• led light 11.06.2012 No Comments

    The biblical return of Lazarus from the dead was possibly an easier feat than the revival of Lambretta, once maker of the world’s most popular motor scooters. Global ownership of the rights to the Lambretta name is still under dispute, but that has not stopped Rome-based firm Lambretta Motolife Italia SpA from producing a new range of scooters that pay homage to the original bearers of the brand.

    The first model to arrive in three newly appointed metropolitan New Zealand Lambretta dealerships is the LN125, a $4995 bike so retro in design that it makes any current Vespa model look modern.

    So it’s little wonder that Auckland transport memorabilia dealer, Rick McCay, got quite excited when I pulled up on the LN125 to take some photos of it outside his shop, Airships.

    Rick quickly disappeared inside and began to rummage through his stock, and returned with a prize exhibit - a Lambretta badge lifted from a bike built during the brand’s inaugural Innocenti era.

    The chipped and tarnished chrome of the historic badge pretty much told the tale of a once- mighty motor-scooter company that has had a rough roller-coaster ride though history.

    The story began when Milan- based steel tube maker, Fernando Innocenti, was surveying the bombed ruins of his factory after World War II, and saw a future in building something that would provide affordable mobility.

    Innocenti joined with former Italian Air Force general Corradino D’Ascanio, designer of the first modern helicopter, and the pair work on something inspired by the lightweight Nebraskan-made Cushman scooters used by the United States military during the war.

    However, the pair fell out when Innocenti wanted the scooter to have a tubular steel frame, but D’Ascanio was convinced that a moulded and rolled steel spar structure would work better.

    The latter jumped ship, taking his monocoque design to Enrico Piaggio, who used it to kick-start Vespa. Undaunted, Innocenti then hired leading aeronautical engineers Cesare Pallavicino and Pier Luigi Torre, to finish off his tubular steel-framed scooter, design the engines, and set up the production lines.

    In 1947, the first Lambretta, named after the Lambro River adjacent to the Milan factory, emerged, almost exactly one year after the first Vespa.

    Despite the latter’s head start, Lambrettas initially proved more popular. The D models, built between 1951 and 1957, were reckoned to have outsold the combined sales of all other two-wheeled vehicles made during those years. It’s these popular 1950s-vintage Lambrettas that the design of the LN125 most recalls.

    Penned by Alessandro Tartarini, the strips of LED riding lights (every bike should have them) are the LN125’s only concession to modernity. But what about that front disc brake? Surely that isn’t part of Lambretta’s heritage. It’s entirely fitting, as the 1960 Lambretta TV was the first motorised two- wheeler to use a disc to slow, albeit one without quite the same power to retard momentum as the LN125’s well set-up stopper.

    It would be nice if the rear drum brake of the LN125 offered similar braking performance to the front disc, given that rearward weight bias of scooters places a new emphasis on rear brake performance.


  • AT NIGHT if you are driving along the M50 you can pick out Audi North Dublin by its row of LED lights shining through the top storey showroom windows.

    In daylight this huge building resembles a patchwork quilt because of signage belonging to other businesses that share part of this big square building.

    To gain entry to the site one passes Denis Mahony Ltd, a more traditional garage that featured here some time back.

    We parked and took a stroll around the outside of the building. Here we found reserved parking signs (no disabled) and a good number of used Audis.

    We saw a vehicle being power washed and asked a man wearing a black Audi jacket if these were for-sale vehicles. He told us most were customer service cars and all the used models were in the building.

    A strong southerly breeze was blowing spray from the wash area over these cars - and we found this not to be the best practice.

    On entering the large open-plan showroom we saw up to 16 new Audis all priced and carrying full details.

    It was all professionally appointed with customer waiting, coffee dock, brochure stands and accessories. One area of the showroom had a boutique effect with Audi sports clothing on display.

    An R8 convertible took centre stage. Amazingly, this layout of beautiful cars and SUVs cannot be seen or enjoyed by passing traffic. Only those actually visiting or going to the trouble of driving into North Park and parking can enjoy the view of these latest models.

    Another man wearing an Audi signature jacket came to our assistance. He told us he’d get us a salesman in a moment.

    Keith Lenihan came along and introduced himself. We told him of our interest in a used A5 Coupe or an A4 automatic.

    He invited us to take the lift to the second floor where he fetched a used car list.

    On top we found up to 63 used Audi’s all parked in numerical order A1, A3, A4 etc.

    We also checked out the toilets. While the hand-dryer worked in the gents, the paper towel dispenser for drying hands was empty. Otherwise the units were up to standard.

    Keith arrived and showed us a 3.0Tdi A5. It was a fine example but the big engine was off-putting.

    He told us he had two 08 1.8 TFSi petrols being prepared for sale. He showed us their details on the used list. While the 24,995 and 25,995 price tags were about on budget, he told us we would have to pay more to get a 2.0 TDi diesel as they were not introduced until almost two years later.

    As we descended in the lift we asked about other makes of used cars. He told us they only dealt in Audis. What discount, we asked, would he give on a straight deal for the 09 A4? He said they do not give discount. Keith went on to say they do review a vehicles pricing after 30 days.


  • Residents can dispose of household hazardous waste such as paint, pesticides, electronics and motor oil for free on Sunday,in Los Olivos.

    The Santa Barbara County Public Works Department and city of Solvang will hold the event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the county’s recycling and transfer station at 4004 Foxen Canyon Road. Participation is free for residents of the Santa Ynez Valley and the city of Solvang.

    Common household hazards that can be dropped off also include cleaners and fluorescent lights, as well as electronics such as computers, televisions, cell phones and stereo equipment. CDs, DVDs, and video and cassette tapes can also be recycled.

    A complete list of materials is available at the county’s recycling website, www.lessis more.org.

    Residents can also bring unwanted medications and home-generated “sharps,” such as needles and syringes, as long as they are in rigid, puncture-proof containers.

    Free containers designated for sharps are available at the Santa Ynez Transfer Station during normal operating hours, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

    No controlled substances, including narcotics and prescription medications, will be accepted. Those items can be taken to any of the Sheriff’s Department’s medication drop boxes located throughout the county.

    At the Los Olivos transfer station, county and Solvang residents can recycle their antifreeze, auto batteries, motor oil and filters, and latex paint every Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon, and all county transfer stations accept electronic waste year-round during normal operating hours at no charge to residents.

    Schott (stand 5G80) and Lufthansa Technik (6D65) are displaying LED cabin lighting technology developed through their HelioJet collaboration, as they work towards securing certification around mid-year.

    The HelioJet LED lights - designed to replaced conventional fluorescent tubes -are being trialled by an undisclosed European carrier.

    Alexander Goessel, Lufthansa Technik section manager innovation (commercial aviation), says the design means that only around 10 LEDs are required per metre, compared with 50-60 for a standard LED light strip.

    “There are LEDs at each end, which bring light into the tube,” he says. HelioJet also offers a modest weight reduction compared with flourescent tubes.

    “Our advantage is not that you save a lot of weight, but that you save a lot on maintenance,” says Goessel, who adds that the tubes offer a five-fold improvement in mean time between failure.

    Schott and LHT are targeting the retrofit market, with a strong focus on Airbus A320, A330 and A340 aircraft, as they are all equipped with the same type of fluorescent tube in the cabin.


  • From the north, government core curriculum standards are squeezing out school recess.

    From the south, encroaching forces of electronic media and videogames are breaking through fortress walls.

    And from all sides, parental fears are seeping under the foundations.

    Play is under attack.

    Since the 1970s, kids have lost an average nine hours of free playtime a week. Kids are getting less free time outside. And when kids are given recreational activities, they are likely to be adult-led and adult-supervised.

    So say play advocates like Danielle Marshall, who works for KaBOOM!, a nonprofit which has built more than 2,000 playgrounds nationwide.

    “There is a play deficit in the United States,” said Marshall. “It’s having a detrimental impact on our children.

    “The sad reality is play is being taken away from kids,” said Marshall. “Some of it is adult-imposed. Other things are trends in society. The way children are playing today has definitely changed.”

    First, a lesson on the importance of play.

    Cindy Dell Clark, an anthropology professor at Rutgers University-Camden, studies how children use play to cope with chronic illness. It’s true that young animals roughhouse and fool around, she said, but play among human children is not universal. The way children play depends on how they grow up.

    “Kids don’t do pretend play in all societies,” said Clark. “In a lot of societies, kids have important work to do. Their chores are important for economic survival.”

    Cultures that encourage children to use their imaginations, tell stories or act out roles are offering a signal that it must be important. It has value, especially in a society that wants children to become independent.

    “In a society like that, where everyone is an agent that operates for themselves, play is important,” said Clark. “It helps kids to navigate what they’re experiencing socially and make sense of it for themselves.”

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