For the first half our lives, this is the sound we recall of the lightweight crew out on the Charles or the Schuylkill. But for the second half – which is the half your parents and grandparents are already in – it’s the sound you should be making to 911 immediately if it appears they have had one.

And apparently, it’s not that hard to tell. Ask the person to smile, to raise his arms over his head, and to speak a simple sentence. If only half their face or arms appear to be working, or their sentence is unintelligible, get them to a hospital fast, because there’s a drug that, administered within three hours of the event, may limit the damage writes it all up here. And the best part? No mouth-to-mouth required!


To see Dartmouth’s lacrosse goalie block a goal, grab the ball (puck? whatever) and run 100 yards to score a goal himself – the first goalie to do this in the NCAA Tournament in nearly three decades – click here. Even more remarkable, he’s . . . Jewish. (Well, OK, and gay. But Jewish!) Click here.


Richard Factor: ‘My Prius finally showed up in January. I’ve been busy creating this web site to discuss it. If you live in a house anywhere near this forecast major hurricane season, you might find it particularly interesting.’

☞ You see, it is Richard’s idea to hook his Prius up to his house – the ultimate emergency generator (or, in computer parlance, UPS). Power is out, but the batteries in your Prius just go and go and go if you keep the engine running on gasoline. And without the incredible racket of a normal $3,000 generator.

But even if you use your Prius for transport only, and not to keep your lettuce from wilting during blackouts, Richard finds some things to recommend it. From the FAQ page on his amusing site:

Q: How about gas mileage?

A: Pretty much as expected. If I drive very carefully and eschew any form of speeding I can average 50mpg. If I drive more or less normally, e.g., a little above the limit, and occasionally use the brakes, it’s more like 46mpg. My driving is mostly highway, and the car gets about twice the mileage of the little Audi A4 4WD wagon I drive when it snows. No complaints about gas mileage at all!

Q: You do mostly highway driving – I’ve heard that there’s hardly any gas advantage for a hybrid in this case because you don’t take advantage of the regenerated energy

A: A very underappreciated fact of gas usage is the effect of elevation. On anything but totally flat terrain, you use extra energy going uphill and I’ve found (from the energy display) that a lot is recovered going downhill. Even if I don’t brake, when I’m going downhill energy is flowing into the battery. My mileage going home (uphill) is much worse than driving downhill to work. With a non-hybrid, it still takes more energy to go uphill but none is returned in the opposite direction, although you do save because you’re coasting more.


Allan Maylis: ‘My Honda dealer’s service manager tells me the battery pack warranty is not pro rata. If it fails, you get a new one free. The biggest problem is leaving the car for an extended period of time not driven. The self-discharge factor in the battery pack may cause it to fail. If the car is to be inactive, arrange to have it driven several miles at least twice a month.’


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