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We have -
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The E.Newspaper
By Dr. Howdy, Ph.D.
A.P.E., N.U.T.

Check Out Comments -
Humor + Letters From Readers
Add Something Yourself



Hey Y'all,

I'm going to be out of town Monday - Wednesday.
Wave if you pass me on the interstate.

'Til Then,
Dr. Howdy

P.S. Do you like my new car I purchased with
my tax return???

P.S.S. Read comments & archives for additional
humor & inspiration (if you happen to need some)
while I'm gone...

A fellow took a UNC student to the movies. During the pre-
views, she asked him if he would go and buy her some M & M's.

When he returned with her candy, she opened the bag, picked
out all the brown ones and threw them away.

"What did you do that for?" he asked her.

"I'm allergic to chocolate!" she replied.
Dear Howdy,
Imagine what it would be like if TV actually were good.
It would be the end of everything we know.
Marvin M.
Q: How can you tell if a UNC* grad is Working in your Office?
A: The monitor is up on blocks.
Hot car: Bugatti's 254 mph technological wonder

Richard Feast
New York Times
Dec. 27, 2005 07:55 AM

MOLSHEIM, France - Many people figured that Volkswagen lost touch with its customer base in 2003 when it introduced the Phaeton, a luxury sedan perfectly wonderful in almost every way save for a price tag that veered uncomfortably close to six figures.

What, then, will the skeptics make of the Bugatti Veyron 16.4, the fastest, most powerful and - no surprise - most expensive production car in the world? Bugatti is owned by VW, and the Veyron's engine is related, if distantly, to the W-8 power plant available in the last-generation Passat.

Not to worry; the Veyron's credentials speak for themselves. A 1,001-horsepower two-seater that blasts to 60 miles an hour in 2.5 seconds - and continues pulling all the way to 254 mph - the car is a sheer technological wonder.

Still, nothing prepares the newcomer for the reality behind the bald performance statistics. The Veyron is blisteringly, and effortlessly, fast. Other vehicles on the road appear to stop as the Veyron whooshes past with the ease of a Formula One car. It is a sobering realization that the grand prix racer is not as fast as a Veyron.

Even stationary, the Veyron looks like a car that takes no prisoners. Slightly less than 176 inches long (no longer than a Kia Spectra) and almost 79 inches wide, it is surprisingly compact. Most of the space inside seems to be occupied by an enormous 16-cylinder engine, a seven-speed transaxle and an all-wheel-drive system. Ten radiators are required to disperse all the heat the Veyron's mechanical systems generate.

The car's two-tone paint, horseshoe-shape grille and center dashboard panel of engine-turned aluminum reach back to Bugatti's design heritage. The interior is exquisite; details like vents and door pulls are made of machined and polished aluminum.

Overall, the car represents an extraordinary blend of opulence and power. As luxurious as a Maybach, the Veyron provides a level of comfort far beyond that of exotic quasi racers like the Ferrari Enzo and Porsche Carrera GT, neither of which can match its acceleration, top speed or braking.

Thomas Bscher, president of Bugatti Automobiles, is just as proud of the car's refined manners. "This car can be driven by anyone," he said, a statement clearly begging to be substantiated.

The mighty motor rumbles to life at the touch of the starter button. Despite its placement just a few inches behind the driver's shoulders, the engine produces a muted growl that is music to the enthusiast.

Venturing onto the highways here, near Bugatti's headquarters in the Alsace region of France, the car's rarity and value generate considerable apprehension. Embarrassment, injury, a big repair bill or worse await a driver who does not show proper respect.

The automated seven-speed transmission shifts gears so seamlessly that the only clue is a change in the engine note. The car's unfamiliarity erodes with the miles; speed simultaneously increases. It seems entirely natural to shift using the gearshift paddles mounted on the steering wheel.

The ride over poor surfaces is amazing for such a taut high-performance car. The steering is so precise that the Veyron feels almost as nimble as a Miata.

It would be nice to relate that this reporter's driving skills are capable of wringing the maximum from the Veyron. They are not, but they were enough to determine that at really high speeds the car is quiet, comfortable, refined - and as easy to drive as Bscher says. The car's everyday top speed of 234 mph is enough to make it a king of the road. To be the performance emperor, though, the driver must resort to a second ignition key to the left of his seat.

The key functions only when the vehicle is at a stop. A checklist then establishes whether the car - and its driver - are ready to go for the maximum speed beyond 250 mph. If all systems are go, the rear spoiler retracts, the front air diffusers close and the ground clearance, normally 4.9 inches, drops to 2.6 inches.

To appreciate some of the Veyron's performance extremes, ride along with Pierre-Henri Raphanel, a former professional racer who demonstrates the car to potential buyers.

Raphanel looks relaxed as he blasts the Veyron to almost 180 mph. Other traffic and roadside objects appear and vanish in a blurred, real-life re-enactment of a computer game before he eases off.

When the freeway empties, Raphanel demonstrates the Veyron's brakes. The car's speed simply vanishes - braking to a stop from 250 mph takes less than 10 seconds, he said - but for the passenger, there is an equally astonishing experience: the driver is holding both hands in the air and wearing a big grin. The car has stopped in a straight line with no corrections at the steering wheel. If anything, the giant carbon-ceramic brakes and the rear air brake are more impressive than the car's acceleration.

Everything about the Veyron is shaped by superlatives, but even Bscher acknowledges, "Nobody needs a car like this."

Indeed, who could argue that it isn't a frivolous liability? On what roads can it be tested, given that it reaches speeds in excess of those achieved in qualifying laps for the Indianapolis 500? When the Veyron was recorded at 407 kilometers an hour (254 mph), it was on a test track in Germany.

How relaxed would an owner be about leaving a Veyron in a parking structure for a couple of hours? How anxious would he be handing the ignition key to a young parking valet?

The fuel economy - if that is the right word - is 9 mpg in the city and 18 highway, according to preliminary EPA estimates. Don't even think about mileage during more spirited driving: at maximum speed, the car would theoretically run out of fuel in 12 minutes.

A giant automotive achievement, the Veyron owes its existence to Ferdinand Piech, who bought rights to the fabled Bugatti name in 1998, when he was chairman of Volkswagen, with the goal of building the ultimate supercar.

Bringing it to market required an unwavering commitment by Piech, a man with a reputation as a brilliant engineer, though many have questioned his grasp on commercial reality.

Veyron's mighty 8-liter, 16-cylinder power plant was created by joining two W-8 engines similar to those used in the Volkswagen Passat. With four turbochargers, the engine produces 1,001 horsepower and enough torque (922 pound-feet) to uproot a redwood. The engine drives all four wheels via a seven-speed automated manual gearbox.

Despite extensive use of carbon fiber and aluminum, the Veyron is, at 4,162 pounds, quite heavy. Even so, the car is capable of staggering acceleration: from zero to 125 mph in 7.3 seconds and to 250 in 55.6 seconds, according to Bugatti.

The price, for those indiscreet enough to ask, is $1.2 million in the United States, before taxes.

Theoretically, several of Volkswagen's rivals could create a Veyron alternative; some could even afford to. Bscher says the project cost no more than some automakers spend each year on Formula One racing - perhaps $400 million. In today's harsh business environment, though, automakers face challenges that make it unlikely they would allocate the technical and financial resources to one-up the Veyron.

Creating cars for plutocrats was a curious strategy for the manufacturer of the People's Car. The results, nevertheless, are now available to the handful of buyers with the necessary wherewithal.
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Verse of the Day

* * * Four important things to KNOW: #1) For ALL (Americans, Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Hindus, Buddhist, Asians, Presbyterians, Europeans, Baptist, Brazilians, Mormons, Methodist, French, etc.) have sinned & fall short of the glory of God. #2) For the wages of above (see #1) are DEATH (Hell, eternal separation from God, & damnation) but the Gift (free & at no charge to you) of God (Creator, Jehovah, & Trinity) is Eternal Life (Heaven) through (in union with) Jesus Christ (God, Lord, 2nd Person of The Trinity, Messiah, Prince of Peace & Savior of the World). #3) For God so greatly loved & dearly prized the world (Americans, Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Hindus, Buddhist, Asians, Presbyterians, Europeans, Baptist, Brazilians, Mormons, Methodist, French, etc.) that He even gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, that whosoever (anyone, anywhere, anytime - while still living) believes (trust in, relies on, clings to, depends completely on) Him shall have eternal (everlasting) life (heaven). #4) Jesus said: "I am THE WAY, THE TRUTH, & THE LIFE. No one (male/female - American, Muslim, Jew, Catholic, Hindu, Buddhist, Asian, Presbyterian, European, Baptist, Brazilian, Mormons, Methodist, French, etc. ) comes (arrives) to the Father (with GOD in Heaven) EXCEPT BY (through) ME (no other name). *** This wonderful loving GOD gives you the choice - - - (Rev. 3:20) {Please note that church membership, baptism, doing good things, etc. are not requirements for becoming a Christian - however they are great afterwards!!!} *** Jesus said, "Wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction (Hell, damnation, eternal punishment), and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life (Heaven, eternal happiness, forever with God), and only a few find it.

D I S C L A I M E R If someone should ask if it's legal to download songs
found on various non-commercial sites, such as this one.

Well, I'm neither a lawyer nor a technician,
and I've begun to wonder if it was legal for
us to tape music off the radio back when
tape recorders first came into being.

And were we committing a crime when we recorded
a movie shown on TV with our VCRs? And was it
really legal to buy a dual-deck recorder for the
express purpose of duplicating cassettes?

My answer to all of the above is, "I don't know."

Nonetheless, here is a formal statement in
some kind of legalize that appears to apply
to this kind of file availability:

The songs on this site are copyrighted by their respective artists and are placed here
for evaluation purposes only. No profits or sales are made on this site from their use.

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