Thursday, June 7, 2012

3 Muscle Car Commercials That Screamed Power

The muscle car era saw some of the most inventive advertising in history of the automobile.

This may be hard to believe for some, but there actually was a time when Detroit was the car capital of the world. Mo Town (Detroit) was filled to the brim with creative advertising people given the freedom to create innovating and provocative ways to entice average Joes to get off the couch and buy cool cars.

When it came to muscle cars, the envelope of auto advertising was pushed to the limit. Here is a small taste of some of the best ads of the muscle car era. Are you Dodge material?

This 1970 Dodge Charger 500 commercial asked just that before it was banned. What would be quite funny today simply pushed the limits too far for that era’s consumer. There was no denying however how awesome the Charger really was.

Nothing struck fear on the streets of the 1960’s quite like a Ford Mustang. The 1966 edition was no exception.Featured in one of the era’s best commercials and remembered for one simple question, “Should a single girl buy a 1966 Mustang?”

In 1967 the Chevy Camaro was featured in its first ever car commercial. It had a sticker price of $2,466 for a hardtop coupe and also came as a convertible, but not a fastback like Mustang. Who could resist a car so hot it can emerge from an erupting volcano without a scratch?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Hotter Than Hell Hot Wheels

May, 31 2012

Hotter Than Hell Hot Wheels

What more could a little hot-rodder want?

An event that would change the lives of boys and grown men everywhere was the launch of Mattel’s Hot Wheels toy cars in 1968. These beautifully designed replicas of vintage 1960’s Muscle Cars sported candy-colored paint jobs, “chrome” mag wheels and spot-on body and chassis detailing.

The next time you are at a garage sale you may come across one of these super rare toy cars. If so, you could walk away with the steal of a lifetime.

Why is the 1970 “Mad Maverick” Base Mighty Maverick so rare? All because of the word “Mad” instead of the word “Mighty” on the base.

The  was never released to the public and the reason it is so rare. However, the market was flooded with the “Mighty Maverick” version and the rest is history. There are only a few known in existence and the value is immense. This was one costly mistake.

Nothing says muscle car quite like the 1968 White Enamel Camaro. This was part of the very first “Sweet Sixteen” Hot Wheels that were released in 1968.

No one is sure why, but it was far less popular at the time than the other 14 cars and makes finding one today that much harder.

They sell for around $2,500 a pop and if ever found “mint in the box” then all bets are off.

This is a real beauty. The first release of the Python had “Cheetah” for its name on its metal Hong Kong patent pending base.

Unfortunately the geniuses’ at Mattel forgot to do their homework or they would have known that the name “Cheetah” belonged to GM Executive Bill Thomas and his Corvette powered “Cobra Killer” race car. 

As you can imagine Mr. Thomas was not pleased and the name of the car was quickly changed to Python. There are a few red ones known to be floating around in the $10,000 range.

If you ever find a 1969 Pink Rear-Loading Volkswagen Beach Bomb then you might as well have hit the lottery.

This hot pink little roadster is hands down the most rare and valuable of any Hot Wheel Mattel ever produced. The car is a prototype built in 1969 with the surfboards loaded into the vehicle through the rear window.

The actual released version had the boards slid into a side pod. Only one prototype was ever thought to have been made of this model and in 1999 it sold to an unknown collector for $72,000 dollars.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Taking a Hard Look: 2011 Audi S5

By Aaron Mendelson

Audi has long been focused on dethroning the BMW M3 and its legendary status as the ‘performance king’ of the auto industry and the S5 coupe may just be its best shot yet. Stylistically, the Audi S5 brings a much cleaner look to the table when put next to the airbrushed BMW M3. While the M3 sports multiple bulges and creases, the flowing lines of the S5 really shine in comparison.

Inside all of the interior components are top of the line in terms of look and feel and the option for birch wood trim adds a nice touch to the interior. Potential buyers who love a dark interior will quickly be beaming, as the color of the dashboard, center console, carpets and doors are all black. Although the majority of the interior will always be black, those who like to mix and match will have the option of beige, brown or red leather.

When it’s time to hit the gas pump, buyers need to take their gas budget into consideration before purchasing.  The 354HP 4.2L V8 that has been Audi’s V8 of choice for some time continues with the S5 coupe and has quite a thirst, with an average 18.1 MPG over 800 miles (80% highway). But the downside of a little pain at the pump is easily made up from the rich V8 sound, which is one of the best you will ever hear.

Speaking of which, when the petal hits the metal, it quickly becomes clear that the drive is where the S5 truly shines. Audi’s clutch and shifter action is right on the money: a slightly firm clutch and short shifts. While straight line performance and handling may lag slightly behind M3 standards, the V8 possesses excellent low-end grunt and epic, pucker-free grip.

Looking over the sticker price, Audi’s reputation for competitive pricing does not fail to disappoint. If your main concern is just finding a way to roll off the lot in your spanking new S5 coupe, a skin and bones model begins at $53,650. If your wallet is overflowing with greenbacks, the Prestige model can be had for $59,550, which adds keyless entry and ignition, Bang & Olufson audio system, navigation and the third-generation MMI navigation system. A comparably equipped M3 (keeping in mind the M3 is of course RWD only) would be around 10K more before dealer markup.

Even if the Audi S5 coupe does not achieve its goal of overtaking the M3, which no other car in its class has been able to do, it is still quite a beast in its own right. Having a V8 Coupe with AWD certainly packs quite a punch and should hold you over quite nicely until the long awaited arrival of the S5 3.0T coupe and its hyper charged V6 becomes a reality.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Improving operational efficiency through unified IT communication and data management

    By Aaron Mendelson

Over the last decade, technology innovation has brought the world much closer together and opened up new ways for people to communicate with one another. While these changes have brought new heights in productivity and created a more mobile, 24-7 global world of work, this rapid transformation also created new challenges in today’s business environment. Most organizations today work with fragmented internal communications system comprised of multiple applications from many different vendors. This fragmentation makes it challenging for employees to use the systems and time-consuming for IT departments that must deploy, manage, and update the systems.

Information workers and IT professionals are suffering the consequences of ‘Communications Overload’, as they struggle to manage multiple systems for communications - desktop and mobile phones, e-mail and voicemail and web- and video- conferencing, to name just a few. To foster efficient communication and collaboration within the workforce, organizations need a way to streamline both one-to-one and one-to-many communications, giving employees access to the information they need, when they need it. Companies today have offices, partners, and customers all across the globe. A lack of interaction with customers, partners, and suppliers can result in project delays, increased travel and communications costs, uninformed decision-making, and a loss of productivity for individuals and teams. The end result is increased amounts of pressure to solve problems quickly in order to reduce time-to-market for new products and services, thereby gaining a competitive edge and increasing profits. 

Streamlined and unified communications allows for much more efficient operations for IT and information workers.  Enabling people to find and collaborate with co-workers quickly and easily, from virtually anywhere on a wide range of devices. Communicating directly from the context of your task and contacting the right person using the more effective method increases productivity and reduces “time-to-decision”. Delivering these benefits today in parallel with existing infrastructure, rather than waiting for long, staged rollouts of communication technologies, drives immediate business advantage. Additionally, a software-based communications infrastructure protects against obsolescence as technologies continue to evolve.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Using next generation biosensor technology to better ensure drinking water safety & security

By Aaron Mendelson

Can something as simple as bacteria have a real impact on water safety & security? Well, that depends if all the pieces of the puzzle come together to turn the bacteria into a powerful water monitoring tool. Today, the power of non-pathogenic luminous marine bacteria used as an advanced early warning screening tool for drinking water safety is very much a reality. For Water Utilities and the Food & Beverage Industry, this is lending new insights into how they have been screening for toxic chemicals in the past and the impact this technology will have on the end user. However, the most advanced and technologically sound solutions in the world won’t impact water safety unless they are coupled with an individual or business’ ethical and (arguably more important) financial motivation for ensuring a higher level of water quality.

So how can bacteria-based biosensors make a difference?

The value in bioluminescence as an early warning screening tool for drinking water safety is that the spectrum of toxic chemicals that can be detected is vast and response time is fast. Toxicity is manifested by a change in the intensity of emitted light that can be readily measured via a sensitive luminometer. The real power of the technology centers on proprietary reagents that sensitize the bacteria and stabilize their operating conditions. Luminescence level change reflects degrees of toxicity. The end result is a technological solution that can not only rapidly detect but also immediately discriminate between cationic heavy metals and organics, which is a great value to the water industry.

Take for example a typical brewery. In many cases, breweries’ inlet water source is surface water, such as a nearby river. This poses potential risks for the plant. Upstream contamination should be monitored and measured at the shortest measurement interval possible. Moreover, the recycled water used within the plant for washing bottles could now be continuously monitored to ensure no residual cleaning chemicals find their way to the product. This is where bioluminescence as an early warning screening tool and an ultra-sensitive bio-monitor, such as the one recently developed by CheckLight Ltd. come together. The CheckLight-Online Toxicity Monitor, once utilized, can determine any indication of contamination in as little as 5 minutes.

CheckLight-Online is the new, improved version of Whitewater’s online continuous contamination biomonitor. The re-designed early warning system now provides utility operators with real-time alerts of chemical contamination events at highly sensitive levels – increasing rapid action against harmful public health consequences due to chemical contamination events. CheckLight-Online connects to an inlet water line continuously drawing water samples (at predetermined intervals) into two assay chambers. These samples are benchmarked against a reference water test. One chamber tests for cationic heavy metals and the other for the presence of organic toxicants. The light sensor records the luminescence emitted and compares it to the reference reading. Based on a systematic baseline, the system will alert on any changes in water quality due to toxicity. In order to minimize false alarms, once a toxicity state is detected, CheckLight -Online performs a repeated reading followed by an inlet water sample test. Should the result repeat itself, a toxicity alarm is activated and the suspected sample is drained into the “grab sample container” for further analysis.

The connection that is now being made between the processes and equipment that consume water and the associated financial costs of a toxicity event prevented by bioluminescence technology is a fundamental requirement in order to encourage these industries to add this type of security for the consumer and see widespread change. Once implemented, Water Utilities and the Food & Beverage Industry will begin to take away findings in order to reduce project costs while increasing end user security at the same time.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. Benjamin Franklin
Sunday, March 25, 2012

CheckLight Tox-Spot Catches the Attention of Popular Science Magazine

By Aaron Mendelson

Popular Science Magazine is the world’s largest science and technology magazine and they have been honoring companies for their innovation for the past 24 years. When Popular Science chose CheckLight Tox-Spot as one of the “Best of Whats New 2011” this November, it was an an indication that the powers that be within the water industry cannot continue ignoring the fact that Rapid Water Quality Monitoring is fast becoming a top global priority.

Every year, the editors of Popular Science review thousands of products in search of the top 100 tech innovations of the year; breakthrough products that represent a leap forward in their respective categories. Here’s how the publication describes CheckLight Tox-Spot:

“Water utilities and public-health agencies field-testing drinking water must wait about 72 hours to get Lab results. Tox-Spot decreases the wait to 15 minutes. Utilities could be using Tox-Spot to test water supplies in the U.S. by next year.”

With the unique ability to provide toxicity alerts in just 15 minutes, such a rapid solution for safe-guarding the public’s well-being during a water event could prove revolutionary.


Increased Water Quality & Security through Event Detection Technology

By Aaron Mendelson

Depending on several factors, mainly the proportion of muscle-to-fat, age and gender, the average human body consists of approximately 50% to 70% water - the element that is essential for life to exist. For facilities that manufacture food and beverage products that contain water, the quality and safety of this critical element is of utmost importance to the quality of the end product. Since water quality and security is crucial to the manufacturing of safe products, it requires effective tools in place with the ability to assess and monitor the quality of the water.

Water may be adulterated by a number of chemical, heavy metal, microbial and physical hazards that pose potential public health risks if they are present at high levels. The potential for any one of these hazards to be present in a facility’s water supply requires water utilities and food and beverage manufacturers to develop a solid water quality and safety management strategy. A first step in this strategy that is quickly developing into an indispensable tool for any water facility or utility is the implementation of an Intelligent Event Detection System (EDS). Whitewater’s BlueBox™, a state-of-the-art event detection system, has emerged as the leading EDS system in the water industry today.

Headquartered in Israel, where water, security and high tech innovation go hand-in-hand, Whitewater is in the unique position of offering technological solutions specifically for real world water utility challenges and technology uniquely adapted to the world of water quality. Close collaboration with Israel Water and Wastewater Utilities gives Whitewater a leading edge and proven capability for solving complex water event detection and management challenges.  The BlueBox™ uses sophisticated sensor-agnostic algorithms to meticulously assess water quality irregularities, delivering advanced early warning detection for improved decision-making capabilities. BlueBox™ is a sophisticated software system that enables data collection and evaluation from multiple water quality sensors and operational devices. Acting as a buffer, BlueBox™ has the unique ability to determine whether irregularities in the water system constitute a real contamination event. By intelligently recognizing abnormal behavior through multi-variable historical trend analysis and continuously adapting to fresh data, BlueBox™ provides highly accurate early warning detection capabilities, while dramatically minimizing false alarm rates. At the same time, it increases the accuracy of event detection, enabling a fast and precise response to contamination events.

As more water utilities and food and beverage processing operations begin implementing applications such as the BlueBox™, there will be a significant increase of confidence within the industry that their water supplies are of the highest quality. With such a safeguard,  effective management of water facilities and utilities with respect to quality and security is necessary to ensure that not only are compliance with applicable regulations and company food safety requirements met, but that the integrity of the end products achieve a gold standard level within their respective industries. Ultimately, the establishment of appropriate control measures and monitoring systems such as the BlueBox™, will have a significant impact on the efficiency of a facilities overall management system. Increased production efficiencies, such as a significant decrease in false alarms and asset allocations, improve not only a companies’ bottom line, but the quality and safety of finished products, ensuring consumer confidence in the companies’ brand.

To date, the BlueBox™ has been implemented in multiple sites throughout Israel, such as the city of Tiberius, which has resulted in improved quality control and security of the city’s water supply by continuous monitoring of the city’s water supply system and the detection of events in real time. The BlueBox™ has also entered the U.S. market, as it recently took part in an EPA case study, primarily focused on alarm statistics and Whitewater reports additional interest from Canada, the Far East and throughout continental Europe.