Canada has lost its famous politeness. With oil and gas now accounting for approximately a quarter of its export revenue, over the last decade Canada has not so quietly become an international mining center and a rogue petrostate.
The festive season is approaching, so it's time for everyone's favorite giant Swedish straw caprid to suffer from repeated attacks. Already ("The front hoof smells of petrol") this year's goat at Gävle has been attacked. Of the 76 goats to date, 33 have been burnt (includes goats burnt down more than once and goats only partially burnt), 7 vandalised (includes goats thrown in the river), 1 run over and 1 stolen, giving a survival rate of 45%. The goat attracts international attention and attacks; in 2001 a tourist from Cleveland, Ohio was jailed for 18 days [Swedish] [English] for igniting the goat. Last year's goat survived to December 2nd (traumatic video). Gävlebocken is 13 metres tall and consists of 3.6 tonnes of straw. While intact it tweets, and blogs in Swedish and English. [more inside]
We've all heard about the proliferation of CCTV in the UK. Now, accounting firm Ernst & Young has a new scheme for the Brits: Uninsured drivers won't be able to fill up. [more inside]
In 2009, a remarkably gifted politician, confronting a remarkably difficult set of challenges, will have to learn to say "No we can't", Guantánamo will prove a moral minefield, economic recovery will be invisible to the naked eye, governments must prepare for the day they stop financial guarantees, we will judge our commitment to sustainability, scientists should research the causes of religion, we will all be potential online paparazzi, English will have more words than any other language (but it's meaningless), Afghanistan will see a surge of Western (read: American) troops, Iran will continue its nuclear quest while diplomacy lies in shambles, the sea floor is the new frontier, we should rethink aging, (non-)voters will continue to thwart the European project -- but cheap travel will continue to buoy it -- though it has some unfinished business to attend to, and a Nordic defence bond will blossom.
The Economist: The World in 2009. [more inside]
The Economist: The World in 2009. [more inside]
Fuelly tracks your gas mileage over time, helping you save fuel and expenses as you drive.
The Tata Nano (pic) is a car that costs less new than the amount I've spent on gas during single car trips, recently announced to the auto market in India. The Chery QQ ^, successful , widely exported, and recognized as the Hostage Taker's Vehicle of Choice by China Car Times, is the runner-up for the world's cheapest car but is still approximately twice as expensive. Yes indeed, the price of gas is not going to come back down. So much for my coast-to-coast road trips. [more inside]
As crude hit an all time high at $96.40US per barrel this week, prices increase at pumps across the US. Regular self-serve rose 9 cents to an average of $2.80 per gallon in 11 Texas cities this week, a price of €0.51 per litre. Even Arab nations are feeling the pinch; in Syria, subsidised fuel prices were increased by 20% to €0.74 per litre. This price is "still low compared to world prices", though. The Automobile Association has a handy reference chart for Europe: drivers in the UK are paying an average of €1.37, and Danes €1.40. Latvia, though, is a European bargain at just €1.00 per litre.
Petrol prices hurting your wallet? Try stealing it instead! A Sydney man has been accused of siphoning 1,000 litres (265 gallons) of fuel from a service station into a large home-made tank in his van. Police allege the 36-year-old man used a Toyota Town Ace van to take petrol from a service station's underground tanks. Another 44,000 litres of fuel (or there about) is yet to be accounted for though.
Police allegedly found fittings and equipment inside the van that could be used to steal petrol from service stations, including a home made tank.Hard times huh? Sorry there's no photo to go with this. The guy's van is an awesome sight though. Best I've got is streaming video via ABC News (Windows HQ or LQ).
Fed up with paying exorbitant prices for fuel? Try Petrol Direct - fuel delivered straight to your door!
Shell Eco Marathon UK is coming up in England (6-7 july). It is a race not for the swift, but for those who can drive immense distances in super-efficient vehicles. Two years ago, the current world record of 10,706 MPG was set at one of these events. The lessons learned are useful in development in other fuel-efficient cars, such as the 100 MPG Honda Insight. Interesting in these times of high oil prices, then, when considering that despite tactical driving, normal petrol cars rarely get better than 45 MPG. Diesels are slightly better, as illustrated on BBC Top Gear, where Clarkson drives an Audi A8 from London to Edinburgh and back on a single tank of diesel. That's 800 miles.
40% of the automotive sold fuel in brazil is ethanol, and brazil should be totally energy independent in five years. If they can do it, why not the US?
Sure, we all know the story about how Detroit developed, and then kept under wraps, a 100mpg carburetor is false. However, affordable 80mpg family sedans are real: behold the Supercar! They are the results of a nearly decade-long partnership between The Big Three and the Clinton administration. However the program was quietly shelved last June, the victim of the Bush administration, and corporate backpedaling. Read the whole sordid tale here. [use username/password for login] In the meantime, you'll have to settle for one of these.