Thursday, March 09, 2017

Lexus LC 500 Athletic, Artistic, Accomplished

Lexus LC 500h On The Kona Coast. Image Credit: James Groth (2017)

Lexus LC 500 Athletic, Artistic, Accomplished
by: James Groth, Miles Ahead Communications - Kona, Hawaii - February 2017

“Experience Amazing” is the new tag line for Lexus. The journalists on this media trip certainly did have an amazing experience from the exotic setting of volcanic Kona to the overall performance and striking design of the 2018 Lexus LC 500 and 500h coupes.

Toyota Motor Company committed one billion dollars over a five year development period to launch these Grand Touring Coupes to compete in the Prestige/Luxury Sector of $100,000 cars. The new models arrive in May at a rate of 400 units per month. The low production will add to the exclusiveness prestige clients and early adopters seek. Pricing for the LC 500 will start at $92,000 the LC 500h starts at $96,510.

Lexus LC 500 V8 Showing Its 3D Graphics Tail Lights. Image Credit: James Groth (2017)

This project started at the top with president Akido Toyoda. Mr Toyoda changed the culture of Lexus cars from highly reliable generic looking luxury cars to cars with a distinct style and spirited performance. The new models that create powerful emotions from their driver or bystanders.  Mr. Toyoda is also Chief Brand Officer and one of the Lexus Master Drivers, so he is well equipped to inspire as he has with these flagship models.

Lexus LC 500 V8 In Autumn Shimmer Kona, Hawaii. Image Credit: James Groth (2017)

The LC coupes are not intended to directly compete with Lamborghini and Ferrari, since these are primarily weekend cars. The target is Mercedes SL, Jaguar F-type and BMW 650, cars that are usable as daily drivers while highly capable as  international touring vehicles. The LC 500 coupes keep the romance of crossing Europe safely at high speed and comfort a practical reality. Note that the LC 500h is particularly fuel efficient for a high performance car, given its EPA rating of 26 city / 35 highway / 30 combined. The V8 version is  EPA rated at 16 /26 /19.

Lexus LC 500 Four Seasons Hotel Kona, Hawaii. Image Credit: James Groth (2017)

Thees coupes have an entirely new platform designated as GA-L (Global Architecture - Luxury). The design goals that were met are a low center of gravity for improve handling and a chassis stiffness that exceeds even the half million dollar Lexus LFA supercar. During the day long drive roll and lean were never an issue in tight corners. The LC 500 feels as light on its feet as a wide receiver making down field cuts. Co-drivers gave this set up high marks
for comfort and handling.

Lexus LC 500 Road Test Kona, Hawaii. Image Credit: James Groth (2017)

I had the opportunity to drive and compare both the 471 horsepower V8 and the 345 horsepower Multi Stage Hybrid V6 with twin electric motors. Both versions have their own personality with only  three-tenths of second  performance variance from 0-60 mph in favor of the V8. The 5.0-liter V8 has DOHC, 32 valves with variable value timing and 398 lb-ft. of torque at 4,800 rpm.Red line is 7,100 rpm and peak torque in held from 4,800 to 5,600 rpm.

The acceleration from a stop is to sixty is a mere 4.4 seconds. Top speed is limited electronically to 168 mph. The V8 weights in at 4,280 lbs. The island’s roads while fine for testing on road handing don’t provide many opportunities for high speed, but that was not essential to get the true spirit of how most owners will enjoy their cars. I found two-lane passing effortless and happening as fast as you can plant your right foot down and snap the paddle shifters.

Gear Shift in Leather and Satin Chrome. Image Credit: James Groth (2017)  

The transmission is a 10-speed Sport Direct Shift with paddle shifter and manual mode.  This multi cam V8 is  exhilarating at any speed without flat spots in its power curve. The 10-speed transmission efficiency wastes none of this power by with its rapid change and seeming endless gearing.

However, the rush that impressed me was the sound and feel of dropping fours gears at ninety. It’s a sound I have only heard on the track when Formula 1 or  Indy Cars or are downshifting. I always thought I really don’t need more than five gears as long as one is an overdrive. This Sport Direct Shift 10-speed changed my mind, not only for the fast times and fuel efficiency but
for the sheer fun of it.

Lexus LC 500h in on Kona Coast. Image Credit: James Groth (2017)

Power in the 500h is derived from an Atkinson-cycle 3.5-liter gas V6 with direct fuel injection, variable value timing and red lining at 6,600-rpm. This engine accounts for 220 kW / 295 HP and torque of 348 Nm / 256.7 lb.-ft @ 4,900 rpm. The MSHS allows the LC 500h to operate the gas engine off at speeds up to 87 mph. Emission certification is LEV lll SULEV30.

Lexus LC 500h in Smokey Granite Mica in Kona, Hawaii. Image Credit: James Groth (2017)

The hybrid system includes twin permanent magnet synchronous motor generators. MG1’s function is primary generator, engine starter and control of engine speed. MG2 drives the rear wheels and handles regenerative braking. The compact battery is Lithium-icon made up of 84 cells and is located between the rear seats and luggage compartment. The nominal voltage is 310.8V and the system voltage is 650V. The total systems power is 264 kW / 354 HP. The manufacture times are 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds, outstanding for a car that weighs 4,435 lbs. Lexus says this is their first hybrid that can spin its tires.

Lexus LC 500h Multi-Stage Hybrid logo. Image Credit: James Groth (2017)

Bill Kwong of Lexus College explained the Lexus Hybrid Synergy Drive as keeping the planetary-type continuously variable transmission and adding a unique four-speed transmission. Working in concert,the two gears alter output in four stages to utilize the V6 engine across the entire speed range. In M mode, the two gear sets act together to provide the effect of 10 ratios, giving the LC 500h a highly engaging feel and allowing the driver to shift thought the ratios with paddle shifters.

Lexus LC 500h in Ultra White. Image Credit: James Groth (2017)

Top speed in the hybrid is electronically limited to155 mph, another indication that this model is not trying to be a track day star. Instead this is a 2+2 is designed for safe touring in comfort at speed. These coupes are front midship engine layouts with rear-wheel drive.

I inquired about the possibility of all-wheel drive. No AWD is planned at this time and in the case of the 500h there in not the space to accommodate the hardware. Given the effectiveness of the suspension that includes double ball joint front suspension AWD should not be draw back. The turning circle curb to curb is a tight 17.7 ft and with the optional Active Rear Steering a mere 17.4 ft.

The Lexus Corporate Identity Design Feature Is Its Spindle Grill. Image Credit: James Groth (2017) 

The spindle grill gives the LC 500 coupes a distinctive recognizable look and is the brands signature design feature. Lexus designed a unique mesh texture that changes visual tension as it spreads across the front of the car.

Compact Triple Projector LED Headlights. Image Credit: James Groth (2017)

Adding to the sleek look of the front end are ultra compact triple LED headlamps with functional venting.The venting adds aerodynamic stability and cooling.

The Chrome-Plated Moldings Reflect A Traditional Japanese Sword. Image Credit: James Groth (2017)

The chrome plated moldings on the edge of the roof are meant to represent the lines of a traditional Japanese sword. Even the rear tail lights have a design element to them not previously seen. The tail lights use mirrors to create a three dimensional series of L-shaped graphics.

The standard wheels are 20” cast aluminum with run flats Fr. 245/45RF20. and Rr. 275/40RF20. There optional forged aluminum 20” Fr. 245/45RF/20 and Rr. 275/45/20 and 21”Fr. 245/45RF20 and Rr. 275/35RF21. The front brakes have 6-piston calipers and the rear have 4-piston calipers.

Materials and Details Showcase ’Takumi’ Craftsmanship Artisan Design. Image Credit: James Groth (2017)

The interior appointments of the monotone interior are exquisite with switches that are intuitive requiring little movement to reach.  An 8” LCD display with Eco driving indicator is set low in the cockpit in keeping with the low center of gravity objective. The door handles are sculptures in satin chrome. Alcantara door panels have a wave effect artistically complimenting the lines of the dash. All of the interior stitching is done by hand and is so precise
it’s hard to tell.                          

The Satin Chrome Door Handles Are Sculptures. Image Credit: James Groth (2017)

Thankfully Lexus designers have retained an upright gearshift lever rather than a ‘pop up dial shifter’. A 10.3 inch multi-information display combines graphic user interface with upgradeable software along with latest remote touch interface touchpad.

The instrument binnacle is unique in its singular design and look. It is the lasted version of thin film transistor display tech, first introduced on the LFA supercar. Front seats are 10-way power in leather, rear seats are Nu Luxe.

Traditional it is not, the LC 500 may be setting the new contemporary look for functionality.  It is understandable why the LC 500 was selected as “Best Design Interior”.

10-Way Power Front Seats in Leather, Rears in NuLuxe. Image Credit: James Groth (2017)

The test LC 500h came equipped with the optional Mark Levinson 835 watt, 7.1 channel,13-speaker system  tailored to the LC interior and will attract audiophiles seeking a reference quality setup. This system includes Claire-Fi music restoration tech that enhances playback by analyzing and improving the sound quality of compressed digitized music.

Also, there are Sport, Performance and Touring Packages to further personalize the LC5 500h. As expected in this level of automobile all the latest safety systems are standard and include pre-collision with pedestrian detection, all-speed radar cruise control, lane departure with steering assist, sway warning and intelligent high beam system.

Lexus LC 500 An Aggressive Design and Stance Backed Up by Its Performance. Image Credit: James Groth (2017)

Lexus already has ‘reliable’,’trusted’ and ‘practical' in their consumer confidence deck, now they are adding the emotional appeal of ‘high style design' to their hand of cards. For some the trump card may be the offering of a hybrid model with unrivaled fuel efficiency for its sector; the figures are worth repeating 26 city / 35 highway / 30 combined.

TAGS: Lexus, Lexus 500, Lexus 500h, Experience Amazing, Toyota Motor Company, James Groth  

The New McLaren 720S Geneva Launching In More Ways Than One

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Iconic Lotus ESPRIT S1 Reborn As An Evora Sport 410 By Lotus Exclusive

Unique, single-production Evora Sport 410, created by Lotus Exclusive as a tribute to one of Lotus' most famous liveries. Image Credit: Group Lotus plc (2017)

Iconic Lotus ESPRIT S1 Reborn As An Evora Sport 410 By Lotus Exclusive

Representing the state of the supercar art, a one-of Evora Sport 410 has been commissioned through Lotus Exclusive as a tribute to one of its most famous ancestors, the Lotus Esprit S1.

A very special Lotus Esprit S1 that, in the James Bond movie - The Spy Who Loved Me, featured the additional capabilities of shooting rockets and missiles, as well as becoming a submarine with the push of a button. Image Credit: Group Lotus plc (2017)

Launched in October 2016, the Evora Sport 410 has wowed motoring press and customers with its combination of effortless pace and intuitive handling. With production limited to just 150 examples a year worldwide, the build schedule is filling up fast.

This Evora Sport 410 features a black coach line that delineates the car’s waist. Image Credit: Group Lotus plc (2017)

The benchmark was set by the original Lotus Esprit S1 as seen in the Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, and Lotus’ in-house personalisation department, Lotus Exclusive, has crafted a special, one-of Evora Sport 410 in commemoration.

Carbon-fibre is the featured component used for the tailgate, rear quarter panels, as well as the rear diffuser. Image Credit: Group Lotus plc (2017)

Combining the latest in Lotus engineering with period details, the new pure-bred supercar takes design cues from the iconic Esprit and integrates them into a car with class-leading performance. Packing 410 hp into a car that weighs just 1,280 kg, it sprints from 0-60 mph in just 3.9 secs.

The use of hand-made carbon-fibre components has been key in keeping mass to a minimum, with each specifically designed to enhance the car’s performance. Image Credit: Group Lotus plc (2017)

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO, Group Lotus plc said, “So many of us recall the impact of the Lotus Esprit when it hit the big screen in The Spy Who Loved Me (movie trailer featuring the Lotus Esprit S1), and we wanted to honor that with a special Evora Sport 410. It’s the perfect tribute to such an influential Lotus, but a world away in terms of its abilities and performance. Supremely fast and agile, rivals’ cars look overweight and under-powered in comparison. Lotus was founded on the principle of lightweight engineering and, even today, nobody does it better.”

Lotus Exclusive's attention to detail:

The work of the in-house Lotus Exclusive personalisation department of this one-of Evora Sport 410 features many unique design touches.

A special, color-coded bumper modifies the car’s front end, while the one-piece carbon-fibre tailgate is part keyed white to give the illusion of a traditional liftback. Image Credit: Group Lotus plc (2017)

In addition to a black coach line, delineating the car’s waist, it sports a bespoke badge script on the B pillar - in the style of the original Esprit’s graphics. Image Credit: Group Lotus plc (2017)

Nods to the Lotus Esprit S1 from The Spy Who Loved Me continue inside, with the insert panels of the carbon-fibre sports seats and door cards trimmed in the popular heritage Tartan, while red contrast stitching complements the Alcantara® dashboard and console finish. Image Credit: Group Lotus plc (2017)

Beneath the personalisation, this unique car retains all the engineering elements that make the Evora Sport 410 so formidable. From the supercharged, 3.5-litre 6-cylinder engine, producing 410 hp at 7000 rpm and 420 Nm of torque at 3500 rpm, to the highly advanced aerodynamics, which deliver up to 64 kg of downforce, it’s designed to deliver both on road and track.

The Evora Sport 410 remains refined on B-roads, but blisteringly fast when needed. The use of hand-made carbon-fibre components has been key in keeping mass to a minimum, with each specifically designed to enhance the car’s performance. Covering the car from nose to tail, they include front splitter, revised front access panel, roof section, tailgate, rear quarter panels, as well as the rear diffuser.

These lightweight carbon components not only reduce the curb weight of the Evora Sport 410 but also help lower the center of gravity, allowing for the recalibration of the suspension, which, along with re-valved dampers and a reduced ride height, provide better body and roll control - but not at the expense of comfort and composure.

This single-production Evora underlines the work of the increasingly popular Lotus Exclusive service. Combining traditional British craftsmanship with modern design, it inspires buyers to spend time tailoring the character of their Lotus with a comprehensive array of options.

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO, Group Lotus plc continued, “Our customers have really embraced the Lotus Exclusive service, with 25% of new cars undergoing some form of personalisation. It is well established that Lotus cars come with benchmark performance as standard. Now, thanks to the skilled team at Hethel, responsible for hand building all Lotus cars since 1966, you can specify a Lotus that perfectly reflects your personal tastes.”

The standard production Lotus Evora Sport 410 is limited to a global production run of one-hundred and fifty (150) vehicles per year, and is on sale in Europe and rest of world markets now. A Federal version of the Evora Sport 410 for the North American market will arrive this spring.

... notes from The EDJE

TAGS: Lotus Exclusive, Lotus Evora Sport 410, Lotus Cars, Lotus Esprit S1, The Spy Who Loved Me, one-off, one-of, single-production, The Spy Who Loved Me, 40th anniversary, James Bond, The EDJE

Friday, January 06, 2017

USC Football Tradition At The 103rd Rose Bowl Gets A Boost For The Ages

Tommy Trojan statue, and gameday good luck charm, from the mid 1930's that was left behind in the family belongings of University of Southern California graduates Willard & Maxine Jenks ... FIGHT ON! Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2017)

USC Football Tradition At The 103rd Rose Bowl Gets A Boost For The Ages

Many folks who love and follow college football, and believe this form of the game to be the pinnacle of this organized team sport and competition, believed that the NCAA's push for a playoff upon which a national champion is crowned might dilute the luster of many of the post season Bowl contests and venues. Not so, with the venerable institution ... everyone in Southern California, the Pac-12 Conference, and the Big Ten Conference know as ... The Rose Bowl.

Try as the forces may, change at the Rose Bowl will never come easy ... if ever. Especially when the post season match-up features two of the most robust college football programs rebounding from the ebb and flow found through a change at the head coaching position or NCAA sanctions.

SCREW the NCAA's Bowl Championship Series (BCS) which, more times than not, is shaped by a sporting press corps largely based on the East Coast of the United States. This is the Rose Bowl baby, and it has become known through the ages as "The Grand-Daddy Of Them All" for good reason.

This 103rd Rose Bowl Game matched the Big Ten Conference champions Penn State Nittany Lions (BCS 5) against the USC Trojans (BCS 9) of the Pac-12 Conference, a rematch of the 1923 and 2009 Rose Bowls, the former the first appearance for either team in the bowl and the latter the most recent appearance for either team.
(ht: Wikipedia)

How great a Rose Bowl contest was this game? Let us count the ways through the records (9) that fell which were gathered through 102 previous contests at the Pasadena venue located at the top of Arroyo Seco.

For background music during reading, please use what the production staff used to bump into, and out of, commercial breaks during the ESPN broadcast from the Rose Bowl - California Dreamin' by Sia (originally - The Mama's & Papa's, 1966).

1) Deontay Burnett: Most touchdown receptions (3) - Burnett tied Braylon Edwards' 2005 record of three touchdown catches in a Rose Bowl. That included the Trojans' final touchdown, which tied the game at 49-49 with just 1:20 to play.

2) Matt Boermeester: Most field goals made (three) - Boermeester tied a Rose Bowl record with three field goals made (including the game-winner as time expired), a mark held by five other players. He is, however, very likely the first kicker in Rose Bowl history to do a dab after a game-winning field goal.

3) Penn State: Most points ever for a losing team (49) - A mark that the Nittany Lions certainly wish they didn't own.

4) USC: Biggest fourth-quarter comeback - The Trojans set a Rose Bowl record by overcoming a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit to get the win.

5) Trace McSorley and Sam Darnold: Most touchdowns responsible for (5) - The two quarterbacks were phenomenal, with both tallying five touchdowns. That is tied for the most touchdown scores ever for one player in a Rose Bowl game with two other players.

6) Sam Darnold: Most touchdown passes in a game (5) - Darnold did all of his damage through the air, setting the Rose Bowl mark with five touchdown passes.

7) Sam Darnold: Most points ever in a Rose Bowl game (32) - Darnold accounted for 32 total points — five touchdowns and a two-point conversion — as he broke Vince Young's record for most all-time points scored in a Rose Bowl.

8) Sam Darnold: Most yards ever in a Rose Bowl (474 yards) - And most incredibly, Darnold broke Vince Young's single game Rose Bowl record of 467 yards, which was set during that iconic 2006 national championship game between Texas and USC.

9) Highest Scoring Rose Bowl ever (101 points) - The teams easily sailed past the previous mark of 83, set in 2012 by Oregon and Wisconsin.

It was an incredible Rose Bowl, and we very likely won't see anything like it again any time soon.
(ht: FOX Sports

Cue the USC Trojan Marching Band and the song "CONQUEST" - or as this next article states as it ends ... "God, I hate that song."

This edited and excerpted from Penn Live -

Enduring USC band's "Conquest" after gut-punch loss is a special slice of hell for Big Ten fans
By David Jones |

Penn State fans, you got the true Big Ten Pasadena experience this time in all its gory Technicolor detail. By that, I mean you were initiated into the conference brotherhood of heartbreak at the hands of USC.

It's a birthright for anyone at Michigan or Ohio State, losing an excruciating game to the Trojans at the world's most enchanting athletic venue. There is no more bittersweet experience in sports than attending a Rose Bowl, gazing agape at the vividness of the beauty all around you. The colors all seem richer even when it's cloudy, the air like velvet even when it's chilly.

Then your team makes a valiant effort, you think victory is at hand and at the very end it's snatched away by the Evil Empire in cardinal and gold. Ask anyone in Ann Arbor or Columbus. This is a rerun they've lived through over and over.

As a kid back in the 1960s and '70s, I watched Woody Hayes take four different teams into the Rose Bowl to meet USC. Two of those ended in just such a painful manner. Then, when I was an OSU undergrad, yet another narrow defeat at the very end in the post-1979 game. Michigan folks can tick off the Pasadena losses to USC: 1969, 1976, 1978, 1989, 2003, 2005.

Northwestern (1995) fans of a certain age know the feeling, too. And though they never play at the Rose Bowl, Notre Dame folks know all about it.

Like some of the OSU and Michigan defeats, I don't think Penn State's post-2008 loss qualifies because it was never in doubt. Which is sort of a prerequisite for real agony and the unique pain yet to come.

And what's that nadir moment? The sound of the Trojan band in their war-helmeted outfits piping up when their triumph is clear. And I don't mean the little ditty they play the whole game after defensive stops like Florida State's tomahawk chop tune. Or the Fight On song they strike up after touchdowns.

I mean their victory march. Just hearing it brings on dark memories from my childhood, recollections I keep in the back of the mind's bottom drawer with moving days and dying pets. It's the dirge from a recurring nightmare.

USC's band only plays the song when they know they've won. It's called Conquest and the reason it sounds like the soundtrack out of a 20th Century Fox epic from the '40s is that's exactly where it came from. It's their version of Red Auerbach's victory cigar and the I Believe chant begun by Navy midshipmen.

It's worse, though. Because it drips with a special arrogance. And as much as you hate it, you know it's a great piece of music.

The conductor uses as his baton a gilded gladius, the stubby sword of ancient Greek and Roman foot soldiers, stabbing it in the air with the marching cadence. In the back of your mind you know this is the band that played Tusk behind Fleetwood Mac. It's the band that crossed over into the record industry and show business.

All the while the damn horse is prancing around [Traveler]. He's not just a horse, of course. He has to be white. Like Dr. Evil's cat.

But you know what the very worst part is? You take in the whole scene in despondence, the USC fans mimicking the trumpet flourishes with their "Oh-oo-oh-ooooo" and the incomparable Song Girls in their white sweaters calmly punching the air with a V for victory in all their confident perfection. And you allow yourself the fleeting thought:

If you'd been born into their tribe and their golden land, you'd love being one of them.

That's the worst part! That's the part that drives you nuts. Because you'll have to think about this loss for nine months. You're flying home the next day. Winter has only begun.

Meanwhile, they'll be in California. And they'll probably forget about it tomorrow when they leave work early for the beach.

God, I hate that song.
[Reference Here]

We, at MAXINE, couldn't be happier to read such a well written and well-rounded review of the winning college football tradition experienced at the University of Southern California whose teams are known as the Trojans. Again, as one hears the musical strains of the trumpets blare Conquest - FIGHT ON!

TAGS: University of Southern California, USC, Football, Rose Bowl, 103rd Rose Bowl, Pac-12 Conference, Big Ten Conference, Penn State, Trojans, Nittany Lions, Records, Conquest, Sam Darnold, Matt Boermeester, Deontay Burnett, MAXINE

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

HRC At Clintonian Best In Post 9/11 Anderson Cooper Interview

HRC At Clintonian Best In Post 9/11 Anderson Cooper Interview

It is this response in a phone interview to a question asked by Anderson Cooper about the occurrence:

This excerpted and edited from People Magazine -

When Cooper asked how many times she'd had experienced dizziness in the past five years, citing her concussion in 2012, she said it'd only happened a few times.

"I think really only twice, that I can recall,” she responded. "It is something that has occurred a few times over the course of my life, I'm aware of it and can usually avoid it."
[Reference Here]

Only Twice and the word Few do not match up grammatically ... further, how does one develop a protocol on addressing the condition when the malady had occurred "Only Twice?"

Also, her husband Bill Clinton was right there in the Clintonian cabal of words explaining Hillary's condition:

This excerpted and edited from CBS News -

Asked if there was any chance her faintness on Sunday could be a sign of some more “serious” illness, Clinton said he did not believe that was the case.

“Well if it is, it’s a mystery to me and all of her doctors,” he said, “because frequently — well not frequently, rarely — but on more than one occasion, over the last many, many years, the same sort of thing happened to her when she got severely dehydrated.”
[Reference Here]

This pull quote "because frequently — well not frequently, rarely — but on more than one occasion" definitely leads we, at MAXINE, to conclude that, when matched up with Hillary Clinton's word "Few" as opposed to "Only Twice", that Hillary has had many episodes (definitely more than "Really Only Twice") and that this medical condition is way more common and serious ... so hence the confusion and Clintonian Cover-Up!

Laura Ingraham asks a medical expert on her morning program Tuesday 9/13/2016 (paraphrased) - "Why would a personal doctor need to be nearby at an appearance recognizing the 15 year 9/11 attacks at the World Trade Center buildings in New York if this is a condition that had been stated as being Pneumonia?" - the medical expert suspected that given the known history of incidents (fainting, coughing, losing balance while walking, forgetfulness) that this suggests something much more serious.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Vice-Presidential Nominee Mike Pence Properly Labels Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton

Indiana Governor Mike Pence delivers Vice-Presidential acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention held at Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio. Image Credit: Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune 

Vice-Presidential Nominee Mike Pence Properly Labels Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton

Gov. Mike Pence hits it out of the park when he delivered his acceptance speech at the Republican Political Convention as the Vice-Presidential nominee and running mate to Donald J. Trump.


This is the outsider [Donald J. Trump], my running mate — turned a longshot campaign into a movement.

Over in the other party, the idea was to present the exact opposite of a political outsider. The exact opposite of a calculating truth-teller. On that score, you have to hand it to the Democratic establishment — they outdid themselves this time.

At the very moment when America is crying out for something new and different, the other party has answered with a stale agenda and the most predictable of names. People in both parties are restless for change, ready to break free from old patterns in Washington, and Democrats are about to anoint someone who represents everything this country is tired of. You know, Hillary Clinton wants a better title. And I would too if I was already ...

... America’s Secretary Of The Status Quo.

C-SPAN Speech - Gov. Mike Pence - Launch Here

In the end, we, at MAXINE believe (using the words of Mike Pence), this election comes down to just two names on the ballot;

So let’s resolve here and now that Hillary Clinton will never become President of the United States of America.

Hillary Clinton essentially offers a third Obama term. The role is perfect for her. She championed Obamacare because years earlier she had all but invented it. The national debt has nearly doubled in these eight years, and her only answer is to keep borrowing and spending. Like the president, she thinks that the path to a growing economy is more taxes and more regulation and more government.

Let's make America great again.

TAGS: Donald J. Trump, Mike Pence, Hillary Clinton, Republican National Convention, Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio, President of the United States, 45th Presidency, MAXINE

Monday, June 20, 2016

Olli - Olly Oxen Free Autonomy Hits The Streets

I'm symbolic. Image Credit: Local Motors (2016)

Olli - Olly Oxen Free Autonomy Hits The Streets

Local Motors, in partnership with computer giant IBM through Watson, introduces an organic small group/mass autonomous transportation solution perfect for most any community.

No oxen were used in this creation - Actually, "Olly Olly Oxen Free" is a catchphrase used in such children's games as hide and seek, capture the flag, or kick the can to indicate that players who are hiding can come out into the open without losing the game, that the position of the sides in a game has changed, or, alternatively, that the game is entirely over (ht: Wikipedia).

In this case the Olli is the name given to a driverless/autonomous vehicle that seats 12 people which through its computer partner, IBM's Watson, can interact with passengers and navigate the streets and deliver the people riding inside to their destination.

The game of driverless/autonomous vehicles has changed with the Olli concept because this application does not currently partner with a software services company like Google or Yahoo that are focused on individual transportation pods thus removing any pursuit of happiness from the process of actual driving.

This excerpted and edited from Electric Cars Report -

Local Motors Debuts First Self-driving Vehicle to Tap the Power of IBM Watson IoT

Local Motors, the creator of the world’s first 3D-printed cars, today introduced the first self-driving vehicle to integrate the advanced cognitive computing capabilities of IBM Watson.

The vehicle, dubbed ‘Olli,’ was unveiled during the grand opening of a new Local Motors facility in National Harbor, MD, and transported Local Motors CEO and co-founder John B. Rogers, Jr. along with vehicle designer Edgar Sarmiento from the Local Motors co-creation community into the new facility.

Olli exterior. Image Credit: Local Motors (2016)

The electric vehicle, which can carry up to 12 people, is equipped with some of the world’s most advanced vehicle technology, including IBM Watson Internet of Things (IoT) for Automotive, to improve the passenger experience and allow natural interaction with the vehicle.

Olli is the first vehicle to utilize the cloud-based cognitive computing capability of IBM Watson IoT to analyze and learn from high volumes of transportation data, produced by more than 30 sensors embedded throughout the vehicle.
Furthermore, the platform leverages four Watson developer APIs — Speech to Text, Natural Language Classifier, Entity Extraction and Text to Speech — to enable seamless interactions between the vehicle and passengers.

Olli interior. Image Credit: Local Motors (2016)

Passengers will be able to interact conversationally with Olli while traveling from point A to point B, discussing topics about how the vehicle works, where they are going, and why Olli is making specific driving decisions. Watson empowers Olli to understand and respond to passengers’ questions as they enter the vehicle, including about destinations (“Olli, can you take me downtown?”) or specific vehicle functions (“how does this feature work?” or even “are we there yet?”).

Passengers can also ask for recommendations on local destinations such as popular restaurants or historical sites based on analysis of personal preferences.
It's a beautiful Father's Day in #NationalHarbor! Catch up with CEO @johnbrogers & #meetolli- our latest innovation. Image Credit: Local Motors via @localmotors

As part of Olli’s debut, Local Motors officially opened its new National Harbor facility in Maryland to serve as a public place where co-creation can flourish and vehicle technologies can rapidly advance. The company’s 3D-printed cars are on display, along with a large-scale 3D printer and an interactive co-creative experience that showcases what the future of the nation’s capital might look like.
Olli features a 15 kWh battery pack powering a 20 kW continuous, 30 kW max electric motor that delivers 125 N·m of torque. Maximum speed is 20 km/h (12 mph) and all-electric range is 58 km (32.4 miles). Olli is equipped with 2 Velodyne VLP16 LiDAR units, 2 IBEO ScaLa laser scanners, 2 ZED optical cameras and an Ellipse N GPS.

The very first Olli will remain in National Harbor this summer, and the public will be able to interact with it during select times over the next several months.
[Reference Here]

Now, at MAXINE, we say "Olli Olli Oxen Free" - to indicate that players who are hiding can come out into the open without losing the game, that the position of the sides in a game has changed, or, alternatively, that the game is entirely over - community driverless/autonomous transportation has arrived with a form factor and application that allows everyone the pursuit of happiness while pushing the technology envelope of possibilities forward.

TAGS: Local Motors, Watson, Cloud Computing, Internet of Things, IoT, driverless, autonomous, vehicle, Olli, 3D-printed cars, 3D printer, electric motor, ZED optical camera, Ellipse N GPS, Speech to Text, Natural Language Classifier, Entity Extraction, Text to Speech, National Harbor, Maryland

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Free Stuff Versus Free Choice Outcome Of Socialism

"Socialism" infographic cartoon found on Facebook

Free Stuff Versus Free Choice Outcome Of Socialism

This infographic does not show the difference between the needs-satisfaction of Keep Half and the meager usefulness to anyone's life of Progressive Political Government dictated Free Stuff.

People tend to forget that the initial choice of the line on the right in this graphic allows no one person to make individual choices addressing their personal needs on the other side of the doorway.

Comment left at Facebook posting:

Stuart Light - I have never regretted that I commuted as far as 130 miles per day and had a lotta jobs that I did not like but worked hard to keep a roof over my head and paid my bills.


We, at MAXINE believe - You were able to keep the choices you made for your life ... YOURS!

TAGS: #FreeStuff, #KeepHalf, socialism, Capitalism, work hard, no work, Progressive, fascism, communism, personal freedom, Personal Choice, MAXINE

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Racing Through The Forest Special Screening At Detroit's Auto Moto Film & Arts Festival

Invite Poster - Click image to see full size.

Racing Through The Forest Special Screening At Detroit's Auto Moto Film & Arts Festival

This week will see the return of the Auto Moto Film & Arts Festival, “an event that embraces all the incredible aspects of our emotional attachment to all things motoring."

Detroit, The Motor City is the perfect venue for films about international motor sports, and the festival features its fair share of stories that are guaranteed to be a hit with the Dream Cruise set. Among them are Penton: The John Penton Story, a documentary about the American motorcycle pioneer, "Racing Through The Forest", a look back at the Pebble Beach races of the 1950s, or The Montana Dodge Boys, about a group of Treasure State gearheads who fabricate a 1928 roadster and race it at Bonneville.

The biggest labor of love documentary that brings an attention to detail from those who lived the post WWII time that spawned Automobile Week - the world renowned "Can't Miss" annual motor culture event in Monterey, California (Concours d'Elegance Pebble Beach and the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca) - "Racing Through The Forest" is set to be shown on the big screen, Auto Moto Film & Arts Festival - Saturday May 14th – 7:15pm at 1515 Broadway.

Photo of the track shown in the film presentation of "Racing Through The Forest" at Spanish Bay. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks 

From 1950 -56 The “Del Monte Trophy” was held on the twisty, leafy, and very narrow town roads in Pebble Beach, California.

Before there was Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, young brilliant mechanics in California who had dreams of becoming race car drivers wanted to compete in their Jaguars, Ferraris, MGs, and Alfa Romeos, and they needed a place to race.

They chose 17 Mile Drive to be their dangerous track.

Graphic of the original track layout as shown in the film presentation of "Racing Through The Forest" at Spanish Bay. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks 

Not all of the road course track was paved; the original 1950 route consisted of both paved two-lane roads and sections of dirt or loose gravel. Races started along Portola Road near the present-day equestrian center. Cars then turned right onto Sombria Lane, then right again onto Drake Road.

In 1950, drivers would turn right once again onto Forest Lake Road; in 1951 and later years they turned left onto Alvarado Lane (now Stevenson Drive), then sharp right onto Forest Lake. The final corner was a sharp right-hander at Ondulado back onto Portola and past the start/finish line.

Although the course was always tight and twisty with tall Cypress trees hemming in the track on either side, accidents were scarce and relatively uneventful. The exception came in 1956 when Ernie McAfee (no relation to fellow racer Jack McAfee) fatally slammed his Ferrari into a tree. This spelled the end of the popular Pebble Beach Road Races, although it was the genesis of Laguna Seca, its modern-day successor.

Visitors can drive most (but not all) of the old race course today.
[ht: Auto Moto Film & Arts Festival]

Crowds and the track as a Triumph TR2 misses a corner as shown in the film presentation of "Racing Through The Forest" at Spanish Bay. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks

The goal behind making "Racing Through The Forest" was to unearth what these pioneering, fearless young drivers did in the 1950s and gather film footage that would otherwise be lost over time. The film was written and directed by filmmaker Dean Kirkland and produced by renowned race car driver Rick Knoop.

"What began as a tribute to my father, Fred Knoop, has evolved into a celebration of one of the world’s greatest road races," Rick Knoop said at the Spanish Bay movie first-screening. "We’re thrilled to share this incredible story with audiences at the Pebble Beach Concours. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to explore this incredible history, especially just feet from the road where the men and machines did battle."

Rick Knoop and Dean Kirkland delivered on the promise these photographs stored in an album and held in a box, to be brought back to life with heart, in a way an image could never do ... through film.

A must see film where the heart of the making of the presentation comes through in every frame and leaves an indelible and permanent impression.

Again, "Racing Through The Forest" is set to be shown on the big screen, Auto Moto Film & Arts Festival - Saturday May 14th – 7:15pm at 1515 Broadway, Detroit, MI.

TAGS: Racing Through The Forest, Auto Moto Film & Arts Festival, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Motor City, The EDJE

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Pandora's Box, Green Crosses, & "For What It's Worth"

Pandora's Box nightclub was located at 8118 Sunset Boulevard, at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Crescent Heights Boulevard. It featured a trendsetting act booking policy that made Pandora's Box the center of the Sunset Strip youth scene. Image Credit: Pinterest Saved By Alison Martino

Pandora's Box, Green Crosses, & "For What It's Worth"

What is interesting about looking in on postings on Facebook is the perspective thoughts that get triggered through the sharing of a photograph, a video, or a story.

Recently, a video of the Buffalo Springfield's monster hit, For What It's Worth, which was spawned by a protest, spurs thoughts of what might happen if there were similar protests today and if they would engender the same level of creativity or social impact.

This music video shows footage of a protest that happened on the Sunset Strip in front of the music/dance club called Pandora's Box which was built on an intersection triangle at the East end of the "Strip" near the famed boutique hotel, the Chateau Marmont.

What was funny about the protest was that it was about a curfew that civic authorities were planning to implement at this address because of the popularity of the club. The crowds and the noise was disrupting to the neighborhood (video).

Image Credit:

This type of building would not have been allowed today due to logical zoning laws. The land space was small but very large for a traffic intersection triangle (more video).

Pandora's Box nightclub exterior (notice the billboard stand structures which probably should have been the only structures on a traffic triangle at an intersection) - Image Credit:

So the protest was not of anything earthshaking except for the effects of illogical zoning laws (or lack of laws) in the County of Los Angeles that allowed a night club to be built in a place that was known to be a poor purpose for the location and the size of the land. Further, "kids" were protesting the infringement of their nightlife at this one particular nightclub - WOW!

In LA now, a neighborhood has to live with "Green Cross" establishments dispensing grass under the dubious designation of "Medical Marijuana" (why can't this be done at a pharmacy?) with inconsistent or very little zoning oversight.

So hey! What's that sound?

TAGS: Pandora's Box, L.A.P.D., Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department, Buffalo Springfield, Facebook, For What It's Worth, Sunset Strip, Chateau Marmont, Sunset Boulevard, Crescent Heights Boulevard, zoning laws, nightlife, Teen Life, MAXINE, kids, Green Cross, Bill 420

Sunday, January 24, 2016

AutoSuit - A Techno Solution To The Well Dressed Man

Gay Giano’s business development director Matthew Lee stands at store front display wearing his latest 3D scanned suit for the well dressed man. Image Credit: Jonathan Wong via South China Morning Post

AutoSuit - A Techno Solution To The Well Dressed Man

This robotic tailor can place anyone in the perfect suit in less than 10 seconds.

Hong Kong-based Gay Giano 3D TailorCustomers are asked to wear a tight-fitting tank top and step inside a changing room equipped with 14 infrared sensors - eight in the front and six at the back. The machine instructs the customer to stand at a certain spot and hold still while it does its work in under 10 seconds. The data, including not just measurements of length and circumference, but also angles, is instantaneously delivered to an app on the tablet. 

For tailors, the measurements taken of their customer are necessary to come out with a decent fit result. Without these 24 or so measures - each by each, one might come out with something slightly better than a blanket but that the customer would not accept.

In these days of innovation, when technology is present almost everywhere, tailoring now has become much easier and precise.

Business development director at Charmston Limited, Matthew Lee, said that the technology helps boost a trade that is struggling due to a shortage of fresh tailors entering the game. Lee said “There’s a huge disconnect between these traditional craftsmen or craftswomen and the next generation. There’s no one taking over. So we felt that, if that’s the case, it’s either a dying trade or we can revitalise it with technology that could enhance or keep a better record of their knowledge,”. Caption & Image Credit: The 3D Measurement Company

This 'robotic tailor' (scanner) is a breakthrough that in less than 10 seconds, one will get the perfect fit suit as this robotic tailor gives over 120 detailed measurements. All that is needed is the usual good cloth, a studied technician, and about six hours - voila ... appears the well dressed man.

The company uses 14 infrared sensors to scan a customer’s body and provide 120 precise measurements, but the 3D tech is more interested in keeping a firm record of this traditional craft, according to Gay Giano’s business development director Matthew Lee. Image Credit: Jonathan Wong via South China Morning Post

Gay Giano 3D Tailor is now working with an Israeli firm to develop software that will show a 3D pattern rendering of the suits within 15 minutes.

The store has been using and perfecting 3D measuring technology since it opened in November 2014. Its tailors are now working with the Israeli software company to create an accurate rendition of the fabrics used by taking into account the tension and weight of the materials to show the correct drape.

The company has invested US$100,000 on the scanning technology and the software needed to render the designs. It expects to introduce the software in the second quarter of this year.
[ht: South China Morning Post]

TAGS: robotic tailor, ten seconds, Hong Kong, Gay Giano, 3D Tailor, body scan, South China Morning Post, 3D Measurement Company, MAXINE