Ford Fiesta ECOnetic – 65 mpg

Ford has a car called the Fiesta ECOnetic and it gets 65mpg.

As they say here in Texas, the kicker is you can’t buy it unless you live in Europe.

According to a Business Week article:

“We know it’s an awesome vehicle,” says Ford America President Mark Fields. “But there are business reasons why we can’t sell it in the U.S.” The main one: The Fiesta ECOnetic runs on diesel.

Their feeling is that Americans have a perception that diesel fuel is dirty, even though this perception is not entirely accurate anymore.

Diesel vehicles now hitting the market with pollution-fighting technology are as clean or cleaner than gasoline and at least 30% more fuel-efficient.

But:

None of this is stopping European and Japanese automakers, which are betting they can jump-start the U.S. market with new diesel models. Mercedes-Benz by next year will have three cars it markets as “BlueTec.” Even Nissan (NSANY) and Honda, which long opposed building diesel cars in Europe, plan to introduce them in the U.S. in 2010. But Ford, whose Fiesta ECOnetic compares favorably with European diesels, can’t make a business case for bringing the car to the U.S.

That might turn out to be a really bad marketing decision for Ford… If the European and Japanese automakers, whose car sales are doing significantly better than Ford, think diesel models in the US have a chance, why does Ford just sit this out?

There are a bunch more reasons in the article as to why Ford thinks it wouldn’t be profitable to sell the ECOnetic here.

Seems like American manufacturers are quick to tell Americans what they think we will and won’t buy, take away our choices, and then market what products are left to us as if we really have free choice as consumers. As if it’s in our best interest and not the best interest of the corporations.

Spherical Illusion as Art

Dick Termes creates unique art by painting spherical illusions using 6 point perspective. He paints the outside of a sphere in such a way that when it spins, and you look into the center of the painting, it appears as if you are inside the painting. Here is one of the inside of a house:

You will know you are looking at it correctly when it appears you are inside the room, and the room is spinning in the opposite direction.

Very cool artistic technique.

Tree House

Most people when they think of a tree house are reminded of the typical kid-style tree house – a bunch of plywood sheets nailed onto a tree branch (barely) with a window and a few boards nailed onto the trunk as steps. Rugged.

This tree house, by Mr. K. P. Singh in Udaipur, India, gives new meaning to that term. His house is supported by a mango tree and was built on a bet that he could maintain the value of the property without chopping down the fruit trees.

I think he won the bet.