Involvement In Traffic Jams Detrimental to Health

Muffler and tail pipe on a car

Image via Wikipedia

There was a new story posted today over at the Wall Street Journal of interest to all traffic jam sufferers worldwide. The story cites studies on exhaust fumes and their link to maladies. This test was done by scientists globally.

The results, though circumstantial, find a link between living near highways and slower intelligence, depression, anxiety, autism, and even Alzheimer’s Disease. The results were not that different between race and gender.

The next time you are stuck in gridlock… try keeping that out of your mind. Oh wait… forgetting is part of it, isn’t it? Wait… What were we talking about?

Fonzie’s Motorcycle to be Auctioned

 

Below is a Press Release from Bonham’s Auction house.

Fonzie’s Motorcycle From Happy Days to be Auctioned

Henry Winkler as Fonzie

Henry Winkler as Fonzie

“Famous double-headline bike was owned by legend Bud Ekins.”

The 1949 Triumph Trophy TR5 Scrambler Custom ridden by The Fonz in the television hit series Happy Days will be one of the highlights at Bonhams’ upcoming Classic California Sale in Los Angeles.

Happy Days, the beloved American sitcom that aired for ten years from 1974 to 1984 and attracted millions of viewers each week, helped launched the career of such actors as Ron Howard, Scott Baio and Henry Winkler. Winkler’s character, Arthur Fonzarelli – known famously as The Fonz and Fonzie – was initially just a secondary character that became so popular with fans he was soon made the central figure of the show. As the epitome of cool, the motorcycle-loving Fonzie, dressed in the stereotypical garb of The Wild Ones, spawned countless wannabes among the youth of America and became a cultural icon that still resonates today. And Fonzie’s motorcycle, a customized Triumph, was owned off-screen by another cultural icon, Bud Ekins.

Image via Autoblog.com

The late Bud Ekins was famous as a motocross racer, Hollywood stuntman (he’s the one that made that legendary motorcycle jump over the barbed wire fence in The Great Escape), and as Steve McQueen’s best friend. With his warehouse of hundreds of motorbikes, Ekins was the go-to man in Hollywood when producers needed two wheels. So when the people from Happy Days called, it was Ekins who determined what the coolest guy on TV should be riding. Taking an old Triumph in his collection, he simply removed the front fender, replaced the handle bars and spray painted the tank silver and, violá, the Fonzie bike was born. Of course, no one had any idea of just how popular the show would become or the magnitude of fame Winkler’s character would achieve.

This now iconic emblem of American pop culture will be offered by Bonhams at their annual Classic California Sale, held November 12th, at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. Renowned for offering property from famous actors each year – Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Clark Gable and Bruce Willis, to name just a few – this autumn auction is not to be missed by aficionados of pop and custom culture and entertainment and automotive history.

News Source: Bonhams via autoblog.com

Welcome Back

Wendy's restaurant at 375 South Churton Street...

Image via Wikipedia

The “Where’s the beef?” marketing campaign for Wendy’s back in 1984 was a hit. So much so, that for years afterward people would still chuckle to each other upon receiving their burgers and recite the question silently to themselves or to their friends.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aISkVvi5iI8

 

Well, it’s back! Wendy’s has launched the campaign again. This time the first commercial starts with a fellow walking into a thrift store and finding an old t-shirt with the phrase on it. He then walks through the streets wearing it all the while having people ask him, “Where’s the beef?”

 

I don’t know how long or how large of a campaign this will be for Wendy’s this time around, but it’s certainly a start. I hope the campaign takes off again and that a new generation of young people will start uttering the silly question. If so, this time I’ll be the one silently chuckling to myself.

 

Steve Jobs – Quotes

Steve Jobs Presentation 2

Image via Wikipedia

There has been a lot of information about Steve Jobs that’s been coming to the surface since he passed away recently. Among articles calling him a visionary, there were also articles calling him a tyrant; and yet still others calling him a drug using malcontent. Regardless of your views of him, and although he was just a mere mortal, he still had a profound impact on the technological progress of the last few decades that can not be denied. In fact, some have likened him to our modern day Edison or Einstein, who were also loved and hated.

 

I will not deify him. But, I will give him respect because of his contributions to the world. There is no doubt that we are better connected (to music, to business, and to each other) in this globe largely because of his vision of the direction of the future.

So, what did Steve Jobs choose to believe was his direction in life? I chose to hang on to a couple quotes from Steve Jobs that leave a profound impression on me and answer that question. The quotes are below:

  • The benefit of death, he said, is you know not to waste life living someone else’s choices.
  • “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

The Automotive Landscape Is Changing

It may not surprise you that the Italian car company Fiat also owns other manufacturers named Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Ferrari, and others. But, did you also know that the same Italian powerhouse also owns a piece of Americana? Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram are all owned by Fiat.

Owning so many brands is a boon for the bean counters in each brand. It makes it easier to leverage models across the manufacturers. Leveraging in such a way spreads costs of development of one vehicle across all the brands, instead of each brand developing their own models. So now, even Maserati and Alfa Romeo are rumored to be working on SUVs based on the Jeep Grand Cherokee, and the new Dodge Viper (expected in 2012) is rumored to be a Ferrari or Alfa Romeo chassis with Dodge body styling cues.

Dodge Viper 2003-04-19

Image via Wikipedia

I can understand the cost savings in leveraging. But, let’s hope that legends don’t get lost in the process. I think bringing the Viper to market with Italian mechanicals would be a shame. The Viper was always about brute muscular deep-throated exhaust tunes mixed with the sounds of shredding tires.

I have no doubt that the replacement for the Viper would be just as good if not better than the last one that rolled off the assembly line. However, the Viper has a legend all of its own. So, maybe the name should be retired too, instead of having a reinvention of the same idea. What I’m saying is that I’m all for a Viper replacement of a different name. Let the Viper name retire into the Hall of Fame it deserves. The new product shouldn’t try to make an Italian accented exhaust burble while wearing a Viper badge.

Rest In Peace – Steve Jobs

For over 30 years Steve Jobs has been on the leading edge of technology. He co-founded Apple in 1976. Since then, he is credited with being the father of many

Steve Jobs at the WWDC 07

Steve Jobs at the WWDC 07 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

technology laden and groundbreaking consumer products such as, the Apple II, IPod, IPod Nano, IPod Shuffle, Itunes, and the IPhone.

Rest In Peace: Steve Jobs 1955-2011

The IPhone 4S

I followed the live reveal of the Apple IPhone 4S online at a couple of blogs that had correspondents at the meeting. Many anticipated the meeting to be for the reveal of the IPhone 5. But, Apple surprised everybody, as it often does, with the new 4S.

Here are the details:

  • Pre-orders for the 4S start this Friday, October 7th. It will be available on October 14th.
  • Black and white versions 16GB: $199, 32GB for $299, 64GB for $399 ** Prices are with a 2 Year Contract
  • In the US it’ll be Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint (CDMA and GSM networks).
  • It has an 8 megapixel camera
  • Voice recognition is possible. This software has come a long way. It is now almost  casual speech capable.

I think what surprised me the most was the price point for all this technology in one small device. In fact, I think I just dropped my hopes of getting an Android powered
phone. I might just buy my first Apple for myself (I bought an IPod for my wife in the past).

Image via engadget

Not to be lost though, is the fact that the industry was expecting the launch of… more. Still absent for the new 4S is the larger screen and the 4G capability that is being rolled out by many carriers. These features were expected to be launched today in the IPhone 5, not the 4S. Yet, the IPhone 5 was conspicuously absent today.

So, all in all, a nice upgraded phone was launched. It’s features and capabilities are an improvement over the last version, as one might expect. But, the launch still left many wanting the still absent next generation. Leave it to apple to create greater anticipation for the next great thing.