Time lapse of terrible parking lot

Kids these days :weary:


I don’t support the sexist attitude (women drivers!) in this one, but there’s some pretty good running commentary from Dominic Monoghan and Billy Boyd (not really Dominic and Billy).


That is really painful to watch.

On the other hand, I failed the parallel parking test when going for my driving test on my 16th birthday, since I grew up in the desert and the nearest street with a curb was 5 miles away. I only passed the retest because they were repaving the parallel-parking test area that day, so I didn’t have to do it!

I learned how to park after moving into the city.


Beware of making US vs. Europe comparisons for miles per gallon. Keep in mind that a British gallon is about 4.5 liters, vs. 3.78 for a US gallon. Also, the EPA estimates are not the same as the European estimates. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if a lot of the urban legend “Why can’t we get 60 mpg cars in the US” stuff ignores the difference in gallon size, not to mention that some cars in Europe sport tiny engines (the VW Polo comes to mind, and a 1.2 liter engine is available in the Fit outside North America). I’m not sure I’d want to merge onto a freeway in a 1.2 Fit.

As for my own Fit, with a manual transmission, if I’m on back roads (under 65 mph) I generally get about 40-42 mpg. Converting to British gallons, that would be 48-50 mpg.


One of my neighbors has a teeny tiny pickup, and it has an itty bitty camper shell on the back, and it’s just as cute as lace pants. Whenever I drive by and see it, I make goo-goo noises at it. I doubt that I could sleep in it (I mean, barring the fact it belongs to a guy I’ve hardly spoken to), or that I could fit my Yamaha keyboard in it, but still, I feel this compulsion to go strike up a conversation with him just so I can sit in it and look in the back.

Apart from that, I’m perfectly normal, and would never dream of cheating on my (used) Honda Element.


Yeah, we still have those. Safety regulations limit their height though.

I cannot stress the importance of telling the attendant the precise time you’ll be back though, all of this could have been avoided if they’d come back when they said they’d be back. I’ve never had problems being parked in like this because I’m back when I told them I’d be back.


(A sequel to 15 point turn)
That would be this video.

Yup. I don’t keep a car here (waste of money), but I got to use the bicycle robopark at Kyoto Station when I was last there. Fucking awesome. Doubly so as one of my hobbies is mechatronics.



The Honda Fit in the UK has a 1.3l 100BHP (75kW) engine. Engine capacity is a tradeoff - you can get plenty of power from small engines provided you can live with higher RPM and boost, and the Twingo GT has a 900cc engine that produces 107BHP. The US market demands large engines, but in some cases the maximum continuous horsepower is actually smaller than the euro-weenie engines (Euro cars have to live with autobahns). Also, small cars in the US tend to be heavier than the Euro equivalent due to more sound deadening material and more anti-urban-jungle reinforcement. (Across the EU seatbelt wearing is* compulsory and this gets complied with. I believe US versions require different design to cope with all the people who do not use their belts. But this might be an urban myth.)
From personal experience I’m not sure that the “merge onto freeway” bit is really a valid argument.

*clarification, thanks to @Mindysan33. I’m amazed that people read my posts, but apparently they do. Thank you.


I was in Europe a month a go and I noticed the popularity of Smart cars. What puzzled me the most was the micro cars which can drive on bicycle lanes in Holland. Its a thing like a lawn mower with a roof. It has two seats and putters along, much slower than the bikes.

I just don’t see the point. I own a one tonne van (in Australia) and I ride a bicycle to work. I use the van when I need to and its there for me when I need it. I have no use for a car which can carry just me and a little bit of shopping. For me it makes the idea of a car redundant.


The key metric there is power-to-weight ratio, not absolute BHP. Sorta like how OBP or OPS are way more useful than BA in baseball. Yet every broadcast still defaults to showing batting average even though walks — walks! — are totally disregarded in that statistic.


As far as I know, seatbelts in US cars are mandatory as well:


Honda Fits in North America get the 1.5l motor, which is still quite small by American standards. My previous S-series Saturn had a 1.9 (but still got 40+ mpg highway in my experience).

The 2nd-gen Fit that I have is 117 hp, and the direct-injection 3rd-gen bumps that to 130. The hilarious thing is that my Fit is quicker from 0-60 than the '82 Mazda RX-7 I once had, but then again, we have minivans these days that will run rings around classic sports cars of yesteryear. Some people complain about computerized fuel injection systems, but they’re the reason we can get good performance and good fuel economy. I remember the craptastic cars of the 1970s quite well, even though I was too young to drive at the time.

My visit to the UK in 1999 convinced me to stick with smaller, more efficient cars. Watching the numbers rack up on the pump and realizing those were £ rather than $ (worse, at the typical pre-Brexit exchange rate of £1=$1.60) was rather shocking even though I was prepared for it. My decision served me in good stead back when fuel prices spiked here, and even now that they’ve gone back to saner levels it’s still nice to fill up for about $20. (Side note: Americans who gripe about fuel taxes don’t have a clue about other parts of the world.)


I think his point wasn’t that they aren’t mandatory here, but that they have a different design because the car has to force Americans to comply.

I don’t know if that’s true. But I personally have a relative who keeps an unattached seatbelt clip in his vehicle, which he clips into the seatbelt latch so the car thinks he’s belted in.

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I had a 93 Saturn wagon previously, the mileage on that thing was awesome. Shopping for a replacement in '08 was a little depressing in that it was the first time I bought a new-to-me car that got worse mileage than the previous. Except for the Prius, it felt like progress in that area stagnated in ordinary cars.

I see. I haven’t seen those weird automatic seat belts in some of the newer cars that I’ve seen - they are all the classic kinds that one has to put on. But all cars complain now if you don’t wear it.

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I meant seatbelt wearing. I know all cars are fitted with them.

Why wouldn’t we read your posts? You’re a smart mutant and always have worthwhile things to say…


Injection systems yes, but also DOHC 4 valve heads, slipper pistons, 0W/30 synthetic oil, electric subsystems, variable valve timing, and CAD - which makes it possible to design all of those things and ensure even temperatures in cylinders and heads, free of hotspots and distortion. Those old V8s like the 7.2L hemi lumps were continuous power limited by the distortion that built up as they approached steady operating temperature. The company I worked for consulted for Caterpillar, who were wonderful to work for, but GM (for instance) were, at the time, trying to keep going on what was already obsolete technology in the US, while their European operations were much more progressive.