Electric Mower Review at Wired

Wired Magazine has an excellent starter guide for folks looking to green up their lawn maintenance. They make some good points for why you should do it. Most lawn mowers are powered by two-stroke engines that produce more than ten times the pollution of a four-stroke car engine. Plus electric mowers are far more carbon-efficient, and keep pollution out of your yard.

You can get a lot more green for your buck by upgrading your lawnmower than by upgrading your car. Plus, they’re just as powerful, and so much pleasant on your sleeping neighbor’s ears. In fact, I’m about ready to buy one for my landlord, so his early-morning mowing isn’t quite so obnoxious.

See Also:
Electric Hovercraft / Lawnmower

2008 Volkswagen Beetle, Passat, and Jetta had changes

Volkswagen is currently changing their 2008 New Beetle/New Beetle Convertible for its 2008 model year. The changes are minor and some of which include deletions of colors and trim level naming switches. However, there are also significant changes like extra power in some of the engines of other Volkswagen models.
There is also a newfound thrust courtesy of a new intake and software that would take advantage of the extra breathing capability. But this intake doesn’t fit under the hood of the New Beetle, which will continue on with its 150-horsepower version. There is a rumor that the New Beetle for 2007 would have an extra 20 horsepower in it but that still remains to be seen.

The Beetle got a lot of cuts in the changes as the fog lights were taken away from all trims, the floor mats, leather seating, and rain-sensing wipers. Among the changes in the New Beetle and Beetle Convertible aside from those are the following:

*New Trim Level Naming: S and SE
*Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) becomes standard
*New sixteen-inch alloy wheel S
*New seventeen-inch alloy wheel on SE
*Temporary use spare tire
*Delete Shadow Blue on sedan and convertible
*Delete Platinum Gray on convertible
*Delete reflex silver on convertible
*Laser blue no longer available with gray interior
*Black not available with crème top
*Delete Leather seating surfaces from all trims
*Leatherette now named V-Tex
*Cold weather package available on S as stand alone option

The Passat also wasn’t spared from the changes. But the changes for the 2008 Volkswagen passat is much more enjoyable. New Passat owners will now experience standard power driver seats, window shades, and upgraded interior details on all trim levels. Below are the other changes for the Passat sedans and Wagon:

*New trim level naming, Turbo, Komfort, Lux, and VR6
*Leatherette now named V-Tex
*Temporary use spare tire like the Volkswagen New Beetle
*Chrome window trim becomes standard on Turbo
*New sixteen-inch alloy wheel on Turbo
*New seventeen-inch alloy wheel on Komfort
*Delete Shadow Blue
*Delete Wheat Beige on wagon
*Heated washer nozzles only available on VR6
*Bi-Xenon headlamps w/ AFS now standard on VR6
*Manual side and rear sunshade are now standard on sedans
*Manual side sunshades is now standard on wagon
*Power twelve-way driver seat now standard equipment
*Heated front seats optional on Turbo and Komfort
*Leather steering wheel now standard equipment
*Leather shift knob now standard equipment
*Delete Pure Beige leather comfort seats
*Delete gray leather and V-Tex
*New interior trim on Turbo
*Three-spoke leather multi-function steering wheel included with Lux
*Dynaudio now optional on Lux
*Adaptive Cruise Control optional on VR6
*4Motion is only configuration available with VR6 wagon
*Manual transmission only available on Turbo

New Jetta owners could now enjoy an extra power for the 2.5L five cylinder engine. The engines will get a more useful 20 horsepower boost from 170 last year, it will now be producing 177hp. Other chnages are as follows:

*New 170-hp, 177 lb-ft 2.5L five-cylinder engine standard
*Delete 2.0T engine (only available on GLI)
*Automatic only available with SEL
*Temporary use spare tire
*Laser Blue replaces Shadow Blue
*Delete Wheat Beige
*Front and rear lower valance in black textured color on S and SE
*Body color front and rear valance on SEL
*2.5 badge included on S
*Sixteen-inch steel wheels with full covers standard on S
*Delete Climatronic from all trims
*Delete leather seating surfaces from all trims
*Power recline standard on all trim levels
*Seventeen-inch wheel standard on SEL
*Delete Homelink from all trims
*Cold weather package now optional on S
*Sixteen-inch alloy wheel now optional on S
*Sunroof now optional on S
*Premium sound package (includes amplifier and 250W) now optional on SE
*New trim level naming, S, SE, and SEL
*Leatherette now named V-Tex

EcoGeek of the Week:The Directors of Arctic Tale

Adam Ravetch and Sarah Robertson have been filming the arctic for more
than twenty years. Now, for the first time, they’re telling a story of their own. Arcitc Tale will be hitting theaters next month and is
expected to draw huge crowds of all ages. Adam and Sarah were kind
enough to talk with me last week to give me some insights on this
marvelous new film. I’m proud to have them as this week’s EcoGeek(s) of
the Week.

Arctic Tale is a coming of age story about a polar bear cub
and a walrus calf. The story of these characters lives over three years is
constructed from Sarah and Adam’s footage and decades of experience. But whereas the villain in The March of the Penguins
was a noble albatross, Arctic Tale’s villain is much more sinister: climate change.

As our protagonists grow, they discover that the lessons
taught to them by their parents are becoming less and less applicable
in this new warm world.

Sarah says that she sees the film as more than education,
but also more than activism. The film makers obviously see a lesson that must be learned here…and an EcoGeeky lesson at that.

As Nanu the bear and Seela the walrus encounter new and difficult
situations, they learn, adapt and change in order to survive. Sarah
tells me that we, as humans, will be required to do the exact same
thing in this changing world. The moral, in short, is that we aren’t
quite dead yet, and just like walruses and polar bears, we’re going to
have to change, make some difficult decisions, and even go against
tradition to make it out alive.

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