Monday, July 30, 2007
A Fish For Time … Any Time
The Coelacanth is just this type of ocean creature.
It has become a fish of our time in that the sightings are so rare that these these occurrences create international attention in the scientific community.
Most scientists believed that this fish was extinct until one was caught and catalogued about 70 years ago, in the Commoros archipelago, off of the coast of Eastern Africa.
Until this latest catch, there was only one other sighting in Indonesia (in the same area, Manado, as this sighting) back in 1998.
Coelacanths, closely related to lungfish, usually live at depths of 656-3,200 feet. They can grow up to 6.5 feet in length and weigh as much as 200 pounds.
This catch was equally unusual, in that, it came on the end of a 360 foot line … about half of the depth that scientists understood this fish could live.
Further, this Coelacanth is a fish for time … any time because it only took a little over two months for information on this capture to make it to general news distribution.
An unidentified researcher measures a coelacanth after it was caught by fishermen at a depth of about 100m off Nungwi, northern Zanzibar July 14, 2007. The fish weighed 27kgs with a total length of 134.8cm. The coelacanth, known from fossil records dating back more than 360 million years, was believed to have become extinct some 80 million years ago until one was caught off the eastern coast of South Africa in 1938 -- a major zoological find. Image Credit: Picture taken July 14, 2007. REUTERS/Dr Narriman Jiddawi/Institute of Marine Sciences in Zanzibar/Handout (TANZANIA)
This from Agence France-Presse (AFP) via Yahoo! News -
Scientists excited by Indonesian-caught coelacanth
By Ronan Bourhis - AFP - Sat Jul 28, 11:06 PM ET
MANADO, Indonesia - Two months ago Indonesian fisherman Justinus Lahama caught a fish so exceptional that an international team of scientists rushed here to investigate.
French experts equipped with sonar and GPS asked Lahama to reconstruct, in his dugout canoe, exactly what it was he did that enabled him to catch a rare coelacanth fish, an awkward-swimming species among the world's oldest.
Indonesian fisherman Justinus Lahama displaying to international researchers how he managed to capture a giant and very rare coelacanth fish in Manado, North Sulawesi, in June. Their fossil records date back more than 360 million years and suggest the animal has changed little in that time. Image Credit: AFP/File/Ronan Bourhis
Last May 19, Lahama and his son Delvy manoevred their frail canoe into the Malalayang river, on the outskirts of Manado, on northern Sulawesi island. Like any other morning, they rowed out to sea and fished within 200 metres (yards) of the beach.
"I very quickly unrolled the usual trawl line with three hooks, about 110 metres (yards) long, and at the end of three minutes, I felt a large catch," Lahama recounts.
The pull was strong: "I had painful arms -- I felt such a resistance, I thought that I was pulling up a piece of coral."
After 30 minutes of effort under the searing tropical sun, he finally saw a fish swishing at a depth of about 20 metres (65 feet).
"The sea was very calm this day. There was no wind, no clouds, no current. The water was very clear. The fish let itself be drawn in from there," he says.
"It was an enormous fish. It had phosphorescent green eyes and legs. If I had pulled it up during the night, I would have been afraid and I would have thrown it back in," he exclaims.
Lahama, 48, has fished since he was 10 years old, like his father and his grandfather before him. But he was unlikely to have ever run into this "living fossil" species, as scientists have dubbed the enigmatic fish.
Fin of a very rare coelacanth fish in Manado as Indonesian, Japanese and French specialists (unseen) carry out an autopsy, North Sulawesi, in June. Coelacanths are among the world's oldest fish species. Their fossil records date back more than 360 million years and suggest the animal has changed little in that time. Image Credit: AFP/File/Ronan Bourhis
Lahama's catch, 1.3 metres long and weighing 50 kilograms (110 pounds) was only the second ever captured alive in Asia.
Their fossil records date back more than 360 million years and suggest that the fish has changed little over that period.
Returning to port, he [Lahama] showed it off to the most senior fisherman, who became alarmed.
"It is a fish which has legs -- it should be given back to the water. It will bring us misfortune," he told him. But the unsuperstitious Lahama decided to keep it.
After spending 30 minutes out of water, the fish, still alive, was placed in a netted pool in front of a restaurant at the edge of the sea. It survived for 17 hours.
The local fisheries authorities filmed the fish swimming in the metre-deep pool, capturing invaluable images as the species had only previously been recorded in caves at great depths.
The site of capture, so close to the beach and from a depth of 105 metres, had intrigued the scientists. Does the Indonesian coelacanth live in shallower waters than its cousin in the Commoros?
Lahama's fish is to be preserved and will be displayed in a museum in Manado.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Yes, this is a new take on that old “Knock, Knock” joke … but the outcome of this exchange holds great promise.
One of the biggest limitations found with the creation of Ethanol come from the type of matter the liquid is processed or converted from. When one uses food substances like corn or sugar cane, this puts additional stress on some segments of our economic society. The costs of everything associated with corn (for example) shoot up because the supply becomes restricted due to the increased demand, all the while, our landfills are burying perfectly good fodder for the Ethanol mill!
Take this item about Orange Peels … that’s right, the stuff that is being carted off to a landfill to take up additional space along with twigs, lawn clippings, and waste cardboard.
At MAXINE, we say convert it all!
This from the National Association of Convenience Stores -
NACS News & Media Center - July 23, 2007
MIAMI – Florida oranges might not just fuel consumers anymore – the citrus fruit might help fuel cars, the Miami Herald reports. FPL Energy revealed plans to work with a citrus processor and a new energy firm to build one of the world’s first processing plants that would use citrus peels as the base for ethanol.
If built during the next two years, the plant could output approximately 4 million gallons of ethanol. On day, the technology could produce as much as 60 million citrus-to-ethanol gallons, a mere fraction of the 8.7 billion gallons of gasoline consumed in the Florida.
“The idea is we would have the land produce both our food and our fuel,” David Stewart, president of Citrus Energy, told the newspaper. Citrus Energy will assist FPL in constructing the plant with approximately $3 million in state financial aid. “We’re turning a liability for the citrus industry into an asset.”
Citrus peel more easily converts into ethanol than corn and, since it uses a waste product, doesn’t use food for fuel, Stewart said.
Share your opinion on this story with NACS
Gov. Charlie Crist praised FPL for looking into alternative fuels. In 2006, Florida produced approximately 110 million 90-pound boxes of oranges.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
For many decades now, there has been a hamlet in the rugged, Ponderosa and Fir covered mountains of San Bernardino located about 100 miles East of LAX, that has provided an island of serenity and small town charm with little fanfare and recognition.
Last week, all of that lack of recognition changed just a little when The Great American Race bestowed the honor of the title - Great American City!
At last weekend's awards ceremony in Anaheim, the drivers of the Great American Race named Big Bear Lake the Great American City out of their 43 cross-country pitstops (roughly 4,000 miles), from Concord, North Carolina to Anaheim, California.
The race for 2007 (the 25th anniversary edition) decided to include Big Bear Lake on the list of cities in which to stage a pitstop due largely to the lobbying efforts of the president of Bear Valley's own antique car club - Cliff Fowler.
The Great American Race began in 1982 when an auto enthusiast, Curtis Graf, and a close friend, Tom McRae, both of Dallas, Texas, learned about a cross-country rally for classic cars. They approached Norman Miller, a fellow Texan and president of Interstate Batteries, about sponsoring the pair if they entered the race. Miller agreed. Within weeks, the original promoter had lost interest and the entrepreneurial McRae soon found himself in partnership with Miller in promoting the inaugural Interstate Batteries Great American Race.
Knott’s Berry Farm, an amusement park in Buena Park, Calif., hosted the official start when 69 classic cars took the green flag, waved by Tony Curtis, star of the 1960s movie “The Great Race.” Seven days later, 62 vehicles finished in Indianapolis, Indiana, and the Great Race was on its way.
(ht: The Great Race)
To people who are familiar with Big Bear, Cliff Fowler is a recognizable fixture and personality in that he can be heard on the local radio station, 93.3 FM - KBHR (K-Bear), delivering the weekly fishing report titled "Fowlers Fish Tales". Most people tune in to hear some of Cliff's most famous phrases, delivered in a studied and punctuated style, that may include "that beautiful blue jewel located 7,000 feet up in the San Bernardino mountains", "for the bait boys ... a sliding egg sinker and Goo [Eagle Claw Nitro, Power Bait] or Wigglers off the bottom for some good action along the shore”, and ".... so pull up a rock and teach a worm how to swim, this is Cliff Fowler … for this week’s edition of … Fowler’s Fish Tales".
Great American Race participants made their way up Cushenbury Grade to Big Bear Valley on July 13. They left from Laughlin, Nev., on that morning for what turned out to be a long day. Fowler called the penultimate day of the Great American Race brutal for the drivers.
Cresting the mountain at Cushenbury Grade road that leads from Lucerne in the Mojave desert before a relaxing stopover at the Big Bear Lake Airport. Image Credit: Great American Race
This from The Great Race website –
Big Bear Lake, California wins 2007 Great American City Award
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - July 15, 2007
After the 2007 Great Race participants visited 44 different communities; enjoying celebratory welcomes all the way across America, they voted Big Bear Valley, California the best of the best, giving them the prestigious Great American City Award and $5,000 for their local library. The Big Bear Lake Antique Car Club spearheaded the event and started working on it five months before the arrival of the Great Race. The event was held at the Big Bear Airport as a Pit Stop for the racers on Friday, July 13th, which was also the last day of competition.
“I’m emotionally double parked,” stated Cliff Fowler, Big Bear Lake Antique Car Club President. “Earning the award was something I had a personal vision to do everything in the world to accomplish. I was so honored that thousands of people in town came out for this once in a lifetime event, that’s what Big Bear is all about. We only have 17,000 people who live here, but when it comes to a common cause like this they show their true colors.”
In a scene reminiscent of the 1960’s movie “The Great Race,” thousands lined the winding mountain roads leading into and out of town to cheer on the racers. The reception was a welcome relief after their drive out of the California desert and 120 degree temperatures in Laughlin, NV. Locals waved home made banners, posters and American flags while cheering the racers up the mountain to the community’s 7,000-foot elevation.
“It was a tough choice for the racers with so many great stops to choose from,” said Bill Ewing, CEO of Rally Partners, Inc. “There were so many memorable stops that it was a difficult choice, but Big Bear’s enthusiasm and warmth won out.” With the help from many local sponsors they were able to shower the racers with gifts such as a commemorative hat, a coffee mug and a wooden carved bear driving a red sports car which was raffled off at the competitors final awards ceremony.
“Big Bear was one of my favorite towns,” said Bob LaBine, winner of the 2007 Great American Race. “It was great traveling up the roads and seeing so many people greeting you with signs.”
Portions of Blake Edwards’ 1965 film “The Great Race” were filmed in Big Bear Valley, among other locales in the Big Bear mountain region. The movie was loosely based on the original Great Race that took place in 1908. In 2008, the Great Race will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1908 race from New York to Paris with The Great Race 2008: New York to Paris.
This was the first time the Great Race had ever been through Big Bear, but it will not be the last.
[Reference Here] And these excerpts from the Big Bear Grizzly -
Drivers overwhelmed by Valley hospitality
By JUDI BOWERS - Saturday July 18, 2007 - Big Bear Grizzly
They came, they saw and they definitely liked Big Bear. So much so, the Great American Race drivers voted Big Bear as the Great American City.
When the Great American Race 2007 rolled into Big Bear July 13, they were welcomed by thousands of open arms. The Big Bear community turned out to greet the drivers and navigators as they made their way from Yucca Valley up Highway 18 to Big Bear Airport. The welcome didn’t stop there.
Competitors get a grand sendoff as they crest the Onyx Summit when they left Big Bear Lake and the Big Bear Valley, down highway 38 on to the finale in Anaheim. Image Credit: The Great Race
Big Bear also waved goodbye as the teams left Big Bear Airport and headed out of town on Highway 38 over Onyx Summit. Groups of people waited at turnouts along the highway and at Onyx Summit waving, sporting signs and cheering the drivers on.
Cliff Fowler of the Big Bear Antique Car Club organized the pit stop in Big Bear. He said the community support put Big Bear over the top as the drivers voted for their top pit stop. There were 45 to choose from. The racers left Concord, N.C., June 30 and made 45 stops along the way.
“It was miraculous,” Fowler said, adding the town came together for a common goal.
Pam Heiman, branch librarian, is thrilled. “We’re pretty ecstatic around here,” Heiman said. She gushed about how fun the event was, how the community under Fowler’s leadership and organization put forth a combined effort. She said it was fun and whether Big Bear won or not, it was a positive experience.
Big Bear Lake Airport Landing (tarmac location)
In Big Bear, the flavor of the town began as the cars made their way up the highway from Yucca Valley. Greeters lined the road with signs and flags and more. When the cars arrived at Big Bear airport, they were greeted by hundreds on the tarmac. The drivers and navigators were given gifts and food, and a ticket. The ticket was for a drawing to be held at the rally’s end July 14. George Crezee of Unreal Furnishings, created a bear carving commemorating the Great Race. The carving was sent to the finale site and presented to the holder of the winning ticket there, Fowler said.
Fowler said that Wayne Stanfield, chief operating officer for race organizers Rally Partners, told him the Great Race hadn’t seen this type of enthusiasm from a community in 20 years.
“I could not be prouder of this town,” Fowler said. He said the experience and winning the award leave him very emotional.
Fowler thanked the sponsors, the city of Big Bear Lake, San Bernardino County, the Resort Association, Chamber of Commerce, KBHR and Stater Bros. for the financial support. He said the town couldn’t have pulled off a pit stop of this magnitude without them.
The participants in the Great American Race 2007 left Big Bear with a warm and fuzzy feeling, which is just what Fowler had planned.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
F1 Shows Up In Full Force At INDY
The premiere open-wheel racing series comes to Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend.
Image Credit: ING
Last year there was a dispute and about only half of the drivers showed up to participate in the race … leaving it with a black eye.
This year, a full field will take the track in one of the most exciting years the series has had, say , in the last five or so.
Coming so soon after the Canadian round in Montreal, this weekend’s race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway has given the teams precious little time in which to regroup. It is safe to say that this race will again be a fight between McLaren and Ferrari, with the possibly of BMW Sauber getting in on the act.
This year features many new drivers and one of the most exciting rookies, Lewis Hamilton, drives for the British team – McLaren-Mercedes.
Lewis Hamilton is highly motivated after scoring his maiden victory in Montreal. This win propelled him to open up an eight-point lead in the drivers’ championship, which caused this reaction: “I come to Indy with great confidence. We have to try and continue with the performance that we have, and I have no doubt we can do that.”
2007 F1 USGP Track Preview Video -
One of the major sponsors of the Formula One racing series has come up with an indexing system to rate each of the racing venues. ING, the Dutch banking and investment powerhouse, has come up with a way to rate, or index each of the tracks and of the 17 racing sites that the Formula One series will race on in 2007, Indianapolis Motor Speedway indexes at #14!
This from ING -
The ING Race Index for the US Grand Prix
In the shadow of a legend
On the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Formula 1 has to drive beneath the shadow of a legend – because this is the venue of the famous Indy 500. A special course has been built for Formula 1 in the world’s most famous oval circuit. It offers the longest full-throttle phase of the season, but for drivers and teams it remains a race full of compromises.
The ING Race Index, which is to Formula 1 what the Dow Jones is to the stock exchange, uses continuously updated information to keep a running assessment of the key factors affecting the race circuits, thus allowing them to be compared. Here the US Grand Prix does not have the same status as Wall Street …
The 2007 F1 United States Grand Prix ING Race Index -
ING, with its wealth of statistics for Formula 1, has analysed all 17 race circuits from the following aspects:
Strain on drivers
Tradition, fascination and emotion of the race
Ranging from a low of 0 to a maximum of 100 points, the ING Race Index shows you at a glance the challenges that each course presents.
Strain on drivers
On each lap drivers have to change gear 36 times. Consequently, there is a limit to the strain, even though they have to take care to remain concentrated despite the monotonous course. One small mistake will take them into the wall. In the ING Race Index the circuit scores only 44 for strain on the drivers, which in turn results in 17th position.
One of the most critical spots in Indianapolis is the flat-out section with the only banked curve in Formula 1. This means 24 seconds of full throttle and top speeds of up to 335 km/h (208 mph). Formula 1 only reaches higher speeds in Monza. Engines are tuned to absolute maximum performance. The requirements placed on engineering secure 63 points, which is nevertheless enough for position 8 in the ING Race Index.
Image Credit: ING
Many Formula 1 drivers find there is a lack of proper harmony on the track created at the turn of the century and have therefore difficulty getting into a rhythm. This should come as no surprise because it was put together from two completely different sections – one consisting of the original oval with the steep corner and the long full-throttle straights and the other of the new infield with its extremely slow corners. The 53 points are only enough for the 17th and final place in the ING Race Index.
This race definitely has its attractions for the strategists on the pit wall. With 62% of the course being driven at full-throttle, petrol consumption plays an important role, and the two pit stops have to be well planned. On the other hand, the track characteristics pose fewer challenges for the engineers in charge of vehicle setup. The ideal solution involves flat wings and low downforce for the full-throttle sections while the twists of the infield call for steep wings and lots of downforce – and, as is so often the case, the solution is a compromise. The ING Race Index awards this complex equation 63 points and position 8.
When in the year 2000 Formula 1 launched a new attempt to win over the hearts of US fans, it was an obvious move to head for Indianapolis, the Mecca of US motorsport. The fascination and tradition of this race circuit, originally built in 1908 using 3.2 million bricks, can be sensed in every corner. The ING Race Index honours this with 61 points and position 8.
Image Credit: ING
Formula 1 has to continue working hard on its expansion course in the USA. This can be seen in the overall rating for the ING Race Index: 57 points are only enough for 14th place among the 17 races.
UPDATE (Saturday Qualifying - 16 June 2007):
Selected quotes from the Official Website of F1 -
McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton proved that his Canada pole was no fluke at Indy on Saturday, but he wasn’t the only new young driver impressing - BMW Sauber’s Sebastian Vettel was seventh on his Grand Prix debut. They and their 20 rivals report back on a tightly-contested qualifying...
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren (1st, 1m 12.331s):
“To be on pole once again within a week is fantastic - I like North America! The fans here have been so enthusiastic and supportive for the team, and I hope they enjoyed today. I screamed into my helmet when I got the confirmation from the team of the pole position. It’s a challenge to come to a track for the first time, and I have learnt new things every single corner and every single lap. I knew I had to push very hard in my second run in Q3. The car is working well, and the team has done a great job - for us to have both cars on the front row is a real advantage, and hopefully the team will be able to make the best of it in tomorrow’s race.”
Fernando Alonso, McLaren (2nd, 1m 12.500s):
“I have had a really quick car all weekend and have been fastest in all practice sessions and the first two parts of qualifying. As a result I’m extremely confident for the race tomorrow and am pleased that the team occupy the front row. I was pushing hard on my last qualifying lap and whilst I was slightly up in the first sector it was not quite enough as I lost some time in the second sector. However the car is working well, and we have had consistent lap times. The two tyre options we have this weekend are close in their performances which gives us reason to be optimistic for the race tomorrow. I’m really looking forward to it and hope that I can continue my best ever performance at Indianapolis so far.”
Felipe Massa, Ferrari (3rd, 1m 12.703s):
"I am pretty satisfied and think we can have a strong race tomorrow. We cannot be completely happy about this result but we must not be hard on ourselves either. It would have been difficult to get pole and third place means I will start from a good grid position. We know we can count on a very consistent car in terms of race pace. The start will also play an important part, as will strategy. We will try and make up some place and get the best position possible."
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari (4th, 1m 12.839s):
"All in all, fourth place is quite a good result. It was a very close session and we have to take into account the difference in weights between the cars, something which we will not have an answer to until tomorrow afternoon. Of course, I would like to always be ahead of everyone and there is always room for improvement but I think we can have a good race. It is important that there are no other cars between us and our main rivals. The car has gone well so far this weekend, especially in terms of delivering consistent performance on a long run. We will do our best to bring home a good result."
Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (5th, 1m 12.847s):
“The balance of the car was better today, but I am not really happy with my qualifying as on the last lap I didn’t get it right in the last corner. I had some graining with the tyres and obviously was too aggressive and slid a bit away from racing line, otherwise I think I could have qualified in front of the Ferraris. In Montreal our car was very good over the race distance, so I hope we can continue like this.”
Heikki Kovalainen, Renault (6th, 1m 13.308s):
“It was a good qualifying session for me, continuing a good weekend so far. The car balance felt OK, the set-up is good and I was comfortable on both types of tyre all the way through qualifying. We have improved the car throughout the weekend, and just had a normal weekend. I have always been confident that things would start going better for me, and I haven't made any mistakes or lost any track time here in Indy. When that happens, you can push to the limit and get the maximum from the car. That's what has made the difference compared to last weekend, and now we have to focus on the race. We will have a good strategy and the car is handling well. I'm feeling confident.”
Read All Quotes Here>>
Race UPDATE - Final - 6-17-2007
This from AP via Canada.Com -
Rookie Lewis Hamilton races to second straight Formula One win
Canada.Com - Published: Sunday, June 17, 2007
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Rookie sensation Lewis Hamilton did it again, racing to his second straight Formula One victory in Sunday’s U.S. Grand Prix.
The first black driver in F1’s 61-year history has finished all seven races this season in the top three. He now leads Mercedes McLaren teammate and two-time world champion Fernando Alonso by 10 points in the standings.
The two finished 1-2 for the third time this season, but this time the order was reversed from Malaysia in April and last month’s race at Monaco as the 22-year-old Englishman added this victory to his inaugural F1 triumph last week in the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.
Alonso tried hard to pass his less experienced teammate at the start, darting to the outside and pulling nearly alongside Hamilton for a moment, then backing off and diving to the inside as the leaders squirted through the first two narrow turns, a sharp right-hander and then a left-hander.
Hamilton managed to stay in front and was able to continue to fend off the pressure by the hard-charging Spaniard to the end of the 73-lap event on Indy’s 4.192-kilometre road circuit.
Alonso almost wrested the lead from Hamilton on Lap 39. He had been dogging the back of his teammate’s McLaren for several laps and pulled alongside on the main straightaway but was unable to complete the pass.
The outcome was still in question until Alonso locked up his brakes on Lap 47 and drove through the grass, allowing Hamilton to pull out to a 2.5-second lead. Hamilton was able to drive on to the win without further challenge, crossing the finish line 1.5 seconds ahead of Alonso.
Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher, of Germany, takes the checkered flag from Tony George, president and CEO of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as Schumacher won the United States Grand Prix at the speedway, in this June 20, 2004 file photo. Formula One's U.S. Grand Prix won't return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway next year. The race will not be held in 2008 after eight years at the track, spokesman Ron Green said Thursday July 12, 2007. Image Credit: AP Photo/Michael Conroy
F1 won't return to Indianapolis in 2008
By DEANNA MARTIN, Associated Press Writer - Thu Jul 12, 1:18 PM ET
INDIANAPOLIS - Formula One's U.S. Grand Prix won't return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway next year after officials failed to reach a new deal.
Speedway CEO Tony George said Thursday he and F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone agreed not to schedule the event for 2008. The only American-based race on the F1 schedule had been held at Indianapolis the past eight years, drawing some of the biggest crowds on the circuit.
"We did agree it was prudent to try and leave the door open for the future," George said. "My sincere hope is that we will have an opportunity to bring it back in the not-too-distant future."
George, who had set Thursday as the deadline for reaching an agreement to extend the contract with F1, said he did not believe a U.S. Grand Prix would be held elsewhere next year, but that such a decision would be up to Ecclestone.
George had said last month he was confident he could reach a new deal with Ecclestone after the two met during U.S. Grand Prix weekend in Indianapolis.
But Ecclestone repeatedly said F1 did not need to race in the United States, although he mentioned the possibility of moving the U.S. Grand Prix to New York or Las Vegas.
George said Thursday it was a "great disappointment" that F1 would not be returning to the 2.6-mile, 13-turn road course that was built inside the speedway's famous oval to attract the series.
"It's not fair to us, it's not fair to our customers, the loyal core of Formula One fans, to just go on indefinitely on hold," he said.
Attendance figures are not released at Indianapolis, but estimates have been around 125,000 each of the past six years. The inaugural race in 2000 drew more than 200,000.
The event was marred in 2005 when 14 of the 20 drivers pulled off the track just before the start over concerns about the safety of the Michelin tires used by seven teams. Afterward, George refused to wave the checkered flag or join Michael Schumacher in the winner's circle.
Last year's negotiations to extend the deal dragged into August before the two sides agreed to a one-year deal. Speedway officials had said they wanted a more permanent solution this time.
Despite F1's absence, the speedway could still be the site of three races next year as track officials expect to announce a deal with MotoGP, the international motorcycle racing series, next week.
Besides the Indianapolis 500, the speedway also is the site of NASCAR's Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on July 29.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
E85 Ethanol Powers To New Land Speed Record
We, at MAXINE, assume that this record is meant for a catagory that would exclude automobiles that run on pure Ethanol such are the cars that race in the IRL and Champ Car open-wheel automobile racing series.
Next year, however, the IRL will be switching to E85 and then the record would be shattered because an IRL "IndyCar" can eaisly go from "0" to "100" MPH (and back to "0" again) in the total time of 27.41 seconds it took this souped-up Viper to achieve just "0" to "100"!
This from Motor Trend Community -
Ethanol-powered Viper runs to standing-mile record
Posted 7-16-2007 11:13 AM by Kirill Ougarov
The world standing-mile record in a street car now belongs to a 1200-horsepower Dodge Viper running on E85 ethanol. The car, tuned by Chicago-based SVS, reached a top speed of 220.7 mph during a 27.41-second run at the Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport in Oscoda, Michigan. The previous record was 217.85 mph in a gasoline-powered car.
The project started out with the addition of twin turbochargers to a stock Viper to bring the car's output to 700 horsepower, with the decision to switch to E85 made a couple months later. The car's entire fuel system had to be reworked for compatibility with E85, with extensive modifications to the driveline including new engine internals, a race-prepared transmission, and a new differential to allow the car to develop and handle power outputs north of 1000 horses.
This YouTube E85 Viper run appears to have taken place either at the Mojave Airport where famed aircraft designer and areo record holder, Dick Ruttan has set up his company to couquer space or the former George Air Force Base near Adelanto.
April 14, 2007: "See the E85 Viper set the world record for a streetable biofuel car in the standing mile"
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Or ... Changing SOS (dot, dot, dot - dash, dash, dash - dot, dot, dot) into “ORO” (dash, dash, dash - dot, dash, dot - dash, dash, dash)
After watching and listening to some of the Live Earth presentations that were played out over the 7-7-07 weekend, we at MAXINE are beginning to understand a little more about the psyche of, and what is important to, Al Gore Jr.
On a day when “Live Earth – The Concerts For A Climate In Crisis” was trying to bring awareness to the perils of the Earth going through its process of climate transition from cooler to warmer to cooler again … Al Gore Jr. wants us (humans) to focus on reducing our carbon “footprint” and that this situation of the Earth’s temperature rising will be corrected if we just (and he really means this) “buy” in to the concept of carbon offsets.
Al Gore Jr., through Live Earth – “The Largest Entertainment Event Ever”, is “leading the charge”, “starting the avalanche”, and driving the groundswell of the global masses to think that if they just begin to feel better about their “choices” as it relates to the way they invest in the carbon reducing infrastructure, we will create a better, more stable Earth.
What a monumental task!
Al Gore Jr. has the answer, oh really, one might ask!
Excerpts from the Canada Free Press -
Maurice Strong, Al Gore [Jr.]
Creators of carbon credit scheme cashing in on it
By Judi McLeod - Tuesday, March 13, 2007
There's an elephant in global warming's living room that few in the mainstream media want to talk about: the creators of the carbon credit scheme are the ones cashing in on it.
The two cherub like choirboys singing loudest in the Holier Than Thou Global Warming Cathedral are Maurice Strong and Al Gore.
This duo has done more than anyone else to advance the alarmism of man-made global warming.
With little media monitoring, both Strong and Gore are cashing in on the lucrative cottage industry known as man-made global warming.
Strong is on the board of directors of the Chicago Climate Exchange, Wikipedia-described as "the world's first and North America's only legally binding greenhouse gas emission registry reduction system for emission sources and offset projects in North America and Brazil."
Gore buys his carbon off-sets from himself--the Generation Investment Management LLP, "an independent, private, owner-managed partnership established in 2004 with offices in London and Washington, D.C." of which he is both chairman and founding partner.
To hear the saving-the-earth singsong of this dynamic duo, even the feather light petals of cherry blossoms in Washington leave a bigger carbon footprint.
It's a strange global warming partnership that Strong and Gore have, but it's one that's working.
The skeptics of man-made global warming believe that Gore and Strong have made climate change "the new religion". Climate change is not the first religion both parties have tried to make stick. Along with former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev, Strong, currently president of the Earth Council, has been boasting of replacing the Ten Commandments with the Earth Charter, a golden rule guide for how the masses should treat the environment.
Gore, who has given sermons at the United Nations sponsored Cathedral of St. John the Divine Church in New York City, is a promoter of the religion known as Gaia [and, of course the promoter of the 7 Point Pledge introduced at Live Earth].
The two environmental gurus also share a belief in radical Malthusian population reduction. According to them, too many people, particularly in the U.S. are polluting the planet, emitting excessive Freon through their refrigerators and jacking up the air conditioning.
The tawdry tale of the top two global warming gurus in the business world goes all the way back to Earth Day, April 17, 1995 when the future author of "An Inconvenient Truth" traveled to Fall River, Massachusetts, to deliver a green sermon at the headquarters of Molten Metal Technology Inc. (MMTI). MMTI was a firm that proclaimed to have invented a process for recycling metals from waste. Gore praised the Molten Metal firm as a pioneer in the kind of innovative technology that can save the environment, and make money for investors at the same time.
"Gore left a few facts out of his speech that day.
First, the firm was run by Strong and a group of Gore intimates, including Peter Knight, the firm's registered lobbyist, and Gore's former top Senate aide," wrote EIR.
"Second, the company had received more than $25 million in U.S. Department of energy (DOE) research and development grants, but had failed to prove that the technology worked on a commercial scale. The company would go on to receive another $8 million in federal taxpayers' cash, at that point, its only source of revenue.
"With Al Gore's Earth Day as a Wall Street calling card, Molten Metal's stock value soared to $35 a share." further stated EIR
But along the way, DOE scientists had balked at further funding. When, in March 1996, corporate officers concluded that the federal cash cow was about to run dry, they took action: Between that date and October 1996, seven corporate officers --including Maurice Strong-- sold off $15.3 million in personal shares in the company, at top market value. On Oct. 20, 1996 --a Sunday-- the company issued a press release, announcing for the first time, that DOE funding would be vastly scaled back, and reported the bad news on a conference call with stockbrokers.
"On Monday, the stock plunged by 49%, soon landing at $5 a share. By early 1997, furious stockholders had filed a class action suit against the company and its directors. Ironically, one of the class action lawyers had tangled with Maurice Strong in another insider trading case, involving a Swiss company called AZL Resources, chaired by Strong, who was also a lead shareholder. The AZL case closely mirrored Molten Metal, and in the end, Strong and the other AZL partners agreed to pay $5 million to dodge a jury verdict, when eyewitness evidence surfaced of Strong's role in scamming the value of the company stock up into the stratosphere, before selling it off." - EIR
In that year, Gore, still U.S. vice president, was making news for "taking the initiative in creating the Internet."
The leaders of the man-made global warming movement, you might say, get around.
Meanwhile Jumbo's still in global warming's living room, but the duo with the tiniest carbon footprints on earth continue to just tiptoe past him.
In the aftermath of this weekend’s awareness and alarmist global warming crisis effort, Live Earth, we all need to keep an eye out to understand the answer to the following question … just when is a conspiracy a theory or a theory a conspiracy?
Excerpts from The Alliance for Climate Protection website, the official website and business effort designed to change minds and attitudes of all who are directed to their cause -
The Alliance for Climate Protection
Who We Are – Selected Biographies – 7 Point Pledge (first introduced in conjunction with the Live Earth event)
Who We Are
The people involved in the Alliance bring with them substantial cross-sectoral experience covering government, business, and civil society. They have a track-record of breaking through the din of background noise on issues related to climate change. They also bring with them substantial cross-sectoral experience covering government (both public service and political), business (including energy, technology, finance and media), and civil society (within and beyond the environmental communities). We will be completely non-partisan in pursuing our mission.
Board of Directors and Advisory Committee: The Alliance for Climate Protection has a highly experienced Board of Directors. The bipartisan Board has combined decades of experience in alliance-building with Wall Street, religious communities, local government, entertainment and other constituencies not traditionally engaged in environmental issues.
Al Gore, Jr.
Chairman of the Board, Alliance for Climate Protection
Chairman, Generation Investment Management
Former Vice President Al Gore is cofounder and Chairman of Generation Investment Management, a firm that is focused on a new approach to Sustainable Investing.
Gore is also cofounder and Chairman of Current TV, an independently owned cable and satellite television network for young people based on viewer-created content and citizen journalism.
A member of the Board of Directors of Apple Computer, Inc. and a Senior Advisor to Google, Inc. Gore is also Visiting Professor at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
Mr. Gore is the author of An Inconvenient Truth, currently a best-selling book on the threat of and solutions to global warming, and the subject of the movie of the same title, which has already become one of the top documentary films in history.
Since his earliest days in the U. S. Congress 30 years ago, Al Gore has been the leading advocate for confronting the threat of global warming. His pioneering efforts were outlined in his best-selling book Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit (1992). He led the Clinton-Gore Administration's efforts to protect the environment in a way that also strengthens the economy.
Al Gore was born on March 31, 1948, the son of former U.S. Senator Albert Gore, Sr. and Pauline Gore. Raised in Carthage, Tennessee, and Washington, D.C., he received a degree in government with honors from Harvard University in 1969. After graduation, he volunteered for enlistment in the U.S. Army and served in the Vietnam War. Upon returning from Vietnam, Al Gore became an investigative reporter with the Tennessean in Nashville, where he also attended Vanderbilt University's Divinity School and then Law School.
Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, reside in Nashville, Tennessee. They have four children- Karenna, Kristin, Sarah, and Albert III; and two grandchildren: Wyatt Gore Schiff and Anna Hunger Schiff.
CEO, Alliance for Climate Protection
Cathy Zoi has spent two decades in the energy and environmental sector in both the United States and Australia.
From 2003 until joining the Alliance in February 2007, she served as Group Executive Director at the Bayard Group in Sydney, Australia. Bayard is the world leader in smart metering systems with operations in 30 countries and revenues in excess of $1.2 billion. At Bayard, her work focused on energy markets in North America, Europe, India, China and Brazil.
Cathy served as Chair of the Board at the Climate Institute, a nonprofit Australian organization whose purpose is to focus public attention on the impact and importance of climate change. She was a member of the International Climate Change Taskforce (ICCT), a coalition of policymakers, business leaders, scientists, and non-governmental organizations from Britain, Australia and the United States. Launched in 2004, ICCT formulated a climate change strategy that went ‘beyond Kyoto (Protocol)’ and made specific recommendations to member governments in January 2005.
Prior to joining Bayard, Cathy was Assistant Director General of the New South Wales EPA. She co-chaired the Australian government’s Sustainability Environmental Advisory Council and was the founding CEO of the Sustainable Energy Development Authority, a $50 million fund to commercialize greenhouse-friendly technology.
Prior to arriving in Australia in 1995, she served as Chief of Staff at the Council on Environmental Quality in the Clinton-Gore Administration, where she managed the staff working on greenhouse and energy policies, the “Forest Plan” (innovative regulatory schemes for reducing pollution), and the “Greening of the White House.” She was also a manager at the US Environmental Protection Agency where she pioneered the Energy Star Program. Previously, she worked as an energy analyst at ICF Incorporated and Pacific Gas & Electric Company.
Earth Live 7 Point Pledge - Image Credit: ecj-MAXINE (still lifted from Earth Live video from press conference)
7 Point Pledge
I pledge, you pledge, we all win
Talk is cheap, but inaction is expensive, especially when the climate is in crisis.
Take this pledge and then post it on your fridge, make it your screensaver, tape it near the back door or put a tiny version inside your wallet. Then explain to others why this is important so that they too will take the pledge.
Hang it up in the coffee room at work. Post it on the community bulletin boards downtown or at the local library. This is all about doing something for yourself and your loved ones. For your wife, husband, partner, mom, dad, sister, brother, niece, nephew, cousin; it's for your neighbor, your teacher, your car mechanic, your mailman, your doctor, your best friend, your worst enemy; it's for your children... it's for everybody's children. It's for today, tomorrow, and every tomorrow that follows.
Take the pledge for you and for everyone. I pledge:
To demand that my country join an international treaty within the next 2 years that cuts global warming pollution by 90% in developed countries and by more than half worldwide in time for the next generation to inherit a healthy earth;
To take personal action to help solve the climate crisis by reducing my own CO2 pollution as much as I can and offsetting the rest to become "carbon neutral;"
To fight for a moratorium on the construction of any new generating facility that burns coal without the capacity to safely trap and store the CO2;
To work for a dramatic increase in the energy efficiency of my home, workplace, school, place of worship, and means of transportation;
To fight for laws and policies that expand the use of renewable energy sources and reduce dependence on oil and coal;
To plant new trees and to join with others in preserving and protecting forests; and,
To buy from businesses and support leaders who share my commitment to solving the climate crisis and building a sustainable, just, and prosperous world for the 21st century.
Talk about becoming a mind-numbed ROBOT … what the left loves to call anyone who might tune-in and listen to Talk Radio!
We, at MAXINE, are struck by the extreme conflict of interests outlined in the biographies contained in the backgrounds of the figureheads of this organization (ACP) that professes in its mission (About) statement that it is bi-partisan, and have a track-record of breaking through the din of background noise on issues related to climate change.
Correct us if we are wrong, but wasn’t Live Earth and the 7 Point Pledge a play at creating a single point-of-view approach (not bi-partisan) and add to the global din of background noise on the issue of the Earth’s normal climate transitioning from cool to warm and back to cool again while creating the argument as to why people should give their money and voting power away to those who stand on one side of an unresolved scientific issue?
When Conspiracy is as Conspiracy does … it no longer qualifies as a theory!
At Live Earth it was SOS (for Save Our Selves) but the real effort for Al Gore Jr. and the companies he is involved with .. it is all about ORO (as in spanish for Gold) dash, dash, dash - dot, dash, dot - dash, dash, dash.
Friday, July 06, 2007
Leadership: What Does Al Gore Jr. Choose To Do?
July 7th looms very large as a date on which the Gore family will define itself. July 7th is the date for a concert that is being put on to promote awareness to the “Global Climate Crisis” but July 7th is also a day on which Al Gore Jr. can show the world what he is really made of.
This morning on MSNBC, screenwriter John Ridley put forth a plea to the importance of the argument of family leadership. He made the point that one of the strongest, most effective acts that any man can do is to raise competent and balanced family. Ridley went on to say that the greatest ill effecting the black family is the lack of fatherly leadership in the family dynamic.
Earth Live 7 Point Pledge - Maybe Al Gore Jr. should create a pledge in support of the value of raising and supporting the family worldwide! Image Credit: ecj-MAXINE (still lifted from Earth Live video from press conference)
John Ridley argued that Al Gore Jr. should tape a video to be shown at the concert and hop on his private jet and stand beside his youngest son at a time of Al Gore the third’s greatest need of fatherly leadership.
John went on … Where will the Earth be twenty years from now, well it is going to be here, but more importantly, where will Al Gore III be twenty years from now if Al Gore Jr. does not step up and BE the father to the younger Al at a time of his greatest need!
I agree with John Ridley. Al Gore Jr. has not been elected to the office he NOW appoints himself to be – Supreme Leader of the Green World.
The Real Al Gore Jr.!
Al Gore Jr. would actually come out on the backside of this situation in a grand way by attempting to save the direction of his only son’s life while maintaining the mantle of the instigator of Live Earth – The Concert for “Global Climate Crisis” awareness … or as Al himself stated in an interview at this very moment – “the largest live entertainment performance EVER.” “A chance to deliver a wake-up call and sign a pledge to solve this crisis of global climate change!” “An ‘SOS’ [Save Our Selves] call to action.”
Well there you have it – The Ridley imperative to family values verses an SOS call to action. I think the real SOS (Save Our Society - Save Our Son) call to action is a car full of drugs flying down the road at 100 miles an hour putting anyone in the way at risk … and the fact that Al Gore the third is truly a person at risk.
Earth Live 7 Point Pledge - Maybe Al Gore Jr. should create a pledge in support of the value of raising and supporting the family worldwide ... And SIGN it! Image Credit: ecj-MAXINE (still lifted from Earth Live video from press conference)
We, at MAXINE, think the case has been made by screenwriter, John Ridley ... but Al Gore Jr. is NOT up to the task or the responsibility of family leadership.
Sadly, How Al Gore Jr. Sees Himself ... NOT Answering The Important SOS "Call" ... dot, dot, dot - dash, dash, dash - dot, dot, dot!
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Born To Be Wild
We all know the song, and we all know the first line – “Get your motor runnin’, head out on the highway …!”
Well I guess this is the song ol’ “Carbon Neutral” loving Al Gore the third (son of former Vice-President, Al Gore Jr.) was listening to when he was pulled over for doing 100 miles per hour in a Toyota Prius … that’s right, a hybrid economy car!
OOPS! He was carrying a bunch of drugs and some marijuana. The Orange County Sheriff that pulled him over stated that he smelled the pot so he performed a search.
It makes one wonder what would make the Gore family more upset – the actual smoking of marijuana which creates additional carbon borne pollution OR driving a Toyota Prius at over 100 miles per hour.
We at MAXINE guess the latter – NOBODY should ever, ever, ever drive a Prius over, say 70 miles per hour.
Excerpted from AP via Yahoo! News –
Al Gore's son arrested on drug suspicion
AP - LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif. - 2 hours, 27 minutes ago
Al Gore's son was arrested early Wednesday on suspicion of possessing marijuana and prescription drugs after deputies pulled him over for speeding, authorities said.
Al Gore III, 24, was driving a blue Toyota Prius about 100 mph on the San Diego Freeway when he was pulled over at about 2:15 a.m., Sheriff's Department spokesman Jim Amormino said.
The deputies said they smelled marijuana and searched the car, Amormino said. They found less than an ounce of marijuana along with Xanax, Valium, Vicodin and Adderall, which is used for attention deficit disorder, he said.
"He does not have a prescription for any of those drugs," Amormino said.
Gore was being held in the men's central jail in Santa Ana on $20,000 bail.
Kalee Kreider, a spokeswoman for his parents, did not immediately return phone messages to The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Kwik-E-Mart Debut In Twelve "Springfield's"
Just before the release of the feature length movie, "The Simpson's Movie", scheduled for release on July 27th, twelve 7-Eleven convenience stores in North America have been converted to the famed "Kwik-E-Mart" stores.
We, at MAXINE were just minding our own business when all of a sudden we came upon a very crowded store where once a 7-Eleven stood on Olive Avenue in Burbank.
To our amazement, there stood a complete Kwik-E-Mart store and about 400 people were snaked from the front door to around the corner of the building wanting to share in the experience of a real life movie promotion.
It is pretty cool in that the Kwik-E-Mart not only looks like a Kwik-E-Mart, but it will sell products only found at the fictional store in Springfield. That's right, Buzz Cola, KrustyO's cereal and Squishees, the slushy drink knockoff of Slurpees.
Every promotion though has something that can kill a BUZZ ... no, really!
You are correct in guessing that there will be NO BUZZ BEER sold at the Kwik-E-Mart.
That is a Buzz Killer for sure!
Excerpts from AP via Yahoo! News -
7-Elevens become Simpsons 'Kwik-E-Marts'
By DAVID KOENIG, AP Business Writer - Sun Jul 1, 7:44 PM ET
DALLAS - Over the weekend, 7-Eleven Inc. turned a dozen stores into Kwik-E-Marts, the fictional convenience stores of "The Simpsons" fame, in the latest example of marketers making life imitate art.
Those stores and most of the 6,000-plus other 7-Elevens in North America will sell items that until now existed only on television: Buzz Cola, KrustyO's cereal and Squishees, the slushy drink knockoff of Slurpees.
It's all part of a campaign to hype the July 27 opening of "The Simpsons Movie," the big-screen debut for the long-running television cartoon, which loves to lampoon 7-Eleven as a store that sells all kinds of unhealthy snacks and is run by a man with a thick Indian accent.
For 20th Century Fox Film Corp. and Homer's creators at Gracie Films, the stunt is a cheap way to call attention to their movie, since 7-Eleven is bearing all the costs, which executives of the retail chain put at somewhere in the single millions.
"We thought if you really want to do something different, the idea of actually changing stores into Kwik-E-Marts was over the top but a natural," said Bobbi Merkel, an executive for of 7-Eleven's advertising agency, FreshWorks, a unit of Omnicom Group Inc. "It shows they get the joke."
The monthlong promotion has been rumored a long time — it's hard to keep a secret known by so many suppliers and franchisees — but 7-Eleven managed to keep the locations of the stores quiet until early Sunday morning. That's when the exteriors of 11 U.S. stores and one in Canada were flocked in industrial foam and given new signs to replicate the animated look of Kwik-E-Marts.
The U.S. locations where a 7-Eleven store was transformed into a Kwik-E-Mart are New York City; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Burbank, Calif.; Los Angeles; Henderson, Nev.; Orlando, Fla.; Mountain View, Calif.; Seattle; and Bladensburg, Md.
The Fox/7-Eleven deal is an example of a practice called reverse product placement. Instead of just putting products prominently in a movie or TV show, fake goods move from the screen to reality.
In some cases, 7-Eleven has contracted with manufacturers of similar products to make their Kwik-E-Mart counterparts. Malt-O-Meal, the Northfield, Minn., cereal maker, will conjure up a recipe for KrustyO's, for example. In others, existing products will simply be renamed. One flavor of 7-Eleven's own Slurpee will be sold as "WooHoo! Blue Vanilla" Squishee for the month.
After Fox pitched a 7-Eleven tie-in last year, representatives from the studio, the stores, and Gracie Films — including Simpsons creator Matt Groening and executive producer James L. Brooks, met in Los Angeles to kick around ideas. Brooks added one — holding a contest to let one fan be drawn into a future episode of the TV show.
7-Eleven executives loved the idea. They had surveys showing a strong overlap between their customers and fans of the show — both tend to be young and male. It sounded like cash registers ringing.
"They've been looking at Squishees and KrustyO's and Buzz Cola for years and have never been able to put their hands on it," said Merkel, the advertising executive.
But they won't find Duff beer, the brand chugged by Homer Simpson. The movie will be rated PG-13, and selling a Simpson-themed beer "didn't seem to fit," said Rita Bargerhuff, a 7-Eleven marketing executive. "That was a tough call, but we want to make sure it's considered good, responsible fun."
Bargerhuff predicted extra sales to Simpsons fans will more than offset the cost of the promotion and create new customers for the chain. She also said the chain is prepared for crowds and will have extra security and clerks at the Kwik-E-Marts.
Always wondered where Springfield really is? Does anyone really know? Well the folks at 7-Eleven do – in fact they’ve been working very closely with Apu Nahasapeemapetilon.
Lake Buena Vista, FL/Orlando, FL
Las Vegas, NV/Henderson, NV
Los Angeles, CA
New York City, NY
San Francisco, CA/Mountain View, CA
Washington, DC/Bladensburg, MD
Proof that the creators of The Simpson's have decided that the fictitious town of "Springfield" is actually ... Springfield, Illinois!