Tuesday, January 27, 2004

And the Ki-43 Oscar goes to . . .

Last year I talked about how there is a project to construct from scratch new ME-262 jet fighters for private owners. There is a similar project afoot to build four new Ki-43 Oscar fighters for private owners.

www.warbirdsresourcegroup.org - Texas Aircraft Factory's Oscars

The KI-43 Oscar, originally flown by the Imperial Japanese Army, is a great aircraft for a private owner. It is much simpler than American aircraft of the same period. The Oscar was unmatched for its manouverability and climb, besting even its compatriate A6M Zero. (The Zero was flown by the Japanese Navy.) The Ki-43's weaknesses in battle aren't important to the contemporary enthusiast owner. The plane's light armorment doesn't matter because it won't be shooting at anyone. The lack of armor or gas tank protection also aren't critical. The relatively low top speed, just over 300mph also isn't important in a market where most general aviation aircraft won't top 200.
Honda Business Jet - Take 2

This is either the real thing or a cleverly staged hoax.

The Honda Business Jet?

I had a hard time looking for a photograph of the top secret Honda Business Jet. The press releases didn't include a photo. The only pictures that I could find were a few sketches. Could this be it?

Crazy jet engine uses
The Honda Business Jet?

I had a hard time looking for a photograph of the top secret Honda Business Jet. The press releases didn't include a photo. The only pictures that I could find were a few sketches. Could this be it?

Crazy jet engine uses

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

US Census Global Population Information

When thinking about globalism & job, it is critical to think in terms of world population. Remember the 1980s when Ronald Reagan poo-pooed the need for increased US funding for global overpopulation efforts? Well, guess what? The 1980s babies are now in the workforce, and although in recent years the rate of global population growth has slowed, the actual numbers of new mouths to feed is still going way up, a net increase of about 73 million for 2004 alone. To put things in perspective, over the course of a four-year presidency, the world population will increase by about 300 million, roughly the same as the total population of the United States.

If labor is a supply & demand commodity, when the supply of labor goes up, and if (through increased productivity) the demand per capita for labor goes down, the natural tendency is for wages to go down. Depending upon the circumstances, this can be not just a decrease, but a spiral. Decreased buying power from lower wages decreases the demand for the products of the labor. Think of the 1930s Great Depression.

Here are a few statistics from the Census Bureau for population increases 2003-2004 (rounded).

India - population growth 16 million
China population growth 6 million
Indonesia pop growth 4 million
US population growth 3 million
Mexico population growth 1 million
Philippines P. growth 2 million

I was most surprised by the United States population growth figure. During my projected lifetime (1960s through 2030-2040), the United States population will easily double. At my actuarial death, the US Population will be roughly what India's was when I was born.

These statistics graphically show that our biggest national security problem isn't Iraq. It isn't North Korea. It isn't Terrorism. It is our own fertility and the stress that fertility places on our natural resources and our social and economic structures.

World Population Information

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

The first Segway Transporter Clone

You just knew, when the Segway was announced that if it were going to be the Next Big Thing, transforming transportation, then it wouldn't be a small boutique New England company doing the manufacturing.

At this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, a copmany called Global Manufacture Group demonstrated the first Segway competitor. They call theres the RAD2Go and expect to sell it for $1000 to $1200, compared to $4495 for the Segway.

How do they sell it so cheap? For starters, it has four wheels rather than two wheels and a gyroscope. Still, with the two main wheels, it looks a LOT like the Segway. So much so, that if you want the cool factor that comes with the Segway, 99% of the folks that see you won't know the difference.

Segway Clone Hits the Streets of Vegas

Thursday, January 08, 2004

$89.00 for a 15 watt lightbulb anyone?
In an earlier installment, I wrote that the future of lighting belongs to light emitting diodes. Maybe, but the future isn't here yet for mainstream applications. The company linked below sells an LED replacement bulb equivalent to a 15 Watt incandescent for $89.00.

I'm still high on LED lighting though. I would expect that prices will come down more than 50% per year over the next few years.

Luxeon LED PR bulb, EverLED bulbs, LED bayonet base, flange base and medium screw base bulbs for flashlights and fixtures.
US Stuff

Here's a site that lists some products that are still made in the United States.

U.S. Stuff Home- Made in USA Products, Assembled in USA Products, usstuff.com

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Yes Virginia, you can sue Walmart and win: The Wal-Mart Litigation Project

Wal-Mart Litigation Project

Monday, January 05, 2004

Indianapolis Colts or Team Ecko?

I'm still stunned at the hurt our local Indianapolis Colts put on the Denver Broncos yesterday in the 1st round playoff game. Denver is a very good team, but the Colts were playing out of this world in a 41-10 triumph that wasn't even that close.

The Colts reminded me of Team Ecko. Team Ecko, what's that? Ecko is a made-up team of superhumans that can be unlocked in Madden NFL football. IF someone wants to play you and they are using team Ecko (look for the Rhinos on the helmets), run away.

Ford Freestyle - 1st look

The car connection has the first production-type information on the upcoming Ford Crossover called the Freestyle.

It appears to be a direct competitor to the Buick Rendezvous, within a percent or two on all dimensions and specs. Perhaps a tad cheaper.

I'm surprised that they have it slated for the 200 hp 3.0 liter Duratec engine. At 200 lbs torque, it doesn't seem competitive with the current field. This is slightly less torque than the the standard engine in the Buick Rendezvous with similar size and weight, and lack of torque has been the most frequent complaint for that vehicle. Buick finally is addressing it in its new Rendezvous Ultra, which will have an uprated 3.6 liter engine. The Ultra should be available in the spring, before the Freestyle is available in quantity.

The Car Connection [ The Web's Automotive Authority ]