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July 27, 2006

What This Country Needs...(#2 in a series)

I think Phil might agree with me when I say:

What this country needs...

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July 25, 2006

The Five-Cent Cigar Challenge

Thomas Riley Marshall was vice president of the United States in the year 1917 when he uttered a phrase which is now remembered far better than his own name. Marshall is reported to have quipped in response to a laundry list of items falling under the heading of "what this country needs" with the now immortal words:

What this country needs is a really good five-cent cigar.

cigar.jpg

From the vantage point of almost a century, perhaps it's time to update Marshall's famous rejoinder. Not because smoking has fallen into such disfavor, or because it's unlikely these days that one can acquire a really good cigar for anything less than five dollars, but simply because the phrase "what this country needs" is irresistible to the L2si community. It's a phrase in need of completion. It's a challenge.

We therefore announce the L2si Five-Cent Cigar Challenge. All are invited to help us complete the phrase: "What this country needs..." The winning phrase will be chosen by universal acclamation of its brilliance. The prize will be the fame and glory associated with the idea's imminent implementation.

So please, don't let's sit on those brilliant ideas, not when they can be so easliy appended to the comments section of this blog entry.

As a humble example of the kind of thing we're looking for, we present the following:

What this country needs is a really good battery-powered sports car.

Gizmodo provides the following pertinent facts about the Tesla Roadster:

Goes from 0-60 in four seconds

Top speed of 130 MPH

Powered by 6800 lithium ion batteries

Runs 250 miles on a single charge

Recharges in about three and a half hours

So we're talking about a very clean, very quite, very powerful vehicle that just happens to look like this:

tesla.jpg

Wired News adds that this smokin' hot speed machine will sell for about $80,000 -- which puts it in line with top-of-the-line gas-powered sports cars -- and that its level of energy efficiency means that driving it will cost about 1-2 cents per mile -- which significantly differentiates it from those same standard sports cars. (Maybe we should have said, "What this country needs is a good two-cents-a-mile sports car?") Wired News also reports that this new entry in the budding electric car market hails from Silicon Valley -- those are laptop batteries powering it, after all -- and that a more reasonably priced sedan will follow the commercial roll-out of the roadster next year.

To all of which we can only say, bring it on.