Car Wars Internet Newsletter
Vol. 6, No. 1
January 13, 2053
 

Web Posted September 06, 2003
Updated September 06, 2003


THE GUNNERY CHAIR
 

Happy New Year sports fans. This issue is off to a late start due to I had a business trip in La Jolla, California last week. The weather was great. The description of the community in ADQ 8/2 is still accurate, except The Wall now has a mixture of standard turrets with twin gauss guns and AFV turrets with twin x-ray lasers.
 

WADA Stuff

WADA has not been sent to Highway One. The index page to WADA HQ was accidentally deleted a few weeks ago its Webmaster (yours truly) did not realize this fact. Oops. My apologies for the inconvenience.

The 2052 League Standings will be completed this week, and the 2053 League documents will also appear on the site this week.

The Central Arkansas Racing and Dueling Society, a new WADA chapter, has started dueling near Little Rock, bringing autodueling back to the U.S. Southeast, a region that has not seen action in quite a while.
 

Thunder Dome

This show on TNN (The National Network) is more accurately termed "automotive entertainment" than "automotive sport." It is similar to wrestling entertainment shows, but it does have events that would be great for Car Wars games. Be sure to check out the Scorching School Bus Race and the Motorcycle Side Car Shootout.
 

Car Wars Input Requested

Steve Nicewarner, Marketing Director of SJ Games, needs your feedback on Car Wars ASAP. Comments posted to Dueling Debate this week will be compiled and presented to Steve Jackson. Here is your chance to make your voice heard!
 

Message Board Search

As mentioned last issue, Delphi Forums, the sponsor of Dueling Debate, may be closing its doors this month, taking down all of its message boards. If you know of a good forum service for a new Dueling Debate, please contact me. I want to still moderate a message board, but my Web space is limited.
 

WOTC January Sale

Wizards of the Coast and Gamekeeper stores are now hosting their After-Christmas sale. Many RPGs, including GURPS and Car Wars Fifth Edition books, are on sale (20% off in Seattle).
 
 


THE FIRING RANGE
 

THE INTERNATIONAL "I CAN'T DRIVE" SYMBOL

Kuro5hin: Technology and Culture, From the Trenches
http://www.kuro5hin.org
http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2002/7/23/105614/483

From: T.T.R.
Date: Tue Jul 23rd, 2002 at 10:56:14 AM EST

Thankfully some drivers have put the International "I Can't Drive" Symbol on their back windows. A soccer ball (or football for my non-U.S. friends) in the back window is a good way to tell the the person in front of you can't drive for <DELETED>.

This morning I was getting ready to make a right hand turn onto the parkway. There was a green SUV to my left. When the light turned, the SUV swerved in front of me and made a right-hand turn. The parkway is a two-lane road in each direction. The breeder in front of me straddled the center line. There was no way to get around the massive Ford Expedition that was now lumbering down the road. No amount of swearing or hand gestures would get her to pick a lane. Eventually we get up to the speed limit and she is still having a hard time keeping in her lane. We eventually reach a set of railroad tracks. Most people take them at 20 mph (which is 10 below the limit), but she eases her SUV over the tracks. I could have pushed the SUV faster than she was driving it.

This could have been avoided, if she had her sticker in the right place. She had it on the side window, so I had no easy way to tell that she could not drive.
 

From: illustro1a4
Date: Tue Jul 23rd, 2002 at 03:35:38 PM EST

The other day I saw (and I'm not kidding) and Ford Expedition with two offspring in the back, a soccer mother driving while talking on her cell phone, making a turn across traffic and a dog on her lap (little yappy thing) sticking its head out the window. I just pulled to the side of the road in fear for my life.

IMHO SUVs need to be outlawed. Plain and simple. No wonder people hate Americans.
 

From: duxup
Date: Tue Jul 23rd, 2002 at 11:17:55 AM EST

In the last week I've had to honk at the person in front of me a half dozen times times when the light turned green, and they didn't move. Weird.
 

From: renton42
Date: Tue Jul 23rd, 2002 at 11:14:18 AM EST

Don't repeatedly honk. Just lay on it and keep on it until they smart the <DELETED>.
 

From: gazbo
Date: Tue Jul 23rd, 2002 at 11:09:19 AM EST

You seem to have immensely bad luck with attracting <DELETED> drivers.
 

From: T.T.R.
Date: Tue Jul 23rd, 2002 at 11:29:39 AM ES

(Washington) D.C. is in the top ten list of <DELETED> drivers per square mile. The best example of this is a "Washington Right," that is when a driver on (I-)495 suddenly swerves across four lanes of traffic to make an exit at 65 mph +. It is exciting to watch as a 2-ton SUV comes within 2 feet of your front bumper.

That is why, when I am made Czar of the United States, I will allow the mounting of .50-cal. machine guns on cars and equip them with cameras. If you have a <DELETED> driver driving <DELETED> on tape, feel free to machine gun them to death. I might even enact a bounty on them to promote the practice.
 

From: vambo rool
Date: Tue Jul 23rd, 2002 at 12:37:15 PM EST

That would block traffic. What you need is a fleet of helicopters like the one in You Only Live Twice that can hover over the offender with a big electromagnet then pull them up off the road and drop them in a lake. Neat. Clean. Problem solved.
 


50 YEARS AGO TODAY
 

ARMY UNVEILS 'SMARTRUCK II'
http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/01/07/army.truck.reut/index.html

Reuters News Service and CNN
Wednesday, January 8, 2003
Posted: 6:43 AM EST (1143 GMT)

DETROIT, Michigan (Reuters) -- It looks like a contraption that should be entered in a monster truck rally -- menacing black with reinforced
silver bumpers, big tires and floodlights mounted on top of the cab.

But it can track down and zap the enemy in so many ways.

At the Detroit auto show, the U.S. Army Tuesday unveiled a hulky, prototype "SmarTruck II" -- designed since the September 11, 2001, attacks with President Bush's War on Terrorism definitely in mind.

It will not be rumbling through the desert toward Baghdad any time soon, but the military is trying to create an all-purpose vehicle that could make a statement if it suddenly appeared over the sand dune.

"Once this vehicle comes on the scene, we want everyone to know that we mean business," Germaine Fuller, the director of the project that created it, told Reuters at a news conference featuring a marching color guard and a military band playing patriotic songs such as "God Bless America."

Last year at the Detroit show, the U.S. Army showcased its first attempt at a high-tech truck, which the military brass now acknowledges was eye-catching with a pop-up pepper spray dispenser and surveillance cameras, but hardly ready for the real world.

"It was more a James Bond vehicle, more 'gee whiz' but not designed for a specific mission," Army Gen. N. Ross Thompson III, chief of the command that designed the truck, told Reuters.
 

Presto change-o

SmarTruckII is equipped with all the latest high-tech bells and whistles. This time, however, the designers have tried to create a military vehicle that can be changed in an hour or so to fight a new enemy with new weapons in a post-September 11 world.

Built on the modified platform of a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck with a 350 horsepower, V-8 engine, the watchword of the SmarTruckII is flexibility.

Designers created what they call "nodules," based on a stainless steel box that sits on what would normally be the bed of the truck. The boxes are interchanged depending on the mission.

The idea is for the vehicle to be useful in conventional combat or be transformed quickly to detect chemical and biological weapons, or even to help in recovery from a disaster.

Fuller said the boxes can be changed in about an hour, depending on the situation.

For example, out of the top of one of boxes on the prototype vehicle popped SPIKE, which the military described as a "fire and forget" small missile and launcher system that can fire two missiles simultaneously.

Others boxes housed equipment useful in communications or surveillance.
 

Big Brother hovering

In another twist, the vehicle can house an unmanned dronelike small aircraft that can hover over a nearby area and send live video back to the vehicle.

In the cab of the truck are housed a 3-D mapping system and a communications system that Fuller described as "hacker in a box." It includes a computer program linked with surveillance equipment to monitor what people in the area around the vehicle are saying in e-mail. SmarTruckII could just sit and listen, send bogus e-mails to confuse an enemy, or, if it is not amused, kill the enemy communications system altogether.

The prototype vehicle cost between $500,000 and $1 million, Fuller said, although she said it is tough to estimate precisely because it involved partnerships with several firms.

The military said it has no plans to produce the truck any time soon, although Bran Ferren, a designer of SmarTruck II, said that if an order came through it could be put in production in a year.
 

Modified platform of Chevrolet Silverado pickup

*  V-8 engine, 350 horsepower
*  Instead of truck bed, stainless steel interchangeable boxes that can contain anything from small missile and launcher system or communication and surveillance systems.
*  Vehicle could also carry unmanned dronelike aircraft.
*  Cab houses 3-D mapping system and communication system dubbed 'hacker in a box' that could monitor e-mail in area, send e-mail or destroy enemy communication system.
*  Prototype cost: Between $500,000 and $1 million.
 
 

BULLDOG CRASHES OWNER'S SPORTS CAR
http://www.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/europe/UK/12/21/offbeat.maserati.reut/index.html

Reuters News Service and CNN
Saturday, December 21, 2002
Posted: 8:03 PM EST (0103 GMT)

LONDON, England (Reuters) -- British television presenter Johnny Vaughan says his pet dog crashed his sports car in a bizarre accident,
the Sun newspaper reported.

The tabloid said Vaughan's bulldog nudged his 60,000-pound ($96,180) Maserati into gear and stepped on the accelerator -- sending it flying into a van.

"I was too shocked to be angry," Vaughan, who presents a BBC chat show, was quoted as saying in the tabloid. "I couldn't believe my dog crashed my car."

The 36-year-old said the crash happened after he stopped to check on his dog Harvey as he drove him home from a veterinarian's practice in southwest London.

With the engine still running, Vaughan got out of the car and walked round to the passenger's side, where the dog was sitting.

It was then Harvey leapt on the controls, causing 11,000 pounds of damage, Vaughan said.

"I've forgiven Harvey, but he's never coming in the car again," Vaughan told the paper.
 
 

CLEAN-AIR RULES HEADED TOWARD OFF-ROAD DIESEL
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/134605785_diesel31.html

Eric Pianin, The Washington Post
The Seattle Times
Tuesday, December 31, 2002, 12:00 a.m. Pacific

WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration is preparing new restrictions on harmful emissions from off-road diesel-powered vehicles after decades of government neglect of this major pollution source.

In a turnabout from previous battles over pollution policy, environmentalists have hailed the move, while some industry groups are vigorously fighting it.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Office of Management and Budget are jointly drafting rules to reduce dangerous emissions from bulldozers, tractors, irrigation machinery and other diesel-powered equipment.

The rules would force engine manufacturers to install state-of-the-art devices to capture and treat exhaust gases, and would require refineries to produce a low-sulfur diesel fuel for anti-pollution devices.

The proposed rules, to be formally announced in the spring, would slash off-road diesel emissions by as much as 95 percent and bring them in line with new standards for heavy-duty diesel trucks and buses. Off-road diesel engines have been held to a much weaker standard than those for on-road vehicles since 1977.

After power plants, off-road diesel engines are among the largest sources of pollutants that scientists have linked to premature deaths, lung cancer, asthma and other serious upper-respiratory illnesses, according to the EPA.

The push for the new regulations is unusual because it unites the Bush administration and its frequent environmental critics against industry leaders over an issue with significant economic ramifications.

The proposed rules would save an estimated 8,300 lives a year and tens of billions of dollars annually in medical costs and lost workdays, government and private studies say. But they would add billions of dollars to the operating costs of diesel-engine manufacturers and companies that buy off-road equipment.

"This is going to impose some cost on industry and consumers," EPA Administrator Christie Whitman said recently, "but these regulations are going to give us enormous health benefits that will far outweigh those costs."

Environmental and public-health groups, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, the American Lung Association and the Clean Air Trust have praised the administration's efforts.

"The Bush administration had ample opportunity to dismantle the program and elected instead to sustain it under some serious political opposition," said John Walke, an air-quality expert with the resources-defense council. "The fact is, we're facing a major health problem, and they did the right thing."

The diesel fuel used in off-road equipment has a high sulfur concentration of 3,000 parts per million, which clogs anti-pollution devices and emits harmful particles into the air.

Under the original EPA proposal, refineries would be required to cut sulfur content of their fuel to 15 parts per million by 2008, while engine manufacturers would have to install pollution-control equipment between 2009 and 2012.

EPA officials now are leaning toward an alternative strongly favored by industry that would require a modest reduction in sulfur content by 2007 and delay the new standard until 2010. Engine manufacturers would have an additional two years to meet the requirements for installing new anti-pollution devices.

Environmentalists and public-health groups have criticized President Bush for siding with industry in disputes over clean-air standards, especially those involving older, coal-fired power plants and refineries that generate extensive pollution. Yet the administration has consistently and aggressively advocated tougher diesel-emission standards -- well beyond those imposed in Europe.

Shortly after Bush took office in January 2001, the EPA approved a Clinton administration rule requiring reductions of as much as 95 percent in emissions of particulate matter and nitrogen oxides from large diesel-powered trucks and buses. That rule will take effect in 2007.

Administration officials say their current effort to slash diesel emissions was prompted by the Supreme Court's unanimous decision last year to uphold the EPA's new standards for particulate matter and ozone. An additional factor was growing scientific evidence of the adverse health
effects of fine particles of airborne soot from diesel engines.

Officials were particularly impressed by analyses showing the potential costs to industry were overshadowed by long-term economic and public-health benefits.

But industry groups -- including refiners, engine makers, builders and agricultural interests -- vigorously tried to weaken or delay the proposal.

Some say the proposed rules would harm engine manufacturers, create diesel-fuel shortages by driving some refineries out of business and impose huge new costs on consumers of diesel equipment.
 
 

COOKING OIL CAN FUEL THE CAR AFTER IT HELPS FEED THE DRIVER
http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis.cgi/web/vortex/display?slug=biodiesel30&date=20020930&query=biodiesel

John Wolfson, Seattle Times
Monday, September 30, 2002

OLYMPIA -- It sounds like a fantasy tale or the wildest concoction of the wildest environmentalist, but the simple fact is this: With some cooking oil, a couple of chemicals and the right safety equipment, anybody can mix up a fuel that will power any diesel engine. If you drive a diesel car, you can do it, too, for about 60 cents a gallon.

Or you can just buy biodiesel, as the fuel is known, for a higher cost -- just like the drivers who line up at Dr. Dan's in Ballard. It's now available in all 50 states and at an increasing number of filling stations.

City, state and federal agencies across the country -- including Tacoma garbage haulers -- are mixing biodiesel with regular petroleum diesel to improve air quality. Biodiesel use in the United States tripled between 2000 and 2001, to 15 million gallons.

But for all of its growing acceptance, the soul of biodiesel resides in people such as Mike Pelly and the two men he met a couple of months ago at the Blue Heron Bakery, an Olympia whole-grain bakery that doubles as a meeting center for alternative types. It was there that they decided to form a biodiesel co-operative and forged their dreams to home-brew this stuff and someday make it available to everyone who wants it.

In years to come, truckers could buy French fries one day and a few days later buy fuel made from the same oil that cooked their fries.

Already, Pelly has built a processor, which he hopes to make available to cooperatives everywhere, that converts used restaurant oil into a brew that powers his car.

Learning about biodiesel seven years ago changed the direction of Pelly's life. He and his wife were already living off-the-grid, using wind, solar and a small backup gas generator to provide their power.

Then he saw a documentary about five women who drove across the country in a van powered only by biodiesel. Pelly, a carpenter, was amazed. He knew immediately what he wanted to do. So he enrolled at The Evergreen State College, studying chemistry and renewable energy, and began work on a machine to whip up his own biodiesel.

Pelly has since built his biodiesel processor, which does the mixing, sorting and settling to produce the fuel. And he has hooked up with biodiesel fans Kenn Nied and Ozzy, who goes by a single name and prints silk-screen shirts using only nontoxic dyes.

Each week Pelly, Ozzy and Nied pick up used cooking oil, or "yellow grease," from one of five restaurants in Olympia. They've tried to find more sources, but many of the famous fast-food restaurants, supermarkets and convenience stores you've heard of won't let them have theirs.

Last week, they backed Ozzy's beat-up diesel pickup into an alley behind Ramblin' Jacks restaurant and unloaded a long white tube with a pump at one end.

Ozzy clipped what looked like jumper cables to the truck's battery, and the pump began to whir. Then he lowered the pump into a drum of yellow grease while Pelly stuck the other end of the hose in the empty barrel in the pickup. A couple of restaurant workers on a smoke break seemed to
find the whole thing amusing, these grown men hopping around barrels and tubes and containers. In 15 minutes, the barrel in the truck was full, and Ozzy pulled away, motoring the raw material home in a vehicle running on 100 percent biodiesel.

Because the yellow grease is free -- besides the sweat and time it takes to get it -- the men can make their fuel for about 60 cents a gallon. They've so far made about 250 gallons using the latest version of Pelly's machine, and he figures he's close to offering a final version, one with larger tubes and better filtration, for sale to co-operatives and farmers. He hopes he can sell a unit for $3,000 or less.

His machine makes it dramatically easier to create biodiesel, with the biggest benefit that it shouldn't be necessary to actually touch the oil. But it's still a lot of work and will likely always be useful to only a subset of enthusiasts with the time and passion to make their own, similar in many
ways to home-brewing beer.

But there would definitely be a market, says Dan Freeman, known as Dr. Dan to his Seattle customers who buy biodiesel from Dr. Dan's Alternative Fuel-Werks in Ballard. Freeman buys his biodiesel directly from a California company. He has been selling it for less than a year and
already has 130 customers who pay $2.50 a gallon for the fuel, which is made from virgin, not recycled, soy oil.

"I'd say a third of my customers bought their vehicles with the idea of making their own, but they're too busy," Freeman said. "But Mike is working on a kit, a home-brew kit that could make it easier. I think it's a real possibility. I wouldn't even mind selling some of the recycled stuff."

When he's not hauling it around the state to various fairs and exhibitions, Pelly keeps his processor bolted to a trailer at Ozzy's home in Olympia. That's where they mix up their batches.

A 1/2-horsepower electric pump sucks the yellow grease out of the barrels and sends it, through two screeners, to an inverted, 50-gallon drum with a cone-shaped bottom. At the same time, the pump draws a mix of methanol and lye from a plastic container mounted to the processor and combines it with the yellow grease.

A series of chemical reactions causes the molecules of the various substances to combine and create biodiesel. The fuel will power any diesel motor without a single modification.

"If somebody can home-brew beer, they can do this," Ozzy said. "I compare it to the difficulty of gardening or home-brewing."

Pure biodiesel produces 60 to 90 percent fewer air toxins than petroleum diesel. And even B20, a 20 percent biodiesel, 80 percent petroleum diesel mix used by most government agencies, sends out 12 to 20 percent fewer emissions.

For all its emission reductions, however, biodiesel actually sends out 6 percent more nitrous oxide than petroleum diesel. It also tends to gel in cool weather, some say at 40 degrees, though Pelly insists it's cooler than that. The gelling can be overcome with certain additives, however, or by simply pumping a bit of petroleum diesel into your tank.

The Spokane County Conservation District has taken a lead role in trying to get the state to offer tax incentives for alternative fuels, including biodiesel. The group, an umbrella agency of the Washington State Conservation Committee, has begun lobbying state lawmakers to reduce the
state fuel tax for alternative fuels.

Right now, all fuels in Washington, alternative or petroleum, are taxed at 47.3 cents a gallon. More than a dozen states offer tax incentives for the use of alternative fuels.

"It's going to be a tough sell in this year's state Legislature because of the budget problems," conceded spokesman Jim Armstrong. But the group hopes the Legislature will at least consider rebating the 1 percent Business and Occupation Tax to businesses that use alternative fuels.

Armstrong said it's in the state's interest to offer such breaks.

"All the studies have shown that diesel smoke is one of the most carcinogenic substances that we breathe," he said, pointing out that many of the state's school buses burn diesel. "Do we really want our kids lining up, waiting for the bus, and breathing all that?"

Ozzy realizes biodiesel will probably remain a bit player in the fuel industry for many years. But he thinks a core group of consumers will seek out biodiesel because, as he believes, it's the right thing to do.

"Aren't there people who just don't buy Twinkies?" he asked, leaning against his truck. "No, not everyone in the world is going to do this. But it's a big deal to do a little. A little trickle starts a big flood."
 

More information

Want to know more about biodiesel and other alternative fuels?

*  Contact Mike Pelly at renewablenergies@yahoo.com or find out more about his and other
biodiesel processors at www.journeytoforever.org/biodiesel_processor.html.

*  Ozzy and Kenn Nied's company can be found at www.biobuddy.com.

*  Learn all about biodiesel at www.biodiesel.org.

*  Climate Solutions, www.climatesolutions.org, is a good source of information about all kinds of
alternative energies.

John Wolfson: 206-464-2061 or jwolfson@seattletimes.com.
 
 

POLLUTION-CUTTING BIODIESEL FUEL IS GAING MARKET
http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis.cgi/web/vortex/display?slug=btbiodiesel06&date=20030106&query=biodiesel

Karen Gaudette
The Associated Press
Seattle Times Archives
Monday, January 06, 2003

UKIAH, Calif. --  Surrounded by a pack of tail-wagging dogs, Dave Hawley stuck his bearded face up to the exhaust pipe of his delivery truck, closed his eyes and inhaled.

Hawley is indeed hooked on biodiesel, a pollution-reducing fuel gleaned from restaurant grease or the oil of crops such as soybeans.

Biodiesel is the fastest-growing alternative fuel in the country, according to the National Biodiesel Board, which touts its ability to extend engine life, improve fuel economy, cut down on air pollution and reduce reliance on foreign oil. It has been in use in Europe for some 15 years.

But biodiesel is more expensive than traditional diesel at least 30 percent more at one point last summer. To lower costs, lawmakers have proposed tax incentives for using biodiesel, but Congress adjourned for the session without acting on the bills.

"If it were the same price, I think we would see use expand dramatically," said Jenna Higgins, spokeswoman for the biodiesel board, a trade group affiliated with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Biodiesel releases less carbon monoxide and fewer hydrocarbons and particles than petroleum-based diesel, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It works with most diesel engines.

Hawley's so hooked on it, he's even sipped the amber-colored liquid to demonstrate its low toxicity to the 100-plus customers of his Yokayo Biofuels company in Ukiah, a rural community 120 miles north of San Francisco. Customers include local farmers, California wineries and a fleet of coffee-delivery trucks.

"It really just gives people a way not to live with hypocrisy," Hawley said outside the garage where  he and business partner, Kumar Plocher, experiment with batches of lye, wood or grain alcohol and various vegetable oils.
 

Chemical basis

Biodiesel is produced by blending lye, methanol or ethanol and oil, then letting it settle. Glycerin, a soap ingredient, separates from biodiesel in large vats. Plocher and Hawley might even add essential oils so tailpipes will spew the scent of lavender, rosemary or sage.

Yokayo distributes 13,000 gallons of biodiesel a month -- enough to rank as one of the country's largest independent distributors in this small but growing industry, which has annual sales of about $25 million, according to the National Biodiesel Board.

Tim Piper, director of vineyard operations for Fetzer Vineyards, one of California's 10 largest wineries, has powered tractors and other farm equipment with biodiesel for the past year to help reduce the winery's environmental impact.

"They're running great, absolutely no difference," Piper said.

Except for the price.

In its most common form, biodiesel is sold in a mixture of 80 percent petroleum-based diesel and 20 percent biodiesel.

Due to growing demand and relatively few suppliers, a gallon of the 80/20 blend cost $1.79 on the West Coast in July, compared with $1.38 for a gallon of petrodiesel, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Pure biodiesel costs even more.

But many conservationists say they don't mind paying more for cleaner fuel, and federal pollution regulations are also providing an incentive for managers of fleets. The U.S. Postal Service, for instance, has used biodiesel at several locations, including San Francisco, Miami and New York.
 

Existing engines

Higgins said biodiesel has grown quickly in usage because it generally works with any diesel engines made after 1992. She said older engines need only slight modifications -- many have parts made with natural rubber, which could adversely interact with biodiesel.

Other fuel alternatives, such as natural gas and propane, need special equipment or more extensive modifications.

Though biodiesel, like one form of traditional diesel, has a tendency to coagulate at colder temperatures, producers and distributors can add anti-jell substances to prevent that.

Diesel's roots are organic. Rudolph Diesel, the German engineer whose engine concept published in 1893 eventually bore his name, fueled his prototype with peanut oil. But such oils lost sway when petroleum-based fuel became cheaper and more plentiful.

Biodiesel producers are hoping for an organic comeback.

U.S. production of biodiesel is expected to grow to more than 20 million gallons last year and as much as 40 million gallons this year, according to the National Biodiesel Board. Soybean oil accounted for 90 percent of the material used to produce biodiesel in 2001.

Hawley and Plocher say they're already turning a modest profit and plan to open biodiesel filling stations in Ukiah and Santa Rosa in the next few months, complete with a convenience store stocked with organic products.

The two also hope to persuade other biodiesel peddlers to open in other parts of California to encourage more use.

"The beauty of biodiesel, in my opinion, is it comes from plants," Plocher said. "It's part of an active cycle."

Associated Press writer Colleen Valles contributed to this report.
 
 

HYBRID CARS GOING MAINSTREAM?
http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/01/06/hybrid.cars.ap/index.html

General Motors to offer hybrid power in cars, pickups, SUVs

The Associated Press and CNN
Monday, January 6, 2003
Posted: 7:17 AM EST (1217 GMT)

DETROIT, Michigan (AP) -- In one of the clearest signs yet that hybrid cars may be going mainstream, General Motors Corp. plans to offer
a variety of the gas-and-electric powered vehicles over the next four years.

The plan by the world's biggest automaker, to be announced Monday, includes hybrid models for cars, pickups and sports utility vehicles.

GM's new strategy sends a clear signal that auto executives are starting to consider energy-efficient hybrids as potentially viable offerings to the mainstream motoring public.

Hybrids draw power from two different energy sources, typically a gas or diesel engine combined with an electric motor. While environmentally friendly and fuel efficient, their high cost has prevented them from finding more than a niche market.

For now, the only versions available in the United States are Honda's Civic Hybrid and Toyota's Prius.

GM will offer hybrid options on several vehicles, starting later this year with the GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado pickups for use in commercial fleets. The hybrid versions of the trucks will increase fuel economy by 10 to 12 percent, the company says.

Those same trucks will be available to
retail consumers in 2004.

If demand is high for all hybrid models, GM says it could produce a million or more a year by 2007. GM sold nearly 4.8 million vehicles in 2002.

"We're taking a very pragmatic approach, targeting a wide array of popular models with varying degrees of complexity to give consumers a variety of choice," said GM president and chief executive Rick Wagoner.

In 2005, GM will begin producing a hybrid Saturn VUE sport utility. It will also include a hybrid option on its forthcoming Chevy Equinox SUV in 2006 and its Chevy Malibu sedan in 2007.

Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group are also planning hybrid models.

Recently, officials have tried to offset the high cost of hybrids by allowing buyers in some areas to qualify for a federal tax deduction and local tax breaks.

Mike Wall, an analyst with the automotive forecasting firm IRN Inc., said the cost benefit -- extra mileage per gallon -- typically isn't enough to sway most people.

"If the tax breaks are sweetened, and if you push the envelope for better gas mileage, I think you'll see more penetration," Wall said.

The Union of Concerned Scientists, a fuel economy advocacy group, said in a report last week that while a hybrid could cost $4,000 more than a conventional vehicle, drivers could save nearly $5,500 in gasoline expenses over the vehicle's driving life.
 
 

YOUNG PIZZA BANDITS FAIL GETAWAY
http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/americas/01/03/offbeat.canada.thieves.reut/index.html

Reuters News Service and CNN
Friday, January 3, 2003 Posted: 2:37 PM EST (1937 GMT)

EDMONTON, Alberta, (Reuters) -- Two would-be Canadian thieves learned the hard way on New Year's Day that knowing how to drive a car is a prerequisite for stealing one.

Police said the two males accosted a pizza delivery man in northeast Edmonton, Alberta, early Wednesday and demanded the four
pizzas he was carrying as well as cash.

The bandits, aged 17 and 18, apparently changed their minds at one point and jumped into the man's car. But their getaway was foiled because the 17-year-old behind the wheel did not know how to drive a stick shift.

Flummoxed by the manual transmission and clutch, the duo then went back to their original plan to commandeer the pizzas, Edmonton Police spokesman Wes Bellmore said.

"It was a toss-up between pizzas and the car, and they knew how to operate pizzas," Bellmore said. When officers soon arrived on the scene, they spotted one of the suspects entering the home where the pizzas were to be delivered.

Both were arrested and have been charged with robbery and theft under $3,000. Police also recovered the pizzas.
 
 

RECKLESS DRIVER BLAMES MARTIANS
http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/europe/01/01/offbeat.blame.martian.reut/index.html

Reuters News Service and CNN
Wednesday, January 1, 2003
Posted: 10:37 AM EST (1537 GMT)

MARSEILLE, France (Reuters) -- A Frenchman who raced through a motorway road block, triggering a high-speed police car chase that ended in a minor crash, has blamed aliens from Mars for his reckless driving.

Under police custody in a hospital in the Mediterranean city of Marseille, the 42-year-old told police he was being "chased by Martians" when he charged through a road block on the A55 motorway on Monday evening, police sources said.

A breathalyzer test for alcohol proved negative, but police are still awaiting the results of drugs tests and a psychiatric examination.

France, which has one of the worst accident rates in Europe with more than 8,000 road deaths each year, is in the process of stiffening its speeding and drink-driving laws to try and reduce the carnage on its roads.
 


NANS TICKER
 

CLICKBASE CAR WARS

Subject: General / Car Wars Clicky Base Game
Forum: Dueling Debate <http://forums.delphi.com/carwars>
From: Steve Nicewarner (CEREBRALHOB)
Date: Dec 18, 2002, 6:17 am

 . . . isn't coming out anytime soon.

I talked to Steve about it. He told me that WizKids has been approached about the idea in the past [last year, I suspect]. At the time, we were told that they had enough on their plate with their own intellectual properties, so they weren't interested in licensing deals. Given that they have Crimson Skies and two other, as yet unnamed games coming out in 2003, I'm pretty sure that is still their position.

And, before you ask, no, they are not willing to let us put out a game using their license.

I'm probably going to talk to someone at WizKids about the idea, although an opportunity might not present itself until the GAMA Trade Show in March. I'll let you know.

Steve Nicewarner
Random Hat Table (Roll 1d4)
1. Marketing Director, Steve Jackson Games <www.sjgames.com>
2. Owner/Manager, Cerebral Hobbies <www.cerebralhobbies.com>
3. Vice-Chairman, GAMA Retail Board
4. None of the above would have this stupid opinion.
 
 

MAD MAX 4: FURY ROAD STARTS PRODUCTION

Mad Max Movies FAQ
http://www.madmaxmovies.com
December 11, 2002

"Mad Max 4: Fury Road" is apparently full steam ahead, there has been a report published overnight in Variety. The story was also printed at cnn.com; TV Guide Online; hollywood.com; and probably a host of other entertainment web sites.

Additional Mad Max 4 reports can be found at the following sites: BBC; New York Times; Aint It Cool News; Cinescape; Empire (UK); Entertainment Weekly; E! Online; Herald Sun; Sydney Morning Herald; Sydney Daily Telegraph; Dark Horizons; Film Four; and Yahoo. Obviously they're all pretty much just variations on the Variety info.
 
 

REVAMPING THE CAR WARS LINE

Subject: General / OK, you're Steve Jackson for the week
Forum: Dueling Debate <http://forums.delphi.com/carwars>
From: Steve Nicewarner (CEREBRALHOB)
Date: Jan 13, 2003, 11:36 am

. . . What would you do to revamp the Car Wars line?

I'm serious about this. I know that some of you have made comments elsewhere on the forum, and I'd appreciate it if you would recap them here so I have them all in one place. Rude, loud or otherwise unproductive responses will be set on ignore.

And, as an added bonus, I should mention that I will be in Austin next week for some meetings with SJ and the rest of the SJ Games crew. I'm hoping to distill this down to something I can present to them then.

Steve Nicewarner
Random Hat Table (Roll 1d4)
1. Marketing Director, Steve Jackson Games <www.sjgames.com>
2. Owner/Manager, Cerebral Hobbies <www.cerebralhobbies.com>
3. Vice-Chairman, GAMA Retail Board
4. None of the above would have this stupid opinion.
 


WEB WATCH: UPDATES
 

3X CAR WARS
http://home1.gte.net/dmaltais

November 17, 2002: After long years of neglecting my Web pages, I have decided to give them their final rest. The "3XCW" and "Late Nite Drive-In Theater of the Damned" pages are gone. I currently have no plans to bring them back.

You might check my new site: doug.maltais.com. I currently have my resume there.

Doug Maltais
 
 

BONEHEADZ OF NEW IDAHO
http://www.cableone.net/manycubes

Gallery: Miniatures
 
 

NEW OMAHA VEHICULAR ASSOCIATION
http://www.novia.net/~desslok/nova.htm

Arena Watch: Cessna Aeroduel Arena
Vehicle Guide: Subcompacts
 
 

WASTELAND RANGER HQ-GRID
http://www.rockdud.net/wasteland

Introduction Video
 


WEB WATCH: NEW SITES
 

DAMNATION ALLEY LANDMASTER PAGE
http://www.snowcrest.net/fox/landmaster
 
 

ROBERT PÖRSCHKE'S KRASH EXPANSION RULES
http://hem.spray.se/dby/krashrules/krasheng.htm
 
 

SNAKEPLISSKEN.COM
http://www.snakeplissken.com
 
 

THUNDER DOME
http://www.thunderdome.tv
 



WADA NEWS
 

ASSOCIATED AUTODUELISTS OF THE INLAND EMPIRE

From: Wesley Twitchell <splutch@mailandnews.com>
To: AAIE Mailing List
Subject: AAIE New Year's Game
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 15:00:00 -0800

Greetings Duel Fans!

We started off the New Year with a highly-illegal duel in the middle of Midville. Due to the size of Tom's dining room table, we only used the main four maps.

There were a few variations in the town, partly due to the events of InCon. City Hall upgraded it's weaponry, after Theo having driven a bus THROUGH City Hall and everything else on his way out of town. You were noticed by any of the patrolling cops depending on the severity of the offense (i.e., speeding or shooting), or if they actually saw you do it instead of a report. In addition, if you were captured any way by the police, you would lose an extra prestige in addition to being tossed in the clink.

With the semi-disorganized nature of agents setting up this event, and any people in the town who happened to catch part of the duel on tape, here are some of the highlights.

After Tom took out Wesley's front end with a VFRP salvo, he rammed Tom head-on in a collision that confettied Tom's trike. Bryan, screaming past a police cruiser and scaring its gunner into shock, collided with Heather and pushed her incapacitated car into the Jail. Howard came tearing down one of the middle streets, and after sliding past Patrick, shot him up with rear weapons for a kill. Darin had the unfortunate timing to shoot at Howard with a police interceptor in hot pursuit right behind him.  With dueling a punishable offense, and mad police, the interceptor shot up Darin's rear and killed him.

Bryan came down the street in front of City Hall, and slammed around into Edgar.  The collision, and the prize pack Edgar had been laying down, was enough to blow out most of Bryan's tires. Also resulting from the collision, Edgar ended up driving through the local bar, and was on his way out of the city, when the cruiser finally popped back into view. The gunner, having come out of his shock, blasted Edgar with extreme prejudice, knocking him out of control and ruining his chances for escape.

Tom had just made it to a tanker and was trying to hijack it while feigning innocence when the game ended.

Howard was the only one able to make it out of the town alive.

Edgar, Bryan, and Tom were all captured by the Midville police, and are held without bail while the police try to fight off the people who want a trial when the police really would like to hang them right now.

AAIE New Year's Midville Battle
January 1, 2053
Midville
Varied Division, 1.5x scale, CW2.5 Rules
DMs: Edgar Lincoln and Tom Lentz
Players: 8

1. Howard Lalicker (48, VK x 1)
2. Bryan Rider (23, VK x 1)
3. Tom Lentz (9.5, VK x 1)
3. Wesley Twitchell (9.5, VK x 1)
5. Edgar Lincoln (4)
6. Darin Fredericks (2)
6. Heather Hartman (2)
6. Patrick Potter (2)
 
 

CENTRAL ARKANSAS RACING AND DUELING SOCIETY

Forum: Autoduelist's Haven <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/carwars2>
From: Lauren
Date: Wed Jan 1, 2003  7:36 pm
Subject: Central Arkansas Racing and Dueling Society

Greetings,

Just wanted everyone to know that a new Car Wars group CARDS (Central Arkansas Racing and Dueling Society) is currently being formed in the greater Little Rock area. Anyone in the area wanting to game with us is more than welcome. Please get in contact with me or e-mail the group. Thanks.

Lauren Crow
CARDS Secretary