Sunday, January 13, 2008

guzzling up

I had my first smart car sighting in the US, just earlier this week. If only they had been legal a few months earlier, I would have forgone the corolla to get a smart. James would have rolled his eyes, but it's not like he drives my car anyway. (He doesn't even know how to to drive it--the stick-shift thing is a bit of a burden to learn, I guess) It made me so happy to see this tiny compact car cruising down the streets of our moderately-sized town in Arizona. It made me feel a tiny twinge of European flair.

Speaking of cars, I've been hearing some buzz about this space-age car (well, I guess technically it's a motorcycle).

This is a 300 mpg electric hybrid Aptera. Doesn't that seem like a prank--300 mpg? Who does that? Well apparently California does. The efficiency of the car is due in large part to the aero-dynamic nature of the beast. The cars can only be pre-ordered in California, but I hear there's a fairly large demand for them, which indicates that they may be up for sale nation-wide sometime soon. Only $30,000 which considering the technology that went into it and the amount of money saved on gas, I wouldn't say it's too terribly pricey. You can even watch a test drive of the thing. It has a solar panel on top and a digital camera instead of side-view mirrors. It's innards are made of recyclables. (Which, by the way, did you know that you can spin yarn out of plastic bags? It seems like a bit of a tacky idea to me, but still I am proud of whoever came up with the idea)

I have two days left before classes start. The break has given me time to accustom myself to general sloth and laziness. I'm not particularly looking forward to having to earn my keep. Good news is that I picked out a reading for my lab students. It has to do with the philosophy of scientific inquiry and explanation. Hmm, I wonder if I'm allowed to assign extra readings.

As a side note, I'm glad that I do not live in New Hampshire. Their state motto is "live free or die." It sounds too much like a threat to me.

Stay healthy and well!


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