The firm house lingers, though averse to square
With the new city street it has to wear A number in.
But what about the brook
That held the house as in an elbow-crook?
I ask as one who knew the brook, its strength
And impulse, having dipped a finger length
And made it leap my knuckle, having tossed
A flower to try its currents where they crossed.
The meadow grass could be cemented down
From growing under pavements of a town;
The apple trees be sent to hearth-stone flame.
Is water wood to serve a brook the same?
How else dispose of an immortal force
No longer needed? Staunch it at its source
With cinder loads dumped down? The brook was thrown
Deep in a sewer dungeon under stone
In fetid darkness still to live and run -
And all for nothing it had ever done
Except forget to go in fear perhaps.
No one would know except for ancient maps
That such a brook ran water. But I wonder
If from its being kept forever under
The thoughts may not have risen that so keep
This new-built city from both work and sleep.
Like a brook in the city, beneath our civility lies a dormant enthusiast. We spend much of our time talking about Kia Rios and Mini Countrymans, but is this not just a displacement activity for our restless passions? It’s easy to become consumed by the banality of the city, burying our fire deep down inside, but it’s just as easy to become consumed by its opposite. There is the Everyman, there is Passion, but somewhere in between is Balance.
It’s simply overwhelming. There’s too much. How can one person possible stay on top of it all the awesome car videos??
Relax. It’s ok. Just close your eyes for a moment and take a deep breath. We’ve done the work for you so pop some corn, grab a beer, and enjoy the eight must-see videos for this week. Don’t have the time right now? No worries, you’ve got all week. Bookmark it and come back when you’re ready to bask in the glory of the automobile. Enjoy!
1. Sebastian Thrun on Google’s Driverless Car:
He’s passionate, he’s persuasive, and he’s showing us a glimpse of the future. As long as there are still closed race tracks, count us in!
Faster, hairier, and louder cars are after the jump!
Let’s put our special hats on – y’know, the ones with the ostrich feathers and Swarovksi sparkles all dipped in yellow gold – and play “what if”.
Car enthusiasts play this game with alarming frequency, but rarely in public. The internal machinations usually happen in the wee hours of a weekend evening, on eBay and Kijiji and after a half-glass of scotch, as we rationalize, justify, and otherwise attempt to coerce ourselves and our significant others into successively wilder purchases. But cower in darkness no more! For it’s high time that we openly share our most bizarre (and reasonable) replacements for our current transports! Ok, as you’ve probably gleaned from the title, our imaginations haven’t led us too far astray, but that’s because these are cars we’d actually buy, not just ones we’d plunk down for if we accidentally inherited the Daryl Katz fortune. And it’s not like we’re in brow-furrowing contemplation between the Corolla and the Matrix here, the 500 and CR-Z are genuinely appealing cars, at least for hatchback-loving urbanites like us.
Regardless of budget (and in fantasyland, the budgets can get pretty wacky), we all have priorities that lean us one way or another, as well as allegiances to certain brands that inadvertently blind us to huge swathes of the marketplace. Personally, we’re proponents of buying used cars so that the most aggressive years of depreciation are allowed to pass harmlessly by. That new car smell? Doesn’t smell as good as saved money smell. Since we’re looking at the used market, it’s also worth mentioning that we’re staunch advocates of mechanical and electrical reliability. No one likes unnecessary trips to the stealer dealer less than we do, so we avoid it at all costs. As such, we personally like to steer away from German cars (an air-cooled 911 is the only car with any chance of breaking that rule of thumb), most American cars, and steer towards Japanese cars. Granted, the newer domestics, particularly Fords, have come a long way in terms of quality and reliability, but none of their current offering quite have the sparkle we’d put in our garage for good. Maybe the Focus ST will change that. The Germans, on the other hand, have almost no hope of changing our perceptions at this point. There is literally nothing scarier than a 5-year-old BMW without warranty.
Since there’s not much out there in the desirable 4-5 year old bracket (unless you’ve got one?) that meets our exacting criteria for fun, reliability, fuel economy, and attractive design, we’re going to have to make do with looking a few years down the road to replace our aging Mazda Protege5. So let’s take a look at what’s on sale today that we’ll want to pick up a good deal on in a couple years.
This series of hurdles pretty much leaves us with the Fiat 500, the adorable Mexican-built city car with character in picche (that’s “spades” in Italian), and the Honda CR-Z, the sportiest hybrid around. Both of these choices are perfectly sized for urban use, fun(ish) to drive, sip fuel like a Starbucks latte, and should prove more reliable than average. But which one should we choose?
Advertising is powerful. Advertising is pervasive. Advertising is also frequently ignored because it’s absolutely everywhere. Except Sao Paolo, Brazil. But other than that, it’s on buses, benches, billboards, bicycles, and burritos. You’ve never seen a burrito with an ad on it? You need to get out more.
We’ve been inspired by Hyundai’s latest banned ad – seen above, developed by Amsterdam ad agency Fitzroy and only mildly creepy – to compile a list of our all-time favourite banned car commercials. Here are the top 5 (that’s not including the one above!)!
I may have been too harsh on Harry Metcalfe a few weeks back when I called him out for his shaky hands and bad teeth, because he’s redeemed himself like no other.
In this video, Harry snags the passenger seat next to Horatio Pagani, the one man army responsible for the Huarya’s scintillating attention to detail and otherworldly proportions, and shares with us the miracle of active aero. Watching the rear flaps is like watching the fountains at the MGM in Las Vegas multiplied by an Airbus A380.
Coming up from June 10-12 at the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit in Montreal, Formula 1 is once again gracing our frozen and barren wonderland. At least they’re going to Montreal, perhaps our country’s crowning jewel, if not just the most European feeling.
This trailer appeals to the francophones among us. Those who didn’t pay attention to Monsieur LeBlanc’s junior high French class are missing out on hyperbolic boasting of driving gods, mythical circuits, and the pinnacle of motorsport. All the usual stuff, then.
Hopefully you can find somewhere more inspiring that a T.G.I.Friday’s to watch the race.
The reason we really love Top Gear, aside from the acerbic wit and entrenched dynamics, is the peerless production value. There are dozens of cameras everywhere, helicopters taking aerials, and graphics wizard-ninja-hybrids to pull it all together. Not that this should surprise, not considering the BBC’s budget for the program, which is estimated to be in the order of $500,000 per episode.