Thursday, June 30, 2011

Terrafugia Transition Flying Car

I would never have guessed that I would see a "Flying Car" during my lifetime, 
guess again!
Images and information courtesy of Wikipedia and Jalopnik

 The Waterman Aerobile (Smithsonian)
 Older and newer Moller M400 Skycars
And now the Terrafugia Transition, a roadable light sport aircraft
 Wings fold for street driving
 Wings extended for flight, and yes, you do need an airport

For a mere $194K and 20 hours of "observed" flying time to get your sport flying license,
even you could own one of these modern marvels.  They will carry 2 persons with luggage and have a range of about 400 nautical miles on a tank of regular unleaded gasoline.  
It will go a little over 100 MPH in the air and 
roughly 65 MPH on the ground getting 30 MPG (ground).

Glass Rider

Courtesy of Ottonero Cafe Racer, visit to see the entire display, very cool.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Countach Reventon

According to Teamspeed, The original Twin Turbo S Prototype was lost or somehow
vanished, making this a one of a kind radical speed machine.

 Not just hot and fast, but beautiful too

Woolly Bully....
 An adjustable boost, very cool, from .7 to 1.5 bars at maximum performance

Firebird Concept Cars

I had to chuckle just a little about the "space ship" look to these.
Although the Firebird III does resemble the Cuda, Charger, Challenger, Corvette, Firebird and Camaro of later years, well if you squint real hard and have a headache.
 Firebird I and II, respectively
 Firebird I
Firebird III

Feasibility studies in the 30's by Emmett Conklin (the only person qualified 
to drive the Firebird I) designed the first gas turbine powered car to see if it had any redeeming qualities.  Redeeming?  You mean other than going 100 MPH and being a jet engine on a chassis.  Hmmmm, let's see, that would do it for me!  Later Maury Rose would test drive this car at the Indianapolis Speedway.  No speeds given for that test drive, however, it was noted that Conklin shut it down at 100 MPH when he shifted to 2nd gear the tires lost traction.  Really?
Now that reminds of the "Little Nash Rambler" song...Beep, Beep.

Altamira Cave Art

Paleolithic Cave Art was found in Altamira Cave (Spain) dating 18,500 years ago.
Altamira was the first cave discovered to have prehistoric paintings

In the late 1800's an amateur archaeologist was led by his 9 yr old daughter to find this cave

Naturally, this was a very popular place for visitors, however, the carbon dioxide from breathing in the close confines of the cave began to deteriorate the paintings between 1960's and 70's and the cave was closed to the public for its preservation and historic value.
A replica cave was constructed nearby for viewing and completed in 2001.
The "Time Line" is as follows (courtesy of museodealtamira)

          1879 - Marcelino Sanz de Sautuola discovers the art in Altamira Cave.

  • 1880 - Sautuola publishes "Brief notes on some Prehistoric Objects in the Province of Santander".

  • 1902 - The scientific community recognises the age and importance of the paintings in Altamira Cave.

  • 1910 - Santillana del Mar Town Council creates Altamira Cave Protection and Conservation Board.

  • 1911 - The Town Council appoints the first cave guide.

  • 1924 - Altamira Cave is designated National Monument.

  • 1925 - The Board or Commission for the Management and Exploration of Altamira Cave is founded, to increase the protection of the cave, avoid its deterioration, and study its contents adequately.

  • 1940 - Altamira Cave Trust is formed.

  • 1955 - Altamira Cave is visited by about 50,000 people in one year, and the first warnings about the deterioration of the paintings are made.
  • 1957 - A Technical Commission is formed, with the task of reinforcing the decorated ceiling with stone walls.

  • 1973 - Altamira Cave is visited by more than 174,000 people.

  • 1976 - A Research Commission is formed to analyse the state of conservation of the cave paintings.

  • 1977 - The cave is closed to tourist visits.

  • 1979 - Altamira National Museum and Research Centre is founded as the means of co-ordinating the studies and research of the Artistic Heritage Office.

  • 1979 - The University of Santander commences its research on the conservation of the paintings in the cave.

  • 1982 - Altamira Cave reopens to the public with a maximum of 8,500 visitors a year.

  • 1992 - The Museum Trust agrees to the plan for the present museum design.

  • 1993 - A new Research Programme begins.

  • 1997 - The Consortium for Altamira is formed, and work begins on the new building.

  • 2001 - The new Altamira National Museum and Research Centre opens.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Iso Didn't Know

Anyone who occasionally (or regularly) "surf's" the net knows that when you set out to find one thing you sometimes find yourself in a completely different place.  I guess that's where the term "surfing" comes from.  Kinda like when I go to the store for milk and get 
everything BUT milk. I just hate that!

Well, to make a long story short, which would please my husband to no end....blah, blah
I began this journey looking at information on the TVR Chimaera, which can't be imported to the U.S. yet, and found myself intrigues by the variety of Iso's and the company's history, prototypes and innovations regarding affordable transportation in 
post war Germany.
The following information was gleaned from Wikipedia and its links.

This company began as a refrigeration manufacturer named Isothermos in the 30's.
After World War II, the company completely changed its activity. In the late 1940's it began to build motorcycles, scooters and motocarries (three wheeled transport scooters/motorcycles). Most famous are the Furetto (1948), 'Isoscooter' (1950), 
Isocarro (1951), 'Isomoto (1954) and' Isosport (1953).  Expensive, durable and well built.
The 50's brought the "Bubble Car", built for 2 people and with only 3 wheels.

The 60's brought performance models with designs from Bertone, Giugiaro and Bizzarrini 
and Pininfarina.

Rivolta IR
Grifo A3 
Grifo A7
Fidia S4
Lele 300
Grifo 90

Monday, June 27, 2011

Celebrities, Then and Now

Boy George
Kirstie Alley
Brigitte Bardot
Nick Nolte
Cybill Shepherd
Sylvester Stallone
Kathleen Turner
Billy Joel
Steven Tyler
Nancy and Ann Wilson
David Lee Roth
Grace Slick
Ozzie Ozbourne
Mick Jagger
Gary Busey
Burt Reynolds (real or memowax)
Wayne Newton
Mickey Rourke
 Clint Eastwood
Keith Richards
Robert Plant
Joan Rivers
Eddie Van Halen
 Linda Ronstadt
Jack Nicholson
Neil Young
Arnold Schwarzenegger