome.


Super road or costly substitute?

October 6, 2014

Are we ready for smart roads? A couple in Idaho
think so. The idea behind it is to pave sidewalks,
parking lots, and roads with super strong textured
glass photovoltaic solar panels. We’ll try to
explain.

panels

America has 31.000 square miles of pavement that
just takes a pounding every year. Julie and Scott
Brusaw believe they have a better answer and they
call it “Solar Roadways”.

That is basically 2-foot-wide hexagonal glass
solar panels supported by a roadway underlayment
that is sloped to drain water. They would run
cables along the edge of the road to carry the
electricity produced by the solar panels to where
it is needed.

The glass surface is textured in a such a way that
a car can stop faster on the glass than it does now
on pavement. But the panels would also be heated to
remove snow from the roadway and allow the solar
panels to work.

Everybody who has tinkered with glass knows you
paint it, but the paint won’t last. So the center
lines will be lit with LED lights which can also
warn of dangers ahead. And if a panel goes bad the
surrounding panels will alert technicians and a
replacement can be done.

It has been calculated that if all 31,000 square
miles of pavement were replaced with these cells
it would generate 21 billion KW-hrs of green
electricity. Oh yeah, the electric road could also
charge electric cars as they use it.

We’ll let them explain.

Some disagree and call the idea really silly.

We don’t have a car in this race but feel that
until costs come down it could be better used on
a small scale. Of course what we think and two
bucks would get you a cup of coffee somewhere.
Comments are always welcome.


Running on fumes

September 9, 2014

A friend shot an email my way with an attached
video and asked for my thoughts. The video was
about how a guy modified his pickup to run on fumes
and our friend asked for my thoughts.

I replied that the concept had been around for a
while but I never heard of anyone perfecting it.
Claims of 200-400 mpg with the modification have
been around since the 1930s.

What most people forget is that the idle circuit
of an internal combustion engine runs on fumes
anyway. It isn’t straight gasoline put in the
combustion chamber rather an atomized mist.

Some claim it works and evil big oil and other
corporations are blocking efforts to increase our
gas mileage. John Weston claims he got
463 mpg in his 1992 Geo Storm with his version.

But if one pays attention he actually claims the
car can run 14 miles on 4 ounces of fuel and that
equals 463 mpg.

A claim that’s been around even longer is that in
1936 Charles Pogue recorded over 200 mpg in a V8
Ford using a modified carburetor to run on vapors.
He ran a total of 1,879 miles on 14.5 gallons of
gas.

His family even claims that during World War II
his carburetors were installed on some of our
tanks and Jeeps in North Africa.

But again, Mr. Pogue did admit the car was hard to
start, it never got over 10 mph, and the test was
run with a pint of gasoline and a mpg average was
calculated.

Things may have changed and improvements may have
been made but we are not convinced this would be
a conversion to do.
Comments are always welcome.


Powered by what?

September 7, 2014

There is a new player in the game to fuel our
world and it isn’t ethanol. As a matter of fact, it
isn’t even a gas. We’re talking about thorium.

A piece of thorium weighing 5 grams, and small
enough to fit in the palm of your hand, could power
a car for 100 years! And we’re told it is as
plentiful as lead.

We still didn’t know what it was, why we needed
it, or why some feel it’s a good investment. I mean
is buying a car that can run for 80-100 years
without a refill that big a selling point? And if
it was, wouldn’t we have to improve the cars bodies
and suspensions to last that long?

Sounding like a cost estimate from our city
leaders, claim is it has a half-live between 25.52
hours and 14.05 billion years. Well that certainly
narrows it down.

There has been talk of converting nuclear power
plants to thorium use, but so far none have. The
Thorium Fuel Research and Development Program was
activated by the US Atomic Energy Commission (AEC)
in the early 1960s.

Then there are those who lecture we could build
a thorium powered city on the moon, or even here.
Mr. Sorensen makes some interesting points in this
video.

If you watched both videos you should have a grasp
of what thorium is. But yet we wonder. If it is so
cheap and plentiful why use anything else?

Want to read about thorium? Here is a Forbe’s
article about it.
Comments are always welcome.


Things you don’t need, but might want

August 26, 2014

We have noticed while cruising the information
highway that it seems like everybody has something
either new, improved, or to be used for other than
intended purposes. We’ll mention a few.

We always thought Line-X was a spray-on bedliner
for those who chose to protect the bed of their
pick-up truck from scratches and rust. Now, thanks
to thinking outside the box, you can spray the
product on building blocks and drop said blocks
from the roof without damage.

Perhaps Line-X sprayed bomb shelters are next?

If you have a really low car that you couldn’t
load on a trailer before, you can now. The new kid
in town is ‘Airbagged Trailers’. Watch the video
and judge for yourself.

Like camping but are always looking for something
a little different? Consider this set-up by our
German friends at Volkswagen. Made in the 1970s,
but we guess there are still some around.

Having drive shaft problems? We may have an app
for that. This video explains the problems without
getting too technical.

Lastly, for your safety, don’t ever let this
happen at the car wash wash! Be sure to maintain a
firm grip on the wash wand at all times.

Now we’re going up on the roof and drop a block.
Comments are always welcome.


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