There are no Brussels sprouts in Holland. Brussels, it turns out, is not in Holland. Like Rick, who moved to Casablanca ‘for the waters’ (‘but, Monsieur Rick, we are in the desert – there are no waters’), ‘I was misinformed.’

There is hail, however. And then the next minute it’s sunny (but breezy) and then a light spritz, sunny, cloudy, spitting rain, sunny clear blue skies, cloudy . . . all this in 20 minutes.

There are licensed coffee shops that do sell coffee, but that’s not why they need licences.

The nicest, nicest people, all of whom speak English.

Gets dark around ten at night.

You can almost see the North pole.

Now, back to business. As usual, I learn more from you than you from me:

GAS MILEAGE

Peter Kaczowka: ‘Wind resistance is proportional to the square of an object’s velocity. (Simple explanation: if you go twice as fast, you hit twice as many air molecules, each at twice the speed; hence four times the resistance). (70 * 70) / (55 * 55) is 1.61; so wind resistance is 1.61 times higher at 70 than at 55, not double. Still, wind resistance is the main drag on a vehicle at high speeds, which is why a large vehicle cannot get good highway mileage. In general, hybrid autos get no better highway mileage than efficient non-hybrids. I recently drove from Massachusetts to Florida (not using the air conditioning) at an average 75 mph and got 41 mpg in my 2002 Saturn SL1 with manual transmission. It’s EPA-rated at 40 mpg highway. I bought it used because Saturn no longer makes a model with that high mileage. We don’t need hybrids; we need Detroit to stop making large and overpowered vehicles. The Saturn SL1 at 100 horsepower is more powerful than the 80 horsepower VW GTI that I owned 10 years ago. The GTI was considered fast at the time. Oh – and my SL1 was $12,500 new; compare that to the Prius.’

☞ Go, Saturn! But for stop-and-go city and suburban driving, which I have to assume accounts for most of the gasoline consumption, we need hybrids. Los Angeles freeways alone must account for 80% of the nation’s gasoline consumption, with the Long Island expressway accounting for the rest. Not to mention that one spot on Storrow Drive where ‘if you lived here, you’d be home now.’

Noah Young: ‘Hybrid cars are great, but why not just cut out the fossil fuels altogether and spend WAY less on a car that will last much longer? Visit biodiesel.org . . . and Google ‘diesel straight vegetable oil‘ and discover the world of filling up at restaurants.’

CHEAP READS

Noah Stern:Fetchbook.info lets you to enter a title, author, ISBN or key word and then surveys many websites to see who’s got the book, presenting the results in ascending price order.’

FASCISM

There are a number of characteristics of fascism . . . this site suggests 14. One is a sort of merging of corporate and state control. Not to suggest that Halliburton has any special ties to the White House, or that industry is now writing its own regulations, or any of that liberal claptrap. Still, I was bemused to see this over the weekend:

EXCLUSIVE: White House caught peddling corporate invitations

A source just emailed me a message being sent out officially from the White House urging people to attend corporate sponsored events that trumpet the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). Specifically, the White House is using taxpayer resources to urge people to attend events being put on by Fedex, Citigroup, and Western Union to promote this corporate-written free trade deal (you can see the official invitation being blasted out by the White House on my site in Word format – notice the corporate logos). Most brazenly, the White House asks that invitees RSVP directly to the White House – as if there is now no distinction between these corporations . . . and the White House. It’s one thing for the White House to lobby for an awful trade deal like this. But it is a whole new low to have taxpayer dollars being used to directly promote corporate-sponsored events, essentially eliminating the line between business and government.

One of the characteristics of fascism is doubtless to bully and berate anyone who raises the specter of fascism. So just bear in mind that if you start sending me bullying e-mails berating me for this item, well . . . don’t. I have enormous faith in America and Americans. We will not go fascist. But it never hurts for true patriots to be vigilant.

Tomorrow: the search for Prada wooden shoes. (Actually, tomorrow may have to be an Andyday, for logistical reasons.)

 

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