“How to drive in India”

That’s the title of an amusing article at The Foreign Challenge.  Having visited India, I should say the best way to drive is to let someone else do it, while you close your eyes, pray very hard, and hope to survive!  However, if you can’t do that, the article has some useful information.  I’m here to tell you, it’s largely accurate.  Here’s an excerpt. If you are planning to drive in India, then you can consider yourself as madman.First of all it is best to forget your home countries traffic laws and rules. Indian traffic is nothing like any other traffic you

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Lost that “new vehicle” smell in a hurry, I guess . . .

A brand-new Airbus A321neo airliner, delivered only two weeks ago on November 14th, had an altogether too close – or, rather, too hard – encounter with the earth yesterday. A VietJet A321neo lost both nosegear wheels during a hard landing at Buon Ma Thuot, with passengers and crew evacuating via slides.Images … show the aircraft with emergency slides deployed and its nosegear wheels completely shorn off. One image shows what appears to be the remains of firefighting foam under the right engine cowling.The aircraft was operating flight VJ356 on the Ho Chi Minh City-Buon Ma Thuot route when the incident occurred during the evening

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On the road again

Miss D. and I are driving home today, after a brief but enjoyable research trip which included meeting some friends.  It’s going to be a long day on the road, about 11 hours including stops, so we’ll make an early start. Prayers for travelling mercies are, as always, appreciated.  Blogging will be light today (and, as usual on Sundays, tomorrow too).  Regular service will resume Monday, the good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise. Peter

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Quick road trip

Miss D. and I are heading out for a couple of days, doing a quick writing research trip while she has a couple of days off work.  Blogging will be light for three to four days.  I’ll try to put up something every day, as time allows. Please say a prayer for traveling mercies for us, if you’re so inclined:  and we’ll do the same for all of you traveling this Thanksgiving.  Stay safe out there! Peter

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When car engines meet political correctness

Eric Peters blogs about the auto industry, and provides an insider’s perspective on many issues.  His blog is worth following, if you aren’t already doing so.  This morning, he takes on the issue of changing vehicle engine technology for the sake of fuel economy. It is becoming practice to put undersized engines in oversized vehicles … Today you pay [for this] in other ways [than just fuel economy]. Power/performance is one way. The [Mazda] CX-9’s no-longer-available 3.7 liter V6 was much stronger than the turbo 2.5 liter four which replaced it – 273 hp then vs. 225 hp now, a difference of almost

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Big Brother and your car. Do you feel any safer now?

I was annoyed to read this report. In closed-door meetings last March, U.S. transportation regulators and others grappled with questions about whether police should have the power to disable self-driving cars and whether an automatic alert that a robo-taxi had been in a wreck could violate an occupant’s privacy, a report released on Tuesday showed. . . . Many participants in the meetings “agreed that it is a question of when, not if, there is a massive cyber security attack targeting” autonomous vehicles and said “planning exercises are needed to prepare for and mitigate a large-scale, potentially multimodal cyber security attack,”

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Why modern cars are becoming “disposables”

Over the past few decades, I’ve noticed that it’s more and more expensive, and less and less practical, to fix any appliance or electronic item that breaks.  For a start, labor costs per hour are prohibitive;  then there’s the almost complete absence of critical spare parts, particularly electronic ones.  In the old days, a soldering iron and a couple of transistors, or a replacement plug-in card, could fix most things.  Today?  Fuggetabahtit!  The average personal computer used to consist of a fairly simple motherboard, with all peripherals and add-on components on separate, plug-in cards.  Nowadays, a motherboard contains everything, and has little or

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Bicycles as you’ve never seen them before

It seems Chinese cities are clogged with hundreds of thousands of bikes-for-rent that no-one wants to rent, and which have therefore been abandoned.  Yahoo has a photo essay about them that’s fascinating.  Up close, they’re just junked bicycles . . . . . . but when photographed from afar, after being sorted into like colors, etc., they look just like fields of weird flowers. Click either image for a larger version.  There are many more photographs at the original article.  Open each in a new tab or window for a bigger view. French-born photographer Mathias Guillin, 49, lives and works in Shanghai —

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Doofus Of The Day #1,022

Today’s award goes to four backpackers in Australia, for what can only be described as a comedy of errors.  A tip o’ the hat to reader Snoggeramus for sending me the link to the story. On Tuesday evening, Max Shkrendij put a post on the Backpacker Jobs in Australia Facebook page with a somewhat humorous request for help. “This is going to sound silly but me and three friends are stranded onGloucester Island near Airlie Beach because the blow up mattress we used to get over with all our camping stuff etc has a hole in it and sank. “So, anyone nearby have a

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