Sunday, November 29, 2015

Cooper's Long March

Most wins by non-champion after F1 championship already decided

By winning Abu Dhabi today, Rosberg won three races after Hamilton clinched the 2015 championship. I did a bit of digging and found the following drivers winning races after failing to win the driver's championship.

2015: Rosberg 3
2014: 0
2013: 0
2012: 0
2011: Hamilton 1, Webber 1
2010: 0
2009: Vettel 1
2008: 0
2007: 0
2006: 0
2005: Kimi 1
2004: Reubens 2, Montoya 1
2003: 0
2002: Reubens 3
2001: Montoya 1, Hakkinen 1
2000: 0

Total: Reubens 5, Rosberg 3, Montoya 2, Hamilton 1, Webber 1, Vettel 1, Kimi 1, Hakkinen 1

Popemobiles in Africa

 Isuzu in Kenya

 Mitsubishi in Uganda

Toyota in Central African Republic

New Bentley SUV review

How revolutionary! A Cayenne with a twin turbo Phaeton W12 engine. Plus nice leather. Coming to a fancy mall valet parking lot near you.

Now this is a real Bentley SUV.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Nauru, the richest country in the world (in 1976)

These photos are from a September 1976 NatGeo article about phosphate rich Nauru. Just look at all the money pissed away.

Venezuelan-built Mercedes

I'm going through old issues of National Geographic. This photo was in an August 1976 article about Venezuela's oil wealth. This Mercedes cost $32,000(!) and there was still a waiting list. It was built at the Barcelona plant, 150 miles east of Caracas.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

APEC leaders step out of Hongqis

The first 15 minutes of this video shows various leaders riding in Hongqis. Only Obama and Putin brought their own cars. Also cool to see six-door E-Class Mercedes and S-Class sedans with police light bars interspersed.


Blackjack being refueled on way back from Syria

The Syrian conflict should just be called the YouTube War.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Latin American mercenaries in Yemen

Holy. Fucking. Shit. This New York Times story is even crazier than Turkey shooting down a Russian jet. What's going on in North Africa and the Middle East is beyond tragic, but for the armchair geopolitics buff, the stories are mind blowing.

Ramon, is the Chilean media talking about this?

Life after 44 years in prison

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Renault Samsung hearse in Chile

Via Ramon. Who knew Samsung made cars?

Osprey in dust

Kopp-Etchell's effect.

Syrian rebels shoot Russian rescue helicopter

Turkey shoots down Russian fighter jet. Two Russian attack helicopters try to rescue crew. Syrian rebels blow up one of the helicopters. Video is uploaded onto YouTube. Brave new world, people.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Belgian readers alert

What's it like where you are? Are you able to work? Is everyone on edge?

Lamborghini LM002 test drive

Just listen to that engine! If I could have any three cars in the world, it would be this, a DB5, and a McLaren F1.

Saab 9-3 ad

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Chiang Kai-Shek statue garden

When the KMT lost power in Taiwan, a bunch of Chiang Kai-Shek statues were moved to this park.

That Chiang and his son (who was also president) had their own mausoleums with expensive security was/is also controversial.

Russian bombers in action in Syria

Don't mess with Russia.

Also, Iranian F-14 Tomcats!

Kurdish women fighting ISIS

Here is a good story about three women who grew up in Raqqa who joined ISIS.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Ist das ganja?

Erasure's Oh L'Amour

I was stuck in traffic for hours yesterday, and this song came on the radio. Can you believe this video only has 300,000 views?!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Wanda the Honda Civic

Honda in California usually has some really lame commercials, but this ad is pretty sweet.

By the Sea ad featuring Citroen DS convertible

Monday, November 16, 2015

Parisian cops in ISIS firefight

I still can't quite grasp that all this chaos and violence took place in Paris.

Police shield used in Paris Bataclan raid


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Parisian hospital

Top 10 James Bond action sequences

According to my friend Dave. Do you agree?

10. Fight with Hans in Blofeld's volcano (You Only Live Twice)

9. Train fight (SPECTRE)

8. Fight with Jaws on aerial tramway (Moonraker)

7. Madagascar chase scene (Casino Royale)

6. Bond fight with Oddjob in Fort Knox (Goldfinger)

5. Rock of Gibraltar opening (Living Daylights)

4. Car chase becomes underwater battle (Spy Who Loved Me)

3. Bond and Zorin fight on Golden Gate Bridge (A View to A Kill)

2. Ski scene (For Your Eyes Only)

1. Train fight with Grant (From Russia With Love)

French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle

It is the biggest in Western Europe and the only non-American nuclear powered aircraft carrier. It's returning to the Persian Gulf.

Malcolm In the Middle promo (Breaking Bad)

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Chinese building up Fiery Cross Reef

From a logistics point of view, this is pretty boss. I assume for the foreseeable future, no one is going to recognize China's sovereignty over the South China Sea, but China will in essence have control over it. The US will keep playing the cat-and-mouse game with its planes and ships but no shots will ever be fired.

I think the selfie from the female PLA soldiers was a classy touch.

French lights around the world

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Holden burnout on fire


20 year old Bentley running costs

I've been checking pretty regularly and came upon this post.

Considering that it was a 20 year old car with 26,000 miles and was rarely driven, I think it did pretty well especially given that it cost $305,000 when new. It only broken down badly once with a fuel leak, which required a complete overhaul of the fuel system. This was age-related and probably not Bentley specific. The A/C compressor failed, but once again, it was 20 years old.
All in all, I spent around $8,000 in eleven months to drive it 4793 miles.
I paid $26,500 and sold it for $30,500. I don't think this indicates any appreciation of that model, just the work I had done and the presentation. Thankfully, the US dollar appreciated about 10% in between buying and selling, so this saved me a bunch of money after converting everything back to CDN dollars.
Here is the break-down. I didn't include fuel in the calculations.
Purchase Price: $26,500 USD or $34,870 CDN in December 2014 Purchased with mileage of 26,227
Import Duty: $1848.51
Pre-purchase Inspection at Bentley Las Vegas: $588.00
Safety Inspection and DRL Activation: $1510
Factory OEM Car Cover: $1167
Various Screws/Bolts: $133
Battery Hold-down clamp: $111.51
OEM Stereo Remote: $247
Fuel System Overhaul and 30k Major Service (parts): $2641
Same, Labor (33 hours @ $100/hr plus tax): $3760
A/C Compressor and Dryer: $1458
Less core return ($450)
A/C Labor: $1371.00
Collector Insurance, 11 months: $488.00
Total Costs, purchase, maintenance, insurance: $50, 343 CDN
Sale Price: $30,500 USD or $40,490 CDN
Ownership cost: $9853.29 CDN
Total Mileage: 4793 or $1.51 USD per mile.
As for fuel economy, I'm not sure. There is no trip computer and I only count smiles per gallon.

Hongqi L5 dashboard and center console

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

2 Hongqis in Belarus

Does anyone have a better shot of the instrument cluster?

Monday, November 09, 2015

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Virtual reality short film: The Displaced

These Google virtual reality viewers came with the Sunday New York Times and the first movie is out. It tells the story of kids from South Sudan, Ukraine, and Syria. It will break your heart.

Spectre homage/throwback list

  • Opening Dia de los Muertos scene in Mexico City-- Live And Let Die.
  • Orange Jaguar on fire-- Thunderball.
  • Train fight-- From Russia With Love.
  • Mountaintop clinic-- On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
  • Parachuting next to a river-- A View to A Kill.
  • Death in Spectre boardroom-- Thunderball.
  • Hanging onto the helicopter-- For Your Eyes Only.
  • Inviting Bond and Swann into private quarters with hospitality-- Dr. No.

If you can think of any more, please leave them in the comments.

Trident missile over California last night

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Ben Carson and Jesus

This is hanging inside his house


Please go see the movie this weekend so I can talk about it here next week.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Food and cars on my birthday

Yesterday was my birthday, and I took the day off. I ordered this Maserati-Citroen book to give to myself. In the days preceding my birthday, I was getting annoyed by the fact that it hadn't arrived yet. Apparently, K got it before I saw it in the mailbox and hid it. It was a nice surprise to open it yesterday morning.

Next, we drove down to Silicon Valley to try a Taiwanese joint I had been researching. It is a Chinese tradition to eat noodles for your birthday, and apparently this restaurant has good beef noodle soup. This spread contained the Greatest Hits of my childhood: pickled cabbage, tofu/pork/celery/squid, oyster omelet, beef noodle soup, and a "Taiwanese hamburger".

On our way back to the car, we spotted this BMW i8 parked across from us. The new owner hopped out along with his two friends. They were all very happy. The owner was proud of his new purchase (probably paid for with money from the recent sale of his tech company) and his two friends were wowed by the novelty of the car and seemed genuinely happy for their friend. It was all very sweet.

I then did the impossible. I persuaded K to go to a used Porsche dealership with me. We sat in this 993. Alas, it was an automatic, had been in a crash, and has suspiciously been on the showroom floor for months. Nevertheless, it was nice to sit in one with K. The backseat even has enough room for Cooper the Dog.

Here is K looking for the door handle to get out.

Then, we went to the local BMW dealership to test drive the i3. It looks like we're going to lease it. I need to do some more research first. Apparently, you can get a $2,500 tax credit if your lease is over 30 months (or something like that). Also, you can buy an off-brand (not Bosch) home charger at Home Depot for $600 (includes labor of installation).

We both really liked the car. It's a big step up from the 2004 Civic.

This is the one we drove. It has a range extender (basically a 600 cc motorcycle engine). Some arcane regulation in California requires that the gasoline range be equal to or less than the electric range, so the fuel tank will only accept 1.9 gallons of gas.

We both drove it on the freeway and surface streets. It was very quick and handled well. The short wheelbase took a little getting used to. Also, when you take your foot off the gas, the car comes to almost an immediate stop.

Back to the book. Here are some cool period photos. There are a lot of interviews of people involved in the development of the Citroens and Maseratis of the 1970s.