2017 This year, Malcolm agile innovator Turnbull's Lib/NP government oversaw the end of car manufacturing in Australia — GM Holden (20 Oct.) and Toyota (3 Oct.); Ford had stopped last year (7 Oct 2016). The story seems to be that Toyota would quite have liked to keep going, GM was perhaps ambivalent, and Ford stopped really trying some years ago. On road safety, not only do we need self-driving trucks (27 Aug., 18 March, 1 March, 27 Feb., 23 Jan.), but we also need self-maintaining trucks (1 Dec., 12 Nov., 9 Oct.). The Volkswagen (VW) emissions cheating scandal continued (7 Dec., 1 Dec., 29 Sept., 25 Aug., 28 July, 7 July, 6 April, 10 Mar., 8 Mar., 6 Feb., 1 Feb., 27 Jan., 9 Jan.), as did the Takata airbag disaster (15 Aug., 24 July, 28 April). The flying car, or person-carrying drone, is still not quite(?) a practical reality, e.g., Vahana (Airbus) [...], Volocopter [www].

28 December 2017: Tropical Cyclone Hilda (cat. 1) crossed the WA coast near Broome on the 27th and was "185 kilometres south southwest of Broome" at 11am AWST on the 28th [bom].

28 Dec Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.40/l; min $1.27 ([Perth] avg $1.42/l, min $1.26); oil us$60/b; au$1.00=us$0.78, £0.58, €0.65, ¥88

28 December 2017: Terminal gate prices, ULP Sydney $1.23/l, Melbourne $1.23/l, & diesel Sydney $1.24/l, Melbourne $1.23/l — AIP [www].

28 December 2017, .uk: "The UK has achieved its greenest year ever in terms of how the nation's electricity is generated ... Britain has halved carbon emissions in the electricity sector since 2012 to provide the fourth cleanest power system in Europe and seventh worldwide. ... wind farms produced more electricity than coal plants on more than 75% of days this year. ..." -- [bbc].

27 December 2017, .uk: "Police are warning drivers of hazardous conditions on roads after snow fell in parts of the UK overnight. The M1 was blocked at junction 19 after a lorry accident ..." -- [bbc].

27 December 2017: "... Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, the Chinese company that bought Volvo Cars in 2010, said on Wednesday that it would acquire an 8.2 percent stake in AB Volvo, a Swedish manufacturer of trucks ..." — NYT [...].

26 December 2017, Boxing Day: Start of the Sydney to Hobart, e.g., [abc].

23 Dec Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.43/l; min $1.27 ([Perth] avg $1.34/l, min $1.22); oil us$59/b
22 Dec Fri au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.58, €0.65, ¥87

22 December 2017: "...find that temperatures that deviated from the moderate optimum (~20°C) increased asylum applications in a nonlinear fashion, which implies an accelerated increase under continued future warming. ... asylum applications by the end of the century are predicted to increase ... by 188% (660,000 additional applications per year) under RCP 8.5 for the 21 climate models in the NASA Earth Exchange Global Daily Downscaled Projections (NEX-GDDP)." -- 'Asylum applications respond to temperature fluctuations.' A. Missirian et al, Science, 358(6370), pp.1610-1614 [www].

22 December 2017, .uk: "... the average new car sold in 2017 produces more CO2 than its equivalent from last year, with thousands returning to petrol as the message on diesel emissions is hammered home. ..." — RAC [www].

19 December 2017: "... Australia's annual emissions in 2016-17 are estimated to have increased 0.7 per cent on the previous year to 550.2 Mt CO2-e. The expansion in LNG exports, which saw a production increase of 41.6 per cent over the previous year, was the major contributor to this increase ... Annual emissions are 0.8 per cent below emissions in 2000 (554.4 Mt CO2-e) and 9.1 per cent below emissions in 2005 (605.0 Mt CO2-e). ..." — .gov.au [www].

18 December 2017: "... the 2018 Jeep Wrangler could be considered SAE autonomy Level 0.5 ... the new Wrangler is unabashed in its dedication to the analog driving experience ... The new [2.0 I4] engine comes standard with a 48V belt-starter generator system called eTorque. It provides mild-hybrid features ..." — SAE [...].

18 December 2017, recall PRA 2017/16479: "Ford Ranger ... When driven over long grass affected vehicles may accumulate vegetation under the vehicle near the exhaust system. ... may be ignited by the exhaust system ..." — .gov.au [www].  (Ditto, Mazda BT-50, PRA 2017/16480, [www].)

18 Dec Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.47/l; min $1.30 ([Perth] avg $1.27/l, min $1.20); oil us$57/b; au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.57, €0.65, ¥86

18 December 2017, .au: "National residential electricity prices will fall on average over the next two years from mid 2018 as more variable wind and solar generation comes online - offsetting this year's price increase. ..." -- Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) [...] [www].

Dec 2017, .uk: ".. the safest new cars of 2017 ... Alfa Romeo Giulia, Audi Q2, Ford Edge, Hyundai Ioniq, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Peugeot 3008, Renault Scenic, Seat Ateca, Toyota Prius, VW Tiguan, ..." -- Thatcham Research [www].

14 December 2017: "... Infiniti's VC-Turbo engine is the world's first production-ready variable compression ratio engine - and it makes its production debut on the new QX50. ..." -- [...]. The Nissan QX50 SUV was at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show. (Nissan's VC engine was unveiled 3 Oct. 2016.)

13-16 December 2017: The 2017 Geminids meteor shower "is predicted to provide a spectacular end to the year for keen skywatchers across Australia. ... The annual shower can be seen from Australia between December 13-16, with up to one meteor visible every minute from some locations in the early morning of Thursday, December 14 as the shower peaks. .." -- [abc][12/12].

13 Dec Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.43/l; min $1.22 ([Perth] avg $1.45/l, min $1.27); oil us$57/b; au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.57, €0.64, ¥86

12 December 2017: "... Lamborghini held the Urus [SUV] Asian premiere in Singapore, a week after the world premiere [...] at Lamborghini HQ in Sant'Agata Bolognese. ..." — Lamborghini [...].

11 December 2017, .au: "Oodnadatta's pink roadhouse safe haven for travellers despite mobile black spot problems ..." -- [abc].

11 December 2017, usa: "Fresh evacuations have been ordered after the largest of the wildfires raging in southern California burned out of control on Sunday. ... now threatens the coastal city of Santa Barbara ..." -- [bbc].

9 December 2017, .uk: "Snow is continuing to fall in many parts of the UK, amid warnings that icy conditions overnight could cause travel delays and 'cut off' some rural areas. ..." -- [bbc].  (11 Dec.: And The G [www].  bbc [12/12].)

8 Dec Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.30/l; min $1.26 ([Perth] avg $1.38/l, min $1.25); oil us$57/b; au$1.00=us$0.75, £0.56, €0.64, ¥85

December 2017: The 2018 entry list for formula one (F1) shows ten teams, with Sauber becoming 'Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team' using Ferrari engines, McLaren switching from troubled Honda engines to Renault, and Toro Rosso to Honda, [www]. The 2018 calendar shows twenty one Grand Prix (2017 + France + Germany - Malaysia) [www].

7 December 2017: "A former Volkswagen executive has been sentenced to seven years in prison and a $400,000 (£298,778) fine, after admitting he helped the firm evade clean-air laws. ... VW first admitted in September 2015 that it had used illegal software to cheat US emissions tests. The scandal has cost it almost $30bn. ..." -- [bbc], and [abc].

7 December 2017: "... the California zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate [is] greatly simplified starting in 2018. ... also followed by Oregon and eight other so-called 'Section 177' states ... Regulation is intended to reduce GHG by 40% by 2030, and 80% by 2050. The ZEV mandate seems to provide a clearcut path for the automotive sector. Further, ZEVs are seen avoiding deterioration factors associated with ageing conventional engines. ..." — SAE [...].

6 December 2017: RM Sotheby's New York Icons auction, including lot 141 a 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider (open) Competizione, chassis #1451 GT, engine #197 D (sold for is$17,990,000) [www].

6 December 2017: A Honda Jazz driving "at an average speed of 40mph [completed the] 844-mile journey between Land's End and John O'Groats on a single tank ... [fuel economy of] 95 mpg. ..." — the AA [www].

6 December 2017 recall PRA 2017/16442: "Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars 'C' Class 63s ... Torque peaks may arise in the drivetrain in the vehicle under pulling-away manoeuvres on a wet road. This may lead to failure of the drive shaft. ... Consumers should contact their nearest [MB] Retailer for an update to the software of the ESP control units and, if necessary, the suspension control unit." — .gov.au [www].

6 December 2017: "The Bureau's ENSO Outlook has been raised to la Nina, indicating that the tropical Pacific has reached La Nina levels. ... La Nina typically brings above-average rainfall to eastern Australia during late spring and summer. However, sea surface temperature patterns in the Indian Ocean and closer to Australia are not typical of a La Nina event ..." -- [bom].

5 December 2017: "... The remote community of Gunbalanya near Kakadu recorded once-in-50-year rainfall levels, with 101mm falling in just over an hour on Saturday night. ... At Gunn Point, just north of Darwin, 110mm of rain fell in just over an hour, also exceeding the once-in-50-year threshold. ..." -- [abc].

5 December 2017,.uk: "UK new car demand falls (-11.2%) in November to 163,541 units. The UK new car market declined for an eighth consecutive month in November ... The Alternatively Fuelled Vehicles (AFV) sector, however, continued to make significant gains, growing 33.1%. Petrol cars also saw a gain, though of a more modest 5.0%. These increases could not, however, offset the heavy (-30.6%) drop in diesel registrations. ... #1 Ford Fiesta 6,434 (Nov), 89,504 (ytd) ..." — SMMT [...]. And "... pure electric 834 (Nov), 12,633 (ytd); plug-in 3,164 (Nov), 30,204 (ytd); ..." -- [...].

4 December 2017: "... nearly half of [Melbourne's] top ten [burglary] postcodes contain new housing estates. Cardinia, Clyde and Clyde North, all of which include new housing estates remain the top burglary hot spots, unchanged from 2016. Keilor and Keilor North have also seen a significant rise in burglary rates, from one in 54 to one in 32 over a 12-month period. ..." — RACV [www].

3 Dec Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.38/l; min $1.30 ([Perth] avg $1.31/l, min $1.25); oil us$58/b
1 Dec Fri au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.56, €0.64, ¥85

2 December 2017: "Ownership costs are compared for Electric, Hybrid, petrol and diesel vehicles. ... At current low fuel prices in the UK, hybrids reach cost parity at 16,000 miles." -- K. Palmer et al, 'Total cost of ownership and market share for hybrid and electric vehicles in the UK, US and Japan,' Applied Energy, vol.209, no.1, pp.108-119, [www].

2 December 2017: "... At 1 pm ... Saturday, we've got major flood warnings for the Ovens and King Rivers in Victoria, and the Seven and Castle Creeks as well. We've got a minor to major flood warning for the Murrumbidgee River in New South Wales also. Minor to moderate flood warnings are in place for several other river systems across northeast Victoria and southeast New South Wales, and Severe Weather Warnings continue for heavy rain across the southeast including the ACT and Canberra ..." -- [bom].

2 December 2017: Bonhams Bond Street sale (auction) [...], including lot 107 a 1965 LHD Aston Martin DB5 Vantage, chassis #DB5/2214/L (sold £830,300); lot 119 a 1959 Bentley S1 Continental Sport Saloon, reg. 490 JLC, chassis #BC1BG (sold £366,666); lot 132 a 1964 Aston Martin DB5 4.2-litre, reg. 64 MAC, chassis #DB5/1653/R (sold £1,345,500).

1-10 December 2017: LA Auto Show, Los Angeles [www].

1 December 2017: Toyota "will build the world's first megawatt-scale carbonate fuel cell power generation plant with a hydrogen fueling station to support its operations at the Port of Long Beach. ... will generate approximately 2.35 megawatts of electricity and 1.2 tons of hydrogen per day, enough to power the equivalent of about 2,350 average-sized homes and meet the daily driving needs of nearly 1,500 vehicles. ... including new deliveries of the Mirai sedan and Toyota's Heavy Duty hydrogen fuel cell class 8 truck, known as Project Portal. ..." — Toyota [...].

1 December 2017: "All Tip Top-owned bread delivery trucks at its western Sydney depot have been issued with defect notices after an inspection by road safety authorities. ..." -- [abc].

1 December 2017, .au: "A federal court judge has slammed Volkswagen for failing to explain why they fitted cars with emissions 'defeat devices', and has warned company executives may be forced to take the stand over the matter. ... The Australian class action will begin in March." -- [abc].

1 December 2017: "... a severe weather warning in place for heavy rainfall across most of Victoria and parts of south and central New South Wales, where there's also a risk of damaging winds. The heavy rain and damaging wind risk across areas of South Australia is more likely to come from thunderstorms ..." -- [bom].

1 December 2017: "Parts of the UK could face disruption on Friday morning, amid warnings of wintry showers and plunging temperatures. ..." -- [bbc].


30 November 2017: "Today marks the start of a significant and widespread rain and thunderstorm event for southern and eastern Australia, with the potential for major riverine flooding to develop through parts of Victoria. ... areas over Victoria for today through to Monday, are likely to experience 100 to 200mm, particularly northern and central regions of the State. Elsewhere rainfalls are likely to be between 30 and 100mm in Victoria, but it's the northeast ranges that are likely to see the heaviest falls with up to 300mm possible about that range area. ..." -- [bom] (and warnings [www]). Also see the [abc].

29 November 2017: The new "2018 Jeep Wrangler ... 2-litre I4 turbo and 3.6-litre V6 petrol engines, and 3-litre V6 turbo diesel in 2019; 8-speed auto and 6-speed manual gearboxes; full-time 4WD transfer-case; 33" tyres on 'Rubicon' models ..." — Jeep [www], and 2018 Wrangler JK [...].

29 November 2017, .uk: "On this day in 1897, the very first British motor races took place when the Motor Car Club, as a first anniversary celebration of their Emancipation Run from London to Brighton, organised a series of races for the De Dion Bouton motor tricycles on the quarter mile oval cycle track at Sheen House, Richmond Park. The 120th Anniversary commemorations of the first of all British motor races will see around 15 Trikes on track in a series of demonstration races, from one mile sprints, to the finale which will be the Club's Five Mile Championship on the Finishing Straight. Furthermore, they will be presented exactly as those first motor races, on an oval circuit. ..." — Brooklands Museum [...] [www].

29 November 2017: "The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against Jayco Corporation Pty Ltd (Jayco), Australia's largest caravan and recreational vehicle manufacturer, alleging it breached the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) by its conduct towards four customers who purchased defective Jayco caravans. ..." — ACCC [www].

28 Nov Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.46/l; min $1.28 ([Perth] avg $1.27/l, min $1.20); oil us$59/b; au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.57, €0.64, ¥85

28 November 2017: "Footage of a saltwater crocodile suddenly launching from a creek and attacking a tourist has reignited the debate on culling in far north Queensland. ..." -- [abc].

26 November 2017 [#20/20]: Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix.
Results: 1. Valtteri Bottas [Mercedes]; 2. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 3. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]. (Hamilton clinched the drivers' championship in Mexico, 29 October. Also see the FIA [www] and the [bbc].)
23 Nov Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.47/l; min $1.23 ([Perth] avg $1.41/l, min $1.26); oil us$57/b; au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.57, €0.64, ¥85

23 November 2017: "Residents and workers in three new towns will be the first in Singapore to ride driverless vehicles as part of their daily commute from 2022. The Government has identified Punggol, Tengah and the Jurong Innovation District (JID) as areas where residents and workers can turn to pilot self-driving buses and shuttles for their first-and last-mile commutes. ..." — The Straits Times [www].

22 November 2017, .au: "Stranded men slept on car roof as crocodile circled during Kimberley [WA] ordeal ... their four-wheel-drive became bogged last Friday ..." -- [abc].

20 November 2017: "Volvo Cars ... has signed a framework agreement with Uber, the ride sharing company, to sell tens of thousands of autonomous driving compatible base vehicles between 2019 and 2021. ..." — Volvo [...].

18-19 November 2017: Bendigo Swap Meet [www].

18 Nov Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.29/l; min $1.18 ([Perth] avg $1.34/l, min $1.21); oil us$55/b
17 Nov Fri au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.57, €0.64, ¥85

17 November 2017, .au: "It has been a wet week across much of the Northern Territory, with many cattle stations receiving their first rain for the season and in some cases the first rain of the year. ..." -- [abc].

17 November 2017: Tesla unveiled a prototype electric semi-trailer truck, [www] (and a roadster sports car). (Also see the [bbc].)

16 November 2017: "Norway's government has been told its state-run fund should drop its investments in oil and gas stocks. Norges Bank manages Norway's $1 trillion (£758bn) sovereign wealth fund on behalf of the government. It said the step would make the country 'less vulnerable to a permanent drop in oil and gas prices', and its advice was not based on a price forecast or the sector's sustainability. Around 6% of the fund, worth £28bn, is invested in oil and gas stocks. ..." -- [bbc].

16 November 2017: "Thousands of rock shelters in the Hamersley Ranges of north-west Western Australia are revealing new evidence of how Aboriginal people moved inland across the Pilbara in ancient times. ... rock shelters in Newman previously thought to be occupied around 20,000 years ago are now confirmed to be at least 40,000 years old. ..." -- [abc].

16 November 2017: Lot 55, Michael Schumacher's Monaco F1 Grand Prix-winning, 2001 Ferrari F2001, 3-litre V10, chassis #211, sold for us$7,504,000 at Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening auction [www]. (Schumacher went on to win the 2001 Driver's World Championship, his fourth of seven titles.)

15 November 2017: In a postal vote, Australians voted to allow same-sex couples to marry by 62% to 38%, e.g., [abc]. (The law passed both houses of parliament on the 7 Dec..)

14 November 2017, recall 2017/16416: "Austral Distributing Company Pty Ltd - Wasp Front Lower Rearward Left Hand Side Control Arm for Ford Territory ... The product may not have undergone the induction (hardening) procedure during manufacture. This may cause suspension failure ..." -- .gov.au [www].

14 November 2017: "One hundred days after France's PSA group bought GM's Opel/Vauxhall ... plan of action ... all Opel/Vauxhall passenger-car lines being electrified by 2024 and a rapid switch to the use of PSA flexible architectures in the same timeframe; a big cut in the number of Opel/Vauxhall platforms and establishment of a Groupe PSA R&D center in Germany. ..." -- SAE [...].

13 November 2017: 'Twenty-five years ago, the Union of Concerned Scientists and more than 1700 independent scientists, including the majority of living Nobel laureates in the sciences, penned the 1992 "World Scientists' Warning to Humanity" ... These concerned professionals called on humankind to curtail environmental destruction ...' -- 15,364 scientist signatories from 184 countries, BioScience [www].

13 November 2017: "Global carbon dioxide [CO2] emissions set to rise after three stable years. By the end of 2017, global emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels and industry are projected to rise by about 2% compared with the preceding year, with an uncertainty range between 0.8% and 3%. The news follows three years of emissions staying relatively flat ..." -- Global Carbon Project [...] [www].

13 Nov Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.27/l; min $1.16 ([Perth] avg $1.23/l, min $1.17); oil us$57/b; au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.58, €0.66, ¥87

12 November 2017: "... police blitz found that more than one-third of trucks pulled over on key inner-west routes were unroadworthy. Trucks pulled over in October had loose wheels, flat and torn tyres, poorly-secured loads and smashed windscreens, Victoria Police said. Of 161 trucks intercepted, 63 were unroadworthy and two were unregistered. VicRoads is now investigating five problematic truck companies. Nearly 50 infringement notices were issued. ..." -- The Age [www].

12 November 2017 [#19/20]: Brazilian F1 Grand Prix.
Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]; 2. Valtteri Bottas [Mercedes]; 3. Kimi Raikkonen [Ferrari]. (Also see the FIA [www] and the [bbc].)
10-12 November 2017: Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham, uk [www].
And, Silverstone auction's Classic Car sale [...] [www].

10 November 2017: "In the race to adopt electric vehicles, Australia is sputtering along in the slow lane. Rather than growing, Australian sales of electric cars are actually in decline. In 2016 they represented just 0.02% of new car sales - even lower than in 2013. ... Rechargers on highways, in country towns and at service centres need to be fast and convenient, so that motorists are not unduly delayed. ... electric cars forecast to reach price equivalency* with petrol cars by 2025 ..." -- [abc].
[*] So it would be quite a shock if there was a major breakthrough with hydrogen or with renewable liquid fuels.

9 November 2017: "The US car industry will be wrecked if President Trump relaxes emissions standards, California's governor says. Jerry Brown said China would dominate car manufacture because it was heavily promoting the electric vehicles that would dominate the future. ..." -- [bbc].

9 November 2017: "Pastoralists in Western Australia's remote Kimberley say they have experienced one of the worst fire seasons of the past decade with up to 300 fires wreaking havoc across the region. ..." -- [abc].

November 2017: "Waymo's [google's] fully self-driving vehicles - our safest, most advanced vehicles on the road today - are test-driving on public roads [in Phoenix], without anyone in the driver's seat. ..." -- Waymo [www]. Also see the [bbc].

8 November 2017: "... research into synthetic fuels ... the company has plans for a new pilot facility for the production of e-diesel in Laufenburg ... climate-friendly, CO2-based fuels such as e-gas, e-gasoline or synthetically manufactured e-diesel fuel. ... hydroelectric power station produces hydrogen and oxygen from water by means of electrolysis. In the next step the hydrogen reacts with CO2 [in a] compact microprocess technology. ... Long-chain hydrocarbon compounds are formed. In the final process step these are separated into the end products Audi e-diesel and also waxes ..." -- Audi [...].

8 Nov Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.29/l; min $1.20 ([Perth] avg $1.41/l, min $1.20); oil us$57/b; au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.58, €0.66, ¥87

8 November 2017: "The European Commission has published proposals aimed at reducing vehicles' carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2030. ... cars and vans will have to emit 15% less CO2 by 2025 compared with 2021 and 30% less by 2030. [The EC] calculated that for an average new car registered in 2030, the additional manufacturing costs would be about €1,000 (£883). For an average 2030 van, they would be up to about €900. ..." -- [bbc].  "... Average emissions of the EU fleet of new cars in 2030 will have to be 30% lower than in 2021. For the EU fleet of new vans in 2030, the reduction also amounts to 30%. For 2025, targets for cars and vans are 15% lower than in 2021 ..." -- EC [www].

7 November 2017: "When it comes to vehicles that drive themselves, perfection has a price. Requiring autonomous vehicles to be nearly flawless before putting them on the road could cost hundreds of thousands of lives ... More than 37,000 people died in 2016 on U.S. roadways as a result of human drivers ... more than 90% of crashes are caused by human error, such as speeding, miscalculating other drivers' behaviors, or driving impaired ..." -- RAND [www].

7 November 2017 (Tues): Melbourne Cup.

6 - 17 November 2017: The UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) - November 2017, Bonn [www].
"It is very likely that 2017 will be one of the three hottest years on record, with many high-impact events including catastrophic hurricanes and floods ..." -- WMO [www].
"Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere surged at a record-breaking speed in 2016 to the highest level in 800,000 years ... Geological records show that the current levels of CO2 correspond to an 'equilibrium' climate last observed in the mid-Pliocene (3-5 million years ago), a climate that was 2-3°C warmer, where the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets melted and even some of the East Antarctic ice was lost, leading to sea levels that were 10-20m higher than those today. ..." -- WMO [www].
16 November 2017: 'Powering Past Coal Alliance: Declaration', "... climate protection through the rapid phase-out of traditional coal power ..." .gov.uk [www].
18/11: [bbc].

6 November 2017: "UK new car market declines again in October - down 12.2% to 158,192 units. Heavy losses for diesel [cars] as demand falls by almost a third, with 29.9% fewer registrations. ..." -- SMMT [...].

6 November 2017, Paradise Papers: "A huge new leak of financial documents has revealed how the powerful and ultra-wealthy, including the Queen's private estate, secretly invest vast amounts of cash in offshore tax havens. Donald Trump's commerce secretary is shown to have a stake in a firm dealing with Russians sanctioned by the US. ..." -- the Paradise Papers uk [www]  and .au [www].  Also, "... How Engie pulled $1 billion from Australian [Loy Yang B] power plant ahead of carbon tax ..." -- [8/11].

5 November 2017 (Sun.): London to Brighton [...].
3 November 2017 (Fri.): Bonhams London to Brighton auction [...]. A 1903 Panhard et Levassor Model B 10hp 4-cylinder rear-entrance Tonneau, registration #U 508, chassis #6090, sold for £326,666.

4 November 2017 (Sat.): Regents Street Motor Show, London [www].

4 November 2017: 'The White House has sought to downplay a major climate change report, which was compiled by 13 US federal agencies. ... It says it is "extremely likely" human activity is the "dominant cause" of global warming. ... Running to nearly 500 pages, the report concludes that the current period is "now the warmest in the history of modern civilisation". ...' -- [bbc].  And see the 'Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4), Volume I' -- U.S. Global Change Research Program [www][5/11].

4 November 2017: "BMW has issued recalls for about one million vehicles in North America over two separate problems it said raised the risk of fire. ..." -- [bbc]. Also see 17V-676 NHTSA [www].

3 November 2017: "BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and the Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche today announced joint venture IONITY that will develop and implement a High-Power Charging (HPC) network for electric vehicles across Europe. Launching approximately 400 HPC stations by 2020, IONITY ..." -- Ford [...].

3 Nov Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.33/l; min $1.22 ([Perth] avg $1.32/l, min $1.18); oil us$55/b; au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.59, €0.66, ¥88

1 November 2017: Sam Mitchell is Australian Geographic Society's Young Adventurer of the Year for a 2016 trip, by solar assisted bicycle (ebike), that included WA's Canning Stock Route(!) -- [abc], Australian Geographic [www] and rideOn [www].

1 November 2017, .au: "Climbing Uluru [Ayers Rock] is set to be a thing of the past after the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park board decided unanimously to ban the activity, starting in 2019. ... The ban will begin on October 26, 2019 to coincide with the 34th anniversary of the return of Uluru to traditional owners. ... The entirety of Uluru is a sacred area and the site where the climb begins is also a sacred men's area. ..." -- [abc].


31 October 2017: There were some detail of the next Jeep Wrangler at SEMA, "The all-new [2018] Wrangler ... a convenient fold-down windshield for off-road purists ... Additional images and complete vehicle information will be available November 29 [see above] at the Los Angeles Auto Show." -- FCA Jeep [www].

30 October - 2 November 2017: SEMA show, Las Vegas [www].

30 October 2017: "Future of parking: Should we ditch car parks to free up land in our cities? ..." -- The Conversation [abc].

29 October 2017 [#18/20]: Mexican F1 Grand Prix.
Results: 1. Max Verstappen [Red Bull]; 2. Valtteri Bottas [Mercedes]; 3. Kimi Raikkonen [Ferrari]. Verstappen (p2) got the jump on Sebastian Vettel (p1) at the start and Lewis Hamilton (p3) followed him past but there were some touches and Vettel punctured Hamilton's rear tyre and broke his own front wing so they both pitted, rejoining 2nd-last and last, with Hamilton a long way back. Vettel eventually worked his up to fourth, and Hamilton 9th, which delivered Lewis Hamilton his fourth Formula 1 Drivers' World Championship with two races still to go. (Also see the FIA [www] and the [bbc].)

28 October - 5 November 2017: 45th Tokyo Motor Show (press 25th, 26th; preview 27th) [www].

29 Oct Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.36/l; min $1.17 ([Perth] avg $1.23/l, min $1.15); oil us$54/b
27 Oct Fri au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.58, €0.66, ¥87

27 October 2017: "The first multiple-area severe fire danger ratings of late 2017 have been issued for South Australia, more than a month before summer starts. ..." -- [abc].

26 October 2017: "Electric vehicles emit less greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than diesel engine cars - even when powered by the most carbon intensive electricity, a new independent study has found. ... Using the Polish average, an electric vehicle emits 25% less CO2 over its lifetime, while in Sweden an EV emits 85% less. ..." -- T&E [www], and [2].

26 October 2017: "... One hundred years ago this week, an eastbound passenger train rolled into the railway station at Kalgoorlie, 600km east of Perth. But while the gold mining town had previously been the end of the line, the train that left the station on October 25, 1917 was bound for Port Augusta, nearly 1,700km down the newly-completed Trans-Australian Railway Line. ..." -- [abc].

26 October 2017: Bloodhound SSC had its first public low-speed test runs at Newquay Airport [www].  (Also see the [bbc], and [27/11].)

26 October 2017: "UK car production fell during September as confidence was hit by Brexit uncertainty, according to a major car industry body. ... A 14% fall in demand in the UK market ..." -- [bbc].

26 October 2017: "Bureau of Meteorology Climate Outlook for November 2017 to January 2018 ... Warmer-than-average days and nights likely for much of Australia's north and southeast. No strong shift towards wetter or drier three months across Australia, drier November likely in the west. ..." -- [bom].

25 October 2017, NSW: "Does the Clarence River flow backwards? ... Indigenous people, early explorers and even farmers on the river today tell stories about how the Clarence river runs backwards. Is it myth or truth? ... 60 to 80 million years ago, the Tasman sea opened up. The Clarence and the Condamine became two rivers with a mountain range between them. ..." -- [abc].

24 Oct Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.40/l; min $1.15 ([Perth] avg $1.40/l, min $1.18); oil us$51/b; au$1.00=us$0.78, £0.59, €0.66, ¥89

23 October 2017: "Australian car consumers are being provided with poor information when it comes to buying environmentally friendly vehicles, the Australia Automobile Association (AAA) has found. ... the average fuel consumption of popular cars was 23% higher than indicated by standard laboratory tests - in some cases up to 59%. ..." -- [abc].

22 October 2017 [#17/20]: United States F1 Grand Prix.
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]; 3. Kimi Raikkonen [Ferrari]. In the drivers' world championship, Hamilton 331 points, Vettel 265, Valtteri Bottas 244. (Also see the FIA [www] and the [bbc].)
20 October 2017: The end of Australian car production by last one standing GM Holden.
"Holden closure: Final cars roll off Elizabeth production line as workers say farewell ..." -- [abc].
"Holden closure: 'It's not Australian cars I'll miss, it's that we could make them' ..." -- [21/10].
(Also see [20/9], [8/10], [14/10].)
19 Oct Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.17/l; min $1.11 ([Perth] avg $1.34/l, min $1.18); oil us$52/b; au$1.00=us$0.79, £0.59, €0.67, ¥89

18 October 2017: "Beltana Station [in the Flinders Ranges] sold to South Australian pastoralist for $8.4 million at auction ... The 1,541-square-kilometre Beltana Station ... South Australian pastoralist and Yadlamalka Station owner Andrew Doman was the successful bidder ..." -- [abc].

18 October 2017, .uk: "Shell opened its first electric vehicle (EV) charging points at three UK forecourts (in London, Surrey and Derby). The service, called Shell Recharge, can charge most electric vehicles in around 30 minutes. ... 'More broadly, today's opening is part of our wider commitment to help deliver a low-carbon UK, by offering drivers a range of fuels as new technologies evolve to co-exist with traditional transport fuels.' ..." -- Shell [...].

17 October 2017: "Volvo [and] owner Geely Holding today announce they will jointly invest RMB 5 billion (€640 million) to support the initial phase of Polestar's product, brand and industrial development ... as a stand-alone electrified performance car company ..." -- Volvo [...].

16 October 2017: "A month's worth of rain has fallen over much of south-east Queensland over the weekend, with residents being warned to brace for another deluge today. ..." -- [abc].  Also see "... Overnight a number of locations in the Gold Coast Hinterland, Sunshine Coast and Hervey Bay recorded over 100mm, with the highest falls recorded at: Upper Springbrook 223mm, Lamington National Park (O'Reillys) 159mm, Springbrook 157mm ..." -- the [bom][16/10].  Also see "Roads remain cut ..." [19/10].

16 October 2017: "... Cockburn, a town of 19 people that sits on the edge of South Australia near the New South Wales border [W of Broken Hill]. ... A group of volunteers who are part of the town's progress association has taken over the Coburn Hotel and moved the post office inside. ..." -- [abc].

16 October 2017: "'Cruising Chauffeur' demos SAE Level 3 autonomy ... will go into series production in 2020. It is designed to alleviate the tedium of long-distance freeway motoring by taking over the driving function, including lane-changing and overtaking, from the driver according to regional traffic regulations. The driver resumes control at the end of the freeway with the hand-over initiated by a specially developed human-machine interface (HMI). ..." -- SAE [...].

14 Oct Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.20/l; min $1.15 ([Perth] avg $1.26/l, min $1.11); oil us$51/b
13 Oct Fri au$1.00=us$0.78, £0.59, €0.66, ¥88

14 October 2017: "Accidents involving autonomous vehicles (AVs) raise difficult ethical dilemmas and legal issues. It has been argued that self-driving cars should be programmed to kill, that is, they should be equipped with pre-programmed approaches to the choice of what lives to sacrifice when losses are inevitable. Here we shall explore a different approach, namely, giving the user/passenger the task (and burden) of deciding what ethical approach should be taken by AVs in unavoidable accident scenarios. ..." -- G. Contissa et al, 'The Ethical Knob: Ethically-customisable automated vehicles and the law,' Artificial Intelligence and Law, 25(3), pp.365-378, Sept. 2017, [www].

13-15 October 2017: Autoclassica, Royal Exhibition Building, Mebourne [www].

12 October 2017: "Car, train and aircraft makers are investigating whether they have used any sub-standard materials made by Kobe Steel. The checks come after Japan's third largest steelmaker admitted falsifying quality data, possibly for as long as a decade. ..." -- [bbc].

12 October 2017: "A recently launched North American database provides online users with vehicle-to-vehicle comparisons of greenhouse gas emissions and real-world fuel economy. As the largest industry database of real-world vehicle emissions and fuel consumption, Emission Analytics' EQUA Index (was usa.equaindex.com) is based on a standardized test regime for vehicles fitted with a Portable Emissions Measurement System (PEMS) at the tailpipe. ..." -- SAE [...].

12 October 2017: "An asteroid the size of a house is passing close to Earth. The space rock will hurtle past our planet at a distance of about 42,000km (26,000 miles), bringing it within the Moon's orbit and just above the altitude of communication satellites. ..." -- [bbc].

10 Oct Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.27/l; min $1.17 ([Perth] avg $1.17/l, min $1.11); oil us$49/b; au$1.00=us$0.78, £0.59, €0.66, ¥88

11 October 2017: "US Army leaders are now determining [what to do with] the thousands of Humvees that remain in the service's formations as it prepares to field new Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTVs) that are partially replacing ageing Humvees. ... Humvees will remain in army formations out to at least 2040 ..." -- Janes [...].

10 October 2017: "At least 13 people have now died in fast-spreading fires that are ravaging parts of California's wine region. A state of emergency was declared in northern areas after mass evacuations, with 2,000 structures destroyed. ..." -- [bbc].

9 October 2017: "Police seize truck after discovering vice grips on brakes on South Eastern Freeway ... A truck driver who allegedly tested positive to methamphetamine has had his vehicle seized in the Adelaide Hills after police made an unusual discovery while inspecting its rear brakes. [And] 'the front brakes were inoperable', police said in a statement. ..." -- [abc].

8-15 October 2017, .au: World Solar Challenge [www]. Also see  [abc][8/10],  [bbc][8/10],  [abc][9/10],  [10/10].
12 Oct.: "Dutch team Nuon Solar has made it three wins in a row at the World Solar Challenge, crossing the finish line first in Adelaide this afternoon. ... Starting the day about 500km north of Adelaide, Nuon cruised south at speeds around 110 kilometres per hour and were still two hours ahead of their nearest rival when they reached Port Augusta. ..." -- [abc].
8 October 2017 [#16/20]: Japanese F1 Grand Prix.
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Max Verstappen [Red Bull]; 3. Daniel Ricciardo [Red Bull]. (Also see the FIA [www] the [bbc].)

8 October 2017, .au: Bathurst 1000 [www]. 1. David Reynolds and Luke Youlden (Holden) -- [abc].

6 October 2017: "New car sales in the UK fell for a sixth month in September, leaving the market on course for its first annual decline since 2011. Car registrations dropped by 9.3% to 426,170, the first time the September market has declined in six years. ..." -- The G [www].

6 October 2017: "Toyota ... intends to showcase its new crossover genre concept vehicle, the Tj CRUISER, for the first time at the 45th Tokyo Motor Show 2017 ... a cargo van and a SUV ..." -- Toyota [...],  more [...].

5 October 2017: "Special Climate Statement 62 - exceptional September heat in eastern Australia ..." -- [bom]. (Also see the [abc].)

4 October 2017: Land-Rover launched a plug-in hybrid (PHeV) version of the Range Rover Sport -- LR [...].

4 October 2017: "America's gun culture in 10 charts ... There were more than 11,000 deaths [in the US] as a result of murder or manslaughter involving a firearm in 2016. ..." -- [bbc].
Also see the GVA [www].
In comparison, "... As of October 18th, 2016, there have been 2,386 U.S. military deaths in the War in Afghanistan. 1,834 of these deaths have been the result of hostile action. 20,049 American servicemembers have also been wounded in action during the war. In addition, there were 1,173 U.S. civilian contractor fatalities. ..." -- wikipedia [www][7/10/2017].
And, "... from 2001 to 2014, 440,095 people died by firearms on US soil. ... the number of US citizens killed overseas as a result of incidents of terrorism from 2001 to 2014 was 369 [and] there were 3,043 people killed in domestic acts of terrorism. This brings the total to 3,412. ..." -- CNN [www].  Now,  440,095 / 3,412 = 129.

4 October 2017: "Ford's new boss has outlined plans which he says will make the US car giant 'fit' to compete in a changing industry. Jim Hackett said Ford would shift resources from traditional cars to SUVs and trucks, while investing in electric power and tech services. The firm will also automate its manufacturing processes more to help to cut costs by $14bn (£10.5bn). ..." -- [bbc].

4 Oct Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.34/l; min $1.19 ([Perth] avg $1.36/l, min $1.11); oil us$50/b; au$1.00=us$0.79, £0.59, €0.67, ¥89

4 October 2017: Newquay test run 1, Bloodhound SSC "... bedding in the brakes, functional check of steering, suspension, etc. ..." -- Bloodhound [www].

3 October 2017, .au: Toyota closed its Altona (Vic.) factory, [abc][2/10].
And, "Toyota has officially ended more than half a century of manufacturing vehicles in Australia. Approximately 3,000 people attended a ceremony today at the Altona plant including current and former employees, suppliers, affiliate companies and officials from Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan. ...  Toyota has exported more vehicles from Australia than any other manufacturer - a total of 1,324,991 cars. The last export car was built on September 27. The largest export market was the Middle East, which took 1,245,914 Australian-built cars. Australia was the first country outside Japan to build Toyota engines, starting in 1979. ..." -- Toyota [...].  (Also see GM Holden 20 Oct. above.)

2 October 2017: "A downpour has hammered Bundaberg and flash flooding is affecting the area, with the city hit by more than 300 millimetres of rain. ... 90mm falling in the space of 90 minutes ..." -- [abc].

1 October 2017 [#15/20]: Malaysian F1 Grand Prix.
Results: 1. Max Verstappen [Red Bull]; 2. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 3. Daniel Ricciardo [Red Bull]. (Also see the FIA [www] and the [bbc].)

1 October 2017 (Sun.) .au: Daylight saving starts.


30 September 2017: "Tesla boss Elon Musk has held a party in South Australia's mid-north to mark the halfway point of construction of the world's most powerful lithium ion battery. ... It will store up to 129 MWh ..." -- [abc]. (Operational 1 Dec.)

29-30 September 2017 (F., S.): Deniliquin Ute Muster [www].

29 September 2017: "Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (Geely Holding) today completed the transaction to purchase a majority stake in the British luxury sports brand Lotus. Geely Holding now owns a majority stake of 51% in Lotus Advance Technologies Sdn Bhd (Lotus) with a minority 49% being held by Etika Automotive (Etika), a Malaysian automotive group. ..." -- Lotus [...].

29 September 2017: "Traditional owners at Anthwerrke, also known as Emily Gap, in the East MacDonnell Ranges of Central Australia are using an interactive visitor app to teach tourists about their culture. ..." -- [abc].

29 Sep Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.38/l; min $1.20 ([Perth] avg $1.28/l, min $1.10); oil us$52/b; au$1.00=us$0.78, £0.58, €0.67, ¥88

29 September 2017: "The diesel emissions cheating scandal will cost Volkswagen an extra $3bn (€2.5bn), because engines are proving 'far more technically complex and time consuming' to adapt the company said. The additional cost, for fixing engines in the United States, takes the total bill to $30bn. ..." -- [bbc].

28 September 2017: "The Bureau of Meteorology's monthly and seasonal climate outlooks for October to December ... Climate influences include a drier signal from the Indian Ocean counteracted by a wetter influence from the Pacific. This means an equal chance of wetter or drier than average conditions. across Australia for the three months. October likely to be wetter than average for eastern and central parts; drier in the west. Warmer than-average daytime temperatures likely for northern Australia and the southeast ..." -- [bom].

27 September 2017, .uk: "Vehicle thefts have risen by 30% in the last three years following a decade of decline, RAC figures suggest. ..." -- [bbc].

27 September 2017: "Saudi Arabia's King Salman has issued a decree allowing women to drive for the first time, state media say. Government ministries are to prepare reports within 30 days and the order will be implemented by June 2018, the Saudi Press Agency reported. ..." -- [bbc].

26 September 2017: The EJ200 jet engine of the Bloodhound land-speed record car was given a first "air start dry cranking" test, installed in the car -- Bloodhound SSC [www].  And fires it up [bbc][29th].

26 September 2017: 'A major study of 7.5 million road crashes has revealed the safest - and most dangerous - used cars on the market in Australia. ... Among the five-star rsafer picks" were popular makes like the Toyota Prius, Ford Mondeo, Mazda 6, Honda CR-V and Holden Colorado ute. More than 75 cars received just one star, including some models of the Honda Civic, Holden Cruze, Mazda 2, Ford Falcon and early year Toyota Corollas. ...' -- [abc].

25 September 2017. .uk: "Birmingham has topped the UK's "crash for cash" postcode league - the second time in a year the city has featured in a table of hotspots for the crime. The scams are run by fraudsters who manufacture collisions with other road users, hoping to profit from insurance claims. ..." -- [bbc].

24 Sep Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.29/l; min $1.10 ([Perth] avg $1.20/l, min $1.07); oil us$51/b
22 Sep Fri au$1.00=us$0.79, £0.58, €0.66, ¥89

24 September 2017, .au: "Victorians will be able to pay their car registration in quarterly or half-yearly instalments from January ..." -- [abc].

23 September - 3 October 2017: The Royal Show, Melbourne [www].

21 September 2017: "Documentary captures young drivers using phones, taking selfies behind the wheel ... 'It's People Like Us', is part of a TAC campaign to raise awareness of the extent of the problem and the risk it poses on the road. ... In an online survey of 505 drivers between the ages of 18 and 30, more than half said they would check their phone immediately if they got a text, even while driving. ..." -- [abc]. Also see [29/5].

21 September 2017: "The succession of intense and deadly tropical cyclones that have barrelled across the Atlantic in recent weeks have left many people wondering if a threshold of some sort has been crossed. Is this chain of hurricanes evidence of some significant new frontier in our changing climate? ..." -- [bbc].

19 September 2017: "The location of a plant to build a new off-road vehicle has been narrowed to three options, according to Ineos. Jim Ratcliffe, the founder of Ineos, plans to build a rugged off-road vehicle, which he believes will fill a gap in the market left when Land Rover stopped building its Defender in 2016. ..." -- [bbc].

Mid September 2017, diesel, SA:
au$1.23/l Quorn, au$1.39/l near Blinman, au$1.79/l Arkaroola.
17 September 2017 [#14/20]: Singapore F1 Grand Prix.
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Daniel Ricciardo [Red Bull]; 3. Valtteri Bottas [Mercedes]. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari), Max Verstappen (Red Bull) and Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) collided at the start. (Also see the FIA [www] and the [bbc].)

14-24 September 2017: 67th IAA Cars, Motor Show, Frankfurt Motor Show, .de [www]. Including, BMW 'M5', 'X7' SUV; Jaguar 'E-Pace' SUV; Suzuki 'Swift Sport' [...]; VW e plans [...]. (Also see the [bbc].)

12-15 September 2017, .uk: Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI), ExCeL, Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, London E16 1XL [www].

12 September 2017: "The value of some used diesel cars has dropped by as much as 26% since the start of this year amid a crackdown on older vehicles. Second-hand Vauxhall, Audi and BMW diesels have fallen most in price, according to research by the car-buying website [www]. ..." -- -- The G [www].

9 September 2017: RM Sotheby's Ferrari auction, Maranello. The "2017 LaFerrari Aperta ... [sold for] €8,300,000 [and] a 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider by Scaglietti [sold for] €7,855,000 ..." — RM Sotheby's [www].

8-10 September 2017: Goodwood Revival [www].
9 September 2017: Bonhams auction [...] including a 1958 Land-Rover 109 Series 2 'Cuthbertson', registered 178 UYU, chassis #151900157 (sold £33,000).
5/6/2017: "TVR to unveil new car at Goodwood Revival in September ... Created in conjunction with Gordon Murray Design, the 1200kg car ... the special launch edition car being offered at under £90,000 ... 400bhp per tonne, five-litre, Cosworth developed V8-powered ..." -- TVR [5/6] @ [www].
3 September 2017 [#13/20]: Italian F1 Grand Prix.
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Valtteri Bottas [Mercedes]; 3. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]. (Also see the FIA [www] and the [bbc].)

1 September 2017, .uk: "Renault-Nissan and Kia are the latest car companies to launch car trade-in schemes, aimed at persuading UK customers to swap older, more polluting, car models for new ones. Earlier Volkswagen and Toyota announced diesel scrappage schemes, joining BMW, Ford, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz and Vauxhall who have all launched schemes. The car companies will accept trade-ins from any brand registered before 2010. ..." -- [bbc]. (Business must be slow?)

1 September 2017, .eu: "... new car models will have to pass new and more reliable emissions tests in real driving conditions ('Real Driving Emissions' - RDE) as well as an improved laboratory test ('World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure' - WLTP) before they can be driven on European roads. ... -- EC [www]. (Also see Emissions Analytics EQUA Index [...].)


31 August 2017, .au: "Spring outlook points to warmer temperatures for the north and southeast ..." -- [bom].

31 August 2017: "Victorian power company AusNet Services has warned the increasing number of customers choosing to disconnect from the grid will push up the cost of electricity for those still on the network. ..." -- [abc].

31 Aug Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.36/l; min $1.13 ([Perth] avg $1.30/l, min $1.15); oil us$46/b; au$1.00=us$0.79, £0.61, €0.67, ¥87

31 August - 2 September 2017, .uk: Salon Prive, Blenheim Palace [www].

28 August 2017, us: "The US city of Houston is in the grip of the biggest storm in the history of the state of Texas, officials say. A record 30in of rain (75cm) has fallen on the city in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, turning roads into rivers. ..." -- [bbc].

27 August 2017, .uk: "Two lorry drivers have been charged over a crash on the M1 on Saturday which left eight people dead and four with serious injuries. ..." -- [bbc].
And 28th: "A lorry driver charged over a crash on the M1 motorway which killed eight people has been remanded in custody after appearing in court. ... charged with eight counts of causing death by dangerous driving and four of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. A second lorry driver charged in connection with the crash will appear in court next month. ..." -- [bbc].

27 August 2017 [#12/20]: Belgian F1 Grand Prix.
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]; 3. Daniel Ricciardo [Red Bull]. Not much overtaking at the front but a close race. (Also see the FIA [www], the [bbc] and [abc].)
25 Aug Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.37/l; min $1.20 ([Perth] avg $1.17/l, min $1.09); oil us$49/b; au$1.00=us$0.79, £0.62, €0.67, ¥87

25 August 2017: "The Department for Transport (DfT) and Highways England has commissioned TRL ... to lead the first real-world operational trial of platooning vehicles on UK roads. ..." -- TRL [www].
And, "Small convoys of partially driverless lorries will be tried out on major British roads by the end of next year, the government has announced. A contract has been awarded to the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) to carry out the tests of vehicle 'platoons' Up to three lorries will travel in formation, with acceleration and braking controlled by the lead vehicle. ..." -- [bbc].

25 August 2017: "A former Volkswagen engineer who helped develop a device that enabled cars to evade US pollution rules has been sentenced to more than three years in prison and ordered to pay $200,000. ..." -- [bbc].

23 August 2017, .au: "When the bullin shrieked: Aboriginal memories of volcanic eruptions thousands of years ago ... In southern Australia and northern Queensland, volcanic activity likely happened within the past 10,000 years. ..." -- [abc].  Also see, 'Holocene-Neogene volcanism in northeastern Australia: Chronology and eruption history', B. E. Cohen et al, ANU, April 2017, pdf@[www] or [www].

23 August 2017, .au: "On the August 23, 1966, Vincent Lingiari led 200 people - employees of the Wave Hill station and their families - in a walk off. It was moment that eventually led to significant changes in wages and conditions for Aboriginal employees. ..." -- [abc].

23 August 2017, .uk: "... Standing for High Performance Carbon Reduction, the project is destined for full release in 2019 and Ariel production in 2020 alongside the Atom, Nomad and Ace. ... The car is a Series Hybrid EV (electric vehicle) featuring a 750 Volt, 42kWh or 56kWh, lithium-ion, cooled and heated battery pack which is charged, when required, by a 35kW micro-turbine range extender, negating any range anxiety issues ... HIPERCAR will be available as a 4 wheel drive or 2 wheel rear drive, full bodied car ..." -- Ariel Motor [...][23/8/'17] [www].  (Also see SAE [...].)  So, not like the Atom!  ¿Remember the Jaguar 'C-X75' concept at Paris Oct. 2010, proposed as a project with Williams May 2011, later cancelled?

23 August 2017, recall 2017/16263, Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars GLE, GLS and GL: "Moisture may penetrate the electric power steering control unit. This may interfere with signal transmission in the control unit and cause the steering power assistance to fail. ..." -- .gov.au [www].

22 August 2017, .uk: And the 10th annual Dave's Funniest Joke Of The Fringe is ... [www].

21 August 2017, .uk: "All four police forces in Wales are to start using dashcam footage recorded by the public to investigate driving offences following a successful pilot scheme by North Wales Police. ..." -- [bbc].

20 August 2017: Pebble Beach, Concours d'Elegance [www].

20 Aug Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.37/l; min $1.20 ([Perth] avg $1.17/l, min $1.09); oil us$49/b
18 Aug Fri au$1.00=us$0.79, £0.61, €0.67, ¥86

19 August 2017 (Sat.): Henley on Todd "Regatta", Alice Springs, NT, .au [www].

18-20 August 2017, .au: National 4x4 Show Melbourne Showgrounds [www].

18-19 August 2017: RM Sotheby's Monterey auction [www]. Including lot 133 a 1930 Bentley 6.5-litre Speed Six Sportsman's Saloon, chassis #HM2861, engine #LR2782 (sold us$3,410,000); lot 148 a 1956 Aston Martin DBR1, chassis #DBR1/1, engine #RB6/300/3 (sold us$22,550,000); lot 152 a 1950 Ferrari 166 MM/212 Export 'Uovo' by Fontana, chassis #024 MB, engine #117.

18 August 2017: "Outback roads under stress as WA's goldfields see surge in mining traffic ... Between them, the Kurnalpi-Pinjin, Yarri, Great Central and Trans-Access Roads cover thousands of kilometres, linking critical mines with Kalgoorlie-Boulder, the Northern Territory and South Australia. But truck drivers say the rapid increase in heavy vehicle traffic has seen conditions on the roads rapidly deteriorate. ..." -- [abc].

18 August 2017: Bonhams Quail Lodge auction [...] inckuding lot 26 a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4, chassis #10507, engine #1886 (sold us$2,519,000); lot 45 the ex-Jody Scheckter 1980 Ferrari 312 T5 formula 1, chassis #046, engine #066.

16 August 2017, .au: "The Turnbull Government will introduce the Road Vehicle Standards Bill into Parliament before the end of the year, with a view to it taking effect by 2019. ... has decided not to proceed with one element of changes proposed earlier, which would have allowed personal importation of new motor vehicles from the United Kingdom and Japan. ..." -- The Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Urban Infrastructure [...]. (Also see the FCAI [...].)

15 Aug Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.33/l; min $1.05 ([Perth] avg $1.35/l, min $1.03); oil us$48/b; au$1.00=us$0.79, £0.61, €0.67, ¥87

15 August 2017: "As many as one-in-two cars with Takata's older 'Alpha' model airbags have a defect that could cause serious injury or death, consumer group Choice has warned [...]. Around 50,000 Takata Alpha airbags still need replacing, 100,000 replaced Alpha model failure rate as high as one-in-two, versus one-in-400 for other Takata airbags. Takata airbags have been liked to 17 deaths, including one in Australia. ..." -- [abc].

13 August 2017: "An Aboriginal group in Western Australia's far north has become the first to start charging cruise ship passengers to visit world-famous coastal spots like waterfalls and rock art caves ..." -- [abc].

August 2017: "... Surface temperature and carbon dioxide concentration, two of the more publicly recognized indicators of global-scale climate change, set new highs during 2016, as did several surface and near-surface indicators and essential climate variables. Notably, the increase in CO2 concentration was the largest in the nearly six-decade observational record. ..." -- American Meteorological Society [www]. Also see "... 2016 surpassed 2015 as the warmest year in 137 years of record keeping ..." -- NOAA [www], and "... 2016 was the warmest year on record and the third year in a row of record global warmth. ..." -- [bbc].

10 August 2017: 'The ACCC today released the draft report of its market study into Australia's new car retailing industry. "Complaints to the ACCC about new car manufacturers have risen to more than 10,000 over the past two years. Our draft report highlights the urgent need to address widespread issues in the industry," ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said. ...' -- ACCC (MR 128/17) [www].  (Also see final report [www][14/12/17].)

10 Aug Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.08/l; min $1.02 ([Perth] avg $1.23/l, min $1.03); oil us$49/b; au$1.00=us$0.79, £0.61, €0.67, ¥87

8 August 2017: Mazda "disclosed plans to introduce a next-generation engine called SKYACTIV-X in 2019. ... the world's first commercial gasoline engine to use compression ignition ... proprietary combustion method called Spark Controlled Compression Ignition overcomes two issues that had impeded commercialization of compression ignition gasoline engines: maximizing the zone in which compression ignition is possible and achieving a seamless transition between compression ignition and spark ignition. ... improves engine efficiency up to 20-30% over the current SKYACTIV-G ..." -- Mazda [...].  And, "Japanese carmaker Mazda has developed a more efficient petrol engine at a time when the industry steers toward electric vehicles. It said the compression ignition engine was up to 30% more fuel-efficient than its current engines. It plans to sell cars with the new engine from 2019. ..." -- [bbc][10/8].  Also see SAE [...].

7 August 2017: "Four route options have been unveiled for what has been called Victoria's highest-priority road project, Melbourne's missing North East Link ..." -- [abc].

7 August 2017: "... Australia's ski resorts in the Snowy Mountains, in New South Wales, and Victoria's Alpine National Park were covered with the white stuff this morning after both reported the best falls of the season at the weekend. More than 1.15 metres of snow has been dumped at Thredbo from Friday morning to 6:00am today. ... Sunday's extreme weather forced the closure of the Great Alpine Road to Mount Hotham ..." -- [abc].

5 Aug Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.10/l; min $1.03 ([Perth] avg $1.16/l, min $1.03); oil us$50/b
4 Aug Fri au$1.00=us$0.80, £0.61, €0.67, ¥88

4 August 2017: "A former Volkswagen executive has pleaded guilty for his role in the German automaker's scheme to cheat US emissions requirements for diesel cars. ... Volkswagen was also recently accused of teaming up with other carmakers in a breach of EU cartel rules." -- [www].

3 August 2017, .au: "The competition watchdog has reached a landmark agreement with [GM-] Holden ... As with many car companies, Holden was accused of misleading consumers about their legal rights to a repairs, a replacement or refund if there is a major fault with their products. ... Holden has agreed to define multiple minor faults as a major failure, which would entitle consumers to a refund or replacement, rather than just repairs. ..." -- [abc]. Also see the ACCC [www].

3 August 2017: Tesla "reported revenue of almost $2.8bn (£2.1bn) in the three months to 30 June, up from $1.3bn during the same period last year. Losses increased to $336m, compared with $293m last year. ... delivered more than 47,000 of its earlier high-end Model S and Model X cars in the first half of 2017, growth of more than 50% from the prior year. ... rolled out its latest car, Model 3, last week ..." -- [bbc].

2 August 2017: "... In order to effectively improve the emission performance of {Merc.] EU5 and EU6 vehicles in Europe ... ongoing service measures. As a result, the NOx emissions of more than three-million Mercedes-Benz vehicles will drop by an average of 25 to 30% under normal driving conditions. About one-million such vehicles are on German roads. ... Daimler is pressing ahead with the introduction of vehicles that meet the more stringent emission limits under RDE regulations. The fact that the diesel engine can also meet future strict EU emission standards has already been proven by Mercedes-Benz with a completely new engine family. ..." -- Daimler [...].

1 August 2017: "General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM) and Groupe PSA (Paris:UG) today announced the close of the sale of GM's Opel / Vauxhall business to the Groupe PSA. ..." -- GM [...].

1 August 2017: "Victoria, Queensland to battle for $5 billion contract for military factory jobs ... BAE Systems hopes to build 225 Land 400 AMV35 military vehicles at the Fishermans Bend site [Melbourne] ... Queensland's Palaszczuk Government has backed Rheinmetall Defence's bid to build a different vehicle, the [8WD] Boxer CRV, in that state. ..." -- [abc].

1 August 2017: "... Warmest July maximum temperatures on record nationally, and for Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia ... Daytime temperatures during July were above to very much above average over almost all of mainland Australia. The mean maximum temperature for Australia as a whole was clearly the highest on record for July, at 2.62°C above average, 0.66°C above the previous record set in 1975. ..." -- [bom], (IDCKGC1A00).  (Also see, "Australia has had its warmest July on record, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has said. ..." -- [abc].)

31 July Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.24/l; min $1.06 ([Perth] avg $1.08/l, min $1.02); oil us$50/b; au$1.00=us$0.80, £0.61, €0.68, ¥88
30 July 2017 [#11/20]: Hungarian F1 Grand Prix.
Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]; 2. Kimi Raikkonen [Ferrari]; 3. Valtteri Bottas [Mercedes]. (Also see the FIA [www] and the [bbc].)

28-30 July 2017: Silverstone Classic, uk [...].

28 July 2017: "From 2019, a Porsche works team will compete in Formula E. As a result, the company will be ending its involvement in the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at the end of the 2017 season. ..." -- Porsche [...].

28 July 2017: "Germany's transport minister has announced a recall of 22,000 Porsche cars to remove what he says is illegal emissions-controlling software. ..." -- [bbc].

27 July 2017: "The Well-To-Wheels (WTW) methodology is widely used for policy making in the transportation sector. ... The use of EVs [electric vehicle] instead of gasoline vehicles can save (about 60% of) GHG in all or in most of the EU MSs [member states], depending on the estimated consumption of EVs. Compared with diesel, EVs show average GHG savings of around 50% and no savings at all in some EU MS." -- 'Electricity Carbon Intensity in European Member States: Impacts on GHG Emissions of Electric Vehicles', A. Moro, L. Lonza, in 'Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment', [www].

27 July 2017: Silverstone Classic Race Car auction [...] [www].

27 July 2017: "June car manufacturing falls as industry calls on government to outline Brexit plans ... UK car production fell by 13.7% in June, with 136,901 cars rolling off production lines ... Supply chain disruption caused by 'hard' border controls as the UK leaves the customs union and price increases driven by WTO tariffs, could result in a 10% hit to production, taking volumes back to 2016 levels. ..." -- SMMT [...].

27 July 2017: "A New South Wales-based company has put forward a new plan to dam Western Australia's Fitzroy River. ... But environmentalists, like Martin Pritchard from local environmental group Environs Kimberley, warned it would destroy the river, which they want protected by law. ... WA's Acting Environment Minister David Templeman said the Government planned to expand the nearby Geikie Gorge National Park to include the parts of the Fitzroy in question. ..." -- [abc].

26 July 2017: "The ACCC has instituted proceedings against Ford [.au] alleging that it engaged in unconscionable and misleading or deceptive conduct, and made false or misleading representations in its response to customer complaints. The customer complaints were about Ford's Focus, Fiesta and EcoSport vehicles ... 2011 and 2016, which featured ... PowerShift Transmission (PST). The ACCC alleges that about half of the 70,000 vehicles sold had at least one repair relating to the PST. ... From 2011 to May 2015, Ford allegedly refused to provide a refund or replacement vehicle to consumers, even after vehicles had undergone multiple repairs that had not fixed the issue. ..." -- ACCC [www].

26 July 2017: "Volkswagen and Daimler have declined to comment on the allegations that they and other German car giants colluded uto fix the price of diesel emissions treatment systems. ..." -- [bbc].

26 July 2017, .uk: "New diesel and petrol cars and vans will be banned in the UK from 2040 in a bid to tackle air pollution, the government is set to announce. ..." -- [bbc]. But ... "Switching to electric vehicles may not be so simple ..." -- The G [www].

26 July Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.24/l; min $1.06 ([Perth] avg $1.26/l, min $1.08); oil us$48/b; au$1.00=us$0.79, £0.61, €0.68, ¥88

26 July 2017: "Australia's most prominent indigenous music artist Dr G Yunupingu has died aged 46 ..." -- [abc], and [2]. Also see the [bbc].

25-29 July 2017: The War and Peace Revival, Kent, uk [www].

25 July 2017: "... the new battery-electric MINI will be a variant of the brand's core 3 door model. ... will go into production in 2019 ... [its] electric drivetrain will be built at the BMW Group's e-mobility centre at Plants Dingolfing and Landshut in Bavaria before being integrated into the car at Plant Oxford, which is the main production location for the MINI 3 door model." -- BMW [...].

24 July 2017: 'High risk of unprecedented UK rainfall in the current climate', V. Thompson et al, Nature Communications, vol.8, #107 [www]. And, "There's an increased risk of 'unprecedented' winter downpours such as those that caused extensive flooding in 2014, the UK Met Office says. ... now a one in three chance of monthly rainfall records being broken ... The estimate reflects natural variability plus changes in the UK climate as a result of global warming. ..." -- [bbc].

24 July 2017, .au: "Faulty Takata airbags which are linked to 18 deaths globally and the world's biggest recall in automotive history are being replaced by new faulty airbags, according to a report by consumer group Choice. ... Just days before Choice's investigation was released, police confirmed Australia's first fatality from a faulty airbag. A 58-year-old driver in Sydney's south-west was fatally struck in the neck by an object which is believed to have come from the exploding airbag. He was driving a Honda CRV. ..." -- [abc].

23 July 2017: "An underwater robot has captured what is believed to be the first images of melted nuclear fuel deposits inside Japan's stricken Fukushima nuclear plant, its operator Tepco says. ..." -- [bbc]. (See 11 March 2011.)

22 July 2017: "Five places that mark Australia's extreme geological past ... Just north of the outback town of Marla, the layer underneath the Earth's crust called the mantle rises up 30 kilometres closer to the surface along an extensive fault system known as the Woodroffe Thrust-Mann fault. ... Looking down from space, Lake Acraman seems innocuous enough on the gentle slopes of the northern Eyre Peninsula in South Australia ... the eroded remains of a giant meteorite impact crater that is 580 million years old and estimated to be up to 90 kilometres wide ..." -- [abc].

22 July Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.24/l; min $1.06 ([Perth] avg $1.16/l, min $1.06); oil us$46/b
21 July Fri au$1.00=us$0.79, £0.61, €0.68, ¥89

21 July 2017: "German carmaker Audi is offering a free software upgrade for 850,000 diesel cars in order to improve emissions. ... The Audi recall affects cars fitted with six- and eight-cylinder diesel motors meeting the Euro 5 and Euro 6 emissions criteria, including some models made by parent company Volkswagen and sister firm Porsche. ..." -- [bbc]. (And VW [...].  Also see 7 July below.)

20 July 2017, .au: "... results of new excavations conducted at Madjedbebe, a rock shelter in northern Australia. Artefacts in primary depositional context are concentrated in three dense bands, with the stratigraphic integrity of the deposit demonstrated by artefact refits and by optical dating and other analyses of the sediments. Human occupation began around 65,000 years ago ..." -- 'Human occupation of northern Australia by 65,000 years ago', C. Clarkson et al, Nature, vol.547, pp.306-310 [www]. Also see the [abc] and the [bbc].

20 July 2017, .uk: " The coal truth: how a major energy source lost its power in Britain. Coal supplied just 2% of power in the first half of 2017 ... last year's 66% fall in coal generation marked the largest annual switch in fuel for power ..." -- The G [www].

19 July 2017: "The son of legendary Australian motorsport competitor 'Gelignite' Jack Murray is paying tribute to his late father through a new book. ..." -- [abc].

18 July 2017: "Daimler's Mercedes-Benz luxury-vehicle unit this week unveiled the production version of its X-Class, the first pickup truck to wear the Mercedes-Benz star ... a 4-door midsize pickup using the NP300 body-on-frame (BOF) architecture of the Nissan Navara ..." -- SAE [...].

18 July 2017: Adelaide manufacturer Supashock "today announced it has reached agreement with Rheinmetall Defence for the German technology and security group to take an equity holding in the company under a cooperative partnership. ... Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles – the largest supplier of military vehicles to the Australian Defence Force and a joint venture between Rheinmetall and MAN Trucks – has funded Supashock to develop a system for the Australian and global markets which integrates Supashock's novel active suspension technology with an intelligent load handling system and will substantially increase the capability and safety of RMMV's military trucks in demanding on and off-road environments. ..." -- Supashock [...] [...] [www].

16 July 2017, .au: "The TV program [Bush Mechanics] which showed the world how to create more storage space in a car by cutting its roof off is now the subject of a travelling museum exhibition. ... Mr Kelly said that newer cars were much harder to fix in the bush. 'You can't do it. Old cars like the EH and the Falcon, they're easy to fix,' he said. The exhibition will travel next to major centres in the NT, as well as Adelaide, Canberra and Melbourne." -- [abc].

16 July Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.28/l; min $1.07 ([Perth] avg $1.13/l, min $1.05); oil us$47/b
14 July Fri au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.60, €0.68, ¥88
16 July 2017 [#10/20]: British F1 Grand Prix.
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Valtteri Bottas [Mercedes]; 3. Kimi Raikkonen [Ferrari]. (Also see the FIA [www] and the [bbc].)

14 July 2017: "Jaguar revealed its all-new compact, 5-seat SUV on 13 July in London. The 2018 E-Pace joins its larger F-Pace cousin to take the company further into SUV territory. And it is also the first Jaguar to be produced outside of Britain, in Austria and China. ..." -- SAE [...].

13 July 2017: "... Carbonaceous PM [particulate matter] emission and SOA [secondary organic aerosol] formation is markedly higher from gasoline [petrol] than diesel particle filter (DPF) and catalyst-equipped diesel cars, more so at -7°C, contrasting with nitrogen oxides (NOX). ... i.e. that diesel cars are not necessarily worse polluters than gasoline cars." -- 'Gasoline cars produce more carbonaceous particulate matter than modern filter-equipped diesel cars', S. M. Platt et al, Nature Sci. Reports [www].

13 July 2017: "All new cars sold in Europe will be electric within less than two decades, driven by government support, falling battery costs and economies of scale, [ING] has predicted. ..." -- The G [www].

13 July 2017: "... The Goldfields Highway, one of the nation's last unsealed highways, winds deep into the heart of Western Australia's red dirt outback. ... But with a ballooning debt, the newly-elected Labor Government looks poised to axe $60 million of funding to fix the state's last unsealed highway. ... More than 100 dusty kilometres of the highway, between the frontier towns of Wiluna and Meekatharra, is not sealed. ..." -- [abc].

11 July 2017, .au: "... Policy researchers say about $2 trillion worth of oil and gas projects could be made redundant in a carbon-constrained future. ... It does appear that the smart money in Australia has already begun to chase investment opportunities in low-emissions industries. ..." -- [abc].

11 July Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.29/l; min $1.03 ([Perth] avg $1.30/l, min $1.06); oil us$44/b
10 July Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.29/l; min $1.03 ([Perth] avg $1.09/l, min $1.02); oil us$44/b; au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.59, €0.67, ¥87
9 July 2017 [#9/20]: Austrian F1 Grand Prix.
Results: 1. Valtteri Bottas [Mercedes]; 2. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]; 3. Daniel Ricciardo [Red Bull]. (Also see the FIA [www] and the [bbc].)

7 July 2017: "German authorities have arrested an Audi manager in connection with the VW diesel scandal. ..." -- [bbc].

7 July 2017, .au: South Australia "will install the world's largest lithium ion battery in a 'historic' deal with electric car firm Tesla and energy company Neoen. ..." -- [bbc]. (Operational 1 Dec.) (10/7: Also see [abc].)

7 July 2017, .au: "The Federal Government has stopped releasing pollution data that used to be announced on a quarterly basis, with conservationists suspicious the data would show 'a sharp rise' in pollution levels. ..." -- [abc].  But later, "The Federal Government has [now] released new data showing a rise in greenhouse gas emissions on the last quarter ..." -- [abc].

7 July 2017: "France is set to ban the sale of any car that uses petrol or diesel fuel by 2040, in what the ecology minister called a 'revolution'. Nicolas Hulot announced the planned ban on fossil fuel vehicles as part of a renewed commitment to the Paris climate deal. He said France planned to become carbon neutral by 2050. ... Norway, which is the leader in the use of electric cars in Europe, wants to move to electric-only vehicles by 2025, as does the Netherlands. Both Germany and India have proposed similar measures with a target of 2030." -- [bbc] !

6 July Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.11/l; min $1.06 ([Perth] avg $1.22/l, min $1.07); oil us$45/b; au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.59, €0.67, ¥86

5 July 2017: All new Volvo car "launches from 2019 will have an electric motor, marking the historic end of cars that only have an internal combustion engine (ICE) and placing electrification at the core of its future business. ..." -- Volvo Cars [...].  Also see the [bbc].

5 July 2017, .au: "June sales hit a new monthly record high of 134,171, an increase of 4.4% to surpass the previous best result of 128,569 recorded in the same month last year. Sales of Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and light commercials provided the impetus for the strong June outcome. SUV sales were up by 11.7% over June 2016, and light commercials by 12.2%. Passenger vehicle sales were down by 5.9% compared with the same month last year. ..." -- FCAI [...].

5 July 2017: "Heavy summer rain and devastating floods across southern Western Australia have left an unexpected legacy - an early start to what is expected to be a bumper wildflower season. ..." -- [abc].

3 July 2017: "Tesla ready to deliver first Model 3s, projects 20K monthly manufacturing ... the company will on July 28 make the first customer deliveries of the long-anticipated Model 3, the [us]$35,000 battery-electric compact sedan for which Tesla has received more than 300,000 deposits. ..." -- SAE [...].

1 July Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.16/l; min $1.10 ([Perth] avg $1.15/l, min $1.00); oil us$46/b
30 June Fri au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.59, €0.67, ¥86

29 June 2017, .au: "How did Uluru form? ... The origins of Uluru (and Kata Tjuta) date back about 500 million years, to around the same time the Australian continent was formed. ..." -- [abc].

29 June 2017, .au: The bom's climate outlook for July to September 2017 is, "Below average rainfall is likely in parts of the southeast and southwest of the country. Warmer than average days and nights are likely for much of Australia. Climate influences include higher than average pressure over southern Australia" -- [bom].

29 June - 2 July 2017: Goodwood Festival of Speed [www].

27 June 2017, .au: 'Volvo's self-driving technology is struggling to identify kangaroos in the road. ... "We've noticed with the kangaroo being in mid-flight when it's in the air, it actually looks like it's further away, then it lands and it looks closer," its Australia technical manager told ABC. ...' -- [bbc], and the [abc].

26 June 2017, us: "The new vehicle retail sales pace in June is expected to be lowest for the month since 2012 ..." -- J. D. Power [...].

26 June 2017: "Japanese car parts maker Takata has filed for bankruptcy protection in the US and Japan. It is facing billions of dollars in liabilities over its defective airbags, which have been linked to at least 17 deaths worldwide. ... -- [bbc].

26 June 2017: "Great Barrier Reef valued at $56 billion - losing it 'too horrendous to contemplate': economists ..." -- [abc].

26 June Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.30/l; min $1.06 ([Perth] avg $1.11/l, min $1.05); oil us$43/b; au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.59, €0.68, ¥84

25 June 2017: Pikes Peak International Hill Climb [www].

25 June 2017 [#8/20]: Azerbaijan F1 Grand Prix.
Results: 1. Daniel Ricciardo [Red Bull]; 2. Valtteri Bottas [Mercedes]; 3. Lance Stroll [Williams]. (Also see the FIA [www] and the [bbc].)

25 June 2017: SAE on the Alfa-Romeo 'Stelvio' SUV, [...].

24-25 June 2017: Tankfest, the Tank Museum, Bovington, uk [www].

22 June 2017, .au: "The cost of owning a new vehicle has risen in 2017 ... The Driving Your Dollars survey takes into account all expenses associated with normal car ownership including purchase price, interest, fuel, servicing, new tyres, insurance and depreciation ... For the third consecutive year the Suzuki Celerio takes the title of outright cheapest car to own and operate at $100.78 per week; and the most expensive vehicle is the Tesla Model X at $576.03 per week. ... [e.g.] Toyota Landcruiser GXL 4x4 MY16 wagon V8 4698cc MPFI 6spd auto $374.62 ... -- RACV [www].

21 June Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.30/l; min $1.06 ([Perth] avg $1.29/l, min $1.13); oil us$43/b; au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.60, €0.68, ¥84

21 June 2017, us: "Car Quality Ratings - 2017 IQS ... Kia Ranks Highest among Brands for Second Consecutive Year ... The only category to worsen this year is features, controls and displays. The largest increases in problems are for cruise control (primarily adaptive cruise); lane departure warning; collision avoidance/alert systems; and blind spot warning. ..." -- J. D. Power [...].

19-25 June 2017: Paris Air Show (public 23-25) [www].

19 June 2017: "... The providers of electronic communications services shall ensure that there is sufficient protection in place against unauthorised access or alterations to the electronic communications data, and that the confidentiality and safety of the transmission are also guaranteed by the nature of the means of transmission used or by state-of-the-art end-to-end encryption of the electronic communications data. Furthermore, when encryption of electronic communications data is used, decryption, reverse engineering or monitoring of such communications shall be prohibited. Member States shall not impose any obligations on electronic communications service providers that would result in the weakening of the security and encryption of their networks and services. ..." -- draft report (COM (2017) 0 010 - C8 - 0009/2017 - 2017/0003 (COD)) Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, European Parliament [www]. (Also see "A European Parliament committee wants end-to-end encryption to be enforced on all forms of digital communication to protect European Union (EU) citizens. ..." -- [bbc].)

17-18 June 2017: 85th Le Mans 24-hours race [www]. 1. Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 #2, Timo Bernhard, Earl Bamber, Brendon Hartley (367 laps); 2. Jackie Chan DC Racing, Oreca 04 - Gibson LMP2(!) #38, Tung, Laurent, Jarvis (366 laps); (DSQ. Vaillante Rebellion, Oreca 07 - Gibson #13, Piquet jr, Heinemeier Hansson, Beche (364 laps)); 3. Jackie Chan DC Racing, Oreca 04 - Gibson LMP2 #37, Cheng, Gommendy, Brundle (363 laps).

16 June 2017: "An infantry brigade combat team of the 10th Mountain Division will be the first unit to get the new Joint Light Tactical Vehicles, or JLTVs, around January 2019 once full-rate production kicks in ..." -- .mil [www].

16 June 2017: "Pictures have emerged of one of Australia's most epic animal rescue missions from almost 50 years ago, when the Ord River was dammed to make what is now known as Lake Argyle in Western Australia. ..." -- [abc].

16 June Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.30/l; min $1.06 ([Perth] avg $1.24/l, min $1.13); oil us$44/b; au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.59, €0.68, ¥84

16 June 2017: "Japanese car parts maker Takata is reported to be preparing to file for bankruptcy after its faulty airbags led to the biggest safety recall in automotive industry. ... So far about 100 million Takata airbags, which can rupture with deadly force and spray shrapnel at passengers, have been recalled globally. ... The faulty airbags have been linked to at least a dozen deaths and more than 100 injuries worldwide. ..." -- [bbc].

14 June 2017: "Drivers are overwhelmingly at fault in collisions with cyclists ... drivers were responsible for the actions preceding the incident in 87% of cases. The previous studies show that most of these crashes occur at intersections, and generally involve a cyclist travelling in a straight line on a single carriageway at the time of the collision with the motor vehicle. ..." -- [abc].  Also see "... 'Looking at the report, we can see that most of the crashes occurred at intersections across popular cycling routes and were deemed not to be the fault of the cyclists,' said Mr Mountain. ..." — RAA (of SA) [...].

12 June 2017, .au: Queen's Birthday holiday.

12 June 2017: "... the 200th anniversary of the world's first bicycle ride. Monday marks 200 years since inventor Karl Drais rode a bicycle for the first time, in the German city of Mannheim. ..." -- [abc][11/6].  (Pedals came later, and the modern "safety cycle" even later c1884.)

11 June 2017 [#7/20]: Canadian F1 Grand Prix.
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Valtteri Bottas [Mercedes]; 3. Daniel Ricciardo [Red Bull]. (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].)
11 June Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.29/l; min $1.06 ([Perth] avg $1.21/l, min $1.09); oil us$46/b
9 June Fri au$1.00=us$0.75, £0.59, €0.67, ¥83

9-12 June 2017: Finke Desert Race [www].

9-11 June 2017: Cholmondeley Pageant of Power, Cheshire [...].

8 June 2017: "... A major review of Australia's energy sector by chief scientist Alan Finkel will recommend adopting a new clean energy target, promote a greater use of gas and put a bigger focus on energy storage. ..." -- [abc] and [9/6].

8 June 2017: "The fired FBI chief [see 10 May], James Comey, has publicly revealed how Donald Trump put pressure on him to shut down an investigation into a senior adviser's links to Russia. Trump asked Comey to drop his investigation into the former national security adviser Gen Michael Flynn, Comey's first written account of his interactions says. ..." -- The G [www]. Also see the [bbc].

8 June 2017: British general election. Another surprising result, Conservative 318 (-13), Labour 262 (+32), LD 12 (_+3), SNP 35 (-19), DUP 10 (+2), Green 1, other 12. (650 seats, 326 needed for a majority.) See The G [www] and the [bbc].

6 Jun Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.34/l; min $1.19 ([Perth] avg $1.37/l, min $1.12); oil us$47/b; au$1.00=us$0.75, £0.58, €0.66, ¥82

6 June 2017: "The El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) remains neutral. The Bureau's ENSO Outlook remains at El Nino watch, meaning there is around a 50% chance of El Nino developing in 2017 – double the normal likelihood. ..." -- ENSO wrap-up, [bom].

5 June 2017: "Nissan Motor Co. Australia and Mitsubishi Motors Australia today announced the establishment of a joint parts and accessories warehousing and logistics operation in Australia. ... follows Nissan's recently established global alliance with Mitsubishi Motors, which was formalised in October last year. ..." -- Mitsubishi [...].

2 June 2017: "Donald Trump confirms US will quit Paris climate agreement ... The US will remove itself from the deal, joining Syria and Nicaragua as the only countries not party to the Paris agreement. ..." -- The G [www]. Also see the [bbc] and the [abc]. And, "... The chief executives of Apple, Google, Microsoft and Facebook have all criticised the president's decision. Elon Musk, who had been a member of Mr Trump's business panel, announced he would leave the post. ... Many firms, including IBM and Amazon, said they would continue to try to meet the goals of the climate deal. ... Microsoft remained 'committed' to doing its part for the agreement, its president and chief legal officer Brad Smith said. ..." -- [more].

1 June 2017: "... Audi has detected anomalies[!] in the NOx emissions in certain driving conditions of approximately 24,000 cars of the A7 and A8 model series certified according to the EU5 emission standard. Their NOx emissions exceed the limit by a factor of up to two but will be corrected by new transmission software. ..." -- Audi [...]. Also see VW [...] (dieselgate).

1 Jun Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.24/l; min $1.15 ([Perth] avg $1.31/l, min $1.16); oil us$50/b; au$1.00=us$0.74, £0.58, €0.66, ¥82

1 June 2017: "Volkswagen's ... new twist on its ... EA888 gasoline [petrol] 4-cylinder engine family looks to be a potentially effective high-efficiency surrogate for the diesel engines it no longer will sell in North America. [VW] calls the new ... variant .. 'B-Cycle,' so named for its developer ... Ralf Budack, who for years envisioned this melding of the increasingly popular Atkinson- and Miller-cycle combustion processes that seek to use a truncated compression ratio - via late closing of the intake valves - to achieve an effectively longer expansion ratio. Resulting is a 2.0-L engine that VW said has the power of the 1.8-L TSI it replaces, but roughly 8% better fuel economy - generating efficiency one might expect from a smaller 1.4-L engine. ..." -- SAE [...].

1 June 2017, recall PRA 2017/16076: "Mercedes-Benz SLK Class Passenger Car ... The Electronic Stability Program (ESP) software does not correspond to specifications. In rare cases this may cause the brakes to remain slightly engaged after an automatic brake intervention by a driver assistance system ... The braking system may overheat[!] ..." -- [www].


31 May 2017: "Shareholders in Exxon Mobil have backed a motion requiring the company to assess the risks from climate change. The plan, proposed by investors including the Church of England, was supported by over 62% of those eligible to vote. ..." -- [bbc]. (But also see 2 June above.)

31 May 2017, recall PRA 2017/16078: "... 14-14.5MY ZJ [Mitsubishi] Outlander PHEV ... Due to improper engine software, EV software and spark plug specification, the petrol engine may shut down unexpectedly. This will limit the vehicle to EV drive mode only, with no electric charge by the engine. ..." -- [www].

29 May 2017, .uk: "More than 200 drivers a day were caught using a mobile at the wheel immediately after tougher penalties for the offence came into effect, figures show. ..." -- [bbc].

28 May 2017: "Outback ghost town Farina [SA] is coming back to life for the winter months, as volunteers descend on the area to continue a restoration effort which started back in 2009. ..." -- [abc].

28 May 2017 (Sun.): 101st Indianapolis 500 [www]. Ex-F1 driver Takuma Sato won. (Fernando Alonso missed the Monaco Grand Prix to compete but retired with engine failure. Cursed?)

28 May 2017 [#6/20]: Monaco F1 Grand Prix.
Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]; 2. Kimi Raikkonen [Ferrari]; 3. Daniel Ricciardo [Red Bull]. (Also see the FIA [www] and the [bbc].)

27 May - 9 June 2017: Isle of Man TT [www].

27-28 May 2017: Historic Winton, Vic., .au [www].

27 May Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.24/l; min $1.15 ([Perth] avg $1.22/l, min $1.15); oil us$50/b
26 May Fri au$1.00=us$0.74, £0.58, €0.66, ¥83

27 May 2017: RM Sotheby's Villa Erba auction, including lot 136 a 1935 Bugatti Type 57 Atalante prototype by Carrosserie Bugatti, chassis #57254, engine #202 (sold €3.024.000); lot 151 a 1937 Talbot-Lago T150-C SS 'Goutte d'Eau' Coupe by Figoni et Falaschi (sold €3,360,000); lot 161 a 1990 Ferrari F40, chassis #ZFFGJ34B000085749 (sold for €1.064.000), [www].

26 May 2017: In that sunniest of nations, "... 8.7 gigawatts (GW) [of solar energy] had been generated at lunchtime, representing 24.3% of total generation across the UK. ..." -- [bbc].

25-28 May 2017: Shell Eco-marathon [...] or [...].

24 May 2017: "Lotus, the British sports car maker, is being bought by China's Geely. The purchase is part of a deal by Geely to buy a 49.9% stake in Malaysian carmaker Proton, which owns Lotus. ..." -- [bbc].

24 May 2017: It us just 50 years since "... Nine out of 10 Australians had voted 'yes' to including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the census, and allowing Parliament to make laws for Indigenous people. ..." -- [abc].

23 May 2017: "The Department of Justice, on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), today filed a civil complaint in federal court in Detroit, Michigan, against FCA US LLC, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., V.M. Motori S.p.A., and V.M. North America, Inc. (collectively referred to as FCA). The complaint alleges that nearly 104,000 light duty diesel vehicles containing 3.0 liter EcoDiesel engines are equipped with software functions that were not disclosed to regulators during the certification application process, and that the vehicles contain defeat devices. ..." -- EPA [...].

18 May 2017: Coys auction at the Royal Horticultural Halls, Westminster, [www], including lot 129 a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/4, the Paris show car, chassis #08769; lot 131 a 1981 Delorean DMC-12; lot 136 a 2015 Heritage Edition Land-Rover Defender 90 HT, chassis #SALLDWBP79A485853.

17 May 2017, .au: "Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, today welcomed the first deliveries of a new generation of trucks and trailers to Army's 7th Brigade at Gallipoli Barracks in Brisbane. ... part of the $3.5 billion LAND 121 Phase 3B project ... in addition to the new Rheinmetall trucks and Haulmark trailers, a general maintenance capability will be delivered, expected to comprise 122 Mercedes G-Wagons and 49 converted Bushmasters and trailers. ..." — Defense [...].

17 May 2017, .uk: "Tailgating has been ranked the most irritating habit of drivers on UK roads for six out of the past seven years according to research by the AA. ... Pet hates [are] 1. Tailgating (26%), 2. Talking on a mobile (25%), 3. Middle lane hogging (23%), 4. Swooping (10%), 5. Overtaking on the inside (7%), 6. Driving slowly (3%), speeding (3%), littering (3%) ..." -- The AA [www].

14 May 2017 [#5/20]: Spanish F1 Grand Prix.
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]; 3. Daniel Ricciardo [Red Bull]. (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].)

13 May 2017: "A massive cyber-attack using tools believed to have been developed by the US National Security Agency [NSA] has struck organisations around the world. ..." -- [bbc].

13 May Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.25/l; min $1.20 ([Perth] avg $1.21/l, min $1.14); oil us$48/b
12 May Fri au$1.00=us$0.74, £0.57, €0.68, ¥84

12 May 2017: "... Analysis of the Australian vehicle fleet shows that while older vehicles [those built 2000 or earlier] account for just 20% of the registered vehicle fleet, they're involved in 33% of fatality crashes. In contrast, newer vehicles [those built 2011-2016] make up 31% of the fleet yet are involved in just 13% of fatality crashes. ..." -- ANCAP [www]. (The car's age is obviously a factor, but I can think of some others.)

12 May 2017: "Fiat Chrysler is recalling more than 1.25 million pickup trucks worldwide over a software error that 'may be related' to a death and two injuries. ..." -- [bbc].

10 May 2017: US President Donald Trump fired FBI director James Comey. The FBI is investigating possible ties between Trump's election campaign and Russia. These events may or may not be connected. (See [abc] and [11/5].)

8 May 2017: The SAE looks at F1's 2017 cars [...].

8 May Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.35/l; min $1.18 ([Perth] avg $1.17/l, min $1.12); oil us$46/b; au$1.00=us$0.74, £0.57, €0.67, ¥84

8 May 2017: "The future of flying cars: science fact or science fiction? ..." -- [abc].

6-7 May 2017: 11th Clunes Booktown Festival, Vic., .au [www].

4 May Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.34/l; min $1.19 ([Perth] avg $1.31/l, min $1.17); oil us$48/b; au$1.00=us$0.74, £0.58, €0.68, ¥84

4 May 2017: "McLaren's Fernando Alonso said his first experience of Indianapolis was 'fun' as he passed his orientation and began testing for the Indy 500 [28 May]. Alonso is missing the Monaco Grand Prix this month, where Jenson Button will return to Formula 1 to substitute for him, to race at Indianapolis. ..." -- [bbc].

4 May 2017, .au: "Although total vehicle sales for April were at 83,135 compared with 87,571 in April 2016, light commercials were up by 3.1%, with 4X4 utilities up 11.1%. Two light commercials, the Toyota Hilux and the Ford Ranger, were first and second respectively in national sales during April. ... The notable market growth across the segments was in medium SUVs, which grew by 10% in April compared with the same month in 2016. ... Toyota was market leader in April, followed by Mazda and Hyundai. Toyota led Mazda with a margin of 7,460 vehicle sales and 9.0 market share points." -- FCAI [...].

3 May 2017: "Sixty percent of truck emissions in Germany are produced on just two percent of the nation's roadways: the autobahns. ... clean trucks ... overhead [power] lines and hybrid trucks. [a] two-kilometer-long test segment is located near Gavle, a small town in central Sweden. The two-lane E16 has been outfitted with an overhead contact line like those used by trains. ..." -- VW [...]. Anyone remember trolley buses?

2 May 2017: "Northern Territory pastoralists are 'extremely optimistic' about the year ahead with the Bureau of Meteorology recording the Top End's third wettest 'wet season' on record. ..." -- [abc].

1 May Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.37/l; min $1.16 ([Perth] avg $1.19/l, min $1.13); oil us$49/b; au$1.00=us$0.75, £0.58, €0.69, ¥84
30 April 2017 [#4/20]: Russian F1 Grand Prix.
Results: 1. Valtteri Bottas [Mercedes]; 2. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]; 3. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari). See the FIA [www] and [bbc].)

28-30 April 2017 (Fri.-Sun.): Donington Historic [www].

28 April 2017: "Takata airbag seriously injures young Darwin driver ... the airbag did not properly deploy and a small piece of metal struck the 21-year-old female driver in the head ... The faulty Takata Airbags have been attributed to at least 17 deaths and more than 180 injuries worldwide. ..." -- [abc].

27 April 2017, .au: "... seasonal climate outlooks for May to July 2017. ... rainfall likely to be below average over the southern two-thirds of mainland Australia. May is likely to be drier than average over most of Australia, except far northern Australia and Tasmania. Daytime temperatures for May to July are likely to be warmer than average for most of Australia, but cooler than average for the Top End of the NT. ..." -- [bom].

27 April 2017, IDD20150: "Tropical cyclone Frances has formed [cat.1] in the Timor Sea. ... Watch Zone, Kuri Bay to Wyndham, not including Wyndham. ... Location, within 55 kilometres of 10.1 degrees South, 129.4 degrees East, estimated to be 185 kilometres northwest of Pirlangimpi and 555 kilometres north northeast of Kalumburu. ..." -- [bom]. That is late in the season.

27 April 2017: "Trump under fire over 'huge tax cut for the rich' ..." -- The G [www].

25 April 2017: Anzac Day.
24 Apr Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.38/l; min $1.13 ([Perth] avg $1.19/l, min $1.13); oil us$50/b; au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.59, €0.70, ¥83

20 April 2017: "... The Lilium Jet ['flying car'] successfully completed its maiden test flight series in the skies above Bavaria. The 2-seater Eagle prototype executed a range of complex maneuvers, including its signature mid-air transition from hover mode to wing-borne forward flight. ..." -- [...] at Lilium [www]. (Also see 16 May 2019.)

19 April 2017: Hyundai released "Shackleton's Return" on youtube [...]"A hundred years after Sir Ernest Shackleton's Endurance Expedition, Patrick Bergel, the great-grandson of Shackleton, along with Hyundai, takes on Shackleton's unfinished dream" [...]Over a month, a highly modified Santa Fe SUV, with support vehicles, was recently driven across Antartica from Union Camp, via the South Pole, to McMurdo Sound.

19 April 2017: Chinese-owned MG Motor "unveiled an all-new electric supercar concept at the 17th annual Shanghai International Automotive Show (19 April) - the MG E-motion. ..." -- MG [...].

19 Apr Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.20/l; min $1.15 ([Perth] avg $1.34/l, min $1.14); oil us$52/b; au$1.00=us$0.75, £0.59, €0.70, ¥82

16 April 2017: "Poison taken from Queensland's most notorious pest, the cane toad, is being turned against them ... traps use baits that replicate the smell of food, made from the poison of adult cane toads, to capture and eradicate up to 10,000 juvenile toads in one hit. ..." -- [abc].

16 April 2017 [#3/20]: Bahrain F1 Grand Prix.
Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]; 2. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 3. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes). (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].)

14-23 April 2017: New York Auto Show [www].

14 Apr Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.19/l; min $1.16 ([Perth] avg $1.24/l, min $1.14); oil us$53/b
13 Apr Thu Melb au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.60, €0.71, ¥83

13 April 2017: 'Escaping a sinking car: Staying put is death trap says Canadian expert ... According to Dr Giesbrecht, the most common instinct when in a submerged car is to keep the doors and windows shut, resulting in what he called a "death trap". ... Dr Giesbrecht's advice is simple. "Seatbelts, windows, out - children first. That means, get your seatbelts off, then get the windows open," he said. ..."' -- [abc].

13 April 2017, .au: "Metadata capture begins but information not to be used for civil cases. The Federal Government will not allow civil litigants to access metadata stored by telecommunication companies after a backlash from lawyers and privacy advocates. ..." -- [abc].

11 April 2017: "Tesla surpasses GM to become most valuable car company in US ..." -- The G [www].

11 April 2017: 'Videos showing a man being violently removed from a United Airlines flight have provoked an outcry on social media. ... "#United overbooked and wanted four of us to volunteer to give up our seats for personnel that needed to be at work the next day." "No one volunteered, so United decided to choose for us. ...' -- [bbc]. Why am I not surprised that this is about United Airlines?

10 April 2017, .uk: "This March, British car buyers registered almost a quarter of a million new diesel cars ... In 2016, a record 1.3 million new diesel cars were registered in the UK, up 0.6% on the previous year - a trend that's continuing in 2017. ... The latest Euro 6 cars are classed as low emission for the purposes of the London Ultra Low Emission Zone ..." -- SMMT [...].

10 April 2017: "Ballarat received a month's worth of rain in under 24 hours as severe weather swept across Victoria on Sunday, the weather bureau says. ... A severe weather warning remains in place today ... Mount Hotham, Falls Creek and Mount Buller experienced [snow] flurries. ..." -- [abc].  "Snowy Mountains get blast of pre-winter snow well ahead of official ski season ..." -- [2].

10 Apr Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.22/l; min $1.18 ([Perth] avg $1.16/l, min $1.11); oil us$52/b; au$1.00=us$0.75, £0.60, €0.71, ¥83

10 April 2017: "Two-thirds of the Great Barrier Reef has now been devastated by severe coral bleaching, with the most intense damage occurring further south this year ... Compared to its 2016 survey, where the northern third was worst off, this year the central third - Cooktown down to Townsville - recorded the most intense bleaching. ..." -- [abc].

9 April 2017 [#2/20]: Chinese F1 Grand Prix.
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]; 3. Max Verstappen [Red Bull]. See the FIA [www] and [bbc].

6 April 2017: "Volkswagen's emissions cheating scandal has taken another twist, with some drivers now saying the company's software upgrade is causing problems with their cars. ... a drop in fuel efficiency and performance after having the upgrade. ..." -- [abc].

5-9 April 2017: TechnoClassica, Essen [...] [www].

4 Apr Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.26/l; min $1.19 ([Perth] avg $1.33/l, min $1.13); oil us$50/b; au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.61, €0.71, ¥84

4 April 2017: "Floodwaters have begun lapping at doorsteps of homes in low-lying areas of Rockhampton and roads are closed as the swollen Fitzroy River invades the central Queensland city. The river is expected to reach a major flood level of 8.5 metres later today. ..." -- [abc].

3 April 2017: "Tesla's market value has overtaken that of Ford after shares in the electric car maker added more than 7%. At the close of trading Tesla had a market value of $49bn (£38bn), compared with Ford's value of $46bn. ... While Tesla's sales are growing fast they are still a fraction of Ford's, which sold almost 6.7 million vehicles in 2016. Tesla delivered 76,000 electric cars last year. ..." -- [bbc]. (Also see 11 April above.)

2 April 2017 (Sun.), .au: Daylight saving ends.

1-2 April 2017: Classic Car Auction, NEC, Birmingham [...] lot 254 (sold £68,200) a 1965 Citroen 2CV Sahara (4WD).


31 March 2017: "One of Australia's largest power stations, Hazelwood in Victoria's east, will close today marking the end of its 52-year history of power generation in the Latrobe Valley. ..." -- [www].

31 March 2017, .us: "... States reported 2,660 pedestrian fatalities for the first six months of 2016, compared to 2,486 deaths during the same time period in the previous year. Using this data and historic trends, GHSA estimates that there were 5,997 pedestrian fatalities in 2016. Potential factors contributing to this spike include a better economy, an increase in walking as a primary mode of transportation, and distraction due to growing use of smartphone technology. ..." -- GHSA [www].

31 March - 2 April 2017, .uk: Practical Classics Classic Car & Restoration Show, NEC, Birmingham [www] (and auction 1-2 April above).

31 March - 2 April 2017, .au: National 4x4 Show Brisbane Showgrounds [www].

30 March 2017, .au: "The Bureau of Meteorology has released its monthly and seasonal climate outlooks for April to June 2017. For the months ahead, the outlook indicates below-average rainfall is likely for the southern two-thirds of the mainland, and it will be wetter in the far north. ..." -- [bom].

30 March 2017, .uk: "Sir Tim Barrow, Britain's ambassador to the EU, delivered the [Brexit] letter ... More than nine months have passed since Britain voted to leave the European Union ..." -- The G [www]. Also see the [bbc], and 29 March 2019.

30 March 2017: "Tens of thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate areas of northern NSW, with the SES warning of 'unprecedented' flooding in the region ... The SES has ordered residents of Lismore CBD, North and South Lismore to leave immediately ..." -- [abc] and [31/3].

30 Mar Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.31/l; min $1.15 ([Perth] avg $1.29/l, min $1.14); oil us$50/b; au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.62, €0.71, ¥85

29 March 2017: "Ex-Cyclone Debbie is causing monsoonal rain and major flooding across central Queensland, with the deluge set to hit Brisbane on Thursday. ... In 24 hours, 646mm fell on the Clarke Ranges, north-west of Mackay. That was on top of 340mm on Monday. ..." -- [abc].  "... Widespread 24 hour rainfall totals of 150 to 250mm are expected, with significantly higher accumulations possible locally. This rainfall will likely be very intense at times, leading to a risk of severe localised flash flooding. Locations that may be affected include Gladstone, Kingaroy, Bundaberg, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast. ..." -- [bom][30/3].

26 March 2017: "A cyclone ["Debbie"] off northern Queensland has intensified to a category two and could reach category four by the time it crosses the coast somewhere between Cardwell and Bowen, near Townsville, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has warned. ..." -- [abc], and [27/3].

26 March 2017 [#1/20]: Australian F1 Grand Prix (start 4pm local, 5am GMT).
Teams (engine) and drivers: [Ferrari], Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen; [Force India] (Mercedes), Sergio Perez Mendoza, Esteban Ocon; [Haas F1] (Ferrari), Romain Grosjean, Kevin Magnussen; [McLaren] (Honda), Fernando Alonso, Stoffel Vandoorne; [Mercedes], Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas; [Red Bull] (Tag Heuer, i.e., Renault) Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen; [Renault], Nicolas Hulkenberg, Jolyon Palmer; [Sauber] (Ferrari), Marcus Ericsson, Pascal Wehrlein; [Toro Rosso] (Renault), Daniil Kvyat, Carlos Sainz jr; [Williams] (Mercedes), Felipe Massa, Lance Stroll.
The 2017 cars are wider (2m), with wider more durable Pirelli tyres, ≥722kg (+20kg), and 105kg fuel (+5kg).
Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]; 2. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 3. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes). Also see the [bbc].
(On the speed of the new cars, pole L. Hamilton 1.21.88. Fastest race lap (56), K. Raikkonen, 1.26.538, compared to 2014 N. Rosberg 1.6T V6 1:32.478, 2013 K. Raikkonen 2.4 V8 1:29.274, 2004 M. Schumacher 3.0 V10 1:24.125.)

25-26 March 2017: Pajero Challenge [...].

24 March 2017: "A slow-moving tropical low has drenched the WA mining town of Port Hedland, which has received more than 270 millimetres of rain this week. ..." -- [abc].

21 March 2017: "Wide collaborations aim to advance the fuel-cell future ... Sales of the Clarity Fuel Cell, the Toyota Mirai and FCVs from Hyundai and potentially GM will deliver emission credits under the California Air Resources Board's complex credit scheme. ... Nissan and Magna are investigating using hydrogen fuel cells rather than ICEs as hybrid range extenders. ..." -- SAE [...].  Also see 'Clarity of purpose' [...].

March 2017: "North Central, North East, West and South Gippsland and parts of the East Gippsland and South West Forecast Districts. ... A low pressure trough will gradually move eastwards across Victoria on Tuesday night and early Wednesday. Widespread rain and isolated thunderstorms are expected this afternoon and evening. Periods of heavy rain which may lead to flash flooding are likely across the warning area. Heavy rain should ease later tonight. ..." -- [bom].
20 Mar Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.35/l; min $1.18 ([Perth] avg $1.21/l, min $1.13); oil us$49/b; au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.62, €0.72, ¥87

20 March 2017: "How the free market failed Australia and priced us out of our own gas supply ... The upshot is that we now are paying more than Japanese manufacturers for our own gas. In fact, power company AGL is actively considering buying Australian gas in Japan and shipping it back home. And why not? It's cheaper there. ..." -- [abc].

18 March 2017: "Horror 24 hours on Victoria's roads as three die in crashes involving trucks ... A man from Romsey, north of Melbourne, was killed on the freeway when a truck ran over the top of his ute about 6.30am. ... The deadly crash was one of three on Victorian roads in less than 24 hours involved trucks, sparking concerns over truck driver distraction ... About 18 hours earlier, there was a strikingly similar crash on the Princes Freeway in Point Cook, which claimed the life of a 28-year-old Hoppers Crossing man, and left his passenger in hospital. ... A third crash occurred on Thursday afternoon, when a 65-year-old delivery truck driver died after he was run over by his truck at a storage depot ..." -- The Age [www].

17 March 2017: 'Major advance of South Georgia glaciers during the Antarctic Cold Reversal following extensive sub-Antarctic glaciation', A. G. C. Graham et al, Nature Commns, 8, #14798, 2017 [www]. And, '"... in the last 10,000 years the ice cap has wobbled back and forth, but never really gone out much beyond the fjords," Dr Graham told BBC News. "And then in the 1950s, things seemed to go pear-shaped for South Georgia. The glaciers now are in a massive retreat ..."' -- [bbc].

17 March 2017: "Showers and thunderstorms are forecast to continue for much of Queensland over the weekend, but the heaviest rainfall will be seen further south in New South Wales. ..." -- [bom].

15 Mar Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.37/l; min $1.17 ([Perth] avg $1.35/l, min $1.16); oil us$48/b; au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.62, €0.71, ¥87

13-19 March 2017, .au: Corowa Swim In, the year of the International (IH) and year of the Carrier [www].

13 March 2017: "Intel Corporation and Mobileye N.V. today announced a definitive agreement under which Intel would acquire Mobileye. ... a subsidiary of Intel will commence a tender offer to acquire all of the issued and outstanding ordinary shares of Mobileye for us$63.54 per share in cash, representing a fully-diluted equity value of approximately us$15.3 billion and an enterprise value of $14.7 billion. Mobileye's leading computer vision expertise to create automated driving solutions from the cloud through the network to the car. ..." — Intel [...]. (Also see the [bbc].)

13 March 2017 (Mon.): Labour Day, Vic., .au.
11-13 March 2017: Steamfest, National Steam Centre, Scoresby, Melbourne, Vic. [www].
10-13 March 2017 (Fri-Mon): Port Fairy Folk Festival [www].

11 March 2017: WA State election. Labor easily defeated the Liberal-National Government. The situation in the Upper House was less clear. Also see the [abc], [2].

10-11 March 2017: RM Sotheby's Amelia Island auction [...].

10 March 2017, .au: "Another mass bleaching event on the Great Barrier Reef, caused by warmer ocean temperatures, has been confirmed ..." -- [abc].

10 Mar Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.19/l; min $1.09 ([Perth] avg $1.30/l, min $1.15); oil us$50/b; au$1.00=us$0.75, £0.62, €0.71, ¥87

10 March 2017: "Volkswagen has pleaded guilty to three charges as part of a us$4.3bn (£3.5bn) agreement with the US regulators over the diesel emissions scandal. The German car maker has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud, obstruction of justice and entry of goods by false statement. ..." -- [bbc].

9-19 March 2017: 87th Geneva Motor Show [www] [...] including Dendrobium (Singapore) 'Dendrobium' electric concept [...]; Mercedes new 'E-Class Cabriolet', revised 'GLA', Maybach G650 (G-wagen) Landaulet AMG 5980cc V12(!) 4WD portal axles; Quant '48volt' electric 48 V "flow cell" concept; Renault Alpine 'A110' [...]; Spyker 'C8 Preliator Spyder' 4.2 V8 [...]; Subaru revised 'XV' SUV; Toyota next 'Yaris'.

9 March 2017: "A flying passenger pod that can be docked with wheels to turn in to a car has been unveiled at a show in Geneva. ..." -- [bbc]. (An Airbus concept [...]. Also see 17 Feb. below.)

9 March 2017: Bonhams Amelia Island Auction [...]. Including lot 102 a 1959 Goggomobil Dart Roadster, chassis #0112854, engine #02130120 (sold us$31,900); lot 171 a Lamborghini model 1R tractor, engine #18168 (sold us$46,200).

9 March 2017, .au: "DNA confirms Aboriginal people have a long-lasting connection to country ..." -- [abc], and also see Nature [www].

8 March 2017: "The summer of 2016/17 has been dubbed the 'angry summer' by climate scientists who've been investigating just how extreme things got. They've found that during a 90-day period, 205 weather records were broken. ..." -- [abc].

8 March 2017: "Volkswagen diesel scandal: ACCC sues over dodgy emissions claims ... According to the ACCC, Audi Australia supplied more than 12,000 affected vehicles to Australian consumers. ... Last month, Volkswagen pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the US over the emissions scandal and will pay billions of dollars in criminal and civil penalties." -- [abc].

7-10 March 2017: F1 pre-season testing #2, Barcelona. Ferrari set the fastest times, but that may or may not mean much.

4 March 2017: "France's PSA Group, maker of Peugeot and Citroen cars, has reached a deal with General Motors to buy its Opel and Vauxhall brands, according to reports. ..." -- [bbc]...
6 March: "... General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM) and PSA Group (Paris:UG) today announced an agreement under which GM's Opel / Vauxhall subsidiary and GM Financial's European operations will join the PSA Group in a transaction valuing these activities at €1.3 Bn and €0.9 Bn, respectively. ..." -- PSA [www], and also GM [...].
4 Mar Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.20/l; min $1.09 ([Perth] avg $1.28/l, min $1.18); oil us$53/b
3 Mar Fri au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.62, €0.72, ¥86

4 March 2017: "Drip of Russia revelations puts damper on Trump's 'home run' ... Now it has emerged that five Trump advisers, including the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, interacted with the Russian ambassador, Sergei Kislyak. ..." -- [bbc].

3-5 March 2017: Airshow 2017, Avalon Airport, Geelong, Vic. [www]. (Trade 28 Feb. - 5 March.)

3 March 2017: "A Mini part's incredible journey shows how Brexit will hit the UK car industry ... The UK automotive industry is right at the centre of concerns about what damage Brexit might inflict on the British economy ..." -- The G [www].

3 March 2017: "Bugatti delivers first Chiron super sports cars to customers ..." -- Bugatti [...].

1 March 2017: "SA truck driver should face maximum penalty over fatal crash with cyclists, court told ... [he] was under the influence of drugs ... Sean Anthony Daley, 49, of Two Wells killed cyclist Steve Eberhardt in the collision almost a year ago, and seriously injured two others. ..." -- [abc].
And 7 April: "A truck driver who was under the influence of drugs when he fatally ploughed into a group of cyclists at Port Pirie has been sentenced to almost five years' jail. ... As a result of the collision, authorities conducted an audit of his employer Dennis Transport's records, finding that over 41 days 15 drivers had committed 94 breaches of legislation regulating the use of heavy vehicles. The court heard Dennis Transport kept two sets of wage records, one which recorded the driving which employees were paid and the other a falsified version to conform with the hours they should have been driving. ..." -- [abc].

1 March 2017: "Western Australia's biggest wet season on record is coming to an end, with just one more weak tropical low forecast for next week. The Kimberley has recorded its wettest summer since records began in 1900. Halls Creek recorded 966.8mm and was the wettest October to February period since records commenced in 1944-45. ..." -- [abc].

28 Feb Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.21/l; min $1.11 ([Perth] avg $1.38/l, min $1.19); oil us$54/b; au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.62, €0.73, ¥87

28 February 2017: "The El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) remains neutral. However, recent changes in both the tropical Pacific Ocean and atmosphere, and climate model outlooks surveyed by the Bureau, suggest the likelihood of El Nino forming in 2017 has risen. ..." -- [bom].

27 February - 2 March 2017: F1 pre-season testing, Barcelona.

27 February 2017: "Pumped hydro storage can be used to help build a secure and cheap Australian electricity grid with 100% renewable energy, a new study from the Australian National University (ANU) has found. ... wind and solar PV electricity provided nearly all new generation capacity in Australia and half the world's new generation capacity each year. At present, renewable energy accounts for around 15% of Australia's electricity generation ... the cost of a 100% stabilised renewable electricity system would be around au$75/MWh, which is cheaper than coal and gas-fuelled power. ..." -- ANU [...].

27 February 2017, .au: "A truck driver found guilty of causing a head-on fatal crash at Murray Bridge has again appeared to collapse in the dock after being charged with breaching fatigue management policies. ..." -- [abc]. 
And, 27 April: "... sentenced to five years in jail. ... had a long list of previous driving convictions, including dangerous driving, speeding and driving a truck while under the influence of methylamphetamine. ..." -- [abc].

24-26 February 2017: Race Retro, Stoneleigh Park, Coventry [www]. And, Silverstone Auctions [...]; 1989 Aston Martin AMR1 Group C race car sold for £530,000.

24 February 2017: "The proponents of a sealed outback highway that would open up central Australia to industry and tourism estimate it will cost at least another $400 million to complete by 2025. About 1,600 kilometres of the Outback Way ... running 2,800 kilometres from Winton in Queensland to Laverton in Western Australia's northern Goldfields, remains unsealed. ..." -- [abc].

24 February 2017: "The Labor party in Western Australia unveiled its plan for the Kimberley this week ahead of the March state election ... Labor has promised to create the Fitzroy River National Park, and vowed to never allow the Fitzroy or its tributaries to be dammed ..." -- [abc].

23-26 February 2017: London Classic Car Show, ExCel E16 [www].

23 Feb Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.23/l; min $1.14 ([Perth] avg $1.34/l, min $1.19); oil us$53/b; au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.62, €0.73, ¥87

23 February 2017: "Solar energy is now cheaper in Australia than retail power prices in most capital cities after dropping 58% in the past five years, the Climate Council says in a new report. ..." -- [abc], and Climate Council [www].

23 February 2017: "Insurance cover for self-driving cars must offer protection for both times when the driver is in control and when the vehicle is in charge, according to new proposals from the UK government. ..." -- [bbc]. See the 'Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill' (HC Bill 143) [www].

21 February 2017: RACV and other state motoring clubs and the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) announced the "15 winners of the 2016 Australia's Best Cars awards" which included "best medium car under $50,000 Mazda Mazda6 Touring, ... AWD SUV under $50,000 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium, AWD SUV $50,000 - $65,000 Land Rover Discovery Sport TD4 150 SE 5 seat, ... 4x4 dual-cab Ute Ford Ranger XLT 3.2" [www].

20 February 2017: "A landmark race between two driverless electric cars has ended badly for one of the contestants. The unfortunate Devbot vehicle crashed out of the Roborace competition after misjudging a corner while travelling at high speed. ..." -- [bbc]. Also see Roborace [www] and at youtube [...].

20 February 2017, .au: "Cyclone Alfred forms in Gulf of Carpentaria prompting evacuations at Borroloola ..." -- [abc]. Also see the [bom].

20 February 2017: "Gas forgotten in energy debate between coal and renewables ... We have some of the world's biggest gas deposits; by 2021, we're set to become the world's top exporter of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, overtaking Qatar. ... The prices paid by energy users, such as companies and households, are higher because they're linked to the global market. ..." -- [abc].

19 February 2017: "'From bad to worse': Greece hurtles towards a final [euro] reckoning ..." -- The G [www].

19 February 2017: "The tropical low in the Gulf of Carpentaria is forecast to move back over water, and strengthen into a tropical cyclone on Sunday. ..." -- [bom][17/2].

19 February 2017: "Another storm has hit the Hunter region and the Central Coast of New South Wales after two days of severe weather caused widespread blackouts and property damage in parts of the state. The Bureau of Meteorology says the storm, which has caused more power outages, is now over southern parts of the mid-north coast, bringing with it heavy rain. ..." -- [abc].

19 February 2017 (Sun.): Victorian 4WD Show, Wandin (Melways 119 G7) [www].

18 February 2017: "Should you take your phone to the United States? ..." -- [bbc].

18 February 2017: "Ravensthorpe cut off after WA floods wash away bridge into town ... Main Roads said it was confident the South Coast Highway between Ravensthorpe and Esperance and would be opened to traffic by early next week. ..." -- [abc].  Also see [16/2].)

18 Feb Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.25/l; min $1.15 ([Perth] avg $1.31/l, min $1.19); oil us$53/b
17 Feb Fri au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.62, €0.72, ¥87

17 February 2017: "Aerial food drops and the evacuation of low-lying houses are underway as the Kimberley's Fitzroy River [WA] approaches major flooding levels. ..." -- [abc].

17 February 2017: "Ford's Dozing Engineers Side With Google in Full Autonomy Push ... The struggle to prevent snoozing-while-cruising has yielded a radical decision: Ford will venture to take the human out of the loop by removing the steering wheel, brake and gas pedals from its driverless cars debuting in 2021. That sets Ford apart from most automakers including Audi and General Motors Co., which believe drivers can be counted on to take the wheel if an accident is imminent. ..." -- Bloomberg Technology [www].

17 February 2017: "A drone that can carry people will begin 'regular operations' in Dubai from July, the head of the city's Roads and Transportation Agency has announced at the World Government Summit. ..." -- [bbc].

15 February 2017: "General Motors is in talks to sell its European arm Opel, which includes the UK's Vauxhall, to [PSA] the company behind Peugeot ..." -- The G. [www].

13 February 2017: "The first national audit of batteries that store solar power shows almost 7,000 were installed in Australian homes last year - and that's predicted to triple this year. ..." -- [abc].

13 February 2017: Petrochemical company INEOS plans "to build 'Uncompromising' 4x4 off-roader ... sees a gap in the market for an uncompromising off-roader following JLR's decision to cease production of the Land Rover Defender ... is prepared to invest 'many hundreds of millions' producing the new vehicle and hopes this could be done in the UK ... The vehicle will not be a replica of the Defender but will reflect its philosophy. ..." -- INEOS [www]. It seems that INEOS Chairman, Jim Ratcliffe, is a LR & Defender fan. (Also see 19 Sept. above.)

13 Feb Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.27/l; min $1.19 ([Perth] avg $1.27/l, min $1.20); oil us$54/b; au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.61, €0.72, ¥87

13 February 2017: "... Unprecedented rains and floods caused widespread damage to towns along the Avon River catchment, with some Swan Valley [WA] wine producers inundated. ..." -- [abc].

13 February 2017: "Most of the small community of Uarbry has been wiped out by a bushfire burning near Dunedoo, residents say, as the New South Wales Rural Fire Service (RFS) continues to battle blazes across the state. ... The mercury in Walgett, near the Queensland boarder, reached 47.9°C yesterday ..." -- [abc].  Also see the RFS [www].

11 February 2017: "Heatwave: Eastern Australia swelters as hot conditions continue ... The highest temperature recorded in Australia on Saturday was Ivanhoe in New South Wales at 47.6°C ... A top of 39°C is forecast in Brisbane on Sunday ..." -- [abc].

10 February 2017, recall #2017/15895: "Automobili Lamborghini ... Aventador Coupe and Roadster from model year 2012 to 2017 ... If the fuel tank is overfilled, particular handling conditions could cause fuel to reach the carbon canister. If this occurs, it may stop the EVAP system from managing fuel vapours correctly, potentially allowing them to make contact with hot gases from the engine ..." -- .gov.au [www].

10 February 2017: Artcurial's Retromobile auction, Paris [...], including lot 11 a 1956 AC Bristol roadster, chassis #BEX 211, engine #100D 533 (sold €321,840); lot 27 a 1935 Bugatti Type 57 Atalante convertible, chassis #57330, engine #548 (sold €2,331,200); lot 76 a 1954 Lamborghini DL 25 N tractor (sold €35,760).

9 February 2017: Bonhams Les Grandes Marques Auction, Paris [...], including a lot 339 a 1935 Aston Martin Ulster, reg. 'CML 719', chassis #A5/537/U, engine #A5/537/U (sold €2,012,500); lot 360 a 1957 Bentley S1 Continental drop-head coupe (Cabriolet), chassis #BC30LCH (sold €1,069,500). (James Bond 007 owned a modified Mark II Continental Bentley in Thunderball (1961) – the book.)

9 February 2017: "Volkswagen is being urged to explain why Australian drivers are not being offered compensation for cars fitted with emissions-cheating devices ... not being given compensation or a refund for cars fitted with the devices - similar to the deal given to VW drivers in the United States. ..." -- [abc].

9 February 2017: "Parts of Australia's south and east will swelter through 40-degree-plus (°C) temperatures today as severe heatwave conditions continue to develop. ..." -- [abc].

8 Feb Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.31/l; min $1.13 ([Perth] avg $1.37/l, min $1.21); oil us$53/b; au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.61, €0.71, ¥86

8-12 February 2017: Retromobile, Paris [www]. (Auction 10/2.)

8 February 2017: RM Sotheby's Paris auction [www] including lot 147 a 1970 Porsche 917/10 Can-Am prototype, chassis #917/10-001 (not sold); lot 161 a 1934 Alfa Romeo Tipo B P3, chassis #50006 (sold €3,920,00).

6 February 2017: "To the excitement of locals and relief of farmers, Western Australia's longest river, the Gascoyne River, has pushed through to the coastal farming town of Carnarvon. ..." -- [abc].

6 February 2017: "Volkswagen faces its first legal action in Germany from a big corporate client over the diesel emissions scandal. Deutsche See, which leases 500 vehicles from VW, said it had been unable to reach an out-of-court settlement ... [VW] admitted in September 2015 that it had used software to cheat diesel-emissions tests in the US. ..." -- [bbc].

5 February 2017: "At 2:00pm, the temperature in Penrith was 41.4°C while Parramatta was 41°C. Temperatures were also soaring in regional New South Wales, with Bourke (41°C) and Wilcannia (43.3°C) ... NSW has endured a record-breaking summer. Moree, near the Queensland border, is on a sweltering streak where the mercury has topped 35°C for the past 41 days. It was 36°C at 2:00pm today. ..." -- [abc].

4 Feb Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.32/l; min $1.21 ([Perth] avg $1.31/l, min $1.21); oil us$54/b
3 Feb Fri au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.61, €0.71, ¥86

4 February 2017: "... Solar PV (with associated energy storage costs included) could supply 23% of global power generation in 2040 and 29% by 2050, entirely phasing out coal and leaving natural gas with just a 1% market share. ... EVs account for approximately 35% of the road transport market by 2035 ... Coal demand peaking in 2020; Oil demand peaking in 2020; ..." -- Carbon Tracker and the Grantham Institute [www]. (Also see 27 Jan below.)

3 February 2017, recall 2017/15854: "TJM Recovery Gear Snatch Strap Kits with part numbers 867TJMREKIT1 or 867OXREKIT1 or a combination of these part numbers ... Absence of warnings or inconsistent information in labelling could result in the strap being used in an unsafe manner or the incorrect recovery kit being purchased. ..." -- .gov.au [www].

2 February 2017, .uk: 'Reported road casualties Great Britain, provisional estimates, July to September 2016 ... 2% increase in road deaths to 1,810 ... 6% increase in killed or seriously injured casualties to 25,160, 4% decrease in casualties of all severities to 182,560 ...' -- .gov.uk [www].

2 February 2017, .au: 'Electricity prices could double with new coal-fired stations ... "Several authorities' projections, including from the CSIRO, put the price of new coal at $80 a megawatt hour and new wind and solar around the same level but we are seeing lower prices achieved day by day [for wind and solar]." ... The electricity price needed for newly built cleaner coal-fired generation is likely to be between $135-203 a megawatt hour, according to work done by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. ...' -- [abc].

1 February 2017: "VW and Bosch propose deals to settle US diesel claims ... Volkswagen has agreed to pay at least $1.2bn (£1bn) to fix or buy back 78,000 diesel cars in the US to settle more emissions-cheating claims. ... Car components company Robert Bosch, a VW supplier, has also agreed to pay $327.5m to US owners of affected cars. ... VW previously agreed to spend up to $10bn to compensate the owners of about 482,000 two-litre vehicles ..." -- [bbc].


29 January 2017: "Qantas has confirmed it will offer a refund or change of destination to passengers affected by the United States' new temporary ban on immigration. US President Donald Trump on Saturday put a four-month ban on allowing refugees into the US and temporarily barred travellers with passports from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. ..." -- [abc].

January 2017: The Ford 'Mustang' 5.0 (Fastback LHD) was only awarded two stars (out of five) by Euroncap [www]. (An updated model is due in late 2017.)

29 Jan Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.35/l; min $1.17 ([Perth] avg $1.29/l, min $1.20); oil us$53/b
27 Jan Fri au$1.00=us$0.75, £0.60, €0.71, ¥87

27 January 2017: "The former boss of VW may have known the carmaker was cheating on emissions tests earlier than he admitted, German prosecutors have said. Martin Winterkorn quit in September 2015 after VW admitted to using software to lower the emissions from its diesel vehicles during tests. ..." -- [bbc].

27 January 2017: BP is predicting "the most likely path for global energy markets to 2035, including an expected 30% growth in consumption with a mix of fuels that becomes progressively lower in carbon ... The world economy is expected to almost double over the next 20 years ... oil, gas and coal remain the dominant sources of energy, accounting for more than 75% of energy supplies in 2035 (down from 85% in 2015). ..." -- BP [...] -- so, peak oil not any time soon. But, Shell begs to differ, "We've long been of the opinion that demand will peak before supply. And that peak may be somewhere between 5 and 15 years hence ..." -- Simon Henry of Shell, reported in Bloomberg [www][3/11/16]. (Also see 4 Feb above.)

26 January 2017: Australia Day.

25 January 2017, Feb.-Apr. forecast: "Drier than average likely in much of central and southeast Australia; wetter conditions likely in northwest Western Australia and northern Northern Territory. Warmer than average temperatures likely across eastern Australia; cooler than average likely in the northwest. ..." -- [bom].

25 January 2017: "Nitmiluk National Park in the Northern Territory has been transformed by a strong start to the Top End wet season, after several years of below average rainfall. ... The Katherine region received rainfalls of over 200 millimetres in the past week ..." -- [abc].

24 January 2017, .au: "The Bureau of Meteorology is warning there will be severe weather in the Top End and the southern Northern Territory, with heavy rainfall and flood watches. ... heavy rainfall expected in the centre as well. ..." -- [abc].  Also  see the [bom] and [2].

24 Jan Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.37/l; min $1.21 ([Perth] avg $1.39/l, min $1.17); oil us$53/b; au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.61, €0.70, ¥86

24 January 2017: Terminal gate prices, ULP Sydney $1.18.7, Melbourne $1.18.3, Brisbane $1.18.8, Adelaide $1.18.4, Perth $1.18.5, Darwin $1.23.0, Hobart $1.23.6; and diesel Sydney $1.14.4, Melbourne $1.13.9, Brisbane $1.14.5, Adelaide $1.14.6, Perth $1.14.5, Darwin $1.18.5, Hobart $1.19.2 -- AIP [www][24/1].

24 January 2017: The long reign of Bernie Ecclestone (86) over Formula 1 F1 ended as Liberty Media (US) completed an $8 billion takeover. Ecclestone remains as an adviser.

23 January 2017: "A truck driver who allegedly rammed a hatchback then reversed over it during a road rage incident in Adelaide at the weekend has been granted bail. ..." -- [abc].

22 January 2017: In the uk, "You must get an MOT for your vehicle by either: the third anniversary of its registration [or] the anniversary of its last MOT, if it's over 3 years old ..." [gov.uk], but "The time new cars are allowed on Britain's roads before requiring an MOT could [might] rise from three to four years, under government proposals. ..." -- [bbc].

January 2017: Airbus's ideas about transport in 2030 [...] include "flying cars": "... [1] Vahana, a self-piloted flying vehicle platform for individual passenger and cargo transport. Flight tests of the first vehicle prototype are slated for the end of 2017. ... [And, 2] CityAirbus, would have multiple propellers and also resemble a small drone in its basic design. While initially it would be operated by a pilot – similarly to a helicopter – to allow for quick entry into the market, it would switch over to full autonomous operations once regulations are in place ..."

20-21 January 2017: Gooding and Co. Scottsdale auction [www], including lot 22 a 1925 Bugatti type-35 Grand Prix, chassis #4487, engine #43 (sold us$3,300,000); lot 121 a 1928 Bentley 41/2 litre open tourer chassis #FT3221, engine #FT3222 (sold us$1,100,000).

20 January 2017: Donald Trump was sworn in as the President of America (e.g., [bbc]).

20 January 2017: "WA's South West a 'canary in the coalmine' for climate change ... It has recently been shown that where rain meets woodland, trees attract rainfall. ..." -- [abc].

20 January 2017: "A man has been found dead after a suspected crocodile attack at the notorious Cahill's Crossing in the Northern Territory ..." -- [abc].

19 Jan Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.39/l; min $1.21 ([Perth] avg $1.37/l, min $1.17); oil us$52/b; au$1.00=us$0.75, £0.61, €0.71, ¥86

19 January 2017: "2016 marks three consecutive years of record warmth for the globe ... The average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces in 2016 was 58.69°F or 1.69°F above the 20th century average. This surpassed last year's record by 0.07°F. Since the start of the 21st century, the annual global temperature record has been broken five times (2005, 2010, 2014, 2015, and 2016). ..." -- NOAA [www].  Also see "... Earth's 2016 surface temperatures were the warmest since modern recordkeeping began in 1880 ... Globally-averaged temperatures in 2016 were 1.78°F (0.99°C) warmer than the mid-20th century mean. ..." -- NASA [www][18/1].  And see the [abc].

19 January 2017: Bonhams Scottsdale Auction [...], including lot 7 a 1988 Lamborghini LM002 4WD, vin:ZA9LU45A8JLA12108, (sold us$187,000); lot 44 a 1952 Ferrari 340 America Spider Competizione, chassis #0196A, engine #0196A (sold us$6,380,000).

18 January 2017: "Honda's 2018 'Odyssey' ... first production 10-speed [auto.] for front-drive vehicles. ... overall ratio spread of 10.1 ... overdriven in gears 7 through 10 ... There are four planetary gearsets aligned with the crankshaft axis, along with the three clutches and three brakes. ..." -- SAE [...].

17 January 2017, .uk: "The recognition by the Prime Minister of the importance of single market arrangements for the automotive sector is critical. We need government to deliver a [Brexit] deal which includes participation in the customs union to help safeguard EU trade, trade that is tariff-free ..." -- SMMT [...].

16 Jan Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.40/l; min $1.13 ([Perth] avg $1.30/l, min $1.16); oil us$52/b; au$1.00=us$0.75, £0.62, €0.70, ¥85

16 January 2017: "New estimates show that just eight men own the same wealth as the poorest half of the world. As growth benefits the richest, the rest of society - especially the poorest - suffers. ..." -- Oxfam [www], [www].

14 January 2017: Finish of the Dakar 2017, Buenos Aires [www].

13 January 2017: "Pursuant to a joint release dated 9 November 2016, the Ministers of the Economy and Industry had announced that the DGCCRF had ended its investigations on Renault engines and sent its conclusions to the Public Prosecutor in Nanterre. ..." -- Renault [...].

12 January 2017, recall 2017/15824: "2016 & 2017 Discovery Sport & Range Rover Evoque ... The left hand lower control arm to the knuckle joint in the front suspension has been incorrectly assembled. ...", [www].  Also see the "right" [...].

11 January 2017: "Volkswagen agrees to pay a combined total of us$4.3 billion in fines and penalties ..." -- VW [...].

9 January 2017: "Australia's ski season could shrink by up to 80 days a year by 2050 ..." -- [abc].  (Also see 5 Jan. below.)

9 Jan Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.23/l; min $1.15 ([Perth] avg $1.27/l, min $1.20); oil us$54/b; au$1.00=us$0.73, £0.60, €0.69, ¥86

9 January 2017: "Thousands of British motorists have launched a lawsuit against Volkswagen over the 'dieselgate' emissions scandal, in a claim that could end up costing the carmaker billions of pounds. ..." -- The G [www].

8-22 January 2017: The North American International Auto Show (Detroit, press 9-10, trade 11-12, charity 13, public 14-22) [www]. Including Audi 'Q8' concept [...].

7 January 2017: "Victoria's Country Fire Authority has contained a number of grassfires burning in Victoria's north-west as temperatures across the state push 40°C. ..." -- [abc].

6 January 2017: "Last year was the hottest year on record by a wide margin, with temperatures creeping close to a ceiling set by almost 200 nations for limiting global warming, the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service has said. ..." -- [abc].  Also see "2016 confirmed as the warmest year on record ..." -- Copernicus [www][9/1] and, "around 1.5°C higher than at the start of the Industrial Revolution" -- [www][5/1].

6 January 2017: "Japan has one of the lowest rates of gun crime in the world. In 2014 there were just six gun deaths, compared to 33,599 in the US. ..." -- [bbc].

5-8 January 2017: Summernats, Canberra [www].

5 January 2017: "Last year was a year of extreme weather events, wetter than average overall and the fourth-warmest on record for Australia, according to the [BOM] ..." -- [abc].  Also see, "... national mean temperature 0.87°C above average, and it was the fourth-warmest year on record. ..." -- [bom], and 'Annual Climate statement 2016' [bom].  Also, "Australia's climate has warmed in both mean surface air temperature and surrounding sea surface temperature by around 1°C since 1910. ..." -- CSIRO [www].

4 Jan Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.23/l; min $1.15 ([Perth] avg $1.37/l, min $1.15); oil us$54/b; au$1.00=us$0.72, £0.59, €0.70, ¥85

4 January 2017: "Sea surface temperature (SST) records are subject to potential biases due to changing instrumentation and measurement practices. ... We find a large cooling bias in ERSST version 3b and smaller but significant cooling biases in HadSST3 and COBE-SST from 2003 to the present, with respect to most series examined. These results suggest that reported rates of SST warming in recent years have been underestimated in these three data sets." -- Z. Hausfather et al, 'Assessing recent warming using instrumentally homogeneous sea surface temperature records', Science Advances, 3(1), [www].

2-14 January 2017: Dakar 2017, Paraguay, Bolivia, Argentina [www].

2 January 2017: "... the U.S. Army has placed another order for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program including 409 vehicles, 1,984 installed kits, 82 packaged kits and related services and support. The order valued at more than us$176 million, is the fourth order for JLTVs since the contract was awarded in August 2015. ..." -- Oshkosh [...].

2 January 2017: The Federal "Government estimates road crashes costing the Australian economy $27 billion a year ..." -- [abc].  "More than 1,290 people died on Australian roads in 2016, confirming the nation has experienced its second spike in road deaths in as many years. ..." -- The G [www].  Also see the Victorian TAC [www].

<2018<       >2016>

(26 December 2016 - 13 January 2017: "... the next stage of the West Gate Freeway upgrade between the Bolte Bridge and Power Street. ... upgrade activities planned for 26 Dec. 2016 to 13 Jan. 2017. ..." -- vic.gov.au [www].)

www #ad:

↑ © 1994 . . . now,  L. Allison, www.allisons.org/ll/     Created with "vi (Linux)",  charset=iso-8859-1

Free: Linux, Ubuntu operating-sys, OpenOffice office-suite, The GIMP ~photoshop, Firefox web-browser, FlashBlock flash on/off.