Monday Musings

The PA who is the point person for my cardiology care agrees with me, but my other health care providers either don’t or don’t seem to have an opinion. I am convinced that my allergies lead to systemic inflammation. Since the dewpoints have increased (meaning more mold to which I am allergic) I have suffered from pain in my legs, my ribcage, my feet, you name it. My eosinophil count is normal, maybe on the high side of normal. Can certain people have more active/powerful eosinophils that can cause inflammation without a person’s count being abnormal? Any doctors out there are free to chime in.

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On this day in 1889 the Exposition Universelle (World’s Fair in English) opened in Paris with the newly completed Eiffel Tower serving as the entrance arch. OK, interesting but is there an automobile connection? Of course! On the same day Gottlieb Daimler debuted the first car to be shown in Paris, at the opening of the Paris World Exhibition/Fair. Gottlieb did not want to be outshined by the Eiffel Tower so he lined his booth with 30 light bulbs in order to attract people to his stand as electric lighting was still new to the world, as was the automobile. The vehicle was known as the wire wheel car and featured several engineering feats, including a twin cylinder V-engine, not unlike engines used in modern vehicles. attached to a four speed transmission and a groundbreaking cooling system. From automotivehistory.org a picture of Daimler’s car:

 

 

The first cars as we know them now, powered by internal-combustion engines, were developed in Europe not in the US. Depending on whose account you believe, the first car wasn’t built in the US until 1891 or 1893. The four-stroke combustion engine, which still propels the vast majority of cars sold in the world, was primarily developed by a German engineer, Nikolaus Otto, between 1861 and 1876.

The French Peugeot is the oldest make of car in the world. Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler may have “invented” the car as we know it, but they did not produce cars as part of their core businesses, nor in a continuous fashion, as early as Peugeot. Some automotive historians credit another French company, Panhard-Levassor, as the first real automobile company, but they ceased production in the 1960s.

Somewhat ironically, Peugeot has been absent from the US market since the early 1990s. Recently, Groupe PSA—parent company of Peugeot—has announced it will re-enter the US market although without announcing a specific year. This car has already been discontinued, but it would be great to see it on US roads:

 

See the source image

 

From motorauthority.com a picture of the Peugeot RCZ. Those Francophiles reading will be able to tell if this is an “R” model; I can’t by sight. Yes, the car looks like an Audi TT, but it’s not German. The RCZ-R was powered by a turbocharged 1.6 liter/98 cubic-inch inline 4-cylinder engine that produced 270 HP/243 LB-FT of torque. Yes, 270 HP/243 LB-FT from 98 cubic inches! Like I keep writing, I think every internal combustion engine in an automobile should be turbocharged, but that costs money and many, if not most, Americans are simply too cheap to ante up.

I hope Peugeot returns to the US and with some exciting cars, not just CUVs and SUVs.

 

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It has been brought to my attention that the photo of Daimler’s car doesn’t appear on all mobile devices. From Wikipedia a picture of what I hope is the same car:

 

See the source image

 

Europe Encore

For reasons unknown I have been thinking about our most recent trip to Europe. Maybe it’s because I want to make at least one more. In any event, we spent nine days based in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. Of all of the places I’ve visited in Europe (I think I’ve been in six different countries there), Luxembourg is the one I enjoyed the most. This picture helps to explain why:

I took this picture in the Grund section of Luxembourg City. I mean, c’mon…what a beautiful scene. Luxembourg City is traversed by two rivers (the Alzette and Petrusse) that cut the city into “sections.” It is a very clean and beautiful city and the people were very polite.

The country of Luxembourg has three official languages (French, which is theĀ de facto #1 language, German and Luxembourgish); English and Portuguese are also spoken widely. I understand written French a little bit, enough to interpret the menus for my companions, but one can get by with English.

From Luxembourg one can easily visit France, Germany and Belgium. I would not set foot in Germany although I could have taken 50 steps on a bridge over the Moselle River from Echternach and been in Germany. We did travel to Belgium and to France; one of our stops was the lovely town of Arlon, Belgium where we saw this in the town square:

We were there very near to the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Arlon by American troops. People who have never had their life or their freedom threatened, for no reason, by their own country or by an invading country can’t possibly understand the terror. (My parents felt that terror.) People who complain that they can’t afford to buy their child an expensive pair of sneakers should just shut up.

Maybe some day I/we will return to Luxembourg, but if that doesn’t happen the memories will never disappear.

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Obviously from autoevolution.com (that’s not a copyright mark next to the name; it’s a trademark symbol) a picture of the Peugeot e-Legend concept car shown at the Paris auto show. You know me, the first thing that grabs my attention about a car is its looks. I think this car looks amazing. Given the name it’s obviously a fully electric car. Peugeot claims the car will accelerate from 0-100 KM (62 MPH) in under 4 seconds, which is very quick.

Peugeot has not sold cars in the US or Canada since 1991 although it does sell cars in Mexico. It is not legal to bring Peugeot cars into the US from Mexico.

Peugeot is one of the oldest automobile companies in the world. The company was founded in 1810 as a manufacturer of bicycles and coffee mills (!). The company built their first car powered by an internal combustion engine in 1890. The Peugeot line is, in my opinion, one of the most varied in the world as they still build sports and luxury cars in addition to “everyday” cars and commercial vehicles. Here is another Peugeot that you couldn’t buy in the US although it was available in much of the rest of the world:

See the source image

From motorauthority.com a picture of a Peugeot RCZ. The RCZ and its performance version, the RCZ R, were built for six years (2009-2015) with nearly 70,000 sold worldwide, but not in the US. The RCZ R was powered by a small (1.6 liters, 97 cubic inches for Bill Stephens), turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that produced 270 HP and 243 LB-FT of torque. Yes, 270 HP from 97 cubic inches…

So many cars, just one life…