Coming up on RoundAbout . . . another bizarre BMW pickup truck surfaces on the interwebs. Roadkill is on the menu tonight -- some mighty fine fare. And we uncover why Steve Jobs never had a license plate on his car. All that and more, plus we recap some of our favorite things from the SEMA show. So sit back, relax and enjoy the program.
Play RoundAbout Episode 103
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Show notes and video after the jump!
Germiest places in America
USA Today is reporting a Kimberly-Clark study that reveals the germiest places in America are our gas pumps. According to “Dr. Germ” (as he is known), 71% of gas pump handles are contaminated with the kinds of germs most associated with a high risk of illness. Gas pumps outranked mailboxes, ATMs and escalator rails. Of course, as a manufacturer of tissues and sanitizing wipes, Kimberly-Clark is suggesting that people wash and sanitize more often in order to reduce infection but that only reduces the risk if everyone buys their products and uses them. How did we survive without hand sanitizer as a species, I do wonder.
Ford developing glow-in-the-dark chrome
There’s an old motorcycle saying . . . or at least a saying used by old motorcyclists: “chrome don’t get you home.” Plastering more baubles and trinkets on your bike doesn’t make it any more reliable. The same is true of cars. Shiny bits of trim do not increase fuel economy, nor do they make the handling better. Upping the D-bag factor, CNET reports Ford has developed a type glow-in-the-dark chrome. Yep, now your Mustang’s galloping horse emblem can strut its stuff at night! The company was showing off this . . . technology . . . I use that term loosely -- at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas this week. We’re not certain how the system works, but Ford has plans to light up the car’s 5.0 badge under the hood as well as other chrome bits. Michelle . . .
You can run, but you can’t hide from this new multi-target photo-radar system
Proving that Governments won’t be happy until we are in a world police state, all in the name of “safety and protecting the children” a company called Peak Gain Systems is now marketing a traffic camera that can track up to 32 cars (!) on four lanes, targeting their license plates and measuring their speed.
The system is set up so that the Stasi, errr Chekestas can sit close by as the information on the car, a photo, and it’s license plate are sent to them via Wifi or 3G signal so that they can apprehend the offender and of course give them the obligatory $500/€500 fine.
The phrase “Big Brother Is Watching You” has never been more apparent.
Swede builds new Lamborghini for the ski slopes
I always thought that the Volvo XC70 was the default cars used in ski resort cities, but, like most things in life, there's always someone out there with too much money for their own good to help prove me wrong. In this case, Jon Olsson, a professional skier from Sweden, resisted the urge of using his home country's off-roading wagon in place of something a little flashier - a Lamborghini Gallardo. As if the snowy camouflage paint job didn't make it too obvious when Olsson pulled up to the slopes, he also had a ski rack installed on the roof - which I'm pretty sure isn't a factory option. Making the story even better, the article on Jalopnik states this is just a temporary car while Olsson waits for the completion of his desired wintry weather daily driver, a Lamborghini Aventador.
Taking roadkill off the menu
If you are homeless in Alaska, you may find a delicious meal of venison awaiting you at the shelter, courtesy of the state. If you live in Illinois and aren’t a dead-beat parent, you can have some delicious raccoon succotash for your vittles and if you are lucky enough to live in Florida, you are free to eat anything that that you can kill with that weapon known as your vehicle. According to the California Road Kill Observation System (CROS), these are some of the practices in our fine country with road kill. While 1-2 million large animals are hit on the roadway wilds every year, CROS estimates that limiting the carnage with roadway changes or infared warning systems is nearly impossible. ICK.
Driver dodges hundreds of steel rods during collision
From the “HOLY EFFING CRAP!” file comes this unbelievable story. The website ChinaHush.com -- yes, that’s “hush” as in “hushpuppy,” like crispy-fried dough, or old-people shoes -- reports a motorist in Taizhou City, Zhejiang Province -- like anybody knows where the hell that is, just survived a devastating crash. The 24-year-old Volvo driver is SOOOOOOO lucky to be alive right now it’s not even funny. You see, he got in an accident with a truck carrying a load of steel bars. Not unexpectedly, said rods came loose from the lorrie and flew like a quiver-load of arrows straight through the Volvo’s windshield. The car LITERALLY looked like a porcupine! Miraculously, the driver escaped with scarcely a scratch. He was able to throw himself on the passenger’s seat before the impact. Ouch!
Why Steve Jobs' car never had a license plate
The late Steve Jobs was very fond of pushing the rules to the edge if not breaking them outright. It turns out there is a loophole in California DMV law which says you can go 6 months without putting a license plate on your car after you purchse it.
Well when you have a net worth of 7 Billion dollars you can make arrangements with your leasing company to get a new car every 6 months so you can avoid having to get a plate, and perhaps be tracked.
Being the Vegan that he was you would thought that Steve would have driven a Prius to fit in with the eco friendly vibe that is in line with a guy who spent time in a commune. But no, Steve’s car of choice was a Mercedes Benz SL55 AMG, not very eco-friendly if you ask me.
BMW 730i pickup truck should be put out of its misery
Apparently, the idea of a BMW pickup truck goes further back than the cargo-friendly M3 introduced this year for April Fool's Day. According to an article on Carscoop.com, someone in Germany (no doubt an American truck lover) went to town on a 2nd-generation 7 Series replacing the spacious back seat and trunk with a half-ass cargo bed. What's even better than the diamond-plated cargo bed is the fact that the car's rear doors are still in place. Other standout features on this unfortunate, one-of-a-kind 7 Series pickup truck include taillights that appear to be stolen from a carnival ride, a roll bar seemingly made from fence posts and an Uncle Sam sticker in the sliding rear window reminding all Germans how poor Americans’ tastes in cars can be.
The danger of sneezing at the wheel
A Maryland driver was recently overcome by a sneezing attack, causing him to crash into a tree, killing his passenger and injuring himself. The driver has been charged with “reckless and negligent” driving - certainly because he can’t feel bad enough that he killed someone when his body involuntarily spasmed with violent sternutation. In the Middle Ages, of course, the great loss of breath was often associated with expiring, hence death and so sneezes were seen as being fatal. Don’t sneeze and drive is all I can volunteer here.
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Stupid Car Trick
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2011 SEMA Wrap-Up
Tip(s) Of The Week