Archive for October, 2010

Local Man Hires Alleged Rapist to Wax Car

Hill Valley, CA – Citing his role in helping him ultimately meet his wife, local man George McFly once again hired auto detailer Biff Tannen to wax his family’s vehicles.  “Oh I’ve known Biff for years,” said McFly.  “Sure, he bullied me throughout high school and tried to violate my future wife the night of the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance, but he does a hell of a job waxing a car!”  Biff’s Auto Detailing has been serving Hill Valley for over 10 years, and in that time has built up a loyal customer base.  Most customers tend to prefer Biff’s “Two Coat” service as various reports suggest that two coats of wax really bring out a nice, glossy sheen.

Biff starting the second coat

“Yep, people love getting their cars waxed,” said Tannen.  “I’m only glad to help.  It shows how good I am at my job that Mr. McFly would hire me.  I mean, I made him stay out of the café and forced him to do my homework all through school.  Oh, and one time I tried to rape his current wife.”  When asked if she felt uncomfortable with having Biff around the house so frequently, as the McFly’s get their cars waxed every week, Lorraine McFly nodded.  She said that Biff was never convicted of attempted rape of her or arrested for destroying the town square in a wild chase with Calvin Klein a few days earlier.  “Biff did about eight things the week before the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance that should have gotten him arrested, yet he always got off scot free.  What’s the deal with that?”  As we went to press, sources reported that Biff is trying to save up his money from the auto detailing business to open a small casino, a lifelong dream of his.


Frank Costin: The Man Behind the Legends

This is my entry for the semi-finals of “America’s Next Top Car Blogger.”  The article also appears here: Jalopnik

Frank Costin: The Man Behind the Legends

He worked with Lotus, Vanwall, and Maserati. He cofounded Marcos. He was first to use a NACA duct in a car. His shapes were uber slippery. But mention the name Frank Costin and you’ll probably hear “who?”

British aerodynamicist Frank Costin and his brother Mike were silent yet powerful forces in the auto industry for over four decades. While Mike helped make one of the greatest engines ever, the Cosworth DFV (guess which part of the company Mike named), Frank was responsible for some of the most iconic shapes of all time.

The Lotus Elite, Lotus Eleven, Vanwall VW1, Vanwall VW6 Streamliner, and the Vauxhall Firenza “Baby Bertha” touring car were among the superstars penned by Costin. His collaborations with Maserati and Jaguar, as well as his own Costin Amigo were epitomes of the classic tear drop shape.

Costin’s use of the NACA duct on road and race cars like the Vanwall VW1 and Lotus Elite has since been emulated countless times. The NACA duct is a low drag intake that is only fully functional if placed correctly on the car. However, in the ideal position it draws in air with minimal disturbance to the flow. While a great aero solution, it also looks awesome. The F40, Viper, Sauber-Mercedes C9, and the Veyron Super Sport all make prominent use of this beautiful and functional vent.

Frank Costin: The Man Behind the Legends

Costin made up half of Marcos (the second half), one of the quirkiest British sports car builders of all time. He also created the Speedwell Streamliner, an Austin Healey Sprite with 92 horsepower that achieved 132 MPH over a standing mile.

Frank Costin: The Man Behind the Legends

While he made successful racecars, Costin was also eco. He had his own Peel P50-esque shopping car and also designed the Costin Ultimate Low Drag Vehicle. It was powered by a two stroke DKW engine, went over 100 MPH, weighed under 1000 pounds, and had a shape that decidedly influenced modern hybrids.

So remember: next time you see a NACA duct laden supercar or just a run-of-the-mill hybrid, thank Frank.


Democrats Regretting Not Inserting ‘End of Career Consultation’ Into Health Care Bill

(This is an article I was asked to write for a website.  I was given the headline and asked to write around 400-500 words.  The final, edited product, appears here:

The workplace that will be missed

Washington, DC – With the mid-term elections quickly approaching, Democratic Senators and Congressmen have begun to lament not including a few key provisions in the monumental health care bill that they passed earlier this year.  The bill, which was passed solely on the support of Democrats, includes numerous facets that were meant to ease the burden of health care on the middle class.  It was declared partisan by Republicans as their support was not even asked for in passing it while Democrats painted them as enemies of the middle class.  However, Democrats are beginning to regret the omission of end of career consultation from the bill.

Democrats believe that their jobs have been put in danger due to smear tactics by Republicans who are trying to sully the name of the bill.  The fear that is sweeping congress’s majority party is that their majority may be thoroughly eroded or even lost in November during the mid term elections.

“Our jobs are on the line,” said Senator Russ Feingold (D, WI).  “What am I supposed to do if I can’t try to reach across the aisle everyday?  I don’t know how I’ll get by…I haven’t worked at a real job since 1985!”  Feingold then added, “not that this isn’t a real job, but I still get paid even when I don’t show up and we get vacations like teachers.  That’s pretty good.”

Feingold is not the only Senator who believes that the provision would have come in handy for them this November.  Ironically, political backlash that originated with this very bill has put Democratic seats across the nation in jeopardy.  The Tea Party and other influential political organizations believe that this bill has constituted a socialistic approach to health care, and they have begun to be very vocal about their dissatisfaction with the government.

“I think it shows that the very brief honeymoon with Obama is over,” said Christine O’Donnell, the Republican Senatorial candidate from Delaware.  “My deficit in a Democratic stronghold isn’t that big, and I used to dabble in witchcraft and am against masturbation.  I’m overcoming a lot of odds here!”

Representative Chet Edwards (D, TX-17), who is currently behind in the polls and in danger of losing his seat, agreed with Feingold.

“This is a tough time for anyone, I can’t imagine being out of work,” Edwards told gathered reporters.  “If we had just included this in the bill, then people that are out of work could be consulted on how badly things are going for them, us included.”

When asked if he realized that this consultation was only for those that were at the end of their careers, not those currently unemployed, Edwards said that they should have added consultation for everyone to the bill.  “That would have made those unemployed people complain a hell of a lot less, I’ll tell ya.  Well, complain publicly that is.” Edwards added.

Jason Altmire (D, PA-4) was able to sum up the thoughts of the Democratic camp.  “If we lose, we lose.  While the public may disagree, we did a great job this year and got some tough legislation passed,” Altmire said.  “This won’t be the end of the world. I think we’ll get by without this career counseling.  Wouldn’t it be worse if we had to be consulted on the options that we had for end of life care?”

Deaf-Mute Baffled by Verbal Communication

Sheboygan, WI – Local man Thomas Becker has confirmed that he is confounded by spoken language and how it affects the deaf-mute community.  Becker, who was born with paralyzed vocal chords and no eardrums, has written prolifically about how he thinks speaking is overrated.  “It may just be my condition, but what’s really the point of talking?” Becker wrote.  “Writing is concise and meaningful; there’s no added fluff.  When I watch TV, the captions tell me that the people are talking about nothing of any importance whatsoever.”  Added Becker, “I just don’t get it.”


Thomas not listening


Becker’s friends said that he has been unwilling to even try and change his viewpoint.  “We’ve tried to get him to understand what’s so great about casually chatting with each other, but he always just gives a blank stare and then writes an angry note about ‘not hearing us,’” said longtime acquaintance James Bogues.  “I guess half the fun of hanging out with Thomas is making fun of him to his face and he can’t hear or respond to it.  Actually, that’s really all the fun actually, since he has never added anything useful to any conversation, ever.”  Thomas has also unrepentantly criticized Helen Keller for setting their kind back hundred of years.  “Helen made everyone have unrealistic expectations of those of us that can’t talk,” Becker wrote.  “She was such a bitch…I bet she wasn’t really disabled.  How can a blind-deaf-mute be a motivational speaker?”  Becker has gotten through the last 30 years of his life without talking, and reportedly doesn’t plan to undergo experimental surgery to fix his vocal chords.  When asked why, Becker responded by punching his notepad, breathing heavily, and making a slight grunting noise as his pen had run out ink.

Dante’s Peak Named “Best Volcano Action Movie of 1997” by AFI

Los Angeles, CA – The American Film Institute today announced that the 1997 volcano based action movie Dante’s Peak has stood the test of time and is definitely the best movie from that year centered on a geological event. “Dante’s Peak is truly a thrilling piece of filmmaking,” said Sir Howard Stringer, the AFI’s chairman. “The movie has real geology in it without being boring and the romantic chemistry between Pierce Brosnan and Linda Hamilton isn’t too gushy. I just love it.” Pierce Brosnan, who played USGS scientist Dr. Harry Dalton, said that the movie was loosely based on the eruption of Mount St. Helens and written to be as accurate as possible. “This movie put me on the map, everywhere I go people were shouting ‘hey Dalton, where’s the fire?’ and ‘we don’t think there’s going to be a lahar!’” Brosnan said. “I jumped at the opportunity to play Bond just so I wouldn’t be typecast as the stereotypical immigrant Brit volcanologist at the USGS for the rest of my career.”

The Contenders

The movie that came second in the ranking, Volcano, lost marks for it’s scientific inaccuracy, wimpy daughter, and exploitation of racial conflict in a post Rodney King LA. “Don’t get me wrong, Volcano is another excellent volcano related movie from 1997,” Stringer said. “However, the movie has too many ancillary topics. Race relations in Los Angeles? Tommy Lee Jones’ divorce and the effect on that pissy little daughter of his? Don Cheadle wearing a backwards beret in a crisis center and acting super smooth? I just want to see how the volcano destroyed things.” Added Stringer, “And Anne Heche as a scientist? I don’t think so.” Volcano actor Tommy Lee Jones released a statement saying that he “didn’t care about the loss” as long as Men In Black II still had the title of “best Men In Black sequel with a Michael Jackson cameo released in 2002.”

Miata: The Answer to Every Question

I was published in Jalopnik’s Next Top Car Blogger contest. Please clicky the linky and check it out!


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