Get Smart

According an article in today's New York Times, the Smart car, which we've all marvelled at on our trips across the pond, may be coming to a dealership near you as soon as 2008! According to the article:

DaimlerChrysler, which shelved an earlier plan to bring its Smart mini-car brand to the United States, plans to announce on Wednesday that it will introduce the tiny, two-seat vehicle to the American market early in 2008, according to several executives at the company.

Since it's appearance in The Da Vinci Code, Steven Schneider, CEO of ZAP, a Santa Rosa firm that markets alternative-fuel cars, says "We have 53,000 e-mails (from prospective buyers) that we've not been able to get back to."
So what's so smart about the little bugger, other than its size? Here's the skinny:

* First called a Swatchmobile by Swiss Swatch inventor, Nicolas Hayek, when he designed it; the Smart Car is a compact, 2-seat, hybrid, fuel-efficient and environmentally sound car.

* Size: 8 feet 2 inches long; 4 feet 11 inches wide

* Weight: 1,588 pounds.

* Gas mileage: 60 mpg in Europe; 40 mpg expected in the U.S. because of emissions tinkering.

* Price: Mid-$20,000s. (Though this hasn't been confirmed.)

* It just looks so cute, especially when sized up next to the Hummer in the photo above. How could you not want one? Even just as a pet? "Hey, Bob, you see my pet Smart car yet? Check it out!"

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TASCHEN
Everything You Need to Know About Food in One Book
TASCHEN
TASCHEN

If you find yourself mixing up nigiri and sashimi at sushi restaurants or don’t know which fruits are in season, then this is the book for you. Food & Drink Infographics, published by TASCHEN, is a colorful and comprehensive guide to all things food and drink.

The book combines tips and tricks with historical context about the ways in which different civilizations illustrated and documented the foods they ate, as well as how humans went from hunter-gatherers to modern-day epicureans. As for the infographics, there’s a helpful graphic explaining the number of servings provided by different cake sizes, a heat index of various chilies, a chart of cheeses, and a guide to Italian cold cuts, among other delectable charts.

The 480-page coffee table book, which can be purchased on Amazon for $56, is written in three languages: English, French, and German. The infographics themselves come from various sources, and the text is provided by Simone Klabin, a New York City-based writer and lecturer on film, art, culture, and children’s media.

Keep scrolling to see a few of the infographics featured in the book.

An infographic about cheese
TASCHEN

An infographic about cakes
Courtesy of TASCHEN

An infographic about fruits in season
Courtesy of TASCHEN

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