New Top Gear season is ready to roll

Top Gear is back; and it is better than ever.

After all of the criticism that followed the Christmas special, when the three hosts were sent to India on a “mission” on behalf of the British government, the show is ready to break the already sky-high record for number of viewers.

As always when a new season starts (this is the 18th), they showed a preview of what they would present in the seven new episodes. After a fake preview “made to please the newspapers”, they showed the typical Top Gear style with great cars, special effects and a lot of amusement.

Yesterday’s show was about seeking an alternative for those people who do not want to buy a Ferrari 458 (priced £170,000).

So, the three presenters went on a trip through Italy from Lecce to Rome in a Lamborghini Aventador (Jeremy Clarkson), Noble M600 (Richard Hammond) and McLaren MP4-12C (James May). Needless to say, the show did not lack the entertaining and funny jokes.

The “Star in a Reasonably Priced Car” (i.e., the interviewee sent onto the track) this time was Black Eyed Peas singer Will.I.Am., who has recently started his own car company “to help my people get out of the ghetto as I did with my whole family.”

 

The show received a lot of criticism after the airing of the Christmas special, when the presenters were sent to India to try to stimulate British commerce with their former colony.

However, there were many complaints: according to The Guardian, the BBC received 23 complaints towards the jokes and gags that were referred to as “offensive to India and Indian culture.”

This is certainly not the first time the show has faced such accusations (Wikipedia has a whole page dedicated to the Top Gear controversies). Throughout the years, they have made fun of Romanians, Italians, Germans, North Americans and Albanians, which were all depicted as members of the Mafia (“they all drive black Mercedes!” Clarkson said).

For this latter case, the BBC received 600 complaints after they showed which of the three cars they were driving would be the best to hide the corpse of a fat Albanian man in its boot.

However, before making fun of other countries, they first make fun of themselves: three middle-aged men acting like fools, ridiculing themselves in every episode of the show.

This is the essence of Top Gear, and this is why the show has 350 million viewers worldwide and is by far the BBC’s most viewed show in the UK.

The format is always the same: supercars taken on trips throughout some countries, weird challenges involving bargain cars and interviewees sent onto the track in their “reasonably-price car”.

Now, more than ever, the show must not change its structure and its spirit just because of the criticism received.

Top Gear’s most dedicated fans just do not care about the racist, sexist or whatever implications the show has, because it is all these elements together that make the programme what is.

And nobody at the BBC wants it to change.

FIA bans Lotus ride-height control system

The FIA said the innovative ride-height control system developed by Formula 1 team Lotus is illegal.

This announcement comes a few weeks after Charlie Whiting, the FIA’s technical director, accepted the system designed by the formerly French team Renault.

Some top teams, including Ferrari and Williams, asked the Federation to clarify the matter, thinking that the designers were exploiting a hole in the rules.

After further investigations, the Formula 1 government body has agreed to outlaw the device, since it breaches article 3.15 of the technical regulations, according to which

                      “Any device or construction that is designed to bridge the gap between the sprung part of the car and the ground is prohibited under all circumstances.”

 The system consists of a hydraulic cylinder that connects the front brake calipers with the relative suspension; when the driver brakes, this cylinder pushes the braces of the front suspension upwards, reducing the rocking of the car’s nose (and therefore improving the overall car performance).

However, given that

                      “any aerodynamic effect created by the suspension should be incidental to its primary function,”

the inspectors have found this system to be primarily an aerodynamic device and, therefore, illegal.

Ferrari had already built a similar device, and it would have been followed by all of the other top teams, before this announcement came.

This is just the last of a long series of rethinks made by the FIA every year before the championship starts; in 2011 the matter was focused on the blown diffusers (forbidden this season) and, later in the year, on Renault’s reverse exhausts.

Two years ago there was uncertainty towards the McLaren’s innovative F-duct system, while in 2009 three teams used the so-called “double decker” diffuser, gaining a lot of advantage towards the rest of the teams, which did not.

Renault already had a similar device, called “mass damper”, banned in 2006; it was built on the same purpose and was considered illegal when the season was already in its last stages, and the team was fighting against Ferrari for both of the championships.

New fears for Venice after Giglio tragedy

Three days after the wreck of the Costa Concordia ship, statements from the inhabitants of the Isle of Giglio, in Tuscany, reveal that the habit of Captains to pass very close to the shore was widespread.

In August, the Mayor of the island, Sergio Ortelli, referred to this practice when he wrote, “on behalf of all the islanders, I must thank you for the privilege you always give us with this important event”.

After recent criticism the mayor responded that “this is not a normal practice, and my letter was sent to Massimo Calisto Garbarino”, the captain of the Costa Concordia at the time.

Tourism is fundamental for the Isle of Giglio, which has 700 residents in winter and 1200 in summer. The image of the island will surely be affected by this mishap, but more than that, the risk of pollution may spoil this small paradise.

“The area that will be affected” said Corrado Clini, the Italian Minister of the environment, “depends on the streams: the Isle of Giglio, the archipelago or some parts of the shore are in danger.”

There are currently 2,400 tons of fuel to be removed from the ship, and small slicks have appeared around it. However, experts say these are slicks of “light fuel”, that will evaporate by themselves.

On the same days as the Giglio tragedy, a group of Venice citizens funded the “No big ships” committee, to deal with the problem of the cruise liners transiting in the lagoon.

Their aim is to prevent them from entering the area, which is at risk of being irremediably damaged, given its delicate ecosystem.

The governor of the Veneto region, Luca Zaia, stated “I said this ages ago; we must prevent such giants from entering the San Marco lagoon if we want to preserve the integrity of one of the world’s unique cities.”

Earlier this week, the Commission for the Environment at the Senate, in Rome, accepted to discuss a series of talks to change the law on this matter with the committee. The committee’s first call for a hearing was denied.

“We must give the city the power to decide on such matters” said the Mayor of Venice, Giorgio Orsoni. “We were already aware of the problem a long time ago; we must preserve both the integrity of the city and the economic returns.

The changes to the law will be made by the end of March.

Sources: http://www.repubblica.it, http://www.giglionews.it, http://www.corrieredelveneto.corriere.it

Porn for kids!

What spoils little girls more than anything else when they are young, pure and innocent?

The anwer is: fairy tales. They grow up thinking that real life consists of hansome and gallant men, who normally ride horses (or, more recently, powerful cars with plenty of these horses under the hood) and who are ready to fulfill every single desire of them; and, obviously, these desires have nothing to do with sex, ever, because “Prince Charmings” are some kind of asexual people.

So, why can’t little boys dream like girls do? I mean, it’s hard to deal with girls who have grown with this idea of men in their corrupt minds.
I am here asking for educators to teach their little kids using pornos! Which are nothing but fairy tales counter-part.

Girls want their ideal man to fulfill every single desire they have? Let’s make boys dream about this as well…
Girls wish their man to be with them whenever they need him? Ok, we want our woman to be with us whenever we need them…
Girls think the ideal man always rides a horse? Boys will think the ideal girl always rides a… don’t make me say it!

The point is: pornos corrupt men’s minds in the same way fairy tales corrupt female minds. It’s not fair for them to be allowed to dream of something that does not exist in nature.

Girls grow up with a wrong idea of men; I wish I had grown with a wrong idea of women. So, let’s allow both of them, or none of them, it’s not fair that half of the population can dream out in the open, and the other half has to hide away from everybody!