"Trusting your child with someone else is one of the hardest things that a parent has to do — and in the United States, it’s harder still, because American day care is a mess. About 8.2 million kids—about 40 percent of children under five — spend at least part of their week in the care of somebody other than a parent. Most of them are in centers, although a sizable minority attend home day cares.... In other countries, such services are subsidized and well-regulated. In the United States, despite the fact that work and family life has changed profoundly in recent decades, we lack anything resembling an actual child care system. Excellent day cares are available, of course, if you have the money to pay for them and the luck to secure a spot. But the overall quality is wildly uneven and barely monitored, and at the lower end, it’s Dickensian."
Value engineering (also known as Value Analysis) is an approach to cost-effective product development that seems to have had its heyday in the developed world. However, as this recent student project "Value Engineering Project (Tata Nano)" seems to show, it is still popular in the developing world. Comparing this definition of Carlos Ghosn's now famous phrase "Frugal Engineering" with VE's seems to imply "new name; same approach" - understandable since Tata are the leading lights of the Indian Value Engineering society. Is it time for a global revival of interest?
Today marks the launch of the Tata Nano. Some see this car as the next Ipod. Some have grave environmental concerns. (previously)
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]
Press embargo be damned, pictures of the 2009 Jaguar XF are popping up on the Internet. Perhaps the final design has strayed too far from the original concept. Hopefully there are better designers in India.
For years, MDI has been developing a car that runs on compressed air. Last month, they signed an agreement with Tata Motors to produce the MiniCat - a zero-emissions vehicle that will travel up to 180 miles on $3 worth of fuel. See it in action here. (youtube)