Sunday, November 15, 2009

Semester Sucks

Read this instead of my blag.

Architecture and Film blags next semester.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Brian K Vaughan: A God Amongst Mere Mortals

(That title's not setting my opinion out there too far now, is it?)


My introduction to him was when I wandered into the comic book shop and said, "Sell me some Sci-Fi!" And they showed me a few, of which I picked up Ex Machina #1. I was back the next morning the minute they opened to buy the rest of this still-in-progress series. The owner of the comic book store in Pullman says that this is the best series he's ever read. It's about Politics and a superhero in real-world, everyday situation. That description doesn't make it sound interesting, but what it does through those lenses is delve into every deep, dark facet of American culture, discussing polarizing issues in a way that, to me, is thought-provoking, respectful without being meaningless, and, ultimately, intelligent and funny. You have to read at least the first, disjointed issue, and if you aren't on board after reading that, than I'm pretty sure you hate kittens and burn down orphanages in your free time. Just saying.


So I'm thinking to myself, "DAMN. Ex Machina is fucking good!" Then I finish the series and Wikipedia tells me he also co-wrote Y: The Last Man Standing with Canadian writer and penciller Pia Guerra. Now Y is a ten book, finished series and let me tell you friend, it's not as consistently good as Ex Machina, but to me it is much more beautiful. It is the troubled story of Yorick Brown who, in the first chapter, mysteriously survives a mysterious event the french term Le Grand Depart - iol est: all the men die except for Yorick and his helper monkey, Ampersand. That's right, in the first chapter all the men in the world explode in a bloody, grotesque fashion. Pretty freaking funny if you ask me. From there the story shies away from nothing - racism, drugs, religion, military, childhood, politics, rebellion, science, expired canned food, love, morals - nothing is safe, and very little is sacred - if anything. However, as a reader, it is pretty clear to see Vaughan's writing improve over the span of these books, from a tentative writer to a confident, strong one addressing issues in a fresh way. Initially, I was afraid he wasn't going to be fair to his character's fates, but after finishing the series (and restarting it) this week, let me assure you that he is heartrendingly fair and unbiased in the books - shit happens to everybody and good stuff too. There is lots of sex - and since there's only one man in the world a lot of the sex is lesbian - and violence and fucked up dreams and deep issues in our culture get laid bare and discussed in an intelligent way, with the gratuitousness at times serving to point out the absurdity of some of these issues. It's exciting, extremely thought-provoking, and wholly addicting. If you have a local comic book shop, like Safari Pearl here in Moscow, drop by and pick up the series for a roller-coaster ride of hilarity, (not all of it is death related humor, though a lot is) joy, sadness, and touching moments of friendship, hatred, love, and camaraderie. Ultimately, this series cost me $140 and it was worth every damn penny. If you want to borrow, feel free to ask - it needs read. Oh, and I guess they're making a movie - DJ Caruso directing - with a real monkey, not a CGI one. Sweet.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Frankfurt 2009 Post 2 + Formula 1

Three big events to report today. First and foremost is the fact that LOTUS IS BACK IN F1. None of this maybe shit, Lotus is team 13 for next year! If any modicum of the excitement F1 is giving fans this year carries over into next year, and Lotus is on the grid, I might just be the happiest man in the world. Plus they're returning to sportscar racing too. It's been a good week for Lotus racing fans.


Also, Elio Zagato died. He designed the above car, among others, and was a legendary gentleman racer. The world is worse without him.

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The other event is, of course, the continuation of the Frankfurt Motor Show:

More Insanity:


An Elise-based, gullwing sportscar? Yes!


A Hybrid, 200HP, Coupe sportscar from Peugeot? Oh man! This is crazy! I forgive you for the BB1! Actually, no I don't, but this is a start towards penance.


It's fitting that the name of this company, Mansory, is one letter away from "Man, sorry." They should be. Or their name should be "let's take a gorgeous, classic Aston Martin, and fuck it up."


The Russians scoff at the Frenchies' hybrid sportscar and build themselves a stunning hybrid supercar. Two, actually. Well, maybe. It has no details whatsoever, and construction quality is a little rough around the edges. But I want.



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Expected:


I think the new Saab 9-5 looks good. But then again, I'm an architect, so I don't really know. (All architects drive Saabs)


Two new Minis! Yay!


Not happy with releasing one of the most beautiful small-cars this year, the Fiat 500, Fiat went ahead and made it a twin-trick and released another gorgeous small-car.


But of course, both of the Fiat's pale in comparison to the Alfa Romeo Mito. This may be the best small car I've seen in a decade or more. I wants. I wants bad. This model here is the Quadrifoglio Verde, or green four leafed clover. This drops 170 horsepower into your pocket, more efficiently too, apparently. And you could almost fit this car in your pocket. Sure, the Mito GTA is the one I want, that 240 horsepower beauty, but I will probably be able to afford this. The biggest tragedy of these, if you ask me, is that Alfa Romeo isn't sure whether they'll bring the Mito to the US or not. Please Alfa, let me have a Mito GTA. Or the QV above.

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Some Renault's To Hunt & Kill:




Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The BMW Post


Alright, so let's talk ze Germans again. Seems appropriate right now, what with Frankfurt going on and all (more Frankfurt pictures tomorrow). This isn't going to be chronological, this will be... Favoritological! (It's Latin, trust me)

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1. 1995-1997 F1 GTR/LM: Okay, so it's technically a McLaren (British), but it has a BMW engine in it, was raced by factory BMW, and is claimed by BMW. The LM refers to the Le Mans victory in 1995 and only 6 were built - five sold and one prototype. The GTR is the car that actually won Le Mans, many of which have been slightly modified to drive on the road legally. The LM gets to 60 in 2.9 seconds. The LM gets to 60 in 2.9 seconds. 28 GTRs were built and dear God... these may be the most beautiful melding of lust and technology yet created. I have been in love with these for years now.

F1 GTR Le Mans Results:

1995: 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 13th. 2 DNF. Reliability beat speed again. Who would have thunk it?

1996: 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th, 11th. 1DNF.

1997: 2nd, 3rd. 3 DNF.

1998: 4th. 1 DNF.

So let's review now. A road-legal car won Le Mans. Not only that, but it finished in the top five for four straight years against factory prototype cars such as: Porsche 911 GT1, Nissan R390 GT1, Panoz Esperante GTR-1, Ferrari 333 SP, Toyota GT-One, Toyota/SARD MC8-R, Porsche WSC-95, Honda NSX GT1, Mercedes-Benz CLK-LM (GTR), BMW V12-LM, and the Lotus Elise GT-1. Privateer prototype teams beat were Courage, Riley & Scott, Kudzu, Welter, Kremer, and Deborah. They were placed a class above the Porsche 911, the Nissan GT-R LM, the Chrysler Viper, the Ferrari F40, the Jaguar XJ 220, the Callaway Corvette, the Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1, the Lister Storm, the Toyota Supra, the Saleen Mustang RRR, and the Marcos Mantara LM600 - all other road cars transformed for racing. That, my friends, is purely and utterly legendary.


2. 1956-1959 BMW 507: This car isn't German. It's too curvy. It's too cool and not prickish or vanilla enough. In short, this car is too beautiful to ever come from Germany. This was BMWs attempt to take some 300SL Gullwing prestige away from Mercedes, to get part of that German sports-car market. 252 were built, and two prototypes, but it almost killed BMW - they lost money on every car. While the 300SL was 10% of Mercedes' sales, this was a drop in the bucket - a very expensive drop in the bucket. Fortunately for BMW, an investor, the BMW 700, the BMW Isetta, and the New Class (1500) came along to save it. But still, that BMW 507 is my favorite, wholly BMW car.


3. BMW 2002tii (Turbo E20): Based on the beautiful BMW 1500 "New Class," this body was gorgeous. The car saved BMW from bankruptcy and, ultimately, gave us one of the most modifiable cars of all time. When thinking of a modifiable car, most think of a Hyundai something-or-other that's been lowered, has a huge, decorative, useless spoiler, stickers, and some 18 year old wanker at the wheel. This car, on the other hand, decided to be beautiful out the door so modifications mostly occurred in the engine bay and wheel-wells. The 2002tii version was BMW's first turbo. It gives you 170 horsepower in a car weighing 2,200 pounds, and only 13.83 feet long (166 inches). This is what I love about the 2002tii: beauty, function, modifiability through simplicity, but most of all, pure driving pleasure. Mechanical grip, direct steering, no ABS brakes - in short, it is small, light, fast, and handles as well as it looks - beautifully. This is what I want out of a car today. Not computers. In this I feel like me, the car, and the road are all one being, working together towards one purpose: and having fun is so easy to attain. This is what I wish automakers would give us today - like the Miata.


4. BMW 328: Awww Yeah! The only surprise here is that it isn't higher up on the list. Kurt Joachimson penned a car that was not only brilliantly beautiful, but technically splendid. With it's hemispherical engine and tubular space frame it was fast beyond belief: it took class in the Mille Miglia in 1938, then won in 1940 and 2004, in 1939 it won the RAC rally and took class at Le Mans. Yet, the car retains it's sophisticated beauty, punctuated by the leather straps holding the hood on, the elegant curves to the rear end, and, above all, that front end is just to die for. Okay, so not sophisticated, but stripped down - with style.


5. BMW M1: Again, not German. Actually, Lamborghini had a hand in this one. From 1978 to 1981 these cars were hand-built. These were race-cars that you could drive, uncomfortably, down the street. Mid-engined, powerful, and the 1984 Group B champion, this car was on top. They even had Andy Warhol paint one of them.


6. BMW 2000CS: Take a 2002, decide to make a coupe, and then hire Karmann to do the body work - that's how you make a BMW 2000CS. The front end is hideous, the interior is, at best, 1970s luxury, and the car has a wee little engine in it. But I love it because of it's quirks. Because of it's failings.


7. BMW M3 (E36 + E46): This car, I hope you realize, I have to put on here.

I hate this car because: I hate the people who drive it. I hate that it's so damn good. I hate that there's too many computers. I hate that I don't feel connected with the roadway. I hate that it's a wholly vanilla design - even for the vanilla obsessed 1990s. I hate that this car looks like every other BMW. I would want people who don't know cars to know that I've got an M3.

I love this car because: It is in a league of its own. It may very well be the greatest car ever created - even I have to admit that. It's hideous but it goes faster than all hell. Everything beneath the vanilla exterior is perfect: chassis, suspension, engine, drive-train, and whatever else goes into a car that I don't understand. All I know is this works, and it works damn well. I just wish every business-school ex-frat-boy didn't have one of these. Go buy Audi's, assholes, leave us the M3!

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And there you have it. That is a list of cars that I like from BMW. Now can I just say, for the record, that I hate the Germans? They make good cars, without, sigh, passion *Clink* and soul *Clink*. They're too vanilla to really fall in love with. Only when they do things totally wrong can they be loved. Or when they get somebody else to design their cars. Perhaps someday soon I'll actually talk about car-companies I adore.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Frankfurt 2009 Post 1

No, I didn't get to go, but from afar I wanted so badly it hurt. Here's a look at the best and worst from this year:

Insanity:


The Mercedes SLS is absolutely insane. And I am in love.


Okay, um, I didn't exactly expect that from BMW AT ALL. If they build this... huge respect.


Okay, so I like Miatas. Driver's cars. This though... this is dweebier than Thom Yorke in a Caterham. I want a Caterham. Mmmm... Caterham... I also want this.


NEEDS MORE INSANE. Come on Abarth. You guys used to be fucking crazy. What happened?


Fuck you Peugeot. I root for your incompitent team in racing and you repay me with this shit? Bad Peugeot. BAD!

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Expected:


At least the Ferrari 458 looks better than the car it replaces. But it's also cheesier. What are those slashes in the lights? And three tailpipes? Really?


Mmm... Weismann MF5 Roadster... Mmmmm... I'm usually not a back-door man, but for you I will make an exception.


It's a Citroen, and it's named the Revolte - one letter off of revolted - and it's purple. But still, somehow, my love of the 2CV can be requited in this.


It's a new fucking McLaren! Please McLaren, heal my eyes from the horrors of the SLR. Oh, this will do the trick nicely. Hot damn!

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Lotus Gets Their Own Fucking Section:


Guess what's showing up at next year's 24 Hours of Nurburgring? Ah yeah, the Lotus Evora.


The Lotus Exige Cup 260 is all kinds of awesome.


The Lotus Elise Club Racer is something I would like to own.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Formula 1: A Brief History Of Jordan & Force India, Including Results From Today's Qualifying


Some people are unclear as to why Fisichella's performance at the last race was so damn surprising. The team started out in 1991 as Jordan Racing - even employing a young Michel Schumacher for his first F1 race ever (He crashed out). They were back-runners until Barrichello took the seat and in 1994 every race he finished except 1 was in the points - granted, he only finished half of the races. In 1999, Former F1 World Champion Damon Hill (Son of Graham Hill) and Heinz-Harald Frentzen took the team to a third place finish at the end of the season. Hill had a terrible season and retired at the end of it, but he was still able to score enough points to get Jordan on the podium. 1994 to 1999 were the good years though. After only getting points in two races in 2004, Eddie Jordan decided to sell, commenting that the era of privateer teams was over. He is now a pundit for BBC's F1 coverage. After the 2005 season Midland F1 racing picked the team up and failed to score a single point in 2006. Their highest finish was 9th. In 2007 the team switched to the control of Spyker, who managed to get Adrian Sutil (Above) into an 8th place spot for a single point in the 2007 season. Then Spyker sold the name to Force India. I think it really was because Spyker was just using F1 to gain a little bit of pedigree and experience for their fantastic street cars. They're still GT racing to this day.

Force India didn't score a single point in 2008 - the highest finish was a 10th for Fisichella. However, Sutil was running 4th in Monaco before being speared by Raikkonen with 6 laps left - and the whole situation became a cluster-fuck, as it usually does in the politics-heavy F1 - and Sutil didn't score. In 2009 he was running 6th in China with, you guessed it, 6 laps left when he aquaplaned and didn't score again. Then, in the lead-up to the 2009 European GP - the first race after the traditional summer break - they looked good, but choked, finishing a typical 10th and 11th after qualifying a typical 12th and 16th. Then the weekend after it Fisichella showed the fuck up! He put Force India on pole and held the lead for a few laps before taking his race to a 2nd place finish. Those 8 points are the most scored by this team since 2005 - and the only reason they got points there was because of the farce the US GP became that year - only six cars raced. So, excluding the fake 2005 US GP, last weekend Force India scored more points than they had since 2003, when Fisichella took the top step of the podium for Jordan during the rain-drenched, politics-infested, odd 700th GP in Brazil. So because the winner was decided in a boardroom we can exclude that race too and that means that since 2000 the team has never done as well as they did last weekend - it was uncontested, clean, and a huge surprise. That is why seeing Sutil go on to qualify 2nd, merely .2 seconds behind the leader, for Sunday's race is so incredible. I don't know what the team did over the summer break, but it bloody worked!

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Qualifying is over, and the race begins on Sunday. Of course, the big shift is that Fisichella, who performed so well last race weekend for Force India, has switched to Ferrari and qualified 14th - good luck getting used to that new car. Kimi came 3rd in the other Ferrari on the track. Last year's champion, Lewis Hamilton, put himself on pole while Fisichella's old teammate, Adrian Sutil (above), qualified 2nd. Way to go Force India! Kovalainen took forth for McLaren-Mercedes and Brawn-Mercedes qualified 5th and 6th - Barrichello and Button respectively. In 7th on the grid is the other Force India car with Vitantonio Liuzzi at the wheel - test driver for the team for the past two years, and in his past he has beat Michel Shumacher. We'll see how he does on the track Sunday - good luck! Alonso put Renault in 8th. The sensation, Vettel, took 9th in his Red-Bull-Renault, followed .1 second back by his teammate. That's got to be a good feeling for a team boss - both my drivers are consistent, good, and the cars are at their tip-top shape.

We will see how things go at the fabled turns of Monza this weekend.

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The Race: Sutil opened the day with the statement, "I will have to defend myself from the KERS cars quite vigorously - my strategy will be ruined if they all get past me." This made me laugh quite hard right before the race opened.


In the first lap (above is the 1st chicane on the 1st lap) Hamilton was barely able to hold off Raikkonen, who took Sutil at the start. Barrichello moved from 6th to 4th immediately while his teammate Button took Kovalainen to get to fifth. On lap two (below is the 1st chicane on the 2nd lap) Vitantonio Liuzzi gets up to sixth. By lap five Hamilton has a 3.5 second lead - is he running a light gas load or is he as fast as he was last year again? On lap seven it's out to 4.2. On lap 10 Hamilton has a 14 second lead over the pair of Brawns while Sutil is trying to overtake Raikkonen for second. Fisichella meanwhile, at his home race in a Ferrari - has to be a dream come true for him, Italian driver in the Italian GP in the Italian car in front of Italian fans - has only managed to move up to 11th by lap 12. By lap 14 Hamilton's dominating performance has netted him 6.8 seconds over the second place Raikkonen, who still has Sutil up his tailpipe, and 17 seconds of Barrichello. On lap 15 Hamilton pits from lead, emerging fifth, right in front of Liuzzi. Sutil has taken Raikkonen only to pit on lap 17. Race lead is Raikkonene, Barrichello, Button. Both Barrichello and Button are on a one-stop strategy and it's starting to pay off for them - they are ten seconds up on Hamilton. On lap 22 Liuzzi retires with a clutch issue. Damn. I was hoping Force India would put two drivers in the points - and Liuzzi is at his home track; poor guy. Vettel has slowly moved himself up to eighth place and is staying there after Liuzzi retires. On lap 28 Button comes in. Barrichello comes in on 29. Hamilton is now in the lead but he still has a stop to make while the Brawn teammates are free-and-clear to the end of the race. At this stage, it looks like Barricello could win this, putting Brawn further ahead in the championships. And Hamilton pits at lap 33, coming out behind the Brawns. In second, right behind Raikkonen, Sutil posts the race's fastest lap on lap 35 at 1:24.739. WOW! Way to go Sutil! Still can't pass Raikkonen.


Okay, here we go, the Raikkonen-Sutil showdown (below) happening all day is coming to a head in pit lane. Sutil is still up Raikkonen's tailpipe as they come into the pits on lap 36. Conceivably, as the Brawn teammates fly past, whoever gets out of the pits first should get 4th place. Oh no! Sutil brakes too late and knocks over some of his pit crew. Bad form Sutil, bad form! Wait! Raikkonen stalls and also knocks down a crew-member! Wow. It's a sucky day to be changing tyres. After all that drama, they emerge lockstep and in the same order as before. Meanwhile, Hamilton is closing on second-placed Jenson Button while Barrichello starts to pull away at the front. Got to love team tactics - Hamilton is faster, but if Button can hold him off, Barrichello has a shot at a win and Brawn earns valuable points. By lap 42 Sutil is desperate - both to pass Raikkonen and to not crash. On lap 42 Vettel slides off track and Red Bull misses out on some more points. On lap 47 Button, in second, is just 1.5 seconds ahead of Hamilton, but the two Brit's appear to be lapping the same times. Raikkonen and Sutil are 14 seconds off the battle for second. Barrichello is less than six seconds ahead of Hamilton. Damn! This is a race! On lap 48 a frustrated Timo Glock accidentally spins his team-mate Jarno Trulli. Good work back there boys.


It is coming down to it now. At the start of lap 50 we have two laps left. We are running Barricello with a pretty safe lead of 4 seconds; a second place battle for British pride between Jensen Button, former world champion and Brawn driver in second, and Lewis Hamilton, current champion and McLaren driver in third; the battle for fourth is still captivating as Sutil is probing Raikkonen every chance he gets. Nobody is making any time. At the start of lap 51 we are in the same order before there's a crash on course and IT'S LEWIS HAMILTON! He spins out of the race from third place with half a fucking lap to go! Oh man that has got to be a sucky feeling! As the safety car comes out due to Lewis' debris all over the track the time to pass has ended and it's final as they finally cross the line under yellow: Barrichello took the win - his third at Monza since begining in Formula 1 back in 1993 - in a brilliant Brawn 1-2 (below) with Button on the second step. Raikkonen took a well-deserved third ahead of Adrian Sutil who, I think, posted the fastest lap of the day and scored some valuable points for Force India. Great work Sutil!


Anthony Davidson on BBC Radio Five Live: "I think Lewis will have learned a lesson here today - even Michael Schumacher never stopped learning this - sometimes you have to just relax take it easy to bank the points. You really shouldn't be crashing out on the last lap - that sort of thing can make you look like a little bit of a fool." So true. Because of the crash Vettel got back up to eight and scored some points for Red Bull! Fernando Alonso, Heikki Kovalainen, and Nick Heidfeld were 5th, 6th, and 7th respectively. Because at the end of the season we may look back at this and realize this was the most important race of the season - has Brawn really dominated so strongly this year? - here are a plethora of quotes from the BBC after a picture explaining how a Brazilian, a Brit, and a Finn celebrate their podium:


Lewis Hamilton: "Every lap I was pushing like a qualifying lap. It's to be expected. We didn't have the pace so we were pushing hard - I did all I could to catch the Brawns and win it. The car was still good today, just not good enough. I can only apologise to my team and all my fans. But we have some upgrades coming and hopefully they will help us have a little bit more."

Martin Whitmarsh: "Lewis was pushing to the end. That's how he is. Obviously there's great disappointment at losing third spot, but he was pushing to the end. He had a purple sector in the first score of that last lap and he was trying to catch Jenson - we can criticise him, that's what makes him the great racing driver that he is."

Adrian Sutil: "I feel really good it was a great race for me and I really enjoyed it - even though it was a bit disappointing to be stuck behind the red car with kers for the whole race. I had a great start and we have got five points so we should all be happy."

Rubens Barrichello: "It is a winning year whatever happens. It's not long ago that we had no jobs, so we have to remember that. - the team have done a fantastic job. The strategy was great - the work on Friday was really good and that all helped us to get this result. I am going to give my very best, it's going to be a good and a healthy fight - I'm looking forward to it."

Kimi Raikkonen: "Third place was a little bit of a gift for us here but we need the points so it is great - it's nice to be on the podium it's much better than finishing fourth. It is frustrating to do everything you can do during the race and still finish so far back, but we need to keep going and get as many points as we can."

Jenson Button: "My lap times were good and I always felt I had good pace at the ends of my stints. Lewis started pushing at the end and the team were getting excited, but I think I had him covered - it's hard to pass here even with Kers. I don't know what happened to Lewis, if he made a mistake or had a failure. Obviously I'd rather be sat where Rubens is, but I have extended my lead over the Red Bulls. The man sat next to me here (Barrichello) is obviously my big rival for the title now. That's good, we get on great, but obviously we are both super competitive and want to win. It's just nice to be back on the podium."

Rubens Barrichello: "It feels great, I have no words. I had a tough night because we didn't know about the gearbox and there were some concerns. But we came though and I had a great first lap - that's what made my race. It felt great, amazing."


Ross Brawn: "I think you could see Jenson Button was very tidy and it was Lewis Hamilton who was looking ragged. It's difficult to hold your nerve, but we had to keep at it and do what we normally do. As for the championship race, all I ask from my drivers now is they compete fairly and openly - everything has got to be on top of the table, they have got to work together fairly - they are old enough to deal with it!"

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The next race is the night race through the streets of Singapore. Such a sexy looking race last year. One of those pictures was the backdrop to my laptop for months. Looking forward to it on September 27th.

But next weekend, of course, is the tie-breaker. The final showdown of the year between Peugeot and Audi at the 10 hour Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. So excited!

Friday, September 11, 2009

My History Of Mercedes


1. Mercedes made the first gasoline powered MOTORWAGEN in January 1886. Leading, of course, to the end of the world as we knew it.

2. Mercedes establishes itself as a racing brand and the legend of the Silver Arrows is born. Unfortunately, the innovation and beauty stays on the track.

3. After returning to Sportscar racing in 1952, the American importer of Mercedes said, "Hey, that sexy track car would sell well in America:"


And it does! In 1954, after a long string of uninspiring street cars, Mercedes created the 300SL "Gullwing". It remains one of the prettiest cars of all time. But not only that, it was the first fuel injected car on the road. It completely revolutionized Mercedes from maker of boring cars like the W120 to real cars like the 300SL (W198) and the 190SL (R121).

4. And then Mercedes makes a bunch of crappy cars again, for years. Blah blah blah, boring boring boring.

5. Until 1990, when Mercedes went absolutely insane and strapped a bunch of awesome parts to their vanilla 190 series:


and created the 190e Evolution II, one of the most utterly absurd cars of all time. I love it for its performance, quirkiness, hideousness, and absurdity.

6. Then they made shit again, to the tune of even making me not like McLaren (Which is one of the best car people groups in the world). However, they did perform some interesting aerial acrobatics at the track. Twice, actually.

7. Until now. Hear me out, but after 19 years of utter drivel, Mercedes has returned with this:


The Mercedes-Benz SLS is the car I have been waiting for from that original gas-car company. This is that rare mix between the utter absurdity of the 190e Evo II and the beauty and sheer inspired-ness of the 300SL. Has it got gull-wing doors? Yes, and they are as hideous as ever. Does the front symbol look like overstated plastic crap? Yes, but I'm sure that would come off. Is the car perhaps the coolest thing shown this year? Perhaps... perhaps.


It is, simply put, everything I want from a company like Mercedes who was, at one time, crazy enough to try a gasoline autowagen. This is craziness, not vanilla like the SL series, or a phallus like the SLR, this is truly and utterly mad. This is putting fuel injection in a car. This is painting your cars silver to blind opponents on a racetrack. This is absolutely insane, and I love it.

More pictures here.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Everything! All-In-One Post!

Writing: I am glad to announce that I have joined a writer's group. Perhaps we need to become a collective...

Writings: Listen to this poem - don't read it while you listen or before you listen. (Thanks, Rebecca, for that tip)

Picture-Taking:
Pairing up Mark Klett and Peter Vincent in one gallery show may be one of the most brilliant moves the Prichard Art Gallery has made during my time in Moscow.

Architecture:
School has started again, and to echo the enthusiasm in my soul, I would like to take this moment to say a heartfelt FUCK YOU to architecture. Oh well, back to work.

Music: Jay-Z's new album comes tomorrow, right? And let me tell you, this is the album we've been waiting for since The Black Album. As good as my friends, as good as. And I've taken to calling that album the Holy Grail of rap.

And now, let's talk about what I really want to talk about right now:


Racing: After what may have been the second most surprising race in the most Formula 1 series of the last ten years, Formula 1 has the weekend off, but that hasn't stopped the F1news machine from plopping this golden tidbit into my lap: Lotus may be coming back to Formula 1. Lotus. Excitement cannot be contained at the mere suggestion of this possibility. The Lotus 72 was the best Formula 1 car of all time and perhaps, after a couple of years struggling to catch up, Lotus can be what Lotus once was: the best F1 car maker around. Please Lotus. Please. I will beg.

Oh, and McLaren introduces their new, 1000 units per year car on Wednesday. I cannot properly communicate the sheer awesomeness of these two bits of news.