Cummins-Peterbilt ‘SuperTruck’ achieves benchmark 10.7 mpg

This article is several months old; but, just as relevant. Lots of creativity active in the space; but, no one with a critter like this, tested and traveling the country as a rolling testament to improved fuel economy for big rig freight haulers.

class-8-tractor-trailer

Cummins and Peterbilt say tweaks to the big rig are a significant step forward all by themselves, considering a fully loaded, 64,000-pound class 8 truck like this would have been seen as OK if it netted 5.5-6.5 mpg just a few years ago.

Improvements for the SuperTruck include an average 75-percent increase in fuel economy, 43-percent cut to greenhouse gas emissions, and 86-percent increase in freight efficiency. These numbers were said to be “real world” indicators based on 24-hour, head-to-head testing running at 64 mph against a 2009 baseline truck.

Behind the SuperTruck program is the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) already working ahead of Obama’s latest mandates, and for which the truck was on display as a symbol of progress…

Gains were attributed to the Peterbilt Model 579 with “best-in-class” aerodynamic efficiency. The Cummins ISX15 engine converts exhaust heat to additional crankshaft-turning power, and the system is controlled electronically to maximize fuel usage. Of course a host of diesel exhaust after treatment is also employed.

Weight was also pared off of the big truck. Its 312-mile test route was the same course that saw just under 10 mpg for the first version of the Peterbilt SuperTruck two years ago.

At today’s diesel prices, Cummins and Peterbilt estimate an annual fuel savings of $27,000 over a 120,000 mile year.

Full disclosure, I own enough Cummins shares to pay for 2 new tyres for my pickup truck in dividends.

There’s an article over here from truckinginfo.com which delves into the details of many of the tweaks.

Thyroid drug tied to birth defects — once again

Another study has linked the Graves’ disease treatment methimazole with birth defects, Japanese researchers reported…

In an interim analysis of the prospective POEM study, there was a far higher incidence of methimazole embryopathy in women who took the drug during their first trimester than would be expected in the general population…according to Naoko Arata, PhD, of the National Center for Child Health and Development in Tokyo.

Women shouldn’t use the drug in those early stages of pregnancy when the fetus is developing organs, she said at the American Thyroid Association meeting.

Most recommendations instruct clinicians to stop methimazole during pregnancy because of earlier associations with birth defects. These women should instead be treated with propylthiouracil (PTU), the guidelines state.

But PTU has been associated with liver injury to the mother and more recent research suggests that it may also carry risk of birth defects.

Indeed, at last year’s ATA meeting, Danish researchers reported that both drugs carried a higher risk of birth defects: 50% higher for PTU and 75% higher for methimazole compared with the general population…

When the fifth case of methimazole-related anomalies was reported in 2011 — out of a total of 85 live births — the researchers decided to conduct an interim analysis.

Arata said these five cases had exposure to methimazole during the whole pregnancy…

She said she strongly recommends not using methimazole during the organogenesis period in women with Graves’ disease, adding that preconception counseling is extremely important.

I hope enough doctors read about questions raised by studies like this. Even though I have a young, sharp, physician as my GP – I always make it a practice when in his office for a checkup to waylay him with a couple of the medical questions, procedures, studies and discoveries I’ve covered for one or another blog – just to see if he’s staying broadly up-to-date.

I would hate to know more than he does, even if it concerns a very small area of interest. I already qualify as a world-class hypochondriac. 🙂

The question was “Who votes for an idjit?” The answer in Colorado was – “idjits”

One of the GOP candidates swept into office Tuesday in Colorado was a former Navy chaplain who believes gays are “unhuman” and once performed an on-air exorcism of President Barack Obama.

Gordon Klingenschmitt won just under 70 percent of the vote in the state’s 15th House district, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette. Republicans outnumber Democrats in that district by more than 2 to 1.

Klingenschmitt heads up the Pray in Jesus Name Project, which is designated as an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The former chaplain hosts a daily “Pray in Jesus Name” program, where homosexuality is by far his favorite topic of discussion.

Right Wing Watch has a great round-up of Klingenschmitt’s most extreme statements. Here’s a sampling:

On gays: “They’re cooperating with the Devil and there is something unhuman inside of them.”

On “curing” a transgender teen: “The parents are encouraging that and really what the parents ought to do is take that boy to an exorcist, take that boy to a minister or at least discipline the boy, maybe give him a spanking…”

On exorcising Obama: “Father in Heaven, we pray against the domestic enemies of the Constitution, against the demon of tyranny who is using the White House occupant and that demonic spirit is oppressing us.”

Apparently, Klingenschmitt himself has realized that those extreme statements could prove problematic during his time as a legislator…”I would say it is time for people of good will on both sides of the political debate to come together to have reasonable discussions about these issues,”

Like most Republicans whose self-image is bound up in the constipated world view of the 14th Century – Klingenschmitt is a liar. Like most of his peers who ran for state and federal office in Colorado – he is a liar. Like most of his peers who ran for national office throughout the United States – he is a liar.

But, that’s OK with the folks who voted for him. They know he is a liar. They accept he is lying to the public in general to get elected and they are smug about being in on the lie. It’s all for a good cause in their tiny little brains – thoroughly absent the part that requires ethics and understands that a changing society offers a chance to learn more about the world and life.

Lying is good. Especially if it leads to Christian Sharia rule.

Thanks, Mike