General Motors New Puma Is Not What It Sounds Like

Recession always brings out the worst in inventors it seems. Remember the Sinclair C5, the best joke of the early 1980s recession? We were told petrol prices would go through the roof, the government would tax drivers off the roads and we were all going to be hard up forever and would not be able to afford any personal transport except these ridiculous little battery assisted tricycles. Yeah right. The Sinclair C5 was created by an ubernerd, developed and marketed at enormous cost and sold a dozens or so eager but terminally sad buyers.

Get ready for an even bigger laugh. General Motors, in a bid to recover from the embarrassment of near bankruptcy and not selling very many gas guzzling Hummers, Cadillacs and Chevolets in these hard up times after they had built such a lot have teamed up with Segway to launch the recession beating PUMA

Who are Segway?

If you have ever seen one of those Segway scooters that politician’s can’t stand up on you might get an idea of what is coming. The GM Puma is not the sporty coupe you might imagine but a hard top version of the segway scooter, a sort of mobility aid for disabled people with a weird sense of humour and suicidal tendencies.
See a video of the P.U.M.A in action at Would a clinically sane person be seen dead in one of these?

The machines are being marketed as the cool personal transport for the new world order. Well we would surely be surprised to see Jeremy Clarkson driving one but who actually would? Old ladies who walk with Zimmer frames, metrosexual men who have taken a vow of chastity? The Obama’s looking for a photo-opportunity?

Clive Sinclair, we recall, thought his crackpot invention would be acclaimed as cool. His mistake was trying to sell them to a generation that had grown up with Vespas and Minis.

The current generation might be about to discover how cool a second hand Ford Ka or VW beetle can be when compared to the green alternative.

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Electric Cars – Cheap At Half The Price
from ianrthorpe 170 days old

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Motorway Madness

Off to pick up dear old Mum on New Year’s Eve.
M1, M62, M61, M6.
The weather was a bit naff, murky, visibility about 200yds generally, apart from a little pocket of sunshine just west of Huddersfield, it was there on the way out and it was still there on the way back, strange.
Anyway there I was cruising along, lights on, making sure I had plenty of braking distance cos the roads are full of arseholes these days, staying alert and all that, keeping myself occupied by reading the dot matrix signs.


was the usual message.
That’s a bit daft, what do they think you are going to do?
“Oooh there’s an exit coming up, I could do with a break. I could pull off and pop into the nearest pub for a swift half before continuing my journey. Oh better not, that sign says don’t drink and drive. Hey ho.”

“Don’t drink and drive? Oh bugger I just had a large sherry, two glasses of wine and a G&T before I left grandma’s. Better pull onto the hard shoulder until I have metabolised that little lot.”

Then some of the signs said


Yep, it was a bit murky. You definitely needed your lights on, and travelling at 120mph could have been a bit dicey in places, but some people were still trying it.
However if you are in any way deemed competant to drive surely you don’t need telling that there is fog about.

“Oh, it’s getting a bit hard to see, better put the heater on to clear the windscreen…
No that’s not made it any better, oh hang on, it could be my glasses, give them a wipe, whey, not easy keeping it straight with your knee, whilst you give the old specs a quick buff…
There, that’s better..oh no, it isn’t.
Is someone smoking in here? No there’s only me. Hmmn what can it be? Looks like it’s outside actually. Windscreen need washing? No that’s not it.
Garden fire? Smouldering remains of a dead human at the side of the motorway? I just don’t know.
Oh hang on, that sign says F. O. G. F O G fog? fog! that’s it, that’s why I can’t see very well. Good grief I’m glad they told me, that would have worried me for the rest of the journey!”

When it’s wet the signs show the message


Talk about stating the bleeding obvious.
How thick do they think the average driver is? Don’t answer that!

If they want to tell us about something why don’t they say, “Put your bloody lights on you arsehole, haven’t you ever read the highway code? You may know where you are going but it would be nice to let the other road-users know that you are coming up in the outside lane at 120mph, don’t you think?”

However the ones I like best say

J32 10 MILES 10 Minutes

If that isn’t a challenge I don’t know what is!

(A shade over 9 mins if you are interested)

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The Greatest Love

New Electric Car, a Mini adventure or wild adventure (in futility)

Amid much ballyhoo from tame environmentalists paid by Megacorp Inc. carmakers BMW have unveiled their electric mini.
The regular mini, a good car though not a cute and charming as the original 1960s model, is a compact, sporty four seater ideal for trendy young meeja professional couples with a pair of matching children named Ethiopia and Sunflower. It rates well on performance, fuel economy and emissions.

The electric mini is more like a steam iron on wheels. The back seat is gone to accommodate a lithium ion battery the size of a big shed business unit. The battery makes the car 20% heavier than a standard model and, though the makers are coy about this. That extra weight positioned towards the rear of the car must make give it the handling qualities of a drunk on roller skates. both the 1960s Mini and the modern version were famed for their nimble steering and excellent roadholdng so selling something that drives like a supermarket trolley with a wonky wheel is hardly going to enhance the brand.

The big problem with all electric vehicles has always been range. BMW claim they have overcome this, the pre-launch literature says the electric mini will travel a hundred and fifty miles on a full charge. A hundred and fifty miles, WOW! that would get you from Manchester to three quarters of the way to London, from Carlisle to Preston Gubbals, from Liverpool to…erm… twenty miles south of Newcastle. No worries though, the electric mini only takes two hours to charge up on a special high power socket or a mere ten hours on a domestic socket. No problem then, who would not enjoy an opportunity to spend two hours chilling out at Watford Gap services. The kids, who customarily start ask in “Are we nearly there yet?” two miles from home would love it. Travelling on Holiday weekends would take a bit of planning though, can you imagine the queues of cars on the M5 or M6 waiting for their two hours on the high power sockets and not having any alternative but to queue as they are 140 miles from home.

The Governments Green science advisers and the leaders of The Church Of Scienceology cult are having orgasms over this latest electric car that is the first family car to offer reasonable performance and a practical range. Well no, actually the range is lousy and it is not a family car if there is an effing big battery where the back seats should be. As usual they are blinding themselves with science instead of thinking things through. Electric cars to replace the internal combustion engine are nowhere near ready for the market.

Most of us can see through the eyewash hurled at us by Megacorp and MegaGov. If pollution from cars is to be reduced we need some new ideas on local and long distance public transport. Revolutionary ideas, radical ideas, like investing public money for the benefit of the community.

Our dear government have no interest in reducing traffic of course and little in reducing emissions. having hit on the wizard wheezes of charging us per mile for motorway driving and a flat rate congestion charge for city driving they are intent on squeezing every penny they can out of us. London mayor Boris Johnson seems to be the only one who has got his head round the problem so far.

Bring on the Routemasters, Trolley Buses and Trams Boris.

As a footnote it’s interesting to note that sales of the G-Wiz, the electric car that looks as if it came out of a cheap Christmas cracker, have dropped by 50%. The G-Wiz driven by the likes of Jonathan Ross and Jade Jagger is one of those contradictory items that has become cool because it is uncool.

Naturally the economic crisis is being blamed but Boggart Blog thinks the real reason is that anyone seen getting out of a G-Wiz is nabbed by the Top Gear Vigilantes and has the word DORK tattooed on their forhead.

28 August 2009
The Only Reason You Will Ever Need To hate The Toyota Prius Everything bad about electric and hybrid cars wrapped up in one model – with a few extras thrown in.

2 Feb 2009. An even nerdier idea is the one dreamed up in America of using electric cars as an alternative power source. Owners charge up the car on loe cost off peak electricity and discharge the stored electricity back into the grid during peak times. And when do you drive your car if it is always either charging or discharging? On top of that, what happens when everybody catches onto the idea and gets one of these cars. Increased overnight usage turns offpeak into peak for electricity demand.
The really have not though this one through. Vehicle To Grid: Your Offpeak Power Source One of the technologies Sidi Barack Imbecile Obama is relying on to lead us out of the recession.

Updated 15 April 2009: Have General Motors and Seway launched the P.U.M.A their new personal transprot option as a serious attempt to deliver clean green journeys or are they trying to give us all a laugh in these difficult times?

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Platfrom 2B Or Not 2B

Ye gods, what is the world coming to?

News at the weekend informs us that one examining board has included study of a tram timetable as part of the English Lit A Level.

(Funny, but we used to learn how to use timetables in Maths, at primary school, along with being able to work out mentally how long it would take five workmen to lay 5 miles of train track if it took one workman two days to build a brick wall, if you don’t believe me just check out any episode of Ask the Family.)

After my initial ‘dismayed of Tunbridge Wells’ moment though I think I can see how this might work.

Q1) “Platform 2b or not 2b, that is the question.”
(Shakespeare, Hamlet)

Referring to the text provided, Supertram, Timetable, May to November 2008, explain the dilemma facing Hamlet, his possible options and his musings upon these.

Q2) “A Brief Encounter” (Noel Coward) is set in a railway waiting room. With reference to the timetable provided, re-write the first scene with the action taking place at the University tram stop.

Q3) In The Great Gatsby, (F. Scott Fitzgerald,) the drama unfolds during a summer season in the Hamptons.
With reference to the text explain how the story could be different had Gatsby not owned the motorcar and had had to rely on public transport.

Yeah, there are possibilities there.

Environment friendly, human hostile railway travel.

This is not going to help encourage people to use public transport.

A passenger on a French train had to be rescued by firemen after having his arm sucked down the on-board toilet. The 26-year-old victim was trapped when he tried to fish out his mobile phone, which had fallen into the toilet bowl, and fell foul of the suction system. The high-speed TGV train had to stop for two hours while firemen cut through the train’s pipework. The man was carried away by emergency services, with the toilet still attached to his arm.

You might say life dealt him a shitty hand.

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Electric Cars – Cheap At Half The Price

A new electric car, the Tesla, that appears to offer the breakthrough technology to provide clean, practical personal transport we have been waiting for since collectively falling off our chairs laughing at the Sinclair C5, was at last unveiled this week.

The Tesla, a two seater coupe, offers performance comparable with similar conventionally powered cars, will travel 250 miles on a charge – up and the batteries are reasonably environmentally friendly to manufacture and recycle.

It falls down in one important way though, the cost. At £90K ($150k approx after the collapse of the £ last week) it is hardly going to appeal to the Nissan Micra driver.

The government is studying a suggestion that it puts up some tax revenue to fund a research and development project aimed at reducing the costs of developing technologies that give the Tesla its technical lead to make the car competitive price wise. Reports say the scheme would cost the taxpayers a gobsmacking £100million.

Still, look at it in perspective, it’s cheaper than bailing out a couple of banks.

The Only Reason You Will Ever Need To hate The Toyota Prius Everything bad about electric and hybrid cars wrapped up in one model – with a few extras thrown in.

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Transport authorities in Brazil have finally caught up with a speed-loving driver who clocked up nearly £1m in fines, local media reported. Police intercepted the driver of a 12-year-old car in Sao Paulo at the spot he most frequently committed infractions. For 7 years he had been speeding and running red lights, but was not arrested earlier because the car was not registered in his own name. The car, which is understood to be worth about £3,000 would be auctioned if the driver did not pay the £900,000 in fines within 90 days.

You just have to love bureaucracy don’t you. It’s not the money for them, it’s the procedure. As if the guy is going to pay £900,000 to rescue and old banger.

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