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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

It's Official — It's the World's Largest Hamburger


Giant burger, cooked Saturday at the Alameda County Fair, beat the record set in Canada.

World's largest hamburger record, 2011 Alameda County Fair.

It's probably the first time a giant hamburger has trended worldwide on Twitter.

It's also the first time a burger weighing in at a grease-tastic 777 pounds has existed on the planet, and Guinness World Record officials were on hand at the Alameda County Fair on Saturday to say so.

"It's this cow's 15 minutes of fame, and it doesn't even know it," said Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty, as he watched the massive mound of meat being lowered onto the scale after a long day of waiting.

"It looks delicious," he added.

A burger in Canada held the previous world record, weighing in at 590 pounds, condiments and all. That means the Alameda County Fair burger, cooked for 14 hours by Juicy's LLC on the "Juicy's Outlaw Burger" trailer, smashed the world record by 187 pounds.

A requirement for the burger to win was that it had to be eaten by the public afterward — and it was. Hundreds lined up to get a taste of history for 99 cents a bite. Many had skipped dinner in favor of the world's most awesome burger. By the time it was served at 9 p.m., stomachs were growling.

"This is a world-record attempt — people just don't do that kind of thing very often," said Juicy's owner Brett Enright.

"This world has how many billions of people in it? Everything's been done."

He added that this was Juicy's second attempt at busting through this record. The last attempt was in Houston — that burger came in at only 500 pounds.

Not only that but the bun fell apart, and the burger didn't flip very well. So this time, Juicy's built a special mold in which to flip the burger — a beef seat belt, if you will. Groups of workers flipped the meat mound every hour, in a riot of barbecue smoke and arms.

Meanwhile, the audience area was chaos. The good kind of chaos — the kind that fair marketing people love (second only to making it big on Twitter).

By midday, barbecue smoke had enshrouded the fairgrounds, leading patrons by the nose, Bugs Bunny cartoon-style, to the Juicy's trailer. By 4 p.m., hundreds of people watched as workers flipped the cooking beef — 600-plus pounds worth — on a custom-built grill that weighed 72,000 pounds.

This burger was five feet in diameter and three feet thick — a whole cow's worth of beef. The lettuce on top weighed 50 pounds, plus 12 pounds of pickles and 50 pounds of onions. The bun, baked for six hours by Athens Baking Co. out of Fresno, weighed 272 pounds and was 28 inches thick.

The math may not work out completely because some poundage was lost during cooking.

In all, the thing was estimated to be 1.375 million calories but probably was more. It would take a person on a 2,000 calorie-a-day diet 22 months to eat the beef, or 1,000 people in one night.

Though fair officials hoped it would be off the grill by 5 p.m. or so, the burger had other plans — as did health officials on hand to make sure the meat's center was done. They inserted thermometers often to test internal temperatures. Because this burger was going to be eaten by the public, it had to be just right.

Hour after hour passed. Six o'clock, seven o'clock, then eight.

"The burger is the burger — it's telling us what to do," said emcee Liam Mayclem of CBS5, whose job it was to keep the hungry crowd satiated.

By the time fair patrons finally saw the burger being hoisted by forklift toward a gynormous scale, it was 9 p.m. and dark outside. Mouths watered.

"The bun .... is in place!" one worker said with dramatic flair.

As the burger made its way across the asphalt toward the waiting bun, pieces fell off and grease dripped onto the ground. Once on the bun, workers smeared it lovingly with ketchup and mayonnaise, then piled on lettuce and onions and pickles.

"Let's hear it for the pickles, ladies and gentlemen!" said Mayclem.

All of the accouterments had to be on top before the weighing — according to Guinness, the burger had only one chance. Once it was on the scale, no one could add so much as a leaf of lettuce.

The crowd was silent as workers read the scale. The total was 777 pounds — a lucky number, and way more than anticipated.

Cheers erupted. "We're hungry!" someone yelled.

Welder Marcos Lujan of Oakland spent 35 hours over three or four days welding the grill together, and after hearing so much about this burger, he had to see it for himself. He was one of the crowd woo-hooing when the weight came in.

"My son Erick would call me while I was working and I'd say, 'I can't come home — I have to work on this grill.'

"And then we got here this morning and he was like, 'Where is the burger, Papa? I want to see the burger!'"

Others were excited about the spectacle, but not so much about eating it.

"It's massive and I had to see it," said 17-year-old Francesco Sergi of Danville. "But kids keep touching the bun."

He referred to children there helping the workers, who were instructed to put laytex gloves on.

He, along with sister Gabriella, 16, and friend Serena Wong, 16, had corn dogs and fries for dinner. But they got spectator spots right at the front of the barricade.

Sara Kjono, 26, wanted to do both, and she was having a hard time strategizing. Either watch the burger being lowered off the forklift, or go stand in line yards away and miss the spectacle.

"I'm just going to book it over to the line as soon as I can, and hopefully the line will move fast," she said. She'd been waiting nine hours for this burger.

"I've been waiting forever," said 13-year-old Calvin Moore of Oakland. "I heard about it over in the 4-H area and then came over. I had to see it."

His entire family planned to buy six burger pieces at 99 cents (with all proceeds going to the Alameda County Community Food Bank) but because it was so late in the day and they were starving, they opted for eight pieces.

Tina Popenuck and her son, 11-year-old Anthony Ferguson, had been waiting two weeks for this.

"He was the instigator," she said as they stood in line.

Fair spokesperson April Mitchell said about 500 people bought bites, and by the end of the night, half of the monster burger was gone.

If anyone wants to buy a burger like this, all he or she has to do is give 48 hours' notice and pay Juicy's $5,000. Seriously. Here's its website.

8 Weirdly Sexual Products You Won't Believe Are for Kids

Read more:

Raising a little girl is hard. You have all these decisions to make: schools to choose, what to feed them, how to make sure they don't grow up half as weird as you did. And of course, at some point you'll have to tell her about the birds and the bees. But all that sex stuff can wait until later, right?

Well, around age six, if your nearest department store is to be believed. In stores and catalogues for kids you can find items like...

8. Tesco Peek-a-Boo Stripper Pole

This is one of those pictures you see floating around the Internet, and you always just assume it's either 1) a photoshop or 2) some handmade project from a feminist making some heavy-handed statement about the exploitation of young girls. "Just imagine if they sold toy stripper poles!" But, the toy is very real and was indeed sold in the toy section.

In case you were thinking the pole dancing kit was intended for some kind of nonstripper (poles make for good exercise, right?), then you didn't notice it comes with a garter and play money to stuff into it.

Good old-fashioned exercise!

The product was sold in a chain called Tesco, which is like the Walmart of Great Britian, who denied that this was marketed to children and has since relegated it to the exercise department. That's not only about as transparent as selling a pole dancing kit in the children's toy section -- it's also a hilariously blatant lie. As advertised on the website before being forced to take it down, the Peek-a-Boo Pole Dancing Kit was "suitable for participants of 11 years old and upwards."

Oh, bonus fun fact for those of you whose eyeballs are still intact: The product description on the box invites purchasers to "unleash the sex kitten inside."

A Tesco burns down from, we assume, combustible shame.

#7. Bratz Hooker Babies

Let's pretend you're shopping for your 9-year-old daughter. You grab the typical stuff little girls like -- a unicorn backpack, a pretty psychedelic dolphin trapper keeper (that's what little girls are buying these days, right?). And now, to the toy section. There you see the Bratz dolls:

Via Amazon

Huh. Those are definitely hot pants and high heel leather knee boots there. But, hey, millions of girls were raised on Barbie, with her gigantic inhuman boobs and they turned out fine, right?

Wait, are those snake skin pants?

Via Amazon

We like how you can pick between the stiletto heel shoes and the stiletto heel boots. You know, for different occasions.

Well, OK, so maybe your kid's not old enough yet for dolls meant for the "16- to 20-year-old girls who still play with dolls" demographic. And to be fair, while having these dolls as her role models might make back-to-school clothes shopping for your daughter a battle, the dolls are themselves adults. It's not like they're telling your little girl that at her age she needs to dress like she's in the background of a rap video.

Now, meet Bratz "Twiins" Roxxi and Phoebi:


That's ... Jesus, can we go to jail for having a picture of an infant in a leather jacket and black panties on the site? And are we wrong to think that 100 percent of the people in the world named "Roxxi" who wear short, pink fur coats are hookers? We'd think we were misinterpreting what we're looking at there, but we actually can't find a photo of these dolls not dressed skankily:


But, still, it's not like they're specifically selling push-up bras and thongs to your kid ...

#6. Abercrombie & Fitch Push Up Bra For 7-Year-Olds


We all know that building real confidence and self-esteem is perhaps the most important thing you can do for your child. There are lots of ways to help them along with this: hugs, rigorous readings of Judy Blume and the occasional bar fight with your kid's enemies' fathers, the trophies of which you leave under your child's pillow to find the next morning.
"Be right back. Daddy's gonna go get a 12-pack of confidence."

But take a stroll through Abercrombie and Fitch and you'll find that there is a market for parents who think that the best way to boost the self-esteem of your first-grader is via a bikini top that will enhance her bustline.


Since A&F came under fire for selling the "push-up" bikini tops to little girls (and yes, the word "push-up" was on the description), they caved and took them off the shelves and swore to never try to showcase your 7-year-old daughter's boobs ever again. Just kidding! First, they simply changed the name of it from "push-up" to "padded." Then they relented and agreed to only market the "padded" tops to 12-year-old girls. Oh, but they made sure they still fit 10-year-olds.
"Honey, we need to have a talk about your inadequate, disappointing breasts."

#5. Abercrombie & Fitch Thongs for Little Girls


OK, Abercrombie is clearly just fucking with us at this point.

Not only is the above thong sold in the goddamn kid's section where you'd expect to find the Spongebob Underoos, but the tiny thong contains the words "Eye Candy" and "Wink, Wink." This is made to fit girls as young as 7.

Not that they're trying to sexualize your child, or get free publicity by drawing web traffic from pedophiles (wink, wink).

#4. Tramp Stamps for Your Toddlers


Oh, hey, you know what would be great for drowning out all those sudden, uneasy questions about why thongs are being marketed to extremely underage girls? A visit to the cute little kiddie vending machines next to the door on the mad dash out of the mall! Those machines are just filled with innocent little things you can buy your child, like colorful gumballs, unicorn stickers and those sticky, gummy hands that eventually wind up covered in lint.

Also? Fake lower back "tramp stamp" tattoos.

Or, to put it like Vince Vaughn's character in The Wedding Crashers, the "tattoo on the lower back. Might as well be a bull's eye." Hey, Vince, we'd like you to do that line for us in front of our tattooed 5-year-old!

#3. Playboy Merchandise for Kids

Via Daily Mail

From the same people who give you porn from behind gas station counters and reality shows about swinger couples, comes school supplies all emblazoned with the Playboy logo. Pencils, pencil cases, folders, ring binders ... really everything she'll need to organize a grade school education while letting the boys know she's the cool girl in class.


And just to be clear, that is school stationary aimed at underage girls, and ol' Hef dares you to look at all the fucks he's not giving. From his own mouth, "I don't care if a baby holds up a Playboy bunny rattle."

This many fucks. Look at them all.

#2. Sexy Costumes for Kids


Well, there's certainly nothing new about oddly unsettling "sexy" Halloween costumes. But there's something not quite right about this sexy cop ... oh God she's 12.


Oh, how sometimes you long for the days of your youth, when you'd dress as Dracula and Frankenstein and that four-year stretch where you were a princess every trick or treat night. Times have changed. Every word in this sentence links to a different "sexy" costume aimed at children.

While every single one of these costumes have "child" in the description, you'll see teenagers modeling a few of them. That's not some kind of mistake on their part, as there are subcategories of pre-teen and teen costumes with age-appropriate models in them. We would think that maybe seeing a 5- to 7-year-old in some of these would be too much for the consumer, but then you see costumes like this:

Via Moon Costumes

... and realize that someone is buying them. "Mom, can I be a sexy maid this year?" "Whatever, sweetie. Make sure you get one with fishnets."

#1. Virgin Waxing

So this was the point when you decide to trap your little girl indoors for a few years. Finally it's time to open the padded cage doors, unlock that Hello Kitty leg chain and let your little girl embrace the world for all its beauties and all its faults.

But now you'll feel like a fool, because you were supposed to be taking her to get bikini waxes all this time. Now you've screwed up!
"No, I thought you were taking her to get waxed!"

It's called "virgin waxing," and you're supposed to start at age 8. The theory is that if you start having this done before puberty, it will remove all of the hair roots and the pubic hair will never grow in. Boom! Your girl will have a permanent porn-star wax job at a fraction of the cost! That's great news because, as an oft-passed around quote in the Brazilian waxing community says, "If you want to sell the house, you have to mow the lawn."
No, it's OK. We made the same face.

Wanda Stawczyk, owner of Wanda's European Skin Care in New York, is quoted as saying, "In 10 years, waxing children will be like taking them to the dentist or putting braces on their teeth."

Sadly, Wanda, we're pretty sure you're right.

£12bn and counting: the treasure uncovered at Kerala temple

One vault is still left to open as scale of the offerings made to shrine in the past 500 years comes to light
     Padmanabha Swamy temple
    The Padmanabha Swamy temple. Photograph: Reuters

    It's like a scene from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Even before the unlocking of the last of six secret vaults at Kerala's largest temple, the centuries-old treasure in gold, silver and precious stones discovered in its cellars is already estimated to be worth around £12.6bn.

    "Though we knew that offerings made to the temple by devotees for the last 500 years were lying in these secret cellars, the scale of the treasure has definitely surprised us," temple official Hari Kumar told the Guardian. "All of Kerala is celebrating this extraordinary find." Its discovery has made the Hindu temple of Padmanabha Swamy in the state capital Thiruvanthapuram the richest in India.

    During the past week, a team of experts appointed by India's supreme court has opened five vaults dedicated to the deity Lord Vishnu to uncover an enormous hoard of gold idols, jewellery studded with diamonds, emeralds and other precious stones, antique silver, and even two golden coconut shells studded with rubies and emeralds.

    The shrine dates back to the 10th century, but the present massive granite structure was built only in the 18th century after King Marthanda Varma expanded and consolidated the Travancore kingdom. It has historically been a royal temple, but offerings to the Lord Vishnu, in the form of gold and jewellery, have come not just from Travancore kings and other Kerala royalty but millions of ordinary devotees.

    The vaults containing the offerings have remained locked at least since the 1930s, when the last inventory was reportedly carried out by Travancore's then rulers. India's supreme court ordered a fresh inventory of the treasure after a face-off between the current head of the former Travancore royal family and a lawyer who challenged them about the management of the temple wealth, claiming there was inadequate security.

    "There are six vaults, from A to F, and only Vault B has still to be opened," says Kumar. "This vault has special locks, and we don't want to break them. So we're getting experts to examine them, and we should be able to open them on Friday."

    The entire operation is going on under heavy police security, but nothing is being filmed or photographed. "Taking photos within the sacred space of the temple is strictly prohibited," says Kumar.

    Kerala's chief minister Oommen Chandy has rejected the demand that the treasure should be used for public benefit. "It belongs to the Padmanabha Swamy temple and will be preserved there," he said.

Live Oaks, Oak Alley Plantation, Vacherie, Louisiana

Motorola DROID 3 Images Surface Before Launch

By Sanjeev Ramachandran

The DROID continues its run on the rumor wagon, even as the release of its newest member, DROID 3, is round the bend. First on the cards is a bunch of leaked images of the DROID 3, which was fished out from Verizon’s site by the guys at Droid-Life.

Motorola DROID 3 Images Surface Before Launch

You can see from the screenshots the front and back of the DROID 3 and if that’s not enough for you, a 360 view of the device can be found here.And that’s not all. Droid-Life has also nabbed a 70 page long user guide of the phone. You can download the manual here.

The lack of 4G LTE connectivity is a blow that, we guess, we can outlive. The presence of a physical keyboard on an Android device is what pleases us most.

Specifications wise, we expect to see a dual-core 1GHz TI OMAP 4430 processor powered phone running the Android 2.3 beneath the “Motorola Application Platform”.

The D3 packs a 4-inch 540×960 qHD display, 8-megapixel camera with LED flash and 1080p video capture and a front camera for video chatting. The device doesn’t come with a preinstalled microSD card, but you can find preloaded apps like VZ Navigator, Blockbuster, and V CAST Music and Video.

On the whole, the package does seem to be a welcome upgrade from the DROID family. We have heard no statements regarding the price, but since the launch is impending, we expect to update you soon.

Meet NASA’s next Mars rover: Curiosity. It has a plutonium-powered laser

By Sebastian Anthony

Mars Exploration Rover Curiosity

After a series of moderately successful Mars Exploration Rovers (MER), NASA is about to take its game to the next level. Say hello to Curiosity, which is 10 feet (3m) long and weighs almost a ton, four times more than Spirit and Opportunity. It is expected to launch in November or December, and arrive on Mars about eight months later.

Not only is Curiosity huge, but it’s also equipped with a robot arm, a laser that can vaporize rocks at seven meters, and a percussive drill for boring into Mars’ surface. The machine itself is powered by the heat given off by 4.8kg plutonium dioxide, meaning it won’t rely on solar power, which has caused issues with older space craft. It’s not just the rover itself that’s cool cool, though: because it’s so heavy, Curiosity can’t use the highly scientific approach of “airbagging” to soften its landing — instead, it will descend through the Mars atmosphere using a retrorocket jet pack.

It is not yet known where Curiosity will land on Mars — the final choice will likely be made in the next few days — but there are two front-runners: Gale Crater, a 150-kilometer depression with a 5-kilometer-high mound of ancient sediment that might contain telltale signs of organic life, and Eberswalde Crater, which is thought to contain a river delta and lakebed deposits. Both landing sites are theorized to have once contained water, and Curiosity will be tasked with analyzing whether one of these regions — and Mars itself — was once habitable. The total cost of the Curiosity mission, incidentally, will be at least $2.3 billion — well beyond the $820 million spent on Spirit and Opportunity.

At this point, we strongly suggest that you look at the full-size images of Curiosity, both on NASA’s website and Wired.

If you want to read more about the mission itself, check out the Mars Science Laboratory website or Nature’s write-up.

Should You Fly Or Drive? Calculator Helps You Decide

Is it cheaper to fly or drive? A new calculator can help you find out (xlibber and danorth1, Flickr).

by: Sharon Silke Carty
As someone who routinely has to take long car rides from Michigan to New Jersey to visit family, I often find myself somewhere on Route 80 in the middle of Pennsylvania wishing I'd flown.

We live right at the border of where driving home seems reasonable. If we lived in Chicago – or even two hours away in Grand Rapids -- I doubt we'd ever drive back to New Jersey.

But we do. With three antsy kids in the back, a husband resistant to bathroom breaks (because each stop adds a half hour on to our already 10-hour drive), and spotty cellphone coverage along the route, it's easy to think flying would be easier. If it weren't for that pesky TSA, the checked baggage fee, and having to pay for five airplane tickets, flying would be a no-brainer.

Thankfully, there is now a tool for people who often debate whether or not it makes sense to fly or drive.'s Fly Or Drive Calculator compares the time and cost of flying versus driving. It asks you where you're going, when you're going, what you would drive if you were driving, and how much you'd pay for a hotel if you had to stay overnight. It also adds in the cost of parking at the airport if you're flying, plus car rental costs.

And for folks interested in their environmental impact, it calculates the carbon dioxide impact for each mode of travel. It also tells you how many hours you'll spend in the car or in the airport.

These days, it's hard to balance the cost of gas versus the hassle of flying. BeFrugal's calculator helped me plan an upcoming trip to New Jersey – I think I'll drive. But I've got another trip coming up, this time to Cape Cod. According to the calculator, that trip would take way too long to drive, and wouldn't save me much money if I figure in that I'll have to stop and sleep somewhere after 12 hours of driving.

I ran some of my upcoming trips through the calculator, and here's what I found:

To my mom's house in New Jersey: Flying would take 5 hours, 7 minutes door-to-door, and cost $1,595 for five people. Our carbon footprint would be 4,279 pounds. Driving would take 10 hours, 54 minutes (not sure if that includes rest stops), and would cost $306.57. Our carbon footprint would be 1,294 pounds. Verdict: We'll drive

To a wedding in Plymouth, Mass.: Flying would take 5 hours and 32 minutes, and cost $414. Carbon impact is 1,216 pounds. Driving, on the other hand, takes 14 hours and 14 minutes, and would cost $389.78. Carbon impact is higher, given my car is a 2005 Buick Rendezvous, at 1,698 pounds. Verdict: That's easy. My plane ticket is already booked.

To visit a friend in Marietta, Ga.: Flying would take 5 hours, 23 minutes, and would cost $1,320 for five people (and no checked luggage). Carbon impact is 5,186 pounds. Driving would take 11 hours, 15 minutes, and would cost $327.30. Carbon footprint would be 1,395. Verdict: Again, the cost makes this a no-brainer. We'll drive.

To go skiing in Colorado: My husband sometimes entertains the idea that we'll all drive to our annual ski trip, instead of fly. Flying takes the whole day: The calculator says it takes 7 hours, 57 minutes door to door, and costs $1,755. Carbon footprint of 8,564 pounds. Driving, on the other hand, takes 1 14-hour day of driving, plus another 7 hours and 17 minutes on the road. Driving would cost $1,033, and gives us a carbon impact of 2,640 pounds. Verdict: Flying would be the best option for my marriage.

World's only remaining 'Ghost Car' headed for auction... incredible images of the Plexiglas Pontiac expected to fetch almost $500,000

By Daily Mail Reporter

An extraordinary transparent car is set to fetch as much as $475,000 when it goes up for auction.

The motor, dubbed the 'Ghost Car', is a Pontiac Deluxe Six which, bizarrely, has been covered in the see-through material Plexiglas.

Built in 1939 by General Motors and chemical company Rohm and Haas at a cost of $25,000, it was the first transparent full-sized car to be made in America.

One of a kind: The 1939 motor is a Pontiac Deluxe Six which has been covered in Plexiglas, developed just a few years earlier in 1933

One of a kind: The 1939 motor is a Pontiac Deluxe Six which has been covered in Plexiglas, developed just a few years earlier in 1933

Innovative: General Motors and chemical company Rohm and Haas built the vehicle for $25,000 - an astronomical price during the 1930s

Innovative: General Motors and chemical company Rohm and Haas built the vehicle for $25,000 - an astronomical price during the 1930s


  • The collaboration between GM and Rohm & Haas was made for the 1930-1940 World's Fair in San Francisco
  • At a cost of $25,000, it was the first transparent full-sized car to be made in America
  • Two Ghost Cars were made but the 1939-1940 Pontiac Deluxe Six is the only won known to survive
  • It toured the nation's dealerships and went on display at the Smithsonian until 1947, and was subsequently owned by a series of Pennsylvania Pontiac dealers
  • This model has a three-speed transmission, a six-cylinder engine, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes

Billed as a vision of the future, it was made for the 1939-40 New York World's Fair, where it became a sensation at General Motors' 'Highways and Horizons' pavilion; and it continues to cause a stir today.

Just two were ever made and this model, which has a three-speed manual transmission, and is thought to be the last of its kind.

It has clocked up just 86 miles in its lifetime; and now its set to go on sale for the first time since the early 1980s. It last sold for an undisclosed amount.

American auctioneers RM expect it to sell for between $275,000 and $475,000 when it goes under the hammer on July 30.

A spokesman for RM Auctions said: 'The car is in a remarkable state of preservation.

'It's a testament to the longevity of Plexiglas in an era when automotive plastics tended to self-destruct within a few years.

'Although it has acquired a few chips and cracks, it is structurally sound and cosmetically clear, showing off the Ghost Car's innards as it did in 1939.

'This motor still turns heads as much as it ever did. It is not, obviously, suited for touring but as a unique artefact from automotive and cultural history.'

Ready for the road: A Pontiac Deluxe Six as it would have appeared in car showrooms in the late 1930s

Ready for the road: A Pontiac Deluxe Six as it would have appeared in car showrooms in the late 1930s

Seventy-two years of wear: The Plexiglas does have some chips and cracks but is mostly in good condition, according to auction notes

Seventy-two years of wear: The Plexiglas does have some chips and cracks but is mostly in good condition, according to auction notes

The car has was the result of a collaboration between General Motors and Rohm & Haas, who developed the ground-breaking material Plexiglas in 1933.

The material went on to be used in military planes during World War II and then expanded in to signs, lighting, fixtures, trains and other cars.

Rohm & Haas used drawings for the Pontiac four-door Touring Sedan to create an exact replica body out of the transparent acrylic.

It was completed with structural metal underneath, which was given a copper wash, and chrome-plated hardware.

Rubber moldings were made in white, as were the car’s tires. The only recent mechanical work has been replacement of the fuel lines.

The model also boasts an L-head six-cylinder engine, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes.

According to the GM Heritage Center, a second car, on a Torpedo Eight chassis, was hurriedly constructed for the 1940 Golden Gate Exposition on Treasure Island, a man-made island in San Francisco Bay.

Not for touring: The collectible is unlikely to be seen on the road

Not for touring: The collectible is unlikely to be seen on the road

Transparent: Wires and a spare wheel can be seen through the trunk of the car

Transparent: Wires and a spare wheel can be seen through the trunk of the car

Once their respective showcases had closed, both 'Plexiglas Pontiacs,' or 'Ghost Cars' as they were sometimes known, toured the nation’s dealerships. The 1939-40 Deluxe Six is the only one known to survive.

Following the dealership tour, it went on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. and was reportedly there until 1947.

It was later owned by a succession of Pennsylvania Pontiac dealers. It appeared at the first annual meet of the new Pontiac-Oakland Club International in 1973 and was purchased by Don Barlup of New Cumberland, Pennsylvania. Barlup commissioned a partial restoration from S&H Pontiac of Harrisburg and sold it to collector Leo Gephart in 1979.

The current owner’s father purchased it from Gephart in the early 1980s, and it has remained in the same family ever since.

Not surprisingly, it has no conventional vehicle identification number; even the machined boss for the engine number is blank.

A collection of period photos and other memorabilia accompanies the car, which still turns heads as much as it ever did.

Mechanics: The model has an L-head six-cylinder engine, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes

Mechanics: The model has an L-head six-cylinder engine, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes

Turning back the clock: The dial on the 1939 car shows the wear of its 72 years

Turning back the clock: The dial on the 1939 car shows the wear of its 72 years

At the wheel: The steering wheel features rings of chrome-plated hardware, and Pontiac's insignia in red

At the wheel: The steering wheel features rings of chrome-plated hardware, and Pontiac's insignia in red

Artefact: The car has clocked up just 86 miles in its lifetime; and will to go on sale for the first time since the early 1980s

Artefact: The car has clocked up just 86 miles in its lifetime; and will to go on sale for the first time since the early 1980s

Sensation: Billed as a vision of the future, the car was made for the 1939-40 New York World's Fair in San Francisco, pictured here

Sensation: Billed as a vision of the future, the car was made for the 1939-40 New York World's Fair in San Francisco, pictured here

Vintage: The Transparent Car, on display at General Motors' 'Highways and Horizons' pavilion in 1939, has continued to cause a stir since its debut

Vintage: The Transparent Car, on display at General Motors' 'Highways and Horizons' pavilion in 1939, has continued to cause a stir since its debut

Tubohotel: Concrete Tubing Recycled Into Affordable, "All Tube" Hotel

by Kimberley Mok

tubohotel1.jpgPhotos: Luis Gordoa and Tubohotel website

Here on TreeHugger we've already seen minimalist hotels made out of giant sections of concrete tubing. But who would have known concrete tubing could be actually made to look inviting, much less for travellers looking to stay in one of Mexico's more popular destinations? Located less than an hour away from Mexico City, Tepoztlan's Tubohotel is an affordable hotel that uses recycled concrete tubing for its rooms, a strategy employed by designers T3arc to build a hotel quickly and cheaply, without sacrificing the area's spectacular views.


According to ArchDaily, this hotel was inspired in part by architect Andreas Strauss' 2005 Das ParkHotel. However, Tubohotel's concrete modules add a touch of glass and comfort to allow guests a better panoramic view of the local mountain range, Sierra del Tepozteco. Legend has it that Tepoztlan is the birthplace of Quetzalcoatl, Mexico's ancient feathered serpent god.

Of course, producing concrete creates a colossal ecological footprint, but recycling concrete makes it much more eco-friendly as a building material.


The modules are mostly arranged in stacked pyramids of three tubes to free up the wooded site, the top room of each pyramid is accessible via a set of stairs. Inside, it's a queen size bed, with curtains providing some privacy.


Construction took only 3 months, with the hotel operating as of 2010. Targeting budget travellers, accommodations are affordable (500 pesos or $43 USD per night) and according to Tubohotel's website, there are two bathroom houses, private showers and toilets on-site and local cuisine with a celebrity chef nearby as well.