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Friday, July 18, 2008

Top 10 Best Covert Spy Cameras


We've all see the multitude of hidden cameras in such things as teddy bears , wall clocks, plants, etc. but today I would like to focus on covert spy cameras that are both unique and resourceful. Not that these other types of cameras aren't clever but they are mostly used as "nanny cams" that are primarily used in your home.

Seinfeld The Reverse Peephole:
Kramer: Our policy is, we're comfortable with our bodies. You know, if someone wants to help themselves to an eyefull, well, we say, 'Enjoy the show.'




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Kite Surfing!!!!!!! Re:volve 2008




Scheveningen Kitesurfing


The Art of Gesture in Tourist Italy

by Heather McDougal


(Warning: silly pictures ahead)

Okay - back from my week in Italy, visiting Pompeii and Herculaneum (more about them later, perhaps) and in an accidental sort of way, Pisa - from which there was a convenient flight. We managed to arrive in time for the yearly Luminaria celebration (more about that later too). In Pisa my elder daughter became fascinated by all the people taking pictures of their friends holding up the leaning tower, or pushing it over - it is never easy to tell from the wrong angle. At times there were four or five people in a row all holding their hands up - which, when taken out of context, looked like some kind of mass-hallucination tai chi class.

She asked me for her camera and disappeared for a half hour, and then came back with these, which I think vie with many of the conceptual art pieces in the Whitney Museum. I found them hilarious and strangely compelling.






More pics can be found here






This is cool



More Fun Pics about 30

"Faint" No More?


http://view.break.com/539008 - Watch more free videos

Good Old Fashion Mud Fight!!






click here for the about 40 more pics

Nudibranchs, The Most Colorful Creatures in the World (PICS)


The nudibranchs most exceptional aspect is their incredible color palettes. Some species’ palettes match the dark greens and browns of their ocean surroundings, while others boldly contrast the colors of their habitats.

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Shelby Ultimate Aero EV Puts Tesla Roadster To Shame


Sure, the Tesla Roadster is a pretty fast electric car, I guess. But the Shelby Supercars Ultimate Aero EV? Well, that's going to be the fastest electric car in the world. I mean, just look at that thing!

It's still in the design phase, but we do know that SSC has at least one 500-HP electric motor designed, and they're considering sticking two of them in one car to create an insane, 1,000-HP beast that doesn't emit a thing. Even more interesting is the drive train, which SSC claims uses a power source that allows for extended time between charges. Like years between charges. I'm not exactly sure how you're going to power a 1,000-HP electric car with two motors for years between charges, but I'm certainly interested in seeing them try. This one is a few years off, but when it does hit, one thing will be for sure: you won't be able to afford it. [Autopia, Jalopnik]

World's Fastest Guitar Player

This is video of him setting the world record.!!!! Absolutely Amazing!!!!!!!

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Sedan Remasterpiece- Quattroporte S



The Chismillionaire sedan gets better!

Maserati has tampered with the Quattroporte, a sedan that inspires visceral, carnal automotive lust wildly out of proportion with its size and door count. Perhaps fearing cries of "blasphemy!" the factory proffered these historic precedents: DaVinci's do-over of his "Virgin of the Rocks" masterpiece and Henri Matisse's reinterpretation of "Le Luxe."

Well, okay, in that context, we might forgive Pininfarina for extending the nose 1.4 in. and the tail by 0.4 in. and giving it a larger grille with vertical slats (chromed to distinguish the new S model) to strengthen its resemblance to the GranTurismo. It's also incorporated new bi-Xenon and LED lighting and expanded the already staggering array of interior trim choices to 10 leather colors with 11 piping hues and myriad woods or lacquers from which to choose. Other interior upgrades include new cluster graphics, reshaped seats and a new multifunction wood and leather steering wheel with sporty thumb rests. We can certainly forgive the infusion of 25 extra horses and 22 lb-ft of torque that come with the S model's half-liter-larger V-8. If you take umbrage at these aesthetic amendments, you'll surely embrace the quantum improvement in ergonomics brought by Bose's new multimedia/nav system, standard on base and S models (only these two trim levels are offered; the outgoing Executive model's many extravagances are now optional on either).


Still need convincing? Take an S for a blast along any twisty, hilly road with a bit of slow-moving traffic to overtake and you'll never look back. Everything wonderful about the current Q'porte (now the best-selling Maserati of all time, with 15,000 units delivered) is still here, from the high-hosannas engine note and smooth-shifting ZF automatic to the Ferrariesque steering, braking, and neutral handling-but it's all espresso-caffeinated. The new red-headed 4.7L V-8 (base 4.2s are blue) fattens the torque curve significantly from 2000 to 4500 rpm and the power curve from 6000 to 7000 revs. At least a little of that added oomph comes from a new "perforated foil" catalyst design that allows exhaust to flow more homogeneously over the precious metals with significantly reduced backpressure. The Skyhook adaptive dampers are firmer in normal and sport modes and a new valve design improves their frequency response. Bigger front rotors (see Technical Highlights) on the Brembo brake system easily erase the extra momentum the engine so quickly gathers, and the larger 19-in. Pirellis (245/40 front and 285/35 rear) deliver that extra thrust with no smoking or fishtailing on dry pavement, even with the stability controls off.


Inherently great handling attributable to the Quattroporte's 49/51-percent front/rear weight distribution has always made this car feel more agile than its size suggests, and the S-model enhancement make it seem nimbler still-on a par with the far lighter Jaguar XJR, but with a far more stirring engine note. So intoxicating is this sound that you'll find it flat impossible to think about carbon footprints, gas prices, or dwindling oil reserves during a rush to the 7200-rpm redline. These sound frequencies compel unrepentant hooliganism that leads to paddle-shifted overtaking of even fast-moving cars. $124K will buy a lot of great sedans with better resale and JD Power stats, but none will make you look or feel as fabulous as this one does.

Technical Highlights

Dual-cast front rotors. Many performance cars today feature composite rotors with a cast-iron friction surface fixed to a much lighter aluminum hub, but most use a system of pins to join the dissimilar materials. The Brembo/Maserati approach, which made its world production debut on the Quattroporte Sport GTS model, is quite different. Here, the aluminum hub is cast with eight "spokes" that extend up into the iron rotor, which is cast in two pieces that sandwich this aluminum casting and then are fused together under extreme heat and pressure. This design optimizes weight by using more aluminum and less iron than a pinned-design would for the same swept area. The Quattroporte S's new 14-in. front rotors end up weighing the same as the base car's 13-in. all-steel rotors.


Low-risk deployment passenger airbag. The new Quattroporte's passenger frontal airbag is designed to deploy without harming a child while protecting heavier than average occupants. The two-stage design senses what's hitting it and deploys the second stage or blows its vents as needed to provide the appropriate level of cushioning. The dividend for those who don't crash into anything is the elimination of the unsightly gap around the old airbag door that was necessary to accommodate bags with different deployment rates for different markets. Because this system doesn't require a passenger-weight sensor on the seat, U.S. customers can now order the seatback tables (a load on these tables would have altered the sensor's reading before).


Bose Multimedia System. The Bose/Maserati approach to controlling lots of functions with a minimal number of buttons draws inspiration from the traditional car radio, which placed a volume knob on the left and a tuning knob on the right, both of which have a secondary knob behind them. The concentric knobs on the right will tune the radio frequency, but also serve as a multifunction controller. Six buttons above the screen tune preset stations, while the six below the screen bring up menus for radio, digital media, navigation, or phone. The knobs on the right control functions from there, and the screen graphics are keyed to the knob's rotation. The logic is such that with a brief orientation and a few minutes' fiddling new users should be able to perform most functions with ease.


Front light clusters incorporate side marker lights, bi-Xenon low/high beams (inboard), flash-to-pass and daytime running lamp functions (outboard), 10 LED turn-signal indicators, and headlamp washers.
Front light clusters incorporate side marker lights, bi-Xenon low/high beams (inboard), flash-to-pass and daytime running lamp functions (outboard), 10 LED turn-signal indicators, and headlamp washers.


Joker vs Joker ......Battle of the Batmans

Joker vs Joker (Jack Nicholson vs Heath Ledger) by SilverLightsaber

The Pitch: Jack or Heath? Which Joker is better? SilverLightsaber put together a trailer mashup where both Jokers must face off. Not quite as good as Battle of the Batmans, but worth checking out.




7 Brilliant Beach and Lake Houses [PICS]


A house on the beach is the perfect place to sit back, relax ... and enjoy some of the strangest architecture on the planet?

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30 Creepiest Trees On Earth [pics]


If you are a horror movie buff, you’ve certainly noticed the liberal use of trees to set the mood. Halloween is hardly complete without the image of a moon-lit and fog-laden tree. However, some trees have been molded by Mother Nature into specters of their own. Scary, frightening, or downright weird, the trees we’ve amassed in this collection will leave you wondering if Mother Nature herself digested some magic mushrooms.

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10 Banks That Could Be Next To Go Under


IndyMac bank going under probably has you wondering, is my bank next? Various analysts are predicting that hundreds of small and regional banks could collapse in the next year. Here's the top 10 list of the nation's most troubled banks...

The list is determined by dividing the bank's non-performing loans by the sum of its tangible equity capital and loan loss reserves, what is termed the "Texas-ratio." Any bank with a ratio higher than 100 means they have more bad loans on the books than money to pay for them. The good news is that all the banks are FDIC-insured, which means that up to the first $100,000 of your deposits are guaranteed by the federal government.

Who's Ne

Helen Mirren the bikini queen reigns supreme at 63

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 4:03 PM on 16th July 2008

Most women only a few days away from their 63rd birthday would be steering well clear of the beach.

And if they did venture there, it would be in the most modest of concealing attire.

Dame Helen Mirren, however, is happy to flaunt her enviable curves and flat stomach in a bikini.

Mirren

How does she do it? Dame Helen Mirren looked sensational while holidaying in Puglia, Italy this week

It seems hard to believe that this is the same actress whose portrayal of the Queen won her an Oscar.

Yet this was no retouched studio shot, with the only work to transform her toned body having been carried out during gruelling hours in the gym.

Dame Helen is holidaying in Puglia, on the southern tip of Italy, with her film director husband Taylor Hackford, 63.

Mirren

Happy snap: Helen gets on the other side of a camera to photograph her husband Taylor Hackford

Mirren

Bikini queen: The actress flaunted her enviable curves

She bought a castle in the neighbourhood to celebrate her 2007 Academy Award for Best Actress.

She bought the 500-year-old building and grounds near Lecce for around £680,000 and immediately drew up big plans for the estate with refurbishment work starting last summer.

The property was uninhabitable, with tumbledown walls and a driveway that was little more than a dirt track.

Mirren

One is cooling off: Helen takes a dip

When the couple first visited the nearby village of Tiggiano to greet locals and - once they heard - civic officials, the welcome was so warm that a baker even made her a cake decorated with a scene from The Queen.

Her new Italian home is surrounded by high fortified walls and has a mature vineyard within its grounds. The Mediterranean can be seen half a mile away.

Dame Helen also owns an enormous home in California and a property by the Thames in Wapping, East London.

helen mirren helen mirren
helen mirren



Known for her diverse acting ability, Mirren has adapted to many styles. From her role as Queen Elizabeth II to a racy housewife in Calendar Girls and a hard-nosed detective in Prime Suspect

Elton John immortalized in Ice Cream by Ben & Jerry

Elton John's ice cream flavor is made from "an outrageous symphony of decadent chocolate ice cream, peanut butter cookie dough, butter brickle and white chocolate chunks."
Elton John's ice cream flavor is made from "an outrageous symphony of decadent chocolate ice cream, peanut butter cookie dough, butter brickle and white chocolate chunks."


By John Curran, Associated Press
MONTPELIER, Vt. — Ben & Jerry's has done it again: Hoping to honor rocker Elton John before his first-ever Vermont performance, Vermont's crazy-cool confectioner has whipped up a flavor just for him — "Goodbye Yellow Brickle Road."

The limited-batch ice cream, made from "an outrageous symphony of decadent chocolate ice cream, peanut butter cookie dough, butter brickle and white chocolate chunks," is a take-off on his 1970s album and song Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.

It will be available from July 18 to July 25 in the company's Vermont scoop shops, with proceeds going to the Elton John AIDS Foundation, officials said Tuesday.

It'll also be doled out in cups, cones and dishes at John's sold-out Champlain Valley Expo show Monday.

The Burlington-based ice cream maker — whose rock 'n' roll-themed products have honored late Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia ("Cherry Garcia") and Vermont-bred jam rockers Phish ("PhishFood") — wanted to toast John because he was finally getting around to playing the Green Mountain State.

He's performed in every other U.S. state.

"It's hard to cram 50 years of musical history that Elton John brings to the table in one pint," said Sean Greenwood, a spokesman for Ben & Jerry's Homemade Holdings Inc.

John collaborated, and has given his stamp of approval to the ice cream, even though he hasn't actually tasted it, Greenwood said.

"He said, 'Chocolate and peanut butter, guys, if you can make something like that work,'" said Greenwood.

Tickets for the show — priced at $75 to $135 — are sold out.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

PC Mods


Not everyone likes a normal-looking PC. They like it when their PC looks different. Take a look here at a sample of photos of these PC mods.


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The United States of Obesity 2008

Better Than Doctors: Mum Uses Internet to Diagnose Sick Girl

Girl, 13, may be paralysed by disease that baffled doctors for six months - but her mother diagnosed on the internet

A schoolgirl who has been left bed-ridden with a serious illness for six months, was only diagnosed after her mother looked up her symptoms on the internet.

Danielle Fisher, 13, fell ill in October and doctors were baffled by her mysterious condition.

Her mother Dominique, 35, took her to the doctors after she began suffering from viral meningitis-like symptoms, including severe headaches and fatigue.

Over the next few months, Danielle's condition worsened as her eyes became ultra-sensitive to light and she began suffering from vertigo and shortness of breath.

Enlarge Danielle Fisher

Danielle Fisher has been left bed-ridden by Lyme Disease after doctors failed to diagnose the condition for six months

Danielle, from Whitefield, Greater Manchester, attended various doctor and hospital appointments where she was diagnosed with a variety of possible illnesses, including meningitis, Epstein-Bar virus, a tumour and even psychological problems.

Her mother, 35, said, 'She was admitted to hospital a few times, she was in and out for a long time and we got an array of diagnoses which were all wrong.

'She was diagnosed with Epstein-Bar virus, without the glandular fever. Then meningitis, then the psychiatrist comment was the best one.

'They even suggested it could be a clot or a tumour at one point, which was worrying.

'The last time she was in, the doctor said there's nothing wrong with her, she needs a psychiatrist, which I knew was wrong, the poor girl could hardly walk.'

Frustrated at the lack of an appropriate diagnosis, Dominique, who is an estate agent, was so worried that she began doing some research herself on the internet into Danielle's symptoms.

She had severe vertigo and couldn't walk any more
She was shocked to discover her daughter's illness may have been caused by a bite from a tick, a tiny spider-like blood-sucking parasite which usually feeds off animals.

Dominique said, 'I'd begun doing some research myself by then as she had severe vertigo, couldn't walk any more and had severe muscle and joint pain.

'I came across Lyme Disease and it just seemed to fit. There's a lot of controversy over the treatment of the disease and over diagnosing the disease.

'I took Danielle to see a professor in Newcastle privately and he diagnosed her with Lyme Disease and three core infections. That's why she was so ill.

'If it hadn't have been diagnosed, she could have become paralysed or blind.'

Danielle's condition was diagnosed as borreliosis, also known as Lyme Disease in April. If left untreated, it can cause nerve damage, paralysis and blindness.

The Manchester schoolgirl is now taking several courses of antibiotics to treat the condition but it is feared she may never fully recover.

'If she had been diagnosed straight away, it would have been a course of six weeks of antibiotics but now she's on heavy antibiotics. It's gone past the blood-brain barrier,' Danielle's mother said.

'Thankfully she is now on a course of treatment and we are just hoping as much as we can that she will get better. On one extreme she could be better in weeks and on the other extreme she might always be like she is now. '

Dominique added: 'Danielle is fed up. She's lost a lot of weight, she's miserable and she just wants to be better. She just wants to be back at school and with her friends.'

The disease has seen a fivefold increase in Britain in the past decade.

'It's staggering that this has been caused by one bite. Danielle is literally bed-ridden. She can barely walk because she is so weak and she gets tired really easily.

'This disease is a lot more common than people think and I just want to make people aware of it.'

'It can happen anywhere in the UK. There seems to be quite a lot of it in certain big parks. It's like an unlucky lottery, it can happen to anyone.'

Wendy Fox, Chairperson and Director of BADA (Borreliosis and Associated Diseases Awareness UK) said: 'Doctors need to be much more aware of early signs and symptoms, the fact that ticks can carry more than one infection concurrently and the fact that rashes can differ to those in medical journals."

Currently the only defence against Lyme Disease in the UK is wearing sensible clothing, using repellent and being aware of possible symptoms.

Pot raid angers medical-marijuana supporter

Thursday, July 17, 2008 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

COURTNEY BLETHEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Martin Martinez says his U District office was a mess after police searched it Tuesday afternoon, seizing marijuana and patient records.


Seattle Times staff reporter

Martin Martinez says the small, private collective and outreach group he runs from a University District storefront are legal, a place for medical-marijuana patients to get help growing the medicine they need to manage their pain.

One of the earliest advocates for what became a voter-approved state medical-marijuana law 10 years ago, Martinez says he hasn't handed out pot, nor grown any in his cramped office on Northeast 50th Street just off University Way Northeast.

But Tuesday afternoon, Seattle police, armed with a search warrant, carted away marijuana and hundreds of private patient files, and tore down a wall in search of a marijuana patch that didn't exist.

King County prosecutors say the raid was justified. Martinez's neighbors have been complaining about a pervasive smell of pot, they said, so authorities need to figure out whether Martinez has been breaking the law.

But the episode has Martinez frustrated and his attorney furious. They accuse the police and prosecutors of being overzealous and refusing to honor the law that is supposed to let sick people use pot in peace. At a minimum, Martinez says, the authorities should let the whole thing blow over — and return his stuff.

"We're trying desperately to be legal, to stay alive and not have these conflicts," Martinez said. "Science and law have to come to terms, because the doctors are recommending cannabis and the police have got to get on the same page."

Martinez, 48, suffered severe neurological damage in a motorcycle accident in 1986. He later became one of the first people in King County to use medical necessity as a defense against prosecution for using marijuana.

In 1998, he helped promote the medical-marijuana initiative that voters approved overwhelmingly. It allows people with certain serious ailments to use marijuana if authorized by a physician.

For the past four years or so, he has operated Lifevine — a private collective of patients who work together to grow their own medical marijuana — and Cascadia NORML, a public-outreach organization that provides ID cards to medical-marijuana patients so they can show police that they have a legal right. He said the groups used three different locations in the U District on Northeast 55th Street and never had any problems.

In June, Martinez moved into the storefront on Northeast 50th Street.

One nearby business owner, who asked that her name not be published because she's concerned someone might retaliate, said the building immediately filled with the smell of pot. She said she hoped "the problem would just go away," but it didn't. So she and other neighbors complained to police.

Tuesday afternoon, Seattle police bicycle officers entered Martinez's office after smelling pot in various parts of the building. They called for backup and called prosecutors to obtain a search warrant.

According to Martinez, the police seized 12 ounces of marijuana buds and a large container of the less-potent leaf called "shake," which belonged to him and four other patients who happened to be there. And the police took 500 confidential patient files containing people's medical records and medical-marijuana prescriptions, Martinez said.

Martinez said one officer became convinced that Martinez was growing a garden in a secret room, so he ripped down part of a wall.

No plants were found. Martinez wasn't arrested. No charges have been filed.

"I'm just hopping mad," said Douglas Hiatt, Martinez's attorney, who arrived at the office during the search and called a deputy prosecutor to try to talk her out of executing the warrant. "It's stupid and was totally preventable."

Hiatt said Martinez is "super responsible" and makes sure he follows the letter of the law.

"I'd like for them to give him his stuff back and compensate him for anything they broke," Hiatt said. "If they decide to go forward with this [and file charges], we're going to have a real fight."

But Mark Larson, the chief criminal deputy for the King County Prosecutor's Office, said an investigation is warranted to determine whether Martinez was operating within the bounds of the state law.

"We're certainly aware people have a right to use medical marijuana," Larson said. "But that doesn't include dispensing, and it doesn't include possessing unlimited quantities."

State laws don't specify legal amounts or ways medical marijuana can be dispensed to others, he said. The state Legislature last year ordered the Health Department to establish maximum amounts each patient may possess, but the department's proposals are still being debated.

"We'd love to have these issues clarified so that people who need it get it, and people who operate outside the rules risk prosecution," Larson said.

The business owner who complained about the smell said she didn't know until after Tuesday's bust that Martinez's office was being used by medical-marijuana patients.

The woman said she's highly allergic to marijuana and suffered headaches and dizziness. She said the smell was warding away some of her customers.

She said she suspected someone was growing pot in the three-story building, which houses a mix of businesses and apartments.

"It sucks they are sick and that they have to take medical marijuana — I wouldn't wish that on anyone," she said. "But it sucks that they're affecting an entire building."

Martinez said Wednesday that he had no idea the smell was so pervasive. "I'm really sorry. We didn't want to bother anyone. We're a very private group, which is why it doesn't say 'medical marijuana' on the door.

"We've tried to keep to ourselves."

Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 or sgreen@seattletimes.com

Zack De La Rocha's One Day As A Lion 1st Track Posted Online

ONE DAY AS A LION, the project featuring Zack De La Rocha (vocalist for Rage Against The Machine) and Jon Theodore (former drummer of The Mars Volta) has posted the track "Wild International" on its MySpace page. The song comes off the group's eponymous debut EP, which is scheduled for release on July 22 via Anti Records.

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The Ultimate iPhone App: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed


You want an iPhone app? We’ll give you an iPhone app. Take a look at Star Wars: The Force Unleashed for the iPhone which uses the accelerometer for game play. It should be available in September but we have some cool video over at CrunchGear. Peter Ha writes:

As far as we know and to THQ Wireless’ knowledge we’re the first with any sort of footage for the upcoming release of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and here it is for all of you readers. It’s a very cool game and an ingenious way of using the touchscreen. The accelerometer is only used to switch gameplay from landscape to portrait at any time. It’s still a work in progress and won’t be released until September 16, but we didn’t notice any glitches. I can say without a doubt that this is going to be a hot, hot game for the iPhone/iPod platform.


2011 Chevrolet Cruze



DETROIT — The 2011 replacement for the Chevrolet Cobalt will be called the Chevrolet Cruze. Scheduled to be unveiled this October at the 2008 Paris Auto Show, the Cruze will go on sale in Europe in spring 2009.

The Chevrolet Cruze will be the first vehicle to use GM's revamped Delta 2 platform, an architecture that will be used on all GM small cars around the globe, including replacements for the Chevrolet HHR, Opel Zafira and its related siblings. The Cruze's bodywork will also carry a design vocabulary that will be incorporated into all vehicles across the globe that carry the Chevy bowtie.

At the Paris show, GM will unveil a five-passenger sedan that measures just under 181 inches overall, roughly the same size as the current Cobalt sedan. When the car goes into production in the U.S. in mid-2010, the Cruze will replace the Cobalt in Chevy's lineup and it'll be built at GM's plant in Lordstown, Ohio.

GM executives tell us, "The Cruze was developed by a global design and engineering team and will be built in multiple locations around the world." Apparently this includes a new assembly plant in Russia, as well as locations in Asia and Europe.

GM tells us that the cost considerations of global manufacture have led to the use of a torsion beam rear suspension for the Cruze. Although GM engineers claim that they have been able to optimize this design for both accurate handling and a comfortable ride, it's surprising that the Cruze doesn't feature independent rear suspension like the global Ford platform used for the Mazda 3.

In Europe, the Cruze will be offered with a choice of four-cylinder gas and diesel engines. For the U.S. market, GM intends to fit a turbocharged, direct-injection 1.4-liter that will deliver up to 40 mpg in highway driving.

What this means to you: As oil shock registers in the U.S., there's a stronger market than ever for an affordable small car, so the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze might be coming to the U.S. market at just the right time. — Paul Lienert, Correspondent

Batman's Rides- A conversation

Bruce Wayne's Lamborghini Murcielago may show up Ironman's Audi R8 in this summer of comic book heroes and their supercars.

The highly anticipated installment of the Batman franchise, "The Dark Knight" [http://thedarkknight.warnerbros.com/], out this Friday, is expected to be one of the summer's big blockbusters. This time we get to see the Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 show its moxie in a daytime car chase through Gotham City.

The Warners Bros. film is the last major movie with the late Heath Ledger, who plays the Joker. The film also features Maggie Gyllenhaal and Aaron Eckhart, who join the cast of 2005's "Batman Begins" -- with Christian Bale once again as billionaire Bruce Wayne and the caped crusader, Michael Caine as Alfred, Gary Oldman as Sgt. James Gordon, and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox.

Christopher Nolan, who also directed "Batman Begins," again brought on production designer Nathan Crowley to be in charge of the cars as well as other design aspects. Crowley says they wanted to offer something different when it came to the Lambo's role in this film.

"We asked Lamborghini to give us some cars so we can race them and use them in an action sequence, which we didn't do on the last film," Crowley tells motortrend.com


Crowley says because this chase happens to Bruce Wayne during the day, he can't use Batman's Tumbler. "So Lamborghini gave us three cars to do a stunt sequence with -- one of which we smashed up."

They shot the scene in Chicago, closing down up to 15 blocks. The special-effects team put rollcages in the stunt cars, and Lake Street was the straightaway for the Lambo and its 640 hp. "Lake Street is a straight street with an El above it; it goes on for miles and doesn't make any turns," Crowley says. "It's a great street for a straight run."

Even though they only did the stunt once, they rigged two cars in case the sequence didn't go as planned. The third car was filmed to race around the streets. "It was amazing they gave us these cars, because they're not exactly cheap," Crowley says.

Producers already had a good relationship with Lamborghini since "Batman Begins," in which the Murcielago Roadster, with a price tag of almost $400,000, made its movie debut. "It needed to be a convertible because he gets into the car with two girls; if it had a roof, they wouldn't have fit in," Crowley says. That was the appropriate car for the last film and this time, it was just, "Let's get a coupe, let's get it in a neutral color," he says.

"In 'Batman Begins' we used the prototype they hadn't quite released yet, so they gave us one of their first-run cars, which was wonderful. This time we went back to them and said, 'Hey, if we do an action sequence are you prepared to give us a few cars, and we'd obviously do some damage to them?' So they were terrific," Crowley recalls. "We got three cars out of it, which was good for us because it allowed us to do an action sequence that didn't involve the Tumbler. So we get to do a little bit of an action sequence with Bruce Wayne, instead of always doing it with Batman. It was a nice little twist."

As for that other car, Crowley designed the Tumbler for the last movie, and it's back in this film. But there is a twist on the Tumbler this time around that connects it to the Bat Pod.

Crowley's Tumbler took some 40 mechanics six months to build and is replete with a Chevy big-block V-8 and a truck axle for the rear axle. "It hasn't a front axle, if you look at it; it has two arms hauled over the front wheels, which gives it a whole different suspension," he explains.

Crowley also designed the Bat Pod. Both have been on tour this month and will end up in Hollywood the day of the release and will be there for a week.


"When you design a Batmobile or motorbike, it's all about form and function; it's not different from any other design," Crowley says. "You're looking for something new, looking for interesting shapes. I've always liked car design. I've been interested in it because it's a design form."

He stayed away from automakers when designing the Tumbler to avoid outside influences. "Oddly enough, one of the hardest things to develop is the tires -- you need to go to a tire manufacturer. If you're looking for large tires, the choice suddenly slims down."

To fit his mind's design of the Tumbler, he chose Hoosier race tires in the front and four rear back tires. "The front tires are difficult to determine, it took a lot of research to find them. I modeled this thing up and you design it without any preconception that you might have trouble finding a tire because that didn't cross my mind," Crowley laughs. "These are the hurdles you learn about -- like, 'Wow, I can't find a tire.'"






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