Automania by Dr. Iain Corness

Some people need to be locked up

Turn left at the next tree, darling

Is this the ultimate idiocy?  According to the Garmin company, makers of the Garmin Sat-Nav, “Tired of hearing the same old sat nav voice?  You’ve now arrived at your “tkan” (destination).  In celebration of the release of AVATAR Extended Collector’s Edition on Blu-ray and DVD you can now customize your Garmin nvi with Na’vi voice directions.  Due to growing demand from the public, Garmin has released customized directions in the native language of Avatar’s Na’vis, which are downloadable on the Garmin website.

The ultimate Avatar fan can now get full driving instructions - mn ftr (turn left), mn skien (turn right) and txng musna tsengit (exit roundabout) for example, making getting to your destination all that much more exciting for Avatar fans.

‘Taronyu’ aka Richard Littauer, the U.K.’s number 1 Avatar fan, who also created a Na’Vi dictionary has been working with Garmin to record the vocal cues and directions in Na’Vi for customers to download.

Example of well know sat nav directions in Na’Vi;

* Ftexy ’awve tihum, min ftar ro musina tsengit mi zam ayvenu pate ro tikan

o Take 1st exit, turn left at roundabout.  In 100 feet arrive at destination

* fpxkm musna tsengit tsar ftxey muve thum.  Seralew tkan mi hma fya’o.

o Enter roundabout then take second exit.  Continue on route and arrive at destination in of a mile

* fongueo. mn lahea fya’o

o Traffic ahead.  Make a u-turn

* Mi apxa ‘it fya’o mn skien

o In half a mile turn right

Anthony Chmarny, Garmin’s Head of Communications said, “The Na’Vi voice is a bit of fun to help celebrate the release of the Extended Collector’s Edition of AVATAR.  It’s great and I’m sure it will bring a smile to your face when trying to get from A to B whilst using your Garmin nvi sat nav.”

Thanks for the warning, Khun Anthony!

Can you use E5 fuel in your Toyota or Honda?

There is considerable doubt and distrust of the ethanol fuels in this country, with owners wondering if the E5 fuel will adversely affect their engines. That concern is also seen in Australia, but concern may not be needed.

According to the information I have to hand from Australia (Source: Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries - November 2010), with particular reference to Toyota and Honda, the answer for Toyota is “yes you can,” provided your Toyota is one of the newer ones, and not any of the ones from this list.

Camry with carburetor engines pre July 1989

Corolla pre July 1994

Supra - pre May 1993

Land Cruiser - pre Aug 1992

Coaster - pre Jan 1993

Dyna - pre May 1995

Tarago - pre Oct 1996


Hiace and 4 Runner - pre Aug 1997

For Honda, it is simpler, don’t use E5 in the older ones (generally pre-2002), but you can use E5 in the newer ones such as

Insight - 2004 onwards

Civic range (including Civic Hybrid) - 2004 onwards

S2000 - 2004 onwards

CRV - 2003 onwards

Accord and Accord Euro 2003 onwards

Integra - 2002 onwards

Odyssey - 2004 onwards

Jazz - 2004 onwards

‘Scousers’ join Ferrari (thank you Les Edmonds)

Ferrari pit crew in action

For those unsure of the term ‘Scouser’, the following explanation was given to me by a genuine ‘Scouser’. A Scouser is indigenous to Liverpool, England generally of mixed Irish / English heritage and renowned for their sharp wit and repartee! Also known to be thieving, almost likeable rogues. Anything that can be stolen, they will steal, even if it is nailed down, and jokes are made of this.

So here is Les Edmonds’ example. (I have seen this before, but it still is amusing):

“The Ferrari F1 team fired their entire pit crew yesterday.

This announcement followed Ferrari’s decision to take advantage of the British government’s ‘Work for your Dole’ scheme and employ some Liverpudlian youngsters.

The decision to hire them was brought about by a recent documentary on how unemployed youths from Toxteth were able to remove a set of wheels in less than 4 seconds without proper equipment, whereas Ferrari’s existing crew could only do it in 5 seconds with millions of pounds worth of high tech gear.

It was thought to be an excellent, bold move by the Ferrari management team as most races are won and lost in the pits, giving Ferrari an advantage over every other team. However, Ferrari got more than they bargained for!

At the crew’s first practice session, not only was the Scouse pit crew able to change all four wheels in under 4 seconds but, within 12 seconds, they had re-sprayed, re-badged and sold the car to the McLaren team for 8 cases of Stella, a bag of weed and some photos of Lewis Hamilton’s bird in the shower.”

Autotrivia Quiz

What was the origin of the modern octane ratings for fuel? Clue: Harry.

I asked what was the origin of the modern octane ratings for fuel? Clue: Harry. The answer is Sir Harry Ricardo who analyzed the part fuel played in causing “knock” in engines and evolved a scale of ‘toluene’ rating to indicate the anti-knock properties of different fuels. The modern octane ratings were derived from this work.

Williams fires the Incredible Hulk

Tossed out on his rear

As predicted in this column a few weeks ago, Sir Frank Williams has not renewed Nico Hulkenberg’s contract for 2011, despite Hulkenberg giving Williams its first pole position in five years.

Sir Frank has shown over the seasons that he considers drivers to be expendable items, and has previously refused to renew the contracts of a couple of world champions. He’s all heart our Frank.

This is a shame, as Hulkenberg has excelled in all categories on the way up, and although having taken a little while to settle down in F1, he does have talent. But that talent doesn’t come with a sack of money, so that’s why he has lost his seat at Williams. So much for the ‘best drivers in the world’. Expect to read about their new South American driver with 15 million dollars in his race suit pocket.

Rubens Barichello’s contract has been renewed, so the Brazilian pensioner has been reprieved again, but to be fair to Rubens, he has done well all year, in a basically underperforming car compared to the others.