July 21, 2018
The Snow Artist
From the Huffington Post:
Sonja Hinrichsen is a snow artist.
Her sprawling designs, made by walking in snowshoes, look like abstract crop circles.
She creates her works primarily in Colorado, as well as in New York and the French Alps.
They can take up to a few days to complete, with the help of 50 or 60 volunteers.
"Snow drawings started out of play, during an artist residency in the Colorado Rockies in the winter of 2009," said Hinrichsen. "I had brought snowshoes mainly so I could go hiking in the mountains, and not get stuck in waist-deep snow. However, there were these amazing stretches of pristine snow, no footprints, not even animal tracks, as the snow was so deep. So I started walking into them and making all kinds of little patterns. I didn't think of it as an art project at all, it was just for fun. At some point I took my camera with me to photograph the patterns — and that's when it became interesting."
"My environmental interventions are temporary," she noted. "They are there only until the snow melts or the next snow storm — in some cases, they even disappear due to snow drifts that simply fill in the tracks with fine snow. Sometimes they are there barely long enough for me to be able to photograph them... sometimes it feels like magic."
[via Reality Carnival]
10 Warning Signs That You're in a Lousy Barber Shop
[via the Wall Street Journal]
My other car is not the new Limited-Edition Lamborghini Huracán Performante Spyder
At least, not in this world.
According to Alessandro Farmeschi, CEO of Lamborghini Automobili U.S., the company will produce fewer than 300 of these naturally aspirated V10 rockets, which offer 640 horsepower from 5.2 liters of displacement.
"We want to keep it exclusive," Farmeschi said at a Silver Oak Cellars dinner last week. "It’s not good to flood the market."
The Huracán Performante Spyder features permanent all-wheel drive. It's priced at $308,859, compared to a standard Huracán Spyder for $262,000.
The Performante version adds 30 more horsepower and a zero to 62 mph speed of just 3.1 seconds. Top speed is just over 200 mph.
Lamborghini expects about half of its Performante sales to be Spyders in the U.S., with sales concentrated in warm states such as California and Florida. Customers wanting to take their cars to the track will pick the coupe.
The car isn't strictly a lightweight at 3,322 pounds, but the extensive use of carbon fiber means a weight reduction of 77 pounds over the original Huracán Spyder.
The Spyder doesn’t have "launch mode," which holds the car in place until the engine is up to speed. "It doesn't need it," Lamborghini’s representative said. Indeed, stomping on the gas pedal will launch the car so fast it feels like you left your stomach back at the starting point.
With Sport mode selected, the Pirelli tires (on 20-inch rims) dig in, the engine pops and crackles like shotgun blasts, and the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic starts spooling through the gears.
There are cars more expensive and faster than this one, but none more exciting to drive.
What's impressive about the mid-engined Spyder is how well it stays on the road. Power in a straight line—the strength of muscle cars—is only half the battle. The Lamborghini always feels solidly planted, and corners with no noticeable body lean.
It's aided, Farmeschi explained, by active aerodynamics through its big carbon fiber rear wing. Opening and closing a flap will produce higher downforce on the inner wheel, which improves cornering and reduces the steering angle.
The downside of flat cornering is often a rough ride, but the Spyder didn't exhibit that trait, even on fairly rough pavement in northern California.
The Spyder's cabin is stylish. Access is easy through the big doors, but the car is so low (with just a few inches of ground clearance) that the driver drops into it.
The seats, otherwise comfortable and good at holding the driver in place, are up against the engine compartment and don't have much back adjustment for tall people. Storage is also at a premium, with only a small "frunk" in front.
Controls are quite cool, from the red safety latch over the start-stop button and the wheel-mounted drive-mode selector (Strada, Sport, Corsa) to the generous helpings of black suede trim held together with red stitching.
The drive modes are useful. Strada ("road") is for pottering around town, if that’s possible with such an extroverted sports car. Select Sport and the exhaust note deepens into a snarl, and the dual-clutch transmission snicks the car through the gears. Corsa ("race") is for the track, and best experienced with ear protectors. There are paddle shifters on the column, but the automatic is very competent.
The tiny but well-padded canvas top will open or fully close in 17 seconds, at speeds of up to 30 mph. The car feels snug with it up, but hardly isolated from the road.
Even without a roof, the car exhibited hardly any chassis flex, and creaks and groans were absent. The car has an infotainment system, but drivers will likely listen to the exhaust music instead.
The Spyder is not quite as "civilized" as the McLaren 720S recently sampled on the other coast. It's harder to imagine using this high-performance GT every day. This Lamborghini is no commuter vehicle.
Note: Ship delivery will cost you an additional $3,695; air shipment adds $9,695.
I'm thinking someone who'd buy one and then opt for having it brought over by sea has a disconnect somewhere.
What say you?