Helpful hints and oddballs

March 2, 2015

Although we are supposed to get more snow, with
freezing rain, tonight we think of summer. Since we
have central air at our place keeping cool isn’t a
problem in the summer months.

But if you don’t, or you are looking for a cheap
way to cool your garage, here is a video that will
show you how to make an air conditioner for $8. It
may not be the fanciest but it will cool you off.

Are you looking for a new car but don’t know which
models come with a manual transmission? there may
be more choices than you think. The people at
OPPOSITELOCK can help with that.

What if a car could be made that didn’t need
refueling for 100 years? Believe it or not it may
be in our future. Powered by a radioactive metal
called Thorium, and just 8 grams of Thorium could
power the car for 100 years!

For something a little different, how about a 48
cylinder Kawasaki making noise?

Since we’re on a Kawasaki kick, how about a snow
blower powered by a Ninja 900cc engine? Seems like
it works.

We’ll end with some music. This one from 1965 and
one you probably haven’t heard in a while.

So now you know how to build an air conditioner,
get a new car with a stick, a little about the
possible future of our transportation, seen a few
different motorcycle engines, and heard an old
song. We need a pizza.
Comments are always welcome.


Strange lights

February 24, 2015

Ever heard of organic light-emitting diodes (OLED)?
Or of it being used in the automotive industry?
I hadn’t either until now. So, what is OLED?

The scientific version goes like this: An organic
light-emitting diode (OLED) is a light-emitting
diode (LED) in which the emissive electroluminescent
layer is a film of organic compound which emits light
in response to an electric current. This layer of
organic semiconductor is situated between two
electrodes; typically, at least one of these
electrodes is transparent. OLEDs are used to create
digital displays in devices such as television
screens, computer monitors, portable systems such
as mobile phones, handheld game consoles and PDAs.

Car nuts, like myself, simply that to: it’s neat!
Just look at the video to see what these critters
can do on an Audi.

Think about it; you could scare drunks sober,
cause other drivers to watch your rear end instead
of the road, and be a hero to your kids if these
things go into production cars. At least for a
little while until they became commonplace.
Comments are always welcome.


Here we go

February 23, 2015

When we cruise the information highway we like to
share the best of what we find. We’d like to, but
you have to settle for these.

We’ve all seen the Moms in minivans dropping their
kids off at school, but have you even seen Mom do
that in a 550 horsepower minivan? Well watch and
learn. And remember, don’t try this at home.

We find it a little hard to swallow that this is
actually a Famous Footwear commercial even with all
the graphics on the vehicle. Stranger ones have
been seen though.

For something a little more sedate, check out this
commercial that has a housewife drooling over the
features on the 1956 Ford. Notice the car even had
the optional, for that year, seat belts.

Now let’s go head first into the future. What
is designed to do what a helicopter does, but cost
less? Hint: it combines the simplicity of a
motorcycle with the freedom of a helicopter. Still
don’t know? It’s the Hoverbike!

And one about the animal kingdom. A friend shared
this one that got us thinking about how some
critters would seek revenge. No crocodiles were
harmed in the filming of this video.

These are a few of our favorite things this
Monday.
Comments are always welcome.


A blast from our past

February 10, 2015

Did you ever wonder where our obsession with all
things automotive began? The history of the vehicle
that allowed travel for the masses across great
distances, or to the other side of the street,
began in earnest in the late 1800s.

Nikolaus A. Otto built the first practical four-
stroke engine in 1876, and the two-stroke engine
was developed by George Brayton in 1872.

In 1862 Alphonse Beau de Rochas came up with the
idea to use an engine, until then used as a
stationary device, to power a vehicle and Otto’s
engine were built for that purpose.

The 1890s Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler pioneered
mass production of the automobile.

So who came up with the drive-train layout that
still exists today on some cars and most trucks?
Panhard & Levassor was the first to standardize
the front engine, rear wheel drive, with a gearbox
in the middle set up in the 1890s.

A short time later, the Duryea brothers Charles E.
and J. Frank, started the first American automobile
production company in 1895. The same year the very
first organized car race was ran in America.

By 1900, the automobile was a toy for the rich,
and 38% of cars made were electric. It wasn’t long
before the electric car fell out of favor due to the
batteries inability to provide power for long
drives.

In 1905, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)
was founded and in 1906 a Stanley Steamer set land
speeds records of 205 km/hr. It would not help the
steam powered car survive as people found the gas
powered vehicles easier to deal with.

And that ends this politically incorrect but
light-hearted look at the history of one of our
most used conveniences.
Comments are always welcome.


Thumping Thursday

February 5, 2015

While cruising the information highway we found
the following tidbits and wish to share them with
you. Turn the speakers up and listen to gearhead
music.

Stacey David really gets a kick out of tooling
around on a V-8 barstool. Some say it should be
illegal to have this much fun while getting paid
for it, we think he’s got it made.

Something a little different is the Redneck Go
Cart. Part car, part John Deere, and all strange.
A little too much work to start but the smiles per
mile make up for that.

Something even more different is the following
that should explain why the WWII Corsair was called
‘Whistling Death’. It does have a unique sound.

We’ve run this one before but we can’t help
ourselves. There’s something about a V-12 powered
Massey Ferguson tractor pulling a snow-blower
through Norway that gets us going.

Not about engines, we still like this one. It is
about Bob Munden, the fastest shooter in the world.

Finally, if you’ve ever wanted to know more about
Matchbox cars here is a video from 1965 to tell you
more about the toys.

That’s everything we learned from noise to toys.
Don’t send money or thank us, just enjoy.
Comments are always welcome.


Looking back for the future

January 30, 2015

Remember what you were doing in December of 1968?
We can’t even remember what we had for supper last
night, but what happened that December made the
cover of magazines, was reported on the news, and
excited our country.

You may remember Apollo 8 and the crew of Frank
Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders, and the
day they first saw Earthrise. While orbiting the
moon they saw, and photographed, the Earth rising
on the Moon.

The crew even managed to get color photographs and
the event was released on video in 2013 in honor of
the 45th anniversary of the event. So if you’re old
enough not to remember, or too young to grasp the
importance of it, here is that video.

The friend who shared it described the video as
‘awesome’, after we watched it all we could say is
‘wow’, and we’re sharing it with you to make your
sound effects.
Comments are always welcome.


Technology of the future today

January 28, 2015

bono

Think much about spinels? No, not the transparent
red spinels called rubies before the end of the
18th century. Nor the natural white spinel or any
of the naturally occurring magnesium aluminate now
know as spinel.

The spinel we speak of is man made, trademarked,
and just may help automakers meet the emission
standards of the future while replacing rare earth
metals in catalytic converters.

The catalytic converter basically takes high
tempurature exhaust and grabs some oxygen out of
the NOx and turns it into nitrogen then the trapped
oxygen attaches to CO and hydrocarbons turning them
into CO2 and water.

The technology is easily explained by anyone who has
a basic knowledge of the sciences. Unfortunately,
that isn’t me.

But as we understand it the problem is twofold:
emission standards are going to get a lot tougher,
and engines using turbos for power rob the exhaust
of some of the energy needed for the current
catalytic converters to work.

So, in 5 to 7 years the Tier III Bin 30 will
require an 80% drop in NOx tailpipe emissions. To
use more rare earth metals (platinum) to solve the
problem is too costly. The spinel technology can
lower the emissions for a lot less.

Clean Diesel Technologies, Inc is the company
behind the nano-structured spinel material and are
predicting it will be ready in less than 5 years.

So that means we will be able to produce the part
for less, cut emissions by at least 80%, and keep
all the high performace goodies we’ve become
accustomed to. It doesn’t get much better than
that.
Comments are always welcome.


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