BMEWS
 
Sarah Palin is the “other” whom Yoda spoke about.

calendar   Sunday - March 06, 2011

eye candy

Played hooky a couple days. Couldn’t face the computer. I think many of you know the feeling.  I have two large Sunday papers and magazines to go thru today, so not sure but this will be only post from me today.

Drew was right. Damn hard to find French redheads. Or at least naturally so. But no matter.

I happen to see a name in the news, something about a French actress. I’m not even sure of what it was but was taken with her photo.

Here’s why.  Take a look.

MARION COTILLARD

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Who btw, reminded me of this awesome , heavenly beauty.  There didn’t seem to be anything she couldn’t do including a solo performance at Carnegie Hall in the late 90’s.  I have always been madly in love with the divine ......

BERNADETTE PETERS is there there quite a resemblance to the French actress above? Or maybe just the make up and dreamy look.

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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 03/06/2011 at 06:24 AM   
Filed Under: • Eye-Candy •  
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calendar   Saturday - March 05, 2011

3 From the K

3 links from Rich K.

From a week or so ago, a story I almost ran with. The Swiss, faced with their own hoplophobes, held a vote on gun control. Because everyone in Switzerland does a hitch in the army when they graduate high school, right, and then has an army rifle in the closet ready to go, for the rest of their lives.

To my total non-surprise, the gun control pussies lost. Here’s a nice story about it. It’s translated, so there are a couple of word errors, but it points out that an unarmed population is a subject population. Too bad it doesn’t have more on that lovely straight pull K-31, although the pre-war ones with the forged receivers are a bit better made.



10 things to know about Obama and gas prices. The 11th thing is that this is exactly what he wanted, and all is going according to plan. Meanwhile, my local gas station raised the price 42¢ over the past 2 weeks.



Hey Peiper, next time you’re feeling sick run up to Scotland - free prescriptions for everybody!

While the English are tightening their belts in the wake of the credit crunch, Scotland will spend millions of pounds to abolish prescription charges.

It is the latest example of ‘medical apartheid’, where the devolved nations enjoy better health services despite paying far less tax per head.

Scots also get free personal care in old age, while their students pay no tuition fees – unlike those born in England.

The latest move means English patients will be forced to pay prescription charges – currently £7.20 per item – while effectively subsidising free drugs for those elsewhere in the UK.

Prescriptions are already free in Wales and Northern Ireland. Labour had planned to offer all patients with long-term conditions free prescriptions, but the Coalition scrapped this on taking office, citing a lack of money.

Now, how do they do that and not go bankrupt? Free drugs, free schooling, free medical care. Maybe it’s cause they don’t pay to pave the roads or have indoor plumbing? Nah, couldn’t be. No military? Maybe. Or maybe it’s because Wales, Scotland, and Northern Island are all smaller than New Jersey with teensy tiny populations? It’s not like Wales has 310,000,000 citizens and is 3200 miles wide and 1500 miles tall. They have what, one Tesco’s, and it only has to be open Wednesday to Friday?


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/05/2011 at 10:55 PM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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New board game

While trolling the ‘member’ feed at Ricochet.com I found this gem:

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Drew, peiper, I hate to say this, but we’ve gotta do some serious revisions on the ‘Categories’. The Skipper’s been gone for a while and world events have progressed.


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Posted by Christopher   United States  on 03/05/2011 at 11:28 PM   
Filed Under: • Fun-Stuff •  
Comments (6) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

How America Works?

This is a question I came across on Ricochet.com.

Ricochet, please permit me to introduce you to my dear friend Mert, a new member of Ricochet and a student of constitutional law here in Istanbul. He’s about to embark on the writing of his dissertation. He wants to write about the American presidential system. He’s particularly interested in the idea of checks and balances in the US political system and the limits placed by our Constitution on the president’s power.

There’s an important reason for his interest. In Turkey, the ruling AKP is considering the introduction of a presidential system to replace Turkey’s traditional parliamentary mode of governance.

There were several comments. Here’s the one I posted:

I hate to say it, but our Federal Presidential system was a result of 13 separate States, or Countries, forming a Federation. And previously a Confederation. My guess is that Turkey cannot successfully implement our Presidential system. They are not a union of separate, sovereign, states. There’d be no separation of powers, no multiple chambers in the legislature, no Electoral College, etc.

The result? A dictatorship. An Islamic dictatorship.

Was denken Sie? (I hope I remember my freshman college German)


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Posted by Christopher   United States  on 03/05/2011 at 11:12 PM   
Filed Under: • GovernmentInternationalMiddle-East •  
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at the weekend

Link #1: Mark Steyn and the media deceit that the Frankfurt airport shooter was an authentic German. Bullshit, he’s another muzzie suffering from SJS. And Obama couldn’t give a shit less if he tried. No kidding. Steyn then goes on his standard ramble about population growth. Damn shame we can’t export Planned Parenthood to Africa and Mexico. How about, maybe we stop sending money to these countries to buy food to feed these folks? Funny how nations in Africa are always starving, always having famine, always refugees, always dying left and right, AIDS, Ebola, war, genocide, etc., they don’t have a bean to eat or a pot to piss in ... yet their populations double every 20 years. WTF?



Link #2:  UK pulls out of UN??? Even if it’s only mostly? Inconceivable!. Hope somebody over here is paying attention. Yeah, right.


Pratchett fans: Compare and Contrast. Hey, I didn’t know. I didn’t even know there were Wiki entries. 


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/05/2011 at 09:25 PM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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calendar   Friday - March 04, 2011

I’m a victim of advertising

Lost My Appetite



After having watched those cough drop commercials on TV for years ...

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A food product with this name just about turns my stomach:

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Even if my way of reading it is a complete mispronunciation. Fay-coo-na. Fay-coo-na day pah tah te.


And to head off your obvious pun infused question “What’s that shit?”, know that it’s a box of potato starch. Which can be used to thicken up batter for cakes and stuff, thus the picture on the label.



Potato starch in water is interesting stuff. A 60-40 mix gives you an unusual kind of glop called a “shear thickening non-Newtonian fluid”. That means you can gently push your finger into the goo, but when you poke it in sharply the stuff instantly turns solid and stops you in mid-poke.  And that’s exactly the concept behind liquid body armor, though scientists aren’t using actual potato starch for their research.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/04/2011 at 12:53 PM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and DiscoveriesHumor •  
Comments (3) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

Dry Bones, shaken not stirred

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/04/2011 at 08:29 AM   
Filed Under: • HollywoodHumorMiddle-East •  
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calendar   Thursday - March 03, 2011

A & R Thursday, the French Edition

When Louis Mantin said

Don’t Touch My Junk

the French listened. And left his mansion locked up and empty for 100 years



france_flag_2   A Time Capsule In Moulins  france_flag_2


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Moulins, France: a small town near Remulac When wealthy French bachelor Louis Mantin demanded that nobody touch his lavish mansion for 100 years after his death, even the occupying German army paid heed.

The eccentric recluse, who died in 1905, wrote in his will that he wanted Maison Mantin, in Moulins, Central France, to be turned into a museum dedicated to himself and his gentlemanly lifestyle.
His vision was for visitors to experience his world a century on, uncorrupted by the passing of time. In doing so he ensured he was not forgotten.

Mantin made his fortune in land and property but died unmarried and childless aged just 54 - eight years after construction of the opulent home was completed. It had been built on the ruins of a 15th-century castle that had belonged to the Bourbon family who were later to become French royalty. But what he had constructed incorporated the lastest technology including electricty, a flushing toilet and a cupboard which warmed towels in preparation for when you stepped out of the shower. [ and a bathtub. Remember, this is France we’re talking about!!! ]

As a gentleman with money he was able to indulge in his interests such as art, natural history and archaeology. A mini museum within the building housed Monsieur Mantin’s collection. On his death its doors remained closed and rats and insects were given free reign within its dusty corridors and vast rooms.

But now thanks to a £2.9million refurbishment funded by local authorities, the mansion has been returned to its former glory.

The result is a remarkable time-capsule, combining rich fin-de-siecle furnishings, archaeological curios, skulls and other Masonic paraphernalia, a collection of stuffed birds, as well as the latest domestic gadgets such as electricity and a flushing loo.

Born in Moulins in 1851, Mantin had an undistinguished career as a civil servant, but at the age of 42, he inherited a fortune from his father and thenceforth dedicated his life to pleasure, science and the arts.

First of all he had his mansion constructed in the centre of Moulins on the site of a former palace of the dukes of Bourbon, the local rulers who were heirs to the French and Spanish royal houses.
Then he decorated the house with imported tapestries, paintings and porcelain. He commissioned sculptures and wood-carvings, and on the top floor installed his personal museum of Egyptian relics, Neolithic oil-lamps, prehistoric flints and medieval locks and keys.

Outside of Maison Mantin The house was gradually forgotten by the world, but not by locals

Mantin only had a few years to indulge his aesthetic fantasies. Knowing that his death was approaching, he made a will in which he made sure his treasured house would be saved. “In the will, he says that he wants the people of Moulins in 100 years time to be able to see what was the life of a cultured gentleman of his day,” said assistant curator Maud Leyoudec. “A bachelor with no children, he was obsessed with death and the passage of time. It was his way of becoming eternal.”

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Lots and lots of amazing photos and more information at these links:
pics at the Telegraph
pics at the Daily Mail
pics at BBC
More pics
Nat Geo has even more!
and a bit about Msr. Mantin himself

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Yes, it really does have a bathtub. With a shower! And a flush toilet! And heated towels! And stuffed frogs, fencing under glass! And a special room done up in pink for his secret mistress!



And of course, to go along with French architecture, for an A&R post we need pretty French redheads. And they are damn hard to find!!

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How hard? So hard in fact that the above very fwench looking model is actually Russian. Irina Tkachova. Looks French. Works in France. Even has “the touch of the bunny” whatever the hell that means:

See More Below The Fold

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/03/2011 at 06:25 PM   
Filed Under: • ArchitectureEye-Candy •  
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school days and the benefits culture

And speaking of benefits ....

How’s this for skool dayz?  Prepare the kids early so they can be knowledgeable and understand how things work.
Now that’s not a bad idea. Right?

Take a look.


Now that will be useful… students take exams in how to claim the dole

By KATE LOVEYS

HEY!  Don’t ya love this already?  Talk about preparation for life.

Thousands of children have taken GCSE-style exams which teach them how to claim unemployment benefit.

The subject was one of many ‘Mickey Mouse’ courses exposed in a damning report on how the vocational education system is failing Britain’s children.

The Certificate of Personal Effectiveness level 2 was taken by 10,843 youngsters last year, putting it in the top 20 most popular non-academic courses.

Its material states: ‘Find out what benefits you are entitled to if you are unemployed’. It also teaches how to ‘obtain information’ from ‘using the telephone’, the ‘internet’ or ‘newspapers/magazines’, and even how to ‘host a tea party’.

Launched in 2004, the course was given the equivalent academic rating to a rigorous physics GCSE in 2005.

Today’s report by Professor Alison Wolf found up to a third of the soft, non-academic courses introduced under Labour and taken by 400,000 16- to 19-year-olds are ‘pointless’, while others actually harm their employment chances

In some cases, courses may even make students less employable, the report suggests.

Another course, the level 2 Certificate in Preparation for Working Life, was taken by 29,689 pupils and is worth half a GCSE. It includes a compulsory section on ‘hazard identification at home, on the roads and at work’, which involves a required understanding of ‘self-concept’.

source

The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is an academic qualification awarded in a specified subject, generally taken in a number of subjects by students aged 14–16 in secondary education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 03/03/2011 at 01:49 PM   
Filed Under: • Education •  
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the united states of europe … all will be equal … all have “rights.”

Just another example of the results encountered when a country allows foreigners to call the shots.  As members of the EU ... I don’t guess the Brits have a large say in the matter. Yet. But I do know public opinion more and more are voicing anger and frustration. 
As I understand things, much that the former govt. signed up to is still in force and for reasons I won’t pretend to understand, can’t be undone. 

So the bottom line I guess is, Welcome to the United States of Europe. Somewhat united.

Pretty far out for a country we’re told is near broke. AND ... as reported yesterday they are increasing aid to turd world countries. Like Somalia. Well at least I understand that last one as pirates are hard pressed to upgrade their fleet and so the money is welcome no doubt.


100,000 Eastern European migrants now free to claim full benefits in Britain worth tens of millions of pounds after EU ruling

By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Last updated at 4:24 PM on 3rd March 2011

As many as 100,000 migrants from Eastern Europe will be allowed to claim £250-a-week as Europe forces Britain to abolish its restrictions on benefits. 

In a move that could cost the British taxpayer tens of millions of pounds, migrants from the former Soviet bloc will be allowed jobseeker’s allowance, council tax benefit and housing benefit.

The law changes will come into effect within weeks as the European Union scraps restrictions imposed when eight states joined the EU in 2004, and it leaves Britain powerless to counter the move.

By my rough estimate that £250 works out to something like $400.00.

Only Britain, Ireland and Sweden permitted free access to workers from A8 countries in 2004. It is thought that many will now be attracted to Germany and Austria, which are geographically nearer.

‘We are in the process of delivering major reform to bring immigration down to the tens of thousands with the introduction of a new limit on economic migrants from outside the EU, alongside new proposals to reform other routes of entry, including students, families and marriage.’

The DWP said it had no choice but to remain in line with national and international obligations.

But the department insisted that protecting the benefit system from abuse was its ‘number one priority’.

A spokesman said: ‘No-one can just come into the UK and start claiming our benefits.

‘We have strict rules in place to protect the system from any abuse.

Let’s hope so, but. There’s always that darned ‘but’ included in things like this.  Meanwhile, there’s a host of “amnesty” types that can not be deported cos it might violate their rights. And most (it’s reported) are not working. Many believe none are.

This is a funny place.  Squatters can take over a million dollar property and can’t be removed easily cos they have ‘rights.’ AND ... they get legal aid paid for by guess who?  Right.  Meanwhile, the person who actually owns said property must shoulder the entire legal cost of removing the trash in human form. He hasn’t many rights at all.

Stay Tuned

source and related


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 03/03/2011 at 12:45 PM   
Filed Under: • EconomicsNews-Briefswork and the workplace •  
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More Quickies

In The In-box, On teh Net:


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/03/2011 at 11:07 AM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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Won If By Land, And Run If By Sea

The Very First Time America Invaded And Took Over

- today is the anniversary -




March 3, 1776
Island of New Providence, The Bahamas

A force of 250 Continental Marines and sailors under the command of Marine Capt. (future major) Samuel Nicholas land on New Providence in the British-held Bahamas and quickly seize Fort Montague [ aka Nassau ] in the first amphibious operation in American military history. The landing – largely unopposed (the British garrison spiking their own guns and fleeing) – nets for the Americans much-needed powder, shot, nearly 50 serviceable cannon, and a few mortars.

An avid foxhunter and the highest-ranking leatherneck in the American Revolution, Nicholas will lead Marines alongside Army forces in the future battles of (second) Trenton and Princeton. He is considered to be the first commandant of the Marine Corps.

In 1776, during the war between Great Britain and the American Colonies, a fleet of eight vessels was sent by the Colonies to capture the munitions believed stored at Nassau. This force, under Commodore Ezek Hopkins, landed a detachment on the foreshore of the eastern end of New Providence and marched on Nassau.

Forts Montagu and Nassau surrendered without resistance, and the new Grand Union Flag, designed with the Union Jack and the first quarter and thirteen red and white stripes to represent the independent States was hoisted over Fort Nassau. However, most of the munitions had been shipped to Boston the day before the arrival of the American Naval Force. The invaders departed shortly after, taking with them 100 guns and the Governor as a hostage.

While it appears that there is a small debate about exactly who was in charge of the raiding force, getting invaded was SOP for lonely islands in those days. My guess is that from those 100 cannons the Colonials could salvage 50. I have no idea what kind of ransom they got for the governor.  Probably a couple barrels of that sweet Bahamian rum. So it doesn’t look like they took over for very long.



Two years later, in January of 1778, Capt. John Peck Rathburn on the Continental Navy Sloop Providence, captured the place again, this time without firing a shot. You can listen to that story right here. Sometimes you really can baffle them with BS. We didn’t keep the place long that time either. This story is highly detailed, step by step by step, and takes about 45 minutes to listen to while you do other stuff.



A few years later Spain invaded the same island. Not liking that situation at all, loyalist citizen and South Carolina Militia Colonel Andrew Deveaux put his men in a couple boats, sailed down there, and kicked the Spanish out, giving the island back to the Crown. This is what happens when you invade an island ... with a Spanish “army” of about 75 guys.

In a despatch describing this exploit the gallant Colonel states:

“I undertook this expedition at my own expense, and embarked my men, which did not exceed sixty-five, and sailed for Harbour Island, where I recruited for four or five days, from thence I set sail for my object, which I carried about daylight, with three of their formidable galleys on the 14th. I immediately summoned the grand fortress to surrender, which was about a mile from the fort I had taken. On the 16th I took possession of two commanding hills, and erected a battery on each of them, of 44-, 24, 12, and 9 pounders. At daylight on the 18th, my batteries being complete, the English colours were hoisted on each of them, which were within musket shot of their grand fortress. His Excellency, finding his shots and shells of no effect, thought fit to capitulate.

“My force never, at any time, consisted of more than 220 men, and not over 150 of them had muskets. I took on this occasion one fort consisting of thirteen pieces of cannon, three galleys, carrying 24 pounders, and about fifty men. His Excellency surrendered four batteries, with about severity [seventy?] pieces of cannon, and four large galleys (brigs and snows), which I have sent to Havannah with the troops as flags.”

Colonel Deveaux’s gallant expedition brought the military history of Fort Nassau to an honourable close. The Spaniards never again returned to attack the Islands.

Personally, I think we should have kept it. But we didn’t own Florida in those days, and it wouldn’t have made sense to attach it to Georgia. Heck, I never understood why Canada got New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. They could have been part of Maine, even though Maine was part of Massachusetts in those days I think, and it took another 50 years to figure out the border. The St. Lawrence makes such a great natural national border.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/03/2011 at 09:49 AM   
Filed Under: • History •  
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calendar   Wednesday - March 02, 2011

Quickies

US foreign policy: Obama and Shillary, SCHOOLED. When the phone rings at 3am, both of these dingbats think it’s the sound of the ice cream truck.



Hollywood telling us lies? Say it ain’t so, Joe! Plus, yet another long and detailed wrap up of the collapse of the housing bubble and why it happened. The comments are just as good as the article; spend a while and read the article and then the first 42 or so. In short, I’d say the whole thing was caused by Political Correctness, Social Justice, Cowardice, and Greed. But mostly PC. But you knew that already. And the real crooks got away with it, as you also already knew. Some even got elected ...


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/02/2011 at 09:53 PM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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Speak Up I Say

Anti-Aircraft Hearing Aids





Before there was radar, the way to locate the enemy’s airplanes was to hear them coming. This lead to the development of some wacky looking but effective Big Ear technology. It was all aural; no microphones or any electronics.

h/t to Aunty Dhimmi


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Gee, you’d think that the smarter heads would have come together, and realized that they could build the original stealth bomber, just by putting some mufflers on the engine. Alas, this is not the case. It turns out that engine noise is less than half the noise produced by a propeller driven airplane. The propeller itself creates something like thunder, as the air displaced around the end comes rushing back in. And the various bits and pieces that stick out - things like canopies, antenna, etc - each contribute to the noise. And the faster you go, the more noise they make. So maybe mufflers would have worked on black painted dirigibles in 1915, but that’s about it.

Of course, to this day, for those people inside the plane it’s even louder, to the point where flying in a small airplane is actually hazardous to your hearing. It also turns out that hanging an exhaust pipe, a muffler, and perhaps a catalytic converter onto an airplane engine sucks out a good bit of their power, and the smaller planes need every last pony just to stay above the ground. That’s a problem, because more and more countries are demanding that airplanes not be so noisy anymore.

One company, Borla Performance Systems, has developed a quiet airplane exhaust that actually increases the power of the engines. But they can’t market their product because of government regulations. Go figure.

Borla Performance Systems of Oxnard, California makes exhaust systems for everything from formula racecars, Italian exotics, and high-performance motorcycles to package delivery trucks. (In one of their biggest recent contracts, Borla has replaced all the exhaust systems, from headers to tailpipes, of the entire U. S. fleet of UPS vans.) Borla also does design and consulting work for Chrysler and Ford. Alex Borla is a pilot - a Beech Baron owner - who feels that aircraft mufflers can make a big difference, and Borla is currently experimenting with such devices.

The company has instrumented the Baron so they can run muffling tests on one engine while leaving the other one stock while making simultaneous noise measurements at exactly matched power settings (confirmed through strain gauges on the engine mounts). Problem is, Borla’s exhaust systems are too good. “We don’t employ any baffles in our automotive and motorcycle mufflers,” Alex Borla explains. “Everything is straight-through. As a result, we’re able to tune the exhaust system all the way out to the tip of the tailpipe. With a baffle-type muffler, as soon as the exhaust pulse hits the first baffle, the tuning effect is over.”

On an airplane, however, tuning the exhaust will buy you trouble. “If the product we make enhances the power of the engine, we can’t get an STC on it,” Borla points out. “I know from just looking at the manifold on the IO-520 in the Baron that I can get at least a 12 to l5 percent increase in power. Which is 30 or 40 extra horsepower, and that’s a big number. I can also bring the engine internal temperatures down and convert that horsepower gain into performance and better mileage.”

But to sell an aviation system, Borla would have to dumb down his product, “And that’s tough to do, with the patented design that we have. But the way the FAA regs are written, I’d have to almost recertify the airplane if I used it.”

This seems a shame. I’ve been up in a little Cessna, and the sound just about made me airsick. Plus the engine has no pollution controls at all, and the exhaust pipes are right in front of you . Good grief, at least run some fat open pipes back past the windows and hang a pair of glass packs on them. Get the noise and the smell behind the passengers.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/02/2011 at 05:04 PM   
Filed Under: • HistoryMilitary •  
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DISCLAIMER
Allanspacer

THE SERVICES AND MATERIALS ON THIS WEBSITE ARE PROVIDED "AS IS" AND THE HOSTS OF THIS SITE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ANY AND ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO WARRANTIES OF SATISFACTORY QUALITY, MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, WITH RESPECT TO THE SERVICE OR ANY MATERIALS.

Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.

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GNU Terry Pratchett


Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
free counters