People think I joke about Lego sets being a highly fenced item. Okay, they also wonder what it means “to fence” something. Do people really not know that terminology? Mickey Spillane’s ghost just choked on a salted peanut.
I may have consumed too many hardboiled detective tales in my youth.
Anyway, criminals love Legos precisely because so many other people love Legos — and are willing to pay for said Legos.
I still remember researching electric cars being developed during the beginnings of the auto industry and being surprised when my dad mentioned that there were still electric vehicles on the road when he grew up in the 40s and 50s. Old models of delivery vehicles were still being used by thrifty businesses — and, in fact, the Walker Vehicle Company made such vehicles up until 1942 in Chicago.
The reason the vehicles were still on the roads was because electric motors cope with lots of starts and stops… such as delivery vehicles make. Delivery vehicles usually also don’t need to worry about extended range. They’re headed across town, not cross-country.
Being the practical engineer type, my dad was always befuddled by the fact that no one had decided to continue making electric vehicles for the urban environment.
It might not come as any surprise that many practical engineer types have had similar thoughts of late, only this time with buses versus delivery vehicles. In fact, they’re on track to be a significant percentage of all buses inside the next 10 years. Not only that, their use is already making a noticeable dent in oil use. My dad would especially like the passage in the latter article where the electric bus company was laughed at for making a toy not too many years ago. There’s no hubris quite like status quo hubris. (Especially since many people have mused about this happening, as you’ll see in a similar article from last year).
Of course, the only surefire way to have local governments adopt electric buses is to come up with a catchy song. You, know, something like…
Devices and contraptions that make sound effects are among my favorite things, ranking well above cream-colored ponies, bright copper kettles, and possibly even whiskers on kittens.
So I was delighted to see this little video about how sound effects have been made over the years (though I think they skip over the valuable contributions voice-over artists have been able to do with their own voices: think Mel Blanc’s sad Maxwell sputtering on the Jack Benny Show for just one example).