We got 3.6 seconds to change that battery

The guys behind Formula 1 racing have come up with Formula E, for pure electric vehicles, and Tam is doubtful about the prospects:

[T]his has the potential to turn the proposed Formula E into the least exciting thing since the invention of competitive paint-drying during refueling stops.

Plus, the whole force-fed nature of the thing feels artificial. It feels like the American Medical Association sponsoring a High Fiber Vegetable Eating Contest, which just wouldn’t be as fun to watch as fat guys burying their mugs in blueberry pies.

There’s always the technology trickling down: racing, they say, improves the breed. On the other hand, I don’t particularly want to be a witness to activities that involve breeding.

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Press all the keys

Here’s a quick brown fox jumping over a lazy dog:

Fox jumps dog, film at 11

In other news, Mr. Jock, TV quiz PhD, bags few lynx.

(Via Fark.)

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A folk remedy for our time

As discovered by Suzette:

I had a big swollen painful thing happening on the side of my right pointer fingernail. It started yesterday but was stupidly sore to the touch by late this afternoon. Then I used some spray paint and employed the affected finger to push the button on the spray can. Later on I noticed two things:

  • my finger was covered in a fine mist of Ivory Gloss
  • the big swollen painful area was no longer swollen and neither was it painful

Sounds promising. If only there were such a treatment for paper cuts.

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The harder hard way

Angus MacKenzie is tooling about in a ’13 BMW 6-series Gran Coupe for a Motor Trend long-term test, and he seemed perturbed by this incident (see 10/13 issue):

The low oil level warning flashed on at 2600 miles, and checking the oil is a ritual. Park on a level service with the trans in Park or Neutral and the engine idling at operating temperature. Hit the menu button on iDrive controller, scroll to Vehicle Info, press the controller button again, scroll down to the fourth icon, and press the controller again. The revs will rise from normal idle speed of 750 rpm to 1100, and 72 seconds later, you’ll be told how much oil to add.

I figure one of the hardcore Bimmeristi will be along shortly to tell me why this is so much better than a freaking dipstick. (Oh, and MacKenzie was down a quart.)

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Snooze alarmed

Maybe I’m getting all worked up over nothing — or maybe I’m not.

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Strange search-engine queries (397)

It’s an all-automotive edition of SSEQ, what with a large number of people asking a stupid number of questions — or maybe it’s a number of stupid questions. Oh, well, we’ll figure it out in the editing pass.

what are the signs of a bad transmission in a mazda 626:  If you have to ask, you might as well get out the checkbook.

2002 mazda 626 overdrive light is flashing:  Have you ever, in fact, changed the fluid?

how often do you change the transmission fluid in a mazda 626:  If the overdrive light is flashing, it’s already too late.

1996 mazda 626 transmission has how many gears?  Assuming you have the automatic, there are four, unless you forgot to change the fluid, in which case there might be one. (If you have the stick shift, you have five, which is printed on top of the shift knob.)

what tranny oil does a 1996 626 use?  It’s too late for that, Bunky.

1997 mazda 626 wheel size:  Well, at least you didn’t say “rim.”

1997 mazda 626 stock tire size:  Did it not occur to you that there may have been more than one?

could a dirty filter cause mazda 626 hold light to blink:  How would you know it’s dirty? I’d lay odds you’ve never even seen the filter.

fix mazda jerky shift:  Hint: Don’t try to clean the filter.

why would a mazda have a fird transmission:  That’s a “Ford” transmission. Or, at least, some other four-letter word starting with F.

And, just to get away from this brand for a moment:

what happens when you cross the cables on your 1994 ford probe gt:  Apart from frying your entire electrical system, not much at all.

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Totally tubeless

One of many attempts over the years to make “support” hosiery look a little less clinical:

Mid-1960s ad for Vyrene fiber by Uniroyal

Yes, that’s the same Uniroyal that makes tires, though they’re now owned by Michelin. As U. S. Rubber, their one big success in apparel — you never see Vyrene anymore — was the casual shoe once known as U. S. Keds, now simply Keds. (Stride Rite, a Wolverine subsidiary, currently owns the brand.)

As for the lovely Valma Valle, we find her here sporting a Beatle ‘do.

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This is not a bill

But they’re hoping you pay it anyway:

We get literally (as they would say on the TV show Archer, literally literally and not figuratively literally) hundreds of paper bills to pay each month in our business. We can barely keep up just with paying them all, much less vetting every one. Which is what scam artist marketers count on when they craft fake bills they spam to businesses in hopes that some percentage, in their hustle and bustle, will pay the bills without knowing they are fraudulent.

These letters really, really tick me off. They are sent by people who apparently cannot sell a product or service on its own merits and so must trick harried business people into accidentally sending them money.

I’ve gotten stuff like that before. The perpetrators should be dropped on the second-nearest ice floe and left to the mercy of Mother Nature, who over the years has proven herself reliably indifferent in such matters.

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Bar none, and we mean none

Then again, there’s a reason for it other than a failure by your miserable wireless provider:

Green Bank, W. Va, is a tech-savvy teenager’s nightmare. In this tiny town in Pocahontas County — population 143 — wireless signals are illegal. No cell phones. No WiFi. No radio. No Bluetooth. No electronic transmitters at all. You’re not even allowed to cozy up to an electric blanket.

The remote town is smack in the center of the National Radio Quiet Zone, a 13,000 square mile stretch of land designated by the Federal Communications Commission to protect two government radio telescopes from man-made interference. The rules, though, are most strict in Green Bank’s neck of the woods. So strict, actually, that a policeman roves the streets listening for verboten wireless signals.

This is the apparatus being protected. And not everyone has a problem with the ban, either:

It’s actually drawn people from all across the United States to settle down. Sufferers of electromagnetic hypersensitivity — a disease supposedly caused by wireless signals, but dismissed by the scientific community — have moved into the electronic dead space.

I await a study showing that their conditions have improved — or that they haven’t.

(Via Hit Coffee.)

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What’s your desire?

In 1963, Tim Rose, one-third of the folk group The Big 3, came up with a radical rearrangement of an old Stephen Foster chestnut, which went like this:

Which is, after all, the folk process in action: adapt and reuse.

A mere six years later, though, it turned into this:

Read the rest of this entry »

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Some shifty individual

From the Unclear on the Concept files:

I'm pretty certain I have to change the ATF, can I just drive it in manual instead? well I assumed since it is called Automatic Transmission Fluid, It only uses it when it's in automatic

Wait until he finds out he has suspensions, both front and rear. He’ll probably try to talk his way out of them.

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Picture this

As expected, following his arrest on domestic-abuse charges last weekend, guard DeAndre Liggins has been waived by the Oklahoma City Thunder. It’s that whole “character” thing, you know.

Also as expected: Liggins released a statement thanking the team for what they’d done for him in the past.

Not as expected: He released it on Instagram.

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Following along

This isn’t a bet I’d have placed, but anything can happen:

A Stortford man has placed a bet with bookmakers that his 15-year-old daughter — upcoming singer Shakila — will be the first person to reach 100 million followers on social networking site Twitter.

Karim Ullah placed the £10 bet with William Hill at odds of 1000-1.

If he wins, Mr Ullah has pledged to donate his £10,000 winnings to the children’s charity Barnardo’s.

A thousand to one? Maybe on the Charlotte Bobcats, who in 2014-15 will evolve into the Charlotte Hornets, something Darwin never anticipated.

Am I following the young lady at @1shakila? Sure, why not? I came in at #2,351, so she has only 99,997,649 to go. Last I looked, Justin Bieber was over 44 million.

(Via the Daily Dot.)

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Endless summer

You may have seen this in my tweetstream yesterday:

Actually, I can remember a September that started out worse than this one, and that was September 2000:

First: One hundred six! (Forty-one Celsius; it doesn’t help.) And it’s supposed to get warmer over the weekend. Water pressure isn’t suffering — yet.

Second: I quit counting at 108; if it got any warmer than that, I don’t want to know about it. [It didn’t.]

Third: What kind of bizarre recipe is Mother Nature following here? “Preheat to 100-plus, then bake for weeks at a time.” I suppose we should be grateful we aren’t being marinated. Meanwhile, all the moisture we’re supposed to be getting is falling on people who are already sick of it.

Fourth: The temperature dipped to a frosty 106 today, and there were actual signs of rain scattered around the eastern fringes, but nothing close to the Big Town. The worst, at least, seems to be over — until, of course, we start importing air from Canada’s Northwest Territories, which will start some time in the next sixty days.

Fifth: The temperature today inexplicably failed to make it into the triple digits today, and may fail to do so again tomorrow.

Sixth: As the weather shifts back into a more normal sort of pattern — it now feels like August in Oklahoma instead of July in Senegal — I can now concentrate on all the other things that annoy me no end.

No weather-related entry on the seventh.

And I was perhaps being unfair to Senegal, whose interior is the blast furnace; the coast, where most of the population lives, tends to be merely warm and rather moist in July. For comparison, the Tambacounda region, in eastern Senegal, once posted a high of 129°F.

For the record, there was no rain in Oklahoma City in September 2000 until the 22nd: 1.73 inches fell over the next two days. Daily highs: 22nd, 96; 23rd, 80; 24th, 56. Thank you, Canada. Said I on the 25th: “Life on the Lone Prairie has its drawbacks, especially if you have some notion that climate ought to be comfy.”

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A view from the horizontal

The title of this new blog minces no words: “Paraplegia Sucks.”

Just the one post for now, but it’s scary enough.

Update: A second post has arrived.

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Peremptory Claus

Fercryingoutloud, we only just got through with Labor Day, and already we got Christmas on the radio?

Clear Channel’s 100.9 K265CA Albuquerque is now “Santa 100.9” via 104.1 KTEG-HD2 Santa Fe. The translator recently completed its upgrade to 250 watts from Sandia Peak giving it a signal comparable to a Class A FM.

Stunting, perhaps? Probably not:

Normally we’d expect a Christmas microformat this early in the season to likely be a short-term deal, however when you add translators to what is already a market with more signals than normal we can easily see Clear Channel going for the publicity it will get by starting Christmas music before the Fall book even begins.

To which I have now contributed. I hereby denounce myself.

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