As Longtime Readers know well, I absolutely hate the modern (circa 1980?) trend of using wind tunnels to design cars.  Because aerodynamics have unbreakable rules, it stands to reason that if wind tunnels are the sine qua non of car design, then eventually all cars will look the same.

And so it is:

It’s not incredible that so many cars look so similar. It’s incredible that cars look different at all.

Well, they don’t  look different, not at all.

And it gets up my nose, because it’s all part of the Great Global Homogeneity Conspiracy.  (Okay, there is no conspiracy;  people form naturally into herds of one kind or another, so no conspiracy is really needed.)

All you need is for Government (the ultimate homogenizer) to mandate that all an auto manufacturer’s car models combined can only do x, and the rest is history.  In the case of the above, x is emissions, where Gummint has imposed its nonsensical CAFE restrictions (To Save Our Planet And Make The World A Better Place For Our Childrennnn!!!), so the manufacturers have to make cars as sleek as possible, lower wind resistance / drag, and because it’s therefore easier to lower fuel consumption by making cars teardrop-shaped, bring in the Almighty Wind Tunnel.

Here’s the part of the linked article which really gets up my nose:

Suzy Cody, GM’s head of vehicle performance for aerodynamics, says this technology is the bridge between design and engineering. “Look,” she says, “it doesn’t matter how great your aerodynamics are if only ten people buy the car. Design matters. And active aero helps enable design.” But what if, I posit, there’s a propulsion breakthrough? Right now, aerodynamics are tied to miles per gallon and electric range. What if we had batteries that were good for 600 miles of range and charged in ten minutes? Could we stop worrying about every crease in the bodywork? Could we just give those designers the flared fenders and not sweat it? In other words, would aero cease to be such a big deal? Cody, unsurprisingly, seemed aghast that I would suggest such a thing. “Even if you had a battery like that, good aero gives you other options. You could have a smaller battery, make the car cheaper, give it more passenger space, make it quieter. Aero will always be important.”

Silly me.  And here I was, thinking that for any manufacturer, what the customer wants would be more important, but no.  We have to let the Dilberts create the products — and when Engineering controls Marketing, you get bullshit statements like the above, and stupid shit like this:

“We can affect aero maybe 10 percent one way or the other—if the coefficient of drag is .30, maybe we can get it down to .27,” Karbon says. “And that might represent three-tenths of a mile per gallon in fuel economy, depending on the vehicle.”

Only an engineer (or a total dork, some overlap) can get excited by this.  It’s the same as the wankers who get rigid erections because their supercar beats a competitor to 60mph by 0.1 seconds, paying little heed that this means nothing, absolute nada in the real world (as does that breathtaking 0.3mpg saving in fuel consumption).

This obsession with aerodynamic perfection means that instead of getting great-looking cars like this:

…we get homo-cars [sic]  that look like this:

I know, I know;  y’all are going to mock me for loving old stuff more than the new stuff — Mr. Free Market in particular is going to be snorting into his whisky glass when he reads this — but the problem with the New Stuff (as manifested by the Toyota Prius above) is that it all looks the same.  Note, from the same manufacturer, the Yaris:

Or, changing brands from Toyota to Nissan, this:

…or even VW, once the owner of the most iconic of car shapes:

No.  Just… no.  It’s small wonder that if you said to me: “Kim, you have to buy a small car, and you could have any car you like,” there would be no doubt what I’d get:

Not aerodynamic, too small, completely pointless and with absolutely no safety features whatsoever.  It’s my (over-) reaction to enforced homogenization.  (And most annoyingly to the enviro-weenies, the Moke gets close to 50mpg.  So there.)

But here’s the thing:  I bet I could pull more chicks with the Mini-Moke than with any of the above-pictured sleek and efficient econoboxes.

And I’m not even interested in pulling chicks.  But you know what kind of chicks would prefer the Moke?  This  kind:

…while everyone knows what kind of chick gets pulled by a Prius:

Screw conformity, the hell with efficiency, and fuck aerodynamics:  I want a car that’s FUN and looks either splendid (like the Morgan Plus 4 at the top), eclectic (like the Moke), impressive (1954 Mercedes 300 SC), or flat-out gorgeous (hello, E-type).  No doubt I’ll soon be marked as an undesirable and hauled off to the gulag  for re-education just because when it comes to cars, I choose character and beauty over efficiency.

Just wait till they hear my opinion of those “efficient” automatic transmissions…

Equal Treatment

I have this opinion that if women are to be treated exactly the same as men, then when they fuck up bigly, their names should be reported in the news rather than covered up.

Or else, in the above case, we’d all think that the Navy is afraid that the ongoing feminization of their force may be compromised.  But perhaps I’m being too cynical.

Random Thought

Run with me on this one.

Suppose that there were alien life forms out somewhere in the universe, and that they sent out exploratory missions to study life on other planets.  Then they came to our planet, somehow managing to evade all our oh-so sophisticated tracking systems and such, and landed here, where the very first person they encountered was:

There are all sorts of reactions one could imagine, on being faced with Keef for the first time:

  1. Abject terror (“Aaiiiieeee!  Run from the monster!”)
  2. Profound admiration (“Fuck me!  How do these creatures survive with all that toxic shit in their systems?”)
  3. Self-doubt (“Did we colonize this planet already, and just forget about it?”)

Feel free to add your suggestions in Comments.

(Keith’s reaction on seeing the aliens:  “I have got to get me some more of that shit!”)

5 Worst Places To Spend The Night

In ascending order of horrible:

  • with “Uncle” Gavin
  • in a C-47 Dakota en route to an active duty deployment
  • any motel room on U.S. 30 in Illinois (don’t ask me how I know this)
  • in a hotel toilet stall after getting mindless drunk (see above)
  • in a prison cell, with D’Marcus Washington as a cellmate

…and a bonus for my Brit Readers:

  • Alan Carr’s bedroom.

Your suggestions in Comments… (and “in my ex-wife’s bed” doesn’t count).

Fucking Weasels

My loathing for airlines has been well documented on these pages (couldn’t be bothered to find the links, you’ll just have to take my word for it), but even my cynicism about their foul underhandedness was insufficient to prevent a full-blown RCOB when I read this little tale:

British Airways has been accused of leaving customers high and dry after cancelling thousands of flights before hiking up their prices.
Passengers snapped up bargain fares earlier this year after tickets to Dubai and Tel Aviv were being sold for as low as £167.
But the airline claims the cheap offers were a mistake and sensationally cancelled all tickets on Friday – prompting fury among customers.

“Mistake”… yeah, I bet it was, you godless cocksuckers.  Note the unapologetic “fuck you” statement at the end:

‘Errors like this are exceptionally rare, and if they do occur, under contract law, there is no binding contract between the parties.’

I will never forget how BA fucked me when the family flew to India many years ago.  We flew into London, spent the night out near Oxford, then flew out the next day to Bangalore.  Our checked luggage was weighed at Heathrow, and was not overweight (as I recall, the limit was about 50lbs per bag — 22kg?).

Imagine my surprise when I checked in at Bangalore Airport (itself a fucking nightmare) for the return journey, only to find that BA’s “allowable” weight for the return trip had shrunk to 40lbs.  The choice was to pay the (exorbitant) weight penalty, or call The Mrs. to catch a cab to the airport to fetch the stuff that constituted the excess.  (She was staying on for a week to finish her training gig.)  Of course, option #2 was never going to happen because in Bangalore’s notorious traffic, it would have taken her two hours to get to the airport, and our flight was leaving in one hour.  So I paid — I forget how much, but $400 per suitcase (three) seems to come to mind.  And when I complained, I was simply told to fuck off and die that I should have read the small print in the ticket “contract” — and when I did, I found that the smaller return allowance was indeed noted — on page 12, in tiny print.

I have been angry with airlines on many occasions, but nothing beat my ire at BfuckingA on that night, and I swore never to fly them again.  I managed to keep that promise for many years, but last year I was forced to fly with them (twice!) because I had no choice.

No doubt I’ll have to use these amoral fucks again in the future, but I am going to be extremely wary.

Considering that all airlines nowadays seem to treat us oh-so-inconvenient passengers not as human beings but as self-propelled cargo, it seems as though we have little choice in the matter.

A pox on all of them.