October 1st, 2008

straight to hell

Bill Maher on The Daily Show.

I have to be honest, despite the fact that I often agree with him, I still find Bill Maher annoying. That said, I think he and John Stuart did a great show last night. I caught this live, but it's worth watching if you missed it:



Part 2 is a little less in your face (and I feel it's also funnier), so if you're religious you might want to watch that one first.

VW wins - I've just found a car I would buy instead of another Civic.

Volkswagen is moving right along with its plan to put a plug-in hybrid on the road by 2011, road-testing a "Twin Drive" Golf that goes 30 miles on lithium-ion battery power alone. The engine in VW's Twin Drive system actually drives the wheels, whereas the engine in the Volt only charges the battery as it approaches depletion. Be that as it may, the plug-in Golf runs on electricity alone to about 30 mph, at which point the engine takes over, according to the engineers who told Motor Trend about the system.

Twin Drive ditches the transmission, a move that helps compensate for the weight of the electric motor and the 350-pound Sanyo battery pack mounted under the trunk. The electric motor provides sufficient torque to get the car moving up to 30 mph, at which point the engine takes over with a single gear ratio roughly equivalent to top gear in a conventional car. The electric motor also provides additional oomph for hard acceleration. Regenerative braking helps keep the 12 kWh battery charged, and there's an "e-mode" for tooling around town under battery power alone. With no transmission, reverse gear is handled by the electric motor, according to Motor Trend.