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Bangladesh (Russia) fact of the day

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The landmass of Bangladesh is one-118th the size of Russia, but its population exceeds Russia’s by more than 25 million.

Most of the article (NYT) is about the unbearably bad traffic in Dhaka.  Every year 400,000 new people arrive in Dhaka, the city has only 60 traffic lights, and only 7 percent of the surface is covered with roads (Paris say would be about 30 percent).

The piece, by Jody Rosen, is interesting throughout.

The post Bangladesh (Russia) fact of the day appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

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gradualepiphany
1 day ago
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30% of a city's surface being covered in roads seems like a phenomenal waste of space when you think about it.
Los Angeles, California, USA
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CarlEdman
1 day ago
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Why? If 30% of an office building's space was occupied by hallways/elevators/lobbies/etc. that wouldn't seem extreme or wasteful.
Falls Church, Virginia, USA

Peak Religion

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The US watches more TV per day than any other nation, and a total of 60 hours of e-media per week. Time devoted to this sort of thing has been increasing for decades. Much of this  media is filled with stories directly, and much of the rest, such as news, is framed to fit story norms. And as I quoted two years ago, stories in effect reinforce a belief in God:

It’s not that a deity appears directly in tales. It is that the fundamental basis of stories appears to be the link between the moral decisions made by the protagonists and the same characters’ ultimate destiny. The payback is always appropriate to the choices made. An unnamed, unidentified mechanism ensures that this is so, and is a fundamental element of stories—perhaps the fundamental element of narratives. (more)

So in the quite literal sense of direct immersion in a religious world view, we are the most religious people of the most religious generation ever. What unusual features of our place and time in history can be explained by this unusual feature?

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gradualepiphany
2 days ago
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Shocking I know, but TV is not the only source of stories available to humanity throughout the ages.
Los Angeles, California, USA
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Hands-On with the Timeless Club II by Nomos

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Just over a year ago, I had the opportunity to review a unique limited edition version of the Nomos Club Date that was created for Timeless Luxury, a boutique and Nomos AD in Texas. What made it different was simply the use of color. Rather than the typical light (silver or cream) dial or dark variety the Club comes in, they went with a deep dark blue, accented with red. It worked really well, making it easily one of the most attractive Nomos’ to date. As such, it sold out quickly.

nomos_timeless_club_ii_dial2

Now, in 2016, they decided to follow up with a new and slightly different version, the Timeless Club II. Though similar at a glance to the first edition, there are actually a handful of differences making these quite unique in the world of Nomos. First, these feature the 38.5mm case that is used on the Club Date models, but there is no date window. Taking a step back, one of the very curious things about the Nomos Club is that each of the four version has a different case. The simplest version, which is manual-wind no-date, is 36mm then the manual-wind with date is 38.5mm. Next you have the automatic no-date at 40mm and lastly the automatic with date at 41.5mm. By being a manual-wind no-date in a 38.5mm case the Timeless Club II is actually a version that Nomos themselves don’t sell. As such, it’s priced quite literally between the Club and Club Date at $2,160.

nomos_timeless_club_ii_dial6

This was an interesting choice that I think will make the watch tempting to a lot of people. The 36mm Club (which I own personally) is a great watch, but small for some. Though only 2.5mm larger, the 38.5 date version wears substantially larger, making it better for a bigger wrist, but also for people who just want a bit more presence. After all, 38.5mm is still fairly small in the scheme of watches. Now, one doesn’t have to pay a near $1,000 difference to get the larger case if they don’t also want the date.

Apart from the no-date, the other major difference is the addition of a second accent color. Now, you can choose blue and red, or blue and yellow. The blue and red is basically the same as the first Timeless Club, though the red accents on the dial are actually a bit brighter to match the sub-seconds hand. It’s really a fantastic combo that works very well with the Club platform, which mixes typical Nomos elegance with something more sporty and youthful. The blue and yellow works too, but has a different feeling. The Canary yellow accents jump off the blue, but rather than having the playful feel of the red, they seem more serious and conservative.

$2160

Hands-On with the Timeless Club II by Nomos

Case

Stainless Steel

Movement

Nomos Alpha

Dial

Blue

Lume

Yes

Lens

Sapphire

Strap

Shell Cordovan

Water Resistance

10 ATM

Dimensions

38.5 x 48.75mm

Thickness

8.45mm

Lug Width

20mm

Crown

Push-pull

Warranty

Yes

Price

$2160

The lack of date on the 38.5mm version creates a larger gap under the sub-seconds dial. It’s not so big as to feel empty, though a dot or small line might have been nice. Either way, having the larger no-date is nice. On the wrist both version have a lot of presence, though the red might stand out a bit more. Regardless, the blue looks amazing on the wrist and the size definitely gives the watch overall more impact than the 36mm Club.

nomos_timeless_club_ii_dial5

As with the last model, the Club IIs come on Nomos’ black Horween shell cordovan straps. These are great straps, though I find the choice of black a bit puzzling. It doesn’t accentuate the blue at all, even at times making the blue feel gray. Brown or burgundy would have been a better choice in my eyes.

nomos_timeless_club_ii_wrist1

As with all Nomos’ the Timeless Club II features one of their in-house movements, but rather than their newer generation, which are designated by DUW followed by a number, it is one of their older Alpha movements. But, it’s an Alpha movement with their swing system thus making it seemingly the same as the newer generation, but with an older name and 3/4 plate markings. Not really sure why they would choose do to this, perhaps they had older movement parts they are going through.

nomos_timeless_club_ii_move2

In the end, the Timeless Club II by Nomos is another very cool collaboration between the two brands. For those who missed out on the first one, here’s another chance to get it, or something similar. For those who always wanted a 38.5mm club but without a date, this might your only chance. And for those who just really like blue and yellow together, I’m pretty sure this is the nicest option. Each color is limited to 100 pieces, and if the last version was any indicator, they’ll go fast. For a more detailed look, I recommend reading my review of the first Timeless Club which shares many traits with the newer model.

Images from this post:

The post Hands-On with the Timeless Club II by Nomos appeared first on worn&wound.

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gradualepiphany
2 days ago
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If I were rich...
Los Angeles, California, USA
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Laughing Around Town in a Fiat Jolly

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Fiat Folly

Pure, delighted laughter rings out all around me, echoing as I pass. There's misery enough in this world, so it's a joy on this sunny day to spread a little cheer around—courtesy of an insanely dangerous, canary-yellow deckchair on wheels.

This is a 1958 Fiat Jolly. It's nearly a half-century old, it was coachbuilt to be used as a land-tender for the yachts of the very wealthy, and it's utterly, completely ridiculous. It doesn't have doors, or a roof, but at least its owner installed a couple of seatbelts.

“Oh shit,” she says, as we lean through a particularly sharp corner, “I just about fell out there.” Then, about twenty minutes later, “I suppose it would actually be preferable, in the event of a crash, to be thrown clear.”

The Drive

You may remember Helen Poon as the owner of that V-12 Toyota Century we featured not so long ago. To say she has an eclectic taste in vehicles is an understatement; this Jolly, a recent, almost accidental acquisition, shares a parking stall in Vancouver's West End with a 1938 MG TA. We've decided to take the Jolly out for a bit of a meander around the city because . . . well, just look at it. Wouldn't you like to drive it? Assuming your life insurance was all paid up?

Fewer than one hundred of these things are still in existence. Built on the bones of the Fiat 600, the Cinquecento's slightly more powerful cousin, it features a 28 hp, water-cooled, 767cc inline-four and a four-speed manual transmission. The original version of this car was capable of a top speed close to 70 mph, and when handled roughly by an enthusiastic Italian driver, likely rose to the challenge.

The Drive

The Jolly, on the other hand, is not intended for the string-backed glove set. Never mind bucket seats; this thing is fitted with wicker chairs front and rear, such as might be comfortable driven while wearing a damp swimsuit. Each Jolly was coachbuilt by Ghia, and at three times the cost of the standard car, each one was a luxurious extravagance. Famous owners include Princess Grace Kelly, Aristotle Onassis, and longtime Fiat President Gianni Agnelli.

“The Rake of the Riviera,” as the dashing Agnelli was known, had the frilly little Jolly created to use around town when his yacht was moored in Monaco. Ghia built one based on the Fiat 500 specifically at his behest, and then the orders started rolling in from other wealthy yacht owners. Ghia would go on to build versions based on the Fiat 600, the Renault 4CV, and even the Multipla van.

Driving around in a car that looks like a cross between an AWOL bumper car and a junior Pokemon is not for the shy. By comparison, the crimson-red Huracán I had a few weeks back might as well have been a beige Corolla. People are elbowing each other, laughing, pointing, fumbling for their smartphones. Enthusiastic drivers nudge close to try and get a better look. Which is terrifying.

The Drive

Noodling around Stanley Park is one thing, but hurtling high over the Lion's Gate bridge in a stream of distracted crossover drivers is not an experience to be undertaken lightly. Having survived, we loop back around to do it again. The Jolly does not have a radio, so I quietly hum Don't Fear The Reaper. The speedometer is purely decorative. The steering wanders like Silvio Berlusconi's hands. Helen adjusts her leather flying helmet, and then makes a suggestion.

“If we need the camera car, we can always take the MG out.”

Good idea.

Some moments later (the Jolly needs to be prodded to life with a spritz of Easy-Start; Helen sparks up a cigar), our ludicrous procession heads out towards the market at Granville Island. The lycra-clad citizenry of Vancouver are jaded towards Ferraris, Rolls-Royces, Bentleys, and Lamborghinis. They care nothing for your aspirational entry-level luxury BMW or Mercedes sedan.

The Drive

But this Yakety Sax nonsense right here? I've never seen so many people so happy. We might as well be distributing balloon animals at a child's birthday party. The Jolly jounces over the bumps, squeaks past a mammoth Ford F-150, and hangs a left under the bridge. I heel-toe into second (ridiculously easy, as the accelerator pedal is mounted basically underneath the brake), zip through the intersection, and slow to a crawl.

“What the hell is that?” a guy says from the back of a taxi.

“It's a Fiat Jolly,” I reply.

“Pretty good in the winter?”

“Sure. If you were born in Manitoba.”

A gaggle of Japanese tourists run out in front of me to take pictures. We park and a lady with a strong Minnesotan accent asks to take a picture of Helen and her car. I buy a couple of Americanos and a half-pound of finnochiona salami in the market, and then line the car up against the rail for a photo with False Creek and the yachts in the background.

“That's a cutie!” somebody shouts from the deck of one of the harbor cruisers.

No ma'am, it's a Jolly—and we could all use a few more of them around.

The Drive
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gradualepiphany
2 days ago
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It's really kinda sad how modern cars are all safe, reliable, and fast... but nothing is quite as much fun and very very few cars have any quirky soul anymore. Sad.
Los Angeles, California, USA
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The Audi A4 Will Soon Offer a Six-Speed Manual Transmission

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2017 Audi A4

Rejoice, clutchphiles. Audi will no longer keep you from rowing your own gears in the fifth-generation A4.

When the car went on sale in America back in the spring, it was only available with Audi's seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. But starting with the 2017 model year, customers will be able to check a box for a six-speed manual when ordering a new Audi A4.

There are a couple catches, but we don't think you'll mind. The manual gearbox will only come on A4s equipped with Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system, instead of the less-traction-y front-wheel-drive setup. And the new transmission will only be vailable on the A4's that use Audi's 252-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine, not the less-powerful version found in the EPA-friendly A4 Ultra. The manual A4 is capable doing zero to 60 miles per hour in 5.7 seconds, according to Audi, which it claims is 0.7 seconds quicker than the previous-generation A4 with a stick.

For those who require extra handling potential in their German sedans, there will be an optional Sport plus package. The sportier package comes arranged with 18-inch wheels, fancy sport Audi S-line leather, aluminum trim, a flat-bottom steering wheel, a sportier steering setup, and an adaptive sport suspension.

To be fair, there's nothing wrong with the dual-clutch transmissions found in Volkswagen and Audi products; your humble author, for one, wouldn't have complained if that had remained the sole choice for the A4. But with the new addition of a manual transmission option, we at The Drive couldn't be more pleased. Except for, y'know, those times we're stuck in stop-and-go traffic, wishing our left leg was attached to some sort of hydraulic clutch-pedal actuator machine.

Best of all, manual-equipped A4s will cost exactly the same amount as automatic A4s. Expect stick shift models to be available before the end of the calendar year.

Anchorman gif
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gradualepiphany
3 days ago
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A+
Los Angeles, California, USA
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LEGACY NAPCO TRUCK

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Legacy Classic Trucks is best-known for ultra-modern, highly custom versions of the classic 1946-1968 Dodge Power Wagon. Their latest creation is a tribute to the original Chevy 1950s-era NAPCO 4x4 pickup truck, a beautiful conversion that combines the personality of the original Napco with modern performance and handling. Starting with a donor Chevy or GMC 3100, Legacy rebuilt the truck to match the configuration of an original NAPCO 4x4, but has taken things a step further, fitting it with an LS3 engine from the Chevrolet C6 Corvette, providing the Task Force truck with up to 430 horsepower! Just as spectacular as the mechanical package are the details that have gone into the cabin, such as the Horween leather seats, custom metal dash buttons, and a period-style head unit for the modern stereo. watch the video below
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gradualepiphany
4 days ago
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That's pretty.
Los Angeles, California, USA
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