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Discussion Starter #181
‘Very Smart People,’ but a Keyless Car’s Downside Killed Them



James D. Livingston and Sherry H. Penney in 2014. They are among at least three dozen people nationwide, many of them older car owners, who have died of carbon-monoxide poisoning related to keyless vehicles.

For Sherry H. Penney, a former university chancellor, and her husband, James D. Livingston, a retired physicist, the 2017 Toyota Avalon was a sensible purchase. It was a model she and her husband had owned before, but the new version had electronic sensors and other advanced features.

“The Avalon is very safe,” Mr. Livingston’s daughter Susan recalled hearing Ms. Penney say.

Last month, one of those features proved fatal.

Ms. Penney, 81, and Mr. Livingston, 88, were found dead at their home in Sarasota, Fla., poisoned by carbon monoxide, according to preliminary tests by the local medical examiner. Susan Livingston said that after the car — which had a keyless ignition — pulled into the garage attached to their house, the engine had continued to run.

The deaths highlight a hazard that regulatory and legislative efforts have yet to remedy: Without the motion of turning a physical key, some car owners, especially older ones, forget to turn off a vehicle.

Based on news reports, lawsuits, police and fire records, and research by advocacy groups, at least 36 people have been killed in the United States in such incidents since 2006, including seven in the past six months. Dozens of others have been injured, some left with brain damage.

The deaths of Ms. Penney and Mr. Livingston were all the more striking because of their accomplishments in academia and science. Before retiring to Florida, Ms. Penney was the first woman to serve permanently as chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Boston and held other leadership roles in the UMass and State University of New York systems. Mr. Livingston, an expert on magnets, spent decades as a researcher at General Electric and taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The couple collaborated on a book about Martha Wright, a women’s rights figure in the 1800s who was Mr. Livingston’s great-great-grandmother.

“These are very smart people,” Ms. Livingston said. “This kind of situation can happen to anybody.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which oversees the auto industry, proposed a rule for keyless vehicles in 2011 mandating a one-second audible external warning to drivers to turn off the ignition. The rule would cost the auto industry $500,000 a year, according to an agency estimate. But after lobbying from the industry, the proposal has remained in limbo.

Asked recently for comment, the agency repeated earlier guidance, pointing consumers to a safety video about the use and potential dangers of keyless ignitions.

Some keyless models activate audible warnings or flashing lights inside or outside the car if the door is opened while the motor is running. The Toyota Avalon, for example, is designed to beep once internally and three times externally in such circumstances. But as the deaths of Ms. Penney and Mr. Livingston indicate, such alerts are not always adequate.

“I think if they bought a different car, they’d be alive,” Ms. Livingston said.

Contacted for this article, the automaker said, “Toyota vehicles meet or exceed all regulatory safety standards.”

An investigation by The New York Times last year highlighted the extent of the hazard with keyless ignitions and the regulatory inaction. Soon after, Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, demanded during a hearing that the highway safety agency adopt its proposed rule and require carmakers to make vehicles shut off automatically after a set period of idling. Earlier this year, Mr. Blumenthal introduced a bill to do just that.

The Senate legislation, the Park It Act, has yet to be scheduled for a committee hearing. But this month a group of House members — three Democrats and a Republican — introduced an identical bill in the Energy and Commerce Committee.

“This is something we clearly have the technology to prevent,” Representative Jan Schakowsky, an Illinois Democrat and the bill’s lead House sponsor, said of the carbon-monoxide deaths.

Ford and General Motors have announced their support for the legislation.

Some automakers have added an automatic shut-off, including Ford on all its keyless vehicles since the 2015 model year. G.M. retrofitted some of its vehicles to add the automatic shut-off, at $5 apiece, the company told regulators.

Toyota, whose vehicles have been involved in half of the fatal incidents, has announced that its 2020 keyless models will come with an automatic shut-off function. It would not say whether it supported the congressional legislation.

Hyundai said that it backed the legislation and that it planned to install the auto-shut-off technology in new models, but did not offer a timeline for doing so.
A representative of Fiat Chrysler said the company was reviewing the legislation, but added that “statistics show no increase in such injuries when compared with vehicles featuring conventional rotary-key ignition systems,” and that “automatic shut-off technology may have unintended consequences.”

Nissan, Daimler, Mazda and Subaru declined to say whether they had a position on the legislation. Several automakers did not respond to inquiries.

While mandated safety features remain elusive, millions of cars with keyless ignitions are on the road. The feature is now standard in more than half of the vehicles made each year, according to the auto information website Edmunds.

“Those cars might be out there seven, eight, 10 years,” Ms. Livingston said. “What about all those other people that might die?”
 

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Discussion Starter #182
Hello Gil!
I hope this finds you well.

I see you are still cutting and pasting to an audience of none.
:)
Have a nice weekend.

"No collusion, no obstruction."
:)
Well, Mike, I certainly hope that when ppl ask you "what's up?" you have the sense to say, "Not my IQ".

1. You just cannot resist engaging with me even tho it almost never works out for you.

2. Over 13,500 readers/visits is not no one.

3. No trusted authority ever said "no collusion, no obstruction". Can't imagine why you'd quote that crap here.

a. 1000 prosecutors of all parties said they'd put him away.

b. Writers of the report said those 4 words were wrong.

4. When he heard of the investigation, Drumpf exclaimed something like My political life is over. I am f&&cked!

Just what innocent person would say, right?
 

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LOL!
You're so predictable and easy, I knew that would jump start you.
I should refrain from picking low hanging fruit but always easy money!
Toodles!
 

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And again, I reach out to say hello, maybe in a snarky way but not so much personally insulting as you have throughout the years of us on here.
You insult people, you're condescending as heck, and when someone calls you on it or messes with you a bit you're like "what me, Im just an old jewish man driving an old toyota minding my own business...."
You're terrible.
What hasn't worked out for me? Where do you get that stuff? You live in your own world and when people walk away from you shaking their head at all your insults, condescending attitude, and the incessant cutting and pasting, you somehow declare some sort of "victory."
The last time I actually gave you the time of day you posted 4 pages of political rantings that you cut and pasted every word of it. I don't discuss things like that and invited you to call me which not surprisingly you chickened out.....and claimed some sort of "victory."
Honestly it would have been nice to hear something from your own words rather than tying to keep up with your cutting and pasting for pages and pages.
You have even responded to non political posts abt different cars and unsurprisingly rather than share any direct experience, you cut and paste an article stating again, someone elses viewpoint. Wow, so informative.
I know on other car boards they haven't muzzled your "political" rantings, thank the lord for the folks that run this place, have muzzled you.
I know you have an extremely large ego in which you look down your nose at the rest of us but seriously, that ego has no basis in fact or reality.
You have driven more people away from this board than I have ever seen an individual do on any other board. And no, its not because you're so right about everything.

Lastly Gil,
4 MORE YEARS!!
LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #185
And again, I reach out to say hello, maybe in a snarky way but not so much personally insulting as you have throughout the years of us on here.
You insult people, you're condescending as heck, and when someone calls you on it or messes with you a bit you're like "what me, Im just an old jewish man driving an old toyota minding my own business...."
You're terrible.
What hasn't worked out for me? Where do you get that stuff? You live in your own world and when people walk away from you shaking their head at all your insults, condescending attitude, and the incessant cutting and pasting, you somehow declare some sort of "victory."
The last time I actually gave you the time of day you posted 4 pages of political rantings that you cut and pasted every word of it. I don't discuss things like that and invited you to call me which not surprisingly you chickened out.....and claimed some sort of "victory."
Honestly it would have been nice to hear something from your own words rather than tying to keep up with your cutting and pasting for pages and pages.
You have even responded to non political posts abt different cars and unsurprisingly rather than share any direct experience, you cut and paste an article stating again, someone elses viewpoint. Wow, so informative.
I know on other car boards they haven't muzzled your "political" rantings, thank the lord for the folks that run this place, have muzzled you.
I know you have an extremely large ego in which you look down your nose at the rest of us but seriously, that ego has no basis in fact or reality.
You have driven more people away from this board than I have ever seen an individual do on any other board. And no, its not because you're so right about everything.
Geez, Mike. Obsess much?

No one ever "muzzled" me. You've said that and are wrong each time. Try proving I insult ppl who haven't attacked me.

This is what I mean about it not working out for you.

Meanwhile, I help a lot of ppl here.
 

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Discussion Starter #186
Time for a bit of media news.




I just watched “Defending Your Life”, written and directed by the great Albert Brooks again.

You need to see this movie. There are important life lessons and lots of laughs.

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“The Hate U Give” is wonderful, about living while black in today’s America. Stars the very talented Amandla Stenberg who is just freaking beautiful. Carefully made, very well cast, this is a terrific film.

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Best movie ever made: “La Strada”. Early Fellini and haunting.


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If you have never seen “The Man Who Would Be King”, leave work now and watch it.

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Best TV family drama: “Friday Night Lights” series. Love it when it was new and loved it just as much this winter.
 

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Discussion Starter #187

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Discussion Starter #188
Billionaire insists he has legal parking spot on West Village street, infuriating neighbors who say he created a fake space for himself





A billionaire hedge fund honcho carved out a personal driveway in a West Village sidewalk — and didn’t pay a dime for the brazen annexation of public space.

Deep-pocketed investor Noam Gottesman — who built himself a corner compound on Jane and Washington Sts. over a decade ago — gave himself the ultimate upgrade during the renovation process: his own private parking spot on one of the city’s most coveted streets.

The sleight-of-hand was achieved thanks to what the Department of Buildings says is an illegal curb cut — an unauthorized slice into the edges of the city sidewalk to make it appear as if a driveway exists at 777 Washington St.

His team insisted in a city court hearing in May that the building has the right to a curb cut ― but in fact Gottesman, 58, installed his personal perk without the proper permits, and is maintaining it without permission, DOB confirmed to the Daily News.

“The plans for the ... project do not show any curb cuts and the owner did not apply for an accessory-use curb cut during this process, as required. In addition, the building’s current certificate of occupancy does not reflect a legal curb cut,” said DOB spokesman Joe Soldevere.

A parking ticket received by Eyal Levin after he parked in what he claims is an illegally converted no parking zone on Washington Street.

A parking ticket received by Eyal Levin after he parked in what he claims is an illegally converted no parking zone on Washington Street. (Danielle Hyams/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
That hasn’t stopped Gottesman’s employees from shooing away neighbors — and one News reporter — who have tried to use the space. Although there’s no street sign that declares the spot off-limits, Gottesman’s posted “No Parking” and “Active Driveway” warnings on the big black doors at his sprawling complex’s back entrance. Any attempt to park there immediately brings out hired hands from the building to warn people off.

When a News reporter pulled into the empty space Monday morning, a man emerged within seconds.

“You will be towed,” he said, pointing to the yellow words on the black door behind him, which was open enough to reveal a set of stairs leading up to a balcony landing.

Asked if the residence was a garage, he replied, “Yes, it is .... We tow people immediately. I’m sorry. Immediately."

Neighbor Eyal Levin found that out the hard way in late May, when he parked in the spot in an act of defiance and then found his silver Toyota Camry towed. It took hours for Levin to track down his car in a lot in Queens ― and he had to pay $201 to get it back, according to documents reviewed by The News.

Levin, 52, has feuded with security at Gottesman’s house over the parking spot for at least three years now, he said.



Nomad Foods co-chairmen Noam Gottesman on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016.

“It’s all a scam ... He doesn’t have a freaking driveway," Levin said. "He just has fake signs on it. He knows it, everybody knows it and still they try to intimidate everybody about it. I found it to be outrageous. It’s outrageous to put that sign up when you have this huge mansion.”

The “driveway” serves as a reserved on-street parking space and an easy way for Gottesman’s home to receive deliveries, Levin said.

“I say to them show me a driveway and I will move my car but don’t insult me with your lies. And I tell them do not touch my car because I am legally parked.”

On May 23, the parking beef came to a head and Levin’s car was hauled away, which he discovered when he came out the next morning to take his son to school. When he inquired with Gottesman’s workers about his car, he was told to “go to the precinct,” he said. Levin went to the nearby 6th precinct, where he eventually learned his car was towed by a private company to a Maspeth lot.

When he got out there, Levin found an illegible handwritten $95 ticket on his windshield for blocking a driveway signed by an NYPD officer.

“The whole ticket thing is very fishy,” Levin said. It didn’t show up in the city’s online database for more than a month after it was filed, he said, and then it only appeared, he believes, because he made a complaint about it to City Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s office.



The door in front of the disputed parking spot.

Levin fought the ticket and the city’s Department of Finance dismissed it out of hand because the cop didn’t fill out all the fields correctly, he said.

“It’s just despicable,” Levin fumed.

The NYPD on Monday confirmed that the violation was handwritten by one of its officers, and said the cop was flagged down in the street to ticket a car for blocking a driveway.

The private tow company, Kwik Automotive, confirmed to The News that it towed Levin’s car from 777 Washington St. after getting a phone call request from someone at the address. But the company can’t move vehicles unless the NYPD has ticketed them first, the company said.

“It’s illegal for us to move a car that doesn’t have a ticket,” said a woman who answered the phone at Kwik Automotive.

Gottesman, who once dated Queens actress Lucy Liu, bought the West Village property in 2008 for $35 million and built his home from scratch, which he owns through 777 Washington LLC. He made his fortune through a hedge fund, GLG Partners, and has invested in fancy restaurants like Eleven Madison Park. He also owned Europe’s largest frozen food company. Forbes estimates he’s worth $2.7 billion.

So far, he’s avoided paying any fines for his “driveway."

The DOB issued a $500 violation for the illegal curb cut earlier this year after receiving a complaint — but records show that on May 6, court hearing officer Lyda Tyburec dismissed the fine after she determined that the summons for the curb cut did “not include any facts to constitute a violation” under the cited Buildings code.

A rep for Gottesman claimed he had obtained a permit for the curb cut and submitted documentation, according to records from the city’s administrative law court, OATH. Calls and emails to Gottesman’s rep were not returned by deadline.


OATH records don’t show what material Gottesman’s rep presented at the hearing, but the property at 777 Washington St. was a parking garage in the 1940s and had a legal curb cut then, DOB told The News. That permit is no longer valid, the DOB said.

“When an owner files to change the use of a building – in this case, from commercial to residential – items like decades-old curb cuts are no longer grandfathered from current rules,” said spokesman Soldevere, noting that Gottesman failed to try to re-legalize the cut in 2008 when he filed for a major alteration of the building.

“DOB will re-route an inspector to investigate and take further enforcement action, if warranted,” he told The News.

Barry Kazan, a lawyer representing Gottesman, said Monday that the curb cut is in line with city rules. “We believe we’ve complied with everyone we’re supposed to comply with. We take these issues seriously,” Kazan said.
 

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Discussion Starter #189
You know by now that Mad magazine is gone, defunct.

Shame, but not surprising.

Loved it in my much younger days. Taught us cynicism, right?


Paul Krassner used to write there, but he started newsletter, "The Realist", and had a real affect on me.



Paul Krassner, Anarchist, Prankster and a Yippies Founder, Dies at 87




Paul Krassner, right, in 1969 with, from left, Ed Sanders of the rock group the Fugs and Abbie Hoffman. Mr. Krassner helped start the Yippie movement and was the founder of The Realist magazine.

He was a prankster, a master of the put-on that thumbed its nose at what he saw as a stuffy and blundering political establishment.

And as much as anyone else, Paul Krassner epitomized a strain of anarchic 1960s activism — one that became identified with the Yippies as they nominated a pig for president and rained dollar bills onto the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Along with Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin and a few others, Mr. Krassner helped found that group.

He was the founder and editor of The Realist, among the earliest underground humor magazines, one that was known for outlandish and raunchy cartoons and iconoclastic political and social commentary. Its contributors included Norman Mailer, Jules Feiffer, Terry Southern, Joseph Heller, Mort Sahl, Edward Sorel and Robert Grossman. With some very long breaks, it endured into the 21st century.

Yet so naturally irreverent was Mr. Krassner that when People magazine labeled him the “father of the underground press,” he demanded a paternity test.

In all, he helped propagate a certain absurdist sensibility that encouraged people like the cartoonists R. Crumb and Art Spiegelman and the comedian George Carlin to be more daring in mocking the insanities and hypocrisies of war, politics and much of modern life.

Mr. Krassner died on Sunday at his home in Desert Hot Springs, Calif., his daughter, Holly Krassner Dawson, said. He was 87. She did not give a cause, but said he had been in hospice care.

Mr. Krassner was writing freelance pieces for Mad magazine in 1958 when he realized that there was no equivalent satirical publication for adults; Mad, he could see, was largely targeted at teenagers. So he started The Realist out of the Mad offices, and it began regular monthly publication. By 1967 its circulation had peaked at 100,000.

“I had no role models and no competition, just an open field mined with taboos waiting to be exploded,” Mr. Krassner wrote in his autobiography.

The magazine’s most famous cartoon was one, drawn in 1967 by the Mad artist Wally Wood, of an orgy featuring Snow White, Donald Duck and a bevy of Disney characters enjoying a variety of sexual positions. (Mickey Mouse is shown shooting heroin.) Later, digitally colored by a former Disney artist, it became a hot-selling poster that supplied Mr. Krassner with modest royalties into old age. (I have this print. gb)

The Realist’s most famous article was one Mr. Krassner wrote portraying Lyndon B. Johnson as sexually penetrating a bullet wound in John F. Kennedy’s neck while accompanying the assassinated president’s body back to Washington on Air Force One. The headline of the article was “The Parts That Were Left Out of the Kennedy Book,” and it claimed — falsely — to be material that had been removed from William Manchester’s book “The Death of a President.”

“People across the country believed — if only for a moment — that an act of presidential necrophilia had taken place,” Mr. Krassner told an interviewer in 1995. “The imagery was so shocking, it broke through the notion that the war in Vietnam was being conducted by sane men.”

Avery Corman, the author of “Kramer vs. Kramer” and other books, whose first essays appeared in The Realist, called Mr. Krassner “a cultural pioneer.”

“The pieces he wrote himself and the material written by others were saying to people that what we’re told by the establishment and the media may not be true, may be distorted, and at that time that was not an accepted idea,” Mr. Corman said in a 2016 interview. “For young people trying to dope out what the world was like, being a Realist reader was a way of distinguishing yourself: ‘I’m not gullible, I’m skeptical.’”

By the 1970s, The Realist was struggling financially and being published more haphazardly; for years it did not come out at all. In the mid-1980s it was revived as a newsletter. It ceased publication in 2001.

Mr. Krassner was also the keeper of the legacy of one of his mentors, Lenny Bruce. He edited Bruce’s autobiography, “How to Talk Dirty and Influence People” (1965), and was nominated for a Grammy Award for his 5,000-word liner notes to a collection of Bruce’s nightclub routines, “Let the Buyer Beware.”



Mr. Krassner in 2009. He once said: “It’s strange to be 70 and still identify with a youth movement. But I’d rather identify with evolution than stagnation.”

Encouraged by Bruce, Mr. Krassner often took to the stage, delivering comic monologues at nightclubs like the Village Gate. He and his East Village friends also dreamed up pieces of public tomfoolery.

In one, in 1968, a group of 60 hippies chose to turn the tables on tourists streaming into the East Village to gape at its scruffy, longhaired denizens. With cameras dangling from their necks, the hippies hired a Greyhound bus for a sightseeing tour of the tidy middle-class neighborhoods of Queens.

In 1967, Mr. Krassner, Hoffman and friends formed an organization to meld hippies and earnest political types. Mr. Krassner dreamed up the name Youth International Party — Yippie for short.

Their theatrical shenanigans included streaming to Washington to “levitate” the Pentagon and organizing a nighttime “yip-in” at Grand Central Terminal to celebrate spring; it drew some 3,000 revelers, prompting nightstick-swinging police officers to charge the crowd and arrest 17 as protesters yelled “Fascists!” The press seemed transfixed by their antics.

“It was mutual manipulation,” Mr. Krassner said, reflecting on his life in an interview for this obituary in 2016. “We gave them good stories and sound bites, and they gave us free publicity.”

In August 1968, the group made its way to the Democratic National Convention in Chicago and held a festival that, along with antiwar protests, prompted another police charge, this one bloodier. Television cameras caught what a national commission was to term “a police riot.” Hoffman and Rubin were among those convicted of crossing state lines to incite a riot, though those convictions were reversed on appeal. Mr. Krassner was named an unindicted co-conspirator.

Paul Krassner was born on April 9, 1932, in Brooklyn, the second of three children. His father, Michael, was a printing compositor for The Long Island Star-Journal who had a cynical streak and, according to his son, worried about efforts by government and business “to manipulate the human mind.” His mother, Ida, who had immigrated as an infant from Russia, was a legal secretary and instilled in him the maxim “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

Paul was a violin prodigy, playing a Vivaldi concerto at Carnegie Hall when he was 6, but he gave up practicing regularly because he found his instructor too controlling. Still, he traced his bent for humor to that Carnegie Hall recital. When in midperformance he tried to soothe an itch in his left leg by scratching it with his right foot, the audience burst out laughing, and he realized he loved that sound more than the applause for his playing.

He was bar mitzvahed, but, he said, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima had already persuaded him to identify as an atheist. He attended the Baruch campus of City College, though he dropped out three credits short of a degree, disappointing his parents.

“They had learned by then that I was a rebel,” he said.

He was already earning money working for The Independent, a newspaper run by the anti-censorship crusader Lyle Stuart. It turned out that Mr. Stuart was also the business manager of Mad, and Mr. Krassner began writing humor pieces for it.

Mr. Stuart also gave him a list of subscribers to a small progressive magazine that was closing down, and Mr. Krassner managed to persuade 600 of those readers to buy his satirical replacement, The Realist.

An interview in the magazine with a doctor who performed abortions at a time when they were illegal led to Mr. Krassner’s first foray into serious activism. After receiving calls from women seeking information about how they, too, could obtain abortions, he set up a service to refer pregnant women to qualified doctors. He was subpoenaed by two different district attorneys but never prosecuted.

With the decline and demise of The Realist, Mr. Krassner had to scratch out a living, and eventually Social Security checks were a mainstay. He wrote columns for magazines like High Times and Adult Video News and blogs for The Huffington Post (now HuffPost). He served a short stint as publisher of Hustler. In 1994 he published a memoir, “Confessions of a Raving Unconfined Nut: Misadventures in the Counter-Culture,” which he later updated, and he also produced three collections of reminiscences about people’s experiences with marijuana, hallucinogenic mushrooms and other drugs.

Mr. Krassner’s first marriage, to Jeanne Johnson, ended in divorce. In addition to his daughter, from his first marriage, his survivors include his wife, Nancy Cain; a brother, George, and one grandchild.

In 2003, Mr. Krassner joined with others surviving Yippies to form a speakers bureau, charging several thousand dollars for talks to college audiences.

“This is the antiwar equivalent of a veterans’ group,” Mr. Krassner told The New York Times. “It’s strange to be 70 and still identify with a youth movement. But I’d rather identify with evolution than stagnation.”
 

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Discussion Starter #190
Rob Siegel is a favorite writer in my house. His work appears in "Roundel",BMW online and Hagerty's.


This piece is quite different and is his eulogy for his dear, recently deceased mother,


Frankly, it's brilliant. One of the best examples of writing I've seen in years.

I urge you to read it:

HackBlog
 

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Discussion Starter #191
Automakers, Rejecting Trump Pollution Rule, Strike a Deal With California

With car companies facing the prospect of having to build two separate lineups of vehicles, they opened secretive talks with California regulators in which the automakers — Ford Motor Company, Volkswagen of America, Honda and BMW — won rules that are slightly less restrictive than the Obama standards and that they can apply to vehicles sold nationwide.

The agreement provides “much-needed regulatory certainty,” the companies said in a joint statement, while enabling them to “meet both federal and state requirements with a single national fleet, avoiding a patchwork of regulations.”

More:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/25/climate/automakers-rejecting-trump-pollution-rule-strike-a-deal-with-california.html?action=click&module=Top Stories&pgtype=Homepage
 

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Discussion Starter #192
More evidence that we men are not bright:

I’m at a high-performance driving event at Lime Rock Park, in my BMW.

Even though this is a non-spectator event, Lorraine has come with me. A beautiful woman, she looked pretty spectacular in a nice summer dress, as she stood at the fence watching me.

Some guy comes over to chat her up. This in itself is odd, because women don’t go to these things unaccompanied.

They talk for a few moments. At this point, she still had her pronounced Brooklyn accent.

So, this guy listens, then says, “Hey, you have an interesting accent. Where are you from, France?”

FRANCE???

She thinks this is hysterically funny. I explain that, in the presence of beautiful women, the blood leaves men’s brains, on a southerly route.
 

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Discussion Starter #193
Something amazing happened in Dallas today-Updated


https://twitter.com/JProskowGlobal
I’m at the airport in Dallas, waiting for my flight home to DC from El Paso, and something incredible is happening.

Our incoming plane is carrying the remains of an American pilot shot down over Vietnam in 1967. His remains were only recently recovered and identified and brought back to the US.

As we wait at the gate, we’re told that Captain Knight is coming home to Dallas. When he left from this very airport to fight in Vietnam his 5 year old son came to the airfield and waved goodbye. It was the last time he would see his father alive.

Today the pilot of the plane bringing Capt. Knight back to Dallas is his son.



We were told the aircraft would arrive in about 15 minutes. The crowd grew larger, with noses pressed up to the glass for a view of the gate.

As Flight 1220 from Oakland taxied toward the jet bridge, two airport firetrucks provided a somber water salute, while the ground crew stood in formation.

We all watched silently as the flag-draped casket was unloaded from the cargo hold, met, by what we could only assume to be Col. Knight’s family, and a military guard.

Airports rarely see moments of quiet — but for a few brief minutes, Dallas Love Field fell absolutely silent.

There were no garbled announcements, no clickity-clack of rolling suitcases over the tile floor, no shouting over cell phones.

People stood quietly at the window, wiping away tears, taking in a moment few rarely get to see.

It was peaceful, it was beautiful and it was a privilege to watch.
 

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Discussion Starter #194
I’m at a business convention and find myself stuck in an elevator with two store managers, husband and wife from NJ. Trying to be friendly, I ask, “Where in NJ do you live?”

“Trenton.”

“Oh. I just read a book by an author you might like. Janet Evanovich, who writes mysteries all centered on Trenton.”

They look at me with disdain, almost sneering. “We don’t read books.”

Me: Hmmm….change the subject.

We were in a really nice hotel, so I asked, “How are you enjoying your stay here?”

“We hate our room.”

“Really, the rooms are so nice. Why?”

“We have to crawl across the bed to get to the other side of the room.”

“What? What do you mean?”

“When we open the TV cabinet doors, they take up all the space between the cabinet and the bed, so we have to crawl across the bed.”

At that moment, I decided not to tell them that the rest of the world pushes the doors back into the cabinet. F*ck em.
 

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Discussion Starter #195
Friend sent this to me today:




I thought you might get a kick out of this. It actually happened to me about 20 minutes ago.

Well this doesn’t happen every day…

Recently I managed to deeply scrape up the back of my leg. This scrape kept rubbing on my pants every time I walked or sat down, so it wasn’t really healing. It was also too big to be covered by a band-aid. So today at work I asked my admin whether we had any first aid kits with gauze, so that I could cover it up properly. We did not, so she suggested I use a sanitary napkin, and that I hold it in place with painter’s tape, since it’s not very sticky and will be easy to remove.

Realizing I had no better option, I agreed, and she handed me a bright pink sanitary napkin and a bright blue new roll of painters tape (why we *don’t* have first aid supplies but *do* have sanitary napkins and painter’s tape is a topic for another discussion). As I’m walking to the bathroom to apply this unorthodox solution, I run into my boss’ boss. He stops dead in his tracks, looks down at my hands, sees what I’m holding, smiles and says “Brian, I don’t even want to know,” before he starts laughing uncontrollably and continues walking.

When I returned from the bathroom, I told my admin what had happened. She looked me dead in the eye and with only the hint of a grin said “Hey, sometimes you just need to think outside the box.” (The double entendre was clearly intentional.) It was my turn to laugh.
 

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Discussion Starter #196
I detest golf, but this is so cool.

Nissan's Newest Self-Driving Tech Helps Golf Balls Find the Hole Every Single Time


The stunt highlights the arrival of ProPilot 2 active-safety tech on the Japan-market Skyline.






Nissan has developed a golf ball that will help you make a putt with your eyes closed.

A video of a toddler making a difficult putt shows the ball—with a monitoring system that determines the route—in action.

The ball tech is a way for them to demonstrate their upgraded ProPilot driver assistance system, debuting in the new Nissan Skyline sedan next month in Japan.

Here's a video that will delight frustrated golfers and autonomous driving aficionados alike.

Nissan has developed high-tech golf balls that find the hole no matter how poorly they are hit, demonstrated in this clip of a four-year-old who putts about as well as your old boss.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=37&v=ZWtoDRsWgkk



As Automotive News explained it, the ball operates via an overhead camera that detects the position of the ball and cup. When the ball is hit, a monitoring system calculates the correct route and adjusts its trajectory. That, plus an internal electric motor, keeps the ball on course all the way to the cup.

So why is the Japanese automaker interested in golf all of a sudden? The never-miss ball tech is a way for them to show off its upgraded ProPilot driver assistance system, which debuts in the new Nissan Skyline sedan next month in Japan.







Among other innovations, ProPilot 2 allows drivers to remove their hands from the wheel on designated roads if the destination has been entered into the nav system. Once activated, it will assist handle passing and lane changes as well—all in all quite similar to Tesla Autopilot.

Let’s just hope it doesn’t drop you into a massive hole.
 

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Discussion Starter #197

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Discussion Starter #198
A sick child couldn’t leave his house. So strangers came to his window by the dozens to entertain him.


Kevin Ruchard, left, and Jeff Morse, members of the Southern New England Brotherhood Ride, receive “Mighty Quinn” bracelets from Quinn Waters on Aug. 24 in Weymouth, Mass.

First, Quinn Waters’s two uncles showed up at the front window to have a water balloon fight and help cheer up the 3-year-old. Two days later, a family friend arrived with his guitar to sing to Quinn on the front lawn, followed by a couple of police officers who roared up on their motorcycles and sounded their sirens and air horns.

Then things got big. The entire Weymouth and Quincy, Mass., police and fire departments came by with lights flashing to visit the child, whose only contact with the outside world this summer has been through the front window of his home in Weymouth.

Quinn, who is recovering from treatment for a cancerous brain stem tumor and has a severely compromised immune system, has become a household name in his hometown as hundreds of strangers have come by to turn his front lawn into a stage of sorts since June.

While he and his parents, Jarlath and Tara Waters, watch at the window, people from miles around have stopped by to sing, dance, read stories, play instruments, perform card tricks, even walk on their hands — all to boost Quinn's spirits until he is healthy enough to leave the house.

Most recently, a group of cyclists decided to take a detour to Weymouth. About 100 miles into a 342-mile bicycle trip to honor fallen police and firefighters, members of the Southern New England Brotherhood Ride came on Aug. 24 to visit Quinn. Seeing Quinn’s smile, and also the bright faces of Quinn’s parents, made the detour worth it on the ride, which the cyclists said was rigorous and emotional.



“It really lifted the spirits of our entire team,” said Andy Weigel, president of the group and a resident of Rochester, Mass. The rest of the ride is somber, he said, as they meet with families of the fallen.

The bikers rode with a parade escort down Quinn's street to surprise him with a police balance bike to ride once he's able.

“Wow, thanks! Now I’ve got a bike just like you guys!” Quinn exclaimed from his window, according to Weigel. Then Quinn offered some gifts of his own: “Mighty Quinn” bracelets for the entire team.

It was a day that was meaningful for Tara Waters, 42, a police officer in Quincy, Mass.

“These guys literally went the extra mile,” she said. “It touches us daily that so many strangers have gone out of their way to make the day a little brighter for Quinn."

Tara and Jarlath Waters learned in February that their son’s life was in jeopardy when he was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a fast-growing tumor on his brain stem.

When Quinn's 6-year-old sister, Maggie, commented that her brother couldn't walk correctly and kept falling, Tara Waters realized that other symptoms she'd recently noticed (quietness, occasional vomiting and a lisp) could be the sign of something serious.

“I took him to the pediatrician the day after his birthday, and he told me to drive Quinn straight to Children’s Hospital in Boston,” she said.

An MRI revealed that her son had a lime-size tumor just above his brain stem. After surgery, several rounds of chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant, Tara and Jarlath Waters took doctor’s orders and brought their son home to live in isolation until October — when doctors hope that another MRI will reveal that his immune system is healthy again.

The Waterses knew that staying indoors would be a challenge for an active boy who had been looking forward to his first year of preschool. They each arranged to take several months off work to care for Quinn and keep him occupied.

“He’s a feisty, rambunctious 3-year-old — full of energy,” said Jarlath Waters, 42, who works as a union carpenter. “He’s also a fighter, and we knew he wouldn’t let this get him down. But what we didn’t expect was such a huge outpouring of support.”

“It's heartwarming to realize how many good people are out there,” he said.

Tara Waters’s two brothers were the first to visit the front window when they heard that Quinn enjoyed sitting there to watch trucks drive past his house.

“They came over to say hello, and it wasn’t long before they were followed by a friend of ours who came by with his guitar to sing a song he’d reworded as ‘The Mighty Quinn Song,’ ” she said. “Then the police department and fire department came by with their flashing lights, and from there, it just took off.”

Thus far, she said, Quinn has seen a carnival, Irish dancing, dog tricks and a variety of parades — all from his seat at the front window.

A couple of weeks ago, more than 200 trucks that were part of a nearby truck rally rode by the window for Quinn. Then an electrician’s union appeared with its rigs, and later, a state trooper dropped by with his police dog.

“It definitely boosts Quinn’s spirits,” Jarlath Waters said.

Many of the visitors, most of whom had never met Quinn, leave the lawn inspired themselves.

“Quinn is special to us,” said Weigel, the biker, who now wears his Mighty Quinn bracelet. “We know that our stop meant a lot to him, and we were really happy to do it."

Jarlath Waters said he marvels daily at how people have rallied to brighten their son’s summer.

“We opened the window,” he said, “and the world showed up.”
 

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Discussion Starter #199
I do love these things.

Hemmings Find of the Day: 1965 Devin Special






Documented 1965 Devin Special for sale on Hemmings.com. From the seller’s description:

A spectacular pairing of European design and American grunt, this Devin roadster is offered for sale by its original owner (and builder) for the first time in its nearly 60 year history. Originally purchased as a body kit in 1963, this car’s first incarnation was as an Oldsmobile-powered drag racer through 1965. At the time, its young owner needed transportation to and from college, so it became a street car and served him for many years through the ’70s. By 1982 the Devin was re-imagined yet again, and entered a career in SCCA with a Chevy V8, including events at Bridgehampton and Lime Rock.

After years of fun on and off track the car received a comprehensive restoration in 2013 along with a VSCCA logbook. It is now offered as a turn-key and road-legal vintage racer, beautifully built and showing evidence of very little use since. A professional re-working of the fenders and the addition of a dorsal fairing complement the flowing ’60s lines of the body, while a high-quality repaint by Scott Quail in Ferrari’s Rosso Corsa further accentuates its form. Additionally, a new rollbar was installed at the same time, featuring both shoulder and side impact protection for driver and passenger. For road use, fetching Dayton wire wheels look fantastic, while a set of aluminum American Racing rims are included for the track. Inside, aluminum Kirkey full-back seats are provided for both driver and passenger, facing a tidy dash with SW gauges and an iconic Hurst shifter.

Under the hood, a very impressive Chevrolet V8 racing motor powers this lighweight Devin. Originally a 327, the now-331 4-bolt block was fully built by Gaerte Engines in Rochester, Indiana. Featuring uprated internals and ex-AJ Foyt NASCAR heads, it is currently spec’d to 10.5:1 compression, though it has been as high as 12.5:1 before. With its Holly 650 CFM carb and dual side exhausts the sound is truly earth-shaking, while an Afco aluminum radiator and electric fan keep it all cool and electronic ignition makes for easy starting and reliable running. Attached to the mighty Chevy a Super T10 four speed with a 3 disc Quarter Master racing clutch and Hurst shifter further enhance the drive, with heavy, short throws and a suitably aggressive clutch engagement point.

Out back, the original Jag XKE rear end completes the drivetrain, featuring a 4:11 Positraction diff. The custom racing suspension includes Afco coilovers along with front and rear swaybars, providing excellent body control and handling, while an adjustable rack and pinion steering assembly helps optimize the setup for track use. When it’s time to stop, Wildwood brakes are more than up to the job, and feature inboard rears, a bias adjustment on the dash, and Coleman pedals.


$85k












 

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Discussion Starter #200
Math Made Easy


One night, Charley and Jimmy and I were in my BMW driving down the main drag in our NJ town.

BMWs were pretty rare back then, and mine was orange. Yes, it stood out, looked good, and was often hailed in NYC.

Two hot-looking brunettes on the street flagged us down, so naturally I made an illegal U-turn and pulled up to them.

We talked for a while, then invited them back to my grandfather’s house of which I had use for a few months. So, they followed us there.

Sitting in the living room, smoking dope, I realized the math here wasn’t good: 3 guys, 2 girls.

One was named Grace, the other Pepper.

Charley asked Pepper how she got her name.



“Well, I was the first born in an Italian family, but my father really wanted a boy. That didn’t work out, so he named me Pepper.”

Confusion abounded.

Charley said, “Well, wait a minute. If your father named you Pepper, he didn’t want a girl or a boy. He wanted a vegetable!”

Math problem solved.
 
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