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NASA Transportation Technology

How Bill Nye Insulted NASCAR Fans About the Sport Being the "Anti-NASA" (examiner.com) 387

MarkWhittington writes: Bill Nye, the former science guy and current head of the Planetary Society, is very depressed about NASA and NASCAR, according to a story in Business Insider. He believes that the red-state yokels pay too much attention to NASCAR, which employs gas guzzling cars in races, and not enough to NASA, which employs cutting edge and environmentally correct technology, to explore the universe. However, it is a meme that the space agency itself once disagreed with. Indeed, NASA has suggested that the exploration of space is like NASCAR only with rocket ships instead of souped up, high powered cars
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How Bill Nye Insulted NASCAR Fans About the Sport Being the "Anti-NASA"

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  • yawn (Score:5, Funny)

    by FatAlb3rt ( 533682 ) on Wednesday November 18, 2015 @05:57PM (#50958175) Homepage
    Nye.jump(shark);
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      I agree. He's worn out his welcome by being such a snob all the time.

      • I agree. He's worn out his welcome by being such a snob all the time.

        I mostly agree - although auto racing, especially NASCAR and Indy, isn't all that interesting these days.

        In fact, when I was a kid, I gave up on Indy racing. I was getting really interested, and I was super impressed with the STP Turbocar. This thing was putting the piston cars to shame, but a 6 dollar gearbox bearing failure cost it the race.

        So what did USAC do? First they limited the engine intake area to 24 inches. But the plucky little turbo, despite a acceleration time lag, could still produce l

      • Re:yawn (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Wednesday November 18, 2015 @11:10PM (#50960033)

        So he's a snob for pointing out massive errors performed by snobbish Hollywood writers who are too important to open up a "physics for dumbasses" book?

        Hollywood these days is full of the most ridiculous plot elements, stupid science, illogical economics, implausible motivations, and it's gone way beyond the point where you can just ignore it all because of suspension of disbelief. Even the Walking Dead is more believable than your typical AAA movie release.

        • Hollywood can't make realistic protrails of actors writers and directors. What makes you think they could accurately portray science.
    • Yeah, he should have stuck with what he was good at - introducing science to elementary school children. Ever since he started talking to adults he has just looked like a jerk.

  • In other words... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by XxtraLarGe ( 551297 ) on Wednesday November 18, 2015 @05:58PM (#50958183) Journal
    "People who don't like what I like are stupid." NASCAR is probably the most science/engineering oriented sport out there. Every variable is a factor from length, slope, temperature & curvature of track, weather conditions, in addition to the thousands of variables that go into the car itself. Pit stops including how much fuel & # of tires to change are all very accurately calculated to gain an advantage on their competitors. If anything NASCAR could be used to encourage scientific & engineering education.
    • by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Wednesday November 18, 2015 @06:18PM (#50958369)

      >"NASCAR is probably the most science/engineering oriented sport out there."

      No, you are thinking of real racing, like Formula One :)

      • by sycodon ( 149926 ) on Wednesday November 18, 2015 @06:19PM (#50958381)

        Oh boy, here we go...

        • Re:In other words... (Score:5, Informative)

          by rwa2 ( 4391 ) * on Wednesday November 18, 2015 @06:35PM (#50958551) Homepage Journal

          Or just abandon the thread here and go read the Arstechnica bit on this from last year:
          http://arstechnica.com/cars/20... [arstechnica.com]

          Excerpts from the NASCAR section at the very end:

          This section, like the [indycar section] that precedes it, is going to be short. That's because NASCAR, while immensely popular in the US, is about the least technology-driven form of motorsport around.

          It might be easier to talk about the technology that NASCAR doesn't allow; the series is stubbornly resistant to the onward march of technology, only switching to unleaded gas in 2007 (12 years after leaded gas was banned in the US) and finally moving to electronic fuel injection in 2012, decades after carburetors vanished from our showrooms. There are no driver aids like traction control or semi-automatic paddle-shift gearboxes, and even car-to-pit telemetry is highly restricted.

          And yet, you shouldn't get the impression that there aren't a lot of clever people doing a lot of clever things with those machines. To start, they've been designed to protect their drivers from the kinds of crashes that happen when dozens of cars race in packs two-, three-, or even four-wide at up to 200 mph. (That is no small feat.) It's also a highly aerodynamics-dependent racing series, which means plenty of computational fluid dynamics and wind tunnel research.

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Except that is a very wrong interpretation. NASCAR designs its rules to make cars conform such that the race is a test of skill. The cleverness and science comes in with tiny finesse tweaks to everything and anything the crews can get away with. You can think of NASCAR technology as being detail oriented in a strict environment where formula racing is revolution oriented in a loose environment.

            • by slasher999 ( 513533 ) on Wednesday November 18, 2015 @07:37PM (#50958987)

              While true, the main reason for the slow march of technology in NASCAR is to maintain affordability of the sport. The France family doesn't want to be a bunch of pretentious snobs in a sport dominated by spoiled rich kids which, at least in popular perception, is what Formula 1 is.

              • by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Wednesday November 18, 2015 @11:34PM (#50960137)

                While true, the main reason for the slow march of technology in NASCAR is to maintain affordability of the sport. The France family doesn't want to be a bunch of pretentious snobs in a sport dominated by spoiled rich kids which, at least in popular perception, is what Formula 1 is.

                If your assessment was correct, NASCAR would still be racing cars based on production cars, not what they are using now.

          • Re:In other words... (Score:5, Informative)

            by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Wednesday November 18, 2015 @08:37PM (#50959393)
            NASCAR isn't technology-driven in the sense that sponsors don't spend countless millions customizing their cars to attempt to win races. The premise behind NASCAR is that all the racers get identical cars (there are slight tolerances allowed for variability, but the intent is to make the cars as identical as possible). The performance differences then arise entirely from the skill of each team in assessing race conditions and tuning the cars for those conditions, and the skill of the driver. In other words, NASCAR is an optimization problem, like the America's Cup. F1 and Indy car racing are about building a better engine - analogous to scientific research leading to new breakthroughs. NASCAR is about figuring out how to best tune an existing engine - analogous to engineering existing technology to solve real-world problems. Both contribute to technological progress.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 18, 2015 @06:23PM (#50958413)

        No, in real racing you constantly change the rules to disallow superior technology, so that no real technical progress can be made. Like Formula One :)

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo AT world3 DOT net> on Thursday November 19, 2015 @07:34AM (#50961069) Homepage

          F1's problem is that for decades the cars have been faster than a human being can safely handle, and every year one manufacturer tends to be extremely dominant and it comes down to a battle between their two drivers. Driver skill is much less important than which car they are driving.

          It's hard to see how this can really be fixed. Go back to 1980 spec cars perhaps, but then the rich teams would pull out because the garage teams would be competitive and they wouldn't be developing tech that can be used in road vehicles.

          • by Shinobi ( 19308 )

            With the current V6 hybrids, the big irony is that one of the reasons Mercedes is so dominant is that they transferred technology the other way: They leveraged their sportscar people, bringing their expertise over to the F1 engine. Ferrari made a bad call in the first iteration, but they've mostly fixed that, now they just need to work on their chassis. Renault ignored the little hybrid experience they had on the road car side and built a new team from scratch. That, and the design demands from Red Bull as

      • by rwa2 ( 4391 ) *

        >"NASCAR is probably the most science/engineering oriented sport out there."

        No, you are thinking of real racing, like Formula One :)

        Exactly. Speaking of which, one of those other news for nerds sites has good coverage thereof:
        http://arstechnica.com/cars/20... [arstechnica.com]

      • NASCAR is intended to be a racing skills competition, not an engineering skills competition. The performance capabilities of the cars are capped in numerous ways so that ostensibly drivers with the best skills accumulate the most points over the season. This is pretty much true of athletic sports too. Take baseball for example. Is it possible to engineer a bat that can hit a ball further than the bats used in MLB? Absolutely. However, not only would that give individual competitors an unfair technolog

    • Other fun facts...

      -All the cars might look the same but the top and bottom teams differentiate themselves via coatings. All sorts of surface physics come into play and the fastest cars have the most advanced textures.

      -They use pushrod V-8's but piston speeds are equivalent to those in F1 cars...back when they revved to 16k RPM. An engine needs very advanced designs and lubricants to sustain that for 3-4 hours.

      That said, I'd say its probably one of not the most engineering oriented. And I'm not really a fan

      • all the myriad ways each of the teams find to cheat

        • by bobbied ( 2522392 ) on Wednesday November 18, 2015 @07:08PM (#50958777)

          It ain't cheatn' less the rule book says it's Cheaten' . (And it's not *really* Cheaten les NASCAR catches ya.)

          Look, it's generally incredibly hard to "cheat" in NASCAR on a continuing basis and get away with it. There is a reason NASCAR keeps the acceptable car design VERY simple and why they do all kinds of inspections, before, during and after the race to insure compliance with the rules. They don't always catch somebody when they are breaking the rules, but if you keep it up, eventually they will catch it.

          What I find amazing is how inventive teams can be. Like putting in 100' of extra fuel line, hidden in the frame of the car to get a few extra gallons of fuel on board is a classic. Everybody is angling for that extra edge, some way to eek out a little bit of performance or shave off a 1/10th of a second a lap. They come up with some amazing tweaks at times, at least until everybody figures out the same thing or NASCAR changes their rules and inspection procedures to stop it.

      • Re:In other words... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Shinobi ( 19308 ) on Thursday November 19, 2015 @03:18AM (#50960657)

        "An engine needs very advanced designs and lubricants to sustain that for 3-4 hours."

        Awwww, how cute... Now go watch the 24 hour races like for example Le Mans 24 hours. No engine repairs or engine swaps allowed during the race, yet the top class averages over 300km/h over the 24h race, including pit stops, yellow flags/code 60's, safety cars(on a 13km+ track no less!), on a track that has much greater wear and tear on engine, gearbox, brakes etc, since it's not an oval.

    • by PRMan ( 959735 )
      Yeah, but they waste 0.00001% of the fossil fuels on earth every year with their ridiculous engines. They're EVIL!
      • Yeah, but they waste 0.00001% of the fossil fuels on earth every year with their ridiculous engines. They're EVIL!

        Oh, and don't forget that 15% of what they burn is alcohol now...

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Wasting that much alcohol?! They ARE evil!

    • Most of the advances in performance, stability, safety economy, etc. have come from the racing industry, or rather, car companies field testing those technologies in the racing world.

    • by Austerity Empowers ( 669817 ) on Wednesday November 18, 2015 @06:27PM (#50958449)

      You forgot to mention the precise angles of left turns the vehicles can make.

      • They turn right at Watkins Glenn....It's a road course you know, plus they run it backwards (clockwise looking down) so most of the turns are right handers... Of course the rest of the year, turning right would be a bad thing...

    • Biggest sport that encourages scientific and engineering? The US military.

      Huge amounts of money are spent in the military, a good chunk of which is repurposed into civilian technology. And a huge amount of time is spent in practicing for conflicts that you could consider it a sport.

    • I read the article expecting to read Bill slamming NASCAR, but in reality he acknowledges the excitement of speed in a race and the level of engineering involved which is why he suggested a fuel limit to spur advancements in fuel consumption (due to the competitive nature of the race and the engineering component that already exists).
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Medievalist ( 16032 )

        I read the article...

        You must be new here.

        ...expecting to read Bill slamming NASCAR, but in reality he acknowledges the excitement of speed in a race and the level of engineering involved which is why he suggested a fuel limit to spur advancements in fuel consumption (due to the competitive nature of the race and the engineering component that already exists).

        Oh, stop interfering with the narrative. It's important to discredit Bill Nye because he might believe in global warming or something equally non-sl

  • The real insult (Score:4, Informative)

    by sh00z ( 206503 ) <sh00zNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Wednesday November 18, 2015 @05:58PM (#50958189) Journal
    Sorry, NASCAR's not a sport.
    • Do you consider Indy car a sport? Rally racing? Horse racing? Bike racing? It depends on your definition of sport I suppose.

    • No, NASCAR is an organization. Motorsport's the sport.
    • by taustin ( 171655 )

      Perhaps it's a sport in the sense that mutations are sometimes called sports.

    • NASCAR and the NFL are just high budget drinking games.

    • NASCAR is a sport the same way two idiots punching the living shit out of each is.

      Just because it is stupid doesn't imply it not a sport.

      If you have a winner/loser, and viewers, it is a sport (regardless of how dumb it is.)

  • Paraphrasing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 18, 2015 @05:59PM (#50958197)

    To paraphrase Mr. Nye, “You do not like what interests me, so you must be an idiot, a moron or a redneck."

    • Re:Paraphrasing (Score:4, Informative)

      by ClickOnThis ( 137803 ) on Wednesday November 18, 2015 @07:07PM (#50958773) Journal

      To paraphrase Mr. Nye, “You do not like what interests me, so you must be an idiot, a moron or a redneck."

      Which he did not say at all. Not even close.

      The "red-state yokels" quote in TFS is from the article's author, not Bill Nye.

      I read TFAs and watched TFVs. Nye didn't say anything disparaging about NASCAR fans. He talked about addressing new challenges in a NASCAR setting, such as winning a race using a pre-set allotment of fuel.

  • Indeed, NASA has suggested that the exploration of space is like NASCAR only with rocket ships instead of souped up, high powered cars.

    No to mention that many of the rocket scientists and/or astronauts/test pilots are the same sort of - occasionally even the same instances of - "rednecks" that build and/or drive the cars.

    Sure there were also transplanted German rocket scientists. But the Otto Cycle [wikipedia.org] - the four-stroke cycle of the gasoline engine - was originated (with "coal gas" for the fuel) by a German sc

  • by Nutria ( 679911 ) on Wednesday November 18, 2015 @06:04PM (#50958231)

    Who in their right mind considers burning tons of dodecane (aka RP-1 kerosene) to produce tons of CO2 to be an "environmentally correct technology"?

    STOP THINKING WISHFULLY, Mr. Science Guy!!!

    • Not to mention the water being dumped into the upper atmosphere by upper stages of rockets. I have heard that there is a measurable difference in high altitude clouds due to the space program, I wonder if Mr. Nye thought this through...

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Nye didn't say that. It's a summary by the Examiner's troll writer. Nye was just saying that NASCAR should embrace the latest tech like NASA does, instead of old tech. I'm no expert but I thought that the point of NASCAR was that it isn't high tech, so the barrier to entry is relatively low compared to, say, F1 or Le Mans.

      • by Nutria ( 679911 )

        NASCAR should embrace the latest tech like NASA does, instead of old tech.

        How "latest tech" is burning dodecane?

      • by Nutria ( 679911 )

        NASCAR should embrace the latest tech like NASA does, instead of old tech.

        Forgot to mention that NASA never uses the latest tech. Ever. They're always more than a decade behind state of the art (that's what "latest tech" means, after all).

        http://www.popularmechanics.com/space/a17991/voyager-1-voyager-2-retiring-engineer/ [popularmechanics.com]

        NASA needs people who can write the assembly language of the chips on the Voyager craft...

        • Forgot to mention that NASA never uses the latest tech. Ever.

          [sarcasm] Yes I mean when they sent men to the moon, they used decades old technology they borrowed from the Russians when the USSR sent cosmonauts to the moon. Also the Space Shuttle was just a hodge-podge of components they had lying around for years.[sarcasm]

          They're always more than a decade behind state of the art (that's what "latest tech" means, after all).

          For some technology like computers, NASA is not the most advanced as they have requirements that those on Earth don't have. Specifically the CPUs that NASA has to use have to be hardened for radiation which means they have to be specifically designed

          • by Nutria ( 679911 )

            Ok, not "ever". But not in a damned long time. After Apollo, they became *very* conservative technologically, because they feared that any disaster would turn the public against them.

  • Multiple Issues (Score:4, Interesting)

    by eepok ( 545733 ) on Wednesday November 18, 2015 @06:06PM (#50958243) Homepage
    First, NASA was pandering when it said space travel was like NASCAR. Any relationship is thoroughly stretched... except maybe the emphasis on orbiting. But space stations don't need to worry about camber.

    Second, what Bill said was an "All tigers are cats" issue. Yes, you will probably see a higher concentration of NASCAR fans in the anti-NASA group, but by no means is he saying that NASA supporters cannot be NASCAR fans or that all NASCAR fans are unintelligent. He wasn't insulting "(All) NASCAR fans", he was equating people who pay more attention to NASCAR than NASA to a lower intelligence.

    Ex.
    A: Your cousin is stupid.
    B: How dare you insult my family name!?
    A: No, not your family name-- YOUR COUSIN.
    • by taustin ( 171655 )

      he was equating people who pay more attention to NASCAR than NASA to a lower intelligence.
       

      So he's a different flavor of elitist asshole. He's still an elitist asshole.

    • I think a) he should have avoided NASCAR in general because it has connotations, and just said "people watch too much sports and not enough science" (probably true), and not necessarily insulting a particular demographic, except the exact one he wanted to insult and b) his point is probably that it's an absolutely pointless, valueless diversion and not about advancing human knowledge or ability...it's about a bunch of guys trying to beat each other on a race track to no good end. However much science or eng

  • There is absolutly nothign environmental about space travel.
  • by creimer ( 824291 ) on Wednesday November 18, 2015 @06:09PM (#50958275) Homepage
    My late father once told me that NASCAR rednecks were different than the ordinary rednecks of our family. I think it has to do with the gas (petrol vs. beans).
  • Bill Nye PR Fail (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Irate Engineer ( 2814313 ) on Wednesday November 18, 2015 @06:11PM (#50958307)

    If Bill Nye actually visited pit row in a NASCAR race he'd see that there is a hell of a lot of applied science being employed to eek out a bit more performance and mileage out of these vehicles. It isn't a drag strip - stopping for gas in NASCAR costs time and position and the teams would love to run the whole race without pitting. There are a lot of brains behind NASCAR.

    A lot of performance improvement applied to commercial vehicles comes from NASCAR, believe it or not. You need to look past the BMC-drinking fans in the crowd that are there for the crashes and actually see what is happening in the pits.

    Bill, just a reminder, you don't get racing fans to embrace science by calling them illiterate, shit-beer-drinking rednecks. You do this by showing where science is applied in things that they already love, and let their interest take off from there. I am a proponent of science too, and you don't help the cause by being an elitist prick in a bowtie.

    • This is what Bill Nye actually said in his book.

      "I get it. I understand the appeal of a stock car race. It’s just exciting, and I’m all for it,” he writes. “I just want NASCAR to adapt to the new mainstream. I want the circuit to produce vehicles that could compete in races anywhere int eh world, and win. I want the racing series to spin off new tech that will do more with less. For me, as an American mechanical engineer, I hope NASCAR decides to look forward rather than backward.”

      He's not against NASCAR. He just laments that the goals of NASCAR are about power and speed only and less about efficiency and economy. For example, the limit of fuel in a NASCAR race is not the amount of fuel but the time it takes to fuel a car. If there was some tweaking so that racing teams had to take fuel economy into account, it would be more interesting to him. I think currently the cars get maybe 3 mpg.

      • He's not against NASCAR.

        Of course not. He just wants it to change into something completely different. "I just want NASCAR to adapt to the new mainstream." It's called "stock car" for a reason.

      • This is what Bill Nye actually said in his book.

        "I get it.

        No, he doesn't fucking get it. See the following:

        He's not against NASCAR. He just laments that the goals of NASCAR are about power and speed only and less about efficiency and economy. For example, the limit of fuel in a NASCAR race is not the amount of fuel but the time it takes to fuel a car. If there was some tweaking so that racing teams had to take fuel economy into account, it would be more interesting to him. I think currently the cars get maybe 3 mpg.

        NASCAR teams would LOVE to run a race on one tank of gas or less. Power and speed AND fuel economy are all important. Pitting kills position. It sucks. If you actually watched races, you'd see that many racers lose because they ran out of gas trying to stretch their tank to the finish line. They are not working to see how much fuel they can dump through their engines.

        • NASCAR teams would LOVE to run a race on one tank of gas or less.

          There is no penalty other than time for refueling. There are no rules for minimum fuel economy.

          Power and speed AND fuel economy are all important.

          It's not fuel economy really that they are concerned about but rather fuel consumption. Power is more the problem.

          Pitting kills position. It sucks. If you actually watched races, you'd see that many racers lose because they ran out of gas trying to stretch their tank to the finish line. They are not working to see how much fuel they can dump through their engines.

          Yes I have seen the races and it's a bold assumption of yours that I have not. And if there was a fuel cap on top of other conditions, how different would the races be? Then engineering wise, the teams have to worry that as an aspect too.

          .

  • Why not praise Formula E [fiaformulae.com]?
    • Maybe because it's a godawful formula with terrible-sounding cars, gimmicks like Tweet to Pass (err, I mean "FanBoost", gotta have a brandname), and which seems to have been designed to emphasize the failings of electric cars (every driver needs two entire cars instead of two exchangeable or fast-charging batteries, and to call attention to this you can't actually step out of one car and into the other, but instead have to complete a freaking foot race down the pitlane when you change cars.)

      It's a patheti
      • by Idou ( 572394 )
        NASCAR fan, I presume?
  • click-bait. well played, sir.
  • NASA research brought us a lot of things in the past. Not so much any more. We get excited now about putting a camera with a transmitter out at absurd distances, to find out things about our solar system that will (possibly) affect our lives 50-100 years from now.

    Would it improve if we took some or all of the money spent on NASCAR and funneled it into NASA? Maybe a little... but would the result be more exploration, or simply more expensive exploration? Money's really the only thing that could be repurposed, because there is certainly a limit on how many people can participate in NASA.

    • NASA research brought us a lot of things in the past. Not so much any more. We get excited now about putting a camera with a transmitter out at absurd distances, to find out things about our solar system that will (possibly) affect our lives 50-100 years from now.

      NASA is about hard science as it always has been. It may not be as exciting as in the past because now that humans have done it, it isn't exciting. Humans have been to space now. They have been to the moon. They have a space station. The next step is a mission to Mars. Sometimes the science does not pay off dividends immediately. But can you say that about NASCAR technology? From what I can tell very little of it makes it into cars that we use every day. Part of the reason is in NASCAR a car is generally b

  • by 0xdeadbeef ( 28836 ) on Wednesday November 18, 2015 @06:20PM (#50958387) Homepage Journal

    They're eating up the author's framing as if it was literally what Nye said. What he actually said was that NASCAR should reward fuel efficiency as well as speed, as it would make a more interesting engineering problem.

    Besides, everybody knows that if you're not NASCAR, you're NASCDR.

    • by taustin ( 171655 )

      They're eating up the author's framing as if it was literally what Nye said. What he actually said was that NASCAR should reward fuel efficiency as well as speed, as it would make a more interesting engineering problem.

      If fuel efficiency weren't the most important engineering factor involved, he'd look a lot less like an elitist prick right now.

    • by mveloso ( 325617 ) on Wednesday November 18, 2015 @08:08PM (#50959221)

      Nye looked upon NASCAR and sneered, “Here I am trying to envision the smart, efficient transportation technology of tomorrow, and there is NASCAR celebrating a very old transportation technology of yesterday. You might call NASCAR the anti-NASA.”

  • Maybe Billy Bob Nye knew this, and just ignored it, but NASA's customers for time in its wind tunnels at the Langley Research Center include several NASCAR teams.

  • Hey Bill.. You do realize that NASCAR has not burned just gasoline for a number of years now... They switched to a 15% blend of ethanol way back in 2011 as I recall...

    But hey there Billy boy... It's easy to criticize something you don't really understand. Three is actually a LOT of science and technology involved in NASCAR even though the car design is deceptively kept simple. There is actually a lot of really bright folks involved in NASCAR that do some really amazing things when you dig into what is

    • by vbraga ( 228124 )

      Here's what he said:

      "I get it. I understand the appeal of a stock car race. It’s just exciting, and I’m all for it,” he writes. “I just want NASCAR to adapt to the new mainstream. I want the circuit to produce vehicles that could compete in races anywhere int eh world, and win. I want the racing series to spin off new tech that will do more with less. For me, as an American mechanical engineer, I hope NASCAR decides to look forward rather than backward.”

      I'm not American and I never cared about motorsports so I don't really have any connection to this - so please, excuse me if I'm talking shit but what he actually wrote seems to be very sensible, unlike what troll-like summary.

      • Yea, NASCAR is based in tradition and simplicity, it's kind of their thing. The got their start racing actual "stock" (meaning direct off the show room floor) cars with only a minimum amount of allowed alterations. It has had to depart from this original idea a bit, but they retain as much simplicity as they can in the car design by keeping it as simple as they can. It's part of their charm. Formula 1 and Indy are all out, make it go as fast as possible affairs with little technology that enables it off

    • You understand that ethanol is an indirect petroleum derivative right? That whole game was a means whereby one might shore up corn farmers. The only real difference between gas and ethanol is that in the case of the latter you have to first dump the petroleum onto the ground.

      As for the rest, you're basically just describing logistics and driver talent. Maybe you can call it engineering, but it isn't what comes to most people mind.

  • For what its worth (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Thursday November 19, 2015 @12:32AM (#50960313)
    I went to the article.

    I watched the video

    I went to the links on the article.

    The owner claims that Bill was sneering and depressed about things, and seems to have called NASCAR fans "red state yokels".

    I watched the video twice - didn't have anything there on any of that, it was a rather nice conversation with Bloomberg's people about education mostly.

    I asked the author of the story, if he could provide me the cites or any information regarding Nye sneering about NASCAR fans, or calling them red state yokels.

    But that isn't it at all - is it Slash Dotters. Nye rubs you the wrong way because he believes in global warming, so in the truthiness bubble, he actaully did sneer at those NASCAR fans who are red State yokels. That's what will get repeated by y'all isn't it?

    If you actually do read the article, what he said was an opinion, and knowing NASCAR fans myself, a fairly mild one at that.

    One of the things he writes:

    “There’s no reason why NASCAR couldn’t be like [NASA]: a race with rules designed to reward the coolest, most advanced vehicle technologies,”

    Doesn't sound too bad now does it?

    Now a more controversial matter, but hardly insulting - He speaks of making a fuel use limit - I'm not all about that, I'de sooner see them burning ally, (just my opinion) but I'm certainly not insulted.

    He also notes:

    “I get it. I understand the appeal of a stock car race. It’s just exciting, and I’m all for it,” he writes. “I just want NASCAR to adapt to the new mainstream. I want the circuit to produce vehicles that could compete in races anywhere in the world, and win. I want the racing series to spin off new tech that will do more with less. For me, as an American mechanical engineer, I hope NASCAR decides to look forward rather than backward.”

    Amazing how those innocuous comments get turned into Sneers and calling NASCAR fans Red State Yokels.

    Anyhow, here is the link to a site that isn't grinding an axe, and prefers actual quotes to made up stuff. http://www.businessinsider.com... [businessinsider.com.au]

  • by wardrich86 ( 4092007 ) on Thursday November 19, 2015 @09:59AM (#50961671)
    Hell, after 5 laps you've seen it all...

    around and around and around and around and around and around and around.

    You'd be better off just waiting a few hours for the crash reel to find its way to the internet, since I'm guessing that's what most people watch it for... which begs me to wonder why we don't have a professional league demolition derby.

A man is known by the company he organizes. -- Ambrose Bierce

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