March 8, 2017
Tesloop - Palm Springs to Las Vegas
February 3, 2017
Finnish Motorcycle Chase
Here’s a rare video. It's a police chase (ho hum) but it's motorcycle chasing motorcycle in Finland! With no cuts, this video is almost 34 minutes long, but the first 8 minutes and 15 seconds is nothing but what the cop happened to be doing for the 8 minutes and 15 seconds before he leaped into action. I assume it was a radio call that got him going. I can't see any motorcyclist breaking any obvious traffic rules that would have triggered him. So this video starts at the 8:15 point.
I wish I knew why this guy was being chased. The chase pushes him to make a lot of dangerous maneuvers and the chasing cop copies him in almost every move. Obviously, other people on the road were endangered. But there doesn't seem to be the sort of congestion I'm used to seeing in an American city - neither people nor traffic.
In the video you won't hear the cop relaying his location and direction to dispatch, as you would in America. I don't know of any maneuvers that can be performed by a chasing motorcycle cop to force the other one to stop. Can't do a pit maneuver. So it would seem his only hopes of catching this guy were either he'd run out of gasoline, or he'd make a mistake and crash, or the chased would simply give up, or other police would get ahead of the chase to try to block him off. But help never arrives. At least three times a police van appears ahead of him, sitting in the road. Once it looks like that cop is there only to control traffic while the chase goes through. In the other two appearances, the cops with the vans appear to be doing nothing, but if the chased man wanted to surrender and get a nice ride back to jail, they were there to serve.
Notice the one surprising scene where our cop gets well ahead of the chased, who had stopped in order to avoid an accident. The chased hurriedly gets back into his usual position, even though he had the opportunity there to turn right and go the wrong way on the entrance ramp. That might have given him enough head start to get away.
This is the cop who did the chasing. We don't see him until seconds before the video ends.
I don't want to spoil the ending, but I'll tell you I was surprised at how fast the chased person could run on two legs! He did way better than Americans who try to run from the cops.
January 16, 2017
You may recall that a year or two ago Toyota was promoting one of their vehicles as "GoPro ready" because they had simply built in a standard GoPro attachment point somewhere. Pffft! Now Jaguar has come up with a car that really is "GoPro ready." You attach your smartphone to the car via USB (they skip over the part about how iPhone users will handle this) and attach the phone to your camera via Wi-Fi, and then let your camera record your driving. While that goes on, the Jaguar is recording all sorts of details about what the car is doing (speed, RPM, which gear, etc) which is then synched perfectly to the GoPro video. This will be excellent for professional drivers or those who just like to race illegally. Also, you could use it to monitor a teenager.
December 26, 2016
Petersen Automotive Museum
1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic. Design created by Jean Bugatti, son of the founder of Bugatti, Ettor Bugatti. In the SC variant, "The 'S' stood for 'Surbaissé' ('Lowered') and the 'C' for 'Compresseur' (a supercharger introduced by Bugatti as a result of customer's desire for increased power)." The body is aluminum. Only four of these were built. One disappeared in France during World War II. Another was hit by a train (!) but has been completely restored. This particular 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic was brought to New York City in 1946. The owner drove it from there to Los Angeles. Some time in or after 2003 it was bought by Peter Mullin for a figure greater than $30 million. The fourth vehicle is owned by Ralph Lauren, who paid $40 million for his.
1939 Bugatti Type 57C by Vanvooren. This vehicle was a gift from the nation of France to Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, Prince of Persia, on the occasion of his wedding to Egypt's Princess Fawzia in 1959.
1939 Fiat 508C Balilla converted for CNG. This is said to have been the very first vehicle powered by compressed natural gas.
1948 Cadillac Sedanette Cadzzilla by Hot Rods By Boyd. This unique customization was commissioned by Billy F. Gibbons of ZZ Top.
1948 Davis Divan. This is a three-wheeled convertible made by Davis Motorcar Company in Van Nuys in the late 1940s. There were 13 of these made, and 12 of them still exist. The design was based on an earlier three-wheeled car called "The Californian." Later, Gary Davis designed the 3-wheeled Dodge 'Em bumper car which is now ubiquitous in carnivals everywhere. He eventually retired to Palm Springs where he died in 1973.
1955 Chevrolet Biscayne XP-37. This vehicle was created by General Motors to show off its new 265 cubic-inch "Turbo Fire" V8 engine.
1955 Mercury D-528 Concept. The bulging "fins" are functional...and hinged. One is for the spare tire, the other holds the gas tank. This car had Ford's first reverse-sloping retractable rear window. "'Beldone' was a stage name selected by Paramount Pictures for the car's appearance in the 1964 Jerry Lewis movie, 'The Patsy', not an official Ford designation."
Here's a room in the Petersen museum where the unifying theme seems to be "shiny silver." Far to the back, not really visible in this photo, is a shiny gold car.
The chassis of a 2015 Tesla Model S P85D. Below is one with its clothes on.
Evidence of Petersen's attempt to class up its act. This restaurant (in the museum) used to be a Johnny Rocket's. Now it's a Drago.
December 18, 2016
Keith Haring Exhibit at Petersen Automotive Museum
The five vehicles painted by Keith Haring are on display at Petersen Automotive Museum in L.A. The website doesn't say how long the vehicles will be on display there.
November 14, 2016
This is something to watch
December 29, 2015
Attention Ferrari Drivers
Unfortunately, we don't get the enjoyment of watching the ultimate punishment: the towing of the Ferrari to a police impound lot.
December 9, 2015
No Surprise, Kids Don't Learn How To Drive Stick Shifts
But they're willing to engage in naked carjacking, nonetheless. From the Riverside County Sheriff:
Press Release: Carjacking
Agency: Coachella Police
Station Area: Thermal
Incident Date: December 5, 2015 Time: 6:53 p.m.
Incident Location: 85000 Block of Araby Avenue, Coachella
Reporting Officer: Sergeant John Clark
On December 05, 2015, at 6:53 p.m., Coachella Police responded to a report of an attempted carjacking in the 85000 block of Araby Avenue, Coachella. Officers spoke with the victim, who informed them he was delivering packages for Federal Express and was parked in front of a residence retrieving a package from the back of the delivery truck, when a suspect entered the truck and demanded his keys. The victim gave the suspect the keys and the victim ran to a nearby residence and reported the incident. No injuries were sustained by the victim. The suspect started the delivery truck, but did not know how to operate the vehicle and fled the area on foot, abandoning the victim's vehicle. The suspect was described as Hispanic male adult, 18-20 years, thin build, short hair, and not wearing any clothes.
Update: On December 06, 2015, Coachella police conducted a follow-up investigation and located a subject matching the description of the suspect. Albert Luna, 19 years old of Coachella, was arrested at his residence without incident and booked into the Riverside County jail in Indio for carjacking.
Albert Luna who, in his 19 years, never learned a stick shift, but thought he was up for jacking a FedEx truck...while naked.
October 23, 2015
Well, This Explains That
The extension of the Gold Line along the 210. I first noticed this bridge sometime last year, I think. I thought it strange that I couldn't recall noticing the distinctive design, nor could I recall a lot of construction in that area. I thought maybe I had just been paying too damn much attention to traffic. But, now I learn that it is a new bridge and it's for the Gold Line extension.
October 21, 2015
Stanford's Autonomous DeLorean...
"In our work developing autonomous driving algorithms, we've found that sometimes you need to sacrifice stability to turn sharply and avoid accidents," Gerdes said. "The very best rally car drivers do this all this time, sacrificing stability so they can use all of the car's capabilities to avoid obstacles and negotiate tight turns at speed. Their confidence in their ability to control the car opens up new possibilities for the car's motion. Current control systems designed to assist a human driver, however, don't allow this sort of maneuvering. We think that it is important to open up this design space to develop fully automated cars that are as safe as possible."
October 20, 2015
October 16, 2015
GoPro & Speeding Motorcyclists
Just because you're smart enough NOT to put your GoPro video of yourself going WAY over the speed limit on social media, it still might be used as evidence against you. Two guys doing 118 MPH right in front of God, a state trooper and everybody. GoPro was seized at the scene...and then the police had to get a warrant before looking at the contents.
October 12, 2015
A Little History Of Jaywalking
The right thing to do, now, is to watch that video on your mobile device while actually jaywalking. When they come to scrape your remains off the pavement they'll find your phone or tablet telling them the sad and sorry truth that you were morally superior right up until the car got you.
September 22, 2015
Three Bay Area Bridges
August 22, 2015
Now I know why those dashcams are so very productive, capturing those scenes of bizarre driving misbehavior: A lot of people learned how to drive at tank school!
August 21, 2015
The Hollywood Freeway Today & Tomorrow
Opening Of The Hollywood Freeway
Silent film from 1950. Watch to the end and tell me if it doesn't seem that the Hollywood Freeway was built with sidewalks...or A sidewalk.
August 2, 2015
The Last Problem With The Ocean Has Been Fixed
And that problem was that dirt bikes couldn't ride on it. The only thing better than this will be sharks on bicycles.
July 17, 2015
First Injury Accident For A Google Self-Driver
This is the 14th accident involving a Google self-driving car, but it's the first one with human injuries. It was rear-ended. "Minor whiplash" - which means doctor bills but no lawyer bills, I think. In 11 accidents the car was rear-ended. There are "more than 20" self-driving Google cars. I interpret that to mean there are less than 30. So, less than 30 cars driving a total of 1.9 million miles. 14 accidents might be statistically average. But I do wonder if some human drivers watch their mirrors and, if they anticipate a rear-ending, may sometimes be able to prevent it: move out of the way, flash the brake lights, I've got no other ideas. Does a Google car do that?
Also, I wonder if a Google car has been a victim of an attempted insurance scam. Probably not, since the usual pattern depends on the innocent driver following a little too close behind a car.
July 16, 2015
New GoPro Mount
The Toyota Tacoma mount seems expensive at first glance, but when you consider it includes an entire Toyota Tacoma, it's not so bad. I do wonder how in the world the designers settled on one spot to put a GoPro attachment. Maybe there are a few attachment points and you can move it around.
One hopes it will be better than this Nissan demonstration where they had to put the camera on top of the driver's head, despite the fact that his neck is all wiggly and flexible. And that car! What good is it when you can't even see over a Jersey barrier (excuse me, K barrier). Get a truck!