The Green Car I Want

Tesla Car

Mmmm…. who wouldn’t want an electric car that can do 0 – 60mph in four seconds?

The Tesla Roadster is manufactured by Tesla Motors (no actual connection to the famous Tesla, as far as I can see) and their plan is to use the expertise they gain from the high-performance car on less expensive follow ups.

That’s the same model as old-school manufacturers use, testing new tech to the breaking point on race and rally circuits and then, eventually, filtering what survives into your bog-standard family car.

So, as exciting as this car is (and I do want one!), I’m even more interested in the “normal” cars Tesla will release. We all know the oil is running out, we all know that, eventually, our cars will whirr and hum rather than purr and thrum, maybe Tesla will be one of the companies that will help that transition?

Before You Send Us Back…

Working Lunch

Asian-owned businesses contribute 10% towards the GDP of Britain whereas Asians only make up 4% of the population.
(Source: Working Lunch)

Hello Tories, BNP members and other assorted racists and fascists. Just thought you’d like to work out where you’re going to make up the shortfall before you ship all of us lazy, scrounging Asian immigrants “home.”

And before you answer, please bear in mind that repeatedly saying “I’m not a racist but” and “it’s political correctness gone mad” are not economically productive activities.

Tony Visconti: The Autobiography

Visconti

I finished ‘Tony Visconti: the Autobiography: Bowie, Bolan and the Brooklyn Boy‘ last night. Well, this morning.

It was a cracking read. Yes, I’m going to get more out of it than the average reader as I’m a musician, engineer and producer. But even someone with no involvement at all in making music would love all the anecdotes that Visconti (and his co-writer Richard Havers) spills out.

He’s got enough coverage, after all. This is the man who, as it says in the unwieldy title, went from Brooklyn to working with David Bowie and T. Rex. Also Eno, Iggy Pop, Altered Images, The Boomtown Rats, The Stranglers (yep, he produced ‘Golden Brown’), Paul McCartney, Thin Lizzy, The Moody Blues, Hazel O’Connor… well, you get the picture.

This isn’t a flowery book: the style is quite un-adorned and straight-forward. Mostly, this suits Visconti’s breathless narrative push but occasionally, I wish the book would take a slightly more circuitous and poetic turn. I’m probably wrong but I get the sense that some of that more emotional stuff has been held back as being too private. Sure, we get all the important bones of his life, it’s just that I want a bit more meat. Every now and then, you’ll get a sentence like ‘we had an affair – Mary found out’ and that’s it. As a reader, this makes me go ‘woah – what happened? Tell me that conversation!’ But, as I said, he most likely doesn’t want to.

That’s a minor quibble when put in the context of a read that’s both funny and sad, informative and enlightening. I don’t want to give the impression this is a heartless book: it often goes into detail on certain painful events. It’s very touching when Visconti talks about his drink problem and the effect on his kids.

Also laudable is that when Visconti relates incidents which might show people like Bowie, McCartney or Bolan in a negative light, the framing is sensitive. This isn’t a bitter book written to settle old grudges. But I guess if the bloke’s been doing two hours of T’ai Chi every morning since the eighties, he’s probably past all that.

If you’re a fortysomething or older, you’ll probably love this book. If you’re younger but you’re a Bowie / Bolan / retro pop fan, again, you’ll love hearing detailed history from someone who was actually there. If you’re a musician or engineer/producer, I’d say this is pretty much an essential text.

There’s a lot to be learnt from this book!

US Murders Primary School Kids

US Kills Primary School Children

An attack by a US helicopter against suspected insurgents in Iraq has killed a number of children at a primary school, Iraqi security sources say.

The attack took place in Diyala province north-east of Baghdad, the sources say.

The officer said police had spoken to eyewitnesses and that six children had been killed and six injured but the figures have not been independently confirmed.
(Source: BBC News)

Yet more casualties in the US’ brave campaign to bring peace and democracy to Iraq.

Let’s hope they never try to bring their brand of peace and democracy to Britain.

Unless you particularly want your kiddiewinks strafed to death by trigger-happy rednecks.