March 26, 2011

Automobile Videos - 3

Hi Guys,

(preceded by Automobile Videos -2)

This week was a wonderful one for me. I was having nearly no academic works and was hence able to concentrate on lot of other things. It was a great learning week for me. Can’t believe it is Saturday already.

In the Automobile Videos -2 post, I mentioned that steering work by using the rack and pinion arrangement. It is one of the types of steering. There are many type of steering. Another major type of steering is ‘Recirculating ball steering’. Click the below links to know more about Steering.

Turbochargers are devices used to upsurge the efficiency of an automobile engine. To increase the efficiency, the amount of fuel burnt or the amount of air in taken must be increased. Enlarging the cylinder size is one option, but it is not feasible in most of the cases. So we use turbochargers. They are kept in the exhaust manifold of the engine. Turbochargers use a turbine, which is spun by the exhaust gases. So the turbine generates wind and is supplied to the cylinders. This is the principle of turbocharger.

It is particularly very useful in case of hilly regions as the amount of oxygen reduces with altitude (so does the pressure). At these places, the turbochargers make sure that the engine functions properly. The video will explain the things more clearly.

Mercedes Benz 4matic Technology
When you think of Mercedes Benz, you will be just awestruck. Generally, the power generated in an engine will be transmitted to the rear axle (back wheels) through the differential. Certain vehicles transmit a little amount of power to the front axle (using another differential known as auxiliary differential).

Mercedes Benz has introduced a concept called 4matic technology. They use an electronic chip in the differential and this pre-programmed chip governs the power transmitted to all the four wheels. Generally 60% power is transmitted to the rear axle and the remaining 40% is transmitted to the front axle. If the road is bumpy at a certain place, then the chip locks the particular wheel alone. This means there will be a lot of safety to the passengers. Watch the video and you will be mesmerized.

With this I finish the Automobile Videos sequence temporarily.

Happy Reading!!!

March 25, 2011

Automobile Videos - 2

Hi Guys,

This is the continuation of Automobile Videos -1 post.

Working of Catalytic Converter
First, what is catalytic converter? Catalytic converter is a device kept in the exhaust pipe of Automobiles. Basically automobile exhaust consists of gases like Sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide and oxides of nitrogen along with some unburned fuel. If these gases are let out into the atmosphere, pollution will increase enormously. So, we use catalytic converters to control the emission. They basically consist of minute matrix shaped structures made of platinum and rhodium or platinum and palladium. They act as catalysts and convert the harmful gases into nearly harmless gases. One drawback is that they work only at high temperatures and hence, they are activated only after traveling for 6 miles.

Check the video to know more detailed information and a superb animation of the process.

Working of Power Steering
Rack and Pinion
In the earlier days, it used to be hard for the drivers to steer a vehicle. Even for a small turn, they needed to apply a lot of effort. But, driving has become very comfortable after the advent to power steering. Steering is generally based on a rack and pinion arrangement. Whenever the steering wheel is turned the pinion moves on the rack and the wheel is turned. The difference between a normal steering and a power steering is that, in normal steering driver has to apply all the force required to turn, but in a power steering he is helped by the hydraulic force.  Refer the video for getting a clear cut view. A car racer explains the principle of power steering.

(To be continued…)

Happy Reading!!!

March 21, 2011

Automobile Videos - 1

Hi Guys,

I was just seeing some videos about various technologies used in automobiles. Started with things in my syllabus and later went into things. They were just wonderful. I will post the videos in the next couple of posts along with explanations.

Note: The 1st video is more technical and the 2nd video is more general. But both the videos are suitable for all.

How Differential Works?
First, differential is a device used in automobiles to control the speed of the rear wheels particularly during turning. Power generated in the engine is transmitted through clutch, gearbox and propeller shaft. From propeller shaft, the differential divides the power equally to both the wheels. When the vehicle turns left, the left wheel should turn a shorter distance and right wheel should cover a larger distance. Differential takes care of it.

The concept is difficult to understand. Chevrolet has released a wonderful video explaining the working of differential using steel bars. This 1930 video is still used to explain the working of differential. See the video and you will understand.

Aerodynamics of Aeroplanes, Cars
I’ve heard of Aerodynamic effects on automobiles, but never in such a way. The effect of Aerodynamics is same, but the way it is used in Aeroplanes, cars and racing cars are different. In Aeroplanes, it is used for the flight. In cars, Aerodynamics needs to be controlled to keep the car on land and in racing cars, to speed the cars. Can’t explain the things in words, the 10 minute video from Audi will explain better. If you play car racing games, you will know the use of Spoilers.

(To be continued…)

Happy Reading!!!

March 17, 2011

Run Lola Run(1998) - A German Movie

Hi Guys,

It was Tuesday night. Time was 11.45 pm. I had just finished my assignments and found that the movie was just for 80 minutes. Not feeling so sluggish, I decided to watch the movie ‘Run Lola Run’. It didn’t fail me. It’s a 1998 German thriller movie, directed by Tom Tykwer. It was one of the best I have ever watched. The movie deals with the importance of decisions and how things could go wrong because of a little delay. The movie portrays three different scenarios with different endings.

The movie begins with Lola receiving a call from her boyfriend Manni. Manni is a criminal and he was supposed to handover 100,000 marks to his boss. Lola was supposed to pick up Manni and as her moped is stolen she doesn’t turn up. So, Manni takes a train and he loses his moneybag to a beggar, as police chase him. He calls Lola and tells her that she must bring him the money in 20 minutes, if she wants to save him or else he will rob the nearby shop. She plans to ask help from her father. Thus the run begins.

Manni And Lola
First Run
In the first run, she is frightened by a dog and its owner in the steps and runs faster. On her way, she bumps with the car of Meyer, her father’s colleague. Further the car hits another gangster’s car leading Meyer to death. On the way she denies a cycle for 50 marks. Meanwhile, her father is having secret affairs with another woman and she is pregnant. When Lola reaches his office, he says he isn’t her father and throws her away. She runs to Manni a little late than 20 minutes. He enters the shop and is robbing. Lola decides to help him. After getting the money, they run out and are further surrounded by the police. A tense officer shoots Lola and she dies.

Second Run
Again it starts from the end of phone call. This time the dog’s owner hurts her leg and she limps a bit. Again she collides with Meyer leading to the same result. Again she denies the cycle. When she reaches the office, her father and the woman are fighting and Lola joins the fight. After chased out, she takes the security guard’s pistol and demands her father to give her money, despite the warning of surveillance. After getting the money she comes out only to find that there is police around. But the police think the robber is someone else and asks her to leave. She comes a little earlier than 20 minutes and calls Manni before he enters the shop. He crosses the road and an ambulance hits him to death.

Third Run
This time, the dog barks and she jumps over the dog. This time she falls on the car of Meyer and thus delays him by a second. So, he survives. The cycle owner sells his cycle for 70 marks to a beggar and the beggar has the 100,000 marks. Manni finds the beggar and chases him and gets the money back by using a pistol. Meanwhile Meyer goes to Lola’s father’s office and escorts him. Seeing that his father is out, Lola goes to a Casino and to her luck she wins the money. Taking it she comes back, only to find that Manni has already settled the money. So, now they have an extra 100,000 marks. No one is hurt and all is well.

The movie has got a very racy screenplay. It just spans over 80 minutes. The portrayal of the movie is brilliant. As Lola starts running out of the house, her mother asks Lola to buy shampoo and the camera roles into a TV nearby which is showing a cartoon. The girl happens to be a comic Lola and the dog scene occurs here. Similarly the fates of other lives are shown in the form of photographs, which quickens the pace and doesn’t make the movie to deviate.

Franka Potente in Run Lola Run
Franka Potente has the played the role of Lola to precision. She has got her hair red dyed and wears different combination of dress. She brings in all the expression needed for the movie. Tom Tykwer is a part of the music team and music is a big plus. The background music is amazing and fits the visuals. Cinematography is another big plus. Tom Tykwer is captivated by Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo and hence you can see that there are spiral structures all around.

Don’t know why time is precious? Watch this movie. A must watch!!!

Happy Reading!!!

March 12, 2011

My Favorite Sport Car!

This is a guest post, written by my friend Vimal. He has got a lot of interest in automobiles and so he has written an article about his favorite sport car.

Hi friends,

I first thank my friend Karthick, for giving me a chance for this guest appearance.

In this post, I am going to write about my favorite sport car Lamborghini Murciélago. Lamborghini Murciélago is a two seated, high performance sports car. Murciélago gets its name from a historic Spanish bull, which fought in the 19th century. The car was produced in the beginning of 21st century and it has lot of variants.  
Interestingly, I first came to know about this car from a computer video game called Need for Speed- Most Wanted. It is produced by the famous car manufacturer Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. The Company is Italy based and is commonly referred as Lamborghini. The current owner is Audi AG, which itself is a subsidiary of Volkswagen, the German Automobile giant.
 So why did I choose this particular car especially? 

Imagine travelling in a car at 60mph in just 2.8 seconds and then reaching 100mph in next 4 seconds. It is considered to be the most stylish and glamorous car. So there is no doubt that everyone will be seeing you, if you ride this car. This is the reason I love this car. 

The car is not much renowned in India. A survey says that most billionaires in China buy this car, but only a fewer number of billionaires in India buy this car. The notable fact is that India has more number of billionaires than China. However if an Indian buys this car, he can’t ride it due to poor road infrastructure. I think the condition will improve after the introduction of world class highways.
Automobili Lamborghini has closed the production of this car and has planned to introduce a new car in the middle of 2011. 

The car is very expensive (About 3 to 4 crores INR). I haven’t seen this car in real life, but I have seen it many movies and games. Hope to see one soon!!! Who wouldn’t love to ride this car?
Vimal can be reached at

March 5, 2011

My recent Reading stuffs!

Hi Guys,

It feels good to write a post after a long time. I was having a terrible time with chicken pox and it feels good to be back to normal again, though the scars peel off and give a hard time occasionally.

In the mean time, I read two books and thought of sharing them with you.

Playing for Pizza – John Grisham
I took this book from my college library before a weekend. If I start reading a book, I read it quickly and finish it off within a few days. But, I never intended to read this book that way. I didn’t like the base story much. But to my surprise, I started reading on Friday and finished it on Saturday. There was something I liked and still can’t find out what that something is.

Rick Dockery is a Quarterback for one of the NFL (American football) teams. He is always a poor performer and after a deprived performance, he is dropped and no team is read to acquire him. His agent finds him a place in an Italian team. American football is not celebrated there and players generally play for free meal. Rick agrees to go there and finds that Italy is so different from America (such as food is so important, cars are manual, people give lot of importance for food and are traditional). He inspires his team to super bowl title. Though he is paid less, he finds life peaceful and content. He is called back to NFL, does he agree?

This is the first time I have read a real life, yet fictional novel. After reading the novel, I surfed about John Grisham and found that he writes more of law stuffs and this is a different try. His writing was simple and I think that is the element that attracted. There were no twists and turns, nevertheless reading was interesting. Also, bringing the Italian society into the novel creates interests in the minds of the readers. If you are planning to reside in Italy, don’t forget to read this book once.

Honour among Thieves – Jeffery Archer
I had some difficulty reading this novel, just because it had lot of characters and remembering them was not easy. There is no lead person in this novel. The story revolves around various persons at various points of time.

The year is 1993. Saddam Hussein plans to destroy the US Declaration of Independence and humiliate the Americans. He appoints the deputy ambassador to UN to carry the plan. The deputy ambassador hires Antoni Cavalli, an American con who is brilliant in performing organized crime. He sets out to do this work with the aid of a group of people, under the name of shooting for a movie and steals the parchment.

Now a temporary CIA agent Scott Bradley and Mossad agent Hannah Kopec along with a crew of agents set to Baghdad to return the parchment. They retrieve to find that the ‘so called original document’ is also duplicate. So, where is the original?

A fantastic novel. It deals with the political views surrounding every higher level official. Jeffery Archer also portrays the hardships the people of Iraq faced under the regime of Saddam Hussein. Another different novel I have ever read.

That’s it for now!

Happy Reading!!!