built to be driven


Babs was the land speed record car built and driven by John Parry-Thomas. It was powered by a 27-litre Liberty aero-engine.

Babs began as ‘Chitty 4’, one of Count Louis Zborowski’s series of aero-engined cars named 'Chitty Bang Bang’. As it was built at Zborowski’s estate of Higham Park near Canterbury, it was also known as the Higham Special.

Parry-Thomas rechristened the car Babs and rebuilt it with four Zenith carburettors and his own design of pistons. In April 1926, Parry-Thomas used the car to break the land speed record at 171.02 mph (273.6 km/h).

During a later record attempt at Pendine Sands, Wales on 3 March 1927, the car went out of control at speeds in excess of 100 mph. The car rolled over and Thomas was killed. Following the inquest into Thomas’s death, Babs was buried in the sand dunes at Pendine.

In 1969, After 40 years, the car was exhumed and restored to running order over several years by Owen Wyn Owen.


The Fairly OddParents premiered 15 years ago today! 

Along with SpongeBob SquarePants, Butch Hartman and F.O.P. built a bridge between the Klasky-Csupo years at Nick and our creator-driven present day. It’s our second-longest running Nicktoon (141 episodes and counting) and including its days in Oh Yeah! Cartoons, the show has now been a part of Nick Animation for over 70% of our existence!

Happy birthday to Cosmo, Wanda, Timmy, Vicky, Mr. and Mrs. Turner, Mr. Crocker, Poof, Sparky, Chloe, and the entire Dimmsdale crew!!!

Neature. That's Pretty Neat.

Not far from the center sits a moxos, one of many that give this region it’s nickname, Llano de Los Moxos. Or, land of the mysteriously raised mounds and interconnected pathways. It is debatable as to whether most of these mounds were built up over time though natural processes driven by the continual flooding and drying of the land, or if they were built by a historic civilization. Some archeologists are not at all convinced people constructed these mounds. Some, maybe, but not all. Some archeologists have dedicated their careers to exploring them. But that a mysterious, virtually unknown civilization built at least a portion of these mounds and pathways is irrefutable. Thousands of sherds of pottery have been found in excavations of some of the larger mounds in northeast Beni. They molded these refugia up from the flood waters over time by adding dirt and simultaneously burying their garbage beneath them. Additionally, the symmetry of the mounds and elevated pathways are so straight and uniform that it would indicate human engineering rather than some random process of nature. Whoever these clever, hard working earth-movers were, having probably migrated from the Andes, they clearly brought with them the determination one might attribute to the Incans. The Incans are famous for having built jaw-dropping temples almost beyond belief for that ancient time. Yes, they probably deserve that fame. But if the temples hadn’t survived and there was no written evidence of the culture, would we believe an ancient society could organize in such a way that is necessary to build these places? Similarly goes the debate surrounding the Moxos. The people of the Moxos moved so much earth into circular mounds and arrow-straight pathways packed so solidly that they lasted for eons of rainy seasons, yet their dusty moxos are not a tourist destination. Their society’s existence still debated. Their constructions were created long enough ago that no spoken or written history of their existence has survived to present day, a great mystery! Yet this history isn’t speculated about in documentaries or published on the cover of National Geographic. All told, it could be argued the people of the Moxos are an even greater mystery than the Incans. Regardless of what archeologists think or you or I think, it is a mystery to why these people seemed determined to set up shop in the tropical savanna of the Beni in the first place. The Llanos de Moxos is an interesting choice for settling because the soil here is thin and acidic and so not well suited for agriculture or grazing. Half the year the savanna stands in flood water and the other half it is parched by drought. Perhaps the environment did get the best of them, or perhaps they shared the curse of the Incans, destined for extinction, because they vanished with no clue as to where they went. The vast networks of mounds they left behind are suitable for growth of dry-loving plant species and animals that can’t find root elsewhere in the flooded waste, so they did leave behind some legacy. One that forever altered the ecology of the Beni. Or not. Therefore, I am not altogether positive, looking at this very small but majestic mound, who to give credit to. I see how maybe one family could have lived on it, or grown one small garden. It’s perfectly oval, maybe 50 ft long and 30 ft wide, and surrounded by the moat, then a perfectly proportioned raised walkway rings the moat, which is where I stood. Just to see this concentric ring pattern from the air would convince one of its artificiality. I must say I was convinced seeing it from the ground. Having just happened across it in the jungle alone, unexpectedly, glimpsing it first through a break in the trees, my orientation adjusting from wilderness to ancient civilization in a blink of time, it almost took my breath away. The sudden knowledge that where I stood. Someone. Lived. Here. Built. This. The island I saw all overgrown, with dramatic, giant palms splayed out all directions, bowing gently over the moat, had a history and was someone else’s long ago past. This place had a secret purpose I would never understand. I instantly felt insecure like I was unwelcome and being watched all at once. And I was. A startled capybara shriek-barked like I didn’t know they did and belly-flopped into the pond. I think I was the more startled one. I walked around the circular raised path, amazed at its circular form and how high it elevated me above the surrounding forest floor. I had been walking along a straight portion of the path before reaching the island for the past 10 minutes without realizing it. It was by and away the easiest way to travel through the jungle. High and dry. So to speak. I looked for maybe a walkway leading directly onto the island. Shouldn’t they have wanted a way to get onto the island and stay dry? Maybe boats. Two more capybaras followed the first into the pond. SHRIEK-BARK! SPLOSHK! BARK-SHRIEK! SKLAPSH! I’m not kidding, it’s very startling to startle a capybara. In the quiet of the jungle especially. Why was it so eerily quiet? I looked around for pot shards but I didn’t find anything. Anything like that was probably washed into the very deep moat that surrounds the mound. I tested it’s depth with a stick. Very deep. Caiman deep. No thank you. In the end I would find no walkway, no pot shards, and no evidence an ancient family actually build this place, except for a feeling. It may have been dug by the landowner’s baco in 1983, to drain the area or as an overflow to the small lagoon several hundred feet to the west, but what do I know. It was an incredible place to experience. I have to return there to search the numerous Motacu palms for their fruit, but also I have to return to bask in the ancient hum that vibrates around the place. A museum without museum glass to separate the past from the present. Until my next visit, the island belongs only to the capybara tribe. I counted four, so they’ve got that going for them which is nice.

If there’s ever a Fallout MMO game, I think it should avoid the trappings of World of Warcraft and model itself more after EVE Online, with player-run factions, player built settlements and player-driven war and drama being the main focus of the game.

Instead of creating quests and hubs and raids for the players to do, give the players the tools to make their own experience and watch them create a glorious living breathing MMO world all on their own.

Dried and driven and stacked

by Marie Howe

You have decided to live. This is your fifth
day living. Hard to sleep. Harder to eat,

the food thick on your tongue, as I watch you,
my own mouth moving.

Is this how they felt after the flood? The floor
a mess, the garden ruined,

the animals insufferable, cooped up so long?
So much work to be done.

The sodden dresses. Houses to be built.
Wood to be dried and driven and stacked. Nails!

The muddy roses. So much muck about. Hard walking.
And still a steady drizzle,

the sun like a morning moon, and all of them grumpy
and looking at each other in that new way.

We walk together, slowly, on this your fifth day
and you, occasionally, glimmer with a light

I’ve never seen before. It frightens me,
this new muscle in you, flexing.

I had the crutches ready. The soup simmering.
But now it is as we thought.

Can we endure it, the rain finally stopped?

“ Come at me scrub lord! I’m ripped! “

But she wasn’t. She was a below average height hamster with no stamina and zero physical ability to get in a fight. Although she was actually a very strong celestial being, she couldn’t even tap into her abilities because she was too self centered to practice. 

By no means should she even be talking to the well built male in such a way. 

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See Dr. Sahin’s Wondrous Spore-Driven Evaporation Engine

It sounds like a steampunk fantasy, but it is, in fact, a real thing. 

Columbia University bioengineers have built a number of working engines powered by water evaporation and contracting and expanding bacterial spores. The machines represent the first time the humidity that naturally rises from evaporating water has been used as a fuel source.

Biophysicist Ozgur Sahin and his colleagues built evaporation-driven devices that enabled a miniature car to move, a mill to spin, weight to be lifted and an oscillatory engine to power LEDs.

The work is actually a continuation of research we reported on in 2014 to generate electricity and make robot muscles from the force of hydrating and dehydrating microbial spores. But where that study showed only rudimentary lengths of polymer film coated with the spores flexing when in contact with water vapor, the group has now created working machinery using the phenomenon. Learn more and see a video below.

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Turn It All Around

Blaine’s life is turned upside down when a move forces him to leave the safe bubble he’s built for himself at Dalton Academy after being driven away from public school due to all the bullying. But things seem to start looking up when he meets Kurt, a recent graduate from his new school, and his friend Elliott through an LGBT* group in Columbus. With the help of his friends being open about himself doesn’t feel quite as daunting anymore.

Read on AO3

Written for the Blaine Anderson Big Bang 2015

Author: @lalalenii

Artist: @gleekmom

Rating: PG-13

Word Count: ~18,000

a/n:  Big big thanks to Anna, who helped letting this idea take shape and come to live. Thank you and´all my love to Abbi @daltoneering the best beta(bean) I could ever ask for, without you I would still be stuck writing that one scene. And of course, my wonderful artist gleekmom, thank you for visualizing something I didn’t even think of.  Thanks to Pace and Anna for hosting this, allowing so many amazing people to share their talent. Thank you to Amanda, Clou, Yas and everyone on twitter who helped with little tidbits and background information.

Thanks to the composers of the The Flash soundtrack because it makes badass background noise for writing. Thanks to the writers, creators and actors of glee who provided us with such lovely characters that still are a part of our daily lives even a year after the show ended.

And last but not least, thank you to my readers, because a year ago I never could have imagined participating in something like this.


The Mark Twain is a working reproduction of the historic vessels that ferried people up and down the mighty Mississippi. An actual working steam engine converts the water from the Rivers of America into steam that in turn powers the large paddle that propels the boat.

Walt Disney named the Mark Twain after the pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens. One of America’s greatest writers and Walt’s personal hero, Clemens was a riverboat pilot as a young man. That experience inspired his pen name: “mark twain” is a riverboat term that means a vessel is at a safe depth.

man of a great mind,
you were trapped within your own creation,
a creator of your own prison,
ruled by a separate jailor.

you built yourself a cell,
then you made it too complicated,
too self-driven like a new entity,
to ever escape from.

miraculous inventor,
master creator with the hard-working hands,
you built yourself your own trouble to be locked inside,
and i have done the same.

—  we lock ourselves in our own prisons; l.m.

do you know what my favourite part of Too Far was? learning that peridot is incredibly socially intelligent

the show so far has built this perception of the homeworld gems as logic-driven, cold, dangerous, violent, unable to value life (and categorising some life as lesser), and largely motivated by a force/fear dynamic. peridot backing away from the destabiliser was taken to mean that homeworld gems are forcibly kept in line. rebecca sugar’s interviews have indicated that the crystal gems live in ways homeworld doesn’t support. it has, ultimately, always appeared incredibly isolating for the homeworld gems. it has always seemed they differ from the crystal gems most in that they don’t care, for each other or for other life. steven vocalises this way back in season one when he wonders if he can show peridot the nice things on earth and she’ll like it and won’t hurt it.

and yet for all peridot’s alieness we have slowly, through spending time with her, been getting to see that there is much more to it than that. yes she gets afraid. yes she looks for weapons and treats the crystal gems as a threat. from her point of view that makes sense. having seen what the crystal gems keep in their basement, that makes soooo much sense.

but while peridot has a strong sense of class she also has a very strong sense of self-worth. part of that is arrogance based on her false ideas of garnet and pearl’s inherent inferiority. but there’s also steven and amethyst to consider. amethyst, who we now know she considers an equal at the very least. so it’s not simply a positional sense of self-worth, based on who’s around. she believes in her own value. and she craves recognition and acknowledgement of it. back to the barn’s ‘praise me!!’ might have been a neat zim shout-out, but it was followed up this week with her pandering to amethyst for attention because praise is what peridot actually wants. she is used to getting told she’s done well when she’s done well.

peridot - and I love this - peridot has a sense of humour. not a ‘I love to watch others hurt’ aloof sense of humour. a sense of humour that is just as able to be self-deprecating, in order to get a laugh from others. she wants amethyst to respond positively to her, and so when talking about the hammer she deliberately acts in a way that she knows is silly, so that she can then join in on the enjoyment of said silliness. by sacrificing her individual dignity she strengthens her social bonds. do you know how important that is? do you know how important for social cohesion that is? it fails, but that’s because peridot is still learning and doesn’t know the cues, so she isn’t aware that she’s hurt amethyst at that point. but she is adapting at a remarkable rate and it doesn’t take long for her to turn around on that either.

and peridot’s adaptability is key. we know that she’s frustrated throughout the episode that no-one is giving her the responses that she expects. there is so much dissonance between how the crystal gems have adapted to earth and how homeworld culture has evolved. and it’s easy to pass that off as inherent differences that can’t be bridged, but that’s why I love this writing and that’s why I love peridot’s social intelligence. because while she may mistep, she manages to identify the norms, identify what will get her positive feedback, and she adjusts to it.

and of course the most important way she adjusts, as endearing and awkward as it may be, is in her apology to amethyst at the end. that’s not just remarkable that’s amazing. she understands the problem, reflects on her position and is willing to change it. she then apologises cleanly and clearly (if stiffly.) that’s more consideration and direct communication of her feelings than the crystal gems have managed without some kind of crisis forcing their hands.

now I’m not saying peridot is better, that’s not the point. she clearly has a lot to learn. when she says at the end that she ‘feels big’ it’s obviously a new feeling for her. and if she wasn’t going to learn from her time with the crystal gems i don’t think the crewniverse would have written this arc.

but i think that underestimating peridot leaves room to underestimate homeworld in general. underlying peridot’s behaviour we can see someone who responds positively to those who are kind to her, who seeks out and expects praise and positive interactions from those she views as her equals and superiors, who understands how a social unit functions and adapts her own behaviour to fit into it, and who both enjoys laughter and happiness and will share it even at her own expense. who will put social enjoyment over rigid dignity.

i’m excited by this, and i’m excited by what it says about where the crewniverse is taking us. villains aren’t interesting if they’re boring. having rounded out, real and complicated antagonists is what is going to make the upcoming arcs even greater than we could expect. and having homeworld gems who experience a default of social happiness as well as or instead of fear is going to be one really interesting setback to overcome.


The Jaguar Project 7 Returns to Shelsley Walsh

Jaguar’s F-Type Project 7 is set to return to Shelsley Walsh in Worcestershire, England, home of the Shelsley Walsh Speed Hill Climb, this Sunday (July 19th) as part of The Midland Automobile Club’s Jaguar Celebrations.

The Project 7 concept car was filmed at Shelsley Walsh before its unveiling at the Goodwood Festival Of Speed in 2013. This fastest and most powerful production Jaguar ever built, will be back in action on the hill driven by one of Jaguar’s professional drivers on Sunday.

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722 | Number made fammous by Sterling Moss in his 300 SLR and the resurgence of the Silver Arrow

1955 Mercedes Benz 300 SLR MM | W196S | Sport-Leicht Rennsport | Super-Light Racing | Mille Miglia | 2.5L 8 cyl 310 bhp | Top Speed 300 kph 186 mph | Sports Racing Car used in the World Sportscar Championship | One of the best racing cars of its time | Only 9 units were ever built

No 722 300SLR driven by Sterling Moss won the 1955 Mille Miglia race while Juan Manuel Fangio took 2nd place | The SLRs took 1st and 2nd place in the Tourist Trophy at Dundrod and at the Targa Florio in Sicily | Due to points gained the races, the 300SLR won the 1955 World Sportscar Championship for Mercedes

While Fangio in a 300SLR was leading the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans, one of the other 300SLRs driven by Pierre Levegh crashed, killing 82 and injuring more than 100 spectators | That remains the
highest-fatality accident in motorsport history

Unfortunately, the racing career of the 300SLR was prematurely ended and its full potential as a Race Car was never realized, when Mercedes, due to the incident at Le Mans, withdrew from Motorsport until the mid-1980