Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Heroes Coloring Pages

Being a hero is a dream from every children, but whether we have become heroes for ourselves and our children? Being a hero with a fair say with our action. Or dare to acknowledge any errors that we do


Cars with Propellers: an Illustrated Overview

Link - by A. Abrams

If you ever wanted to shred the air (and pedestrians) in your wake, here is your chance.

Why attach propeller to a perfectly normal car? Because you can! Because you can rid the car of transmission, clutch and brakes. Because you can utilize air power and powerful aircraft engines, gain lots of traction and never have to worry about wheelspins or getting stuck in snow or mud.

Some of these cars are even today seen running at the shows (with onlookers keeping a respectable distance). Most models feature sluggish low-speed acceleration (0 to 40mph), great maximum speed (up to 170mph), bad fuel economy and a ridiculous noise from propellers. All this does not take away from awesomeness of owing one.

(images via)

In the early 1900s some rather crazy-looking armored vehicles were used by the military; here is a "Sizaire-Berwick Wind Wagon" from 1905 (and some nameless model under it)

Count Bertrand de Lesseps demonstrates his Auto Aero in 1912:

(photo: National Photo Museum, Beaulieu, via

French engineer Marcel Leyat made plenty of "Helica" propeller-powered cars between 1913 and 1926 (30 were built, two still exist today). Some models had an open, unprotected propeller, good for shredding everything that might stand in their way. Other models gained a wooden protective shroud, which made them sort-of road-worthy (at least in France)

Photos via Anthony Smith and Claude Guéniffey)

With the kind permission of Claude Guéniffey, here are some rare images of this fantastic contraption:

Advertising and postcard images c.1926

Some Helicas were built for speed, and one version even achieved a speed record on Montlhéry racetrack in 1927 - 170km/h.

Sport version, 1921 - photo by J. Borgé & N. Viasnoff - and 1924 version

A little baby Helica! (probably the cutest image I've seen all year) -

Some surviving Helicas look great among other vintage cars (even sports cars) and, in my opinion, are the quintessential steampunk transportation:

The great-condition 1922 Helica (owner: Jean-François Bouzanquet) can be actually driven in Paris

See them running under their own power!

If all else fails, you could strip these propeller-driven cars of wheels and hang them from a monorail:

(image credit: modernmechanix)

Many Soviet snowmobiles during World War One and Two were powered by propellers - see our article, covering the full range of models.

Come the 1930s... and the revival of the Imperial Propeller-Mobile

There was something irresistible about the idea of streamlined propeller car for imperial-minded Germans. Here is a 1938 Maybach Experimental, with 7-cylinder radial aircraft engine mounted on the back.

(images by National Photo Museum, Beaulieu)

"Helicron" (1932) - an interesting example discovered in France not long ago hidden in a barn. it was completely restored, the original horizontally opposed two cylinder four stroke engine replaced with a 4-cylinder, air cooled Citroen GS engine (the propeller coupled directly to the crankshaft). It's deemed safe for French roads, and can reach a top speed of 75mph.

(images top, left Matt Ewalt)

This 1932 model was pretty ugly, but boasts a maximum speed of 80mph:

(image credit:


Modern Ideas Keep the Propeller Car Alive

Dave Major and his "Aero Car" (more info) -

(images by Harrod Blank,

Dave Major's "Aerocar 2" (or "Propellor Car") - more great pics here.

(images by Paul McRae and MaxAir2Air)

Propeller-driven Messerschmitt (see a lot more Messerschmitts on this page) -

(image credit: Mike Farrenkopf)

Another cute one: "Taylor AeroCar III" (1965)

(image credit: Aerofiles)

The Argentinian Aerocar (powered by a Chevrolet six-cylinder) was even considered for mass-production in California in 1955 (more info) The fully-exposed propeller would seriously decimate the amount of pedestrians (potential customers) in California, so these plans never got off the ground.

(image credit: Modern Mechanix)

Over in Russia, more than a hundred of the propeller-driven snowmobiles Sever were made in the 1960s, based on the good old "Pobeda" car:

(image credit: dotsfam)

German-made air-driven sledges helped in Arctic exploration:

(image credit: The Alfred Wegener Institute)

Other rarely-seen streamlined versions, including a bizarre "Road Zeppelin" from one Iowa designer:

(images via)

Or check out this air-car built in 1985 and recently put out for sale on eBay for $10,000 (more info) -

(images via)

"Chimera" is an advanced tactical concept vehicle developed for special operations infiltration missions (more info) -

(image credit: Altair Aerospace)


Propeller Bikes & Trikes

Propeller Trike made by MIT student Damon Vander Lind. As do-it-yourself as they come, this contraption will bring you to the mall, and will fly clear over it, if you are not careful.

(image credit: Popular Mechanics)

Something more conventional, or more weird, depending on how you look at it - a propeller-driven bicycle, conceived in 1936:

(image credit: ModernMechanix, via)

This thing will kill not only every pedestrian that would happen to pass by, but also every dog that jumps at it.

A similar idea powered Alessandro Anzani's cycle, one of the first of its kind, in 1906:

(image credit: Musée de l' Air et de l'Espace de Paris-Le Bourget, via)

This one looks downright sinister:

(image credit: Bob Hanson)

The idea lives on, however, even if only in the hands of homegrown inventors and tinkerers:

This hybrid thing was spotted in Huntsville, Alabama (and it does have propeller in the back, albeit a small one) -

(image credit: Eric Atkins)

Finally, let's get away from all this ugliness and dream a little - imagine how the perfect vintage air-car might look like (propeller, or no propeller).

Colin Smith at Photoshop Cafe presents this vision (sporting a wondrous form of Alfa Romeo BAT series - see our article) Blast off!

(image credit: Colin Smith)

Other sources: Michael Lamm "Cars That Swoosh", Special-Interest Autos, Sept.-Oct. 1976;, Museum of Retro Technology

Also Read:
Steam Buses and Trucks
Cool Road-Rail Vehicles
"Tatra Car and Other Aerodynamic Marvels 1-2
World's Strangest Vehicles 1-4

Check out the whole "Steampunk" series ->

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Category: Technology,Vintage

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hilarious & Crazy Signage, Part 12

Link - by A. Abrams

Signs for Better, Signs for Worse... with sheer lunacy in between

We all hope that New Year will bring us good tidings - as we routinely look around for signs to either confirm or dampen our hopes.

Most of the signs around us are uniformly boring, but then a gem comes along: spawned by the burst of local idiocy, or perhaps, by the glimmer of unintentional brilliance!

(images by Andrew Graydon, Adam Kowalczyk, Ralph Samuelson, M. Radchenko )

Seen in a wonderful "Robot Supply & Repair Shop" in Ann Arbor, Michigan:

(photo sent by Andy)

Wall Street is broken... or at least it seems to be entirely screwed up in Wellington, New Zealand:

(photo courtesy Alexander Garside)

Sign makers have a way to discourage doomsayers:

(image via)

A guy and a girl get excited about radioactivity? -

(image via)

When you apply the sticker over your van, pay attention to where the rivets are going! -

Signs to make your commute less boring:

Suggestions in the sign below include "No Worries" and "Have a Nice Flight!". Gotta be photoshop, but who knows...

(images via)

The local Dutch urban artist decided to dispense with conventional traffic signs altogether:

(original unknown)

Finnish artist Otto Karvonen has placed his own road and traffic signs in various places around Liverpool City Centre:

(image credit: liverpoolbiennial)

Valley View Road leads... everywhere:

(photo sent by Sharyn)

(image via)

(image credit: MegaGreg1)


Warnings are for wimps

If only in a Photoshop Land:

(image credit: Mister_IQ

(images via Sally Lentz, Warren Ellis, Slurpy)

The rest of the signs appear legit...

Not allowed to do... a lot of things. These signs are seen in an abandoned amusement park in Korea (see our article)

(images credit: Jon Dunbar)

Islands of Adventures, Orlando, Florida (left) - and a sign in a taxi, Adelaide, Australia (right) -

(images via)

No smelly durians, please:

(image credit: fast-ferret)


Make your way to the toilet... slowly.

Take time to carefully read the signage, before opening that door:

(images credit: Chris Herron and Dave Cameron)


The Russian's are the best sign creators, bar none

Making the Bourne Identity Matt Damon's character hopelessly confused, this signage would play the hand of those intent on capturing him.

"Place Your Ad Here!" -

When confronted with the shop that sells both "Meat" and "Fish", they draw a fish-cow creature to illustrate the concept:

"Look at this man! he should be ASHAMED! he got drunk and broke the sapling tree that a little boy planted!..." -

"You reap what you sow: Your girl plants the seeds, breaks her back digging the ground, and provides vegetables for your table - and YOU, what are you doing in the meantime??" -
(this made me so guilty, that I couldn't eat vegetables for a week. Oh well.)

"Welcome to Orenburg!"
(A good time was had by all!) -

(image via)

Russian movie posters (I can recognize "Bridget Jones's Diary", "Scooby-Doo"...)


(image via)

"Our Saints" board is glaringly empty:

Politics are getting ugly:

(image credit: Reuters)


Notices to Relish

Enjoy the subtle lunacy of these offerings:

(image credit: Christina Kennedy)

Notice on an office microwave:

(image credit: Passive Aggressive Notes)

This is a pretty weird request:

(image credit: Passive Aggressive Notes)

There is a weird "musical knee" on the right; who knows what it's for -

(images credit: mikeontv and superlocal)

Instructions for prayer? I thought the Bible has them -

(an art project by Dylan Mortimer, more info)

(right image credit: Mike Wiskin)

Obstacle course:

(image credit: Gerben Geijteman)

A church in plight:

(image credit: Passive Aggressive Notes)

(photo sent in by Ollie Green)

It's all about water:

(left image: Sign in a building of the Oregon Health Sciences University, sent in by Idenniston)

Agree... to disagree? -

(image credit:

For the color-blind:

(image credit: yorkshire4)

(right image via terr-bo)

A label for the very useful enhancement to your car:

A Godzilla's Egg:

And finally, a great example of "Engrish", or rather of the interesting clash of cultures... A helpful translation list in Bejing - of (nasty) things English speakers might say to the vendors:

(image credit: Steven Buss)




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