Thursday, July 5, 2001

JayceLand's Weekly Rochester Events #130: To Fargo by Rail

In the bizarre world in which we live, Yahoo! has added a new feature to their news and weather pages: online message boards. Read carefully--weather pages. Most of it makes sense, but check out Rochester Weather and click on "Discuss Rochester Weather." Curiosly, there does seem to be some activity. Ok, so two of the posts are mine.

Of course, that's nothing compared to the project I've been working on. I made a gauge that estimates the actual fuel usage of the engine. I did some research and think it may be possible to get better gas mileage by accelerating faster rather than slower. Here's why.

There are two basic things you'd want to do with the power the engine generates. The first is to maintain the same speed--the way to get the best mileage is to get into the highest gear possible because the engine works more efficiently if it's under load (i.e. more work is done to move the car than is to keep the engine turning.) The other thing is to go to a faster speed. For this you get a lot more control over the situation, and you'll want to pick the point where the engine is operating at its peak efficiency which (making a broad generalization about stuff I read about a German-version of the Volkswagen Golf 1.4L engine at the page titled Driving Strategies and Economy) is around halfway to redline and at about 75% of maximum power output.

"Wait a minute," you say [as if you're even reading on] "doesn't it take more energy to accelerate faster than slower. That's just common sense." Well, no, actually. If you know anything about kinetic energy, you know that any object has some amount of kinetic energy, and you can change the amount of kinetic energy by applying power for some amount of time. If you're going 60 MPH in your car, the car has some amount of kinetic energy. If you coast, you'll slow down--some of the kinetic energy is lost to friction and air resistance, so you restore that amount of energy using the engine. To go faster--say from 0 to 60, you hit the gas which tells the engine to produce more power which adds to the kinetic energy of the car. If you add twice as much power, you take half the time to get to 60 which is the key: no matter how fast you accelerate from 0 to 60, the same amount of energy is used.

Fuel usage meter What the dashboard looks like in the car of a true nerd.

Now, we're back to the efficiency of the engine. If you use the same amount of energy to go to a particular speed no matter how fast you accelerate, you should pick the point where the engine most efficently converts gasoline into power--hence, where the engine is operating most efficiently. The most efficient point for the Volkswagen Golf 1.4L is at about 2,800 RPM and when the average cylinder pressure is 8.5 bar which is somewhere between half and full throttle by my guess. I found that my car is similar. I can finally do some real world tests on the whole thing ... I'll get back to you on it if it's at all interesting. Well, at all interesting to me anyway.


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  • Cats & Dogs - Dramatic war epic about how the dogs thwart the efforts of Mr. Tinkles. A triumph of the animal spirit.
  • Scary Movie II - What's scarier than a cheesy horror movie parody? It's sequel.
  • Kiss of the Dragon - Jet Li is the Donkey (taking over for Eddie Murphy) in this spontaneous sequel to Shrek.

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Tonight at Comix Cafe (3450 Winton Pl.) is John Wesley Austin with Jamie Lissow at 8:30. I've seen Jamie before, and he's worth seeing on his own. They'll be performing Friday and Saturday at 8 and 10:45 and on Sunday at 8:30.

Checked personally by Jayce Tonight at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) is Velocity Mirror GarageBand link . Hopefully they'll get someone to open for them, or it'll be a way short show. In any case, get there right around 10:30 just in case.

If worse comes to worse you can always see, hear, and/or otherwise participate in Karaoke with Sugar Bear at Drinks by Mary Dawn (535 S. Clinton) starting around 10:30.

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Checked personally by Jayce I might be having dinner at California Rollin' at Village Gate Square (274 N. Goodman St.) Check out the Fish Mail for the special rolls this week.

I finally made it to Water Street Music Hall (204 N. Water St.) for the first time last week. If you haven't been there, you should check it out ... a little bland, but big and with good sound. Tonight Saves the Day, The Anniversary, Dashboard Confessional, and Hot Rod Circuit for an all-ages show starting at 7.

The Hill Cumorah Pageant (Hill Cumorah, Palmyra, N.Y.) starts today at dusk. There are shows tonight and Tuesday through Friday next week at the same time.

If you'd like to float around to some groovy music, One World Tribe with Park Avenue Band GarageBand link will be at Milestones (170 East Ave.) at 10:30. I went to Milestones a couple weeks ago and they fixed the sound system but the management runs the place like they'd really prefer that people never showed up at all.

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Checked personally by Jayce O'Bagelo's, 165 State Street, noon.

Today is the start of the Sterling Renaissance Festival (15431 Farden Rd., Sterling, N.Y.) which runs from 10 to 7 on weekends through August.

Checked personally by Jayce The acoustic band Tangent will be at Java's (16 Gibb St.) starting around 8.

Checked personally by Jayce The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Nosferatu the Vampyre starting at 8.

The somewhat eclectic acoustic band Red Drum will be at Johnny's Smoke Free Bar (1382 Culver Rd.) tonight, probably starting around 9 or so.

If you really wanted to see them but didn't want to go to Milestones, Park Avenue Band GarageBand link will be at Jillian's (Corner of Commercial St. and Mill St.) from 8 to midnight. Although it's not Milestones, the sound is really bad ... unless they get to play outside, I guess.

Tonight is another of Freetime Magazine's Rochester's Most Popular Band Contest with FMGreen versus The Groove Brothers starting around 9:30 at the intolerable Milestones (170 East Ave.) The show starts at 9 and Milestones closes around 12:30.

Checked personally by Jayce Crush Kill Destroy, Trelined Highway and Hilkka will be at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) for a little experimentalish rock starting around 10:30.

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Not ready for mainstream Tonight at Drinks by Mary Dawn (535 S. Clinton) is the Freestyle Talent Show starting at 9. I asked Mary Dawn about it the other week and she said they have about 3 acts right now, but it's slowly building.

Not ready for mainstream Tonight's another Open Jar Jam at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.)

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Checked personally by Jayce Trivia Quiz continues at The Old Toad (277 Alexander St.) I keep going and we still haven't won -- whether we have a few people or a whole bunch.. We've been within a couple questions of winning, but so has everyone else.

If you're up interested, Johnny's Smoke Free Bar (1382 Culver Rd.) will have a DJ playing Barenaked Ladies tunes.

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Checked personally by Jayce The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Wattstax starting at 8. It's a documentary about the "Black Woodstock" and the racially charged events surrounding it.

Not ready for mainstream As of a few months ago, Java's (16 Gibb Street) still has open mic poetry downstairs starting around 9:30.

Not ready for mainstream Open Mic Comedy hosted by Dan Liberto (of the The Comedy Company) is tonight at Six Pockets (Ridge Hudson Plaza) starting around 10. The shows have been pretty good in the past.

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If you got the tickets, it implies you're interested in seeing Paul Simon with Brian Wilson at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center (9993 Alleghany Rd., Corfu, NY) starting at 7.

Weekly karaoke contest with Sugar Bear, at Comix Cafe (3450 Winton Pl.)

Checked personally by Jayce Not ready for mainstream Tonight at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) is Open Mic Night (for music) from 7 to 10.
 
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The city of Fargo, ND was founded 130 years ago in 1871 as a railroad stop.

Checked by Jayce is an event that has been confirmed either with the venue, the performers, or both.

GarageBand link links to a band's page on GarageBand.com which offers reviews and information about bands.

Not ready for mainstream. is an event that is "non-entertainment" for the masses such as practice sessions, open jams, etc.

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