Saturday, 28 June 2014

Holey Unacceptable

I was on the Mail Motoring site yesterday and found this picture which I though would be worth a mention in my Blog:
It is from this story about an Octogenarian woman in Bel Air who flipped her Honda then posed with her husband for some selfies.  The picture is even more amusing thanks to the gentleman's belt height and a woman in the background dressed as a flame.  Nobody was hurt and they are obviously a game couple.
So I went back to the Mail today with a bit more time on my hands to do something on that story when I found an even funnier one.
This is it.
It is about this man, Robert Goodwill MP, seen here posing with a pot-hole app. 
And potholes are relevant to the story.
For he has come out and said on LBC Radio (and he's even got it on his own Website) that:
More potholes are appearing on Britain’s roads because the recovering economy means more people have jobs and are driving to work
Roads are also suffering more “wear and tear” because people were also buying more things and so more “goods are travelling around the country"
He also suggested that more potholes would appear as the economy recovers and more vehicles take to the road.
Ludicrous.  He wants us to believe that the poor state of the roads is down to the Government's economic successes.
We are getting more pot-holes as a result of the wettest Winter in years combined with poor maintenance and cheaper options used when building the roads in the first place.  Government cutbacks to local council funding has just exacerbated the situation.
Even the right-wing Mail readers attack the Government in the comments section of that story.
Mr Goodwill is, incidentally not "The Roads Minister" as The Mail call him, he is a Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the Department for Transport.
The Oldham Evening Chronicle in the old pot-hole story that I nicked that picture from also call him "The Roads Minister" - maybe that is what he tells journalists that he is.
One thing he definitely did tell the Oldham journalist is “Historically, we have underfunded road maintenance.”

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Elementary Dear Watson

A couple of my favourite sites today feature this car:
It is an Elemental RP1 which, as Autocar for one report, has been shown off ahead of an appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Autocar describe it as a rival for the Vühl 05.  I see the logic there, the Vühl 05 is a two-seater track-day car that looks quite similar:
It also debuted at Goodwood last year.

Although, I see the RP1 as a two-seated version of the BAC Mono - a BAC Duo if you like:
BAC want to sell the Mono in America but I'm not sure if they realise that Mono is what Americans call Glandular Fever.
All three cars are similarly sized and all produce about 280bhp.  The BAC is built in Liverpool so gets my vote - the Elemental seems to be from Surrey while the Vühl is Mexican.  Cost-wise though, the Vuhl is a mere £60000 compared to the Mono's £110000 - a bit of clever pricing could be elementary in the Elemental's success.
Having said that - a proper windscreen would be nice too.

Monday, 16 June 2014

There are nine million accidents in Beijing

Bit of a mis-quote of Katie Melua in the title there.

This story has 100 crashes in Beijing...
 ...and that was just one day last year.

Still nowhere near nine million though.

No for that number of crashes, you would need something immensely stupid.

Like an app.

Like in this ComputerWorld story.

GM in China have produced a (fortunately only prototype) app that lets you scan in someone's licence plate and then send them an SMS message.  The two examples they cite are:

  1. a woman who is blocked in by a parked car sending a message to its owner asking to get it shifted
  2. a man who fancies a woman in another car so sends her a message telling her so
  1. fair enough
  2. well dodgy
In reality, most messages sent would be derogatory about driving standards or just downright threatening.

Surely there would have to be some sort of privacy/safety rules that mean your number wouldn't be available to random annoyed people in other cars?

The safety aspects alone are frightening with people driving along pointing their phones at the backs of other cars then sending texts and then receiving texts and reponding to them.

John Du, director of GM's China R&D Division, however, said the main stumbling block in moving from prototype to production is that GM wants apps that are embedded in the car's infotainment system, so an app that exists only on as a smartphone download may never see the light of day.

He thinks THAT is the main problem with this!

Anyway, back to mis-quoting Katie (posing here as the face of one of GM's brands):

"There are nine million accidents in Beijing
That's not a fact,
It's a thing we can deny
Like the fact that I will love you till I die (in an accident in Beijing)."

Friday, 6 June 2014

Viva Vauxy II

Was it really as long ago as two weeks that I talked about the new Vauxhall Viva?


And now we have this story from the Liverpool Echo.

It is celebrating the 50th Anniversay of the first car rolling off the production line at Ellesmere Port, just down the road from my house.

The story states how the original picture from 1964 has been recreated:
Although, to me, the original has more Vivas and one less 2014 Astra:
The other picture they use, that stands out for me, must be from the 1970s because it shows the 1000001st car off the line - a Mk III (or HC) Viva.  Not sure why they didn't celebrate the 1000000th but never mind, they did get Ken Dodd in with his tickling stick.
Don't know why, but I'd rather they tried to recreate that one.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Gone in 30 Seconds

500 reservations for the 2015 Mustang that is.

Car and Driver cover this story here.

I like their wording - obviously done from an American point of view:

"If there’s one thing Europeans like, it’s soccer. Or ‘football,’ if you want to be particular about it. If there are two things Europeans like, they’re soccerball and Ford Mustangs, baby."

Yes, we do need to be particular about it - the USA is the only country in The World which doesn't call football "football" - they reserve that word for something that has more in common with rugby.

But that is besides the point.

I am European.

I am also Welsh and British but I am happy with the European tag too - none of that UKIP piffle for me.

And, as a European, two of my favourite things (note the spelling of "favourite") are football and cars - or is that just because I'm a bloke?  And when I say cars, I'm not specific about the 2015 Mustang - although it is rather attractive:
Anyway, C&D continues...

"Ford leveraged its 'official vehicle supplier' position with the UEFA Champions League to promote the 2015 Mustang, including letting 500 fans preorder a car during the UEFA Champions League final. Those cars were reserved very quickly."

Within 30 seconds, in fact.

The orders were placed by Europeans from 20 different countries, presumably including the UK, where, for the first time ever, the Mustang will be available in right-hand-drive - good news.

I bet those 500 reservations weren't from people interested in the football that evening though - despite it being an enthralling game which I watched whilst not reserving a Mustang.

I didn't notice any of the players with mobile phones either so they wouldn't have been among the 500.

The FIFA World Cup starts in a week or so.

Official Partners are Kia/Hyundai.  The Kia site looks better.  This also explains a recent series I've been watching on the Dave channel whereby two of my favourite (note the spelling again) comedians (Henning Wehn & Mark Watson) have been travelling (two "L"s) around South America on their way to Brazil in a Kia.
Stangely enough, they have not been travelling around in a Kia Rio though.
So, I wonder if, during the World Cup Final, we will get the chance to reserve a 2015 Kia Cee'd.