Entries Tagged 'Automotive' ↓

Rollin’.

Hooptie?

A hundred years ago this month, Henry Ford’s company drove its first Model T automobile off of his Highland Park, Detroit, MI assembly line…and changed the world forever.

Priced at $850, not only was it the first affordable, mass-produced car the world had ever seen, but the Model T—that’s a 1912 one, above—revolutionized manufacturing, caused an upheaval in labor, forced a reengineering of the American landscape, and reorganized our nation’s social order.

So argues author Lindsay Brooke, in his new book, Ford Model T: The Car That Put the World on Wheels. Lindsay is a guest today on my WBAI-NY / 99.5 FM radio show, NONFICTION, this afternoon, Friday, October 31, at 2 pm ET.

Then, tomorrow, the Machinima Filmfest 2008 animation gala is taking place at the Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology (540 W. 21st St., bet. 10th and 11th Ave), here in New York City. On NONFICTION, I’ll be talking with Friedrich Kirschner, festival director; Chris Burke, creator of This Spartan Life; and Frank Dellario, director of animation, ILL Clan about the fest, and about machinima, the art of using video and/or computer games to make movies.

Machinima directors use the game’s controller to move, or animate, characters on-screen. They then digitally record that action with a capture card on a computer; dub voices and music; add effects; then edit the output.

How’d I get here?

The results can be wildly diverse. For example, “A Few Good G-Men” remakes the climactic courtroom confrontation between Lt. Daniel Kaffee and Col. Nathan R. Jessep (from Rob Reiner’s A Few Good Men) using the Half Life 2 game engine. Working in Unreal Tournament 2004, on the other hand, Egils Mednis’s “The Ship”, above, creates an impressionistic and eerie mindscape.

You can hear these thoughtful individuals’ ideas by tuning in at 2 pm. If you’re outside of the New York tri-state, you can check out our stream on the web. If you miss the live show, check out our archive for up to two weeks after broadcast.

Breaking the 4-Second Mile.

Obviously computer-rendered…once in motion, the only part of this you’d ever see is the back.

Richard Noble OBE, project director of the October 1997 ThrustSSC land speed run which still holds the world record—763 mph—has announced his intent to break the 1,000 mph mark in 2011 with a new, yet-to-be-built car called the Bloodhound SSC, depicted in the computer rendering, above.

Requiring only 40 seconds to reach its top speed of 1,050 mph, the planned 42-foot-long, 7-ton vehicle will be blazing past onlookers at more than a mile every four seconds, faster than a handgun bullet. At that point, downward air pressure alone on the car will be higher than one ton per square foot.

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What We’ll Drive in the Year 4000.

Mean drivin’ machine.

For French car manufacturer Peugeot’s Design Contest 2008 5th Edition, the call for entries this past spring was intriguing:

Young designers are invited to imagine the Peugeot for the world megalopoles – the Mega Cities – of the future. This concept car will be conceived to evolve within the heart of the great urban conurbations of the future, while retaining all the hallmark values of the 21st century. The projects, while remaining true to the style codes which define Peugeot, must also incorporate the four “dimensions” defined for this design competition: respect for the environment, social cohesion, interactive mobility, and economic effectiveness.

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Automotive Penis Enlargement Kit

“Sorry…beans….”

Coming up short, fellas? Well, trust me: Women love nothing more than a man with a hot car, and nothing makes a car hotter than flames. Not painted-on flames, but flames for real, blastin’ out the back.

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The Agony of Disbelief

Look at it, Ed!

BMW’s Certified Pre-Owned car ads have been running for some time now, but I’ve yet to tire (rimshot) from this actress’s performance, as the wife who believes her husband has been bait-and-switched into buying a new ride.

This Is One Bugged-Out Talk Show.

Fanning makes small talk
“How can I bittorrent this sweet ride?”: Shawn Fanning ponders a VW

I was watching TV yesterday when, out of nowhere, a commercial popped on, featuring, of all people, Shawn Fanning, above, creator of the contraband late ’90s file-sharing service, Napster.

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Autoerotica: Speed Racer

Speed in a rare at-rest position

The first time I saw the trailer for 2005′s Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, the images that threw me most for a loop were those of the panoramic space battle over planet Coruscant, pictured below.

Over CoruscantWith its massive, mile-long cruisers, acres of explosions and laser bolts, and the shimmering, metal world below, I found myself overwhelmed by the realization that digital tools in filmmaking had created new possibilities in the artform, not merely for effects, but for outright visual density.

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Was the Sex All That? What NYS Governor Eliot Spitzer Could Have Spent His $80,000 On Instead of High-Class Whores

Totally tight: Alfa Romeo Brera

The Alfa Romeo Brera: Sex on wheels, not for real

The old cliché says that middle-aged men buy expensive sports cars in order to get sex. So, in a way, perhaps Spitzer was just cutting out the middleman.

Of course, everything about the Spitzer sex scandal boggles the mind: The original chastity of his reputation; the salaciousness of the details connected to his disgrace; the height of his fall; the magnitude of the humiliation and embarrassment invoked when being the highest elected official in one’s state means having to tell your wife of twenty years—the mother of your three teenage daughters—that you’ve cheated on her with prostitutes—most recently the day before Valentine’s Day—and that, in mere hours, this fact is going to be on every newspaper cover and TV news program she’s ever seen and known by every living person she’s ever met.

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Bring That Beat Back

Mercedes-Benz does it tough…

I don’t really care about the new $44,825, 2008 Mercedes-Benz M-Class, or Benzes generally, but I would give my eyeteeth to get a high-quality loop of the music that beds this commercial, titled “Most.”

In the spot, while car action footage mixes with testimonials to M-B superiority from Mercedes engineers, factory workers, and other employees, a full chorale sings a hushed epinicion, or song of triumph, underneath. One can detect a bowed string bass, and very occasional, light percussion. Together, the sound is warm…and expectant.

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C’mon: What’s $14,800,000,000 Between Family?

Prince JefriIn Saturday’s Wall Street Journal, Mark Maremont ran the numbers on Prince Jefri Bolkiah of Brunei, right, and his alleged $14.8 billion bum rush of the small, oil-drenched, former British protectorate’s treasury.

You’ve heard of Brunei, of course. It’s located in Southeast Asia, almost completely enwrapped within Malaysia, a little smaller than Delaware. It’s head, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, 61, is the world’s wealthiest monarch, with a fortune Forbes estimates at $22 billion. He lives in a $1.4 billion (in 1984 US dollars), 2 million-plus-square-foot palace with 1,788 rooms, including 257 bathrooms. His personal fleet of automobiles is believed to number between 3,000-5,000 cars, including 531 Mercedes-Benzes, 367 Ferraris, 362 Bentleys, 185 BMWs, 177 Jaguars, 160 Porsches, 130 Rolls-Royces, and 20 Lamborghinis. (Take that, ballers.)

Prince Jefri—uh, Prince Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Digadong Sahibul Mal Pengiran Muda Haji Jefri Bolkiah to you—is Hassanal’s youngest brother, the 53-year-old baby of the sultan’s three bros.

Apparently, for a number of years, Jefri served as finance minister and chairman of the Brunei Investment Agency (BIA), where his role was to sock away the nation’s money, not stuff it in his socks. As well, since the sultan is an absolute monarch—reportedly, he recently had himself declared infallible under Bruneian law—the nation’s money is his money. So, he’s more than a little pissed that

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