Monthly Archives: December 2008

Homemade Knitting Machines

The geek in me really appreciated this:

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUXk-EHKD_c]

I probably would not make one but I love the concept and the construction. From what I can tell the main mechanism of the machine is made from old printer parts.

I also I found the… Lego knitting machine….

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MV19wqtfyF0]

It seems like a very complicated way to make a loose i-cord, but still the mechanism fascinates me.

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No free lunch for US automakers!!!!

Even though they traveled to the Capitol in hybrid cars… Did they carpool! Here I go again…. if you’ve read my other blog, you know that I have a problem with visionless corporate leadership.  These guys need to really re-evaluate their strategy for innovation.

I sent the following letter to my senator & representative. I would have sent it to Mr. Smith (exiting) but his site didn’t have a contact link/email address. I guess I need to send it to Jeff Merkeley.

If you’re just as pissed about the bailout I suggest you write to your congress people as well. Sending a note to the president-elect  wouldn’t be out of order either.

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Dear Senator Wyden/Representative Blumenauer,

I am writing to ask you not to support bailouts to the auto industry companies without setting forth and later enforcing conditions requiring the auto companies to establish new leadership, a draft well-defined plan for recovery, and a set terms for repayment program for the bailout funds. Make it a loan instead of a bailout.

It’s my firm belief that the lack of foresight, poor planning, and deficit of vision of the corporate leaders from US automakers led them to the dire situation they face today. Japanese automakers such as Toyota saw the need for petroleum alternative technology and foresaw the long term benefits and profitability of hybrid vehicles. They set forth a plan for researching and implementing this technology and have successfully eclipsed US auto companies sales in hybrid cars. Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors should have made the same investments but they did not. Instead they spent their efforts developing and marketing gas guzzling cars such as the Hummer and other SUV units despite the warnings of climate change and the escalating price of fuel. United States auto companies’ inability to quickly adapt to the new needs of consumers and travelers has contributed to the dramatic drop in their profits.

Poor leadership and the resistance to take risks by investing in research and development of new fuel technologies demonstrate that the US auto industry as it stands is not fit enough to move forward. I have very little faith that they will use tax payer’s money wisely or effectively and I am thoroughly disgusted by their gall at requesting such an exorbitant handout from the government without providing a detailed and sound plan for change.

Why should the sweat off my back (and off of millions of honest American working people) pay for the Auto Industry’s mistakes? Why should we trust incompetent corporate leaders with bailout money they hardly deserve? My sophomore year in college I maxed out two credit cards. Instead of bailing me out, my parents taught me the most important lesson of fiscal responsibility by refusing to pay off my debts. I had to pay every cent myself. I learned from my folly. Can we say the same capacity to learn is possible from the car company CEO’s? What kind of message would the government be sending by bailing out irresponsible companies without set conditions for change and repayment?

If companies such as GM, Chrysler and Ford are to be given a bailout it should be with firm conditions. This industry must re-evaluate it’s direction and find new leaders before I will have faith in their ability to pull themselves out of the dire straits they’re now in. And they’ll have to demonstrate their commitment and efforts to curtailing carbon emissions before I even consider buying an American car again. I’m sure millions of American tax-payers feel the same indignation and horror.

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