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Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

Posted July 15, 2007 5:01 PM
Pathfinder Tags: challenge questions

The question as it appears in the 07/17 edition of Specs & Techs from GlobalSpec:

On January 12, 2007, I drove my car around a closed race course 100 times and measured the amount of fuel consumed. On June 12, 2007, I drove the same car around a closed race course 100 times and found that I consumed more gasoline. Why?

Thanks to MillMat who submitted the original question (which we revised a bit).

(Update: July 24, 8:24 AM) And the Answer is...

On the cold January day, the gasoline is colder and denser; therefore the fuel has more molecules (or more energy) per gallon than in the warmer weather.

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#1

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/15/2007 7:29 PM

The answer is simple. Assuming the conditon of the car is the same, and you drove at the same speed, the difference is in the density of the fuel caused by differences in temperature. Assuming the race course is in the Northern Hemishphere, the January drive occured in colder temperatures, and the June drive in warmer temperatures.

One of the first things taught about the effects of heat is that things expand as the temerature increases. With 2 solid items of the same mass at different temperatures, the warmer item will occupy more space. The same mass distributed through a larger space is less dense.

Electronic controls on modern engines try to keep the air/fuel mixture ratio the same throughout the year. The system has to pump a higher volume of the warmer fuel into the cylinders to deliver the same amount of mass.

Sometimes drivers are advised to fill up their tanks in the mornings when temperatures are cooler for this same reason.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/16/2007 1:49 AM

3doug...i believe you are right on this one...and saw a recent newcast which people were complaining about paying more for less fuel during the recent heat wave across the US....less dense fuel is not as efficient as a cold (more dense) fuel.

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#21
In reply to #2

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/17/2007 7:45 AM

Yes, the news media has been jumping all over this in my area too. Good material to fill up time on the old "Tube", instead of delivering meaningful content about more important maters!

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#34
In reply to #21

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/17/2007 10:38 AM

Why not just sell gasoline by weight?

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#80
In reply to #34

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/18/2007 10:22 AM

Right, "engineers". "Make things happen." sure.

balderdash.

As a mechanic, I understand a lot goes into to design and application.

I respect the power to create intelligently.

Theory and advanced mathematics are the tools engineers use to

design short-lived, un-serviceable, impratical and 'scheduled' obsolescent

parts and pieces and today's advanced machines when they have NO interest in

the accessibility and practical interchangeability of such for those of us who

"KEEP IT HAPPENING". Save your chest-thumping for your next awards seminar.

I have to go stand on my head in the muck to change a under-rated relay

one-handed in the dark.. (THANKS.. "ENGINEERS" )

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#92
In reply to #80

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/18/2007 1:03 PM

It must be my memory problem acting up again. I don't remember writing that responce. BUT I SURE HAVE HAD THAT THOUGHT. Just once I would like to have that wonderful engineer near enough to send him to the bowels of the truck that needs a repair.

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#96
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/18/2007 1:56 PM

And as I like to remind my ringed-pinky friends:

Engineers designed the Titanic, Amatures designed the Ark.

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#101
In reply to #96

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/18/2007 3:50 PM

Whoa, there, fella. Engineers may have designed the Titanic, and its virtually identical sister ships, Olympic and Britannic, which sailed for a good many years after the unfortunate disaster, but "the Ark", if you are talking about Noah's good ship of the bible, was not designed by amateurs, Noah and his family (the "Amatures" you speak of?), but by God:

Genesis 6:13-17

"(13) And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. (14) Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. (15) And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. (16) A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it. (17) And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and everything that is in the earth shall die." (KJV)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sounds like a pretty good design for a huge lifeboat to me! Of course Noah and his family were the skilled craftsmen who carried out God's plans for the Ark. I am sure they improvised a little as well, but then they were also inspired by God.

BTW, if you really want to know the cause of the Titanic disaster, it was not poor engineering, which was cutting edge for its day, but an unfortunate series of events, culminating in striking the iceberg in a particularly devastating manor, with greater loss of life compounded by company officers cutting back on lifeboats, mismanagement of the evacuation, antiquated maritime laws not requiring enough lifeboats, and several other contributory causes. Hardly an engineering blunder. In hindsight some design changes were made to make all ships safer, but no such disaster had occurred previously that mandated such action. Even Titanic's sister ship, Olympic, had survived an earlier iceberg collision with only a little, repairable damage and no loss of life.

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#109
In reply to #101

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/18/2007 10:06 PM

just a chuckle StL

Seems like that little line always gets the goat of engineers. No offence intended. You guys beat lawyers hands down.

LOL

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#118
In reply to #101

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/19/2007 7:31 AM

I'll give your cohorts a pass on the Titanic. But try to put a better spin on that suspension bridge in Seattle

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#125
In reply to #118

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/19/2007 10:15 AM

Geez, I never said ALL engineers NEVER do anything wrong. We are people too, and people CAN make misteaks! <grin> The difference is, when a doctor, a pilot, or an engineer makes a mistake, people could die or be seriously injured. When a lawyer (except for some defense attorneys in capital cases), an accountant, a salesperson, etc. make a mistake, people only lose money.

BTW, did you hear about the one where an Engineer dies and goes to heaven? At the Pearly Gates, Saint Peter's assistant looks in the book, but doesn't find the Engineer's name. "You have to go down to The Other Place" the Engineer is told. So he arrives in Hades, is soon bored and miserable from the heat and noise, smell of sulfur, and being prodded by demons to "get going" while walking over hot lava. So he designs a central Air Conditioning system, Sound Reduction devices, Air purifiers and puts in escalators and moving sidewalks, not to mention his own version of the Segway personal transporter, which he provides to certain key personalities Down Below. One day Saint Peter calls up the Devil to see how things are going. The Devil said, "Great, great, and thanks for sending us that Engineer. He has worked Wonders!" Saint Peter replied, "Wait one darn minute, you got an Engineer? You're not supposed to have any of those! Send him back up right now!" To which the Devil replied, "No, I think we'll keep him." Now getting angry Saint Peter said, "Send him back right now, or I'll SUE!" The Devil just laughed and said, "Where are YOU going to get a LAWER?"

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#132
In reply to #101

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/19/2007 11:38 AM

When did anyone settle and farm the cold North Atlantic wastes, building manor houses? And who are you to say that the design was so bad as to be devestating?

Gen Sec, Int. Ass. of Pedants

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#134
In reply to #132

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/19/2007 11:52 AM

Hah! So I'm not the only spelling nerd on this list!

I admire the humorous vein in which your pedantry was offered.

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#135
In reply to #132

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/19/2007 11:55 AM

Are you referring to the general shortage of life-jackets?

Fyz

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#153
In reply to #135

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/19/2007 3:12 PM

OH, I get it, de-vest-ating!

(signed)

THE BRICK

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#138
In reply to #132

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/19/2007 12:18 PM

Yikes, ER! Is that really in response to my post #101? It was cuznmonkey in #96 that implied that the Titanic design was poor. I was actually defending it as being state-of-the-art for its time and that the disaster had many other causes that led to its being "devestating", as you put it.

And what is that stuff about settling and farming "the cold North Atlantic wastes, building manor houses"? I just don't get that!

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#140
In reply to #138

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/19/2007 12:44 PM

STL -
You typed "manor" where you meant "manner." Rose is imagining a "devastating manor" out there with the icebergs. The fact that she misspells it as "devestating" puzzles me!

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#142
In reply to #140

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/19/2007 1:43 PM

STL -
You typed "manor" where you meant "manner."

No, here reference was to settling and farming, so a Manor House would make sense, just not in the depths of the Atlantic! A Manor House would be the English equivalent of a SW-US or Mexican "Hacienda", or a French "Chateau", as the old English estates were known as Manors, hence the term "Lord of the Manor".

In fact the Agricultural pecking order in England, below the Feudal order would start at the bottom with an agricultural laborer (who was hired to farm), then a tenant farmer, who rented the land, often paying with a share of the crops, then a yeoman farmer or husbandman who owned the land, in the sense that he could will it to his children, but an annual fee was still paid to the local Manor Lord, who was usually a Gentleman (meaning he did no actual physical labor himself) and owned the land, except for what rights might be reserved by the feudal lords (Barons, Earls, Dukes, etc.) over him or the Crown (King) itself.

So, is Rose looking for a Gentleman Merman to farm the depths? <grin> I guess kelp is increasingly in demand, but cannot be grown at a depth of 12,000 feet or so where the Titanic lies!

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#146
In reply to #142

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/19/2007 2:19 PM

STL -

In your original post (#101), you typed "manor" where you meant "manner."
Rose's comment was in response to your original misuse of the word.

In #101 you said: "striking the iceberg in a particularly devastating manor" - so Rose wonders, in #132, what that manor was doing out there among the icebergs! Was someone settling & farming & building manors out there in the cold North Atlantic? And what was so particularly devastating about that manor, anyway?

Geez, it isn't funny anymore after all that explaining...

:)

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#148
In reply to #146

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/19/2007 2:49 PM

In the words of Emily Litella:

"OH, that's very different! Nevermind."

About manor/manner that is.

But still, I never said "that the design was so bad as to be devestating?" What I said was that the ship struck the iceberg in a devestating manor(manner), which it did, crushing the single hull below the water line and popping the rivets connecting the hull plating, breaching several key watertight compartments, that caused the ship to list, take on water and eventually top the walls, flooding the rest of the watertight compartments and ultimately sinking the ship. It is generally concluded that if the ship had struck the iceberg in a more head on fashion, while reversing its props, instead of trying to avoid the 'berg at such a late point, it would have sustained far less damage, as did its sister ship the Olympic, about a year earlier.

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#150
In reply to #148

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/19/2007 3:03 PM

...um... You said "particularly devastating manor." Rose inferred that the design of the manor was particularly devastating.

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#152
In reply to #150

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/19/2007 3:09 PM

You are right,"it isn't funny anymore after all that explaining..."

I guess I am just Thick as a Brick!

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#161
In reply to #140

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/20/2007 7:26 AM

Note to self: must use spell checker!

No - I mean the pun was intentional

It's amusing that I substituted an "e" for an "a", as usually when I'm typing, I insert random "a"s in words. Does anyone else make typing errors that are different from their handwritten spelling errors? I nearly always write hugh when I mean huge, because the flow is easier.

[I think I'd better stop now, before they catch on that I'm rather over analytical]

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#163
In reply to #161

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/20/2007 8:25 AM

Spleling erorrs: of coarse I doo - awl de thyme. Swaped, ommitted and and repaeted characters are speshal features, with ocaisional lapses inter fonetic spelling. With handwrtiing, I often write t's for d's, but only in English - hand it never seemes to happen while dyping. That is Wye I try to read everything through as well as using a spell chucker (and no, I don't yet know what happens to Harry)

P.S. I hope #135 didn't offend you.

Fyz

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#169
In reply to #163

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/20/2007 10:00 AM

ROFLMAO.

Harry who?

#135: it took me a moment, and then I laughed out loud! Nothing in there to cause offense! I bowed (metaphorically) to your wit and erudition.

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#166
In reply to #161

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/20/2007 9:28 AM

I often right/write there for their and vice versa. Also, through for throw, and know for no (or is it the udder weigh around?). Oh yeah, manor for manner, but that is the first (and now ONLY) time I have/will ever due that!

Why doesn't the spell checker catch those misteaks?

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#204
In reply to #101

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/23/2007 5:36 PM

Uh....no. Sorry guys. Unfortunate event was value engineering. Then the iceberg.

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#210
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/24/2007 12:56 PM

It has been my experience that "value engineering" is a practice undertaken by management with or without the aid and/or consultation of engineers. Then engineers are required to make changes to fit the new "value engineered" design, which usually means that the product is no longer as robust, sturdy, safe, reliable, etc. as it was before.

I am not sure what you mean by value engineering, going back to the Titanic Disaster of 1912, but I suspect it is related to decisions made primarily by the management and owners of the White Star Lines, such as fewer lifeboats. This decision was made even though the design of the Titanic include a new type of reloadable davit that could easily accommodate many, many more lifeboats, whereas previous davits could only accommodate a single boat each.

In fact, in terms of real engineering, the Titanic builders did not cut corners but included the latest techniques in Marine Engineering, which was why they came to think of the Titanic as "unsinkable". It was only in hindsight that "improvements" were made to ship construction, such as raising the height of the walls between water tight compartments.

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#211
In reply to #210

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/24/2007 1:05 PM

See: Discovery Channel. See also: History Channel. See also: Metallurgy. See also:


About The Gazette Search Back Issues Contact Us The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University August 16, 2004 | Vol. 33 No. 42
JHU Course Catalog: Disaster! Learning from Engineering Catastrophes

Allison Marsh developed Disaster! as part of her field requirements for her Ph.D.
PHOTO BY HPS/WILL KIRK

By Lisa De Nike
Homewood

Editor's note: This is one in an occasional series of articles dropping in on interesting classes throughout the university's eight academic divisions.

The course: Disaster! Learning from Engineering Catastrophes. An exploration into how engineering catastrophes, from the sinking of the Titanic to the meltdown at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and more, influence successful design changes. Students investigate man-made disasters in fields such as space exploration, transportation and public works projects, and consider the consequences of engineering mistakes. They seek to answer the question, How do engineers define and respond to disaster?

CR3

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#212
In reply to #211

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/24/2007 1:23 PM

Yeah, I know. They called the Challenger explosion an "engineering" disaster, even though the engineers at Morton-Thiokol warned their management of the likelihood of failure of the o-ring, given the conditions that were present, and it was Thiokol management, with a little arm-twisting by the NASA officials who gave the "go-ahead" anyway. Yet they still call it an "engineering disaster".

Humbug!

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#213
In reply to #212

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/24/2007 3:23 PM

Who decided it was ok to launch even though the temperature was below the recommended range? Was it the lunch lady? Nooo. Was it the valet? Nooo. Was it a bunch of engineers? YES! Therefore, an engineering disaster.

Same goes for ignoring the metallurgical studies that suggested the vessel (Titanic) might not withstand sharp impact at low temp.

ooooh, materials being used below rated temp = potential disaster! hmmmm a theme?

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#218
In reply to #213

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/24/2007 4:18 PM

"Who decided it was ok to launch even though the temperature was below the recommended range? Was it the lunch lady? Nooo. Was it the valet? Nooo. Was it a bunch of engineers? YES! Therefore, an engineering disaster."

Sorry, but you are just plain wrong here. I have to do more research before I can present similar evidence on the Titanic, but please read the following which is taken from a paper on engineering ethics and responsibility and has just about the best quick take on the subject I have read in this excerpt:

Representation and Misrepresentation: Tufte and the Morton Thiokol Engineers on the Challenger

Author(s): Wade Robison, Roger Boisjoly, David Hoeker, Stefan Young

First presented Wednesday, October 9, 1996. An updated version was published January 2002 in Science and Engineering Ethics.

Presented at the OEC International Conference on Ethics in Engineering and Computer Science, March 1999

Excerpt:

The night before the Challenger launch the following January was to be extremely cold, perhaps as low as 18 ° Flame thrower 100-year cold--with temperature at ignition in the range of 26° F to 29 °F. In a teleconference the evening before the launch, the Morton Thiokol engineers recommended that shuttles not be flown below 53 °F, the coldest known temperature to date of the O-rings during launch--in a flight in which the O-rings came the closest to complete failure and disaster.

What happened subsequently that evening is the subject of much dispute, but any narrative will contain at least the following:

The Morton Thiokol management accepted the recommendation of their engineers not to launch Challenger and sent that recommendation onto NASA.

NASA asked for a reconsideration of the recommendation.

The burden of proof seemed to shift. Morton Thiokol was to prove that the Challenger was not flight-ready apparently under the presumption that the flight would succeed otherwise.

The managers at Morton Thiokol caucused among themselves and approved the flight--despite their engineers' recommendation and sometimes vehement opposition.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So you see, it was company management and NASA officials who were primarily responsible for giving the GO to launch that ended in the deaths of the Challenger crew and NOT the engineers who argued AGAINST launching.

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#219
In reply to #218

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/24/2007 4:34 PM

upon that stand alone statement, I will concede.

Management issue. Perhaps the valet too.

I also will plug away at this one a bit. I am suspecting that the Titanic could have a similar argument.

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#220
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/24/2007 4:58 PM

No, I think the valet was blamed by 1985 Lincoln Continental drivers who found their Air Suspensions tilting their parked cars at an odd angle when one or more of the o-rings in our Borg-Warner Solenoid Valves, which controlled the pressure in the Goodyear Air Strut, leaked down over several hours on extremely cold days due to shrinkage, which was ironically very similar to the Challenger problem.

Also ironically, we traced the problem down to incorrect specs from a material supplier who also supplied the rubber for the Morton-Thiokol O-rings that also failed due to cold weather.

Fortunately for the Lincoln owners, pressure came right back when the car was started and the pump power was restored, and the car righted itself with no injuries or loss of life.

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#221
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/24/2007 5:25 PM

I owned a '94 Continental and a '97 Town Car.

Where were you when I needed someone to throw eggs at?

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#247
In reply to #221

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 8:43 AM

Hey! Watch out who you are throwing eggs at!

Did you have the leaking suspension problem? Not all vehicles did, only the ones that had o-rings measuring on the very low side of the tolerance. Also, the problem only occurred with valves produced over a 5-month period. Besides, I did not create the problem , I helped discover its cause and fix it! Here is the applicable service bulletin :

Service Bulletin Number: 86-7-4
Bulletin Sequence Number: 022
Date of Bulletin: 8604
NHTSA Item Number: 84837
Make: LINCOLN
Model: MARK VII
Year: 1985
Component: SUSPENSION:INDEPENDENT FRONT AIR SPRINGS
Summary: AIR SUSPENSION-VEHICLES SAG-SPRING LEAK-DOWN WHEN COLD-VEHICLES BUILT BETWEEN 7/ 31/85
AND 12/20/85-LEAKING AIR SPRING SOLENOID O-RING SEALS, WHICH MAY BE SLIGHT LY UNDERSIZED AND SHRINK
WHEN COLD-SERVICED BY REPLACING (2) SMALL O-RING SEALS WITH NEW SEALS P/N E4LY-5312-A-1985/86 LINCOLN
MARK VII, CONTINENT L WITH ELECTR ONIC AIR SUSPENSION SYSTEM

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#227
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 4:14 AM

We were taught about this in our Engineering Ethics class in 1988. I've used the example when I've been asked to "reconsider" and engineering recommendation. It also highlights the need to record all decisions and discussions...

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#228
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 4:41 AM

I know that some people like to slurp tea from a saucer, but is it acceptable for me to do so from a keyboard ? A keen desire to live prevents me from elaborating.

"Board overman !...."

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#231
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 5:37 AM

Just unplug it first....

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#233
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 5:49 AM

I'll wait for the crumbs to soak it up. Rich Tea variety, Very nice.

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#235
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 6:06 AM

Rich Tea came third in R2's Drive Time Show's office poll on the best biscuits to dunk. Jaffa Cakes came first and digestives (choc covered) second.

Jaffa Cakes?! The sponge disintegrates when you dunk it...completely ruining the jaffa experience. <sigh> what's the world coming to?

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#237
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 6:40 AM

That perfectly illustrates why all tasty morsels should be enjoyed separately. Who started putting water in Whisky ?. Dead-fly biscuits are the only exception that comes to mind. Jaffa cakes are nice, but like Cream-Eggs, the size seems to keep changing. Also they seem to experiment with horrendous non-biscuit products and shapes. A couple of days ago I re-heated some Chili and had it with loads of cottage cheese that needed using up. The incongruous mix was mmmmmm. (Getting just the right ripened Avocado in shops is a pain - and no, I've never tried to force ripen with paper bag + banana!). Timing the Rich Tea dunk is one of lifes great pleasures. I just know in my bones that some idiot 'research' paper will have been published to quantify the method.

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#238
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 6:50 AM

LOL! Water in whiskey is a must in my book - and you'd disown me if you saw how much water! All I can say is: I like it, and it leaves more whisky for you!

Marmite and honey on toast is a particular favourite of mine in the "it shouldn't go together" section.

And you're right about the research paper into dunking biscuits. They concluded that digestives were best...and gave times based on the dunking liquid. It was about 10 years ago, I believe. Personally, (when I could still eat wheat), my favourite was bourbons into cocoa...yummy. PS Anyone have the recipe for RN cocoa...I gather it's a bit more than milk cocoa and sugar (in the form of rum)

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#241
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 7:56 AM

Marmite and honey on toast....

I am now feeling deeply (more than normally) disturbed.Vegemite could persuade me, but I will refrain until I hear expert Oz comment. wrt to the Whisky I enjoy the aroma more than taste, and darned near caused a war by declining an invite to join in a drink at about 7am (on excuse of driving)one day. On my next visit to said party I demonstrated the anguish that offering too much hospitality may cause. They doubtless laughed as I rode my bicycle away, but their stock and humour would have cost them dear when we all recovered. As you will doubtless know, declining an invite to partake can cause offence, so I did my best to make amends . Feeling inclined to reciprocate at some time is going to cause my wallet horrific trauma. I may need to borrow one of your old quotes ER !I shall brace myself with strawberries and pepper.

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#242
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 8:11 AM

Chocolate update: I've just been to the supermarket where ever little helps - and discovered 86% dark chocolate (by Cote d'Or). Very smooooth.....

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#244
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 8:16 AM

That's gone up 1% since the last I saw . Have you been tasting extra? I shall investigate if I every get trusted with shopping.

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#252
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 9:44 AM

Definitely smoother than Lindt's 85%. And Cote d'Or's 70% + orange is gorgeous (two bars on the go!) I'm debating whether to open the T's organic 70% at the same time...

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#273
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 3:22 PM

....experiment relentlessly I say ! It is your duty to check all possible combinations. My own palate is damned with an addiction to Old Jamaica and Midget Gems. I can chew on the later 'till my jaws ache, though I suspect they have been chemically doped just to shut me up. I wind up flat on my back having to satiate myself with the Old Jamaica sort of oozing through a slack jawed mouth. A disgusting sight assuredly, but sheer pleasure all the same. Little nibbles of good quality stuff get reserved for late night TV and coffee.mmmmmm.

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#240
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 7:21 AM

Most Scots dilute their whisky with a little water. The usual reason given is that Whisky is best drunk at about 35% ABV so the various aromas are not overpowered. However, as they even dilute blends, I suspect the real reason may be faster assimilation of the alcohol (I believe 30% to be about "optimum")

I'm a philistine - depending on mood and type, I may drink it undiluted up to 55% - but I also drink some quite dilute.

Fyz

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#297
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

08/03/2007 10:02 AM

At last...a topic i know about. In the late 18th century there were 8 legal distilleries in Scotland, and it was estimated 400 illegal ones. By illegal i mean that they refused, or failed to supply taxes according to the "Excise Act". Their product was still produced to exacting standards. Single malts are made from 100% malted barley double distilled (triple in the lowlands) and from one distillery only. The distiller used only pot stills, and retained only the middle cut. The cask strength ranged from 60-75%, and would lose 1-2% every year of maturation (the angel's share). Cask strength of the single malts was the preferred method of bottling and delivery, basically scotch concentrate. Depending on the distillers expertise, most were better diluted than not for the reasons you mentioned, although i do agree - there are some that are just as good cask strength. My granny always said that most scots drink scotch with a splash of water so that other scots will think that they are drinking an expensive single malt rather than a Single grain, Vatted Malt, or blended scotch.

May you ne'er need a friend, nor a dram to give him.

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#298
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

08/03/2007 10:09 AM

"May you ne'er need a friend, nor a dram to give him."

Hence the saying, "I just don't give a dram!"

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#299
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

08/03/2007 11:39 AM

I'm confused about the saying. Is there another source ?

Shirley.

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#300
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

08/03/2007 12:11 PM

Shirley, you jest?

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#301
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

08/03/2007 1:29 PM
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#302
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

08/03/2007 1:56 PM

. . . My entire comment here is a waffling homily . . .

ROFL

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#303
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

08/04/2007 3:33 AM

(pinched from 3Doug cos I was too lazt to tpye it !)

(Check this )

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#230
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 5:20 AM

I was going to write a sanctimonious, and supposedly funny reply.

However, I can only imagine with horror the pressure these guys were put under to capitulate...The managers who pressured them have dobtless all been promoted by now and probably sleep soundly at night blaming everone else.

Poor bas*ards, glad it wasn't me under the cosh.

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#232
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 5:45 AM

The entire purpose of the term 'Corporate' is to pass the buck. I'd say the clue is in the word itself. Are there any cases where senior figures have put their hands up ? Can't think of any. The Corporate body protects them and helps shift blame downward.

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#234
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 6:03 AM

Boss of GMTV anounced this morning that he's resigning over the premium telephone caompetition lines fiasco - I doubt he instigated it, but he's carrying the can! (let's hoped he sacked those involved before he went!)

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#236
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 6:30 AM

I've not read that one yet, but the usual pattern is a la Equitable. At least Maxwell 'fell' off a boat, though I doubt that consoled many. A list of all the slippery characters who escape realistic personal responsibility would have to include Archer near the front. Lloyd's names would also figure high on my list of those to roast on a spit. Whilst I agree with Del's comments about the guys physically closing bow doors getting blamed being 'wrong' (my interpretation), it goes further. I've refused to do certain jobs because I felt the task carried un-necessary risk etc. Not that my refusing and squealing loudly changed anything, but personal responsibility is precisely that. 'Everybody else was doing it' or 'It was my job' doesn't really cut any ice. Before Del jumps down my throat, having lived round the SE a fair time may explain why I have some views on a specific topic. Charged phone-ins have always left me baffled so I couldn't really comment ,except to say that it probably reflects a lot about society.

<rambling general rant off>

The Challenge Question needs a rotisserie. I need to invite a certain Mr Archer for my desired dish.

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#239
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 7:08 AM

Jump down throats... moi?

I'll scratch your eyes out...bitch !

Did I just say that....?

I think we're all basically on the same wavelength here...quick chorus of that song..

It's the rich wot gets the pleasure, it's the poor wot gets the blame!

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#243
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 8:13 AM

Hang on, I'm a Tom. I thought you woz Dick and Harry.

Where is my spillchecker when I need it. Since we are way off topic, I thought this was funny when I saw it earlier (the site is most goodcious).

Just as an extra, one of my Cats loves hiding in the washing machine. How do I prevent this (short of turning the thing on) ? Yes, I could shut the door, but she likes it. Bits of citric fruit maybe ? I do have plans to eventually turn her into a fly-ash type doorstopper, but not just yet. The wife objects, but hell it's my cat mainly. Better than another plot in the garden. Any thoughts ? The old carbon to diamond may be expensive and I was thinking more DIY. Dead serious- 'Sooty' probably only has another year or two and I need an inventive plan. My current door-stop idea is my best ( + the stoopid dog would be totally confused). How do I best convert Sooty to brick-shape come the sad day ?

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#249
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 9:11 AM

There is an alternative to the "brick shape".

It is what is known as a "sail-cat".

What is a "sail-cat", one might ask? Well, a "sail-cat" is created when a dead cat (or a live one) is run over numerous times on the highway until they are as flat as the proverbial pancake. This allows the corpse to dry out quickly in the hot sun and become stiff as a board, whereupon one could, if one so desired, pick up said cat and hurl it, frisbee-style, off into the distance, and watch it "sail away".

Hence the term, "sail-cat".

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#250
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 9:26 AM

I'm currently canvassing opinion. The sail-cat looks like it has uses, but I want an engineered cat ! I don't know if you guys use door-stoppers or 'snakes' that get used to exclude drafts, but my puss is gonna get useful in the hereafter. All suggestions will be noted. When Sooty bites the dust, she's going to live on as a useful household object. My wife thinks I'm macabre, but I say I'm just being pragmatic. 'My dead cat' is going to be one of my finest projects yet. She is going to get an afterlife like no other. The mother in law can have a hole in the ground or a barbecue, bu my cat's gonna get the best ! She will appreciate the humour and engineered excellence that CR4's finest can provide. Sail-cat is on the list. Owners choice will dictate, but all options go on the list. Damn thing will probably outlive me.

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#253
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 9:50 AM

This just reeks of a great family project. You will need an open top wooden box large enough to hold the dear feline in a suitable position. There is a mold making product that mixes up to form a soft pliable rubber when dry. You will need to fabricate (engineer) some kind of straw for the cherished family friend to breath through while the mixture sets up. (Probably over night) Might think about some way to keep the mold material from sticking to the hair. After the mix sets you can simply use a sharp knife to slice open the rubber mold and remove your lovable little friend. Now you are all set. You can make as many plaster models of fluffy as you need. Of course these clones will lack the soft fur of the original, BUT perhaps you can recycle some older hair balls. You did save them didn't you? Now this is a fun filled weekend in my book. Please send pictures.

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#257
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 10:37 AM

"This just reeks..."

You could have stopped right there! <grin>

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#255
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 10:33 AM

What is Sooty's (my guess is she's dark grey or black in colour) favourite position?

....

Apart from sleeping! Does she sit like Bast, or lie down like the Sphinx? You could have her stuffed in the appropriate pose and:
a) mountred on a block....or
b) encased in a transparent resin
c) or shrunk to key ring size (a la heads of old)
d) have her curled around a nominally cylindrical element and use the result as a pen holder
e) have her suffed lying on her back, with paws suitably positioned so that you can use her as a mouse holder on your desk
f) as e) but in a position to hold letters/files/post-its etc on the desk
g) use the sail-cat as a mousemat
h) use the sail cat as a clipboard
i) use the skin to frame a picture or mirror

...I'm going to stop now

a) and b) give you the doorstop you were after.

Alternatively have her turned into carbon and use her to remove the smells from your shoes so that the subsequent cats don't suffer this fate:

The Dambusters Pub in Scampton (can you see what they did there?) has a stuffed cat that 'sleeps' on one of the stools - if you pick her up, the information label on the underside tells you her history!

I'm beginning to wish I'd done something like this with my old cat (I buried her in Charnwood Forest)

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#260
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 10:51 AM

c) or shrunk to key ring size (a la heads of old)

ER, I think you are onto something, but why not "spread the love"? Each of "Sooty's" paws could be dried and preserved (if not dyed), like a "Lucky Rabbit's Foot" keychain, and given as a gift to three or four of Kris's best friends or family members, as a way to remember her. Kris could keep one himself of course!

But then why stop there? Other body parts could also find decorative, personal, or keep-sake uses. The tail, if it could be kept flexible would do nicely as a short bit of cord to tie up small items. Properly skinned and tanned, her fur might make nice neck-warmer, almost as if kitty were laying there!

Any ideas for the remainder of the torso and head?

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#262
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 11:12 AM

I was thinking earrings or charm for a charm bracelet/necklace.

With a suitable expression, the head could be used to small items in the jaw. Or with the jaw wide open a photograph (of Kris & Sooty) could be mounted therein.

Suitably reinforced, the head could be used as a jar or bottle opener (jaws around the cap) - actually, I think that's the one - turn Sooty into a bottle opener! Never again will Kris be defeated by a tightly-capped whisky!!

The torso is a little more tricky - how about a furry cover for a PC mouse? (I seem to recall there's someone doing similar things with mouse carcasses!). Or a muffler. as I believe you Yankies and Good Ol' Southern gentlemen call a neck scarf, or, for the ladies a muff to keep their hands warm.

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#264
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 11:28 AM

Perhaps these will give more inspiration:

101

101 - alt

101 - more

I've read both and they are both hilarious and disturbing. Purrfect for Kris!

A review

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#266
In reply to #264

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 12:03 PM

But why stop there? I can see a whole series of similar books:

101 Uses for a Dead Dog

101 Uses for a Dead Goldfish

101 Uses for a Dead Turtle

101 Uses for a Dead Hamster

101 Uses for a Dead Weasel

But wait, there's more!

101 Uses for a Dead Baby

101 Uses for a Dead Parent

101 Uses for a Dead Spouse (with sections on Wife, Husband, and Life Partner)

101 Uses for a Dead Sibling (printed on the right page only, read from one end for Brother and, turned over, from the other end for Sister)

101 Uses for a Dead Homeless Person

101 Uses for a Dead Ex-Wife (this one could be written by OJ!")

101 Uses for a Dead Liberal

101 Uses for a Dead Conservative

101 Uses for a Dead Politician (non-partisan)

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#267
In reply to #266

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 12:11 PM

You are along the right lines. I heard that '101 uses for a dead baby' already existed.

You omitted two important ones, however:

1001 uses for a dead engineer

1.03 +/-0.05 uses for a dead physicist

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#265
In reply to #250

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 11:31 AM

This is a bit laboured, but that's politics for you:

Have you considered simply having her stuffed in an aggressive pose? A taxidermist could easily oversize her by as much as 50% (linearly), and could also provide waterproofing. You could then write "Cave felinem" on the gate...

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#275
In reply to #265

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 3:32 PM

Tag 'em and bag 'em. Then never again fear letting the cat out of the bag.

RichH

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#268
In reply to #249

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 12:15 PM

Mmmmmrrrrroooooooowwwwwwwwwww...

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#272
In reply to #268

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 3:12 PM

I think the doormat is the most appropriate. Return all those years of your service.

RichH

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#276
In reply to #272

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 3:41 PM

Hey ! Many thanks to all . Some great ideas. I am now minded to multitask Sooty - there will be enough to go round several of the suggestions. She has a couple of years left, so there is time for me to cogitate all possibilities. In due course pictures and project progress will emerge. Some family trinkets would be fun, though the door-stopper is still tops. She's jet-black so I may need colour additives since I expect the ashes will be a sort of grey. For weight, some kind of cement mix may be best ( though preservation and perspex has it's appeal - the dog would go nuts !). An egg-timer did cross my mind, but that is on the back-burner as a more direct personal dream ( some kind of processing may be needed to achieve flow of Kris, but I'm sure it can be done). Ordinary stuff like the countryside will not be good enough for various reasons. Thanks again to all for input on project Sooty.

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#277
In reply to #276

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 3:47 PM

You could make some nice black fur merkins ... could send one to GWB he's always going on about a merkin....

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#278
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 3:51 PM

I'm sure ER already covered that one.

...It's just GDubyas way.

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#279
In reply to #276

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 7:49 PM

A couple of additional suggestions, if you please:

As for the door stop idea, you need to be sure ol' Sooty has enough heft to do the job. Have her dipped in lead, that should work. But then, just to accomodate the dignified air that cats like to project, have her gold-plated also.

Or else, take a mercenary approach a la the Ferengi of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Have her remains dessicated and sell them. In case you are wondering about that, here's what Wikipedia says:
Ferengi males are neither buried nor cremated when they die. Rather, the dying male puts his body up for auction to the highest bidder and the dead body is carved up into little pieces that are vacuum-desiccated, preserved and packaged for sale as mementos of a worthy life. (In one DS9 episode, Constable Odo expresses an interest, when the time comes, in buying Quark's remains.)
This should allow you to recover the money you've paid out over the years for cat food, vet bills, etc.

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#280
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/26/2007 2:20 AM

The more the merrier 3Doug. Someplace I heard about a Victorian era fad for metal-plating nearest and dearest. I couldn't find it just now, but Mother Shipton came to mind while looking. As petrified stuff goes it would be very quick. I went there years ago and don't recall if they had any organic stuff. Using just the bones and a mesh frame, I reckon Sooty could attain a usable door-stopper weight reasonably fast whilst retaining her general shape. She's end up a bit grey looking, but that's no bid deal. I collect rocks, so she would have double the enjoyment factor using this method. So far Sooty has not expressed a preference, so I will have to make an executive decision come the day. A list of all these ideas will be kept. If I eventually go for a multiple method of preservation, a piece will appear on e-bay and all CR4s band of helpers will receive a discount if bidding.

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#281
In reply to #280

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/26/2007 3:49 AM

Petrified cat.... well 'ard innit ?

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#282
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/26/2007 6:30 AM

Poor old dawgs get so left out.

If you find yourself oop Yorkshire way could you do a quick test run for me ? Maybe a week or so might give me an indication of the time required. Fluffy toys and stuff that dangle there aren't quite as good a model as some genuine feline. Even testing one of your paws would be useful. I'd get you some tinned salmon or something. Hey, you just reminded me I'm supposed to be looking for something.....

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#214
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/24/2007 3:23 PM

Zebrugge disaster...all the fault of the bloke on the bow doors..... (not)

It's never the fault of mangement who tell 'em to turn a RO RO ferry around quicker than is possible.

Corporate manslaughter.?..the day there's a conviction will be the day hell freezes over.

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#270
In reply to #211

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/25/2007 1:21 PM

Re: Titanic, shuttle O-rings, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, and other Ooops! moments.

World Trade Center Building Number 7 was NOT hit by an airplane, but it collapsed, as did #1 and #2, apparently out of shame or loyalty to its larger brothers. Small fires are not an explanation for the sturctural failure.

Where is the engineeering text which explains the design errors which allowed a steel-framed building to collapse for no evident reason? Which building codes have been revised to perevent more building collapses?

Regarding gas mileage, I favor the ethanol hypothesis. It's all a scheme to raise demand for corn, at the expense of the motorist.

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#305
In reply to #101

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/11/2008 8:12 PM

HMHS Britanic (most probably torpedoed as the current info suggests, not mined as said in the Wikipedia entry) went down even faster in WWI (1916) as all the lower port holes were open due to warm weather and not following standing orders for a wartime situation....

Also a much lower loss of life as the ship was mostly empty and the weather was rather hot!!

But it was really not that much older than the Titanic really.....launched in 1914 and sunk in 1916......

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#215
In reply to #96

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/24/2007 3:23 PM

Not a religous person here but am I to assume you are calling your "God's Ark builder" an amerture,mmm I thought your god was all knowing and a top engineer in many fields!!

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#216
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/24/2007 3:27 PM

wrong forum. please see upcoming blog.

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#98
In reply to #80

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/18/2007 2:31 PM

Some of us (many of us older ones) have come up through test, service and other functions.

I for one always think of the people who are building, testing, installing and sevicing.

I would suggest it is the planners and marketing men who want rock bottom cost and built in obsolescence.

I do however agree there are some really irriting bits of hardware and software out there...just don't lump my designs in with them...

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#108
In reply to #80

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/18/2007 10:04 PM

To the Mechanic that posted this message, I sympathize with you, and just wanted to let you know that some of us engineers do understand.

A good mechanic is an "Engineer Without Papers" in my book. I am the daughter of a highly capable and very talented auto mechanic/machinist. Meanwhile, I am a materials engineer (which conveniently exempts me from much of your criticsim, since I'm really more of a chemist-scientist than engineer). Anyway, I think I passed up my dad's math training in about 7th grade...but he can figure out just about anything with a 5-function calculator and set of calipers.

Many a time have I heard, "If you ever design something as stupid as this, I'm gonna kick your butt."

High Mileage vehicles are a source of stubborn pride in my family, and my dad has literally put his blood, sweat and swears into them: my 1984 Mercury is approaching 300,000 miles and Dad's F250 diesel is approaching 500,000! Ford owes him a free truck for all the year's he's fixed their problems and kept his own on the road!

I also believe that your complaints are ultimately the wrath of ineffective company managers and various bean counters that aren't interested in making a car last beyond the warranty if it means they can save 2 cents on the manufacturing costs. I think most designers truly do want to create the best product available, but they get cut down in the process. But that's another story.

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#115
In reply to #80

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/19/2007 5:19 AM

They say that, if you never make mistakes, you aren't trying hard enough. Ideally, we find our own mistakes, but no-one is purr-fact (except perhaps Del's cat). So, of course, sometimes we miss them, and sometimes bean-counter mentality gets at a decent piece of work and turns it into an inconsiderate mess. Mechanics and technicians are on the receiving end of all of this - engineers can only apologise for human fallibility. (Consumers are on the receiving end of your mistakes as well as ours - an excellent mechanic fixes my car these days - even so, I can remember my frustration when the cabin control box in one car failed when it became damp because my car's guttering had not been cleared - which then turned on the petrol-cap-cover release solenoid, which was so well rated that is ran the battery down completely - and only then did it fail...)

Of course, in England, mechanics and technicians are all called engineers, and probably earn about the same... (no, it's not worth moving)

Fyz

P.S. Yes, engineers make things happen - do you really think you would be scrabbling about in the dark swearing if an engineer and five bean counters had not made it happen?

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#147
In reply to #80

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/19/2007 2:45 PM

"Right, "engineers". "Make things happen." sure. balderdash. Theory and advanced mathematics are the tools engineers use to design short-lived, un-serviceable, impractical and 'scheduled' obsolescent parts and pieces and today's advanced machines when they have NO interest in the accessibility and practical interchangeability of such for those of us who "KEEP IT HAPPENING".

Guest #80: If that's the way you feel about Engineers, what the heck are you doing here at "CR4 - The Engineer's Place for News and Discussion" ?

I guess you better go back to standing on your head in muck. It seems to suit your personality and biases better than participating in a civil discussion of technical subjects and issues.

You really would rather blame engineers for your inconveniences than the car buying public, which demands more and more for less and less (yes, prices of cars have gone up, but not as fast as the increase in technology and features that go into them) or the Corporate Shareholders, who demand an ever increasing value of their stock, or countless bosses, many of whom having no technical background, who demand that projects be completed by certain Drop Dead Dates, or else! Or the politician who adds an ammendment that furthers their own political agenda onto a more important (and therefore more likely to pass) bill requiring that automakers add such and such or meet some other bogus requirement, needlessly complicating the car's design. Or the accountant that demands that some particular widget be used by the engineer instead of the one the engineer chose, because the manufacturer claims it is equivalent and IT COSTS LESS!

These requirements, and many others, necessitate that the average car is built by large corporations to attain economies of scale, and designed, not by a single engineer looking at all attributes including performance, passenger ergonomics, maintainability, reliability, fuel economy, government regulations, manufacturability, cost effectiveness, etc, etc, etc., but by many different departments and teams of engineers, each working on a small piece of the puzzle and trying to fit it all together with all the other pieces and all into the package envisioned by some artsy-fartsy "automotive designer" sipping Starbucks at his megabucks "design center" in California or Detroit while playing with cartoonish pencil drawings and fantasy computer graphics. Yes, sometimes a piece has to be slammed in there with a BFH, or cut off the corners to make it fit. But compromises are required in almost any human endeavor, especially one as complex as automobile engineering.

Hey, how about the next time you are standing at your diagnostic computer and discovering quickly and easily that there is an "under-rated relay" that needs changing and exactly where and which one it is, instead of having to hunch down over a dirty, greasy engine to trace down the fault in a complex electrical circuit, pulling wires and connectors and testing every one individually, maybe you will actually thank an engineer instead of cursing one!

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#149
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/19/2007 2:54 PM

Good rant STL .....

I'm with you on this, I'll even hold your coat while you whup his butt!

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#151
In reply to #149

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/19/2007 3:05 PM

Thanks for the support Del. I'll guess you will be "behind me all the way", just like the guy in "Stripes" who said that when the other soldiers marched into battle he would be "behind them, all the way" <Grin>

Hold my coat indeed! How about, I hold your coat, and YOU whip his butt? I am thinking that, as a mechanic, he is probably bigger and stronger than both of us put together!

You sound like the guy who says to the bully, "You want to fight, my friend? Well, there he is!"

I'd rather be the guy who says, "Do you want to step outside and repeat that?" Then close and lock the door after he exits!

ROFL

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#284
In reply to #80

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/26/2007 11:55 PM

I was once a mechanic, now I'm a engineer. Engineers make things happen with the application physics and science . In stead of complaining about something that wasn't designed right, why don't you step up to the plate and become educated to a higher level. You will find it is the best thing you will ever do.

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#295
In reply to #80

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/29/2007 9:10 PM

I was too a mechanic for 5 years, and I have also had the same complaints of many cars and trucks that made their way through my previous place of employment. I am know a mechanical engineer. Keep in mind that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to design. Sometimes proximity to a heat source/ fuel sources, vibration, other liquids etc. governs where a component is located. I am not understating the importance of servicability, but you must recognize that you may not see the whole picture when it comes to component locations. Also, without those "short-lived, un-serviceable, impratical and 'scheduled' obsolescent parts and pieces and today's advanced machines" you would have no work.

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#296
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Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/30/2007 4:38 AM

Well said!

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#186
In reply to #34

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/21/2007 12:18 AM

No. no. no.

My father taught me at a young age. (He was a land surveyor) It goes like this... Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach. Those who can't do or teach, engineer.

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#188
In reply to #186

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/21/2007 1:33 AM

I always thought that those who can't do or teach went into politics, or became lawyers.

A lawyer and an engineer got into a discussion about which of their professions was oldest. The engineer refered to Genesis 1 and pointed out that creation came from chaos. The lawyer replied, "Just where do you think the chaos came from?"

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#283
In reply to #186

Re: Seasons, Cars and Fuel: Newsletter Challenge (07/17/07)

07/26/2007 12:49 PM

No. no. no.

My father taught me at a young age. (He was a land surveyor) It goes like this... Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach. Those who can't do or teach, engineer.

I feel duty-bound to defend engineers, even though I am a biologist masquerading as an engineer.........

Some cynic stuck another version of this on a notice board in the Education Faculty at my university - it went like this:

"Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach. Those who can't teach children teach teachers. Those who can't teach teachers become educational psychologists"

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