1953 Corvette

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1953 Corvette
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As introduced in 1953, the Corvette was mostly a thrown together experiment. Production was limited to 300 units total, so sales of the entirely new model was not a problem.
1953 Corvette: first off the assembly line

The first Corvette reaches the end of the assembly line on June 30, 1953. The first 15 cars were built, all by hand, in the back of a customer delivery garage in Flint Michigan. The rest came from a new facility devoted to Corvettes in St. Louis which had a capacity to build 10,000 cars a year. The first two were engineering test cars and according to official records, were destroyed. Of the first 300 Corvettes, approximately 225 are known to exist today.

All 1953 Corvettes were Polo White with a red interior and a black canvas top. There were two options offered: a signal seeking AM radio (5.15) and a heater (.40). Although listed as options, all 1953 Corvettes were equipped with both items. The base price was ,498.00, including the federal excise tax and 8.00 for shipping and handling. The radio had an interesting feature: since fiberglass is electrically inert, the antenna was simply incorporated in the trunk lid. This would not be possible with a conventional steel body.

Corvette headlights featured a stoneguard (or "fencing mask") treatment, part of the "sports car" target image. They were often seen on race prepared cars as a way to prevent broken headlights from debris and rocks. The engineers and stylists both wanted glass covers, similar to what was used on the license plate (right) but the current laws forbid the practice.

When introduced in 1953, the Corvette featured the "Blue Flame" six cylinder engine. This is not as the Chevrolet engineering team wanted things, but they had no choice. Although other GM marques featured V8 motors they were not willing to share; a very different situation compared to years later when various divisions would feature the same powerplants. It was renowned for reliability but with a rating of 105 HP, performance and sportiness was not included. The engineering staff responded with the usual engine upgrade methods. A more radical camshaft rubbing on solid lifters, dual valve springs, and a higher compression ratio cylinder head (8.0:1; previous was 7.5:1) all contributed to the effort. The largest gain was achieved via an upgrade to the induction system (right). Three Carter type YH sidedraft carburetors featuring "bullet" air cleaners with an aluminum manifold were incorporated and the output soared to 150 bhp at 4,500 RPM.
Borrowed from: www.web-cars.com/corvette/index.php

garbage strike
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we’re 2 1/2 weeks into a garbage strike, and while that puts a focus on the issue of waste, the problem is still apparent even when things are going smoothly. the strike does have to end soon, hopefully via mutual agreement. beyond that, though, we generate far too much garbage, and having its presence in the face of the public every day should ideally make people think about their behaviour.

can we socialise out our bad habits? i like to think so, and education and reward strategies to reinforce the message that trash production is wrong will help. punishment can also be effective to retrain people, but of course fines for generating garbage and littering will effectively amount to a tax on the poor most often. i have no trouble targetting anyone who dumps junk on the street, but as with all laws, we’ll see the disenfranchised suffer more than their share.

so, trash seems to be a problem that will be solved (or best treated) by a multi-faceted approach. to reward us, we ought to consider lowering property taxes for households that consistently generate significantly small amounts of waste (and that can demonstrate that they are not simply dumping their junk when no-one is watching) and compost and recycle the bulk of it. clearly that rewards home-owners, but will still benefit renters like me if we work out deals with our landlords to have the savings kicked back in rent-reduction and the like. we also ought to consider offering money for trash the way in which we give money for returned beer and liquor bottles. refunds on beverage containers is already a part of the way we think now, so extending the idea to juice bottles, milk cartons and bags and coffee cups isn’t something to which people will have to adjust. beyond that, promoting the reward of cash for empty tin cans and other metal scrap in a way that more people than just the very few scrap collectors who take advantage of the plan would boost recycling.

we’d still have litter, of course, but incentives to clean it up could be implemented – if not financial, then in some undetermined manner via socialisation as i referred to above. that’s easy on a personal level for me and my immediate social circle, but the ‘clean up your neighbourhood’ days some parts of the city promote haven’t been as popular. financial punishment may help us, though – why not simply charge fees to the corporations whose junk winds up on the streets the most often? if you take a quick inventory of the litter in your neighbourhood (and yes, i do this all the time. i really am that much fun), you’ll see cigarette butts, junk food wrappers/containers and other bits of throwaway crud, much of it prominently advertising the name and logo of the company who should be held partially responsible for putting it on the street. yes, the people doing much of the littering are the individual customers, and i am quite happy levying monstrous fines on them, but we ought to be placing a great deal of the blame and responsibility on those who directly create the cheapest and most disposable, unwanted garbage. much of it is redundant, too, which defies explanation, but the truly essential bits could certainly be retained or returned to their creators a lot more thoroughly.

should we financially punish corporate litterbugs, we can consider using that money to directly clean up the local environment. people who bring in bags of litter and/or recyclables can be reimbursed in this way, but we can also pay more trash-pickers and street-sweepers, be they part of a traditional workforce or the people who we see now picking up bottles and cans in the area.

yes, there are dozens of problems with these ideas, this i fully admit. there are also solutions or possible solutions for most, if not all of them. articulating them is probably not my strength, and there are people out there much more experienced in the field. we do, however, have to expect to address these concerns more and more, as we already are beyond our capacity to sensibly deal with the waste we generate. speculating just when we reach a tipping point with trash has been a grim game for years, and some think we’re already well beyond our ability to correct the errors we’ve already committed. though i somewhat agree, i think this viewpoint is troublesome as it discourages some people from acting responsibly (and that’s already endemic). simple solutions for individuals are obvious (stop buying crap and properly dispose of what you do consume), systemic solutions are more work. being a pessimist i don’t think we’re up for it, but i would like to be proven wrong.

ongoing documentation of the strike can be found in the photostream of flickr member sharkboy, a friend.

ATSC Mobile Devices at NAB 2009
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One of the big pushes from ATSC is the development of Mobile Digital Television (DTV) because it could represents a significant new revenue stream for the broadcasting industry as well as a new way to reach more customers. It can be achieved through transmission facility improvements and it will allow broadcasters to extend local programming to a vast audience of viewers with portable Mobile DTV devices.

To demonstrate the potential The Open Mobile Video Coalition had an area on the NAB floor where a number of mobile devices were shown picking up content from a nearby transmitter. The problem, none of the technology inthe area could be picked up (ie. it wasn’t mobile) and the nearby transmitter happened to be placed just above the booth. Nevertheless a number of technologys were displayed.

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