Archive for September, 2011

Bubble car jolt for Paris electric car-share scheme | Reuters

September 30, 2011 1 comment
Paris, France : station Velib (bike hire servi...
Image via Wikipedia

ReutersParis launches its first car-sharing project next week with the aim of clearing its traffic-clogged boulevards and delivering what its backers hope will be a major boost for electric vehicles.

The Autolib system builds on the success of the Velib bicycle-sharing service and could provide a shop window for entrepreneur Vincent Bollore and his nascent car battery business.

In a two-month pilot scheme starting October 2, a rounded, ultracompact Bluecar built by Bollore’s conglomerate BOLL.PA and powered by his alternative lithium-metal-polymer battery can be hired for 30 minutes for 4-8 euros by motorists who pay a 10-euro Autolib membership fee.

“We want to persuade people to shift from the concept of owning a car to that of using a car,” Autolib General Manager Morald Chibout told Reuters.

The project, which echoes increasingly popular car clubs such as City Car, gets underway as top automakers test driver enthusiasm for electric cars on a large scale in Europe.

via Bubble car jolt for Paris electric car-share scheme | Reuters.

Strange Random Traffic Quote:

“If they’d lower the taxes and get rid of the smog and clean up the traffic mess, I really believe I’d settle here until the next earthquake” – Groucho Marx (American Comedian, Actor and Singer, 1890-1977)

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Lego video for ACE software synthesiser

September 29, 2011 1 comment

Video: He Loves My Pies

Authors: Urs Heckmann and Jayney Klimek

Song performed with Ace Synthesiser by U-he –

Strange Random Synthesiser Quote:

“One always has to remember these days where the garbage pail is, because it’s so easy to make sounds, and to put sounds together into something that appears to be music, but it’s just as hard as it always was to make good music.” – Robert Moog

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Innovation in vending machines – Fresh pizza ready in three minutes – CNNMoney

September 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Image by adrigu via Flickr

Pizza from a machine? Well, it is coming from the Italians, specifically one Italian — Claudio Torghele.

Torghele took 10 years to develop his “Let’s Pizza” machine , which makes pies from scratch. He launched the prototype in his homeland in 2009.

The machine bakes pizza from fresh ingredients in under three minutes, Torghele said. You can actually watch the machine mix flour and water, knead the dough, spin the dough into a circle, spread the sauce and add toppings of your choice.

Torghele’s machines are already in use in the United Kingdom, Israel and Poland. And he’s expanding to Russia and Belgium this year.

“We are also looking for a big partner in the United States, and we’re meeting with some people next week,” he said. If all goes well, he hopes to bring his pizza vending machines to America next year.

via Innovation in vending machines – Fresh pizza ready in three minutes 9 – CNNMoney.

Strange Random Pizza Quote:

There’s a pizza place near where I live that sells only slices. In the back you can see a guy tossing a triangle in the air.” – Stephen Wright (American Actor and Writer, b.1955)

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Ekberg and Mastroianni in Fellini’s L’Intervista (1987)

September 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Today we have a departure from our regular language(s) to feature a couple of Italian videos (and some French subtitles for free!).

The actress Anita Ekberg will be 80 this week and has given an interview to the Italian paper Corriere Della Sera. In it, she claims that La Dolce Vita was not a great movie and that she was essentially the best thing in it, while Mastroianni was a nobody who smoked and drank too much.

In fact, this is not the first time she has made this kind of comments, as this interview from 2010 on Italian TV shows.

After all that bad blood, we thought it might be nice to go back and look at happier times between the two, and not so long ago, either, namely, the meeting in Fellini‘s L’Intervista from 1987. The subtitles are in French, which may or may not help you …

Strange Random La Dolce Vita Quote:

You are the first woman on the first day of creation. You are mother, sister, lover, friend, angel, devil, earth, home. – Marcello Rubini

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Grab a swacket and check your fashion terminology | Reuters

September 26, 2011 Leave a comment

Image via Wikipedia

Reuters – The fashion industry has been dressing up more than just catwalk models in New York, London and Milan this month, as its flamboyant use of language is flummoxing ordinary British shoppers, a major British retailer said.

Even personal shoppers need fashion dictionaries to understand words such as “spants(harem pants) and “swacket(a sweater/jacket) — lexicon that is used on a regular basis by fashionistas, according to British department store Debenhams.

“It’s now easier to understand complex calculus than some of the words commonly used by commentators within the fashion industry to describe garments,” spokesman for Debenhams, Ed Watson, said in a statement.

“We believe that these words are only properly understood by approximately five per cent of the population – yet they are commonly used throughout the fashion industry,” he said.

via Grab a swacket and check your fashion terminology | Reuters.

Strange Random Fashion Quote:

Fashions fade, style is eternal.” – Yves Saint Laurent (French fashion designer, b.1940)

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Housing Slump Forces Cuts at a Small-Town Company –

September 25, 2011 Leave a comment
Warroad, Minnesota. From
Image via Wikipedia


THREE THINGS matter big in this flyspeck city just south of the Canadian border: hockey, walleye and Marvin.

Not necessarily in that order. Yes, Warroad, nicknamed “Hockeytown, U.S.A.,” has sent six of its sons to the N.H.L. And the walleye plucked from Lake of the Woods are served for breakfast, lunch and dinner down at the Lakeview Restaurant.

But Marvin — as in, Marvin Windows and Doors — is the commercial engine in these parts and has been since George G. Marvin arrived in 1904. So when times get tough at Marvin, as they are now, the 1,700 or so residents of Warroad hold their collective breath.

But in this season of economic unease, when neither Washington nor Wall Street seems to have the answers, the descendants of George Marvin are going against the grain. Unlike so many other companies, Marvin Windows has neither laid off workers nor reduced health insurance benefits. And, its executives vow, it won’t.

Marvin Windows might seem like a footnote in the nation’s economic ledger. It employs roughly 4,300 people, about 2,000 of them here, and has annual sales somewhere from $500 million to $1 billion. But what this company is doing — and, more to the point, what it is not doing — is worth knowing.

via Housing Slump Forces Cuts at a Small-Town Company –

Strange Random Hockey Quote:

”Hockey’s the only place where a guy can go nowadays and watch two white guys fight.” – Frank Deford


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Retailers send in the mannequins | msnbc

September 24, 2011 Leave a comment

In an attempt to attract more customers, retailers are putting more emphasis on the concept of window-dressing, including producing custom mannequins.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Strange Random Mannequin Quote:

Models are there to look like mannequins, not like real people. Art and illusion are supposed to be fantasy. – Grace Jones

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