Friday, February 15, 2008

Sunset meeting Lightning meeting Rainbows

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Majestic View of a Spectacular Sunset Over the Pacific Ocean

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Why We Flirt: The Science of Sex

It’s so natural, we barely even notice we do it. Tilting a head to expose the neck, smiling or laughing at something that really wasn’t funny, moving closer to the person making unfunny jokes, mimicking their actions. Our body language is perhaps the most subtle expression of what we’re really thinking and feeling, and is a crucial component of the courting dance known as flirting.

Though cheesy pick-up lines abound, a lot is conveyed even before words are uttered. A prolonged gaze or arched eyebrow gives clues to the person across the bar that you’re interested without having to explicitly ask about his/her sign. Though the statistics differ, some attribute almost 80 percent of our first impressions to our stance and swagger. And because flirting helps both animals and humans find mates faster and easier, it is an evolutionary trait hard-wired in our brains. Mice twitch their noses at potential mates, colorful peacocks strut around for admiring peahens, and pigeons puff their chests to look buff. As much as we have moved on from mice and feathers, we do much of the same, for the exact same reasons.

Genetic Peacockery
Because flirting is an easy way for us to display our genes, mating potential, and interest, nature put a lot toward its success. This is one of the reasons why some males birds have exotic plumes, why elk carry hefty antlers (a sign of a healthy immune system), and why male fiddler crabs have such large claws. He waves his in the air, alerting females to his whereabouts, and signaling them to come closer for a better look at his burrow, colorful shell, and flashy claw.

Much in the same way, we’re physically programmed to indicate interest almost before we mentally have a say in it. Slight actions reveal a lot. Stance, eye movement, and gestures like leaning forward to talk to the person, or quick eyebrow raises are what scientists call contact engagement, signaling to the other mammal that you’re prepared for things to potentially get physical. Perhaps most importantly, these signals show that you’re not intending to dominate or flee. Or not just yet, anyhow.

Moves Have Messages
By studying humans in their natural courting habitat (usually bars), scientists have been able to document the movements we make when we’re interested in someone else. As it turns out, we’re all quite predictable. A woman smiles, raises her eyebrows, opens her eyes wide, holds a gaze, fidgets with her hair, lowers and tilts her head, and laughs. A man might jut out his chin, try to make his chest appear as large as possible, unconsciously flex an arm, laugh aloud, and smile. But what do all these ridiculous gestures mean?

By comparing our actions with those of animals, it becomes clear that moves have messages. A woman tilts her head and shows off her neck as a sign of vulnerability and submission. I see my friend’s dog, a female boxer named Mable Mae, do this all the time. When a male dog is approaching, she turns her head and flattens her ears as if to say, “I’m a lover, not a fighter. Don’t bite.” The male dog naturally assumes the taller, dominant stance. Mable also steals sideways glances, just as we do when flirting, to show she’s demure and hard to get, yet interested.

Read My Lips
Like a lioness presenting herself to a mate, women will arch their backs and show off their hips to indicate fertility. Though I hate the stereotype of a giggly, doe-eyed blonde, women laugh and open their eyes wide not because they’re ditzy, but because it conveys an image of surrender and youth. (No wonder Dolly Parton was so jovial and popular.) While both men and women will make prolonged eye contact with people they’re interested in, a woman might also lick her lips, helping to bring visual attention to the mouth. If someone is staring at your lips he may be thinking of how to kiss them; scientists also think that our facial lips mimic our vaginal ones, and licking them shows sexual intent. (I swear, sometimes scientists have the dirtiest minds.)

Though a man might not pound his chest like Tarzan while in a crowd, it’s only because of social constraints. He’s still trying to put forth his strong jaw, an indicator of high testosterone levels, and spread his arms and chest to look muscular and strong. Yet he doesn’t want to look too strong or threatening, so he laughs and smiles frequently. Confident and powerful enough to protect his brood; nice enough not to harm the doe.

Monkey See, Monkey Do
Together, both sexes take part in mirroring, tending to sit or stand in similar positions, or pick up a drink at the same time. When one person leans in, another will do the same if she likes what she’s seeing. The theory behind this is that people are drawn to others who are like them. (Dating note: if he picks his nose, put the mirror down.)

We also tend to point or gesture toward our object of desire. This means feet, hands, or the entire body will subconsciously be pointed toward him or her, opening up a line of physical—and hopefully verbal—communication.

Yet through all our coquettish gestures, anyone who’s raised her eyebrows at a cop knows that flirting is not always intended to seal the deal. Flirting can be a default mechanism when we want to get something for nothing (a better table at a restaurant, another free cocktail on the airplane, a shortcut in line) or a comfortable and fun way to interact with new people. And it’s certainly not reserved just for people we want to mate with; married people flirt with no adulterous intentions and platonic flirting happens all the time. Flirting opens windows of potential and can peak curiosity about what might happen, but it also leaves us with the ability to walk away, no harm done.

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9 Examples Of How Health Care In America Can Be Improved

1. Carol Ann Reyes Dumped From Hospital Into Skid Row

A homeless woman named Carol Ann Reyes was admitted to Kaiser Permanente Bellflower hospital because of a nasty fall she took. She stayed for three days, at which point Kaiser called her a cab, and instructed the cab driver to dump her in the Los Angeles area known as Skid Row. Reyes was wearing only a thin hospital gown, because, as the hospital later admitted, her clothing had been lost. Carol was confused and suffering from dementia, but Kaiser put her on the streety anyway, and was only caught because of a videocamera running outside of a homeless shelter.


2. Hannah Devane’s Insurance Company Won’t Pay For The One Thing She Can Eat

Hannah Devane has a horrible disease of the esophagus that makes it impossible for her to eat normal foods. Hannah literally needs a special formula called Elecare to survive, if she didn’t drink the Elecare she wouldn’t get enough food to live. Naturally her health insurance company refuses to cover Elecare, calling it a “nutritional supplement.” The thing that she needs to live is a supplement to the insurance company. Her only source of nutrition.

Hannah’s father, a police officer, is now working two jobs so that he can afford the formula for Hannah.


3. 9/11 Workers Denied Health Care

A large portion of the 40,000 people who worked at Ground Zero in the days following 9/11 have come down with life changing respiratory illnesses. The dust in the aftermath of the terrorist attack was filled with asbestos and tiny bits of glass.

This is a terrible fact, but one would assume that these people would have nothing to worry about. Surely the government wouldn’t forget about the people who sacrificed their personal well being on that day. Forty percent of 9/11 responders are without health care, either because they never had it, or because they have lost their jobs since becoming ill. The government pledged a paltry $52 million to cover their health care costs, a figure that was deemed “inadequate” by the federal 9/11 health coordinator. It has gotten so bad for 9/11 workers that they recently have been forced to sued the World Trade Center insurance fund so that their health care needs could be met.


4. Emanuel Wilson Denied Chemotherapy In Wake Of Hurricane Katrina

Emanuel was a school bus driver in Louisiana before losing his job in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The government met some of his needs after he was displaced - he received money and food stamps - but what he really needed was chemotherapy.

Wilson had intestinal cancer, and had been getting monthly chemo before the hurricane hit.

The government helped people with health care after Katrina, but only if they were completely destitute. If you had health care and a job before the Hurricane, you were out of luck after if you lost that job and health care. So essentially Wilson was punished for playing by the rules. He was covered. Until natural disaster.


5. Shirley Loewe Denied Medicaid Coverage For Breast Cancer Because Of Loophole Law

Shirley Loewe was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003. At the time of diagnosis she was uninsured and her $15,000 a year income as a hairdresser was too high for her to qualify for Medicaid in Texas.


However, there is a federal law that allows women diagnosed with breast cancer to receive Medicaid treatment even if they don’t meet all of the normal criteria.

Loewe was denied again anyway. At the time Texas was one of 20 states that only applied that law if a woman was diagnosed at a clinic that received federal funding. Loewe was not diagnosed at such a clinic. She was diagnosed at a medical center half a mile away from a qualifying clinic. Loewe ended up cutting back her work hours so that she could qualify for charity care.

Loewe died in June of 2007, after four years of stress dealing with money and bureaucracy.


6. Tonya Gullino Has Miscarriage, Blue Cross Deems It “Elective Abortion”

Tonya suffered a miscarriage last August, and understandably had to make an emergency room visit. About three weeks later Blue Cross & Blue Shield sent a statement denying the claim related to the miscarriage. Tonya called to find out why and was told “We do not cover ELECTIVE abortions. If you chose to terminate your pregnancy for non-health threatening reasons, BCBS will not cover it.”

Despite the emergency room visit occuring near midnight (who gets an abortion at that time of night?), Blue Cross still asked Tonya to fax over her records stating that she did not have an elective abortion.


7. Jim Dawson Hit With $1.2 Million Hospital Bill, Despite Having Health Insurance

Jim Dawson found himself in the hospital at the age of 61 fighting an infection. It proved to be a lengthy battle, with Jim spending five months in the hospital, but it had a happy ending. At the end of the five months he was pronounced healthy, and was able to go home to his wife Loretta.

That’s when the phone calls from California Pacific Medical Center started, reminding him that he still owed $1.2 million in medical bills.

This happened despite Jim having health insurance, because his insurance caps lifetime benefits at $1.5 million, a cap Dawson hit two and a half months into his stay. He also has debts totalling into five figures to scores of doctors who were involved with his case.

Tough luck you might be thinking, caps are there to protect health insurance companies from massive payments far beyond what you could reasonably expect right? Sure, maybe, but Jim would have never hit his insurance cap if his hospital wasn’t doing things like charging him $791 for stockings (to improve blood circulation) that can be found online for $12. Or the $2,225 to $6,675 a night for an oxygen mask to help him sleep.

He also wouldn’t have hit his cap if doctors had correctly diagnosed his staph infection early enough to be easily cured. Various doctors made the wrong call however, leaving Dawson with a medical bill he can’t hope to ever pay.

Finally, when a reporter from the Wall Street Journal began investigating the story, California Pacific decided to write off his entire bill. Strange how that works.


8. Aetna Takes Eric Simpson’s Prosthetic Arm

Eric Simpson lost his arm after being brutally attacked by a masked gunman who shot him seven times, all in the arm.

Luckily, he had insurance (for which he paid $530 a month), and Aetna said he was fully covered to obtain a prosthetic arm. Good thing because the prosthetic cost a whopping $37,000.

Eric got the arm, and spent a week learning to use it when he took a call from his insurer telling him they were sending someone to collect his new arm. They told him he should have known he only had $2,000 in coverage for artificial limbs. Despite the earlier pre-approval.

Aetna followed through, and repo’d the arm, before realizing (a week later) they had made a mistake. Eric had full coverage for prosthetics after all, and eventually got his arm back, but not before going through an incredibly stressful experience at an already unbelievably stressful time in his life.


9. Natalee Sarkisyan Dies Because Cigna Drags Their Feet

Natalee Sarkisyan was a 17 year old girl from Glendale, California. She suffered from recurrent leukemia, but was lucky in that her brother was a marrow match. She received a bone marrow transplant from her brother in November of 2007, but the transplant led to multiple organ failure that affected her kidney and liver.

Natalee needed a liver transplant, and was covered through her parents health insurer, Cigna HealthCare. Cigna denied the liver transplent. Her family organized widespread protests and attracted a great deal of media coverage, causing Cigna to reverse their decision. But it was too late, and Natalee died just a few hours after Cigna approved the procedure.


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100 Ways to Use Your iPod to Learn and Study Better

If you think that iPods are used just for listening to music, you obviously haven't been keeping up with the latest technology

The Apple-developed music player now features all kinds of accessories to help you study better, and now other companies are in a rush to get their designs in sync with the iPod. Pre-teens, college kids and even adults are taking advantage of the educational benefits an iPod affords them. From downloadable podcasts to just-for-iPod study guides and applications, learning on the go has never been easier. To find out about the many different ways you can transform your iPod into a learning device, check out our list below. Study Guides

Stop trying to keep track of all your Spark Notes and endless study guides. Use these programs to upload study materials onto your iPod.

  1. Spark Notes: Long considered a busy high school or college student's best friend, the online study guide database now offers users an iPod-friendly version. Get summaries and analyses of books like A Tale of Two Cities, Beowulf, Hamlet and more.
  2. iPREPpress: This website provides study guides, travel guides and foreign language training, all compatible with iPods.
  3. Raybook: This company has turned popular study guides and flash cards like Cliff's Notes and Netter's into iPod-compatible study sessions. Programs use video, audio and interactive media to help you learn more effectively.
  4. VangoNotes: College students can browse this website for audio downloads in subjects like Sociology, Nursing, Business, Computer Science and other disciplines to access textbook study guides.
  5. NotePods: Currently offered for just $1.99 each, these iPod-compatible study guides give summaries on Jane Austen novels, Shakespeare plays, works by Tolstoy and more.
  6. WorldNomads Language Guides: Prepare for your next vacation by learning Spanish, Thai, French, Hindi, Arabic, Italian, Japanese, Chinese or any of the other languages offered here.
  7. CramSession: Computer and IT students studying for professional exams can find audio study guides here, ready to download.
  8. SparkCharts: This designed-for-iPod study charts help students prep for tests in biology, anatomy, chemistry, algebra, calculus, Spanish and other subjects.
  9. SAT Vocabulary Builder: Get test taking strategies and access to a flocabulary hip hop audio session that will help you remember tricky SAT vocab words.
  10. Cisco Study Guides: Students and professionals studying for Cisco exams can access iPod-compatible study guides here.
Podcasts and More

From podcasts to audio books and other downloadable learning devices, check out these tools that give new meaning to the phrase "continuing education."

  1. GoogleGet: Get your Google News and iPod in sync by installing this software program. You'll stay current on all the top news stories, making you better prepared for class or work.
  2. Smithsonian Global Sound: Listen to and learn about music styles from all over the world by checking out the downloads available at the Smithsonian's Global Sound site.
  3. Soundwalk: This site currently only sells CDs and MP3s, but you can use an MP3-iPod converter to check out unique self-guided audio tours like "The Bronx Graffiti Walk" or "The Paris St. Germain Walk."
  4. ESL Podcasts: Learn English by taking these ESL classes on your iPod.
  5. Pod CityGuides: This site has hundreds of city guides that are compatible with iPods, so no one has to know you're really a tourist.
  6. iPod Spanish to Go: Learn Spanish on your iPod with this program that teaches pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar and culture.
  7. Mogopop: Use this online program to enhance iPod learning by adding notes, video and illustrations to audiobooks and study notes.
  8. BiblePLayer for iPod 1.1: Add the King James Bible to your iPod for free with this download.
  9. Brain Quest: This popular educational game is available at different levels for grades 1-7.
  10. Stedman's Medical Terminology Flash Cards: This set of iPod-friendly flash cards will help any healthcare, nursing, pre-med or medical student prepare for an exam.
  11. Teach Kids Valuable Lessons with Free Sesame Street iPod Videos: Lifehacker writes about the six free Sesame Street videos offered on iTunes, perfect for introducing your child to technology and other educational basics.
  12. The Education Podcast Network: Find this podcast at the iTunes store to access information, tutorials and other materials about teaching students at all levels and in a variety of disciplines.
  13. NPR Science Friday: Listen to clever, engaging discussions about science from National Public Radio's popular program.
  14. The Philosophy Talk: This is "the program that questions everything...except your intelligence." Find it on iTunes to save podcasts on your iPod.

These tutorials will help you make the most of your iPod by showing you how to learn new skills and create your own podcasts.

  1. iTunes Store - Audiobooks: Find audiobooks on any subject at the iTunes Store, including news, sports, technology, travel, languages, drama and poetry and more.
  2. Kaplan SAT Prep: Supplement your SAT prep with this iPod-friendly download from Kaplan.
  3. iPod Manuals, User Guides and Tutorials: Troubleshoot any problems you have with your iPod and new educational downloads using this collection of iPod manuals.
  4. Video iPod Tutorial: Learn how to add podcasts, videos and more to your iPod by checking out this easy how-to guide.
  5. Learning Podcasting: If you want to create your own podcast to share your skills or expertise on a particular subject, read this in-depth introduction to podcasting from
  6. Podtender 3.0: This software program will teach you how to make all kinds of tasty cocktails for your next party.
  7. PodGourmet 2.0: Teach yourself to become a master chef when you get recipes for traditional and vegan meals with this iPod program.
  8. iPod Lesson Plans: Use your iPod in clever new ways to engage students in the classroom. Lesson plan ideas include learning math with music and creating an audio tour.
  9. Librivox: Access podcasts and recordings of book chapters from nearly all genres of literature.
  10. This popular website offers free audio books, lectures and other educational material that can be put on an iPod. Browse categories like technology, religion and spirituality, languages, science, politics and business, among others.

Check out these applications and software programs that will make learning with your iPod even easier.

  1. iPodSync: Sync up your work or school Outlook accounts with your iPod by installing iPodSync. You can get automatic updates and transfers for notes, calendar appointments, e-mail, news feeds and more.
  2. MP3 to iPod Converter: Use this software to convert MP3s to iPod-compatible audio books.
  3. iGadget: Make your class notes, presentations, study guides and other materials iPod-friendly by using iGadget. You'll be able to move documents and files back and forth between your iPod and your computer easily and securely.
  4. Plato Video to iPod Converter: Use this app to transform all kinds of video formats into MP4 formats so that you can upload video clips and footage onto your iPod.
  5. Anapod: If you're a Windows user but love your iPod, use the Anapod to transfer files back and forth, including class notes, Web clips and more.
  6. CopyTrans: If you've loaded up your iPod with tons of finals week study guides, formulas and translators, use the CopyTrans to back it all up and get in sync with your computer...just in case.
  7. iSquint: Convert DVDs, TiVo, AVI, WMV and other video formats to iPod-friendly videos with iSquint.
  8. iPodifier: Sync up your iPod with TiVo, Windows Media Player or SageTV to view video streams of the news, educational programming or other TV shows on your iPod.
  9. iWriter: Talking Panda's iWriter gives you the tools to create your own iPod study tools with this application and quick tutorial.
  10. YouTube to iPod Converter 2.6: This free converter lets you watch educational videos, TV clips and more on your iPod so that you can review for tests, contribute to class discussions or add them to a presentation.
  11. WiPod v1.0: If you're looking for a place to study, do some research or prepare for a business meeting, use this application to help you identify the nearest public WiFi hotspot.
More Downloads

Find even more classes and audio books online here. Then, download them to your iPod and keep learning on your way to class, on the plane to your next vacation or anywhere else you have a few minutes to zone out.

  1. Telltale Weekly: This audio book store allows students and literature enthusiasts purchase AAC-formatted audio books and stories for just 25 cents each. Browse categories like Drama, Nonfiction, Humor and Popular Authors.
  2. Free Classic AudioBooks: Find books like Herman Melville's Typee, Huckleberry Finn and Swiss Family Robinson in iPod-friendly formats here.
  3. Made for Success: This popular personal and professional coaching program is now offered in an audio book format.
  4. Sound Book Emporium: Browse categories like Foreign Language Study, Self Help and Business to find a class that meets your personal, professional or academic needs.
  5. Talking Books Network: Students can quickly listen to key chapters of books they need to finish for class or hear critiques of literary works to help them contribute to in-class discussions.
  6. Project Gutenberg: This large online library of audio books and e-books contains stories and books in languages from English to Greek to Danish to Korean.
  7. iJourneys: Take walking tours in cities like Salzburg, Vienna, Amsterdam, Paris and Ancient Rome by downloading iPod-compatible guides from this site.
  8. Audio Bibles for iPod: offers iPod-compatible Bibles for theology and seminary students, or for those who just want a more portable version to take along with them.
  9. iLingo: This easy-to-use foreign language program is designed for the iPod and includes tutorials in Italian, German, Portuguese, Mandarin, Korean, Japanese, Russian and more.
  10. Create your own podguide to give visitors an insider's look at your community, or browse through other guides to enhance your next vacation to Melbourne, Brussels, France's Opal Coast and more.
Classroom Help

Supplement your class discussions with iPod tools like StudyGuideGuru and Portable Notes, which will keep your assignments fresh in your head all day.

  1. The Teaching Company: Supplement your class assignments and syllabi with courses and study guides from The Teaching Company. You can search topics like Ancient and Modern History, Religion, Philosophy, Science and Mathematics and more.
  2. Portable Notes: Use this guide to help you install Portable Notes on your iPod, making it easy to review class notes and study guides even if you're away from your computer.
  3. Merriam-Webster Reference Dictionary: Download the popular dictionary onto your iPod to look up words and definitions in class, on your way to class or anywhere else.
  4. StudyGuideGuru: This collection of literature study guides will help you prep for your next exam, paper or in-class discussion.
iPod Learning Support

New iPod users will appreciate these crash courses in iTunes, podcasting and downloading, while seasoned iPod veterans can find new tricks to maximize their iPod's portability.

  1. Get Tips for Podcasts: The iTunes Store publishes this tutorial with tips for searching for, purchasing and playing podcasts on your iPod.
  2. Download and Install iTunes: If you've just bought an iPod, check out this quick training guide to get tips on searching for and downloading iTunes.
  3. PDA iPod Guide: This website features MP4 converters, iPod converters, software and tutorials that will help you turn your iPod into a learning device with all the bells and whistles.
  4. Podcasting Plus: This in-depth guide has everything you need to know about creating your own podcast.
  5. Podcasting Legal Guide: Understand the legal issues and limitations that affect podcasting with this guide.
  6. iPod in the Classroom: Take a look at Apple's collection of lesson plans for teachers who want to use their iPod for classroom work.
  7. iLounge: Get together with other iPod users to find out about new things you can do with your iPod.
  8. Rock Your iPod with an Open-Source Upgrade: Consider turning your iPod into an open-source device, allowing you to access even more videos, tutorials, online classes and more.
  9. 5 Tricks You can Teach iTunes: Maximize your iPod's potential by learning how to work these tricks, including sharing files, reversing sync and setting up smart playlists.
Tools and Sites

Turn to these websites for access to even more audio books and iPod learning devices.

  1. AudioBook-Megashop: Categories here include Arts and Drama, Fiction, History and Self Help. There are no monthly subscription fees; just pay once each time you purchase an audio book.
  2. ShowFootage: Browse through this site's library of video clips to make your presentations and projects more attractive.
  3. Find a large variety of books, newspapers and magazines ready to download to your iPod on this site. Categories include Romance, Classics, Business, History and more.
  4. iPod Tours: Apple's iPod Tour Guide store lets you search for and download audio tours like Chateau de Versailles, Jewish Museum Berlin and Disney Cruise Line.
  5. AudioLearn: This site offers all kinds of test prep guides for the SAT, MCAT, DAT, TOEFL and other exams, all ready to be uploaded onto your iPod.
  6. Homeschool eStore: Find SparkNotes in iPod-friendly formats here.
  7. English Tutor TeleCampus: Download test preps for your iPod to study for the TOEFL, GRE, GMAT and other tests.
  8. Rocketbook Video Study Guides: These unique video study guides can be downloaded as MP3s, but use a converter to make them iPod friendly. Humorous videos include guides for The Great Gatsby, Romeo and Juliet and The Odyssey.
  9. Books on Board: Search for ebooks and audio books on this site, in categories ranging from Women's Reading to Textbooks to Classics to Business.
  10. iPlay Music: This set of music lessons is designed for a variety of multimedia devices, including the iPod.
  11. Access hundreds of video tutorials and how-to guides that provide computer and business training. Downloads are compatible with the iPod.
  12. Unerase Tool: Recover lost study guides, class notes and other materials with this handy tool made for iPods.
  13. Budget Travel Podcasts: The famed Budget Travel site now offers downloadable podcasts for vacations to Las Vegas, Miami and Quebec City.
iTunes U

These top schools offer classes on iTunes U. Start downloading now to listen to Ivy League professors lecture, brush up on your foreign language skills or just broaden your horizons.

  1. Stanford on iTunes: Take a class from Stanford by downloading one onto your iPod. Or, you can find interviews with faculty and lectures to help you better understand the course material at your own school.
  2. University of California -- Berkeley: Classes from this well-respected school are available in chemistry, the social sciences, journalism and much more.
  3. Duke University: Listen to the Duke Featured Speakers Podcast or check out notes from the Theatre department or listen to the lecture series sponsored by the Johns Hopkins Center for Interdisciplinary and International Studies.
  4. New York Law School: New York Law School has lectures on iTunes on environmental law, family law, adoption policy, legal education and other hot topics.
  5. MIT: This elite school shares lecture notes, project discussions and more on subjects ranging from engineering to philosophy to urban studies.
  6. Michigan Tech": Classes like Forest Resources and Environmental Science, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering are all available in podcast form at iTunesU.
  7. Yale Books and Authors: Check out this collection of podcasts from Yale authors and faculty, on topics like education, slavery and more.
  8. Harvard Extension School: Take classes from Harvard from the comfort of wherever you bring your iPod. This program features podcasts of a variety of lectures and courses from the Ivy school.
  9. Wellesley on iTunesU: Wellesley College courses and lectures like "Not Such a Small World: The Challenges of Globalization" and "Academic Frauds, Fictions and Fantasies" on iTunes.
  10. Texas A & M: Find all kinds of workshop materials, lectures and other podcasts from this well-known school on iTunes.
  11. Lehigh University: Listen to and watch lectures, news, videos and entire courses from Lehigh University.
  12. Northeastern University: NU is another top school with classes, interviews and other educational materials on iTunes.
  13. Queen's University: Canada's famous Queen's University provides lectures, sports events, news and more to people all over the world wanting to advance their education.

Read below for fun tutorials and podcasts that will enhance your educational experience no matter where you are.

  1. iPod in Education: Visit this site for advice, tutorials and downloads for using the iPod in educational settings.
  2. Research at Chicago: The University of Chicago sponsors this podcast, full of interviews and reports fro the latest research projects in psychology, physics, law and more.
  3. Business English: Learn how to communicate better and improve your professional English skills by tuning into the podcast on your iPod.
  4. History According to Bob: Professor Bob takes his listeners through history, from Ancient Greece to World War I to the Aztecs.
  5. Education Podcast with John Merrow: This PBS-sponsored podcast features correspondent John Merrow and his interviews and reports on the social, political, economic and cultural issues that affect our world.
  6. Openculture: Free Educational Podcasts: Check out this extensive list of free podcasts from colleges and universities like Columbia, Dartmouth, Notre Dame, Stanford Law and the London School of Economics.
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Ford Fiesta Three Door Pictures And Details, To Be Called Fiesta For US Market

he release of information regarding the new Ford Fiesta, the latest global small car platform from Ford, brings lots of good news. First, the new Fiesta maintains all of the kinetic design language from the Ford Verve concepts. Second, it'll be available just about everywhere Ford makes cars, with production in North America for the North American market. Third, the car is still going to be called the Fiesta. Even in the US of A. All of those years of pleading for Ford of Europe products are finally paying off. The Fiesta will officially bow at the Geneva Motor Show, though no word yet on when it'll officially make a North American Debut. More pictures and press releases below the jump.

New Ford Fiesta Three Door


COLOGNE, 14 February, 2008 - Ford of Europe is reinventing its small car range for a new generation of customers in 2008, starting with a stylish and exciting all-new Fiesta. First Details of the three-door model are released today, and the car will make its global debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month.

Designed and developed in Europe for sale in Europe, Asia, South Africa, Australia and the Americas between 2008 and 2010, the new Fiesta is the first major product of Ford's new global product development process. Its stylish and dynamic flair combines with all the traditional Ford small car strengths to create a confident, contemporary introduction to the next chapter of the Fiesta success story.

The new Fiesta opens another chapter in the story of the popular Ford small car that has sold more than 12 million units since its introduction in 1976. Charismatic and individual, the new model makes major strides in craftsmanship, quality of materials and product choice while continuing to represent Fiesta's traditional strengths of practicality, value for money, agility and safety. It also brings a host of big-car features to the small-car segment for the first time.

New Fiesta clearly embodies the hallmarks of 'kinetic design', which has so convincingly infused emotion into the core of the Ford range in Europe. The Geneva debut confirms that new Fiesta will bring the most appealing elements of Verve, a trio of concept cars shown recently around the world, to production reality.

It also ends speculation surrounding the name of Ford's new-generation small car for global markets.

"This new car embodies the very essence of Fiesta - fun, vitality and emotion," said John Fleming, President and CEO, Ford of Europe. "We know there isn't a better name for the new model, and we have over thirty years of investment in the Fiesta brand to consider.

"We're confident that the combination of dynamic new 'kinetic design' exterior, great interior design and craftsmanship, and a host of new technologies and features will provide compelling reasons for a new generation of customers around the world to take a fresh look at the Ford Fiesta. I know they will be both surprised and delighted with what they see and feel," Fleming added.

Small Car with Global Plans

The new Ford Fiesta is closely related to the exciting Verve Concept vehicle that was revealed to great acclaim at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show. The Frankfurt car was one of three Verve Concepts, with the others, both four-door sedans tailored for regional market tastes, shown recently at Guangzhou in China and the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Together, these concepts paved the way for the company's new global small car programme for the 2008 to 2010 period, with the European Fiesta first to debut in production guise.

Ford designers and product development engineers in Europe have led the vehicle's global development process.

"For Ford, this is truly a world premiere," said Joe Bakaj, Vice President of Product Development, Ford of Europe. "The new Fiesta is the first car born from our new global product development process. More than ever, we're leveraging our global product development expertise, and this car sets the scene for future great products for customers around the world that are already being developed behind it in the Ford Global Product Development System pipeline."

European production of the new Fiesta commences in the autumn of 2008 at the company's Cologne plant in Germany. Later, as production ramps up, the Valencia Assembly Plant will bring additional Fiesta capacity on line in 2009.

"Fiesta has its heart in Europe but its eyes on the world," said Marin Burela, Ford's Global Executive Director for small-car development. "We're building on Ford's hertitage of excellence in small car development to give the new Fiesta truly global reach and identity. By 2010, this new small-car family will be manufactured in Europe, Asia and North America and be marketed as Fiesta in all of the world's key automotive markets."

The new vehicle range will introduce several Ford firsts for a small car, including - from later in 2008 - another model in the new Ford ECOnetic range promising CO2 emissions of fewer than 100 grams per kilometre.

Fit and Trim

* New model retains predecessor's compact size, but is lighter and stronger
* Intelligent Protection System includes new driver's knee airbag
* Detailed enhancements to acclaimed driving character include Electric Power Assisted Steering (E-PAS) and reduced road, wind and powertrain noise

Unlike key competitors in the European small-car segment which have grown in size and weight, the new Fiesta stands on virtually the same footprint as before. The new-generation Fiesta is actually lighter than its predecessor.

"Staying small and resisting weight gains were key objectives of the new Fiesta development process," said Joerg Beyer, Fiesta Chief Carline Engineer. "We've been absolutely committed to keeping Fiesta a compact car and having a razor-sharp focus on cutting weight. That really pays off when it comes to fuel economy and CO2 emissions."

Component by component, the Ford development team scrutinised for weight but refused to compromise on key areas that are important to customers. One of the biggest is safety, where new Fiesta makes a bold step forward with an extremely robust safety structure and the Intelligent Protection System of safety technologies that brings a driver's knee airbag to Fiesta for the first time.

The new Fiesta makes extensive use of ultra high-strength steels in its body structure. A remarkable amount of these specialist steels, including boron steel and dual-phase steel, is the secret to Fiesta's quantum leap in structural stiffness for its light weight. These steels are used particularly in safety critical areas, such as the A-pillar and B-pillar, part of the ultra-rigid 'door ring' structure of the Fiesta bodyside.

Extending Fiesta's traditional excellence in driving dynamics was also a priority. The new Fiesta will have a dynamic character to match its poised, 'kinetic design' style hinting at energy in motion. Ford's acclaimed dynamics engineers also worked hard to enhance Fiesta's ride comfort and isolate road, wind and powertrain noise from the cabin, and to give the new model an impressively quiet driving quality for a small car.

New Fiesta retains the MacPherson strut front suspension and twist-beam rear suspension layout that has been one of its traditional strengths, but the new suspension and steering system has undergone an array of enhancements.

Electric-Power Assist Steering (E-PAS) is introduced in the Fiesta for the first time. E-PAS provides the right balance of low-speed assistance and excellent feel and responsiveness.

E-PAS has another key benefit. It is another key facet of new Fiesta's initiatives to reduce fuel consumption.

The electric power steering pump only operates when steering-effort assistance is required, unlike traditional hydraulic PAS pumps that operate constantly when the engine is running. This brings a fuel consumption reduction.

Efficient Powertrain Choices

* Total of five powertrain choices at launch from efficient 68 PS Duratorq TDCi diesel to new Duratec 1.6-litre Ti-VCT petrol engine which delivers 115 PS
* Fiesta ECOnetic ultra-low CO2 model will deliver less than 100g/km emissions

With a broad array of powertrain choices, the new Fiesta is a responsive, yet efficient, performer.

New to the Fiesta range for European markets is the popular Ford Duratec 1.6-litre Ti-VCT engine. The 115 PS engine with variable intake cam timing, provides a well-balanced blend of performance and economy. It brings a 15 PS performance improvement over the outgoing Fiesta without a fuel consumption penalty.

The Fiesta range also retains:

* 1.25-litre (60 and 80 PS) and 1.4-litre (91 PS) Duratec petrol engines
* Both Duratorq TDCi common-rail diesel engines, the 1.4-litre (68 PS) and the 1.6-litre (90 PS - available with Diesel Particulate Filter) which have been enhanced with revised injection technology and electronic control sophistication.

Fiesta will be offered with Ford Durashift 5-speed manual transmission or the Durashift
4-speed automatic transmission (available with 1.4-litre (91 PS) Duratec engine).

Concept becomes Reality

* Production Fiesta is clearly related to Verve Concept
* Futuristic interior from Concept makes production with integrated HMI centre stack
* New technology highlights include keyless vehicle technology, 'Ford Power' engine start button, Ford Easyfuel capless refuelling, USB connectivity and ambient interior lighting

The new Ford Fiesta brings the radical Verve Concept exterior and interior styling to production reality and incorporates features and technologies normally found in larger, more expensive vehicles. It rejects the notion that an affordable small car has to be basic or boring.

The highlight of the Verve Concept interior - the futuristic, mobile phone-inspired, human-machine interface technology of the instrument panel centre stack - will be a core feature of the new Ford Fiesta when it hits the road.

Gone is the flat, upright centre stack of the instrument panel, a feature typical of many small cars driven by the need to package a large radio head unit behind the fascia panel. New technology allows Fiesta to separate the key elements of audio system - the control buttons, display and underlying electronics - in a distributed architecture that gives designers more freedom to create aesthetically pleasing, functional shapes.

Many customers of the new-generation Ford Fiesta were raised with mobile phones and they will be instantly comfortable with the design of the car's Ford Convers+ system, which follows the centre stack contours to frame a large-screen display and control panel with key buttons for audio, in-car phone and vehicle settings.

Convenient toggle switches incorporated into the steering wheel allow the driver to control the system's key functions easily and intuitively.

The Ford Convers+ feature - already available on the Ford Mondeo, S-MAX and Galaxy models - represents a major step forward for the small car buyer. It is just one of several new features and technologies in the new Fiesta, including keyless vehicle technology symbolised by the distinctive 'Ford Power' button on the instrument panel.

The advanced technology of Convers+ will not be offered solely on high-spec vehicles. Ford expects more than 85 per cent of Fiesta orders to feature one of two available multi-function displays.

Another Verve Concept feature - the lozenge shaped array of large twist dials for the heating and ventilation systems at the midpoint of the centre stack - is retained in the production Fiesta design. This feature was inspired by the design of contemporary power showers.

Connectivity is another new Fiesta strength. The new centre console features a convenient tray for MP3 players complete with built-in jack sockets for an auxiliary (AUX) audio cable and a USB, along with the traditional 12 Volt outlet. This allows the car's audio system to control and charge the MP3 player.

Bluetooth® connectivity with Voice Control is also offered in the new Fiesta, along with more big-car technologies, including:

* Ford Easyfuel, the convenient capless refuelling system recently introduced with the Ford Mondeo designed to prevent accidental misfuelling
* Reach and rake steering wheel adjustment
* New ambient lighting features that provide a softly elegant red glow to discreetly highlight the interior of the vehicle
* 'One shot' up and down driver window with anti-trap technology

Bold, Dynamic, Sculpted

The bold colours, dynamic shapes and sculpted surfaces of the new Ford Fiesta indicate how deeply the spirit of the Verve Concept has been carried into production as the latest model of Ford's 'kinetic design' family.

Exciting and vibrant new production colours include 'Squeeze' and 'Hot Magenta', which is a production version of the unique colour developed for the three-door Verve Concept car.

"We were so pleased with the positive reaction to the body colour of the first Verve Concept, that we decided to adopt this colour for inclusion in the range soon after launch," said Burela.

The dynamic, coupé-like profile and sporty stance of the new Fiesta demonstrates that none of the emotional appeal of the concept cars has been lost.

"All the vital elements of 'kinetic design' combine to create a visually rich, dynamic exterior shape that is very close indeed to the original concept car," said Martin Smith, Ford of Europe's Executive Director for Design. "Full surfaces, bold graphics and dynamic lines combine coherently and harmoniously to create a dynamic spirit of fun and energy in motion."

With a feeling of toned muscularity, the new Fiesta asserts an air of confidence, stylishness and individuality. Its aggressively contoured bonnet and front wings convey a broad-shouldered stance, and its face features a distinctive signature element - a bold lower trapezoidal grille that draws attention and reinforces the key Ford attribute of sporty driving dynamics.

Chrome and brightwork are used selectively, like jewellery accents, to convey elegance and sophistication.

Large and full of character directly from the Verve concepts, Fiesta's bold headlamps become part of the shoulder shape and extend aggressively rearward almost as far as the stylishly raked A-pillars. The headlamp units incorporate all primary front lighting and signal functions - complemented on the lower bumper flanks by round, chrome-ringed fog lamps.

New Fiesta's profile emphasises its new, cab-forward shape and an attitude of poised, sporty style. The sweeping roofline extends appealingly from the forward-stretching A-pillar rearward, framing the bold graphic of the Fiesta side window profile to create the sporty feeling of a coupé for both three-door and yet-to-be-revealed five-door bodystyles.

"The Design team put as much importance on the shape of the five-door as the three-door," said Stefan Lamm, Chief Designer Exterior, Ford of Europe. "Both cars are based on the same body, which makes them sporty and dynamic, almost coupé-like."

The Fiesta side windows combine to create a unified profile window graphic - a key 'kinetic design' element that communicates dynamism. An elegant accent of chrome frames the lower edge of the side glass and accentuates the signature Ford "kick-up" at its rear.

The new Fiesta also features the signature bold wheel arches that communicate the vehicle's stance and dynamic capabilities, giving visual emphasis to new 17-inch alloy wheels.

Dynamic, 'kinetic design' lines arc from side to side, uniting the upper corners of the tail lamps with the distinctive spoiler, which incorporates a slim LED stop lamp array. The sculpture of the body shapes is accented by elements like the new tail lamp - another Verve element that feels like it is an integral part of the body - and the V-shaped tailgate's chamfered rear glass.

"I've been saying just wait for the new Fiesta to see how kinetic design can be translated into a small car," said Martin Smith, Executive Director of Design for Ford of Europe. "But now the wait is over. New Fiesta evokes an instant emotional response that says 'I want one' which extends the traditionally practical values of the Fiesta brand to appeal to a new, style-conscious generation of small car buyers."

Full technical details of the new Fiesta range will be released closer to the launch of the production model in autumn 2008.


COLOGNE, Germany, Feb. 14, 2008 - Ford's new small car family will use the Fiesta name around the world, the company confirmed today.

Designed and developed in Europe for customers in Europe, Asia, South Africa, Australia and the Americas between 2008 and 2010, the new Fiesta is the first major product of Ford's new global product development process. This new small car keeps alive a name synonymous with more than 30 years of success and strong driving dynamics in Europe and is already well known in markets across Asia, Australia and South America. The Fiesta also was offered in the U.S. from 1978 to 1980.

"The new Ford Fiesta captures every aspect of what's defined Ford as a small-car leader in Europe and builds on it in terms of driving dynamics and design," said Mark Fields, president of the Americas, Ford Motor Company. "When it arrives in North America in 2010, the Ford Fiesta will set a new standard in the small car segment. Even before it arrives in this market, though, the new Fiesta demonstrates how leveraging our global strengths can yield attractive benefits for customers around the world."

The dynamic new look for this global family of small cars was previewed in three Ford Verve Concept vehicles which made their debuts at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2007, the Guangzhou Motor Show in November 2007 and the North American International Auto Show in January 2008.

In Europe, the new Fiesta will debut first in production guise at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show in March and will go on sale in fall 2008 in three- and five-door hatchback body styles. By 2010, the new Fiesta will be on sale in markets across Europe, Asia, South Africa, Australia and North America in a variety of regionally tailored models derived from a common platform.

"With the all-new Fiesta, we want to create a world standard for small car quality, design and comfort in a vehicle that is as exciting to drive as it is to look at. We believe this all-new model will attract a whole new generation of small car buyers, whether they are in Britain, Spain, China or California," said Alan Mulally, Ford Motor Company President and CEO. "The new Ford Fiesta will set the standard for delivering to our customers products they really want and value while taking advantage of our wonderful global resources."

The new Ford Fiesta brings the dynamic Verve Concept exterior and interior styling to production reality, demonstrating that small cars can be stylish, sophisticated and emotional. It rejects the notion that an affordable small car has to be a commodity.

The new Ford Fiesta also makes major strides in small car craftsmanship, quality of materials and product choice while continuing to represent traditional strengths of practicality, value for money, agility and safety. It also brings a host of big-car features to the small-car segment for the first time.

"The new Ford Fiesta is an example of how good a small car can be," said Jim Farley, Ford's group vice president, Marketing and Communications. "The Fiesta is great to look at, great to drive and it has quality you can see, feel and touch. It's going to be an important growth product for North America."

A key Ford Fiesta strength throughout its life has been its acclaimed driving quality, and the new model intends to uphold this reputation. Ford's dynamics engineers also worked hard to enhance Fiesta's ride comfort and isolate road, wind and powertrain noise from the cabin, and to give the new model an impressively quiet driving quality for a small car.

Fiesta for a New Generation

The all-new Fiesta opens another chapter in the story of the popular Ford small car that has sold more than 12 million units since its introduction in 1976 and represented real change when it came on the automotive scene. While it has moved with the times and fashions over the years, it has remained steadfast in its dedication to providing economical, practical and dependable transportation for people of all ages.

Starting in the early 1970s, the Fiesta project became a personal mission of Ford's Chairman, Henry Ford II. A passionate believer in small cars, Ford rallied his company to the mission of creating a new model. He personally was involved in every step of the long process that led to the grand opening of the new automotive assembly plant in Almusafes, Valencia, with the attendance of the newly crowned King of Spain, Juan Carlos.

With the global fuel crisis as extra incentive, at the end of 1973, the Ford Board of Directors gave Project Bobcat, as it was originally known, the go-ahead for development and production. Fiesta didn't get its name until 1974, when Ford whittled down a list of 50 potential names to just five. The final choice went to Henry Ford II, and his preference for Fiesta was entirely appropriate given the creation of the new manufacturing plant in Spain.

In Europe, the new Fiesta will be built at Ford's Valencia manufacturing facility in Spain beginning in early 2009 alongside the Cologne manufacturing plant, which starts production in fall 2008.

A production announcement for the Ford Fiesta in Asia will be announced in April at the Beijing Motor Show. A North America announcement will come at a later date.

Original here

Geneva '08 Preview: Rinspeed sQuba Concept - For the spy who loves you

Back in 1977, James Bond took a Lotus Esprit for a swim in The Spy Who Loved Me. It's only fitting that Swiss design company Rinspeed, known for its crazy concepts that often involve playing in the water, has based its newest creation on the Lotus Elise. Called the sQuba, this submersible convertible was first previewed back in December, but the firm has released tons of high-res photos, video and new information on its water toy.

The sQuba is an all-electric vehicle with three motors, one to drive the car on land and two to power a pair of screw drives for underwater movement. These are aided by two Seabob jet drives that "breathe" through rotating louvers mounted on the car's fenders and appear to give the car its maneuverability underwater.

Some might think a submersible convertible sounds like a submarine with a screen door, but Rinspeed has got a handful of reasons why it didn't go with a closed cockpit. Safety is one, because in an emergency, occupants might not be able to exit a closed cockpit vehicle underwater. Buoyancy was another, as the vehicle would've needed two tons of extra weight to offset the volume of air inside a cockpit, which would've seriously compromised the car's on-road handling. The small issue of breathing underwater is solved by an onboard breathing system that works like, what else, scuba gear.

As it is, the sQuba appears to act just like a normal Elise on land and rides on a stainless coil-over suspension wearing Pirellis wrapped around custom forged lightweight AEZ wheels (17-inches in front, 18 out back).

Other unique features include a salt-water resistant interior, super high-friction diamond abrasive materials so you don't float out of your seat, and a laser sensor system for driverless motoring that's been field tested at the DARPA Challenge. Clearly, Rinspeed has thought of everything, imbuing the sQuba with more technology than Q gave James in that old Esprit.

Check out the video from Rinspeed showing the sQuba in action after the jump, as well as high-res photos showing all the components of the car in our gallery below.

[Source: Rinspeed]


Rinspeed's Zero-Emission World Debut at the Geneva Motor Show - a Green "Fish" with Q-Factor

Thirty years after the movie thriller 'The Spy Who Loved Me' hit the silver screen "sQuba" is the first car that can actually 'fly' under water.

Zumikon - "Dive it again, James!" If the situation gets too hot for the secret agent he'll go underground - or under water. So demonstrated impressively by Roger Moore in 'The Spy Who Loved Me" in 1977 when he dove below the waves in a sleek vehicle that moments before seemed to be an ordinary car. The only problem: The scene never really took place; it was an animation.

With the "sQuba," the world's first real submersible car, the movie fake now becomes reality for visitors of the Geneva Motor Show (March 6th - 16th, 2008). Rinspeed boss Frank M. Rinderknecht (52) is known for his extraordinary automotive creations. The acknowledged James Bond enthusiast and Swiss automobile visionary kept revisiting this scene in his mind over and over: "For three decades I have tried to imagine how it might be possible to build a car that can fly under water. Now we have made this dream come true."

And it is this submerged stabile flight at a depth of 10 meters that sets the "sQuba" apart from military vehicles. While the latter can go under water, they are limited to driving slowly over the submerged ground. Rinderknecht: "It is undoubtedly not an easy task to make a car watertight and pressure resistant enough to be maneuverable under water. The real challenge however was to create a submersible car that moves like a fish in water."

It also had to be a sports car that was converted into a diving dream in the facilities of Swiss engineering specialist Esoro. In a first step the combustion engine was removed and replaced by several electric motors. Three motors are located in the rear. One provides propulsion on land, the other two drive the screws for underwater motoring. They are supported by two powerful Seabob jet drives in the front, which 'breathe' through special rotating louvers from HS Genion (for opening and closing the water intake). The rotating outlet jets were designed to be extremely light yet twist resistant by using high-tech nano materials, so-called Carbon Nano Tubes.

It is a sure bet that the "sQuba" will steal the show from any 'Baywatch' beauty on the beach. And easily, too: You drive the car into the water and the car floats. That is, until you crack the door to let the water in. Immediately the "sQuba" starts on his way to the underwater world. The occupants' breathing air comes from an integrated tank of compressed air that divers know from scuba diving. Rinderknecht: "For safety reasons we have built the vehicle as an open car so that the occupants can get out quickly in an emergency. With an enclosed cabin opening the door might be impossible." But safety wasn't the only reason for choosing an open-top design: With an enclosed volume of just two cubic meters of air the vehicle weight would have to increase by two tons (!) to counteract the unwanted buoyancy, giving the "sQuba" the land mobility of a turtle. Without occupants the "sQuba" surfaces automatically. It is even capable of autonomous driving on land thanks to a sophisticated laser sensor
system from the Hamburg company Ibeo - without any help from the driver or passenger.

Power is supplied by rechargeable Lithium-Ion batteries. Rinderknecht: "The 'sQuba' is a zero-emission car as documented by the rotating license plate in the rear. It produces no exhaust emissions. The Swiss are among the world's pioneers in the area of hydropower. The 'sQuba's' filling station is the water reservoir." It is no surprise that the vehicle features powerful yet energy-saving LED lighting technology.

3-D foil elements with embossed fish and sharkskin patterns from Wetzel Processing Group and Hornschuch add visual pizzazz and streamline the exterior. Together with styling elements from Foliatec they create a harmonious velvety matt-white appearance. For shore leave the "sQuba" relies on a stainless coil-over suspension from KW automotive and large Pirelli tires mounted on custom-made forged light-weight wheels from AEZ with 17-
and 18-inch diameters. But the "sQuba" is really at home in the water. To make the occupants feel at home there as well the innovative salt-water resistant interior from Strähle + Hess features genuine mother-of-pearl trim and diamond-plated non-slip inlays from KGS Diamond, normally used in high-tech abrasives. After all, 'diamonds are a girl's best friends.' The high-tech VDO instrument cluster and controls create a futuristic ambiance and allow
controlling all vehicle functions even while submerged.

Frank M. Rinderknecht and his partners - amongst them also the fleet specialist LeasePlan - have created a truly unusual vehicle and in the process have thought of everything. Even the Motorex lubricants used in the 'sQuba" are biodegradable. For the Rinspeed boss that is a meticulousness stemming from conviction: "The 'sQuba' lets me be one with the elements and lets me immerse myself in a new and fascinating world - with Q factor. It is our duty to protect this world in which we are guests to the best of our ability." Isn't it, Miss Moneypenny? - James couldn't have said it better himself glancing at the sporty Swiss precision chronograph from C.F. Bucherer. Eau la la - shaken, not stirred.

Swiss made

Frank M. Rinderknecht used highly advanced technology and a Swiss-based network of top automotive specialists for his project. So the Rinspeed "sQuba" fits perfectly to Esoros motto: engineered by Esoro - What you dream is what you get. For the ninth time the Swiss engineering company Esoro was hired to serve as general
contractor for the entire project. Esoro was responsible for project management, implementation of new technologies, engineering, rendering, design and the manufacturing of the Rinspeed "sQuba".

Esoro realized the Rinspeed "sQuba" with the help of its highly competent suppliers. Starting with initial concepts, it took the highly skilled development team just six months to realize the entire project.

For 17 years now, Esoro has been a contract developer of concept vehicles, components and products, main focus is lightweight construction and mobility. During this time it has gained a well-deserved reputation for excellent efficiency and innovative solutions, which is demonstrated by numerous prototypes and serial products. Esoro develops fiber reinforced components from initial conception up to pre-production samples. In-house specialists optimize the component properties and characteristics throughout the entire development process. Important steps are non-linear, strong orthotropic Finite Element Analysis and crash simulation.

Another recent development from Esoro is the new E-LFT production technology developed for Weber Fibertech. E-LFT makes large scale production of high-strength and lightweight composite parts affordable. E-LFT composite parts weigh more than 30 percent less than comparable steel parts. The tailgate of the new Smart Fortwo - the first serial produced ELFT- component - was produced over 100'000 times in 2007 and received the JEC Innovation Award 2008.

Furthermore another production process for niche markets, like high performance cars, trucks and caravans is now introduced by Esoro to several OEM's. The new and patented process called Melt Embossing offers the possibility to produce high end thermoplastic composite parts with low initial invest for structural and semi-structural applications. Since the company was founded, Esoro has been working intensively in the field of
conception, implementation and tests of alternative and optimized vehicle concepts and drive systems. Esoro is thus one of the few companies in the world with well-founded experience in development and operation of electric, hybrid and fuel cell drives.

A word from our partners...

AEZ develops special wheel for Rinspeed sQuba
German alloy wheel manufacturer AEZ, including it's brands Dotz, Dezent and Enzo leader in the European alloy wheel after market since many years, develops a really special wheel for the Rinspeed sQuba. Like 2007 for the Rinspeed eXasis, where AEZ was developing and manufacturing the wheels as well, the wheels are forged and have a unique design specially suited to the appearance of the vehicle. Key focus was again the reduction of the weight, an important issue for AEZ also when it comes to the development of road wheels which can be accomplished thanks to extensive electronic simulations and a perfect production process.

With the sQuba wheels a further challenge was the resistance against salt water from the sea - thanks to AEZ' painting technology and the experience with winter wheels no problem at all.

Time and Speed: Carl F. Bucherer New Partner of Rinspeed Concept Cars
Cars that drive over water. Cars that drive under water. Cars with transparent bodywork. The Concept Cars, which Frank M. Rinderknecht is developing, give a new meaning to mobility. They are the work of a person, who follows his own path without deviation, just as Carl F. Bucherer, the founder of the Luzern-based watch brand, once did. This was also one of the reasons prompting CEO Thomas Morf and vice-president Marketing Bruno Jufer to get
involved as a partner of the Rinspeed sQuba. Even more important, however, was their common philosophy, aiming to develop the sophisticated technology, top quality materials and surprising shapes through their innovative, conceptionally convincing, combined work. Like the Patravi TravelTec FourX does, for example, with its four different materials and three different time zones. This is what the Rinspeed cars are doing all the time. In summary: the new partnership project brings together two companies, which obviously think the same way and are constantly searching for innovations.

The "sQuba" - project shares visions
"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one, I hope someday you'll join us", Rinspeed Chief Executive, Frank M. Rinderknecht, quotes John Lennon on his Internet site. Visions that became reality also play a fundamental role in the history of the establishment of, and they still do. At that time, in the early 1980s, company founder, Michael Böhm, was the first to bring car films to Germany. With products that are always new and creative, his company quickly established itself as a trendsetter. We share this innovative drive, which has continued to be maintained to this day, with Rinspeed. Already in the past, several exciting cooperation vehicles have emerged from this relationship. That is why our company is also only too happy to be in the same (u-)boat with the "sQuba". Also, because, as a functioning diving car, it not only convinces with design and style, but also objectifies the "form follows function" philosophy, like all project vehicles of the Swiss vehicle engineer. A
motto that is also a common theme in our entire product portfolio. In just the same way, supports the ecological statement of the project: After all, with its electric power system, the vehicle drives and dives completely emission-free. Of course, after concluding the development work, we are also anxious to find out which other innovative ideas Rinspeed, its partners and we will come up with in future and are already looking forward to the next cooperation.

HS Genion GmbH - Innovative ideas and emotions influence the future
The HS Genion Team is very proud to apply its expertise to the newest Rinspeed Concept Car "sQuba" and once more, do justice to its philosophy "Turning Ideas into Reality". As a strategic partner HS Genion GmbH operates as a system supplier for movable modules and components - primarily in the automotive sector. Its key competences are in the areas of: Aerodynamics, Comfort, Convertible Components, Cargo Management and Lifestyle. HS Genion, as a Full Service Supplier offers its international customers innovative complete solutions in all process phases from the idea through concept into the production of technically demanding products.

The visionary products of F.M. Rinderknecht require the rethinking of existing technologies to enable their application in different situations. For us at HS Genion GmbH innovation and team spirit are the driving forces behind our daily business and we were very pleased to take on the challenge of adapting innovative products from our Aerodynamics- and Cargo Management-Portfolio to the desired standards of the Concept Car "sQuba" - to help turn the ideas into reality.

The mechanism for a new Cooling Air Management System, a patented hatch-system, was integrated not only in the front end but also in the rear area of the concept car "sQuba". In the front end radiator-aperture carbon fiber fins are moved into two different positions by a mechanism to open or close the aperture for the air and water entry. In the number-plate area at the rear of the vehicle a changeable number plate is realized by horizontal, pivoting fins. To keep the design shape of the vehicle, these fins are moved in three-dimensions by a kinematic mechanism.

In the Cargo Management sector, HS Genion offers intelligent load space solutions to increase comfort and security. In the "sQuba" functionality and forward thinking were united in the rear light area. Storage boxes with integrated rear lights are attached to the number plate box with hinges and offer space for small items.

Through perfect teamwork, the visions and innovations were combined with technology and Know how - and these Visions were transformed in to real products that trigger emotions today and in the future.

Ibeo partner of this year's Rinspeed Concept Car
"sQuba" drives autonomously thanks to Ibeo laser technology / ibeo LUX laser sensor already successfully tested at the Darpa Urban Challenge.

Driving entirely autonomously without a driver at the touch of a button - this feat is achieved by this year's Concept Car from the Swiss company for new designs and ideas Rinspeed. "sQuba" - a car which Rinspeed boss Frank Rinderknecht claims was inspired by James Bond films - is to be presented for the first time from 6 to 16 March at the Geneva Motor Show.

The Concept Car no longer needs a driver – made possible by laser technology from the Hamburg-based company, Ibeo. Ibeo LUX laser scanners represent the vehicle's intelligent eyes and safely steer the vehicle through road traffic.

The fact that autonomous driving with the appropriately strong laser sensors no longer represents a pipe dream was displayed at the Darpa Urban Challenge. In this unique race among driverless cars, the majority of all participating vehicles featured Ibeo laser scanners. And each of the three Challenge winners deployed Ibeo laser scanners in their vehicles. Ibeo managing Director Dr. Ulrich Lages is delighted that Ibeo laser technology is used for the "sQuba". "The Rinspeed Concept Car is an impressive example of what's possible today in the area of active driver support using our laser scanners". Ibeo's primary objective is to make road traffic safer for all participants, adds Lages. "Our laser sensors permit a variety of driver assistance functions using one single small device, e.g. automatic emergency braking, pedestrian protection, collision protection, traffic jam assistant and others." Ibeo will start series production of the powerful ibeo LUX sensor in autumn 2008.

KGS Diamond Group
The world's leading manufacturer and distributor of flexible diamond and CBN abrasives. Founded in Switzerland in 1952, KGS has several [isn't "several" too modest, shouldn't you just say " has offices and factories.."] offices and factories around the world, including Switzerland, Holland, France, Germany, the UK, Hungary, Spain, Australia and China. Sandro Ferronato, owner of the company, explains why KGS was keen to participate in the
sQuba project from Rinspeed; "Innovation and extending boundaries have always been a mainstay of KGS's business philosophy. It has brought smart solutions to industries as diverse as stone, glass, aerospace, automotive, gas turbines, high performance materials etc.. KGS has introduced applications using flexible diamond abrasives that nobody could anticipate, and our customers were able to distinguish themselves in terms of both efficiency and quality". "Participating in this innovative project is for KGS actually an obvious decision;
exploring new frontiers is a specialty of both Rinspeed and KGS as well. The sQuba is the excellent example of this, it reflects our commitment and our ambition".

KGS supplies different kinds of diamond abrasives which will be used during the production of the sQuba. Thanks to the optimum friction characteristics of diamond abrasives, they even will be applied as seat cover, to create maximum friction between driver and seat whilst traveling through the water.

KW automotive
Visionary thought and action is what links company founders Frank M. Rinderknecht of Rinspeed and Klaus Wohlfarth of KW automotive GmbH in Fichtenberg (Baden Württemberg). The result for their customers is innovative designs and engineering innovation at the highest level.

For that reason it was a matter of course for KW automotive GmbH once again to equip the latest Rinspeed concept car, the "sQuba", with its innovative suspension technology. As to the suspension itself, it is a aluminum coil over suspension which was specially developed for the "sQuba" and which is based on the KW Variant 2. The technology of the Variant 2 is determined to adjust the damper setting to fine tune the system to the customer's needs. The adjustable rebound damper allows adjustment of pitch and roll behaviour of the vehicle, adapting it to one's driving preferences.

KW automotive GmbH is known in the industry for its premium products in the field of car styling. The company offers its customers the largest range of adjustable suspension systems. The whole range - from springs and sports suspension systems to adjustable coil over suspension systems "inox-line" in three damping variants - is unequalled on the market in its scope and variety. Further KW automotive GmbH develops race suspension technology for national and international motorsports. The racing product range KW competition is used successfully by several race teams on many race tracks worldwide. Also manufacturers and top level tuners have partnered with KW automotive for their suspension needs. They have invested in KW's suspension expertise to develop vehicle specific performance suspension solutions of their vehicle platform.

There are now over 140 employees at the company's headquarters in Fichtenberg, ensuring that top-quality products continue to leave the factory. KW automotive GmbH has established subsidiaries at five different locations worldwide, and now employs a total workforce of 200 - and that is a rising trend.

LeasePlan (Switzerland) AG
On March 6th the first diving car sQuba will make its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show. Visitors may well rub their eyes and ask themselves whether it really is possible to glide above and below water in a car with zero emissions and no environmental pollution. LeasePlan (Switzerland) AG, the leading fleet management provider, is very enthusiastic about this idea and is supporting Rinspeed with its implementation.

LeasePlan also wants to help reduce CO2 output in its core business, the management of fleet vehicles. The long-term and company-wide commitment to GreenPlan should support this. GreenPlan deals with all questions with regard to ecologically and economically favourable mobility. With this service, LeasePlan offers comprehensive advice on company vehicles and assists customers with their efforts to implement a climate-friendly and sustainable vehicle policy.

LeasePlan is the leading fleet management provider and is active in 29 countries. Approximately 5,900 employees manage around 1.28 million vehicles worldwide. On the Swiss sites of Dietikon and Nyon, approximately 90 employees are responsible for 28,000 vehicles.

Motorex supplies „green" know-how for Rinspeed zero Emission diving car
Switzerlands biggest lubricant producer Motorex supports the latest concept car project from Rinspeed with a lot of technical know-how in lubricants and greases. The goal of this partnership is to make the vehicle „pollution free" not only in the engine, but also with the lubricants and greases.

For the "sQuba", the Motorex specialists have put together a very special lubricant plan. Motorex has made all the lubricants and greases in use rapidly biodegradable. Frank M. Rinderknecht states: „Because we have used a zero emission engine, it was very clear to us from the beginning that we wanted to minimize the pollution in every aspect, especially because this vehicle also moves in the precious element of water. With Motorex, we have found a partner that was able to address the specific demands that we had and could optimally support us in the development.

Manuel Gerber, Head of Communications at Motorex: "The partnership with Rinspeed for the sQuba was an interesting challenge. At the same time, it was another possibility for us to proove our readiness for the future, our innovation power and our flexibility. We could profit from our years of experience in rapidly biodegradable products in many different areas of applications.

Pirelli Tyre: Excellence and innovation
Pirelli Tyre is the world's fifth largest operator in terms of turnover on the tyre market, with levels of profitability among the highest in the sector.

Pirelli Tyre is today the operational holding company for a group involved in the design, development, production and marketing of tyres destined for various types of vehicle: cars, light vehicles and motorcycles (Consumer sector, 70% of revenue), buses, trucks, agricultural and earth moving machinery, and the production and marketing of steelcord (Industrial segment, 30% of revenue). Within this market, Pirelli Tyre focuses in particular on the high-end segments characterised by elevated techno-logical contents and high performance.

These are segments in which Pirelli has established itself in positions of leadership with regard to both its car and motorcycle tyres: Pirelli tyres are today seen as synonymous with quality, emotion and ultimate performance.

Drawing on its technological expertise, the group has consolidated working relationships with the world's leading car and motorcycle manufacturers; partnerships that have translated into a number of homologations for models from all the leading automotive firms.

Seabob - The high performance toy
See it, and you'll be wonderfully surprised. Ride it, and you'll be hooked. Own it, and you'll never want to part with it: Seabob, the world's fastest diving and water scooter "Made in Germany", fascinates lovers of water sports.

It is the embodiment of strength, technological intelligence and perfected function: Seabob powers through the water with 10 gears and up to 7 hp. Its maximum speed is up to 22 km/h on the surface and 16 km/h under water. Seabob draws its power from 14 Li-Ion accumulators.

Seabob is developed and manufactured by Cayago AG in Stuttgart, Germany. There, expertise and passion blend together in the best quality and painstaking details. Even the contacts inside Seabob are gold-plated for a better transfer of energy. And the housing, for instance, is made of a special hard integral plastic that meets the highest standards. In addition to arguments such as function and design, Cayago AG also addresses environmental policies in the development of Seabob, and has designed an internationally patented electric jet- stream system that makes this elegant water vehicle entirely silent and emission-free in its performance. So it's 100% environmentally friendly.

Seabob's diving depth is individually adjustable, and professional divers can glide down as far as 40 meters. The illuminated LCD display in the cockpit provides the driver with all the important information such as current engine output, remaining operating time, diving depth and water temperature. The Seabob is available in four models, various colors, and lots of practical accessories. Thus, for instance, the new Cayago F7 has a specially developed belt system that transforms the tremendous thrust of 70 kg into a relaxing driving experience and exceptional agility in the water - whether the rider is in 1st or 10th gear, diving to 2m or 40m.

Sharp - Rinspeed's official multimedia partner
The well-known Swiss design and concept company Rinspeed is working in collaboration with the leading LCD TV manufacturer Sharp on the new "sQuba" concept car. An extraordinary vehicle deserves a unique introduction. And Sharp is making sure it will get one with the latest full HDTVs (best HDTV picture quality via high resolution full HD displays), which will highlight the ideas and characteristics behind this submersible, revolutionary vehicle for the viewer in a needle sharp colour brilliance unlike any other before,. Sharp worldwide: The company, which employs more than 55,000 people worldwide, is active in nearly all fields of electronics and offers an enormous range of products. Among other things, Sharp is the world market leader in LCD flat screen televisions and solar collectors; two areas of major significance in today's times.

LCD technology is inseparably linked with the Sharp name: Ever since the introduction of the first LCD calculator in 1973, Sharp has been a major player in the liquid crystal display industry. It is no surprise that the newest generation of LCD televisions comes from the Sharp factory Kameyama II in Japan, which is one the most modern production plants anywhere in the world. Sharp is the market driver and trend setter for premium TV. Sharp, the inventor of the LCD TV, implements the following formula for success in today's flat screen TV business: large screen diagonals, high quality equipment, and noble design. The disproportionate growth of the still small segment of LCD TVs with screen diagonals > 42 inches is especially impressive. Sharp recognized this trend early on and got in on this highly lucrative market from the very beginning.

Sharp solar technology: Sharp has almost 50 years' worth of experience in solar energy and is the driving force worldwide for an intensified, environmentally friendly use of photovoltaic technology. The company manufactures light concentrators as well as mono-, poly-, and microcrystalline solar cells and modules. In addition to three module factories in Japan and one in Tennessee (USA), the Wrexham factory in Wales (UK) has been manufacturing solar modules to generate electricity for the European market since 2004. In Europe, the solar pioneer also purchases glass and silicon for cell and module manufacture and collaborates with its business partners in the installation of solar power facilities.

Underwater world with Q factor - The interior concept made by Strähle + Hess Whether it's the color mood; choice of materials or the workmanship – the wonderful underwater world with its fascinating light and interplay of colors and Q's genius were the inspirations for the sQuba's interior designs. The color palette takes its cue from the dazzling colour of the Yellow Tail Snapper; its iridescent silver and its bright yellow contrast with the deep blue of the sea. The underwater world's particular light refraction was translated into reality using exceptional yarns and their individual combination. "We would like all our textiles to be at the centre of attention thanks to the special light they emit or reflect," says Claudia Khalil, Chief Designer at Strähle + Hess, when describing the company's materials philosophy.

The vehicle seat is the central element pulling together all the textiles used in the vehicle. The knitted fabric has been designed with a silver/yellow fish scale texture; the padding has been finely quilted and has a harmoniously distinctive herring bone pattern. To ensure that nothing can slip while on Her Majesty's Service - either above or below water - Strähle + Hess have gone for a diamond-coated non-slip textile in silver/yellow with a "sushi roll" on the edges for additional grip. The elegant diamond material has also been used on the pedals and combines a safety function with a mysterious shimmer.

In its own small premiere Strähle + Hess is presenting an intelligent combination of weaving and twisting – "DREBEN" – used for the first time on the sQuba. The seat is edged with a blue/yellow "tweaved" stripe, giving it a visual focus and definition in contrast to the other textiles. To enable water to run off better when surfaced all the materials are backed with a spacer fabric open on the inside; the ensuing capillary function allows the textiles to dry more quickly and prevents any excessive weight gain while submersed.

One of the most attractive, luxurious materials the sea has to offer has been used for the door linings, steering wheel and gear knob: mother-of-pearl. Veneered like a fish scale the elegant organic material on the gear knob corresponds to the pearly fibred yarn, also manufactured using the "tweaving" process, which discreetly shimmers under the textile coverings and on the display. Pure luxury for any vehicle.

The sQuba is the continuation of our successful collaboration with Frank M. Rinderknecht and his Rinspeed team. Another dream has become reality. We would like to express our thanks for the productive collaboration and the opportunity to make "007" very envious. Strähle + Hess GmbH - profiling ideas - a Sellner Group Company: Founded in 1926 the company manufactures highly specialised technical textiles for vehicle interiors. The company headquarters are located in Althengstett near Calw, 40 km west of Stuttgart. Here 150 employees design, develop and produce state-of-the-art seat components and textiles for coverings and sealing systems. With its wide-ranging experience and technical knowhow; with numerous patents and need-based engineering services the company is today one of the world's leading providers of specialist textiles for interior and exterior applications in the car manufacturing segment. The innovative and versatile company has been part of the Sellner Group since 2007 and has thus realized another goal in its long-term strategy of further development within the market.

Continental is one of the largest component suppliers to the automotive industry, earning more than 25 billion Euros annually in sales of brake systems, drive and chassis systems and components, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics and tires. The Interior Division serves automotive manufacturers and the aftermarket, operating worldwide to develop and produce electronic systems that control and present information in the vehicle according to the driver's wishes and the situation. Its products include instruments and multifunctional displays, control units, electronic vehicle access systems, tire monitoring systems, radios, multimedia and navigation systems, air conditioning controls and operating units, telematics solutions, and cockpits. The Interior Division also develops the vehicle electronics necessary to connect the car to other vehicles (Car2Car), traffic and mobility control centers (Car2Infrastructure), and the Internet, and for the seamless integration of mobile end devices (Car2Device).

For the latest Rinspeed study, sQuba, Continental has developed a unique instrument cluster, marketed under the VDO product brand that brings all of the important information and features together. As befits the world's first vehicle that can drive on land, on the water's surface, and underwater, the designers took the shape of a manta ray for their inspiration, developing a cockpit with fluid lines in which the shapes of the individual instruments seem to float. All of the dials, which are lined up like lenses, the control lights, and the digital display are brought together in a single aluminum housing that is waterproof and resistant to salt water at depths of up to ten meters. The cluster is lavishly lighted and covered by a protective sheet of glass with built-in fisheye effect and a series of operating buttons for functions such as transmission control that are completely covered with plastic film, can be
pressed accurately even when wearing thick diving gloves, and can give the driver tactile feedback. In its work on this unique instrument cluster, the company is utilizing the many years of experience it has accumulated in its many divisions and fields of business. After all, the component supplier not only has all the capability of more than 100 years of automotive instrumentation, but is also a market leader in original equipment for agricultural,
construction, and forestry machinery and instrumentation for sports boats, making it intimately familiar with the tough conditions both on and under the water.

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