Thursday, September 06, 2007

Naked Glacier Dwellers Going Tragically Extinct Due to Global Warming

A tribe of naked glacier dwellers was recently discovered in the middle of a mass trans-glacial migration, by wildlife photographers high in a remote portion of the Swiss Alps. Approximately six hundred naked people belong to the ice-dwelling tribe, which apparently speaks only body language for communication.

Highly trained anthropologists from Greenpeace were rushed to the scene in an attempt to discover the tribe's history and customs, before the glaciers vanish and the tribe goes extinct. The Greenpeace scientists quickly shed their own clothes, in a desperate attempt to establish communication, as the clock ticks down on global warming. At last radio transmission, all attempts at establishing body language communication were unsuccessful, perhaps because the proximity to the glacier induced uncontrollable shivering and shrinkage of certain body tissues of the researchers. The message conveyed to the tribe by the shivering shrinkage apparently repulsed all members of the tribe, who turned their backs on the scientists significantly.

Al Gore, James Hansen, Bono, Laurie David, and Leonardo di Caprio announced a joint filmmaking expedition to explore and preserve this courageous tribe in a fight for its very existence. "For at least three long ice ages and inter-glacials this care-free tribe led an idyllic existence among the clouds," said Gore.

All of us can only echo Mr. Gore's sentiments, and wish the very best for the naked glacier dwellers in the sky. We will never forget.

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Volvo Pluggable Hybrid Concept Car--All Electric All the Time--No Transmission, No Driveshaft

Before you get too excited, you should know that this car will not see production before 2015 at the soonest. The four independent electric motors are built into the wheels, and the only power connection to the wheels is a power cable from the battery. The 1.6 liter flex-fuel engine is only there to keep the batteries charged.
When fully charged the Volvo ReCharge Concept can be driven approximately 62 miles on battery power alone before the car's four-cylinder 1.6 Flexifuel engine1 is needed to power the car and recharge the battery. The concept car also retains the Volvo C30's lively and sporty drive thanks to an acceleration figure of 0-62mph in 9 seconds and a top speed of 100mph.

"This is a groundbreaking innovation for sustainable transportation. This plug-in hybrid car, when used as intended, should have about 66 percent lower emissions of carbon dioxide compared with the best hybrid cars available on the market today. Emissions may be even lower if most of the electricity comes from CO2-friendly sources such as biogas, hydropower and nuclear power. A person driving less than 60 miles per day will rarely need to visit a filling station.

...During a journey the combustion engine starts up automatically when 70 percent of the battery power has been used up. However, the driver also has the option of controlling the four-cylinder Flexifuel engine manually via a button in the control panel. This allows the driver to start the engine earlier in order to maximise battery charge, for instance when out on a motorway in order to save battery capacity for driving through the next town.

* The battery pack integrated into the boot uses lithium-polymer battery technology. The batteries are intended to have a useful life beyond that of the car itself.
* Four electric motors, one at each wheel, provide independent traction power.
* Four-cylinder 1.6-litre Flexifuel engine drives an advanced generator that efficiently powers the wheel motors when the battery is depleted.

...The central electrical components in the Volvo ReCharge Concept – the generator for the APU and the wheel motors – were developed together with British electromagnetic specialists PML Flightlink.

With an individual electric motor at each wheel, weight distribution as well as mechanical efficiency and traction are maximised and the friction in mechanical gears is eliminated. Since the car does not have the transmission found in ordinary cars, there is no need for a gear lever.

...The energy that is generated during braking is transmitted to the battery pack. When the system is ultimately developed, traditional wheel brakes will be completely replaced by electrical brakes with minimal energy wasted through friction. To ensure reliable operation of the drivetrain and braking system, driver inputs are fed into a quadruple-redundant electronic control system.
Hat tip Gizmag


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