The history and technology of hybrid cars

Most people love their cars to the extreme, but with the constant skyrocketing of gasoline prices, a lot of people are pressed to think of alternatives. For those who want to cut back on fuel money, they may consider buying hybrid cars.

Hybrid cars are a combination of the features of gasoline-powered vehicles and electric cars. The advantage that hybrid cars hold over conventional cars is that they produce fewer emissions and adds considerable mileage.

But first, where did these cars came from and how are they made?

The very first electric vehicle was created by Robert Anderson from Aberdeen, Scotland in 1839. Later in 1870, Sir David Salomon came up with a vehicle equipped with a lightweight electric motor, along with storage batteries that were much too heavy. Predictably, the speed and the range of the car were not so desirable.

Over the years, several automobile manufacturers such as General Motors have improved on the concept of the electric cars, which later evolved into the hybrids that we know today. The most popular of these hybrids are the Insight from Honda and the Prius from Toyota.

These two exceptional vehicles can be used to explain the intricate and sophisticated technology of hybrid cars.

1. Honda Insight

The Insight runs on a system called “Integrated Motor Assist,” a term coined by Honda to describe its electric motor attached to the engine at the position usually occupied by the flywheel. This model has two kinds of transmission, the regular, manual transmission and the automatic one.

The advantages of the electric motor on the Insight are the following:

-It can support the gasoline engine by giving off additional power while the vehicle is climbing up or going down a hill.

-The motor can start the engine by itself without the aid of a starter.

-Captures energy while on the process of braking.

The Insight relies on three main areas for efficiency:

-It makes use of lightweight aluminum for its body to reduce the total weight of the vehicle.

-Utilizes a small engine which operates efficiently, which weighs around 124 pounds only.

-It makes use of advanced aerodynamics. The teardrop shape of the car has a lot to do with its performance.

2. Toyota Prius

The Prius utilizes the power split device, an ingenious gearbox that connects the gasoline engine with the electric motor and generator. This allows the car to function like both parallel and series hybrids. The car does not need a starter also, because the device can make the generator start the engine.

Since the vehicle is on planetary gear set, the speed of the electric motor combined with the ring gear spin decides how fast the car will run.

These cars does not require their batteries to be recharged, because the generator located onboard the vehicles monitors the right amount of energy in the batteries.

Both Toyota and Honda allot long warranties for their hybrid models. Both the Insight and the Prius are on eight-year warranties, and their batteries and motors usually do not need maintenance over the duration of the vehicle.

Cap Juluca In Anguilla

Cap Juluca is an exclusive Caribbean hotel that is
located to the southwest coast of Anguilla, of the
British Virgin Islands. The resort is set on 179
tranquil acres, and surrounded by white sandy
beaches, palm trees, and water so clear that you
can see to the bottom.

Guests of the Cap Juluca resort are accommodated
in 18 beachfront style villas which will house
no more than six rooms each. The rooms measure
at least 700 square feet in size and feature large
marble bathrooms, white tile floors, and louvered
doors which will open wide to let in the cool sea
breezes. During the morning, guests can enjoy
complimentary continental breakfast which is
served on their own private terrace.

The Cap Juluca also offers six pool villas which
are surrounded by foliage on the edge of the beach.
The pool villas offer either a private or shared
swimming pool, sundeck, and even golf carts to
help you travel around the property.

The resort design features exotic arches, domes,
turrets, and parapets. The white villas, which
are situated along the white sands of the mile
long Maundays Bay, is surround by tropical
flowers, palm trees, and breathtaking fountains.

This beach vacation also offers a number of
great activities which include water sports,
croquet, a health club, herb and endangered
species gardens, children’s program, nature trails
and even tennis. Cove and Maundays Bay offer
a mile of beach, where you can enjoy kayaking,
sail, snorkeling, waterski, and even windsurfing.

You can also arrange for island tours at the
Cap Juluca in Anguilla to explore the many
beaches, go scuba diving, or even deep sea
fishing. When it comes to fun on the water,
this resort has something to offer everyone in
your family.

The spa services at the Cap Juluca include
specialized treatments such as Cap Juluca for
two, a Thai massage, aromatherapy, reflexology,
and even kinesiology.

Cap Juluca offers guests two restaurants and
a 24 hour room service. One of them, George’s,
features pool and beachfront dining, serving
guests contemporary tropical cuisine that
includes salads, seafood, burgers, and even
sandwiches.

The other restaurant, Pimms, is decorated with
white Moorish arches and serves French-Asian
cuisine within walking distance of the
Caribbean Sea.

If you’ve been looking for a great beach vacation,
the Cap Juluca in Anguilla will provide just
what you need. There’s something here for the
entire family, no matter what your family likes
to do. Waking up on an island with the
ocean at your back door is truly an amazing
feeling – which is what Cap Juluca is truly all
about.

Hybrid Vehicles vs. Electric Cars

The hottest new thing to do these days is to somehow get electrified. There are all kinds of ways to do this, like going to parties or just watching a really cool science fiction movie, but you could just buy an electric car.
That’s just what people are doing too. Well, they’re buying electric cars that aren’t totally electric. But these cars are close enough. They’re taking the old Mercedes and tossing it. The next thing they do is lie down in their beds and dream of what other options they might have had. Was it possible for them to buy a car that was completely electric?

Is so, what would be the difference? How does an electric car and a hybrid car compare? Well, there are a few key differences between hybrid and electric cars.

Electric cars are cleaner than hybrid cars

They are cleaner because they don’t give off any emissions. They also have no byproducts that pollute the air. On the other hand, hybrid cars do have some emissions from the fuel that is used to power them.

Electric cars cost less to maintain than hybrid cars

Electric cars have fewer moving parts that wear out. They are more fuel-efficient, and they have better mileage than hybrid cars. This is because electric cars get their power from batteries, hydrogen fuel cells, or the sun. That’s what makes electric cars emission-free. Hybrid cars don’t have the kind of track record that electric cars have in general efficiency. In fact, hybrid cars may just need about the same amount of maintenance that conventional cars do.

An electric car cannot go more than 100 miles without having to be recharged

What makes it difficult to own an electric car is the exorbitant cost associated with doing so. The battery in an electric car needs to be continually recharged. On the other hand, hybrid cars charge up on their own. That’s the biggest advantage of a hybrid car over an electric car.

Those are the main differences between electric and hybrid cars. Hybrid cars are the newest and hottest things in the automotive market right now, and you might be able to see the reasons why. Electric cars are not really available for mass
use. They are still being worked on and improved.

For public acceptance, a car has to meet certain conditions. One of those conditions is that the car must drive 300 miles between refueling. Then it has to fill up quickly, and be able to drive fast enough to keep up with the traffic. Since an electric car can’t go more than 100 miles without having to recharge, it does not meet the conditions. But hopefully, some electric cars will be on the market soon. Then everyone has a lot to gain from switching from hybrid cars to electric cars. But right at this moment, consumers have trusty hybrid cars to get them around. And people aren’t complaining either. But once the electric cars come out, people will be rushing to buy a car like never before.

Cotton House Beach Vacation

The only hotel on the exotic island of Mustique, the
cotton house offers luxurious service, privacy, and
plenty of secluded beaches. You can spend your
days exploring the marine life, relaxing by the
pool, or getting pampered by the enticing spa.

The spa at the Cotton House offers an amazing array
of services, such as massages, facials, reflexology,
wraps, and fully body treatments. You can catch a
spa in one of the four treatment rooms, just steps
from the beach, or even in the privacy of your
own room.

Situated between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic
Ocean, the 1,400 acre Mustique Island offers a
tennis club, nine secluded and beautiful beaches,
which are perfect for scuba diving, windsurfing,
and even snorkeling.

Rooms and suites
The Cotton House offers just 19 luxurious guest
rooms, cottages, and suites, most offering private
patios and panoramic views of the ocean. The
amentities offered by the Cotton House include soft
French cotton linens, a pillow menu, air, flat
screen televisions, and maid service twice a day.

If you are planning a honeymoon twist to your beach
vacation, you can splurge on one of the cottages
with a private plunge pool, or even book the two
bedroom Cotton Hill Residence which offers a
private swimming pool and its own staff that are
dedicated to you.

Eating
From dining in your cottage, ordering a picnic
basket and going to an empty beach, or just having
a romantic candlelit dinner, Mustique leaves the
choices up to you. A traditional afternoon tea
is served each day in the Great Room, while there
are weekly cocktail parties held by the Cotton
House as well.

Getting there
There are three ways that you can fly to Mustique.
You can go via Barbados, via Martinique, or via
Saint Vincent. From Barbados, you can take a
Grenadines Airways flight to Mustique for around
$400 per person – round trip flight.

 

Looking At High Def Cameras

If you’ve been looking for a high definition video
camera, there are many out there for you to choose
from. In this article, we will take a look at
some of your options available in each of the
different formats.

HDV
JVC, Sony, and Canon all produce HDV cameras of
various stripes and abilities. The JVC HD100U
shoots 720p, offers a true 24p frame rate, and
provides a professional looking form factor, along
with sporting the ability to change out lenses.

The two popular HDV cameras from Sony include the
HDR-FX1 and the HVR-Z1U. Both of them shoot only
1080i and provide 24p. The XL h1 is Canon’s
entry to the HDV roundup. It provides HD SDI
output and gives you the option of interchanging
lenses. Like Sony, it shoots 1080i without true
24p capabilities.

All of these cameras are 3CCD models and all
sport level professional XLR audio inputs, with
the exception of the HDR-FX1. Sony also offers
single chip HDV cameras. The consumer HC1,
which is actually a miniature version of the FX1
is an excellent camera.

DVCPRO HD
on the budget end of the Panasonic spectrum is the
AG-HVX200. This widely hyped camera does away with
tape based HD recording and will instead record
HD to either memory cards or even an attached hard
drive. It also offers the ability to shoot all
the above mentioned HD resolutions along with 50
and DV25.

Another popular camera for Panasonic is the Varicam
which shoots at 720p. A great feature with this
camera is the ability to shoot at variable frame
rates, which range from 4 – 60fps at 1fps intervals.
These different frame rates will allow you to
achieve a look similar to that of over cranking a
film camera.

HDCAM
Sony couples their HDCAM cameras together under
the name CineAlta. They cover a broad range of
prices and features, ranging from the XDCAM HD
models and the F350 to the widely used and widely
popular F950.

The XDCAM HD cameras record directly to Sony’s
professional disc media, which is physically
similar to Blu-ray discs. These cameras can also
record various quality levels of 1080i and 1080p,
along with regular SD DVCAM. Unlike other HD
cameras from Sony, the XDCAM HD supports i-Link
for file access and DV output.

Near the high end of the Sony HD solutions is the
F900. It captures both 1080p and 1080i at
various frame rates, including 25p and 50i. This
is also the most expensive camera from Sony, as
it costs around 80,000$!

 

Got Dial Up? Forget Online Gaming

Computer games have come a long way since electronic checkers and the like. Today, we’ve got computer games that would put some 21st century movies to shame and interest in online gaming is catching on like some kind of crazy fever. Once dominated by males aged 25 and older, today’s gaming generation includes mom, sis, aunt, even grandma and grandpa! If you think you’ve caught the online gaming bug, and you’re thinking about becoming a participant, don’t even think you can join in on this online fun using a dial up Internet connection!

Part of the fascination with online gaming lies in its speed. During play, online gaming becomes a virtual world and in order to project a sense of reality into the mix, its games are fast, its movements are smooth, and its sounds are as realistic as we hear them in the natural world. Sitting in front of an online game, and actively participating in one puts the player in another world – a world that’s so different, so cool, and so real.

No, we’re not talking about a super-fancy version of checkers or backgammon. We’re not talking about a visually rich game of tic-tac-toe. We’re talking about full-fledged networked or multiplayer gaming that allows anyone to entertain themselves and hoards of others across the world at the same time. Multiplayer games play over online but trust us when we say any old Internet connection won’t do.

If you want to get in on this craze, you’re going to have to ditch the old dial up connection that you might have and get into broad band. A broadband Internet connection will give you the ability to send and receive highly detailed and realistic imagery at an appropriate speed. It will give you the means to watch videos in real time, and it will allow you to experience speech as if each and every other player were speaking to you directly.

A dial up Internet connection just can’t handle this kind of fun, but you can get a broad band connection just as easily. For the techies out there, broadband is a type of data transmission in which a single medium (wire) can carry several channels at once. 1 For the rest of us, broadband is an Internet connection that allows several people to send and receive data at the same time. A dial up connection doesn’t do that. A dial up connection can either send or receive – but it certainly can’t do both. Let’s talk about Broadband ISDN for a minute.

ISDN stands for integrated services digital network and it can transmit transmitting voice, video and data over fiber optic telephone lines at about 64 Kbps (64,000 bits per second).
Most ISDN lines offered by telephone companies give you two lines at once, called B channels. You can use one line for voice and the other for data, or you can use both lines for data to give you data rates of 128 Kbps, three times the data rate provided by today’s fastest modems.2

Broadband ISDN – a combination of regular broadband and ISDN can transmit voice, video and data over fiber optic telephone lines at about 1.5 million bits per second (bps). It’s a much faster connection than either broadband or ISDN alone! If your ISP offers Broadband ISDN, ask for it – your online gaming adventure will be the better for it.

Playing Online Games Pro-Style Even if you don’t know what you’re doing…

One of the most intimidating parts of getting started with online gaming is getting over the fear of screwing things up for other players. It’s one thing to play a game and make mistakes at home, but it’s an entirely different thing to play a game and make mistakes that can cause failure in the game plays of others. But there’s no reason to let this fear stop you or another gaming newbie from having fun. This article will give you the in’s and out’s of online gaming so that you can start with the confidence you need to continue on.

The first step anyone new to online gaming should take is to first, learn how to play offline. You can read the game’s manual and save yourself from seeing the infamous acronym, “RTFM” scroll across your screen. Know what that acronym stands for? It stands for “Read The Fu**ing Manual” and its spewed by serious gamers to vulnerable newbies who interrupt a game with questions like, “What is this place?” or “What am I supposed to do?”

You could search the web for game related discussion groups, FAQ’s, and walkthroughs. And you could learn more from game specific Usenet newsgroups. In other words, you could do your “homework.” Some of the kind of information you want to learn includes how to play, how to create characters, how to gather equipment, and how to implement some smart strategies. Trust us when we say your gaming comrades will appreciate it!

In addition to reading how to play an online game, you can familiarize yourself with the game’s interface. Just as you searched the net for a game’s textual instruction, you can additionally search the net for a game’s screenshot (or series of screenshots). Having a graphical representation (.gif or .jpg image) of a game on your screen gives you a chance to memorize where all the game’s controls are. Knowing where everything is on a game before you play will speed things up not only for yourself, but also for everyone else. No one wants to wait for you to search for an inventory panel or message screen in a game when the location of these items is obvious to everyone else.

Once you start with a game, don’t let the pressure of staying in the game prevent you from doing the unthinkable: dying. A character dying in a game is inevitable at certain points, and unless you willingly let go of a lose-lose situation, you’ll run the risk of holding the game up for everyone else. It’s like a game of chess. If it’s checkmate – it’s checkmate. Call it a day and start anew. Whatever you do, don’t hang around waiting for some magical fairy to come to your rescue. Please let your character die with dignity.

On the same token, you don’t want to take dying personally. Remember that online gaming is still just a game. A character that dies in a game is not representative of your character as a person. Turn a death into learning experience. At the very least, you’ll learn your way around an online game by learning all the things that you aren’t supposed to do!

Above all else, ensure that your computer has what it takes to maintain the current pace of an online game. Don’t try to play an online game with a slow computer or slow Internet connection. In fact, if you’re still using dial up, find another hobby. A slow processor and connection will ensure instant death because other players aren’t going to politely wait for their own defeat. They’re going to squash you like a bug.

Hunt around for a computer that was built for online gaming and get a DSL or ISDN Internet connection. You’ll need a fast processor, a high quality graphics card, and a sound machine to match.

By following these simple suggestions, you will have passed the “newbie” test and earned respect as a serious gamer much more quickly than if you stumbled your way through what others pride as “the ultimate hobby.”

The Legacy of Columbus

If you thought back to the first things you ever learned about the history of America, the one that jumps out is that Columbus sailed the ocean blue and discovered America is 1492. While the date is correct, we later learned when our study of history became more scholarly that there is some dispute about whether Columbus discovered America at all. So what is the real legacy that this legend of Columbus has given to the American culture that has made him such a revered figure in cultural history?

So much of the Columbus story is approximate that, at first review, we would almost relegate the story of how Columbus discovered America to the level of a myth that borders on superhero worship. But Columbus was not a myth. There really was an explorer named Columbus who carried out three bold journeys across the ocean and during those journeys, he did indeed discover “the new world.” His ships really were named the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria and he did indeed embark one of those three voyages in 1492.

The legacy of Columbus then is more than just the facts of his exploratory journeys and their outcome. There is reason to believe that Columbus’s fabled “discovery of America” did not occur on North American soil but somewhat further south of here, somewhere in the Bahamas. But the legacy of Columbus lies in his spirit and the challenge he took on that is part of the American spirit and one we identify with so strongly.

Part of the legend was that Columbus embarked on this trip for the new world despite the prevailing “scientific” belief that the world was flat. Now research in recent times have surfaced sufficient documentation to show that sailors of that time never did believe that teaching. Their extensive knowledge of navigation and astronomy, which is crucial for any successful sea voyage, was sufficient for sailors to know that the earth was round and that they would never “fall off the edge.” However, the image of those brave men launching out to sea, against the advice of popular opinion, to find something new and exciting so connects with the American spirit of discovery and adventure that this myth persists as part of the legacy of Columbus.

Americans do have a tremendous sense of discovery and adventure and a deeply seated need to conquer new lands, to reach out beyond their own grasp and to do the impossible. This was the spirit of Manifest Destiny which gripped the nation long before there was any reason to believe that this meager band of colonists had the resources to settle a great nation. Americans always have had such a firm belief in themselves and a core faith that they could do the impossible. That part of the American spirit is what connects to Columbus’s setting out on these bold missions facing certain dangers so he too could discover new lands and have great adventures.

The legacy of Columbus also lies in the American desire to explore. Even though the source of the quotation is only a science fiction show, the “mission” of the fictional space ship “The Enterprise” sums up a deep desire in the heart of all Americans.

Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Her five year mission: to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before.

For Americans, the mission of James Kirk is a perfect restatement of the mission of Christopher Columbus. And it is the mission of America which has driven this country and its citizens to discoveries and achievements that have never been done before. It is that spirit of Columbus in all Americans that is one of the things that have made this country great.

This Game Sucks A Guide To Giving New Games a Chance

It’s hard to get into a new groove once we’ve settled into a favorite pattern of doing something and that includes playing new games or trying a new game system. It’s important to remember however that just because you’re not used to the way a new game plays or the way that a new system runs – it doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with it. The following offers some advice on how to get over the hurdle of giving new games a chance.

1. Accept the errors of your ways. Nothing is perfect and that includes video games, the system that it plays on, and dare we say – even you! While trying a new game, you’re bound to trip all over the place and make even some of the most goofiest mistakes that anyone could ever make. Try to remember that flaws are inevitable and the even the master of all masters (that’s you) can blunder your way through a new game. Mistakes don’t make you a terrible player. On the other hand, they don’t make the game stupid or dumb. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. If you find yourself making mistakes during a new game, it’s time that to slow down and give this game a second and more serious look. If something in the game tripped you up – you, the master of all masters – then the game couldn’t be as bad as you first thought.

2. Play a new game when you’re “in the mood”. What a fast-paced world we live in! So fast, that we mistakenly expect to understand a game within the first 5 minutes of putting into the console! Then when we’re not sure of what to do, the game becomes confusing, or just dumb. Never try a new game when you’re not in the mood to or when you’re in a rush. New games require patience and a thorough read of its manual.

3. See the positive. There’s something good about every video game – even the more violent ones (although we’re not prepared to defend violent video games). While checking out a new game, think about what you like about the game as opposed to what you can’t quite figure out what to do yet. A positive attitude will carry on to other aspects of the game and before you know it, you’ll be encouraged to carry on with it and make some real progress.

4. Don’t be such a know it all. In other words, don’t be blinded by your own conceit or skills in a particular genre of games that you close yourself off to new ways of accomplishing tasks. The biggest room is the room for improvement and your room is no exception. Understand that the game you’re playing may have something new to teach you about gaming as a whole. Then revel in it.

5. Continue to play. It’s highly doubtful that anyone will like a new game in one day. Keep playing a new game until you’re absolutely sure that you don’t ever want to see it in your console again.

6. Play by yourself. It’s quite possible that if you play a new game with a friend, you’ll be vulnerable to accepting your friend’s feelings about the game as your own. Play a new game by yourself so that you can interpret your own feelings about the game and not anyone else’s.

The Cornerstone of American Law

There are just a few truly great documents that represent the foundation stones upon which the American system of government was built. One is the Declaration of Independence. Another is The Bill of Rights. But when it comes to the legal girding that we always go back to in order to test if a law in this land can stand or fall, it is the Constitution of the United States of America that is that backbone that defines right and wrong for us.

Indeed you might even say that the sole reason we have a Supreme Court is to have a living body that is here to decide on, interpret and enforce constitutional law. And what is the worse accusation anyone can make about any act that is in question from a government agency? “That’s unconstitutional” is that accusation. That is how powerful this document is in American life, legal definitions and culture.

The historical context of the signing of The Constitution was The Constitutional Convention on September 17, 1787 in Philadelphia. That city witnessed many such historic events which enshrine its place in the history of the country to be sure. The framers of that Constitution would have to be considered without question the most intelligent and well educated men certainly of their time and maybe of any time. That document was so well crafted that it has lasted as a legal standard for over 200 years with no signs that its power will diminish for hundreds of years more. But in that context, the Constitution is the oldest document of its kind in existence in the world and the original is carefully protected but on display in Washington DC.

The Constitution reflected the best of some of the oldest legal documents of similar intent that went back hundreds of years into history. As such the Constitution includes ideas drawn from the Magna Carta, the French political philosopher Montesquieu, The Code of Hammurabi, the law of the Old Testament, ancient Greek political ideology from such writers as Polybius as well as Common Law from England. So while the core ideas of the Constitution draw from some of the greatest systems of government and ideologies from history, the outcome is a unique format for governing a people that was so untried that it was considered to be “The Great American Experiment.”

The Constitution is divided into seven “articles” each of which discusses one of the divisions of government. Articles one through three discuss the three branches of government including the legislative, the executive and the judicial. Article four goes into depth about the rights and powers reserved to the states. It is clear to see that the framers knew the importance of leaving much of the power of governing at the local and state level and that those rights needed to be preserved at the foundational document of the society, The Constitution.

Other articles discuss the ratification process and federal power. But the wisdom of the framers of The Constitution lie in article five which outlines a process of amendments which leaves room for additional work to be done to keep the Constitution up to date to changes that need to be made. As such the Constitution has remained a living document for all of these years and will continue to be seen in that light for many decades and centuries to come.