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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Japan Going Small

link -> Japan Going Small

With the economy spiraling downwards each day, more and more people are choosing to drive cars that are efficient in fuel use. In Japan, there’s very little parking space and the rising costs of fuel are not going to make things easier. However, even before the Europeans and Americans started building mini cars, the Japanese have already started patronizing their own version of city cars called Kei.

The first thing that you would notice with Kei cars is their size. It’s so small that other minis would look like Goliaths when placed near them. These cars can be found all over Japan, which started during WW II. During that time, all resources were scarce including metal, rubber, and oil. In order to compensate for that, small cars were built that would still deliver the goods despite of their limited size.

The fact is, these Kei cars are freakishly fuel efficient while releasing only very small emissions. In order to be considered a Kei car, it should never be more than 11-feet long, 4.6-feet wide, and 6.5-feet high. Aside from that, the engine should be no more than 660 cc. The fact is, it’s really small, but if you’re only running errands and driving around the city, why would you need anything bigger?

Even Kei trucks are small, but that does not mean that they lack the power that you need. The Kei car pretty much helped the Japanese industry get back to its feet after the war. That’s because with a thriving automotive industry, the whole society will be moving again and that means the enterprise will start pouring in much-needed cash.

Today, these Kei cars are

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Southern New Mexico

link -> Southern New Mexico
The first thing I saw when I woke up in the morning was a baby bird, dead in the grass just inches from my face. Above me, an adult robin, presumably its mother, hopped frantically from branch to branch, screeching into the still air. I stood up quickly and moved my bag away from the scene of the accident, which just riled up the distraught mother even more. Morning sun filtered through tall ponderosa pines. The baby bird laid lifeless on its side. And I was on such an emotional edge at that point in the race that I just broke down bawling. It was so sad - the dead baby, the despairing mother, and an unknown tragedy that seemed to occur while I slept in ignorant bliss.