Choosing A Profession…

Like many young men, the boy didn’t really know what he wanted to do, and he didn’t seem too concerned about it. So one day, while the boy was away at school, his father, a preacher… decided to try an experiment.
He went into the boy’s room and placed on his study table four objects:

a Bible,
a silver dollar,
a bottle of whisky
and a Playboy magazine

I’ll just hide behind the door,’ the old preacher said to himself… When he comes home from school this afternoon, I’ll see which object he picks up… If it’s the Bible, he’s going to be a preacher like me and what a blessing that would be! If he picks up the dollar, he’s going to be a businessman, and that would be okay too. But if he picks up the bottle, he’s going to be a no-good drunkard, and, Lord, what a shame that would be.
And worst of all, if he picks up that magazine he’s gonna be a skirt-chasin’ bum.’
The old man waited anxiously, and soon heard his son’s footsteps as he entered the house whistling and heading for his room… The boy tossed his books on the bed, and as he turned to leave the room he spotted the objects on the table… With curiosity in his eye, he walked over to inspect them.

Finally, he picked up the Bible and placed it under his arm. He picked up the silver dollar and dropped it into his pocket. He uncorked the bottle and took a big drink while he admired this month’s centerfold.

Lord have mercy, the old preacher disgustedly whispered… He’s gonna be a politician!’

Hot Dog With Ketchup…

dirty mind

Arthur C. Clarke 1917-2008… R.I.P.

AC Clarke

In Arthur C. Clarke’s 1953 classic ‘The Nine Billion Names of God.’ ” , Tibetan monks use a supercomputer to sort through permutations of characters to arrive at the name of God — at which point, in an elegantly chilling sentence, the universe ceases.

This was one of my very favorite stories… I first read it when I was a little boy and it’s never been far from my mind… And to this day anyone who knows me has heard me reply in the negative in HAL’s immortal words… ” I sorry Dave… I’m afraid I can’t do that.” I don’t do it well… But I do it.

Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious World was a staple in my house. He was one leg of my ultimate Sci-Fi Author Triumvirate along with Frank Herbert and William Olaf Stapledon. Having the the highest, most important orbit that we place our satellites into named a Clarke Orbit was exactly the right thing to do since he envisioned it before we even had the means to make it a reality.

Here’s hoping his passing was peaceful. Here’s toasting his genius. His memory will last longer than any Clarke orbit.

Arthur C. Clarke’s Laws

Clarke’s First Law:

“When a distinguished but elderly scientist says that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he says it is impossible, he is very probably wrong”

Clarke’s Second Law:

“The only way to find the limits of the possible is by going beyond them to the impossible.”

Clarke’s Third Law:

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

New Cars From The NY Auto Show…

scionScion Hako Coupe concept

Designed in Toyota’s Tokyo design studio, the Hako coupe is supposed to reflect classic American coupes in a shape that reflects a melding of Japanese and American youth cultures. The interior features orange and metallic highlights. The seats are covered in urethane for easy cleaning. Video monitors located in each door give wide-angle views of the street outside.

Honda FitHonda Fit

Set to go on sale this fall, the redesigned and more rounded Honda Fit offers better performance and improved safety, according to Honda.The rear “Magic Seat,” as Honda calls it, folds flat without removing the headrests even with front seats pushed all the way back. The four-cylinder subcompact will be offered with either a five-speed manual or a paddle-shifted five-speed automatic transmission.

pontiac solsticePontiac Solstice GXP Coupe

A hard-top version of the Pontiac Solstice sports car, the Solstice Coupe will go on sale in early 2009. A magnesium roof panel directly over the seats is removable and can be replaced with a soft cloth panel.

The area behind the seats was redesigned to allow easy access to the cargo area. Without the need for a folding top mechanism, the Solstice Coupe’s storage area has a flat floor and includes several covered storage compartments for smaller items.

The hard-top Solstice weighs only slightly more than the convertible version, GM says, so no changes were needed to engine, transmission or suspension.

suzuki kuzashiSuzuki Kizashi concept

The first iteration of Suzuki’s sports sedan, shown here, appeared at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show. Another version, the Kizashi 2, was shown at the Tokyo Motor Show.The Kizashi 3, to be shown in New York this week, is supposed to be close to a production version of the car. It will also show a future design direction for the carmaker.Incidentally “Kizashi” is Japanese for “preview.”

pontiac sport truckPontiac G8 Sport Truck

General Motors hasn’t settled on a name for this vehicle yet so the carmaker is asking the public for suggestions. Based on a product from GM’s Australian Holden division, this truck is due to enter American showrooms for the 2010 model year.It shares most of its engineering – and its front-end appearance – with the new Pontiac G8, which is also Holden-based. It has a 6-foot bed and the body has been re-enforced in some areas for greater cargo-carrying capacity. It’s powered by the same 361-horsepower 6.0-liter V8 as the G8 GT sedan

ford transit taxiFord Transit Connect Taxi

Ford will need something to replace the stalwart Crown Victoria as a taxicab favorite. The Transit Connect small van could be just the thing.

Ford is showing it here in New York, a city known for its huge fleet of yellow-colored cabs. On this concept version, the top is filled with a front-to-back sunroof. Passengers can watch a 13-inch screen that displays information and entertainment and acts as a meter and payment interface.

The Transit Connect also offers a 30 percent improvement in fuel economy and nearly 90 percent lower tailpipe emissions than many of today’s cabs, according to Ford.

maseratiMaserati Granturismo S

The Granturismo S is Maserati’s latest version of its 2-door grand touring model. It’s powered by a 4.7-liter 440-horsepower Ferrari engine and it has a paddle-shifted six-speed transmission.

AcuraAcura TSX

Honda calls the redesigned TSX “‘more Acura’ than ever before.” The company promises more luxury features and better performance than in the current version.It’s powered by an aluminum 4-cylinder engine. It has a six-speed transmission that’s tuned for performance in the middle four gears. First and sixth gears optimize fuel economy in start-stop and highway driving.

dodge challengerDodge Challenger R/T

Chrysler unveiled the 2009 Dodge Challenger at the New York Auto Show Wednesday. For the 2008 model year, which goes on sale in the spring, the Challenger will be available only in the high-performance SRT8 trim and in only three colors.

The rest of the Challenger line goes on sale in the fall with the start of the 2009 model year. The Challenger R/T, shown here, will be available with Chrysler’s 5.7-liter 375-horsepower Hemi engine. A 3.5-liter V6 engine will be available on the Challenger SE.

A six-speed manual transmission will be available on the R/T and SRT8 for the 2009 model year, but a five speed manually-shiftable automatic will come standard. The SE version will be available with four-speed automatic only.

hyundai genesisHyundai Genesis Coupe

This rear-wheel-drive two-door sport coupe will be in Hyundai dealerships in the spring of next year. The base engine will be a 212-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. A 306-horsepower, 3.8-liter V6 will also be available.The car’s engineering underpinnings are largely shared with the Genesis sedan unveiled at the Detroit auto show in January.

From CNN