Wednesday, March 30, 2011

This Is Why Nerds Shouldn’t Become Mechanics - There, I Fixed It - Redneck Repairs

This Is Why Nerds Shouldn’t Become Mechanics - 
There, I Fixed It - Redneck Repairs

Mercury, Close Up

Image from NASA
At 5:20 am EDT on Mar. 29, 2011, the space probe MESSENGER captured this historic image of Mercury.  This is the first image of the planet Mercury taken from an orbiting spacecraft and the first time Mercury has been seen in such detail. 

Comment On This Blog or THE CAT GETS IT!!


Desperate times call for desperate measures, gang.  You can save Doodles by making a comment on this, or any of the other entries in this blog.  Tell us that you like what you see.  Tell us that it sucks.  It makes no difference.  Just let us know you were here. 

So far, this blog as 82 entries and almost 6,400 page views, and you know what?  It's received absolutely NO Twitter followers, NO emails, and the only comments on any of the entries are from a friend of mine I've known for 40 years and spends entirely too much time at his Macbook.  Does anyone come here for anything more than radiation reports?  

Remember....Doodle's fate is in your hands.   Don't let him down.  

The Management of "Caught at the Curb"

Saturday, March 26, 2011

110 Year Old Light Bulb

This really isn't auto related (unless you like fire trucks), but it's just one of those cool things you run into while cruising along the information highway.  It's also taught me not to be so specific when coming up with a name for a blog.

This light bulb, called the Centennial Bulb, is located at a Livermore, CA. fire station.  It has been burning virtually continuously now for 110 years.  That fact has been documented and recognized by Guinness and others.  Aside from an occasional power outage and being off for one week during a renovation back in 1937, it's been going and going and going.  Check out the fact sheet about it, along with the live webcam (slightly more boring than watching paint dry) just to see if its' still burning.

Stageway Limos For Kids

Click to enlarge

The Future of Air Travel

Feb. 1930 Popular Science

Saturday, March 19, 2011

1937 Ford V-8 Ad

Life, Dec. 21, 1936

Top Gear China is here!

The Top Gear franchise has given birth to yet another version of the great British car show. 

Australia, America and even Russia have tried their hand at reproducing the UK phenomenon that has over 200 million viewers worldwide tuning in to watch England's version of the Three Stooges testing, fighting, hooning, and generally "cocking about" while  destroying vehicles of all kinds.   Now the Chinese are having their chance to try and succeed where the others have (more or less) failed. 

Here's a 15 minute clip (as long as it lasts it didn't last) of what to expect in the coming weeks.  Hope your Chinese is good.  You won't want to miss the test of a Cadillac vs. a donky cart!

Update:  It looks like the BBC has taken it down.  Sorry.  You can still catch it (for now) at Final Gear or Jalopnik

Thursday, March 17, 2011

New GEICO commercial

I hate shilling for companies, especially when not getting paid for it, and I hate insurance companies even more, but this new GEICO commercial hit the right buttons for me.  It's just now hitting the airwaves, so maybe you've seen it, maybe not.  Enjoy just the same.

I wonder if that's Toonces the cat, driving?

Prototype wagons: GM

Where have all the wagons gone?  Many of us out here love the good 'ol station wagon.  More cool than minivans, more practical than a sedan.  There are so many concept wagons out there that I'm splitting them up by companies.  The first is GM.

Caprice Classic Estate (my favorite)

Monster Truck Kills Woman in Strip Club Parking Lot

Monster Truck Kills Woman in Strip Club Parking Lot:
From: MyFoxHouston

"DALLAS - A woman was struck and killed early Thursday morning by a pickup truck that was jacked up so high, the driver says he never saw his victim."
When are we going to get these things off the road??   Be sure to go through the rest of the pictures on that link, including the one of the driver grinning. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Unveiling the Tucker

Last week, I showed you a couple of double-page ads for the Tucker.  Here's an article that appeared in the Sept. 1947 issue of Popular Mechanics.  Of course, some of the items shown didn't appear on the "finished" car.  Enjoy!


Real-Time Geiger counter webcams to monitor radiations levels in Japan.  I'm adding more as I find them, so check back often. 

Note:  Normal range is usually under 60 CPM. Over 130 is not good.
100 CPM is equivalent to 1 microsievert or 0.1 millirem.

NOTE:  Many of the sites linked below, especially the ones on UStream, are run by private individuals and may not have proper calibrations.   They should be used as reference only.

Sites marked "***" are still active as of Dec. 2012

JAPAN: (due to rolling blackouts, some sites may be offline temporarily) 
Otaku Radiation Level Japan Live: Otaku Radiation Japan
Tokyo Radiation Level Japan Live: Tokyo Radiation Japan Live
Chiba Geiger Counter Radiation Level Japan Live: Chiba Geiger Counter Live
*** Hino City updating graph: Hino City Graphing
Tokyo, Japan: Geiger_counter@TOKYO
Yokohama, Japan: Yokohama Radiation
EXCELLENT interactive map:  Target map (click, zoom, appears to be current)
*** Another good interactive map:  Japanese gov. site (I think)

Santa Monica, California:  EnviroReporter
USA Radiation levels: Radiation Network  
USA Radiation level map: Blackcatsystems 
EPA's USA radiation map: RadNet map (click on the bubbles for info)

Please don't forget to check out the rest of the blog while you're here!  

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Drivers report speeding motorcycle without driver on I-20 in Arlington | | Dallas - Fort Worth Local News

Drivers report speeding motorcycle without driver on I-20 in Arlington | | Dallas - Fort Worth Local News:

 "ARLINGTON - Drivers on Interstate 20 reported a motorcycle without a rider flying by them at 100 mph Thursday night between Matlock Road and New York Avenue in Arlington.
Part of the interstate eastbound was shut down as police search for the driver.
As of 10 p.m., authorities said the search turned up a watch, a helmet and a visor. However, the motorcycle's driver was still missing."

I wonder if Google or DARPA are in town experimenting with driverless vehicles again?

UPDATE:  The rider of the "riderless bike" has been found and has told his story.  Click through the jump to see it.

Big things at Studebaker

Studebaker always liked to do things in a "big way".  Take for example this Studebaker pine forest on the site of their former proving grounds in Indiana.  5000 pine trees were planted back in 1937, it's visible to this day via Google Earth.  See it yourself at Lat. 41.668, Lon. -86.489.  

For even bigger things, jump to the rest of the entry. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

The world's first hybrid automobile goes on show again - 111 years later

The world's first hybrid automobile goes on show again - 111 years later:
from Gizmag.

I made a post the other day about the Porsche-Lohner hybrid from 1902.   As I was going through the last few days of Gizmag, guess what I found?  

Photo from Gizmag
Porsche has created a reproduction of the Porsche-Lohner series hybrid.  No word on when it hits the showrooms. 


From CNN

At 5:46 UTC (2:46pm local time), a massive 8.9 earthquake hit Japan about 230 miles NE of Tokyo.  Several aftershocks ranging between 6.0 and 7.1 have also hit within an hour of the big one.  The devastation is, as you would expect, horrendous, and the reports are only now starting to come in.  The resulting tsunamis have also taken their toll.  Please consider helping when the time comes. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Monday, March 7, 2011

Cord advertisement.

I love junkyards

This junkyard is only a few miles from my house, and I've seen it for years while driving down I-35 a few miles north of Denton, Texas.  More pictures after the jump.  Be sure to click the pictures to enlarge them.  It's worth it.

They don't make 'em like they used to...

I know that this has been around for awhile, but if you haven't seen it, it's worth a look.

Back in 2009, The The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crashed a 1959 Chevrolet and a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu together to see what 50 years of safety engineering has accomplished.  The results amazed everyone because they assumed the '59 would hold up better against todays "tin cans".   The test even made some classic car owners rethink their love of driving them on today's roads.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Slowest Porsche.

1961 Cadillac Jacqueline

In 1961, the styling house Pininfarina wanted to create a car for Cadillac to show at the Paris Auto Show that year.  The car was named after the new American First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy and looks remarkably tasteful compared to contemporary Cadillacs of the time.

1961 Cadillac Jacqueline from

Friday, March 4, 2011

First Air Conditioned Auto

Popular Science, Nov. 1933

Announcing The All New Mazda Spider | The Truth About Cars

Announcing The All New Mazda Spider | The Truth About Cars: "

What do Japanese rednecks drive?

There is a streak of redneck in all of us, and rednecks need trucks, but what are you going to do if you live in Japan?  The cities are crowded, gas is expensive, parts are hard to get, and it's hard to import older American iron there.

Fear not, there is a solution from a company called Blow.  Get your online translators warmed up...the site is in Japanese.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

You thought gas-electric hybrids were new?

This is from the January, 1902 issue of "The Automobile Review".  And it's from Mercedes and Porsche!

Click through to read all about it.

Golf With Insane Miles.

VWs sometimes get a bad rap for reliability.  It seems that everyone has trouble with them, but you won't find a more devoted bunch of owners either.  You either love 'em or hate 'em.  Not all of them are bad, however.  

 See the rest of the story after the jump....

 This is part of the "MY CARS" series.   

Have you checked your blinker fluid lately?

Need blinker fluid?  How about muffler bearings?  Want to improve your stopping power with cross drilled brake lines?  Need to replace your "710" cap?  Where do I find these wonderful items?  Click through the jump to find out!