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BMW: First the expression of Joy – ART Campaign (Z4), and then: a BMW ART GALLERY@LONDON NCP CAR PARK!

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The Z4 has been campaigned by BMW as a car which is an:

Expression of Joy!

The people at BMW went all out in showing the world exactly how expressive the Z4 is, and by word, it is so exasperatingly, eccentrically, expressive that it produced an artwork which is not only a masterpiece, but also of epic proportion! The New Z4 is BMW’s latest showroom piece and is undoubtedly the undisputed champion – especially the Z4 GT3!

Which one is of preference to most is up to the public at large, the Z4 is already proving popular and is gaining further in the ranks of the classic cars of the future! The Z4 and the GT3 version are a duo of incomparable vision compared to their competition!

The vehicles competing with the Z4 are: The Infinity G37, The Audi A5, The Mercedes SLK, and The Porsche Boxster, The Audi TT, and The Nissan 370Z! As you can see there are many competitors to the Z4!

The BMW Z4 has been around since 2002:

(BMW Z4 2.5 (2002-2006), BMW Z4 2.2i (2004-2005), BMW Z4 M Coupe (2006-2009), BMW Z4 M Roadster (2006-2009), BMW Z4 2.5i Sport (2006-2009), BMW Z4 Coupé (2006-2009), BMW Z4 sDrive 23i (2009 onwards) BMW Z4 sDrive30i (2009 onwards), BMW Z4 sDrive35i (2009 onwards),

And continuously seen of the competition throughout the years! The Z4 brand is still going strong with the latest model on the market being the BMW Z4 sDrive28i (2012 onwards)!  Re-shaped, Re-styled, and Ready for everything! The Z4 starts from £29,485 and if you want the M version, the price starts at £32,650, all models are only available in petrol, and the CO2 emissions (g/km) is 159. The Z4 is said to be in a class of its own and all that is required!

However the Z4 M version is the icing on the cake and will look slightly better with the sports customizations!

The Z4 and the GT3 Z4 are double trouble! Both are fun and funky! Some of the features of the BMW Z4 are the mean looking contours for the roadster which emerge from the BMW emblem, which makes this roadster look smoking and full of swag! The Z4 is made easily recognisable by these contours and there’s no mistaking the GT3 Z4 as that has a huge winged spoiler at the rear of the car. Double trouble indeed! The combo models will make you say WOW!

As for the interesting parts here are some of the most important :

BMW uses keyless technology to start the engine at the push of a button (the start/stop button), and the remote key sends a signal to the car to unlock it or lock it, at which point the door handles illuminate to provide further assisted entry to the car!

Electric Power Steering, BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology, Auto-Start/Stop, Optimum Shift Indicator, Brake energy Regeneration, Tyres with reduced rolling resistance, and Lightweight construction. (All of which are part of BMW’s Efficient Dynamics Green Initiative!)

The Z4 is available in Manual (6-speed transmission) or Automatic which has an 8 speed transmission making the Z4 a real roadster!

There’s also a turbo-charger which eases the roadster to a speed of 156mph (the roadster has been limited to this speed).

The Z4 comes complete with a retractable hard top roof which can be retracted at speeds of up to 25mph, as for more on the BMW hardtop, here’s a quote from BMW:

“long bonnet, short overhangs and deep, way-back seat – in a modern idiom create a look that is as familiar as it is unique. A look that is complemented to perfection by the retractable hardtop. Whether open or closed, this folding roof maintains the low-slung lines typical of a roadster. With it you can savour one of the finest ways to drive in comfort.”

The Z4 is a rear-wheel drive (17″, 18″, 19″ alloys), has ABS as standard, a CD player and Radio, cruise control as standard, air conditioning as standard, good safety with airbags  for the driver, passenger, and front side airbag, electric windows, and is a two-seater roadster with four cylinders which performs well and reconvenes a time of 5.6 seconds to 60mph! Additional safety features include rollover bars fixed behind the headrests and stable “A” pillars along with the feature of the bonnet automatically rising in a collision. The head and upper body airbags protect the head, ribcage and pelvis areas acting as cushions in a collision.

A little car the Z4 may be but the German roadster’s 2012 update is getting bigger in name, even the lights (xenon and round) on the car are smaller than the grilles and this gives the Z4 a wicked look and only adds to the cars flair! The car has daytime running lights. The front of the Z4 looks hungry for the road and there are further additions beside the grilles which are air intakes on either side and lowest to the ground beneath the kidney grilles is a fierce looking meshed carbon front splitter!

Quick enough for BMW who used to produce engines with their trademark 6 cylinders; yet in their efforts to be greener have chosen to use a four-cylinder blueprint for the Z4 which performs well although there is less power being produced whereas torque is increased. The car is available in Single or Twin exhaust tailpipes! And has cruise control, and a high-beam assistant.

The Z4 is a rear wheel drive and can be operated manually (via gear paddles) or automatically. BMW have made this roadster with the vision of it being an everyday car for use 365 days of the year! They say that the temperature within the car will be suitable for whatever weather conditions the car is in, and there are options of four round air conditioning controls or automatic air conditioning. There is also the iDrive onboard control system which controls the different functions such as accessing, Telephone, Sat-Nav, Settings, Drive-mode and Radio/CD.

Engine & Power:

Standard Engine 2L 240hp I4      
Horsepower 240 @ 5000 RPM      
Torque 260 @ 1250 RPM      
Valves 4      
Displacement (cc) 1997      
Bore X Stroke (in.) 3.3 X 3.5      
Compression Ratio 10.0:1

Exterior Dimensions & Weight BMW Z4 sDrive28i

Curb Weight – Automatic (lb.) 3262.8      
Wheelbase (in.) 98.3      
Length (in.) 167      
Width (in.) 70.5      
Height (in.) 50.8      
Track Front (in.) 59.5      
Track Rear (in.) 61.4

SOURCE:  http://www.automobile.com

MORE ABOUT THE GT3 Z4! – (shown above)

BMW has released new details about the Z4 GT3: “BMW Motorsport has further developed the BMW Z4 GT3 specifically for the 2012 season. The engine now turns up to 9,000 rpm and has a new exhaust system. The rear wing is now made from carbon fibre instead of aluminium and produces greater downforce – with less drag.”

It is a star on the race track and has many accolades to its name: the BMW GT3 Z4! The car shines spectacularly in every way and looks like it could easily produce flames firing out of the GT3’s exhausts! A personal favourite of mine! Its place is however, I would say on the race track!

It has been taken up by private racing teams! The GT3 Z4 has done well in competitive racing and has made an impression! The racing car proving it had the mettle to produce a 1st place finish at the Dubai 24 Hour endurance event, and also securing second place from a low 49th position at the 24 Hour Spa Francorchamps event!

As you can imagine it is a much grander scale than the standard Z4! Whereas the Z4 says Zoom! The GT3 Z4 says ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM!!!!!!!!!!  It’s further enhanced in engineering, styling, and capability! It has a six-speed sequential transmission with a “Quick Shift” function, and an engine management system and the engine consists of a 4.0-liter V8! Being a race car there is also a racing anti-lock braking system present, a roll cage, and rims with central locking and safety clips.

Here’s the best bit!

It is available as a road car!

So prepare for take off!

It has been priced at €340,000.

Technical specifications BMW Z4 GT3  
Length: 4,387 mm
Width: 2,012 mm
Height: 1,210 mm
Wheel base: 2,509 mm
Weight: 1,190 kg
Tank capacity: 115 litres
Engine type: Eight-cylinder, V-configuration
Capacity: 4,361 ccm
Bore x stroke: 92 x 82 mm
Compression: 13.0 :1
Max. output: 515 bhp (8,200 rpm)



For those of you, whom have not had the opportunity to be acquainted with the Z4 and its mastery of art, please read on as I elaborate further.

“The BMW Z4 is a modern interpretation of a classic roadster and the most admired characteristics of a sports coupe`” In celebration of the BMW Z4 being an ‘expression of joy!’  BMW hooked up with the artist Robin Rhode who is a South African artist based in Berlin and gave him the privilege of creating an art piece to be the front of the BMW Z4’s campaign! This art-piece you see above is the creation of his vision which was then painted by the Z4 roadster! With the use of many colours and tyres! (Each colour was painted by a different set of tyres). Mr Rhodes did not drive the car, however operated it via remote control! Making this art-piece, even further wonderful! For those of you wanting to find out more there is a video of the artwork taking place and it is directed by Jake Scott.

The link is: http://www.expressionofjoy.com/#


The link shows you the different processes from the artwork taking place on a piece of paper by Mr Rhodes to the Z4 being a tool of art on a huge canvas! It also shows the preparation that went into the larger than life artwork! BMW have really gone all out with this campaign they even have an Iphone Game for this art based campaign! Not enough can be said of this art-piece, it is a fusion of car and colours! (I’ve got my own take on it which is why this article is no ordinary article it too is a fusion! A fusion of writing, colour and of course the Z4 and Z4 GT3!

There is more though!!!

‘Read on’

To find out more about BMW’s and their relationships with other artists!


BMW’s as you’ve never seen them before! And they have arrived in an array of flair and style, which none of them are lacking in! The Art Gallery lasted only two weeks and began in July and finished in August, it certainly made the rounds with Art Critics and Enthusiasts of Art and Cars! The Gallery was put on by the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts) at the NCP Car Park in East End of London and the admission was free. Do not despair if you did not go to see it, as you can see the photos of the Art Cars within this post!

This Art Gallery was a first for the UK! And the Art collection had begun over 35 years ago and using the cars as their canvasses leading international artists have been making their mark on what are classic art-pieces of the highest standards! Artists include Andy Warhol!

The London Olympics 2012, ICA and BMW all collaborated to put this exhibition on as part of the London 2012 Festival! And it was called the Art Drive! Artists included: artists: Alexander Calder, Sandro Chia, Ken Done, Ernst Fuchs, David Hockney, Jenny Holzer, Matazo Kayama, Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Esher Mahlangu, Cesar Manrique, M.J Nelson, A.R Penck, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, and Andy Warhol as mentioned before.

So here are the cars and the Artists’ work! Videos included! Enjoy!

Raj Mehta Signing out!

1. First up there’s Jenny Holzer with the BMW V12 LMR! (1999)

2. Alexander Calder 3.0 CSL

A 1975 BMW 3.0CSL by Alexander Calder was the start of the BMW art car project and this was the first commissioned Art Car by BMW! Mr Calder was convinced by his French racing driver friend to take this project up, and it was used in the Le Mans Race in 1975.

3. Matazo Kayama 535i (1990) is a Japanese artist who studied at the Painting Academy in Kyoto this is his airbrushed Art Car!

4. César Manrique from Spain his Art Car features the BMW 730i (1990)

5. Frank Stella BMW 3.0 CSL, American abstract painter and printmaker this Art Car was done in 1976.

6. Andy Warhol BMW M1 Art Car. Mr Warhol is known for being a key and influential figure in the American Pop Art movement. This was the fourth Art Car commissioned by BMW. (1979)

7. Roy Lichtenstein BMW 320 CSi (1977) New York born artist. Again has a Pop Art theme to it.

8. American artist Robert Rauschenberg, Art Car BMW 635 CSi, (1986), he is said to have bridged the gap between Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art.

9. Australian Artist, Michael Jagamarra Nelson, Art Car:  BMW M3, was very keen on promoting and keeping aboriginal art around, the Art Car was produced in the time of (1989).

10. Esther Mahlangu BMW Art Car 525i (1991), she is from a tribe in South Africa, and has kept alive the centuries old traditional wall paintings of her tribe and her artwork reflects this.

11. Ken Done, Australian Artist, Aboriginal/Australian themes, Art Car is a BMW M3 group A, (1989)

12. Sandro Chia, BMW Art Car M3 GT2 Series Race Car (1992) – Italian/Painter Sculptor.

13. English Painter, David Hockney, BMW Art Car painted on BMW 850 CSi (1995)

14. German Painter, A.R. Penck, BMW Art Car Z1, (1991).

15. Ernst Fuchs BMW Art Car 635 CSi, Austrian visionary painter, draftsman, printmaker, sculptor, architect, stage designer, composer, poet, and singer. (1982)

16. This is my favourite! The Artist is American Jeff Koons, the BMW Art Car is a M3 GT2! (2010)

The Aston Martin V12 Zagato – Zooming by in 2012!

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The Aston Martin V12 Zagato is coming to the road soon in 2012! Aston Martin have released full frontal photos of the V12 Zagato road car! Above is one of them!

They are however going to be limited edition. 150 are to be handbuilt at the Aston Martin global headquarters here in the UK in Gaydon. The cost of these Astons’ will be £330,000 (excluding local taxes).

The Zagoto in May, won the award for Design – in the Concepts and Prototypes class at the car show The Concorso d’Eleganza at Villa D’ Este in Italy.

Aston Martin recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of the DB4GT Zagato also in May which was launched in 1960 at The London Motor Show. Zagato is a car factory in Italy who helped in making the very much British DB4 GT Zagato successful till date mainly as a racing car. The Zagato name has also been on other Aston Martin models such as the V8 Vantage Zagato and DB7 Zagato. The Zagato styling factory has been around since 1919.

The V12 Zagato prior to any road version being made, has been on the race track like the original DB4GT Zagato; since the 28th of May initially racing at the the four hour VLN race at (German Race track) Nürburgring and again on the 25th and 26th of June where the two v12 Zagato racers competed in the Nürburgring 24 hour race and finished in 5th and 6th positions. These two race endurance cars were the first two V12 Zagato’s to be made and were nicknamed “Zig” and “Zag” – (“Zig” being the green V12 Racing Zagato and “Zag” being the red V12 Zagato)!

Zig and Zag

The endurance racer cars were obviously a hit! Since the car show in Italy, Aston Martin were awaiting to see the audiences response to these cars (the customer and audience reaction was said to be encouraging) and then a decision was to be made about whether the V12 Zagato road car would be made; fortunately for Aston Martin fans the V12 Zagato road car project was given the go ahead and the 150 models available are on a first come, first serve basis – after being built in 2012.

The V12 Zagato will be an attention grabbing car on the road and they will be available in four different colours including the bright red that will give Ferrari’s a run for their money! The Zagato road car still incorporates all the looks of a racing car, it has air vent scoops on the bonnet along with a whale shark gaping front as a grill – the car thus allows the air to flow straight through to cool the engine and provide aerodynamicity. The front of the car also has two other airvents below the whale shark front and there is also a small lip on the car in black,  giving this car real points in style and creativity!

The roof is special in make and is a double bubble roof which gives the car a racing look and extra edge on the road! There is a double wishbone suspension making the V12 Zagato an all rounded piece of workmanship! The V12 Vantage also uses the same suspension – giving the Aston’s a common ground although they are far from the same. The Zagato uses more contours and is far more striking to look at! The competition that the V12 Zagato has is the Ferrari FF and 458 Italia and Porsche’s 911 Turbo S.

The V12 engine which has 48valves will always make the Zagato a fast and powerful competitor amongst the other coupe` sports cars. The V12 may sound familiar? That’s because Aston Martins Vantage uses the same engine as does the Vanquish and the DBS V12. The V12 Zagato has a capacity of 6.0L and produces 570NM of torque. The Horsepower produced by the V12 Zagato is 517hp! A top speed of 190mph and 0-60 in four seconds.

The V12 Zagato road car has been (and is being) designed with aspects of the Vantage – the interior is said to be a Vantage cockpit; the outside of the car is a different story all together, the Zagato looks monstrous at times!

The V12 Zagato has two doors and a two seat coupe` body – perfect for those who love the sports car look! It also has plenty of air filters one of each which are placed directly behind the front wheels!

There is a double exhaust on this car, one on each side and although you would expect them to be like the original batmobile’s twin exhaust – from the looks on this car – they are not; as you can tell the V12 Zagato is not a subtle car, although compared to the racing version it could be seen as being far more subtle!

However, nothing is subtle about these V12 Zagato’s – they scream style!

The road car from the race car will be (and is) different because it will not contain the huge rear wing and the roll cage although the rear of the road car is still exotic in its looks! It has two huge round lights on either side which incorporate the reverse lights and indicators – these lights are built into the rear body which caves in on either side of the lights. The rear also stands out due to the diffuser which hangs low near to ground level.

The rear of the car also slopes down at an angle from the boot where you can see the emblazoned Aston Martin badge – the badge also appears on the front in typical Aston Martin tradition. The Z for Zagato appears on the side of the car behind the front wheels in chrome and a dashing chrome line to enhance the cars already stylish features.

The brakes look special on this car, they are ventilated floating grooved discs (the front has 6 piston calipers) whereas the rear brakes are the same with 4 piston calipers and are yellow and red in colour. The light aluminium forged alloy wheels are similar to that of the Audi R8, although fit in with the car’s individual presence, they are 19″inches in size and the tyre sizes are as follows: Front – Rear:  225/45 R18 – 225/40 R18.

The handcrafted body is to be made from aluminium in addition to carbon fibre and the car is a rear wheel drive which will give the driver a stronger feeling of the pick up and in the V12 Zagato’s case take off! One of the special features of this car is the car fuel tank which is a 120 litre Endurance racing fuel tank! Perfect for those long haul journeys!

So what gives this car its beauty? Well… it is worth mentioning the amount of different body pieces used to put this speed machine together – each front wing alone comprises seven separate pieces of aluminium and these wings have been put together through the use of an English wheel and traditionally crafted body bucks – the double bubble roof is created from five separate pieces – this goes to show the amount of traditional craftsmanship involved and thus the beauty created by the Aston Martin – Zagato collaboration!

The V12 Zagato has a six speed automated manual gearbox – which is more than enough gears to see you fly by in this hot red supercar from Aston Martin! The V12 Zagato will have a sport mode which will be selectable for those racing moments that this car will easily live up to!

Aston Martin’s Chief Executive Dr. Ulrich Bez, said of the Aston Martin V12 Zagato : “A fabulous celebration of the iconic DB4GT Zagato, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, the V12 Zagato is the perfect inspiration for the next 50 years of Aston Martin.”

This car is unique and stylish in its own British/Italian way and sure to be an icon for Aston Martin fans!

The Audi Q3 – SUV – Touring July 2011

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The much awaited Audi Q3 was first revealed at the prestigious Shanghai Motor Show in China (April 2011). It was seen in Metallic Samoa Orange and surely stood out at the motorshow, not just because of its shade but also because of the Audi styling on this juniour SUV. Audi are going to be showcasing the Q3 Sports Utility Vehicle in their showrooms by November 2011 for and from £24,450 to around £25,000.

The Audi Q3 is one of Audi’s finest SUV’s from the Q series,  it is not outdone by its competition which are the BMW X1, the Range Rover Evoque, and the Ford Kuga.  The Q3 is being predicted as a best-seller and will be able to cater to families and effortlessly handle the inner city runs and long haul journeys to wherever it be, the Q3 has a maximum horsepower of 211 on the petrol engine and as for the diesel the horsepower produced is 175.

In the 1980’s Audi who were the first to be successful with a Four wheel drive system and known as creators of the successful ‘Quattro’ which means ‘four’ in Italian, came from a victorious history in rally and commercial production of the Audi Quattro. Audi are recently stamping their authority on the quattro in the SUV department. This Quattro series consists of (from smallest to largest model) the Q3, the Q5, and the Q7.

The Q3 is 4390mm in length,1830mm wide and 1600mm tall – providing enough space for the family and all the equipment required for those off-road camping holidays or rock-climbing weekends or holidays abroad. The Q3 comes with 5 doors and is seen as a car for everyday use and every lifestyle, and for those looking for a bit of umph the Q3 has it – with a top speed of 125mph to 143mph! And the Q3 does  0-61mph in 6.9seconds!

The Q3’s four wheel drive gives it brilliant cornering, ‘superb’ control, and excellent grip which will ensure a comfortable drive in all conditions; the Q3 is prepared for rain and bad lighting with its automatic rain sensing wipers and automatic night sensing lights. The Q3, Q5, and Q7 all entail the way the ‘quattro’ system has developed and evolved since the 1980’s and will highlight the importance of todays’ four wheel drive.

The Audi has a 2.0 four cylinder engine with a start-stop function, and has off-road capabilities, which can see the Q3 drive through shallow streams and rough terrain, its ground clearance is a substantial 185 mm and the Q3 has a wading depth of 500 mm.

Audi which is a German company is owned by car producer Volkswagen which is also German; Volkswagen have a couple of SUV’s and the Q3 is inspired by Audi through its parent owners – Volkswagen, and the Audi Q3 is seen to also resemble the VW Tiguan which has the same drive-train and engine. In comparison the Q3 is far more sportier and luxurious with all the latest modern conveniences you would find in most luxury cars.

The wheels are 17″ and alloyed and there are a range of spoke designs to select from – and the wheel base is 102.5 inches. The car is light-weight compared to its brothers Q5, and Q7, it weighs in at less than1.5 tonnes.

The Q3’s height provides plenty of space within the car and adds to the cars SUV looks; although is seen as a ‘crossover’ – from the sports car and hatchback which Audi have incorporated into the design. Fine lines and curvatures across the body give the Q3 a sleek look and combined with the doors which are indented and wide – (for aerodynamicity) –  a strong look. The wheel arches are flared and muscular, and the grill is also big and muscular, the Q3’s body leans forward like a Rhinoceros about to charge!

 The Q3 SUV comes with roof rails which comes as standard perfect for every transporting need and leaving you with plenty of space from what is left available inside.

The best thing about the Q3 is its stylish features and design; when you view the exterior of the car, you find fine design lines and style from every angle. The word Quattro deriving from Italian and its relationship with the German Audi Q3 should meet the Italians standards in style.  With Audi’s slogan of Vorsprung Durch Technik (advancement in technology) this car has many technological advancing features too.

There are four driving modes with one of those modes being called ‘efficiency’ (and maximises the fuel efficiency), the others are called comfort, dynamic, and auto. As for CO2 emissions the Audi’s top of the range petrol model produces 179 g/km and some of the other models are less, as for the diesel that produces 158 g/km to 184 g/km.

The interior is like the Samoa Orange colour of the car, its extravagant and is modern in every sense. The exterior is made of aluminium and steel giving it a lightweight for agility as well as strength for those off-road treks.

The cars large windscreens and perfect height provide a good view in every direction. The Q3 standsout and the lights are well shaped, curved, and modern with xenon lights and use of LED to give it a futuristic look! There are also fog lights at the front and rear. The car looks good from the back end especially with a spoiler and a twin exhaust, adding to the car’s sporty features!


The Q3’s steering wheel is four spoked and leather and provides exceptional handling alongside the ESP program on the car; the steering wheel also has a range of buttons to control variants such as the radio station via the onboard computer which flips up and is 6.5inches. You can at extra cost have paddles put in behind the steering wheel to provide a sportier and luxurious drive.

The Q3 comes with a dual zone climate control which will always be useful for those sitting in the front and back. There is also compatibility for Ipod’s and Music players. There are 8 speakers in total with a maximum output of 80watts and there is an option at extra cost for a Bose` system. No need to worry about the outside noise as the windscreen and the other glass is acoustic for reducing noise. As mentioned before the Audi Q3 range will signify the four wheel drive ‘Quattro’ in SUV circles, Audi have come a long way since their first Audi Quattro – and the Q3 continues the legacy – and looks to do it similarly to their history – successfully.

There are also some other extra’s which come as standard on the Q3:

  • Wheel arch and lower door trims
  • Body coloured door mirrors (which are heated and electric and also have integrated LED indicators)
  • Heated windscreen washer jets
  • 100 colours to choose from
  • Cloth seats
  • Electric windows front and rear
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Front and rear foglights
  • Thatcham Alarm System
  • Airbags Driver/Passenger (disabling function)
  • Tool Kit and Car Jack

The Q3 looks to be a best-seller, look out for it in the showrooms in November 2011!

BBC Conductor Sir Edward Downes Dies in Switzerland With His Wife

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BBC conductor dies in Swiss Suicide/euthanasia/right-to-die – centre/clinic.


There has been controversy over the sad death of Conductor – Sir Edward Downes, 85, and his wife Lady Joan Downes, 74. The Telegraph reported on this story as did The Guardian and The BBC.



There has been a lot of controversy about them taking the decision to end their own lives with assistance – as there has been in the past with other cases, such as The Telegraph reports: “Aiding and abetting a suicide is a crime punishable by up to 14 years in prison; Last year, the parents of Daniel James, 23, who committed suicide at ‘Dignitas’ after he was paralysed in a rugby training accident, were investigated by police.  The Telegraph goes on to report that “the Director of Public Prosecutions decided it was “not in the public interest” to charge Mr James’s parents, in effect ruling out prosecutions in other cases in the future.”



The focus has been on the clinic in Switzerland – ‘Dignitas’ which has 800 British members and has assisted the conductor and his wife in dying along with “at least 115 Britons who have travelled abroad to die” as The Telegraph reported.



 The Telegraph, The Guardian and The BBC have reported on the story as a tragedy and an editor of The Telegraph has criticised The BBC for referring to the centre as a right-to-die clinic.



Mr Thompson who is blogs editor of the Telegraph Media Group titled his piece “The BBC’s creepy coverage of Sir Edward and Lady Downes’s joint suicide.” He goes on to say “Sir Edward Downes, that fine British conductor, has committed suicide along with his wife in the vile ‘Dignitas’ clinic in Switzerland. But the word “suicide” appears nowhere in the BBC website’s report of this tragedy.” The BBC spends more time in reporting on Sir Downes career giving details as to how it began and mentioning that he began to play violin at the age of five. It seems that the BBC later in a recent report used the word suicide three times whereas The Telegraph did many reports on the story and used the word suicide 13 times in one article and 5 times in another article – as did The Guardian.



The latest in Britain over assisted suicide is; as The Telegraph reported “British group Dignity in Dying wants the government to “urgently” consider overturning the laws that make it illegal in this country.” The Royal College of Nursing also have concerns as the UK Government has, although the RCN have dropped a stance of being harshly opposed to the concept of helping patients to die/commit suicide. The latest move has left the RCN in a neutral position neither opposing nor supporting the concept of assisted dying/suicide. 



The Government do not want a situation where the number of assisted suicides increase as if legalised it may put pressure on certain individuals – for example people with disabilities, as The Telegraph reported “many people claimed that disabled people would be placed under pressure to end their lives in order to relieve the burden they place on families and the health care system.”



The Guardian reports on the controversy and debate by mentioning that “Prosecutors have not pushed forward cases against families and friends of the growing number of Britons who have travelled to ‘Dignitas’ to die, however, and there is fierce debate about whether the law should be changed to protect people from prosecution.”



The Guardian reported as did the BBC and The Telegraph on a statement from the couple’s children on Friday July 10th who said “they died peacefully, and under circumstances of their own choosing. – After 54 happy years together, they decided to end their own lives rather than continue to struggle with serious health problems. Our father, who was 85 years old, almost blind and increasingly deaf, had a long, vigorous and distinguished career as a conductor. Our mother, who was 74, started her career as a ballet dancer and subsequently worked as a choreographer and TV producer before dedicating the last years of her life to working as our father’s personal assistant. They both lived life to the full and considered themselves to be extremely lucky to have lived such rewarding lives, both professionally and personally.” The Guardian also refers to Dignitas as a “Swiss organisation that operates a specialist euthanasia service.”



The Police have been investigating and The Guardian reported “A Metropolitan police spokesman said Greenwich CID had launched an investigation.” The Teleraph reported that the family members “could now be questioned by the officers investigating the death.” 



The Telegraph ended their report by saying that Sir Downes was “noted for championing British music, he has enjoyed a particularly long relationship with the BBC Philharmonic, serving as its chief guest conductor, then principal conductor, and finally as conductor emeritus. He was appointed CBE in 1986 and knighted in 1991. There will be no funeral.”



10 – 18 July 2009

The Prancing Horse – The Ferrari Scuderia430

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The Scuderia’s predecessor is the Ferrari F430 and the Scuderia 430 is an Italian speciality and has a rarity factor putting the price at £172,500 – this car will have tears in your eyes as it does 0-60mph in 3.1 – 3.5seconds!

The lights on the front of this prancing horse car gives it personality, they are slim and built into the body to ensure there’s not much drag and the car remains aerodynamic – as the Scuderia is about racing! The name means ‘team’ and this car is inspired from the Formula 1 Scuderia team; it’s available in the standard Ferrari colours.

The Scuderia is made by Ferrari who are known as one of the finest road car makers and with this car they have added to their collection of one of the finest race track cars! You may be interested to know it is partly designed by Michael Schumacher and a computer which helped to enhance speed and performance and it does exactly that!

You’ll be turning heads in this car (obviously it’s a Ferrari!) although the Scuderia is different from other models; it’s more for the racer and the driver looking for an exhilarating racing experience – rather than an executive who wants the fancy computer system – and the Scuderia does not have one of those.

This car has many features there’s the double stripes on the front face with air intakes on the front grills and along the side of the car with a special feature at the back of the car which helps with further aerodynamicity – keeping the car firmly grounded the faster you go and giving you unusually more grip called a rear diffuser or undertray. The Scuderia also has silicon brakes and an electronic differential setting with the option to switch off stability control – and you can choose how you want the suspension – soft or firm – fancy enough!

Ferrari have cut back on style – with tacky welding to add to the speed and lack of weight for the car, yet have tried to make up for it with a fancy dashboard which has a yellow central interior clock for one of the speedometers. This car also lacks carpets, sat-nav, and a stereo – just the basics in this speed-machine which challenges Porsche and the Lamborghini Gallardo.

 2008 Ferrari 430 Scuderia Gauges

The fly-by 430 Scuderia and the F430 its predecessor differ not only in price, the Scuderia also has modified side-skirts, twin exhaust tips, with carbon-fibre wing mirrors, and a carbon-fibre challenge grill, it has also been taken up to 510bhp from the F430 – it weighs in at 2750 pounds which helps it to be a racing car.

It has an astonishing shift rate (60milliseconds)! The Engine is precisely placed where the boot should be and is within a transparent casing so it’s visible to others and good for cooling – the engine is referred to as a Ferrari type 056 which is an engine they use in their race cars and on the race track.

2008 Ferrari 430 Scuderia Engine

The Scuderia will be able to perform handling on the race track like no other car, it has a special function switch on it’s steering wheel called ‘Manettino’ with 5 functions – which can allow the car to stylishly skid its rear end everywhere whilst still driving in a racing manner – nicely put you can turn off the traction control and stability control for more of a race style drive, there’s also an engine start button. So this car will not only be fast in a straight line but also around corners and will look good whilst lurking in parking spaces!

The gear speeds are 6speed manual and 6speed F1 electrohydraulic shift, the gears are also linked to the racing terms superfast and superfast2 whilst you also have options such as the Sport function to help you reach those superfast speeds. The Formula One style gear paddles are placed on the steering wheel allowing for those millisecond shifts! The car produces good noise and is comfortable to drive and sit in; the brakes on the Scuderia are made from ceramic and stand out as much as the rest of the car, the Scuderia has its own badge adding further to the value of this car which costs more than its predecessor by £43,000.

 2008 Ferrari 430 Scuderia Rear Closeup

The race engine is fine tuned and will ensure that the car reaches a maximum of 200mph. The alloy wheels are rocking, being 19 inches in size and suit the car’s worth. The tyres are thicker, and this car has more power and is lower and lighter than your standard car. Although it’s a Ferrari and you’re not getting a standard car – this car is race-track tested!

2008 Ferrari 430 Scuderia Front View

You could have a look at the Ferrari website which allows you to race a Ferrari Scuderia in a virtual race.

 2008 Ferrari 430 Scuderia Wheel Closeup

2008 Ferrari 430 Scuderia Interior

2008 Ferrari 430 Scuderia Badge

Written by Raj

July 15, 2009 at 5:23 pm

Tribute for Michael Jackson at the BET Awards

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Michael Jackson the award winning artist has passed away and although there is  controversy about his death – it has been reported that MJ as his fans called him, has died from cardiac arrest.

There was a tribute held for the life-time achievement award winner at the BET awards and his sister Janet Jackson who collaborated with Michael in his long and successful career spoke of all the love shown by fans; she said at the awards tribute “On behalf of my family and myself, thank you for all your love” Janet Jackson was the family spokesperson and was emotional whilst talking about her brother who she was fond of; Janet went on to say “’To you, Michael is an icon. To us, Michael is family. He will forever live in all of our hearts.”

Michael Jackson was a true world artist as he helped third world countries like Africa where he highlighted their plight through his video Earth Song – and there was also the famous Heal the World song highlighting the importance of looking after the World and its people in every aspect.

Michael Jackson also opened many doors for black artists as Jamie Foxx said “No need to be sad. We want to celebrate this black man. We gonna go through all of Michael Jackson.” Jamie Foxx wore some versions of MJ’s famous artists and the actor/singer performed to some of MJ’s songs – you may remember that Michael Jackson also had a few films in which he starred as himself – thus helping black people not only in the music industry yet also in the film industry.

P.diddy spoke of Michael Jackson in a positive way and said MJ “knocked down barriers’ for black artists. He is one of our heroes. As African-Americans, we are not going to let everybody beat him up.Love you Mike.” Diddy has since gone on to post a message on his twitter writitng that “Michael Jackson showed me that you can actually see the beat. He made the music come to life!! He made me believe in magic. I will miss him!”

Michael Jackson also helped to launch artists and showcase entertainers such as Naomi Campbell, McCully Culkin, 3T and Neo who said “He’s the man who made it possible for me to be on the stage. I love you and I miss you.”

The Game, Chris Brown, Usher and Diddy have collaborated to make a song in tribute to MJ – you can find it on youtube its called “Better on the Other Side” and is the official MJ tribute song.

Joe Jackson MJ’s dad said at the BET awards “I think if Michael was here, he would enjoy the celebrations. He couldn’t be here but it’s like he is larger than he was before. Michael gives his love to everybody and we hope that his record will never be broken.” The record his Dad talks of is the unbroken record of selling more than 750 million albums worldwide.

Other tributes happened worldwide and the UK artist Dizzee rascal said about MJ at the Glastonbury festival that Michael Jacksons music has made a huge impact on the world and Dizzee then went on to perform some of MJ’s tracks such as ‘Thriller’ and he said it was to acknowledge the great music he left behind.” He also said to MJ’s fans at the Glastonbury festival “We lost a legend this week” before performing his MJ medley “So I think we should do something to remember him.”

The latest news is that MJ’s body will not be going on show at his neverland ranch – although his fans will always remember Michael Jackson’s famous looks and outfits.   

Written by Raj

July 7, 2009 at 7:42 pm

Paraglider or Party Balloons

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Paraglider or Party Balloons

A Holiday Story Tale for the future – Is it a bird is it a plane is it a paraglider – no it’s a bunch of party balloons!

Twelve guests at Catacol Bay Hotel were clowning around when they phoned the police over a bunch of balloons falling into the sea – they weren’t clowning around as the balloons were seen as a paraglider who was plunging into the sea and a man reported the event as a paraglider crashing into the sea. This event happened on the 25th of June around 1:30pm whilst the guests were having a buffet. Rescue boats and a ferry rushed to the scene along with five other vessels – and then found a bunch of party balloons instead of a reported paraglider.   

The Clyde Coastguard spokesman said “The Isle of Arran coastguard (UK) was first on the scene and discovered the balloons. Guests at the hotel had all seen what they thought was a paraglider fall into the water and were very concerned.”

The concern was real and the waters were not shallow when the report of balloons as a paraglider falling into the deep waters of the sea was made.

Written by Raj

July 7, 2009 at 7:33 pm

Anti-Pollution Campaign – India – Agra

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Agra’s Pollution Crackdown



‘Agra Launching an Anti-Pollution Campaign’ was reported in the Indian Online Newspaper Sindh Today, they reported that the campaign was being launched ahead of the World Environment Day – June 5th at the city of The Taj Mahal. They reported that the person in charge of the campaign is Agra Divisional Commisioner S.K. Sharma, who has to work on the problem of polluting waste water and sewage being pumped through bore holes. As Agra has so many tourists, most of whom stay in local hotels – there is a lot of travelling and this adds to the general dust and smog pollution caused by a traffic filled city.



Sindh Today quoted a monitoring committee member D.K. Joshi as saying “The Agra Development Authority has been recklessly clearing layout plans and site construction maps of colonies and complexes without bothering to investigate whether sewer line connections were available or proper waste water treatment facilities existed.”



Mr Joshi is a citizen of Agra and what the online newspaper did not report is that the committee was put in place by a governmental apex court! It seems the Agra Development Authority aren’t helping with the conservational effort by Commissioner Sharma and Mr Joshi as there are construction plans for buildings around the monument. Mr Joshi has recently said to ‘Indo Asian News’ “Instead of clearing up population clusters, the Agra Development Authority has gone on a house building spree with Taj phase one, two and now three. Instead of trees you see only concrete structures all around the Taj Mahal.”  



Positively what The Sindh did not report is that there are many other things being done to crackdown on pollution, these include battery charged golf-carts for tourists visiting what has been called ‘The monument of Love’ and re-introducing carelessly polluting monkeys to a jungle near ‘Bah’, 70 km away from the city – as locals and tourists often provide the monkeys with food adding to the pollution. The re-introduction is due to the state animal husbandry department with the support of a businessman called Mukesh Jain.



This is not the only example of food pollution, the online newspaper reported that local traders of Agra’s famous ‘petha’ (pumpkin), who make money from the tourist industry have been asked to move, this was because The National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) identified more than 400 petha units in Agra which were polluting water bodies and creating air pollution by dumping petha waste just about anywhere.” Whether the local petha trade and the traders will be affected remains to be seen, and will they now start polluting in the Yamuna River where they have been moved opposite – the authorities and the government will have to find a solution.



An aim of the campaign is to preserve one of the Seven Wonders of The World which they have previously tried to preserve by using mud on The Taj Mahal called Multani mitti – Fuller’s earth; this did not work on preserving the appearance, instead causing a difference in the shades of white, clearly visible. Air pollution has been a main cause in discolouring the Taj Mahal.



An Indian website called ClickIndia.com offers a City Guide to Agra and advises politely and respectfully “Don’t scribble on the walls or spoil the monuments in any way. Do not throw litter in the parks and gardens.” It has recently been reported by IANS that “the green belt around the Taj has been made into commercial space with land allotted to hotels.” There is a lack of trees around the Taj and the saplings that were planted, did not survive. A lot more has to be done for Agra to be a pleasant and un-polluted experience for content tourists and locals; the campaign continues with a lack of monkeys and petha traders.

Written by Raj

June 23, 2009 at 6:29 am

Global Warming London at Risk

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Global Warming – London at risk


Many newspapers have been reporting on Global Warming and the dangers it poses, these papers include The Telegraph, The Sun, The Independent, The Financial Times, and The Guardian. Key figures have been quoted within the media such as Lord Stern, Gordon Brown and the Mayor Boris Johnson. Prince Charles was quoted in The Sun as saying “we have many solutions to the crisis – we know about energy efficiency, renewable energy, and how to reduce deforestation.” All ways to help reduce global warming for governments; the individual person is also a key to success by being equipped with energy efficient light bulbs and conserving energy and water.



The aim of the Media’s campaign on Global Warming is to highlight the dangers of temperature rise with the risk to economy here in the UK as well as internationally and the danger of the weather to the World! The papers are influencing people to help by doing simple things such as buying eco-friendly cars that help to cut carbon emissions, which will help to hopefully stop the global warming tipping point which would as scientists and campaigners say lead to climate chaos – with dangers of flooding, droughts, heat-waves, warmer-wetter winters and other unusual weather. There is also danger of agriculture being devastated by global warming.



The Mayor of London has outlined a strategy under the Greater London Authority Act to help people live more efficiently and to help deal with stopping the World from the global warming tipping point – London was reported as being hotter than central Spain a few weeks ago by The Telegraph. The strategy includes solar panels, planting of trees, reducing water leaks, water meters, “designing new buildings and adapting old ones to minimise the need for cooling facilities.”



Mr Johnson is quoted in The Guardian  as saying “we need to concentrate efforts to slash carbon emissions and become more energy efficient in order to prevent dangerous climate change – it endangers our pre-eminence as one of the World’s leading cities.” There are 12.5 million people at risk in London from the effects of global warming; species would have to be relocated after river’s dry up. The Independent reported Lord Stern saying “much of Southern Europe would look like the Sahara – many of the major rivers of the world, serving billions of people would dry up in the dry seasons or re-route – billions of people would have to relocate as a result.” Ashok Sinha director of ‘Stop Climate Chaos Coalition’ was quoted in The Sun as saying “100 million people could become climate change refugees.”



The World is taking heed of Lord Stern’s warnings as they did in the past when many international governments were studying his report on the risks of Global Warming. The headlines recently said that Lord Stern had underestimated the effects of global warming, The Telegraph’s headline read “Lord Stern – it’s even worse than I thought”, The Independent reported not only that Polar Bears are relying on the World to counter global warming but also that Lord Stern said that the cost of not acting on global warming would mean costs of double than what he estimated, “meaning it could cost a third of the world’s wealth” and cost a lot to the world’s money and countries’ economy. Lord Stern is the World Bank’s former chief economist. The International Energy Agency has also backed Lord Stern’s estimates of costs.  


The Telegraph reported the lowest of temperature rises, reporting on research done by the Met Office’s Hadley Centre on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – “In Wales, predicted temperature rises of up to 2.9˚C by 2080.” The FT reported on a report done by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – the body of the world’s leading climate change scientists convened by the United Nations – “it predicted a temperature rise of 3˚C within the next 100 years with catastrophic consequences for the planet, unless greenhouse gas emissions were stabilised and then cut within the next decade.”


The Financial Times reported that “Lord Stern has come under attack from economists and climate change sceptics since his report, which some sceptics regard as scaremongering.” Many newspapers reported on Lord Stern’s estimates of dangerous temperature rises from 3˚C to 4˚C, 5˚C, 6˚C and even 7˚C by the end of the 21st century. The Independent reported interesting facts that humans have been around for 100,000 years and that temperature rises of 5˚C has not been seen for 30-50 million years and “we haven’t seen 3˚C for a few million years, and we don’t know what that looks like either.”


In December a major UN meeting will be held to work on a new climate treaty such as the Kyoto Protocol climate treaty in an attempt to tackle global warming – the media and campaigners will be important in pressuring governments into abiding by the treaty as they have done by criticising Japan last week. It is predicted that the Sun will die in approximately 5 billion years.

Written by Raj

June 23, 2009 at 6:26 am

People and Child Trafficking

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Countering Trafficking Worldwide and Child Trafficking 

India is a country which has many children and people who need to be saved from trafficking, the politicians are criticised by much of the people and media for not doing enough for the poor and vulnerable in states such as Bihar and Delhi.

Statistics suggest that 300 million children from the ages of 0-14 make up a little more than one third of India’s population.

Raids take place 3-4 times a month as reported by The Guardian with Police officers often getting injured; the government has tried to counter the trafficking with laws such as ‘The immoral Trafic Prevention Act’ which refers to trafficking for prostitution, as for the protection of Children – there’s the new Juvenille Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act implemented since 2000 and anyone under the age of eighteen is considered as a child.

 India also has the Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act. With money being spent on free education programmes for the poor and ensuring that the best interests of the child is being served with people to watch over them and their progress. 

America and the United Nations are also participating in counter-acting trafficking, the UN has a convention ‘against Trans-national Organised Crime’ (the Palermo Protocol) that India is implementing with aims of prevention, suppressing and punishing traffickers although they are still to ratify it.  India have been advertising about Child Trafficking and also warning people departing the country about exploitation.

America has defined trafficking and has been producing reports called Traffic in Persons on 170 countries and their efforts in combating trafficking. They have provided a definition for trafficking with a table which one of the criteria’s has to be met from each section to have a case defined as trafficking: Section 1 Process: Recruitment / Transportation / Transferring / Harboring / or Receiving. Section 2 Way/Means: Threat / Coercion / Abduction / Fraud / Deceit / Abuse of Power / or Deception. Section 3 Goal: Exploitation (violent or sexual) / Prostitution / Pornography / Forced Labour / Involuntary servitude / Debt bondage (with unfair wages) / or Slavery (similar practices). 

America have different tiers of requirements to be met with such as how well countries are doing in terms of trafficking, they are then placed under Tier1, Tier2, Tier2 watch list (which is what India is under) and Tier3 (where the US can put certain types of trade sanctions on countries as they are not doing enough to counter trafficking). The report has many recommendations for India – one of them being to “improve central and state government implementation of protection programs and compensation schemes – to ensure trafficking victims receive benefits to which they are entitled under national and state law.”

The report also gives an example of an Indian child who was trafficked and her unfortunate and shocking experience – “Ten year-old Shanti from Ajmer, Rajasthan was trafficked to New Delhi, with seven children from her village, when she was seven years old. She was forced to beg from eight in the morning until 11 in the evening, to tear her clothes and to avoid bathing for months. She was given only one meal a day so that she would look thin and malnourished and elicit more money from the passers-by. She and 12 other children showing signs of physical abuse were rescued in a raid.”

The BBC have reported that of “the eight million children the International Labour Organisation estimates are involved in forced labour worldwide, more than a million have been trafficked, many of them in India.”

India’s monthly raids often find 200-300 children, they are trafficked inside and outside the country, some of the children are made to deal drugs, the traffickers recruit from poor states under the shocking title of employment agencies, some children are placed in countries and states where they are worked up to 12-13 hours and where they don’t speak the language. They often don’t have food to eat, the traffickers promise the children money and the parents often think that their children will be able to provide not only for themselves but also for their families – this is sadly not the case as the children often don’t get paid (in such an abhorrent yet lucrative trade) and are forced to starve and live in worse conditions from where they lived. They are often exposed to abuse sexual and violent, internationally and nationally.

An example of International awareness growing was in the form of the film Slum-dog millionaire which also highlighted not only the conditions that children live in but also their vulnerability; The News of The World was under the limelight after it ran a story about one of the child stars of the film willing to be sold by her Father – which was contested and the Police later dropped the case – the Editors said there was an aim to highlight the danger of children being trafficked.  

India now need to get themselves of the watch list with the help of politicians with new laws and legislation and improved conditions for children with educational help. Issues of child protection and child trafficking are far from the agenda and have to be on the agenda for them to successfully stop trafficking. There are many people and children who live in impoverished conditions and the government has to help to protect and improve their plight. The traffickers have to be targeted and people/children have to be seen as respected, equal and important providing them with support and making a better future for India’s families.

Written by Raj

June 23, 2009 at 6:23 am

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