Monthly Archives: September 2014

Mattie Lennon Irish Author- ECARS

ECARS

by Mattie Lennon

I remember, I remember

The house where I was born.

The little window where the sun,

Came peeping in at morn.

  I can’t identify with that sentiment of Thomas Hood.

   The house that I was born and grew up in backed on to the “Lodge Lane.” My father, a master of over simplification and sometime wit used to say that we lived “in the shelter of the road ditch.” Our house had no windows facing the road. My forebears didn’t pay any attention to Thomas Fuller’s assertion that, “Light, God’s eldest daughter is the principal beauty in a building.”

 In Kerry such a dwelling would be described as Tig a’doicheall (the house of no welcome.)   But the design of our house had nothing to do with inhospitality but with climatic foresight.

    I don’t know if lack of adequate diurnal illumination from one side had any sort of serious  detrimental effect on me psychologically but not being able to see the owner of a footfall could be somewhat frustrating for a small child, especially one with an enquiring and restless mind although I could eventually identify those with a peculiar or unique step or other audible characteristic.    One neighbour had a distinctive throat clearing exercise followed by an audible discharge of the result on to the road. Another hummed a particular tune. (I presume it was a tune it was a consistent “rowdedly dowdedly dom.”)

   In the days when the horse and cart dominated, my ancestors could tell who the owner was from “the clout of his axle” but I found it more difficult to identify vehicular traffic. A Thames van sounded different to a Ferguson tractor but that was about it.

   Whenever I am awoken from my slumber by the sound of an engine, be it in Ballybunion or Belgrade, Lifford or Lisbon, I am no longer an OAP with free travel. For the first few of my awaking moments it is no longer the twenty-first century. It is once again the early fifties. And my auricular faculty is receiving the sound of an engine labouring up the Lodge Lane .

   However there is now a new phenomenon in vehicular traffic that will puzzle even the most sensitive auricular sense. ESB launched The Great Electric Drive for the second year running in February 2014. This included an invitation to members of the public and business organisations to join a new team of Ecar ambassadors to trial an electric vehicle.

   There were 20,000 applications and 32 ambassadors were selected. Each  will trial an Ecar for a period of four months. I interviewed one of those Stephen O Brien, from Celbridge, County Kildare.  Stephen took me as a passenger in the electric Nissan Leaf.. I would, however, be concerned about one safety factor. When travelling at under 30KPH it emits a barely high frequency whine which is only discernible in the absence of all other surrounding sounds. I have contacted several main dealers about this feature but got a very poor response but  Colm Mooney from Linders Renault in Chapelizod told me that as far as  ‘Approaching Vehicle Audible Systems’ (AVAS) are concerned the  most audible   is the new Renault Zoe. Questions about the issue which I sent to the relevant people in ESB drew a blank.  The Nissan Ireland Team replied with the following, “This sound (not a whine, more a woosh) has been designed to be distinguishable in the hearing threshold of children and anyone with hearing devices.It’s above the frequency threshold of sounds produced by Diesel engines.  Inside the car the noise is projected ahead of the car so the driver is not distracted.

 Noise in a vehicle does not necessarily stop accidents. We unfortunately have bus, motorcycle, car accidents with pedestrians everyday. An S Class Mercedes turns over at an almost in audible level- this is not cited as a safety risk. Pedestrians have a responsibility of safe road use.”

 Stephen put up over 1000 km in the first week and he says that the best road for chargers seems to be the M1, with quick charge points at Lusk, Castlebellingham.  “The car itself is quick to move off and has enough in the tank to do the average daily commute” according to Stephen. He shares my concern about the lack of sound describing it as  “deafeningly quiet.” He spoke of one incident in particular, “As I was on my way home yesterday I was heading into my estate and a young schoolchild on a bike cycled into the path of my car. It was only when i hit the horn that he swerved back into his lane with a face of fright on him.”

   Would Stephen buy an electric car? “I have to say as a second car it would be perfect.  At the moment, all on street chargers are free to use and the cost for home charging is under €12 for approximately 900kms. There is no engine and no oil. A service is required every 30,000 km. At first the thought of “going dry” is a real fear, but once some quick planning is done as you would plan for a long trip with a map, the anxiety goes. The bible is the ESB ecar connect app on the phone which displays all current operating chargers in the country, it calculates where you are and how close you are to the closest charger.”

   When Alfred de Vigney wrote, “Seul le silence est grand” (Only silence is great) he couldn’t have foreseen the invention of the Ecar. The Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010, proposed by NHTSA, required the U.S. Transportation Department to write a rule addressing this issue by Jan. 4, 2014. Automakers would individually decide what the car sounds like when going less than 18 mph while meeting certain minimum requirements. According to a 2011 U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study, electric vehicles are twice as likely to cause accidents while backing up, slowing or stopping, starting in traffic, or entering or leaving a parking space or driveway. The agency said a so-called “quiet car rule” could potentially save 35 lives and prevent 2,800 injuries each year, approximately costing an additional $35 per car.

   And in European Parliament  MEPs voted to introduce mandatory ‘acoustic vehicle alerting systems’ (AVAS) – sounding like a conventional engine – to all new electric and hybrid cars to protect vulnerable road users. Electric cars and plug-in hybrid cars such as the all-electric BMWi3 or the Toyota Prius currently emit very little sound when running on electric power only. Earlier proposals from the European Commission called for the installation of an artificial sound system to be done on a voluntary basis only but Lberal Democrat MEPs successfully introduced an amendment making this a mandatory requirement for all electric and hybrid vehicles. Following the vote manufacturers in the EU will have five years to comply with the new rules.

   John Kilroy, Vehicle Standards Engineer with the   Road Safety Authority told me;

   “During Ireland’s term as Presidency of the European Council in the first half of 2013, the Road Safety Authority chaired the Working Group meetings at which this proposal was progressed. Early in the discussions, Ireland made a submission that hybrid and electric vehicles would require the mandatory fitment of AVAS (it had been optional on behalf of manufacturers in the original proposal). Other Member States became supportive of these proposals and by the end of the Irish Presidency, a consensus was achieved requiring manufacturers to install AVAS in all new vehicles. The EU proposal for a regulation on vehicle noise was formally adopted as a regulation on 16 April 2014  (Regulation (EU) No 540/2014). There was some concern that this might not be done during the term of the outgoing European Parliament but thankfully there was a positive vote in Strasburg in probably one of their last sittings. The regulation takes effect from 1 July 2016 and includes provisions with regard to the mandatory fitment of Acoustic Vehicle Alerting Systems (AVAS). It is optional for manufacturers to fit AVAS prior to the dates specified in Article 8 of the regulation, but where fitted it must comply with the harmonised requirements prescribed. Ireland has currently no plans to introduce the mandatory fitment of AVAS (or similar such devices) at dates earlier than those set out in the EU legislation.”

      The following information was given to me by Philippe JEAN, Head of Unit European Commission, DG Enterprise and Industry Sustainable Mobility and Automotive Industry.

  “ Research shows a higher risk of crash between vulnerable road users (bicycles, pedestrians) and hybrid electric vehicles than with vehicles with internal combustion. All pedestrians are at risk but blind and partially sighted people are in those groups most at risk of experiencing collisions with quiet vehicles because they cannot see and hear the vehicles coming. . . All electric and hybrid vehicles will have to be fitted with an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting Systems (AVAS) to compensate for the lack of audible signal in hybrid electric and pure electric vehicles and alert vulnerable road users that such a vehicle is coming in their direction. . . .  the requirements on AVAS are based on an international work carried out under the auspices of the United Nations which set up a special working group to work on this issue. The group is currently discussing more precise requirements on AVAS (2nd phase).

   So, it appears that we may have adequate audio warning systems in the future but what will happen in the meantime?

Mattie Lennon <mattielennon@gmail.com>

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Eve Dew Crook Author- TAKING THE TUMBLE

TAKING THE TUMBLE

by Eve Dew Crook

Romantic suspense

Sassy and sexy.  Sweet and scary

There are lots of ways to fall- some dangerous, some delightful …,

After a painful divorce, Cyn Westland returns to grad school hoping for a fresh start.  When her communications professor requires the class to choose new identities for the semester, it seems like the perfect chance to bury her past- especially when the sexy student known as Merlin grabs her attention.

Publisher Mac Price is taking the experimental class to pursue his dreams of writing a graphic novel- but it’s the girl known as Cleopatra who makes higher education worthwhile.  Somehow, keeping their real names secret adds a thrill to the time they spend together outside of class.

As their relationship develops another classmate watches jealously.  When Cyn receives anonymous threats, Mac’s first instinct is protective, but Cyn’s finished dealing with dominating men.  The dirty tricks turn scary.  Love takes a setback.  Then Cyn comes face to face with her stalker.

Available now from Amazon.com and the Wild Rose Press

http://evedewcrook.com    evedewcrook@gmail.com

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Marion Ekholm Author- JUST LIKE EM

JUST LIKE EM

by Marion Ekholm

Heartwarming

After her divorce, Em (for Emmy Lou) has returned with her asthmatic son to live with her mother in Phoenix, Arizona.  She meets up with Roger, the man she had crush on when she was fourteen.  Roger, whose wife died two years before, cringes with memories of Em.  If he’d gotten his hands on the pain-in-the-neck teenager back then, he’d still be serving a jail sentence.  And his thirteen-year-old daughter is just like the Em he remembers.

JUST LIKE EM is a Harlequin Heartwarming novel, a wholesome romance.

ISBN-13:978-0-373-36665-1

For more information go to: marionekholm.com

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James Boschert Author- ASSASSINS OF ALAMUT

ASSASSINS OF ALAMUT

by James Boschert

It is a sweeping saga that takes you across 12th Century Persia and Palestine over vast snow covered mountains through frozen wastes of the winter plateau and into the fabulous city of Hamadan, Isfahan and the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

Available at amazon.com and leading bookstores and ebook sellers internationally.

FIRESHIPPRESS.COM

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Dakota Madison Author- FIRE ON ICE

FIRE ON ICE

by Dakota Madison

He’s Fire on Ice and she’s afraid to get burned again.  Firestorm Center Kian Kavanagh dominates the ice like a rock star dominates the stage.  He’s the hottest new player to be recruited on the Firestorm, a newly established professional hockey team in Northern Arizona.  After Taylor Thompson’s heart was completely shattered by her high school’s most popular jock, she vowed never to date another athlete.  And she keeps that promise through her first three years of college by putting up impenetrable walls to protect her from heartbreak.  But after a chance meeting with the charming and irresistible Klan Kavanagh, Taylor’s carefully constructed walls are in serious danger of being burned down by Mr. Fire on Ice.

Send an email to: Info@shortontimebooks.com with SUBSCRIBE SAVANNAH YOUNG in the SUBJECT LINE and you’ll get the FREE DOWNLOAD CODE for FIRE ON ICE (a $2.99 value) via Smashwords.

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Will Dresser Author- SACRAMENT OF FEAR & THE METHUSELAH MAN & TERMINAL ROCK

SACRAMENT OF FEAR & THE METHUSELAH MAN & TERMINAL ROCK

by Will Dresser

SACRAMENT OF FEAR

Cloaked in the guise of a terrorist act, a father takes revenge for the senseless and brutal death of his son.

THE METHUSELAH MAN

“God, I never knew a man who wanted so much to be dead … or deserved it more.”

TERMINAL ROCK

Fully in command of her body, it was apparent she owned the stage.  With the first few honeyed tones of her voice, she would own the world.

International Thrillers Featuring ‘Wes Franklin’

Amazon.com

Barnes&Noble.com

http://www.willdresser.com

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Ann McGinnis Author- SCARLET REVENGE

SCARLET REVENGE

by Ann McGinnis

“Fun, sexy thriller!”- Amazon Reviewer

Book One of the Scarlet Suspense Series

  The Scarlet Suspense Series is about FBI Analyst Caycee
  Scarlet as she tracks serial killers and juggles her complicated
  love life. She has three men on her mind: her sexy boss
  Agent Gil Graham, a devilish bombing suspect Carl Hicks, and
  a ruthless killer… Omega.

 

Make the author smile, post a review on Amazon

Find SCARLET REVENGE at http://tinyurl.com/k8qzpqh

Find Ann McGinnis at http://www.annmcginnis.com

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