Donal's picture

    An Ill Wind

    You've probably read that eight Ferraris, a Lamborghini, and three Mercedes, traveling at a highly-efficient 80 to 100 mph, crashed when one of the Ferraris had to pass a slow-moving Prius, and hit a slower-moving guardrail. In a twist of irony, after causing the accident, the Prius was the only undamaged vehicle. This $3 million debacle proves that Priuses, and other non-ICE vehicles, represent a hazard to normal traffic. Maybe Priuses should be made to drive on the sidewalk, where they can't obstruct efficient, high-speed drivers.

    At least they weren't passing a Volt, which probably would have burst into flame from the air friction. Or a Leaf, which would have given new meaning to the term Leaf Blower.  

    Speaking of leaf blowers, TTAC relates an Edmunds study showing that handheld leaf blowers, particularly those with two-stroke engines, spew more emissions than the Ford F-150 Raptor truck that all real men want, and the Fiat 500 that hardly anyone is buying.

    Get a rake.

    I read that GM is offering to buy back the six thousand Volts that have sold. Personally I think the burst-into-flame scenario is dubious, because who is going to keep a smashed-up Volt in their garage for two weeks, but GM doesn't want to ignite a PR fiasco with all this pent-up demand for cars (and trucks). Besides they have a new Cruze diesel in the works for 2013, and a Cruze plug-in hybrid for 2014, and right now their $20K Cruze Eco is selling well to all the people that just can't convince themselves to spend $10K more on a Volt. At least the Volt gets them in the door, though more buyers seemed to end up at Chrysler and VW in November.

    Image icon Leaf Blowers.jpg56.61 KB


    Leaf blowers have always struck me as the most egregious abuse of the environment for the smallest possible gain. I've never actually used one, but they don't seem like they save that much time compared to using a rake (which I have used on numerous occasions). They're noisy, spew emissions, and just don't seem to make sense. What am I missing? Why are they so popular?

    In the comments at TTAC, one fellow says he has over an acre of leaves to deal with, and couldn't do it with a rake. Another asks him why he is removing leaves from such a large area. I suppose the answer is—because he can. I think a rake does a much better job, it's quiet, it's good exercise.

    I do use an electric mower instead of my push mower, but that's because A - I only mow every two weeks and the grass gets really long and B - no one in town will sharpen the damn push mower Lowe's sold me in 1994.

     I hate them too. They don't actually remove leaves, just displace them onto public streets or neighbors' property. It's a way to say fuck you to the environment and your neighbor at the same time. The noxious emissions are designed into them.

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