Saturday, October 23, 2021

what is the damn hurry to test your brakes, traction, or reflexes? None of them are good enough
Video of the rocket man at just before he ran out of luck

Tom Malloy's collection is one of the most impressive private collections of Indycars in the world. I'm guessing few people have ever heard of it or been invited to one of his open house events.... Thanks Warren S! ( for telling me about it, no, I didn't get an invite)


his dad built and operated Carrell Speedway in Gardena, California, owned open-wheel race cars, and sponsored several different drivers including Jimmy Reece in the 1953, 54, and 55 Indy 500.

let your daughters know of the Women's Sports Foundation "Project Podium" grant. Founded in 1974 by Billie Jean King, the organization is dedicated to creating leaders by providing girls access to sports and fitness.

 It's a big deal and receives grants from Mazda, Newman's Own, Toyota, Rolex, Volkswagen, IMSA, NHRA, and IndyCar. Project Podium is the natural progression to further assist talented women in motorsports

nice color choice on the stripes

Sure you've heard of the Mini Cooper, but did you hear of Minor Cooper? He basically started the Chiquita banana company by building a railroad in Costa Rica

The Boston-based United Fruit Company, now Chiquita Brands International, was formed in 1899 by railroad magnate Minor Keith and businessman Andrew Preston. Keith, the company’s vice president, laid the foundations for the banana trade in the 1870s, when he began the construction of a railroad in Costa Rica connecting the capital, San José, to the port city of Limón.

an American businessman whose railroad, commercial agriculture, and cargo liner enterprises had a major impact on the national economies of the Central American countries, as well as on the Caribbean region of Colombia. Keith's work on the Costa Rican railroad to the Caribbean, a project begun by his uncle Henry Meiggs, led him to become involved with in the large-scale export of bananas to the United States.

At the time, Costa Rica's economy was based primarily on the export of coffee, which was grown in the country's central valley and transported by oxcart to the Pacific port of Puntarenas. Since the main market for Costa Rican coffee was in Europe and no canal connecting the Pacific and the Atlantic existed, creating a reliable transportation route to the Caribbean was a priority for the Costa Rican government and business class.

the HQ of the fruit company in Limon Costa Rica looked like a train station, because it basically was built by, used by, and run by a train company. 

The construction of that railroad proved extraordinarily challenging due to inadequate financing, compounded by the rugged terrain, thick jungle, torrential rains, and prevalence of malaria, yellow fever, dysentery, and other tropical diseases. As many as four thousand people, including Keith's three brothers, died during the construction of the first 25 miles of track, mostly from malaria. 

Keith was forced to hire foreign laborers, including black workers from Jamaica, as well as some Chinese and even Italians. The Jamaicans that Keith brought in were English speakers and to this day maintain their heritage.

He also recruited prisoners, and guaranteed them a pardon after the railroad was completed, but of the 700 that signed on to help, only 25 survived the work, diseases, etc. 

By 1882, the Costa Rican government had defaulted on its payments to Keith and could no longer meet its obligations to the London banks from which it had borrowed to pay for the railroad. Keith managed to raise £1.2 million himself from the banks and from private investors. He also negotiated a substantial reduction of the interest on the money previously lent to Costa Rica, from 7% to 2.5%. In exchange, the government of President Próspero Fernández Oreamuno gave Keith 800,000 acres (324,000 hectares) of tax-free land along the railroad, plus a 99-year lease on the operation of the train route. 

These terms were made official in a document signed by Keith and cabinet minister Bernardo Soto Alfaro on April 21, 1884 (known to Costa Rican historians as the "Soto-Keith contract"). That land grant corresponded to about 6% of the total territory of Costa Rica.

The railroad was completed in 1890, but the flow of passengers and cargo proved insufficient to finance Keith's debt. As early as 1873, however, Keith had begun experimenting with the planting of bananas, grown from roots he had obtained from the French. To market the bananas, Keith began running a steamboat line from Limón to New Orleans, in the United States. 

The resulting banana trade proved lucrative and he soon established the Tropical Trading and Transport Company to organize his banana-export business.

Keith then partnered with M. T. Snyder to establish banana plantations in Panama and in Colombia's Magdalena Department. He eventually came to dominate the banana trade in Central America and Colombia. 

In 1899, he was forced by a financial setback to combine his venture with Andrew W. Preston's Boston Fruit Company, which dominated the banana trade in the West Indies. The result of the merger was the powerful United Fruit Company, of which Keith became vice-president. In 1904, Keith signed a contract with the President of Guatemala, Manuel Estrada Cabrera, giving the company tax-exemptions, land grants, and control of all railroads on the Atlantic side of the country.

Keith was a trustee of the foundation that managed George Gustav Heye's collection of Native American artifacts and he bequeathed his own ancient Native American gold to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

The Brooklyn Museum is preparing to return about 4,500 pre-Columbian artifacts taken from Costa Rica roughly a century ago.

Costa Rica had made no claim to the objects, which were exported in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by Minor C. Keith, a railroad magnate and a founder of the United Fruit Company. And there were none of the conflicts, legal threats or philosophical debates that sometimes accompany arguments between museums and countries that claim ownership of antiquities in their collections.

Instead, the museum simply decided that its closets were too full, overstuffed with items acquired during an era when it aimed to become the biggest museum in the world. So it offered the pieces to the National Museum of Costa Rica, which accepted but has yet to raise the $59,000 needed to pack and ship the first batch.

The objects that the Brooklyn Museum plans to let go are primarily made of ceramic and stone; they include bowls and other vessels, figurines, benches and ceremonial metates, or grinding stones. They are among 16,000 artifacts, some made of gold and jade, that Keith and his workers found on his Costa Rican banana plantations.

The museum plans to keep some of the most valuable pieces, including gold and jade animals and anthropomorphic figurines and pendants. It is unlikely that many of the items being returned have ever been exhibited

The museum acquired the Keith collection in 1934, five years after Keith’s death. Keith, who was born in Brooklyn, had gone to Costa Rica in 1871, at 23, to join his brother in building a railroad from San José to the Caribbean Sea. During the project’s construction — which took two decades — Keith also established himself as one of the biggest growers and exporters of bananas in Central America. It was on one of his Costa Rican plantations, called Las Mercedes, that his workers first came across pre-Columbian gold ornaments, spurring the start of his collecting.

Ms. Quirós said there were no legal issues surrounding the Brooklyn Museum’s ownership of the objects, since they left the country before a 1938 Costa Rican law restricting export of archaeological artifacts.

Why don't semis have a set of boards that would be used to get the truck tires a couple inches higher, by backing up onto them, so that the trucks can get free of a high center problem on railroad tracks?

 something similar to traction boards used to get out of loose sand or snow

Andrew Grigg, a historical railroad enthusiast, has been building an interactive map of abandoned railroads


Clicking on the lines on his map (after the link, not on these images)  brings up details, including the towns they connected. Some of the towns have sparse backstories, and have left few visual traces. The map also notes a handful of ghost towns, including some that have are now underwater, drowned by dammed rivers or mining activity.

To uncover abandoned lines, Grigg consults a visual atlas of historic aerial images that spans decades, draws from railfan brain trusts, and tracks down leads that surface in Facebook groups. A scant handful of state transportation departments, including Iowa’s, maintain lists, too. If more states did this, Grigg says, his project would be a bit of a lighter lift. 

So far Grigg, who works at a traffic information center in Illinois, has catalogued some 2,500 lines, covering more than 60,000 miles. Most crawl across the United States, though there are a few in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Mexico.

color matching the object of interest, with the background, makes a photo look great


Ohio's new license plate design passed through a lot of approvals and reviews, but no one was smart enough to know the critical fact about the very aircraft they were purporting to be proud of as a state, that the design of the Wright Brothers craft LOOKS opposite modern planes, and the banner on their license plate isn't trailing the aircraft


Just exactly uneducated, but proud, can the bureaucrats be, when they know nothing of the Wright Brothers aircraft design? 

(Bragging moment, I found out when working through my family tree, that I'm distantly related to the Wright family )

The mistake has also reignited one of America's longest running debates: Who can claim credit for the Wright brothers' first flight?

Ohio and North Carolina have long been at odds over which state gets to lay claim on the brothers' achievement. Ohio claims that, as the pair originally hailed from the state and the plane they completed their 39-second flight in was built in Dayton, it should get the credit

But the flight itself actually took place at Kitty Hawk in North Carolina, And the North Carolinian newspaper, the Charlotte Observer, joked: "Let's talk about which state Kitty Hawk is in."

for historical accuracy, Ohio is fraudulently self promoting a lie. The wright Brothers were years behind the accomplishments of Gustave Whitehead in Ct, who accomplished flight 2 years prior, but didn't have friends in high places, and a deal worked out with the Smithsonian. Frankly, they were geniuses at self promotion too.

Thanks Gary!

projects in the steam workshop, where model steam engine trains are made


before, and after, the restoration

the radio hole was welded back to the original, and an OEM radio was installed, and the AC was replaced with the correct year, and a Rally Pac was installed

too much good stuff to not share this, mostly for the bikes, skate boards etc, but the gymnasts are incredible too, so, enjoy

and the ice skater's grace, and the guy sliding down the stairs on one foot... lots of cool stuff

Friday, October 22, 2021

skip the first 30 seconds, then after the video, I think you'll be planning a vacation with one of these Jetson Personal eVTOL (let me borrow it when you have to go back to work) if you have a spare $100,000 and the tools to complete the build. They aren't sold turn key... Thanks Marc B!


looks to me like this will get you up the mountain, over the river, into the lakes out in the forest, along the beach, just everywhere that the govt won't shoot you down for straying into.... you know? I bet this is batter powered and short distance, though, I expect they can build one a bit bigger with a gen set onboard for longer distances

And if you agree that is cool, then check out and of course, skip the first 35 seconds. As always, people who do cool stuff, can't edit for shit

Marc B sent me the link and info, they are already sold out for 2022, by the way, and are sold only 50% complete. Probably so that all the liability falls on the owner/builder.

A Swedish company has unabashedly adopted the pop culture name synonymous with flying cars and is now taking orders for what might be a viable personal eVTOL. The production model Jetson One was unveiled last week and the 12 ultralight and drone-like single-seat aircraft being built in 2022 have already been sold at the introductory price of $92,000.

The occupant steers and decides how fast to go (up to a limit of about 50 knots) but the computer looks after mundane details like keeping it in the flight envelope and away from objects thanks to a suite of LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensors. Like a drone, the aircraft will automatically hands-free hover over a point. Endurance is about 20 minutes. Because it’s an ultralight, no certificate is required.

Thanks Marc B!

skip the first 45 seconds


a nice off road challenge, in the Sierras, along some miner's mule trail it seems


see the video, but skip the first 7 minutes. These people have no fucking clue how to edit for a great video

A Roman road was just discovered in the Venice lagoon

Archaeologists have documented the presence of an about 1,200-m-long segment of an ancient Roman road on a beach ridge now submerged in the Venice Lagoon, the largest lagoon in the Mediterranean Sea, surrounding the historical city of Venice in Italy; its presence confirms the hypothesis of a stable system of Roman settlements in this area

An odd encounter between Thomas Edison and Henry Ford at a Democratic fundraising luncheon at New York’s Biltmore Hotel, 1916, from the memoir of Navy Secretary Josephus Daniels:

 I do not suppose anything so strange ever occurred at a luncheon in New York and elsewhere. … After the first course, Edison, pointing to a large chandelier, with many globes, in the middle of the room, said, ‘Henry, I’ll bet anything you want that I can kick the globe off that chandelier.’ 

It hung high toward the ceiling. Ford said he would take the bet.

 Edison rose, pushed the table to one side of the room, took his stand in the center and with his eye fixed on the globe, made the highest kick I have ever seen a man make and smashed the globe into smithereens.

 He then said, ‘Henry, let’s see what you can do.’

 The automobile manufacturer took careful aim, but his foot missed the chandelier by a fraction of an inch.

 Edison had won and for the balance of the meal or until the ice-cream was served, he was crowing over Ford, ‘You are a younger man than I am, but I can out-kick you.’ He seemed prouder of that high kick than if he had invented a means of ending the U-boat warfare. 

 (Via Edmund Morris’ 2019 biography Edison.)

1957 Kindig Corvette that will be at SEMA

Thursday, October 21, 2021

then, and now. Fighter planes from the USS Lexington, found by the Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen search team, in the Coral Sea

Why didn't they make side car racers with a side board that would swing around the back of the bike so it could be used for balance on BOTH sides of the bike?


the dragster pop art of Gerald Laing, late 1960s

From Dragsters, a 1968 portfolio of five prints, an original screenprint in colours on smooth wove paper, signed Gerald Laing in pencil lower right and numbered from the limited edition of 150

At the beginning of the 1960s, Laing was introduced to artists in New York City. He met Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Jim Rosenquist and Robert Indiana. After art school he moved to the US. Laing's career took him from the avant-garde world of 1960s pop art, through minimalist sculpture, followed by representational sculpture and then back full circle to his pop art roots.

Deacceleration 1 and 3

see about 60 of his art pieces at

Laing, after graduating from art school,  moved to New York permanently. It was then that the love affair with the ‘Coffee Grinder’ – a Ford Roadster-based hot rod – begun. “He’d just travelled round the States on a Vincent Black Shadow with my mother in the mid-1960s,” explains Sam. “Upon his return to New Jersey, he pulled up at some traffic lights, and beside him was this hot rod. My father said ‘nice car’, and the chap replied ‘nice bike’, and they swapped there and then.

Later, Laing became disillusioned with the US – namely following JFK’s assassination and the Vietnam War ­– and returned to England, ‘Coffee Grinder’ in tow. Nicknamed after its creator Adam Coffee, it became one of the first hot-rods to be imported into the UK. It no doubt caused quite a stir in London, where Laing could be frequently seen crossing Tower Bridge or parked outside the Horse Guards Parade. “He had it for a good couple of years,” recalls Sam, “then there was a bit of a déjà vu moment: he was driving around Hyde Park, pulled up at some lights, and ended up swapping it with a chap in a souped-up Ford Cortina.”

Larry L is wondering if anyone can name the guys who served with his grandfather, on Tinian, photographed with the B 29s Slave Girl, Lady ion Waiting, and Go Sal, and were in the Tinian Hunt Club together Sam Weintraub


Charles Nicolosi (From Brooklyn is in the above, 2nd from left, and below, 3rd from the left

The job of the Tinian Hunt Club was to find and remove Japanese soldiers hiding throughout the islands in the countless limestone caves; they wouldn’t surrender for cultural reasons and also because their high command told them the GI’s would eat their children.
 Many GI’s and Japanese soldiers died in these efforts. Sam Weintraub came up with an alternative (described in his daily war diary), using psychological warfare, by using captured Japanese collaborators to talk the Japanese soldiers out of the caves by promising them good treatment and food and bribing them with cigarettes and chocolate bars. 
In this way, he and his squad, who became known as the “Tinian Hunt Club,” safely brought out around 500 Japanese soldiers, without further loss of the lives of GI’s

William Jackson Smith standing in front of tent, Nicolosi on the right

By the way, you can read online scans of the Daily Iowan, like the one I'm looking at from June 26, 1945, if you'd like to, with no subscription nonsense. Even has the comic strips 

This newpaper clipping talks about a guy named Toughy, who worked with Maj Sam Weintraub, whose obit mentions him on page 7 of the  so that's quite the connection between sources that collaborate the Tinian Hunt Club