July 2009 Archives
July 28, 2009
Remember Palin’s resignation speech, as edited by Vanity Fair? Here’s the Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien getting William Shatner to deliver it as poetry:
Oh. My. Heavens.
I’ll have more to say about Bang Goes The Theory — short version: I rather enjoyed it — but this little film of Jem enthusing about his magnificent vortex cannon is well worth a look:
Damn. Wish I’d seen that.
Incidentally, I’m rather surprised this isn’t on Boing Boing yet. Tsk, tsk.
Part of the problem, I think, is that the longer item and Jem’s wonderful explanatory piece, above, are available only on iPlayer, within the UK. If they were on YouTube…
July 25, 2009
Flossie and I toddled up the coast to St. Mary’s Island, where we admired turnstones and waves and… the Red Arrows. They looped around the island before cutting inland, Red 10 dropping back while the display aircraft assumed the classic diamond 9 formation. Somewhere off to our North-West they performed a loop and break.
Whatever they were up to isn’t in their public schedule. First time I’ve seen them for years.
July 22, 2009
This is wonderful: Vanity Fair have given Sarah Palin’s resignation speech the editorial once-over, and published their red-pen scribblings. Wonderful to pick through and work out their reasoning.
Remember, though: this is simply getting the facts and form right. The harder part is taking the tight draft and thinking through the flow, the emotional arc, the overall shape of the thing. When the writing’s this bad it’s hard to see the structure, but getting the structure right is crucial.
July 18, 2009
Sticking with the automotive theme briefly: I think I know what I’m going to trade my Audi towards. And no, it’s not a Lotus, sorry.
A funky little coupé thing, the CR-Z should be:
- fairly nippy
- a giggle to drive
- at least marginally practical, and
- affordable. Though sources vary on what ‘inexpensive’ means, in this context.
So far, so Smart Roadster Coupé, but with any luck the CR-Z won’t ship with the impressive water features of that model (if you owned one, you’ll know to what I’m referring). It’s also not being sold by Mercedes, which is a huge win, and it has rear seats, which is probably a marketing joke but we’ll run with it for the moment. And it’s a hybrid.
[cough] what? A hybrid, you say? Oh, drat.
It’s not that I have much against hybrids per se; I think they make a deal of sense for commuting and local trips. However, I don’t commute, nor do I make many local trips. On the open road, I’d just be hefting around a few hundred kilos of energy-intensive-to-make batteries, the main purpose of which is to increase rolling resistance and take up valuable luggage space.
But hey, we’ll see what set of compromises Honda goes with for the CR-Z. At least in principle, it should be possible to fit a fizzy little petrol engine and back it up with some electric torque to deliver fun performance without the weight and thirst of a big engine and gearbox. Perhaps the hybrid thing will make sense after all.
Or perhaps they’ll decide they have to build an Audi TT-competitor and will saddle the poor thing with a huge engine and a £25,000+ price tag. Personally, I think slow sports cars are the way of the future, but what do I know?
More details at Honda’s official site; lots of pictures around; yes, it does look like they saw spy shots of the back of the Volvo C30, assumed the front looked just as radical, and hence copied something that didn’t exist in the first place. I kinda like it.
July 17, 2009
Last week I was doing a workshop in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, and my chum Gareth turned up in a multifuel-capable Exige demonstrator he’d blagged off Lotus. By the time we’d driven it around some back lanes (to make sure it worked, you understand) we didn’t have time to wash it, wait for decent light, or do any of the things you’re supposed to do when taking arty pictures of exotic cars.
Still, I’m pretty pleased with the resulting shots. The combination of the Sigma 10-20mm ƒ/4-5.6 ultra-wide zoom and a 50mm ƒ/1.4 prime gives lots of options forcing for detail via perspective and depth of field. I wish I’d had longer to play, though if I had I’d probably have spent it driving instead.
See the full set on Flickr here.