The Elecktronick Tyger Roares
04 February 2007
  Don't Raise the Bridge, Lower the River!
Way way back when Detroit was just beginning to overcome its bad case of “Not invented Here” in the matter of disc brakes, discs were first fitted as an extra-cost option on luxury cars.

And Ford began getting a much higher-than-normal incidence of total brake failures on its disc-equipped Lincolns; especially odd in that virtually all the systems that failed (if they survived the subsequent festivities intact) were perfectly normally functional when tested later.

Finally, they realised that people driving Lincolns wth that big ol’ power brake pedal were doing what they always did, using the brake pedal as a foot rest.

With drum brakes, that doesn’t matter (much) because it takes a firm specific pressure on the brake pedal (even with typical Detroit hair-trigger power brakes of the period) to bring the brakes into play, and neither the srums nor the shoes have a direct connection to feed heat into the brake lines.

But with disc brakes, the slightest pressure on the pedal can cause the pads to move in just enough to touch the discs lightly. And disc brake pads have a direct, low-resistance thermal path straight into the brake lines. And disc brakes get hot – red hot in racing and aircraft applications; almost that hot in civilian car applications.

So the heat from the pads was causing the brake fluid to literally boil in the lines, introducing vapor that rendered the brakes non-functional.

And, of course, tested later, after they cooled, they operated pretty much normally.

So, what did Ford do? Did they move the pedal to discourage people from using it for a foot rest? Did they reduce the sensitivity of the brake servos (or put some sort of positive-action requirement, like the slack in a gun’s trigger) to kep it from happening?

Did they, courageously and sellessly, set out to convince their richest customers that they were operating their cars improperly and in violation of what the Owner’s Manual said?

No, they specified a brake fluid with a higher boiling point.

Which brings us to this little tidbit from New Jersey:

From Huffington Post:

Student Tapes Teacher's Sermon, School Says 'No More Taping'

Over at Blue Jersey, we revisit the story of a Kearny high school teacher, David Paszkiewicz, who told his students that 'that evolution and the Big Bang were not scientific, that dinosaurs were aboard Noah's ark,' and "you belong in hell" if you "reject" Christianity. He also singled out a Muslim student to tell her that she is definitely going to hell.

- snip -

In December, the Kearny school board continued to obfuscate who was at fault, silently implicating the young student who had secretly taped Paszkiewicz's classroom sermons for fear officials wouldn't believe him.

- snip -

This morning, the New York Times tells of Kearny's official reaction:

Student's Recording of Teacher's Views Leads to a Ban on Taping

03 February 2007
  This is a test.
Been gone a while, just got back, noticed some changes in the software... 
My interests are broadranging -- comics, music, movies and good ol' science fiction mostly dominate. My Five Most Favouritest Films are (this week) Once Upon A Time in the West, Dark Star, O Lucky Man, Day for Night and Whatever I Watched Recently That Was Good. Currently that's Day for Night.

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Name: mike weber
Location: gainesville, Georgia, United States

Latter fifties, married, out of work (had knee surgery and haven't gotten back to work); my (step) son-in-law is back from Iraq, but a lot of boys are still over there. Support our troops -- throw the Republicans out!

November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / February 2007 / August 2007 /

  • Baby pics; My [step] granddaughter.
  • Experiments in stereo (3D) imaging
  • Cowboy Mouth: Butt-Kickin' New Orleans Rock'n'Roll
  • Fairport Convention -- Pretty much the founders of modern Brit folk-rock
  • The Radio Ranch: Dick ("Chickenman") Orkin's freelance radio production facility
  • Laire of the Elecktronick Tyger -- my Web Page, such as it is. Book, movie, CD and comics reviews
  • My Amazon profile. Read my reviews. Buy things.
  • Long John Baldry: Arguably the most important force in the early days of British Blues.
  • Dark Star (DVD) -- See where George Lucas got some of his ideas.
  • Fallen Angel (TPB) Collects the first 6 (of 20) issues of the DC run.
  • Google News
  • The Nutbar Files:
  • 911: The "True" Story
  • A Typical "Moon Hoax" site
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