Tuesday, November 4, 2008

An air-powered car?

It may be available sooner than you think at a price tag that will hardly be a budget buster. The vehicle may not run like a speed racer on back road highways, but developer Zero Pollution Motors is betting consumers will be willing to fork over $20,000 for a vehicle that can motor around all day on nothing but air and a splash of salad oil, alcohol or possibly a pint of gasoline.

The expertise needed to build a compressed air car, or CAV, is not rocket science, either. Years-old, off-the-shelf technology uses compressed air to drive old-fashioned car engine pistons instead of combusting gas or diesel fuel to create a burst of air to do the same thing. Indian carmaker Tata has no qualms about the technology. It has already bought the rights to make the car for the huge Indian market.

The air car can tool along at a top speed of 35 mph for some 60 miles or so on a tank of compressed air, a sufficient distance for 80% of consumers to commute to work and back and complete daily chores.

Air2.gif
Courtesy of MDI

On highways, the CAV can cruise at interstate speeds for nearly 800 miles with a small motor that compresses outside air to keep the tank filled. The motor isn't finicky about fuel. It will burn gasoline or diesel as well as biodiesel, ethanol or vegetable oil.

This car leaves the highest-mpg vehicles you can buy right now in the dust. Even if it used only regular gasoline, the air car would average 106 mpg, more than double today's fuel sipping champ, the Toyota Prius. The air tank also can be refilled when it's not in use by being plugged into a wall socket and recharged with electricity as the motor compresses air.

~ more... ~

 

The assassination of Yitzhak Rabin

From: Wikipedia
 
On 4 November 1995 Rabin was assassinated by Yigal Amir, a radical right-wing Orthodox Jew who opposed the signing of the Oslo Accords and believed he was saving the country from a dire fate. The shooting took place in the evening as Rabin was leaving a mass rally in Tel Aviv in support of the Oslo process. Rabin was rushed to the nearby Ichilov Hospital, where he died on the operating table of blood loss and a punctured lung.
After an emergency cabinet meeting, Israel's foreign minister, Shimon Peres was appointed as acting Israeli prime minister.
The assassination of Rabin came as a great shock to the Israeli public. Hundreds of thousands of grieving Israelis thronged the square where Rabin was assassinated to mourn his death. Young people, in particular, turned out in large numbers, lighting memorial candles and singing peace songs. Rabin's funeral was attended by many world leaders, among them US president Bill Clinton, Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and King Hussein of Jordan. Bill Clinton delivered a eulogy whose memorable final words were in Hebrew - "Shalom, Haver" (Hebrew: שלום חבר‎, lit. Goodbye, Friend).
 
Before leaving the stage on the night of the assassination, Rabin had been singing Shir LaShalom (literally Song for Peace), along with Israeli singer Miri Aloni. After he died, a sheet of paper with the lyrics was found in his pocket, stained with blood.
The square where he was assassinated, Kikar Malkhei Yisrael (Kings of Israel Square), was renamed Rabin Square. Streets and public institutions have been named after him all over the country. After his assassination, Rabin was hailed as a national symbol and came to embody the Israeli peace camp ethos, despite his military career and hawkish views earlier in life. He is buried on Mount Herzl. In November 2000, his wife Leah died and was buried alongside him.
As with many political assassinations, there is much debate regarding the background of Rabin's assassination. There are a number of conspiracy theories related to the assassination of Rabin.

'But he was wearing clothes when he said that'

Florida nudists want their own clothing-optional polling site

Nudists: one demographic you don't necessarily want to see presidential candidates pander to.

But nudists deserve to participate in democracy too. And now one Florida nudist community is proposing a way to make the whole process a little more . . . comfortable. As in, clothing-optional.

Representatives from Caliente Resorts, a nudist resort and residential community that offers guests "the most luxurious clothing optional experiences you can imagine," have approached elections officials in Pasco County to establish the first clothing-optional polling site, the Associated Press reported today.

Nothing in state law would prohibit it, according to the AP. But the supervisor of elections says he's opposed to creating any new precincts before redistricting in 2010. (But he was wearing clothes when he said that.)

-- Kate Linthicum

~ Los Angeles Times Blogs ~

 

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image from http://www.spitting-image.net

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