Thursday, September 04, 2003
"The Aquada is available in black and grey and can be fitted with a range of extras, including a CD player and lifejackets. It can carry three people, with the driver sitting in the middle seat, so driving on the left or right makes no difference.
The car has a six-cylinder engine which delivers 175 brake horse power, not dissimilar to a BMW 3-Series. It runs on unleaded petrol and has automatic transmission.
Although it is designed to cope with beaches and other difficult terrain, it is a rear-wheel-drive vehicle. The engine is in the middle.
Gibbs Technologies is producing 100 vehicles, which will be available later in the year. The V6 engine is produced in partnership with another engineering firm. Gibbs declined yesterday to specify which one.
It can cope with sea water and fresh water, so you can now “drive” to France across the Channel in an hour. Its range on water is 50 miles. The makers claim it performs as well as or better than jet boats of a similar size.
The interior is drained automatically should it ship a significant amount of water and it can be hosed out after use. The chassis is made of aluminium, which does not rust, and is encased by the hull, thus limiting exposure to water. There are no doors, so that the car is sealed when in the water. "
For those not visiting from The Hawk's Nest, there's a nifty ballad to the aquatic car available.
Or you could just visit the manufacturer's site.
Remember - jet cars are years away. The British alternative is here, and it's self-draining...
Sunday, August 31, 2003
2Londoners fancy that they're a bit more cosmopolitan, modern, and less quaint than such country bumpkins (whom they also constantly ridicule) and by and large they have a point. But here's where they're wrong about it: no matter how fancy and up-to-date their "mobiles" may be, and no matter how many times they say things like "wha' a loud o' bloody bollocks," to visitors from the States, they always somehow end up coming off like a bizarre, unlikely, and in the end irresistibly adorable amalgam of Bertie Wooster and Samwise Gamgee unsuccessfully attempting to say "name is Michael Caine." And to be perfectly honest, even in London, a fair few of them seem like well more than 50% hobbit. It's very sweet."
"A British company is to launch an amphibious car with a top speed of 100mph on land and 30mph on water.
With retractable wheels, marine jet propulsion and a speedboat-like hull, the makers claim it will be powerful enough to tow a water-skier.
Alan Gibbs, an entrepreneur and former New Zealand diplomat, has spent £20m developing the “duck” at a factory in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. It will be unveiled in London’s Docklands on Wednesday.
A team of engineers, including some who have worked on Formula One cars, have taken seven years to prepare the car to roll off the assembly line.
It looks like a sports car when it is on land and has a 170bhp engine. On water it is closer to the Lotus Esprit that Roger Moore drove as James Bond in The Spy Who Loved Me. It is not, however, submersible.
According to Gibbs, his High Speed Amphibious (HSA) vehicle can move between land and and water “at the touch of a button”. Once driven into the water, the wheels tilt and fold away and a jet unit at the rear sucks in water and forces it out again at high pressure to drive the car across the surface.
It has no doors, which helps ensure it has a leak-proof hull. The driver and passengers have to climb into the open-top car.
The vehicle, which will sell for £60,000, is likely to find its biggest market in the United States, especially among millionaires living in the Florida Keys. "
"SITTING in her apartment in Hebron overlooking the playground where her 10-month-old daughter was killed by a Palestinian sniper, Orya Pass had a simple explanation for the arrest of her husband, Yitzhak, on suspicion of being a Jewish terrorist: he had been framed by Shin Beth, Israel’s domestic intelligence service.
“They’re evil people,” Pass, a childlike and forlorn 24-year-old, said of Shin Beth. “Everything they say is nonsense, they’re known for making things up, they’ll do anything to destroy the Jewish settlements.”
In recent weeks Yitzhak Pass and eight other settlers from Hebron, its larger neighbouring settlement Kiryat Arba, and several other remote, radical Jewish outposts in the West Bank have been arrested on suspicion of terrorism. Israeli courts have placed a gag order on most details, but at least one suspect, Sela Tor of Hebron, is known to be suspected of murder.
Yitzhak Pass was arrested with his brother-in-law, Mattityahu Shvu, while transporting almost 9lb of explosives. During the vigilante spree, a bomb exploded at a Palestinian girls’ school, injuring 11; a bomb at another girls’ school was discovered and neutralised.
Outsiders might wonder why settlers feel the need for vigilantism when the Israeli army, especially in Hebron, is so vigilant in fighting and punishing the Palestinians. Here, as in other militant settlements, Jewish residents see things the opposite way: they accuse the army and Ariel Sharon, the hawkish prime minister, of cowering before the Palestinians. “Others may see Sharon as a man of the right, but I see him as a leftist,” said Orya Pass.
Carmi Gillon, a former leader of Shin Beth’s “Jewish department”, said the vigilantes could be motivated in part by a desire for revenge. “When the people being killed in the intifada are your next-door neighbours or your close friends, it produces extreme emotions,” he said. “These are twisted people, and their actions grow out of a twisted view of reality.”"
"In reference to the fact that he will give his class a take-home midterm:
"If you cheat, you will only contribute to the deterioration of your character which is already rotting in moral turpitude."
Gazing down upon one of his more profoundly mismatched outfits:
"You know, you just don't do this."
To a student on whom Stu was calling in class:
"I'm sorry I don't remember your name--you must be aware, of course, that you don't have to remember mine."
After receiving a complex answer to a complex question:
Dr. Hackett: "Do you have another question?"
Student: "Well, I don't know. It took me quite a while to think of this one--maybe tomorrow.""