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Discussion Starter #41 (Edited)
Mustang Loud Exhaust Neutralized By Angry Neighbor With Expanding Foam

May 25, 2020 at 10:23am By: Jacob Oliva MOTOR1.com

As the owner of the car has put it, all he needed to do was ask.

One of the many things that make the Ford Mustang GT so exciting, apart from its naturally-aspirated Coyote 5.0-liter goodness, is its active valve performance exhaust. This allows you to control your Stang's noise level. Choose from quiet to normal to track mode, but having driven the Mustang before, we know that it can still be a bit too loud even when on its quiet mode, especially if you live in a very sensitive neighborhood.

That was the problem that Aaron Robinson faced with his gray Mustang GT, which was vandalized by his annoyed neighbor.

Robinson decided to post the incident on social media, which came with photos of an angry letter and of the damages done to the exhaust. The post has now reached more than 9,000 shares as of this writing. https://www.facebook.com/aaron.robinson.798/posts/10157539597814403

Now, don't let your eyes fool you – those aren't scoops of vanilla ice cream in the exhaust pipes. Those seem to be globs of expanding foam insulation that is available at many home-improvement stores.


Fortunately, Robinson was able to get the majority of the stuff out of the exhaust but not all; at least he was able to get the car up and running. The chrome tips, however, are like "burnt plastic coated" and would more likely need replacement.

To add insult to the injury, we discovered that Robinson's Mustang was fitted with a Borla exhaust upgrade earlier this year, which could have been the cause of a deeper annoyance to his neighbor.

It was pretty loud, admittedly, but that doesn't give the right for his neighbor to vandalize his car and essentially destroy another person's property.

As Robinson has put it, all they needed to do was to just tell him and ask.


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Discussion Starter #42
Last day of Model T production

This Day in History, May 26, 1927

On May 26, 1927, Henry Ford and his son Edsel drove the 15 millionth Model T Ford out of their factory, marking the famous automobile’s official last day of production.


More than any other vehicle, the relatively affordable and efficient Model T was responsible for accelerating the automobile’s introduction into American society during the first quarter of the 20th century. Introduced in October 1908, the Model T—also known as the “Tin Lizzie”—weighed some 1,200 pounds, with a 20-horsepower, four-cylinder engine. It got about 13 to 21 miles per gallon of gasoline and could travel up to 45 mph. Initially selling for around $850 (around $20,000 in today’s dollars), the Model T would later sell for as little as $260 (around $6,000 today) for the basic no-extras model.

Largely due to the Model T’s incredible popularity, the U.S. government made construction of new roads one of its top priorities by 1920. By 1926, however, the Lizzie had become outdated in a rapidly expanding market for cheaper cars. While Henry Ford had hoped to keep up production of the Model T while retooling his factories for its replacement, the Model A, lack of demand forced his hand.

On May 25, 1927, he made headlines around the world with the announcement that he was discontinuing the Model T. As recorded by Douglas Brinkley in “Wheels for the World,” his biography of Ford, the legendary carmaker delivered a eulogy for his most memorable creation: “It had stamina and power. It was the car that ran before there were good roads to run on. It broke down the barriers of distance in rural sections, brought people of these sections closer together and placed education within the reach of everyone.”

After production officially ended the following day, Ford factories shut down in early June, and some 60,000 workers were laid off. The company sold fewer than 500,000 cars in 1927, less than half of Chevrolet’s sales.

The Model A’s release beginning in select cities that December was greeted by throngs of thousands, a tribute to Ford’s characteristic ability to make a splash.

No car in history, however, had the impact—both actual and mythological—of the Model T: Authors like Ernest Hemingway, E.B. White and John Steinbeck featured the Tin Lizzie in their prose, while the great filmmaker Charlie Chaplin immortalized it in satire in his 1928 film “The Circus.”

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/last-day-of-model-t-production-at-ford

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Discussion Starter #43
New and Improved Tomahawk Cruise Missile Now Runs on Corn

Kyle Mizokami Popular Mechanics May 25, 2020, 9:00 AM EDT



One of the nation’s most prestigious national labs has developed a new fuel substitute for the same jet fuel that powers cruise missiles. Los Alamos National Labs has come up with a replacement fuel for JP-10 that uses corn bran and other feedstocks instead of petroleum products. The result is a fuel that can be sourced directly from America’s most plentiful crop, bypassing foreign sources.

The Tomahawk missile is one of the most plentiful missiles in the US military arsenal. Developed in the 1970s, Tomahawk was one of the first low-altitude, radar-evading cruise missiles to enter service, and today 145 U.S. Navy warships carry the missile daily as part of their standard missile loadout. Unlike other missiles that are powered by rocket motors, the Tomahawk and others like it are powered by turbine engines, in effect miniature, single-use airplane engines that trade speed for fuel efficiency and range. These engines, like their bigger, more powerful cousins run on JP-10 jet fuel.

The U.S. Navy sits on a stockpile of 4,000 Tomahawk missiles, each powered by a Williams International F415 turbofan engine, making JP-10 an important part of the fleet’s inventory. The result, LANL says, is a fuel that can be made entirely within the United States, using home-made agricultural products. Unlike petroleum-based JP-10, the feedstock-based method doesn’t require harsh acids to manufacture, making it more environmentally friendly to use as well.

The fuel is made with a byproduct of the process for making corn-based ethanol, making more efficient use of the corn and giving ethanol manufacturers an incentive to manufacture it.



Perhaps the most important aspect of the new formulation: it’s entirely renewable and made with America’s largest crop. American farmers plant 90 million acres of corn every year, which is then used in everything from high fructose corn syrup to feeding livestock. This ensures a steady supply of feedstock that is less susceptible to market volatility. LANL believes that a JP-10 market dominated by the new fuel could drop prices 50 percent, with all of the planting, processing, and refining done in the U.S., which will also create American jobs.

LANL believes that JP-10’s high energy density might lead more high-performance jet engines to use the fuel. This would result in planes with longer ranges or that need to carry less fuel to get from Point A to Point B. If so, this new fuel could be yet another military innovation that carries over to the civilian world.

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Discussion Starter #44
A turtle smashed through a woman's windshield

A turtle smashed through a woman's windshield while she was driving on the highway

CNN 11:58 AM EDT May 27, 2020

SAVANNAH, Ga. — A woman in Georgia was left shell shocked when a turtle went flying across the highway and through her windshield, nearly striking her passenger in the face.

Latonya Lark was driving along Harry S. Truman Parkway in Savannah with her brother, Kevin Grant, on May 19 to run a few errands. In a split second, the pair found themselves face to face with an unlucky turtle.

"I saw out of the corner of my eye what I thought was a brick," Lark told CNN. "I told my brother, 'Oh my God there's a brick flying across the highway.' No sooner than I said that, it impacted my vehicle. It scared me so bad, it sounded like a bomb went off and glass went all over my brother."
If she hadn't slowed down when she did, the turtle may have gone entirely through the windshield and hit her brother in the face, "probably decapitating him," the small business owner said.

"I just remember shielding myself while my sister screamed my name," Grant told CNN. "After the turtle hit the glass, she was literally in shock and kept driving. I was the one covered in blood and telling her to calm down and call 911."



Fortunately, Grant only suffered from minor cuts from the broken glass. The turtle, however, was met with a much more unfortunate fate: it died.

The Chatham County Police Department told WSAV they are unsure how the turtle ended up airborne. The siblings suspect another vehicle struck the turtle, and it ended up soaring across the other side of the highway.

"We're so grateful because this could have been fatal," she said. "But the really sad part is that the turtle died. That was really upsetting."


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Discussion Starter #45 (Edited)
Truth, Justice, and the American Way

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1938 was a dark time for America.

Crime and economic collapse spread over the land as war loomed in the distance. Men sought diligently for work to support their families, the Mob sank their claws into whatever they could, and in Washington; the President worked long hours trying to repair the critical state our fractured country was in. Yet, Americans managed to hold firm to hope, setting aside the worries of the day - trying to find peace of mind and joy at the movies, on the radio, or in the printed page.

Then, two men from Cleveland introduced us to a legend. America would find a renewed hope and strength in their caped icon. The common man didn't feel so small and helpless anymore. Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegal gave the Nation a hero, not from America like Babe Ruth nor of this world like Tarzan; but, a champion from far beyond the stars... from the planet Krypton.
I will always picture him standing behind a beam of light, holding the American flag in one hand and the other on his hip, full of pride and determination, as the John Williams theme plays triumphantly. What I present to you now is a tribute, from a fan and storyteller, of our friend Superman.


"Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound"



"...Look up in the sky, it's a bird, it's a plane; no... it's Superman!"

Although having undergone significant revision in recent years, the basic story of Superman is truly one of America's finest modern classics. For 82 years, he's endured as a symbol of truth and justice, his adventures gracing every medium known to man. To me, the greatest rendition of the Superman story will always be from Superman: The Movie. It conveyed the Superman epic with scope and majesty and yet with sentiment. If only every saga of the Man of Steel could be written and presented in such a manner.

I can't sit here and imagine I'm half the caliber fan most of you are, but Superman appeals to me. I think that is why he is so recognizable world-wide, he appeals to everyone. We see him and he holds a special place in our hearts, everyone from the youngest to the oldest among us. Superman reaches into the child in all of us, I mean, who hasn't wanted to be him and fly? When I see that familiar S, I am filled with a child-like astonishment and awe. I know that other people think Superman is the consummate "goody two shoes", their heroes kill and maim and can't be distinguished from the villainy they should oppose. Even other DCU heroes affectionately or sarcastically dub him 'The Big Blue Boy Scout'. I, for one prefer him this way, thank you very much. I think many of us cling to him for that very reason.

Superman is not just an alien with extraordinary abilities, far above mortal men... he cares for us. He radiates decency and integrity, it's not just the powers that makes him a great man, it is because he is Clark Kent. He, the All-American country boy from the Heartland. Clark Jerome Kent is too integral to the mythos and grandeur that is Superman. That rocket could have landed anywhere, at any time, even fleshed out for decades. Could it--would it-- have been the same? Perhaps, but I am thankful such curiosities are left to Elseworlds. The Kent's wholesome upbringing they raised Kal-El with is what makes Superman a gentle being filled with warmth, kindness, and innocence. An adopted son of man and Earth with honest values and a big heart.

His legacy isn't just that of a hero, but also a teacher; whose lessons have helped guide the generation before us and will the generation after as well. Not too many fictional characters can solicit such a reaction from so many nor have been bestowed with so much gratitude. It does seem very much that I speak of Superman as if he were real, so I want to close by taking this time to give a heartfelt thanks to the men and women who helped contribute and carve Superman into such credible dimensions. Thank you Joe and Jerry... ever so much.

Thank you Superman for the wonderful adventures, important lessons, and for---

"The never ending battle for Truth, Justice, and the American Way."



Josh Grayson www.supermanhomepage.com
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Discussion Starter #46 (Edited)
Lord of the Fries: The Man Who Keeps a Watchful Eye Over Ocean City’s Favorite Fries

The sights, sounds, and smells are unmistakable: children’s laughter alternating with screams emitting from the roller coaster and pier rides, the crashing waves just a short distance away, and the aromas that have been seaside staples for close to 100 years. These elements have had a hand in making the Ocean City, MD Boardwalk the landmark it’s become since its creation in 1902.

Nearly every visitor who makes an annual pilgrimage to the seaside resort has to make at least one stop at the famous boardwalk. Perhaps it’s for the rides, the haunted house that can cause moments of delightful terror, the oddities at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, a bit of history at the Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum, or simply the chance to bike down the boards with the wind and salty ocean air behind your back. Or maybe it’s the food: salt water taffy, chocolates, popcorn, chili dogs, snow cones, or the most famous treat of all, Thrasher’s French Fries.


The venerable boardwalk establishment combines just four simple ingredients: potatoes, peanut oil, apple cider vinegar, and salt into a treat that has practically come to be as representative of the boardwalk, as the boardwalk itself. The two are nearly synonymous with one another.

Thrasher’s may well be your favorite treat, but do you know the history behind the Ocean City Boardwalk’s favorite fry, or who keeps a watchful eye over the legendary stand, ensuring that it’s much the same as it was over 80 years ago? Read on, and find out.

There’s a man who holds court in a small white stand on the Ocean City boardwalk, nearly every day, while the weather is nice. He oversees your vacation, watches your children’s eager faces, and hands out the boardwalk’s most coveted food. He makes sure that the famous potatoes uphold the integrity of the original recipe started in 1929. He is Les Morris, commonly known amongst his co-workers, as “Lord of the Fries” at the infamous boardwalk staple, Thrasher’s Fries.

Les doesn’t own Thrasher’s. That distinction belongs to Buddy Jenkins and the Boardwalk Hotel Group. But, it’s a safe bet that Les knows his way around a French fry better than anybody. He’s worked there for 34 years. When asked about the often copied, but never quite duplicated flavor of Thrasher’s, and its distinction of only serving salt and vinegar as toppings,

Les says simply, “Well that’s the way it’s always been done.”

In this day and age when next best thing often means the constant evolution of products and services, it’s refreshing to hear Les’s comment, communicated in a way that needs no further explanation. Some things are simply better when left untouched.

According to the recorded history of Thrasher’s, the salt and vinegar toppings harken back to the old English ways of dressing potatoes. That fact, and the peanut oil Thrasher’s uses to fry the tasty spuds is all we will ever truly know about the “secret recipe,” started in 1929 by Mr. J.T. Thrasher, the original “Lord of the Fries.”
Mr. Thrasher was a Georgian who introduced a unique concept to the Ocean City Boardwalk, a food stand specializing in only one item (the French fry), unheard of at the time. Thrasher was by all accounts a perfectionist, who brought in potatoes from various regions, at different times of year to ensure the same high quality and taste. To run the stand, he employed a group of girls from a Christian School in Georgia, and housed them in a dormitory above the present-day Bank of Ocean City.
The original Thrasher’s was located just a few steps down from its current location, in the breezeway of the Ocean City Amusement Pier. When forced to sell his beloved French fry stand due to failing health, Mr. Thrasher sold it to local entrepreneur Franklin “Chip” Hastings, who moved the stand to it’s present location. In 1974, Buddy Jenkins purchased Thrasher’s, and 34 years later he remains the third owner of the little stand that made French fries ubiquitous with the seashore.

In modern times, it seems there’s something to be said for the wisdom of the ages, and the old ways of doing things. Simple food stands specializing in one item are popping up all over the country. More doesn’t always mean better, sometimes it simply means, well…more. Mr. Thrasher’s initial concept was mixed with skepticism, but the success of the business is the testament to his vision. Perhaps if you do one thing, and do it well, it never really gets old. Just ask Les Morris, who says,
“I eat those fries every day, and have for 34 years. And I never get sick of them, some days that’s all I eat.”

Currently, there are three Thrasher’s boardwalk locations: the original, another at 2<sup>nd</sup> street, a third at 8<sup>th</sup> St., and a fourth location in Bethany Beach. Through five generations and 80 years, and two owners who pledged to uphold the traditional recipe of Mr. Thrasher himself, trust that when you purchase a cup or bucket of fries at Thrasher’s, you are tasting a potato exactly as it was cooked in 1929, and that’s something!


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Discussion Starter #47 (Edited)
The way this year has been going..... Now for the Asteroid

Stadium-sized asteroid heading near Earth this week

by: Becky Willeke, Posted: Jun 3, 2020 / 12:28 PM EDT



NASA is keeping tabs on a massive asteroid that’s coming closer to Earth each day.

The space agency has an asteroid watch section of its website showing the next 5 approaches, which are all in the next few days.

The largest is estimated to be 1,100 feet wide, approximately the size of a football stadium. That one, named 2002 NN4, would come the closest to Earth on June 6. However, scientists "don’t expect" there to be a collision on Earth. It’s closest approach will be 3,160,000 miles from Earth.

There are three others the size of a plane and one the size of a house also making their way to earth over the next few days. Scientists also "don’t believe" there are any concerns from those asteroids either. The closest one is expected to come within 1,830,000 miles of earth later today.

Uh-huh. Sure.



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Discussion Starter #48
1,000 British bombers drop 5,000 tons of bombs

<dl class="m-detail-header--additional-attributes-item"><dd>This Day in History, June 05, 1944 </dd></dl>Allies prepare for D-Day

On June 5, 1944, more than 1,000 British bombers drop 5,000 tons of bombs on German gun batteries placed at the Normandy assault area, while 3,000 Allied ships cross the English Channel in preparation for the invasion of Normandy—D-Day.

The day of the invasion of occupied France had been postponed repeatedly since May, mostly because of bad weather and the enormous tactical obstacles involved. Finally, despite less than ideal weather conditions—or perhaps because of them—General Eisenhower decided on June 5 to set the next day as D-Day, the launch of the largest amphibious operation in history.
Ike knew that the Germans would be expecting postponements beyond the sixth, precisely because weather conditions were still poor.

Among those Germans confident that an Allied invasion could not be pulled off on the sixth was Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, who was still debating tactics with Field Marshal Karl Rundstedt. Runstedt was convinced that the Allies would come in at the narrowest point of the Channel, between Calais and Dieppe; Rommel, following Hitler’s intuition, believed it would be Normandy. Rommel’s greatest fear was that German air inferiority would prevent an adequate defense on the ground; it was his plan to meet the Allies on the coast—before the Allies had a chance to come ashore. Rommel began constructing underwater obstacles and minefields, and set off for Germany to demand from Hitler personally more panzer divisions in the area.

Bad weather and an order to conserve fuel grounded much of the German air force on June 5; consequently, its reconnaissance flights were spotty. That night, more than 1,000 British bombers unleashed a massive assault on German gun batteries on the coast. At the same time, an Allied armada headed for the Normandy beaches in Operation Neptune, an attempt to capture the port at Cherbourg.

But that was not all. In order to deceive the Germans, phony operations were run; dummy parachutists and radar-jamming devices were dropped into strategically key areas so as to make German radar screens believe there was an Allied convoy already on the move. One dummy parachute drop succeeded in drawing an entire German infantry regiment away from its position just six miles from the actual Normandy landing beaches. All this effort was to scatter the German defenses and make way for Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy.

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/allies-prepare-for-d-day


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Discussion Starter #49
D-Day: Allies storm Normandy’s coast

This Day in History

On June 6, 1944, Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower gives the go-ahead for the largest amphibious military operation in history: Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of northern France, commonly known as D-Day.

By daybreak, 18,000 British and American parachutists were already on the ground. An additional 13,000 aircraft were mobilized to provide air cover and support for the invasion. At 6:30 a.m., American troops came ashore at Utah and Omaha beaches.

The British and Canadians overcame light opposition to capture Gold, Juno and Sword beaches; so did the Americans at Utah. The task was much tougher at Omaha beach, however, where the U.S. First Division battled high seas, mist, mines, burning vehicles—and German coastal batteries, including an elite infantry division, which spewed heavy fire. Many wounded Americans ultimately drowned in the high tide. British divisions, which landed at Gold, Juno, and Sword beaches, and Canadian troops also met with heavy German fire.

But by day’s end, 155,000 Allied troops–Americans, British and Canadians–had successfully stormed Normandy’s beaches and were then able to push inland. Within three months, the northern part of France would be freed and the invasion force would be preparing to enter Germany, where they would meet up with Soviet forces moving in from the east.

Before the Allied assault, Hitler’s armies had been in control of most of mainland Europe and the Allies knew that a successful invasion of the continent was central to winning the war. Hitler knew this too, and was expecting an assault on northwestern Europe in the spring of 1944. He hoped to repel the Allies from the coast with a strong counterattack that would delay future invasion attempts, giving him time to throw the majority of his forces into defeating the Soviet Union in the east. Once that was accomplished, he believed an all-out victory would soon be his.

For their part, the Germans suffered from confusion in the ranks and the absence of celebrated commander Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, who was away on leave. At first, Hitler, believing that the invasion was a feint designed to distract the Germans from a coming attack north of the Seine River, refused to release nearby divisions to join the counterattack and reinforcements had to be called from further afield, causing delays.

He also hesitated in calling for armored divisions to help in the defense. In addition, the Germans were hampered by effective Allied air support, which took out many key bridges and forced the Germans to take long detours, as well as efficient Allied naval support, which helped protect advancing Allied troops.

Though D-Day did not go off exactly as planned, as later claimed by British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery–for example, the Allies were able to land only fractions of the supplies and vehicles they had intended in France–the invasion was a decided success. By the end of June, the Allies had 850,000 men and 150,000 vehicles in Normandy and were poised to continue their march across Europe.

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/d-day

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Discussion Starter #50
Info on the 2008-2009 Bullitt Exhaust System

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several years ago, we directly compared a 4.6l 3v motor with h vs x pipe on the dyno. Using the correct sae test standard, there was no difference in engine output. A difference can be measured between the two crossovers, but it depends on the engine output and remainder of the exhaust system. Seems like everyone has the jist of what's different between the two.

The mustang team continues using the h-pipe design on our v8 products because it is the foundation for building our muscle car sound. Header/manifold design plays a big role, as well, but throwing in the x pipe eliminates 2/3's of the sound content that makes up the american muscle car sound. Above 4000rpm (with factory style mufflers.... Meaning legal for sound levels), the exhaust note sounds like a vacuum cleaner due to the total cancellation of specific engine orders. It's not so bad if you run straight through, aftermarket mufflers that allow for a much greater sound level, but that is not an option for an oem.

I looked at the borla info posted earlier and i laughed a little. Idle burble and decel crackle are listed as error states in the ad, but i tuned the gt, bullitt, boss, etc... To have those very things from the factory. It's expected on a mustang.

But, to each his own. If an x makes you happy, great! That's the awesome thing about mustang. Everyone has their own idea of what makes a great mustang. There are so many options available and a large network of enthusiasts to help one another figure out which part combinations will deliver what you are looking for.
the bullitt system is retuned (within the existing package) from front to back. Aside from the tips, there is no way to tell what has changed beyond looking at part numbers. The h-pipe is modified internally as are the mufflers (completely different design on the inside). The exhaust tips were designed to work with the rest of the exhaust changes and were critical to delivering this sound (though the basic sound comes from the h-pipe and muffler redesign). Emcon is our exhaust supplier (recently spun off from arvinmeritor). I provided them the target sound i was looking for and we worked together to come up with the engineering changes to deliver the sound. Lots of computer modeling coupled with in vehicle fine tuning. I will take exclusive credit for the tips, though! To go along with the signature sound, i made it as loud as legally possible, too. I spent a great deal of time on this exhaust system. Sounds like most of you like it. If you compare the layout of the s197 exhaust system to that of either the sn95 or even the '68, you'll see that it is substantially different. Getting the s197 bullitt to sound the way it does forced us to sharpen our pencils and put on our thinking caps. It was sort of like trying to make a clarinet sound like a tuba (maybe not the best analogy). Hope this info helps.

Fyi - bullitt muffler code (stamped on can) is f1-8087
gt with automatic trans is f1-7991
gt with manual trans is f1-7849
to avoid cutting up your stock h-pipe, you can take a piece of 2.5" pipe about 7-8" long, slice it lengthwise so it will collapse a little (compress it a bit so you can slide it up your new h-pipe, when you release it will expand back against the inner wall of the h-pipe). Before installing it, drill out a 3/8" hole in the wall of it.

Position it in your new h-pipe so the 3/8" hole is facing the cross-over tube and you've got a bullitt h-pipe. Reconnect your intermediate pipes and you're good to go. Could even tack weld it in if you plan on running it like that for a long time...

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Thanks for posting that, Ron. It's a great and reminder of how much time and attention went into the stock 2008 exhaust.
 
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Discussion Starter #52
Benjamin Franklin flies kite during thunderstorm

This Day in History
On June 10, 1752

Benjamin Franklin flies a kite during a thunderstorm and collects ambient electrical charge in a Leyden jar, enabling him to demonstrate the connection between lightning and electricity.

A Leyden jar is an antique electrical component which stores a high-voltage electric charge (from an external source) between electrical conductors on the inside and outside of a glass jar. It typically consists of a glass jar with metal foil cemented to the inside and the outside surfaces, and a metal terminal projecting vertically through the jar lid to make contact with the inner foil. It was the original form of the capacitor (also called condenser).

Franklin became interested in electricity in the mid-1740s, a time when much was still unknown on the topic, and spent almost a decade conducting electrical experiments. He coined a number of terms used today, including battery, conductor and electrician. He also invented the lightning rod, used to protect buildings and ships.

Franklin was born on January 17, 1706, in Boston, to a candle and soap maker named Josiah Franklin, who fathered 17 children, and his wife Abiah Folger. Franklin’s formal education ended at age 10 and he went to work as an apprentice to his brother James, a printer. In 1723, following a dispute with his brother, Franklin left Boston and ended up in Philadelphia, where he found work as a printer. Following a brief stint as a printer in London, Franklin returned to Philadelphia and became a successful businessman, whose publishing ventures included the Pennsylvania Gazette and Poor Richard’s Almanack, a collection of homespun proverbs advocating hard work and honesty in order to get ahead. The almanac, which Franklin first published in 1733 under the pen name Richard Saunders, included such wisdom as: “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”

Whether or not Franklin followed this advice in his own life, he came to represent the classic American overachiever. In addition to his accomplishments in business and science, he is noted for his numerous civic contributions. Among other things, he developed a library, insurance company, city hospital and academy in Philadelphia that would later become the University of Pennsylvania.

Most significantly, Franklin was one of the founding fathers of the United States and had a career as a statesman that spanned four decades. He served as a legislator in Pennsylvania as well as a diplomat in England and France. He is the only politician to have signed all four documents fundamental to the creation of the U.S.: the Declaration of Independence (1776), the Treaty of Alliance with France (1778 ), the Treaty of Paris (1783), which established peace with Great Britain, and the U.S. Constitution (1787).

Franklin died at age 84 on April 17, 1790, in Philadelphia. He remains one of the leading figures in U.S. history.

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/franklin-flies-kite-during-thunderstorm


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Discussion Starter #53
"Tear down this wall"

On June 12, 1987

In one of his most famous Cold War speeches, President Ronald Reagan challenges Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down” the Berlin Wall, a symbol of the repressive Communist era in a divided Germany.

In 1945, following Germany’s defeat in World War II, the nation’s capital, Berlin, was divided into four sections, with the Americans, British and French controlling the western region and the Soviets gaining power in the eastern region.
In May 1949, the three western sections came together as the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany), with the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) being established in October of that same year. In 1952, the border between the two countries was closed and by the following year East Germans were prosecuted if they left their country without permission.
In August 1961, the Berlin Wall was erected by the East German government to prevent its citizens from escaping to the West. Between 1949 and the wall’s inception, it’s estimated that over 2.5 million East Germans fled to the West in search of a less repressive life.

With the wall as a backdrop, President Reagan declared to a West Berlin crowd in 1987, “There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace.” He then called upon his Soviet counterpart: “Secretary General Gorbachev, if you seek peace–if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe–if you seek liberalization: come here, to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” Reagan then went on to ask Gorbachev to undertake serious arms reduction talks with the United States.

Most listeners at the time viewed Reagan’s speech as a dramatic appeal to Gorbachev to renew negotiations on nuclear arms reductions. It was also a reminder that despite the Soviet leader’s public statements about a new relationship with the West, the U.S. wanted to see action taken to lessen Cold War tensions.

Happily for Berliners, though, the speech also foreshadowed events to come: Two years later, on November 9, 1989, joyful East and West Germans did break down the infamous barrier between East and West Berlin. Germany was officially reunited on October 3, 1990.

Gorbachev, who had been in office since 1985, stepped down from his post as Soviet leader in 1991. Reagan, who served two terms as president, from 1981 to 1989, died on June 5, 2004, at age 93.


https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/reagan-challenges-gorbachev-to-tear-down-the-berlin-wall

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Discussion Starter #54
Eerie Golden Gate Bridge ‘Music’

Eerie Golden Gate Bridge ‘Music’ Fills San Francisco After Railing Replacement
The haunting sounds are here to stay.


By Ed Mazza

San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge has found its voice... and it’s already driving some locals nuts.

The city’s help line says the noise ― variously described as a whistle, hum, howl or even scream ― is caused by “high winds blowing through the newly installed railing slats along the bike path on the bridge.”

It’s not constant, only when the winds are just right, as was the case on Friday.
It can be heard for miles throughout the City by the Bay and beyond.

Local public radio station KQED referred to the bridge as a “a giant orange wheezing kazoo.”

“The Golden Gate Bridge has started to sing,” Paolo Cosulich-Schwartz, a spokesman for the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District, told the station. “The new musical tones coming from the bridge are a known and inevitable phenomenon that stem from our wind retrofit during very high winds.”

He said the retrofit is “necessary to ensure the safety and structural integrity of the bridge for generations to come.”

In other words, unless there’s another retrofit, the haunting sounds are here to stay.



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Discussion Starter #55
Distillery recalls gin bottles mistakenly filled with hand sanitizer


By Ben Hooper / UPI


June 11 (UPI) -- A distillery in Australia said a recall successfully recovered all gin bottles that were mistakenly sold as liquor when they were actually filled with hand sanitizer.

The Apollo Bay Distillery in Victoria said nine bottles labeled SS Casino Gin were sold during the weekend at the Great Ocean Road Brewhouse in Apollo Bay.

The distillery said the bottles were mistakenly put up for sale as gin, but were actually filled with hand sanitizer containing glycerol and hydrogen peroxide.

A spokesman said the bottles were identifiable by a lack of a seal or shrink wrapping.

"Consumption of the product may have side effects including nausea, headaches, dizziness, bloating, vomiting, thirst and diarrhea," the distillery said in issuing the recall.

The recall was issued Monday and the distillery said Wednesday that all nine bottles had been recovered.

"We are very sorry this occurred. Rest assured we will be following up our procedures to ensure this does not occur again," the distillery said. "We'd like to thank those who were affected for being so understanding. We are in the process of fully refunding and providing a replacement product to those impacted."


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Discussion Starter #56
A Different Time....

Sweet teenage couple listening to records back in 1948. *Note the milk and cookies.


Source: Pinterest

This is what it was like to be a teenager back in 1948. You would put on records, pour a glass of milk, and eat some cookies. What more would you want? Note that no one in this photo is checking their iPhone or checking a Facebook feed. These were much simpler times.

Here's some trivia, the word "teenager" was not even a word until the late 1940s. The word "teenager" was like the word "millennial" of today. Life Magazine of the day wrote, "the modern notion of the teen years as a recognized, quantifiable life stage, complete with its own fashions, behavior, vernacular and arcane rituals."

Those were the days....


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Plastic rain is now falling across the U.S.

Forget acid rain. Plastic rain is now falling across the U.S.

Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, June 12, 2020

Here's something else to worry about: plastic rain.



Powerful magnification allowed researchers to count and identify microplastic beads and fragments that were collected in 11 western national parks and wilderness areas over 14 months of sampling.

Delivered like dust by the wind and rain, researchers in a new study estimate that more than 1,000 tons of tiny plastic microparticles – roughly the equivalent of 120-300 million plastic water bottles – falls upon national parks and protected wilderness areas in the western United States each year.

The findings were published Thursday in the peer-reviewed journal Science in the article "Plastic rain in protected areas of the United States."

Lead researcher Janice Brahney of Utah State University was "shocked" at the amount of microplastic her team uncovered, she said in a statement.

“Plastics don’t decompose," she told the Denver Post. "They just break down into smaller and smaller fibers, and that allows them to be transported through the atmosphere, repeatedly being carried through the atmosphere."

Overall, the world produced 348 million metric tons of plastic in 2017 and global production shows no sign of slowing down. In the United States, the per capita production of plastic waste is 3/4 pounds per day.

High resilience and longevity make plastics particularly useful in everyday life, but these same properties lead to progressive fragmentation instead of degradation in the environment. These "microplastics" are known to accumulate in wastewaters, rivers, and ultimately the worlds' oceans – and as Brahney's team showed, they also accumulate in the atmosphere.

The pollution, obviously, isn't limited to protected areas: Although her team only examined plastics in National Parks in the western U.S., "it would make sense that plastic pollution is falling everywhere and probably at higher rates in urban areas," she told USA TODAY. "Our study was a bit of an accident as we meant to study phosphorus deposition in remote locations. Otherwise, we would have set up sites in cities!"

"If we took our mean deposition rate and extrapolated it out for the whole country, it would be 22,000 tons. We definitely need more research of these numbers," Brahney said.

The results show that atmospheric transport is an important part of how microplastic pollution is distributed globally, including to remote locations. The study findings also underscore the importance of reducing pollution from such materials, which are small enough to accumulate in lung tissue.

Brahney believes that her research is just the beginning of understanding how microplastics move through ecosystems, according to the Guardian.

“Learning about plastics and how they don’t decompose and degrade it seems like, ‘Oh my gosh, we should’ve been expecting this, they’re just fragmenting into these tiny sizes they could certainly be carried by the wind,’” Brahney told the Guardian.

“We’ve just been missing it,” she said.

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This Is Why You Never See Mosquitoes at Disney World

Meghan Jones

Have you noticed that the Florida-based park seems to be virtually mosquito-free?

While you’re strolling around Disney World on a hot day, debating which ride to check out next and munching one of these delicious foods you must try at Disney, chances are you’re not swatting away mosquitoes. You might take it for granted—of course, there are no pesky blood-sucking bugs in the Most Magical Place on Earth. But then when you start to think more about it, it gets perplexing.

Disney World is in Florida, after all, a hot state filled with swampland. In fact, the area where the park is used to be nothing but swampland! So how is Disney World virtually mosquito-free?

Well, there’s no miraculous Disney-magic method that completely eliminates all bugs. Some bugs do still make it into the park because no technique can be 100 percent effective. But, by combining a few different methods of pest control, Disney can create a mostly pest-free park in the middle of swamp country. And most of the park’s pest control methods trace back to one man.

Walt Disney meets Joe Potter

If you’ve taken the ferry from the Ticket and Transportation Center to the Magic Kingdom, you may have noticed the name “General Joe Potter” on one of the boats. MIT graduate and engineering expert Major General William “Joe” Potter met Walt Disney during the 1964 World’s Fair. Potter had previously served as governor of the Panama Canal Zone, an area ravaged by malaria-carrying mosquitoes. According to Christoper Lucas, author of Top Disney: 100 Top Ten Lists of the Best of Disney, this was where Potter developed his extensive knowledge of pest control as one of the engineers fighting to control the swarms. As Joe and Walt talked at the World’s Fair, the former mentioned his background in controlling mosquitoes. Walt “hired him on the spot” and put him in charge of keeping mosquitoes out of the expansive theme park Walt was planning on building in central Florida, Lucas says.

Flowing water

Disney’s methods aren’t to kill bugs but to prevent bugs from being in the park at all. So their methods target the larvae instead—they make the park a non-ideal environment for mosquitoes to live or lay their eggs. One of the ways they accomplish this is by making sure the park has no standing water—mosquitoes are attracted to still water and it’s an ideal environment for them to lay eggs. “You [need to] get rid of their breeding ground, which is standing water,” Lucas explains.
But, as you can imagine, swamps are filled with standing water. So, when Potter got to work on construction for Disney World, he immediately set about building drainage ditches to remove all of the water, converting the swampy land to buildable land. And those ditches—nicknamed “Joe’s ditches”—are still used today, to keep all of the water in Disney parks constantly moving.
“The guests usually don’t notice it…but the water is constantly flowing,” Lucas says. “Whenever you walk by a body of water, there’s usually a fountain in the middle of it, or they’re doing something to keep it flowing.” Whenever Disney prepares to build a new property, such as one of these best Disney resorts for a perfect family vacation, they buy a lot more land than the property itself requires so that they can build drainage ditches to allow them to keep the water moving.

Architecture

Disney’s buildings, too, are designed to prevent standing water from collecting. “All of the buildings are built so that water flows right off of [them],” Lucas explains. “With all the rainstorms, if water got caught on the buildings…it would form a pool, and then mosquitoes would hatch their eggs and you’d have thousands of mosquitoes.” So Disney World buildings have a certain shape that doesn’t allow water to collect. It’s something that guests would never notice but is very effective. “They made every building there curved, or designed in a way so there’d be no place for the water to catch and sit there,” Lucas says. “The architecture is really appealing to the eye, but it also serves a purpose: It makes it less conducive to mosquitoes.” See if you can spot this architecture style on your next trip to the parks to visit these things debuting in Disney in 2019.

Landscaping

Even the plants in and around the Disney World property are chosen with the intention of eliminating standing water. Plants are chosen because they won’t allow water to puddle in them. Bodies of water are kept free of plants like water lilies that mosquito larvae can hide underneath. “They also stock-fill those places with minnows, goldfish, and a type of fish called mosquito fish that eat the larvae,” Lucas explains.

Sprays—but no, not that kind

Right from the get-go, Walt Disney made it clear that he didn’t want nasty chemicals floating around his park. “[He] did not want to ruin the environment at all, so they couldn’t use pesticides,” Lucas explains. “It’d be easy to just spray the whole thing, but he wanted it to be something natural.” So, instead of pesticides, the park uses an unusual insect repellent: liquid garlic. Mosquitoes notoriously can’t stand the smell of garlic, so Disney sprays an extract around the park. “The amount that they use is so small that humans can’t smell it, but mosquitoes are very susceptible to it,” Lucas says.

It’s certainly quite the operation, but Lucas acknowledges that none of it would have been possible without Potter. “Without him, they might’ve built the place, but they’d have a problem today with mosquitoes,” he says. We’re sure glad he’s immortalized with a boat!


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UNIVAC, the first commercially produced digital computer

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

UNIVAC, the first commercially produced digital computer, is dedicated

On June 14, 1951, the U.S. Census Bureau dedicates UNIVAC, the world’s first commercially produced electronic digital computer. UNIVAC, which stood for Universal Automatic Computer, was developed by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly, makers of ENIAC, the first general-purpose electronic digital computer. These giant computers, which used thousands of vacuum tubes for computation, were the forerunners of today’s digital computers.

The search for mechanical devices to aid computation began in ancient times. The abacus, developed in various forms by the Babylonians, Chinese, and Romans, was by definition the first digital computer because it calculated values by using digits. A mechanical digital calculating machine was built in France in 1642, but a 19th century Englishman, Charles Babbage, is credited with devising most of the principles on which modern computers are based. His “Analytical Engine,” begun in the 1830s and never completed for lack of funds, was based on a mechanical loom and would have been the first programmable computer.

By the 1920s, companies such as the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) were supplying governments and businesses with complex punch-card tabulating systems, but these mechanical devices had only a fraction of the calculating power of the first electronic digital computer, the Atanasoff-Berry Computer (ABC). Completed by John Atanasoff of Iowa State in 1939, the ABC could by 1941 solve up to 29 simultaneous equations with 29 variables. Influenced by Atanasoff’s work, Presper Eckert and John Mauchly set about building the first general-purpose electronic digital computer in 1943. The sponsor was the U.S. Army Ordnance Department, which wanted a better way of calculating artillery firing tables, and the work was done at the University of Pennsylvania.

ENIAC, which stood for Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator, was completed in 1946 at a cost of nearly $500,000. It took up 15,000 feet, employed 17,000 vacuum tubes, and was programmed by plugging and replugging some 6,000 switches. It was first used in a calculation for Los Alamos Laboratories in December 1945, and in February 1946 it was formally dedicated.

Following the success of ENIAC, Eckert and Mauchly decided to go into private business and founded the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation. They proved less able businessmen than they were engineers, and in 1950 their struggling company was acquired by Remington Rand, an office equipment company. On June 14, 1951, Remington Rand delivered its first computer, UNIVAC I, to the U.S. Census Bureau. It weighed 16,000 pounds, used 5,000 vacuum tubes, and could perform about 1,000 calculations per second. On November 4, 1952, the UNIVAC achieved national fame when it correctly predicted Dwight D. Eisenhower’s unexpected landslide victory in the presidential election after only a tiny percentage of the votes were in.

UNIVAC and other first-generation computers were replaced by transistor computers of the late 1950s, which were smaller, used less power, and could perform nearly a thousand times more operations per second. These were, in turn, supplanted by the integrated-circuit machines of the mid-1960s and 1970s. In the 1980s, the development of the microprocessor made possible small, powerful computers such as the personal computer, and more recently the laptop and hand-held computers.

And also gave rise to the Luddite movement.

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/univac-computer-dedicated

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Mars: Green glow detected on the Red Planet

Scientists have identified a green light in the atmosphere of Mars.

Jonathan Amos - BBC Science Correspondent, BBC•June 15, 2020

A similar glow is sometimes seen by astronauts on the space station when they look to the Earth's limb.
The glow comes from oxygen atoms when they're excited by sunlight.
The phenomenon has long been predicted to occur on other planets, but the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) - a joint European-Russian satellite at Mars - is the first to make the observation beyond Earth.

"It's a nice result," said Dr Manish Patel from the UK's Open University.

"You'd never plan a mission to go look for this kind of thing. Today, we have to be very clear about the science we're going to do before we get to Mars. But having got there, we thought, 'well, let's have a look'. And it worked."

To be clear, this is different to classic aurora like the Northern and Southern Lights.
These emissions are the consequence of collisions between atmospheric molecules and charged particles that are racing away from the Sun. On Earth, this type of interaction is heavily influenced by our planet's strong magnetic field, which pulls those particles down on to the poles.

Aurora are not focussed in quite the same way on Mars because this world doesn't have a global magnetic field, but such emissions nonetheless exist and have already been observed.

The green glow seen by astronauts at the edge of the Earth - and now by the TGO at Mars - has a separate origin. It's sunlight that's doing the work. Oxygen atoms are raised to a higher energy level and when they fall back to their resting state, they produce the tell-tale green emission.

Earth has abundant oxygen in its atmosphere. But on Mars it's largely present only as a breakdown product of carbon dioxide. Sunlight will free one of the oxygen atoms in CO2, and it's the transition of this atom that's glowing green on the Red Planet.

The TGO detects the excited oxygen not with an imager but with its Nomad spectrometer package. This instrument sees the oxygen at very particular altitudes.

In a paper published in the journal Nature Astronomy, these altitudes are at 80km and 120km above the surface. The precise altitudes are dependent on the pressure of CO2.

"And by looking at the altitudes of where this emission is, you can actually tell the thickness of the atmosphere and how it's varying," explained Dr Patel.

"So, if you were to keep observing this phenomenon, you could see the height of the atmosphere change, something it does for example when it heats up during dust storms. This is an issue we face when we try to land on Mars because we're never quite sure just how thick the atmosphere will be when we plough through it to get to the surface."


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