Dickens is Overrated, Let's Read Clarkson!

We will go on record as saying this right now: Great Expectations was the only enjoyable book Charles Dickens ever wrote. And look, as a fan of Jawbreaker, Rites of Spring and Milan Kundera — and in Wert's case, Bob Seger — we're not ones to forego the depressing in favor of lighthearted fluff. Jeremy Clarkson, to… » 5/18/07 5:00pm 5/18/07 5:00pm

Booze-Induced Drivin' Confidence Through The Ages

So what does some grizzled shotgun-shack-dwellin' rustic crackin' brews and rattling down a dirt road in a Jeep have to do with a drunken caveman crossing chasms on tree-branch bridges or a Gay Nineties dandy chugging from a huge stein whilst navigating his penny-farthing bike through mud puddles? Everything! This… » 3/05/07 11:07am 3/05/07 11:07am

Stanford Takes the Message to the Streets, DARPA-Style

One may recall Stanley, the robo-Touareg that won the 2nd DARPA Grand Challenge. Well, now the boffins in Paly are working a successor to the SUV, based on a Passat known as Junior. Junior's designed to navigate an urban environment, rather than a desert off-road course. DARPA plans to announce the location of the… » 2/19/07 12:45pm 2/19/07 12:45pm

Auto, Auto, Auto, Auto, Automotive High School: NYC Girls Learn…

"I need someone who's here 24-7 kissing my ass." Ugh and eef. It's interesting the dynamics that extremities of treatment, entitlement and enfranchisement engender. It's also somewhat goddamn disturbing. Then again, the extremity of the female minority population at NYC's Automotive High School is somewhat of an… » 11/21/06 3:30pm 11/21/06 3:30pm

Fun With Polarity! Magnetic Community-College Drag Race!

We kind of had to post this, simply because we like typing "Poughkeepsie." Poughkeepsie. Poughkeepsie. Poughkeepsie. Okay, sorry, we're done now. Poughkeepsie. No, really we're (Poughkeepsie) done. Regardless, a gang of students all got together at Dutchess Community College, which we presume is somewhere near… » 11/17/06 7:45pm 11/17/06 7:45pm

No Solara Panamericana This Year: Dell-Winston Solar Challenge Confined…

A year ago, a band of high school students set off from Austin, TX to Los Angeles, California, a trek we would replicate ourselves a few scant months later. Only we did it in an overloaded SUV pulling an overloaded trailer, rather than in a featherweight solar-powered car. And we didn't build the Dodge ourselves,… » 7/13/06 10:30pm 7/13/06 10:30pm

Hokie Dokie: Virginia Tech Team Wins GM Challenge X

Those good 'ol Hokies over at Virginia Tech have walked off with top honors in the GM Challenge X 2006. It seems the team of smarties reengineered a 2005 Chevrolet Equinox as a split-parallel hybrid with two electric motors, that also runs on E85 and has an operating range from Blacksburg, VA to the Lincoln Tunnel on… » 6/09/06 5:29pm 6/09/06 5:29pm

New Jersey's Sith Cheese Bus Pilot of Death

Bumbeck took time out of his [Star]quest for fire and tossed us this item from the New York Daily News regarding a Staten Island bus driver who masterminded a Star Wars-themed fight club aboard his bus, complete with the posted bylaws of the Death Cheese Club, which state in part: "In a ranking of Master or above,… » 2/03/06 1:50pm 2/03/06 1:50pm

Hybrid Tech Schools and Hybrid Carmakers: Secrets Kept?

With hundreds of thousands of hybrids set to be produced yearly, and with automakers showing off alternative-energy concepts that run on everything from hydrogen to Ethanol to Red Hots candies, the demand for mechanics familiar with advanced systems will surely outstrip supply in the near future. The Detroit News » 1/16/06 8:26am 1/16/06 8:26am

Bears Go Cruising in F-Cell: Cal Researchers Get Hydrogen Car

Heads at the University of California, Berkeley are stoked. DaimlerChrysler just dropped off a happy new F-Cell hydrogen-powered vehicle and the brainy-brains at Cal can't wait to get their grimy li'l mitts all over the thing. They'll refuel the car at a station operated by AC Transit (the people who operate the East… » 12/27/05 3:18pm 12/27/05 3:18pm

Could Automobiles Engender The Perfect Teenage Educational Pavolovian…

The British press likes to pretend they've got it all figured out. Of course, so does the American media, but the Brits do it with such a blend of understatement and outright paranoia coupled with a soul-grating "tsk-tsk" that it's really hard not to admire from a certain perverse point of view. This time they take… » 10/19/05 1:34pm 10/19/05 1:34pm