Engineering. Working within a set of rules to constantly improve upon an idea. Engineering can be easily lost in the light of a final product. Nobody knows about the 39 WDs that didn’t work, the turbos that flew apart at engine idle, or even the puddles of weird goopy film that lead to the eventual creation of Nylon. Engineering is what happens when nobody is looking; when nobody even knows there’s a problem to be solved. There is a cap at the end of an inflatable life vest not more than an ounce in weight. Now hundreds of people are alive because they floated. Because they didn’t need to run to the back of the plane to get a foam vest. Because an engineer made a great product better.
Percy Spencer, John L. Loud, Nils Bohlin. These men created some of the most widely used and innovative equipment ever developed, but even knowing that, I doubt most people could match them to their accomplishments. Spencer invented the Microwave, Loud the ballpoint pen, and in 1959 Nils Bholin introduced the first 3 point seat belt to the Volvo motor company.
These men did not do these things for fame or fortune or any kind of recognition. They did it out of curiosity. They did it out of love. It was a love of science. It was a predisposition for tinkering, tailoring, and most of all questioning everything. Why does this work this way? Why doesn’t it do that? How can I make this better? They’re driven by finding a new path, picking a new thread or improving peoples’ lives. Rare is the esteemed engineer who scrawled “I was here” on their inventions. They went as so many like them will through life doing what they do in view of none but observed by all.
Last night my best friend was in an accident; head on, at highway speed into the side of another vehicle. There was a time only a blink in the past when this would’ve been the last moment in any driver’s life. No return to family, no return to friends. I wouldn’t have been able to ask what room she was in, run down the hallway, and hug that terrified look off her face. I wouldn’t have even shown up, and she never would’ve left. But because of Nils Bholin and others like him, all of this got to happen. It has left me with an ineffable desire to give someone everything I’ve got in thanks that it didn’t turn out the way it could’ve, but alas this single person does not exist. So I’d like to thank everyone. To every under-appreciated, unrealized engineer who fought the good fight toward a seemingly unreachable goal without fame nor fortune nor signature on as much as a single tag, thank you for doing what you do. I doubt I’m the first or the last person to appreciate it.
It seems like every year Nationals sneaks up on me quicker than the previous year and this year was no exception. I felt the least prepared for Nationals this year than I ever have and my driving showed it, but we’ll get to that in a bit. My Nationals ‘week’ started early, it actually started the Tuesday before as I made my way out to Lincoln Air Park to help set up the fence that forms a perimeter between Nationals and the active air port. Setting up the fence is no small feat, as there is well over a mile of fence to set up and usually a relatively small group to do so. Luckily that group has a lot of practice and we have it down to a science. More…
Photos from the 2015 SCCA TireRack Solo National Championships held in Lincoln, NE at Lincoln Air Park have been posted in the 2015 SCCA Solo National Championships Photo Gallery. Nearly 10,000 photos from all 4 days have been posted and are separated by class. I am working on recovering photos from Thursday morning Heats 1 & 2 from a corrupted memory card and hope to have them posted soon. Also coming soon is a recap of the event and ProSolo Finale photos! Keep checking back for those!
I recovered about 1000 photos from my corrupted memory card of Heats 1 & 2 on Thursday morning. They have been uploaded and added to their respective class galleries. Photos from the ProSolo have been uploaded as well to the 2015 SCCA ProSolo Finale and Speedway CAM Invitational Photo Gallery
We all knew that Sebastien Loeb was a god among men when it came to rally driving. His domination of the WRC over the years easily proves that. When he decided to switch things up and tackle the WTCC, we were all sad to see him leave the WRC, but excited to see what he could do with consistent grip. Well he shows just how crazy good he is in this video of his 9 minute lap around the Nürburgring Nordschleife in his WTCC car.
Hold on tight, it’s gonna be one hell of a ride.
Everyday I see cars on the road that make me think, “out of all the cars in the world, why would you choose that one?” Sometimes I think that because the vehicle is absolutely, dreadfully boring, but a lot of times it’s because the car is just downright ugly. We all know about the Pontiac Aztek and how it is considered one of the ugliest creations of all time, but what other cars could claim a shot at the title? Here’s my list in no particular order, you might not agree, but since I’m writing this my opinion is the only one that counts! More…
We got a pleasant surprise from the gaming world this week. Codemasters, famous for the Colin McRae and Dirt series ninja released their next installment to the franchise with Dirt Rally, an early access Steam title on PC. Taking a step away from precious Dirt titles, Dirt Rally has a primary focus on stage rally and is closer to simulation than we’ve seen in any rally game in awhile. For fans of the series, or if you’re looking for a challenge Dirt Rally is a game worth checking out.
Oregon Trail is always one of the most beautiful rally locations of the Rally America National Championship season. This year was no different, with Mt. Hood as the backdrop and wide open flowing gravel roads creating the perfect scenery.
With no Ken Block, Travis Pastrana or other factory sponsored driver, the 2015 Rally America Championship is Subaru Rally Team’s David Higgins and Craig Drew’s to lose. And lose, they have not. SRTUSA has been dominant all year, taking victories at Sno*Drift, 100 Acre Wood and now Oregon Trail. It’s gonna be a steep road for anyone trying to make a run at them the rest of the season.
There goes an old saying…”Sometimes monkeys die.” It’s not a particularly good saying, and it hardly fits in this instance. So moving on, in an update to the Jeremy Clarkson debacle from a couple weeks ago, it has been made official by the BBC that they will not be renewing his contract. Shortly thereafter a statement was made by James May in one of the most oddly surreal front porch interviews I’ve ever seen, that James, Richard and Jeremy are, effectively, a package deal; echoing the statements made by James and Richard initially when Clarkson was suspended on why they wouldn’t be doing the last three episodes without him. So here we are. Top Gear as we know it is ending after 13 years, in a very sad, and ultimately unnecessary way. More…
Well, we are now almost a fourth of the way through 2015, so I guess it’s about time one of the most famous driving personalities in the U.S. announced his schedule for the year. Apparently rally will not be a priority for Mr. Hoonigan himself in 2015, with only 4 rally events in total on the calendar and only 2 of those will be stateside at Rally America New England Forest Rally and Lake Superior Performance Rally. If you want to see one of the most exciting drivers in the world ripping it up on gravel roads, hopefully you live in the East half of the country or New Zealand. More…
So by now it has become pretty well known that long-time TV favorite Jeremy “Jezza” Clarkson, has gotten himself into a splash of hot water. “So what?” you say, continuing to respond to written text verbally like some kind of reverse stenographer. “Jeremy is always in trouble, why not just tell me the sky is blue??”
Well you have a good point, though I’d appreciate you not throwing your sandwich at the monitor like that. Clarkson certainly has a way about him, but the question is really if it’s as big of a deal as it seems. I’ve been discussing this with a smattering of friends over the last week or so and it’s kind of difficult to see what all the fuss is about. I mean sure, he punched some guy in the face over something as ridiculous as a meal being cooked, but this is Jeremy “actually-only-2-years-older-than-Tom-Cruise” Clarkson. I won’t go as far as to make comparisons to a certain C. Montgomery Burns, but there are slightly more intimidating people to have throw a ham-fist towards the middle of your face, if i’m honest. It could be argued that, had he not already caused so many other rabbles in the past, this issue might have been of lesser consequence. But to be honest, even coming from the perspective of someone in the U.S., a place where Ray Rice is a thing, trying to get on the level with suspensions, hearings, lawyers, and show postponements for what has already far outgrown its original (and very fitting) Fracas-labeled jeans, seems like too much.