On paper it seems unremarkable, but a mere spec sheet won’t divulge the essence of this car. Its 166-horsepower engine doesn’t make face-melting power, but it seems to have no flywheel whatsoever, and a blip of the throttle results in an instant, melodic zing that begs you to match revs on your next downshift. The shifter feels as though a team of engineers spent months working on its action, and a flick of the wrist rewards you with the rare feeling of metal engaging metal, a precision machine at work.
The chassis won’t generate blackout-inducing G-forces, yet note the steering wheel when you ease off in a corner: it stays almost where it is, having almost no self-centering tendency.
There’s no traction control, no stability control, no computers subtly undermining your throttle or steering inputs with their own second-guesses. It’s just you and the car, and it’s great gobs of fun.
The Miata is, and always has been, a meticulously engineered sports car for hard-core purists. But it gets used as a Corky Romano sight gag because it’s not macho in any way that our culture comprehends.
I certainly don’t agree with the NYT’s politics, but they have great insight into what makes the Miata work. All of what’s written above applies to the Miata I own and love… with the exception of 166 horsepower found in the current iteration of the car. Subtract 23 horses and you essentially have the Green Hornet, minus that spiffy power retractable hardtop (PRHT), among other (mostly minor) things.
That PRHT is sexy, I love the styling on the new car, and I sure wouldn’t turn down those additional horses. But everything on the Green Hornet works as it did when new and she has one huge advantage over the newer model: she’s been paid off for a little over five years now.
Also in today’s NYT… Queenfish: A Cold War Tale. When the Cold War was really cold, or, submarine operations in the
Atop the globe, the icy surface of the
Although the superpowers planned to turn those depths into an inferno of exploding torpedoes and rising missiles, the brotherhood of submariners — the silent service, both Russian and American — has worked hard over the decades to keep the particulars of those plans hush-hush.
Now, a few secrets are spilling through a crack in the wall of silence, revealing some of the science and spying that went into the doomsday preparations.
A new book, “Unknown Waters,” recounts the 1970 voyage of a submarine, the Queenfish, on a pioneering dive beneath the ice pack to map the Siberian continental shelf. The
In great secrecy, moving as quietly as possible below treacherous ice, the Queenfish, under the command of Captain Alfred S. McLaren, mapped thousands of miles of previously uncharted seabed in search of safe submarine routes. It often had to maneuver between shallow bottoms and ice keels extending down from the surface more than 100 feet, threatening the sub and the crew of 117 men with ruin.
Fascinating stuff, including an escape from a dead-end, wherein the Queenfish was surrounded by ice that threatened to entomb her and her crew.
Yet another day in the maelstrom here on The High Plains of
We DO have indications of Spring, however. The trees that typically blossom early are doing so, and there’s even a lonely blossom or three on the ornamental cherry that stands a few feet from my door. There aren’t enough blossoms for photos yet, though. I’m not sure if I’ll take new and different cherry blossom pics this year. If I posted these today or tomorrow you probably wouldn’t know the difference now, would ya?