If you’re over 50, do not fail to click here and scroll down once the music starts. Prepare to spend the rest of the day being . . . wistful.


Pieter Lessing: ‘A handy Google feature is the ability to look up specially formatted ID numbers. Example: UPS, FedEx, and USPS Tracking numbers. Just enter the tracking number in the Google search box & it will be recognized. Other IDs than can be looked up in this fashion by number alone: VIN (Vehicle ID Numbers), UPC codes, telephone area codes, patent numbers (in this case you must preface the number with “patent”), and FAA airplane registration numbers.’

☞ Astounding. Your caller ID shows a call from area code 347 (Guam? Mars?) and, well – sure enough! Google tells you it’s ‘all NYC boroughs except Manhattan’ and offers to show you a map.


Brad Hurley: ‘I’m a fan of hybrids, but here’s something to consider: The Toyota Echo gets nearly the same fuel economy that your reader reported with a hybrid Civic (41 mpg for the Echo vs 45 for the Civic), for roughly $10,000 less. I’ve been advising my friends who have enough dough to buy a hybrid to consider buying an Echo instead and donating the different in purchase price to an environmental organization (or, for that matter, the Democratic Party). That could give them a bigger environmental bang for their buck than buying a hybrid.’

☞ That is one good-looking cheap car. I know people who spend more than that on patio furniture. Great idea, Brad. But use $8,000 of the $10,000 saving to fund his-and-hers matching Roth IRAs. Then give me the rest.

Tom Roth: ‘How about turbo diesels? They are all over Europe. Rented a two-litre turbo diesel Citroen Xantia (4 door, stick, size of an Accord) a few years ago over there for a week. I drove their highways at 85+ and still got 35+ mpg (with AC on). Ran strongly, too. Didn’t feel like I was compromising on performance.’


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