Saturday, November 30, 2013

KAL 902 shot down by Su-15 near Soviet-Finnish border

With China recently expanding its airspace over some disputed islands, the U.S. and Japanese militaries have been testing China's resolve by repeatedly flying into the zone. However, the USG just advised American commercial air carriers to comply with China's declaration.

This all led me to think about Korean Air flight number 007, in which a 747 was shot down in the Soviet Far East by a Sukhoi Su-15. What I didn't realize was that another Korean Air passenger plane was shot down near Murmansk.

In 1978, for reasons I cannot comprehend, Korean Air flight number 902, heading from Paris to Alaska, made a sharp right turn, ended up in Murmansk, and was promptly shot down.

Full story here.

More photos of the plane here.

Merrill Newman North Korean apology video

A local man, and Korean War vet, recently visited North Korea. Bad idea. The government arrested the 85 year old and made him confess. This is pretty chickenshit, on the part of the North Koreans.

Lamborghini Urraco love

Here is a piece I wrote for Hooniverse for Thanksgiving. And coincidentally, Wheeler Dealers revamped a Urraco. That one hose has a metric end and an imperial end-- that's unusual, right?

Double Down mini mini book review

I just finished Double Down, an insider's account of the 2012 presidential election. It's not as entertaining as the prequel, Game Changer, but it nevertheless has plenty of meat.

Living in a very blue state means I didn't have to watch hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of campaign ads. Here is one that was played 16,000 times in battleground states. The Obamans took an inopportunely/opportunely timed photo from the Vegas runway and made it into a powerful ad.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Book of Mormons

We went to see Book of Mormons. It was pretty entertaining, but wasn't as amazing as I was led to believe. If you've seen South Park, the movie, it's about that raunchy/funny.

It's about a couple of missionaries who go to Uganda to convert the locals. While watching the show, I began to think of all the countries where Mormons are converting people. So I made this map. (Blue denotes Mormons on bicycles.)

To you non-Americans-- What is the perception of Mormon missionaries in your country? And how do they get 2-year visas?

I found this interesting. In the program for the show, there were ads paid for by the Mormon church. I commented to my wife (sort of loudy) during intermission about how black people weren't allowed into the church until 1978. In response, she shushed me. Here is one of the three ads in my program.

Black Friday, 2:30 a.m., Pennsylvania mall

Why would anyone shop at 2:30 in the morning? Seriously, this is proof positive of the decline of the American Empire.

Lamborghini dealers around the world

This Hooniverse piece about the last Gallardo got me thinking-- Where are all the Lambo dealers around the world? And who has more dealers? America or China?

Countries with 28 dealers

Countries with 21 dealers
China (includes HK and Macao, but not Taiwan)

Countries with seven dealers

Countries with six dealers

Countries with five dealers

Countries with four dealers

Countries with three dealers
Saudi Arabia

Countries with two dealers
South Africa

Countries with one dealer
New Zealand
South Korea



I will be reunited with the Popemobile for one day next week. Can't wait to enjoy the silent ride and draftless ventilation system!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Exile Destinations, Part 10

91. Latvia-- 0
92. Lebanon-- Switzerland, France
93. Lesotho-- Netherlands, U.K.
94. Liberia-- Nigeria
95. Libya-- 0
96. Liechtenstein-- 0
97. Lithuania-- 0
98. Luxembourg-- 0
99. Madagascar-- South Africa, France
100. Malawi-- 0

Tally thus far:
5x = France

3x = Panama, U.K., U.S., U.S.S.R./Russia

2x = Brazil, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Nigeria, Portugal, South Africa, Venezuela

1x = Australia, Austria, Belarus, Costa Rica, Egypt, Italy, Libya, Mexico, Netherlands, Pakistan, Senegal, Somalia, Spain, Switzerland, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Uruguay, unknown, unknown, unknown

Citroen DS in front of Air France Concorde

Tim, our resident Citroen-phile, was upset by my post yesterday featuring a couple of crappy English cars in front of Concordes. This is his rebuttal.

Russian SaabKyle04

Something about imitation and flattery. Here's a UAZ van. First, I have been mispronouncing it "WAZ" the whole time. Second, contrary to the title, the engine is not covered in the video. It is nevertheless an interesting look at a vehicle that is almost non-existent in North America. For more of this Russian's videos, click here.

The history of F1 cars (stop motion)

Via Flavio Gomes.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Identify those cars

Recently, an old mural was uncovered in Sausalito. It reads, in maritime flags: Bank of America, Sausalito, Cal. But just look at this archival photo from the newspaper story!

H/t to S (the dude who bought my Phaeton).

P.S. I had a dream about the Phaeton last night. I borrowed it from S and drove it to Mexico, where I was promptly kidnapped. It was an uncomfortable experience and I kept asking myself, How am I going to explain this to S?

Cars in front of Concordes

The man supposedly holds the record as the most traveled person in the world.

Also, I was looking at a list of airports the Concorde has been to. Does anyone have a picture of the Concorde in Oakland? Apparently, it was the only profitable route for the plane. It would fly people out of Oakland, get up to Mach 2, go halfway to Hawaii, and fly back. Whut?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

2013 F1 steering wheel


With news that we flew a couple of B-52s into a Chinese "air defense zone" over the weekend, I did a little research on the plane. They are based in Louisiana and North Dakota. Apparently, they are expected to be used until the 2040s(!).

Anti-Iran ads

With a tentative nuke deal, the rhetoric against Iran is getting louder. I think AIPAC's power and influence over Washington easily eclipses the lobbying strength of the NRA (which is so powerful, it squelched any gun control discussions even after a deranged killer shot and killed 20 children within 11 minutes).

While looking up videos of B-52 bombers, YouTube played this "ad".

Sunday, November 24, 2013

New Chevy trucks used by Syrian rebels

I'd love to know the route they took from factory to battlefield. I imagine there are tons of these new trucks in Saudi Arabia, but how did they get shipped to Syria? By land through Jordan? By ship to Turkey, and then by land to Syria?

Mark Webber gif

His career, summed up in a gif.

Brain fart

I went to a trivia contest last night and sucked big time. They played Digable Planets' Cool Like That and asked us to identify the group/band. Instead of Digable Planets, I answered Digital Underground. D'oh!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Ford Probe ad

I had an annoying friend in elementary school. Every time we saw a Ford ad, he would answer-- No, but I just rode in my mom's Ford Aerostar.

These Probes never really caught on like the Japanese turbo hatches.

Felipe Massa beer ad

So long, Mark Webber

My first press cars...

They are coming next month. I get to drive each one for a week. Let me know if you have any suggestions/angles for reviewing them.

Chrysler 200 S:

Fiat 500e:

Chrysler 300C:

Jeep Patriot Limited 4x4:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Riding in a Citroen DS21

Yesterday evening, I got to ride in a DS for the first time. It was a 1969 1/2 model that was originally owned by a Citroen executive. I rode shotgun down (and up) a curvy road that was littered with potholes. The handling, for such an old car, was incredible. And its ability to effortlessly soak up the rough road was remarkable. Given the poor lighting (and it nearing supper-time), I did not take many photos.

For the life of me, I could not figure out how to work this door lock. I felt like the gifted kid in that Far Side cartoon.

Dukakis in the tank documentary

The story that had to be told. Never put your candidate in a hat!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Karakul Lake featured in New York Times Travel section

The url of this blog is named after this lake in western China. The Sunday Times featured a travelogue accompanied by photos here.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

1956 Leningrad

Via Flavio Gomes.

Any Russian readers know what this says? Thanks in advance.

CO2 emissions rankings by nation and per capita

This New York Times article led me to these rankings based on 2010 data.

RANK   NATION                                               CO2_TOT

  1    CHINA (MAINLAND)                                     2259856
  2    UNITED STATES OF AMERICA                             1481608
  3    INDIA                                                 547811
  4    RUSSIAN FEDERATION                                    474714
  5    JAPAN                                                 319257
  6    GERMANY                                               203268
  7    ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN                              155880
  8    REPUBLIC OF KOREA                                     154777
  9    CANADA                                                136116
 10    UNITED KINGDOM                                        134580
 11    SAUDI ARABIA                                          126665
 12    SOUTH AFRICA                                          125477
 13    MEXICO                                                120991
 14    INDONESIA                                             118350
 15    BRAZIL                                                114468
 16    ITALY (INCLUDING SAN MARINO)                          110801
 17    AUSTRALIA                                             101740
 18    FRANCE (INCLUDING MONACO)                              98520
 19    POLAND                                                 86516
 20    UKRAINE                                                83121
212    FALKLAND ISLANDS (MALVINAS)                               16
213    WALLIS AND FUTUNA ISLANDS                                  8
214    LESOTHO                                                    5
215    SAINT HELENA                                               3
216    NIUE                                                       2


RANK   NATION                                               CO2_CAP

  1    QATAR                                                 10.94 
  2    TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO                                   10.30 
  3    KUWAIT                                                 9.34 
  4    NETHERLAND ANTILLES                                    6.42 
  5    BRUNEI (DARUSSALAM)                                    6.26 
  6    UNITED ARAB EMIRATES                                   6.08 
  7    ARUBA                                                  5.89 
  8    LUXEMBOURG                                             5.82 
  9    OMAN                                                   5.61 
 10    BAHRAIN                                                5.23 
 11    FALKLAND ISLANDS (MALVINAS)                            5.22 
 12    UNITED STATES OF AMERICA                               4.71 
 13    SAUDI ARABIA                                           4.61 
 14    AUSTRALIA                                              4.57 
 15    GIBRALTAR                                              4.27 
 16    NEW CALEDONIA                                          4.26 
 17    KAZAKHSTAN                                             4.23 
 18    CANADA                                                 4.00 
 19    FAEROE ISLANDS                                         3.99 
 20    ESTONIA                                                3.73 
213    CHAD                                                   0.01 
214    MALI                                                   0.01 
215    BURUNDI                                                0.01 
216    LESOTHO                                                0.00 


Der Camaro

Via Jay Ramey.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Perez v. Button 2013

This article pretty much sums up why Checo was booted after just one season with McLaren. We saw how he was a bit aggressive on the track with Button, but apparently he was a real prima donna back at HQ. A side-by-side comparison shows that he is a very competent driver (compared to Button) and could have been a reliable Number Two (or even Number One eventually) at McLaren for a long time.

Qualifying: Button "won" 9 times, Perez 8
Race Results: Button "won" 10 times (with 1 DNF), Perez 4 (with 2 DNFs)
Points So Far: Button 60, Perez 35

Now, about that car...

Volvo trucks stunts ads compilation

This ad campaign is on par with the BMW short film series from a decade ago.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Jean Claude

I've seen this video posted everywhere yesterday and today, but just got to watching it now. What's truly amazing is that the trucks are going in REVERSE. Bravo!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Tacloban hospital photo

Wife manually pumps air into husband because power is still out.

H/t: rchen

Perez and Maldonado

The expressions on their faces (or lack thereof) today say it all...

Technical Difficulties

Sorry, guys. I have been having a super busy week in real life. I will return with more substantive posts this weekend.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Veterans Day

Bidding on this car

1. Try to win the car, despite bidding below the reserve price.
2. Either fly out to Connecticut and drive it back or have it shipped.
3. Win!

Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda

The biggest typhoon to ever hit land. Stronger than Katrina and Sandy combined.

Doomsday Preppers vehicle

Doomsday Preppers is a TV show that highlights nutjobs who spend way too much money and time preparing for the upcoming apocalypse. I really don't understand the motives of the subjects who agree to be on the show. They all talk about how they need to keep out looters after the end of civilization, but they proudly show off their hideouts and provisions. They are essentially showing potential enemies their defenses, up close and personal.

I was flipping through the channels last night and came upon this guy in Alaska. He thinks this old APC is going to keep him and his family safe from a 1,700 foot tsunami.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Isuzu Impulse dash (retro flashback)

I stay away from Bring A Trailer as much as possible. It's like heroin. And this post about an Impulse is why. It was my first car and the nostalgia is strong with this one. The dash is so wacky, it reminds me of something Citroen would have come up with. eBay listing here. H/t to rchen.

You could adjust the angle of those two side pods.

My cruise control didn't work. And yes, that is the overdrive button, between the rear defroster and the turn signal switches.

My A/C and fan didn't work either. The rear wiper did though!

I took mine up to 80 mph once on the 405. It was scary as the rear end felt like it was lifting off the ground over every road imperfection. It cost about $11 to fill up the tank. This was around 1991.

The radio worked, but the cassette deck didn't. That is the stock equalizer. I had a tendency to turn up the bass, and it sounded horrible. I read Crutchfield catalogs (remember those?) and daydreamed of installing a bazooka tube, an amp, and a couple of 6x9s, some midranges, and tweeters.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Porsche towing Porsche

I bet I can find an even cooler Porsche towing an even cooler Porsche...

Sunset on Mars