Hybrid Vehicle Done Right — The Chevy Volt

November was a busy month for us from the Electric Vehicle standpoint.  In addition to being invited to the unveiling of the Nissan Leaf, we were among a small number of EV1 drivers invited to test-drive the Chevy Volt on Dec. 1!  Check out our review of the Volt here:

http://www.eanet.com/kodama/ev-chronicles/other/volt/

Bottom line?  We like it!

Stay tuned for more… 12/6 update – 3 more pages of detailed comments at the link above.

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Historic Papers from the Royal Society

If you’re interested in history/science, the Royal Society has just put selected historic papers going back to the 1600’s here: http://trailblazing.royalsociety.org/

These are in PDF form and readable on my Kindle 2 with its newly updated firmware.

Some EV Updates

Mini E Range Graph

I’ve updated our Mini E driving log:

http://www.eanet.com/kodama/ev-chronicles/mini-e/rangedata/

The bottom line is that we are getting a projected total range of around 100 miles, but with sometimes large variances which can’t really be explained by our driving faster or slower than normal.

Also, below are some photos from the recent unveiling of the Nissan Leaf, and a private look at the Tesla Roadster.

Antikythera Mechanism

Antikythera Mechanism (Wikipedia image)

Antikythera Mechanism (Wikipedia image)

A recent article in Scientific American (Dec. 2009) nicely summarizes the latest research into the Antikythera “computer” which was recovered from the Mediterranean Sea in 1900.  Not much could be done with the lump of encrusted parts at the time.  But new advanced imaging revealed inscriptions that confirm that the surprisingly sophisticated mechanical calculator was used to predict eclipses and other astronomical events.  This device is amazing considering that it is at least 2000 years old!

Additional links:

Leonid Meteor Shower

For those who have been asking — yes, I did go out to see the Leonid meteor shower.  As predicted, the west coast of the U.S. was not the best place to see the narrow peak of activity, but we did have some some increased activity at the end of Monday night (morning of 11/17).  I put together a composite shot of the meteors caught on camera and a time-lapse video covering most of the night on my astrophotography page.  Don’t miss the separate video of one of the meteors in the corner of the frame which left a persistent smoke trail.

By the way, according to my observatory neighbor Jim, there was also a fair amount of Leonid meteor activity on Tuesday night, but Monday night was better.

1931 S Penny?

Last week I noticed a 1931 penny in my change.  I’m not a serious collector (more like a coin hoarder), but it caught my eye because surprisingly it looked to be in pretty good shape for such an old coin.

When I mentioned it to Larry*, he asked if it was an “S” mint version.  I had not actually noticed, so I went home and checked and then looked online for the significance of the “S”.

It turns out that the “S” version has a pretty good value if it’s real and in good shape, of course.

According to this page: http://www.valuable-coin-stories.com/1931-S.html it’s a commonly faked coin.  I’m curious to know if anyone can tell by looking at the enlargement below.  The “S” looks odd to me, so I’m guessing it has been added on somehow.  Either way, it’s interesting to me.  I’m amazed that anyone would go to the trouble of faking a coin to make a few dollars!  Surely there are other things to do that pay off better!

Note on the photos:  The white areas on parts of the coin are due reflection and overexposure of those areas due to the use of a flash.  The coin really does look like a real copper penny.

* Larry is an expert collector of all things worth collecting (and then some).

What’s Up Here?

I just set up this place for updates as well as a flow of random stuff which doesn’t quite fit in with the other web pages I’ve set up (Electric Cars, Astrophotography, and other Nature Photography).