12 February, 2013

Lazy car post

I know I've been lazy and haven't written in a while. But I'll make up for that. By being even more lazy and copying one of my comments from Jalopnik over here.
What sparked my comment was this video:

So, here it is:
Hell yeah! This car was made to put a smile on your face, to make your heart rate go over the speed limit of a highway (in km).
 If you're not allowed to have fun in a $1.000.000 car, then why the hell would you buy it? Go, hoon the shit out of it. Enjoy it. You did work for it. You've earned it.
Don't put it in a garage and let it there gather dust and rust. Don't. It's an insult to the engineers that worked to design, manufacture and improve the car.
 Want a pretty car for you nice collection to look at? Buy Hot Wheels. Or buy advertising. Tons of nice art featuring cars.
 Cars should be treasured and valued for the purpose they were built for. They were built to move you from here to there, more or less faster.
It's just like the idiots who buy a nice phone for the design, but then they add an ugly ass bumper case to it, or an "old man" leather pouch/carrying case, because they don't want to scratch it. Then why would you buy it? Why hide the particularities of your precious item?
 They should make car buyers for Alfas, Pagani, Maseratti, Ferrari, Aston Martin and other pretty cars, sign a contract that obliges them to drive on the public roads at least 2-3 times a week. Make it as a public service. We're tired of looking at all those grey cars, grey trucks, grey buildings, square lines, etc. We need to see something pretty. Something to bring a smile on your face.

Make it like when a country sells old castles (or various works of art), where they make the buyer use the castle as a museum (or in the case of the works of art: have them shown from time to time at public art galleries).

You could even have UNESCO make the cars part of their "World Heritage" program. Cars are actually world heritage. They define our culture. They are an integral part of our life. So don't screw it up.
A jalop

If you want to see more of my posts there, use the following: ratonbox.kinja.com
Also, do check out the other videos from that YouTube channel because you can find there a "rally" Rolls-Royce and other cool cars.

12 November, 2012

Tractors - Making your week better since the 1900's

I  would've never thought that I would ever enjoy watching someone drive a tractor. Well, besides when I was 10 and I was fascinated with everything that had an engine in it.

But THIS, this made me so happy watching it.. It's the kind of unconscious joy that you rarely feel, that fills your heart and puts a smile on your face, no matter how miserable you feel. 

Also, a bonus for all you car porn lovers:  a tractor with a Jaguar V12 engine. A sound that could melt glaciers.

Both of them are from the nordic countries: first one from Sweden and the second one, as the more vexillological inclined of you may have noticed, from Norway.

Thanks go to the amazing people from Jalopnik (both the editors and the community)!

14 October, 2012

To be or not to be - there isn't a question

This post is just for me so I don't expect anyone else to understand it.

Should I be angry? Of course, why the hell not.

On who? This might be a problem. It's not her fault, at least in my mind, so that only leaves me. And I cannot be angry ar myself. At most, I can be dissapointed.

Am I angry? Yes, I am freaking angry.
I'm angry that my life was disrupted, I'm angry because the situation could've been better, I'm angry because I think everything is avoidable ( usually in hindsight ) but now I have no clue about what I should've done differently.

On a different note, I should be thankfull, because this anger gives me more willpower and more courage to do what I want. It's not the best case scenario, because who would want a life and a career built on tears?

Do Iook angry and act angry in any way? No, what freaking good would this do? It would make my life harder, having to explain all this shit and it would probably hurt her ( i still care about her happiness even if at times I want her to disappear from this world and from my life ).

I still hate the fact that the best memories from the past months are with her, because it makes me sad whenever I recall them.

I would've loved to go awol for a few months on a deserted island and sit there until I forget everything, but that's not at all productive. Or even possible.

Does life end without her as I thought before? Yes and no. That life, that I imagined, that I wanted, is over. Nothing will bring it back. But there is another life, one that you couldn't have planned before, one where a lot of things are possible.

Another thing: why didn't I fight harder, or fight at all? Because I can't. My power is in a routine I've laid out for me, which should cover most possibilities. Once that is broken, I'm incapable to adapt for while, until I fix that. So, I wanted to fight, but I don't know how and I cannot, mentally.

I hope she understands this and she won't accuse me of not caring enough to fight for her. I won't blame her if she does, but I will lose most of my respect for her because of this.

I will get through this, without any help. I have to.

PS: but, if any of you have a time machine, i would love to live the past 5-6 months again.

19 July, 2012

RED cameras and EVOs

A short intermezzo with some rally action in Australia, with two EVOs: EVO 4 and an EVO 6 Tommi Makinen Edition , shot with a RED camera.

Please do watch it in 1080p and fullscren. It's amazing! Cheers go to Jalopnik, where I saw the video and to BerryBrothersMotorsport, who made the video.

16 July, 2012

Anonymity: when to say enough

It's been a while(almost two decades) since the Internet came to be an integral part in our lives and recently, a lot of concerns appeared about the privacy you get/have the right to, when online(Carrier IQ, Google, Facebook).

But this is not the actual subject of this post. It's all about the choice of using your real name and details online, instead of using various aliases. Everybody knows it's a common practice for teenagers to use an alias when posting/chatting over the internet, and lately it seems to have been a common thing for adults to act worried about this.

From one point of view,  I see anonymity as an useful tool in the development of their character. The "power" to make your opinion heard with almost no responsibility is a good test of character. Sure, there will be the occasional idiot who swears and brings nothing constructive to the discussion, but for people that have more inhibitions, who are introverts or who are just afraid of being judged: it will help bring their true opinions about cultural, political or social events and ideas.
It's easier to make a personal statement when there is no chance of "ad hominem" attacks ( I am currently planning an article about logical fallacies, so I'll explain it better there). 

I've witnessed lots of introvert people evolving nicely behind aliases, that hid their identity in the online world ( forums, blogs, etc), and I genuinely think they would've had a lot of problems later in life, fitting in the society or functioning as a normal, social, human being.

Of course, this has to be coupled with proper human interaction as the excess in anything in never good. Anonymity will only take you so far, for the rest of the road you need to go out and talk with friends (even friends from the online world, because it will be easier to connect with them when you know their interests and opinions), go interact, drink, party, etc.

Also, as you grow older, for example: after you're 20 years old, you should start owning up to your actions, opinions and ideas. You need to learn how to be responsible and show that you're willing to support the consequences of your words and actions.

This is why I'm not against employers checking the online activity (forums, blogs, Facebook, etc) of prospective employees. It a great judge of character, what you write when there are no apparent consequences. Sure, you may have been a dumb, naive kid, 5 years ago, but if you've shown no improvement since then, why would someone want to hire you?

You have to grow up, and you also have to start acting like one when in public, because no matter what you may think, your image is important, the "YOU" that other people see is sometimes more important than your diplomas. 

In the end, I leave you with a funny clip from "The Big Bang Theory". There are no advices that I can give you that will apply in every single situation, but the main idea is that anonymity is an useful tool, up to a point. After that, grow up and act up.

PS: for our Romanian readers this is a very good article about what to do after you get past your anonymity phase.

12 June, 2012

Top 10 iconic and amazing race tracks (V)

  And now, the last 2 tracks. I think that some of you might even know what tracks are going to win because both of them are tracks with immense history and reputation.


2. Circuit de la Sarthe (Le Mans)

Why did it make the list:
- exceptional history, with pilots ranging from the "Bentley Boys" to Mario Andretti and Bruce McLaren.
- home of the 24h of Le Mans, the world's oldest endurance race
Why it didn't score higher:
- not that popularized in the past years.
- there aren't that many races held here.

It's hard to find a video to represent the amazing history of Le Mans, but this should at least scratch the surface.

Also, this is a very interesting blog post about the history of Le Mans.

1. Circuit de Monaco

Why did it make the list:
- best known circuit in the world
- most demanding track in Formula 1 racing
Why it didn't score higher:
- not up to current safety standards of Formula 1.

There aren't enough words to describe the circuits, so I'll let a video, of the great driver Ayrton Senna around this track, do the talking.

Also, you can see below the table with the scores for each track (click to enlarge).

11 June, 2012

Top 10 iconic and amazing race tracks (IV)

Sorry for the long gap, but I forgot to sync my infographic data with my home computer, so everything I had made for these posts was on my desktop, at work.

4. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

Why did it make the list:
- great layout and skill based track + the "Corkscrew";
- my personal favorite track, all-time (this blog is not a Democracy, so it's a legitimate reason :D)
Why it didn't score higher:
- relatively new track;
- it mostly hosts minor world racing events.

Two videos are in order for this track, both of them featuring the best corner ever seen on a racing track.
The first one, from Moto GP, in a fight between Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner, two of the best Moto GP riders of all time.

Sadly this video can only be watched on YouTube. Follow the link here.

Second video, from Alex Zanardi and Brian Herta, a maneuver that won Zanardi the third place in that year's Champ Car season.


3. Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps

Why did it make the list:
- historic and respected race track that has an emphasis on the skill and courage of the competitors;
- "Masta" and "Eau Rouge" corners are known as some of the hardest corners to negotiate.
Why it didn't score higher:
- has lost a bit in importance in the past years due to poor relations with the F1 boss, Bernie Ecclestone;
- there are still two more tracks that are a lot more famous than it.

A small video showing the speed of F1 cars in the Eau Rouge corner.

08 June, 2012

Top 10 iconic and amazing race tracks (III)

Part 3 is here with 2 more iconic tracks. From now on, the order of the tracks could've been either way, cause every single track left to announce here, is special. I'll be posting the leader-board with all the marks in the final post.


6.  Mount Panorama, Motor Racing Circuit Bathurst

Why did it make the list:
- uniquely laid out track, going around a mountain with a huge difference between it's highest and lowest point (174 meters)
- home of the historic "The Great Race", a fight between the 2 biggest car companies in Australia: GM and Ford.
- amazing cult following, with over 190.000 people that attended the 2006 Bathurst 1000.
Why it didn't score higher:
- impossibility of modifying it to the new safety standards, that would allow it to run more prestigious races, like F1.
- large number of people killed on the track and in the stands.

You can see how spectacular the race circuit is, even by watching a qualifying race. This one is from 1985, and it's made by Tom Walkinshaw (Rest In Peace), in a Jaguar XJS V12.

5.  Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Why did it make the list:
- historic track, being the first ever Speedway built in the USA(and in the world);
-ability to host the two most viewed motorsports in the world: Nascar and F1.
- enormous capacity, with 225.000 people present at the  2000 US Grand Prix
Why it didn't score higher:
- for most of the time since it's construction, it only held races that appeal to limited number of spectators
- not a very skill based track, with it being mostly based on endurance.

With this being said, the track still generates the highest amount of passion from all the race tracks, as you can see from the small tribute video below.

Hope you enjoyed it!

Eye candy

As you may have notices until now I am a big fan of rallying and especially of the Group B era. It's hard not to be taken aback by the passion and the speed generated by this short era, so why resist it? Here's an amazing video from the Pirelli P7 Corsa Classic demonstration/race/launch, in the Italian Alps.

 I'm willing to bet that the engineers at Pirelli made this tires (the P7 Corsa Classic, special tires for historic rally cars) just to get to have some fun with some of the most amazing rally cars ever:
- Fiat 131 Abarth;
- Lancia Stratos;
- Lancia 037;
- Lancia Delta S4;
- Lancia Delta HF Integrale;
- Lancia ECV (amazing one-off prototype, an evolution of the Delta HF model);
+ a late '90s Subaru and a Peugeot 207 IRC.

You can see all of them driven, in this video, by world class drivers: Markku Alen, Juha Kankkunen and Paolo Andreucci.

Enjoy the footage!
PS: just two small hints:
- superb outside shots from 7:21 to 7:44;
- very nicely taken corner at 9:04.

This was a small intermezzo, the Top 10 Race Tracks series will continue after this.

07 June, 2012

Top 10 iconic and amazing race tracks (II)

Like I promised you, here is part 2 of the Top 10 Tracks.

8.  Autodromo Nazionale Monza

Why did it make the list:
- very high speed circuit, that tests the pilots and the engineers;
- it's one of the oldest racecourses in Europe with enormous heritage and history.
Why it didn't score higher:
- the huge number of fatal accidents;
- it's a rather dated race circuit with a large number of safety problems.

This video describes Monza perfectly: very harsh on the engines and a very fast track(Curva Grande is a great example).


7.  Suzuka International Race Circuit

Why did it make the list:
- high skill required to be competitive on this circuit;
- one of the oldest remaining F1 circuits;
- a large number of F1 titles have been decided on this circuit
Why it didn't score higher:
- large number of fatal accidents;
- it's Japan Grand Prix hosting days seem to be over.