As The World Turns

Yes, today’s post title is the name of a long-running daytime drama, AKA soap opera, that aired on CBS for 54 seasons and nearly 14,000 episodes. The show also has some personal significance as my marvelous mom was watching it, as usual, on November 22, 1963, the day President Kennedy was killed. As I have written in at least one previous post, even though I was just 3 1/2 years old at the time, I remember that day.

As it turns out, since neither ABC nor NBC aired programming in that time slot then (1:30-2:00 PM Eastern), As The World Turns was the last regular U.S. network program broadcast for the next four days. The show was one of the first two serial dramas to be 30 minutes in length as previous soap operas were just 15 minutes.

Anyway…the reason I used As The World Turns as today’s post title doesn’t really have anything to do with the show. Last night, my wonderful wife and I watched a program on the Smithsonian Channel about the 2018 eruptions of Kilauea in Hawaii and Fuego in Guatemala. This morning, I learned about today’s severe earthquake that affected southeastern Turkey and northern Syria, causing thousands of deaths.

Terra Firma (solid earth in Latin) is actually nothing of the sort. I am not a geologist, but I understand that the earth’s crust on which eight billion humans live is like the skin on old-fashioned pudding. The USGS and NEIC record about 20,000 earthquakes every year around the world. According to the Global Volcanism Program, the usual number of volcanoes around the world considered to have continuing eruptions is 40-50. Of course, and although it is extremely unlikely this will occur in my lifetime, I live in a region that would probably be wiped out when the next eruption of the Yellowstone super-volcano occurs.


It’s time for links to Why Evolution Is True. Please indulge me as I intend to quote long passages from two specific posts.

From this post:


Here’s the ending of Andrew Sullivan’s latest piece on the tendency of the American Mainstream Media to force every story into a preexisting ideologican narrative. I summarized his piece in the Nooz yesterday, but couldn’t resist adding his conclusion:

We live in the freest, most multiracial democracy in the history of the planet. Of course traditional prejudices linger, ebb and flow, and the past has helped define the present. But they do not come near to definitively describing the infinitely fascinating interactions between all of us, in every possible combination, our shared humanity, the cross-racial friendships and marriages, our individual personalities, our different upbringings. They cannot account for the extraordinary changes since the 1960s. The transcendence of race and sex and orientation happens all around us every day — and reducing our entire world to these allegedly irreconcilable abstractions of “hate” is a pathological distraction from reality. [emphasis mine]

And reality is so much more interesting than the dogma the MSM now brings to almost every story, almost every time. You don’t have to ignore racism’s enduring effect in society. But you can see the world in a lens other than the neo-Marxist vision of permanent, zero-sum group-warfare in which some groups are always the oppressor and some the oppressed.

Journalists used to do this — searching for truth rather than enforcing pre-existing narratives, alert to the surprising “specific” more than the predictable “structural” and “systemic”; and be alert to the twists and turns of this diverse culture, rather than constantly returning to history to insist it’s always repeating itself. And you know what? Readers were interested, rather than bored, engaged rather than condescended to — and the press thrived.

Now look at it. The US media has the lowest credibility — 26 percent — of 46 nations, according to a 2022 study by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. And “moral clarity” journalists seem intent on driving it even lower.


“But you can see the world in a lens other than the neo-Marxist vision of permanent, zero-sum group-warfare in which some groups are always the oppressor and some the oppressed.” Sadly, way too many people can’t or won’t see the world any other way. They act like it’s 1823 or 1923 instead of 2023. Of course, the piece is a strong indictment of the US “news business” as well.

In a related vein, here is a remark by comedian/political commentator Bill Maher as quoted in this post.  “The problem with communism – and with some very recent ideologies here at home – is that they think you can change reality by screaming at it.” Yes, I realize that using boldface is often interpreted as virtual screaming.

Switching gears, here is the link to a Why Evolution Is True post titled, “What’s killing new music? Old music!” The post refers to an article by Ted Gioia, an American jazz critic and music historian. This passage was both informative and uplifting to me.


“Old songs now represent 70 percent of the U.S. music market, according to the latest numbers from MRC Data, a music-analytics firm. Those who make a living from new music—especially that endangered species known as the working musician—should look at these figures with fear and trembling. But the news gets worse: The new-music market is actually shrinking. All the growth in the market is coming from old songs.

The 200 most popular new tracks now regularly account for less than 5 percent of total streams. That rate was twice as high just three years ago. The mix of songs actually purchased by consumers is even more tilted toward older music. The current list of most-downloaded tracks on iTunes is filled with the names of bands from the previous century, such as Creedence Clearwater Revival and The Police.

. . .Never before in history have new tracks attained hit status while generating so little cultural impact. In fact, the audience seems to be embracing the hits of decades past instead. Success was always short-lived in the music business, but now even new songs that become bona fide hits can pass unnoticed by much of the population.

Only songs released in the past 18 months get classified as “new” in the MRC database, so people could conceivably be listening to a lot of two-year-old songs, rather than 60-year-old ones. But I doubt these old playlists consist of songs from the year before last. Even if they did, that fact would still represent a repudiation of the pop-culture industry, which is almost entirely focused on what’s happening right now.”


Jerry Coyne notes that the audience for the Grammy Awards has declined by 75% in the last nine years. As I have written, I strongly believe that the phrase “American music” is an oxymoron.


I’ll finish with what I call the Unitas photo from The Concours In The Hills this past Saturday. By that I mean it’s the 19th (and probably last) photo I will publish from the event. In case you don’t know, or even if you do, the legendary Baltimore Colts quarterback wore number 19. Thanks for reading.









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Fighting Words For Friday

Human beings are, for the most part, tribal and that’s OK–IMO–because that’s how we evolved. Most people are motivated by self-interest most of the time and that’s OK–again, IMO–because that’s part of our survival instinct. HOWEVER, like all paradigms those are not always appropriate. Devising a life strategy that looks out for one’s self and loved ones without screwing over others sounds easy, but it’s not always. Knowing when one must deviate from normal behavior, however that is defined, might be the most difficult part of being human. Oh, I can’t stand the bromide “We’re all in this together.” In reality, that is usually not true and is just a flimsy rationale for ceding freedom to monolithic government.


I have a thought experiment. Think how elegantly sober quiets unruly actors’ delinquency.


When they can, people vote with their feet. From this Why Evolution Is True post from today:


“As I [Jerry Coyne] reported recently, there’s a mass exodus of draft-age Russian men from their country, either avoiding being called up in the new mobilization of 300,000 reservists, or fear that they will be called up in a second and universal mobilization.


Turkey already was among the countries that received a large exodus of Russians at the beginning of the Ukraine invasion. Many were fleeing the crackdown at home, including the criminalization of dissent, with speaking out against the invasion or even calling it a war now carrying serious penalties. Others worried about the impact of international sanctions and Russia’s growing isolation on the economy and their jobs.

Now, a new wave may be beginning, and while the exact scope of it was not immediately clear, the rush for plane tickets and the long lines of cars at the borders were indications that the prospects of an expanded conscription have alarmed a swath of Russian society.”


Tell me again why it’s good for government “leaders” to have unchecked power.


I have seen a few of these around here lately.


nissan, Gt r, Godzilla, Au spec, r35 cars, Orange, 2016 Wallpapers HD / Desktop and Mobile ...


In case you don’t know, or even if you do, this is a Nissan GT-R. If I had continued the Hall of Very Good Cars series this would have been included.

While I don’t think it’s an ugly car, it’s not the looks that earned its inclusion and it is true that if it were more stunning in appearance to me it might have been an Ultimate Garage car. It is the car’s drivetrain that is most impressive, IMO.

In current base spec–although Nissan is no longer selling the car in many markets due to new government regulations–the 3.8 liter/232 cubic-inch, twin-turbo V6 produces 565 HP/467 LB-FT of torque. The GT-R is also all-wheel drive. In 2019 Nissan produced just 50 units of a special model called, not surprisingly, the GT-R50. Using the same engine, but with larger diameter turbochargers, a heavy-duty bottom end and modified intake/exhaust, output was increased to 711 HP/575 LB-FT. Godzilla, indeed!

As for the future of the GT-R, let’s get it straight from Hiroshi Tamura, long-time head of Nissan’s sports car program.


“A case study [about electrifying the GT-R] has already started. Actually it has started so many times – again and stop, again and stop – but the point is, it depends on customers’ motivation and feeling. Are they going to chase something like that?”


Many industry observers believe that Nissan’s next top of the line sports car, whether it’s actually called the GT-R or something else (the R36?), will be a hybrid, but probably not a pure EV. As Tamura said, he’s not sure customers in this market segment want an all-electric vehicle and he believes battery and motor technology needs to get smaller and lighter to be more suitable for a sports car, in order not to compromise its weight and handling.

I would very much like to drive a GT-R although I seriously doubt I will ever own one. (I’d settle for the Z06 nightmare to be over so I can be paid what I’m owned on the trade for the Mustang GT.) Have any of you ever driven one? We would like to read your impressions.







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Wandering Wednesday

Do you pay attention to post titles? Do you think I overdo it with alliterative titles like today’s?


I offer some more posts from Why Evolution Is True:

Lessons from a free-speech victory

Ivermectin: still horsewash

ACLU admits it screwed up by changing Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s words

When commitment to diversity far outweighs teaching and research in a biology job


A madness has descended upon the developed world.


This CNBC piece by Ron Insana is about China’s central bank making all cryptocurrency-related activities illegal. Insana thinks other countries will follow. From the article:


“Countries do not, and will not, let their institutions, or their currencies, fall by the wayside because an independent group of currency creators decides it must be so…China may be the first to ban bitcoin, and other currencies, but I am sure it won’t be the last.”


This recent post from Exotic Car List is titled, “The 10 Best Used Sports Cars Under $75,000.” Given the price limit it should be no surprise that many of these cars are from the US. I mean, I can’t buy a used Ferrari 488 for even twice that amount, unless it’s wrecked.

Although the piece lists the C7 Corvette, I wanted to show this car:


Nissan GT-R


This is a Nissan GT-R and it is possible to find a used one for less than $75,000. I found three nationwide this morning that fit the bill and the highest mileage among them was 40,000-ish. Of course, contrary to the “reporting” in the article, all of these are at least 11 years old. The Exotic Car List piece refers to “2012-2016” as being “the sweet spot.”

The engine in a new 2010 GT-R had 485 HP/435 LB-FT of torque. The car could accelerate from 0-60 MPH in 3.5 seconds. Did I mention it’s all-wheel drive? It even has seating for four, technically.

I have never driven a GT-R of any iteration, but the version that began production in late 2007 sure reads like a great car. Yes, although the car’s been tweaked (the engine now produces 565 HP/465 LB-FT, for example), it’s almost 15 years old. Rumors abound that the next GT-R will be a hybrid and that it will be introduced for the 2023 or 2024 model year. That would put the introduction about the same time as the first Corvette hybrid, the E-Ray.


Please feel free to offer your thoughts. Thanks.









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Monday Musings 76

Hindsight is at least 20-20…I guess I should have posted yesterday as Disaffected Musings had the second highest number of views on a day without a post in its 3 1/2 year history. Oh well…


Without any elaboration I pass along this article from Hagerty about how to get even the worst smells out of a vehicle. OK, one interesting tidbit: the Hyundai Palisade has/had a known issue about an awful smell in vehicles with black or brown interiors with the Nappa “leather.”

The interior of my wonderful wife’s 2018 Corvette convertible in 3LT trim doesn’t smell all that great to me and I think it’s the leather. Of course, with the top down the smell is not noticeable. Some people still prefer vinyl or cloth interiors and I completely understand.



We need to take some photographs of our Corvettes in our new environment. I’m not sure why we haven’t, yet. Yesterday marked 37 weeks that we have lived in our Arizona house.


The WordPress editor is working without a hitch today so here comes the media:




It is said that no two Nissan GT-R engines are exactly alike because they are all hand built. Hopefully, you can see the small plaque on the engine with the “signature” of the person who built this particular motor.



I think the C2 Corvette knock-off wheels are one of the absolute best-looking in automobile history. The side pipes don’t hurt the look of this car, either.

OK, this pair of photos is a “Before and After.” The second shot was taken at the tail end of a lightning flash. I don’t know how photographers get such vivid images of lightning. I guess that’s why they’re professionals and I’m not.




OK, I’m probably close to overdoing it, if I haven’t done so already.








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Dream Addendum

No, the post title does not refer to an addition to a sales contract where the seller agrees to give us a huge credit for home repairs AND throws the family Ferrari into the deal.

I had a very disturbing dream last night. I dreamt I was watching a woman in a funeral home being taken to view the remains of her husband or son or brother, I don’t know which. The funeral home employee opened a large door that led to a collection of long, rectangular metal boxes. The employee pulled one out and opened it, but instead of a funeral urn or body being visible what looked like the skeleton of an alien being appeared made of something that looked like wood, but was obviously not. Both women reacted with horror as did I; I woke up. WTF?

This is the second time in recent weeks that a rectangular metal box has featured in a dream. I am attributing the tone of these dreams to moving/virus stress, but the details remain inexplicable.


While I was compelled to share that dream (OCD), let me offer something more pleasant. According to 365 Days Of Motoring, it was on this day in 2007 that Nissan announced the “new” GT-R. The car went on sale in Japan in December of 2007, but was not available in the US until July of 2008.

The GT-R has always been powered by a “hand-built” twin-turbo 3.8 liter (232 cubic inches for Bill Stephens) that now produces, the car is still being built, 565 HP/467 LB-FT of torque in base spec. In the Track Edition and NISMO versions, the output is 600 HP/481 LB-FT. The specialty GT-R50 engine produces 710 HP/575 LB-FT.

The car used to be a relative bargain among performance cars, especially one bordering on supercar status. With the NISMO MSRP now exceeding $200,000, it’s not so much of a bargain and, let’s face it, the car is a little long in the tooth. Still, it reads like it’s a hell of a car with all-wheel drive and great handling to go with its powerful engine. From Car Scoops a picture of a Nissan GT-R:


See the source image


A GT-R is not on my immediate “want to have” list, but I wouldn’t mind having one in my stable if I suddenly found myself orders of magnitude wealthier. Anyone have anything to offer on this car?







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Nissan GT-R

From a picture of a 2018 Nissan GT-R. I confess it’s impossible for me to ascertain the model year of a GT-R.

Eleven years ago today at the Tokyo Motor Show the current rendition of the Nissan GT-R was unveiled. Given that time frame and the relative lack of updating, many car enthusiasts think this GT-R is long in the tooth. Of course, this current iteration is not the first car with the name GT-R. The first such cars were called the Skyline GT-R and they have quite a following; one could almost call it a cult.

From a picture of a Nissan Skyline GT-R from the 1990s. The first car with the GT-R name was actually produced from the late 1960s to the early 1970s. JDM Legends, a show on Velocity, seems to show almost nothing except Japanese cars from that time period. (JDM stands for Japanese Domestic Market.) Here is a photo of a 1970 Skyline GT-R from


Back to the present…I have shared these thoughts before, but I think the GT-R is an amazing vehicle even though I think that its relatively “low” price for the performance is somewhat misleading because the car’s maintenance costs are apparently excessive. A story from The Bristol Post in the UK says that a GT-R was pulled over by the police earlier this year after it was clocked at 167 MPH, which was the fastest speed recorded by any street car in the entire country from January, 2017 to May, 2018.

The GT-R is powered by a 3.8 liter (232 cubic inches for Bill Stephens) twin-turbo V-6 that produces a peak of 565 HP and 467 LB-FT of torque. (OK, who is this Bill Stephens I keep mentioning? He is a long-time automotive journalist and one of the hosts of Mecum Auto Auctions on NBCSN. He often protests when an engine displacement (size) is described in liters instead of cubic inches. Mr. Stephens, like the entire NBCSN crew that covers the auctions, is knowledgeable and entertaining.) The GT-R is an AWD car and, nominally, has four seats although I don’t know how comfortable it would be to ride in the back for a long trip. The base MSRP is just over $100,000, which is really not expensive for a car with this kind of performance. It will accelerate from 0-60 MPH in about 3 seconds, which is very quick, too quick for most drivers.

It seems as though a replacement for the current GT-R, if one will be produced at all, is at least three years away. The current Z car, the 370 Z, is also not new anymore. One wonders if Nissan plans to abandon performance cars completely.


Welcome to the first Disaffected Musings reader from the Czech Republic! Actually, that welcome may be too late. Oh well…




Monday Musings

Yet another photo of an AMC Javelin, this one a 1969 model. I took this picture yesterday at a local Cars & Coffee gathering. A photo from the rear actually looks a little better, but I didn’t want to show this car’s license plate. It wasn’t profane, but who knows who’s reading this. I really think this car is among the best looking American cars ever although I prefer the 1968 since that year doesn’t have the hood scoops.

Even if many of the cars were “excessively” customized for me, I was heartened by the large turnout and by the age of many of the people in attendance. I have never been to such a gathering and seen so many people in their 20s and 30s. I also don’t think I’ve ever seen so many Japanese cars in one place other than at an event dedicated to Japanese cars. Here’s one that always catches my eye:

Of course, that’s a Nissan GT-R, which has already been the subject of a post here. ( I am quite curious as to what Nissan will do to “replace” this car. They can’t produce it forever in its current form. Perish the thought that cars like this go away; it’s bad enough that sedans are facing extinction under the onslaught of SUVs and pickup trucks.

My wonderful wife and I attended two Cars & Coffee events this weekend; in the one from which the pictures are shown here we were accompanied by her parents. One should never wish time away, but I am looking forward to my wonderful wife and I reaching the age where we can tap into our retirement money without penalty.


From Nissan’s website a picture of the very formidable GT-R. This is one of the few cars where the drivetrain excites me more than the looks. I think it’s an attractive car, but the AWD and the powerful twin-turbo V6 pushing out 565 HP and 467 LB-FT of torque are very appealing. I know a couple who race their Porsches and are very dismissive of anything that isn’t a Porsche. They call the GT-R a “numbers car” meaning, I think, that it doesn’t have the right sound or something. Sorry, everyone is entitled to their opinion and my opinion is that the GT-R is a hell of a car.

Yes, I believe that this is not the first car to which the “Godzilla” nickname was applied. Still, I think the moniker fits. The GT-R is getting a little long in the tooth (as is the 370Z) and some of us are very curious to see how or if Nissan will replace the car. Enjoy it while it’s here.