40 kilo engine from Nissan = 400 horsepower

In June, Nissan will pack its tiny new three-cylinder engine in a 24 Hours of Le Mans racecar. Nissan’s don’t-call-me-DeltaWing ZEOD RC racecar will still be able to tackle a single lap under full electric power, but the rest of the time it will be powered by the new 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine.

Holding the lightweight engine is Nismo president Shoichi Miyatani, and he’s likely smiling because that 40-kilogram engine packs quite a punch with 400 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. Nissan would like to take a moment to point out this engine’s power-to-weight is better than the engines currently used in Formula One racecars.

Mindboggling. Especially if you’re an old gearhead like me. Power-to-weight ratio has always been key to racing performance as well as economy performance. It seems like weeks ago when Porsche was letting the world know it had mastered the art of producing light alloy engine blocks – and here we are with a 400 horsepower mill that even an old fart like me could lug around the garage.

Click the link above to get to the Autoblog post and click their link at the bottom of the article – “show press release” – to get to specifications.

In Mississippi, Obamacare rolls out on private wheels

A custom-built bus with oversized windows is parked outside a health fair at the University Medical Center. The decal on its side reads, “Making Healthcare Reform Transparent.” Inside the bus are snacks, Wi-Fi and three booths where sales agents from the Humana health-insurance company sit behind laptops and explain the Affordable Care Act to uninsured people. They sign up customers, too.

Mississippi is the poorest, sickest state in the nation, and most insurance companies have avoided it altogether, preferring to do business in more profitable markets. In 36 of Mississippi’s poorest counties, no insurance companies were offering plans that meet ACA guidelines until the Obama administration intervened and asked Kentucky-based Humana to help fill in the gaps. Humana had two of these buses built to spread awareness and drum up business. They’re zigzagging around the state on a tour called Covering Mississippi. So far they’ve traveled 7,000 miles, and the agents have seen more than a thousand people…

Nowhere else in America has a greater need for affordable, accessible health care. Mississippi has the lowest life expectancy in the country, the highest rates of obesity and diabetes, and an infant mortality rate closer to Sri Lanka’s and Botswana’s than to the rest of the United States’. Heart disease is epidemic, and nearly 20 percent of the state’s population — some 511,000 people — were uninsured when President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act last March…

When the ACA was written, the law required all the states to expand Medicaid. Low-income people who weren’t poor enough to get existing Medicaid would be covered. Then the Supreme Court decided that states had the right not to expand Medicaid. Mississippi, led by Republican Gov. Phil Bryant, who has described Obamacare as “an assault on the liberty of American citizens,” was one of two dozen states to exercise this right. That left an estimated 300,000 Mississippians with no prospect of health insurance.

Just in case you still labor under the misapprehension that today’s conservatives actually care crap about working people, working poor, poor people. Decades of hatred rooted in racism support a political structure not only tied to elitism; but, willing and able to destroy the lives of people without power.

Mississippi is the worst example of this kind of criminal politics, a gangster economy, corrupt and ready to lie about everything from the weather report to school menus to maintain power for the racist elite.

The classic Southern Strategy of deluding white people into believing that because they are better off than Black folks – they are better off in general – has never changed. It wandered over from Dixiecrat Democrats to Nixonian Republicans. Stupid still trumps ignorance. But, then, that’s been the premise of the Confederacy and States’ Rights since we started the long march towards democracy in 1775.

FAA spoilsports won’t approve beer drone deliveries for ice fishers

A brewery said plans for aerial drone beer deliveries for Minnesota ice fishing houses are on hold after running afoul of the Federal Aviation Administration.

Jack Supple, president of Lakemaid Beer, came up with the plan for using a six-bladed unmanned craft to deliver 12 packs of beer to ice fishing houses and created a YouTube video depicting a test run on Lake Waconia in Carver County…

The video quickly went viral.

“Our Facebook page went wild because our fans loved the idea,” Supple said.

However, Supple said he soon received some bad news from the FAA, which sent him an email explaining commercial use of drones is not yet permitted.

“Our concern is the safety of people on the ground and the safety of people in the air,” FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Coryn said…

“I see what they’re talking about. When you think of all of the people who are going to come up with ways to use these, the regulation of it is going to be important, so they’re learning as fast as we are,” Supple said.

Face it. The Feds are a bunch of stiffs who are concerned that some plastic-chainstore brewery like Budweiser didn’t come up with the idea, first. I think Lakemaid Beer should get an open-ended trial and go ahead and do the work for the FAA. Plenty of room for slippery landings on frozen lakes in Minnesota.