A 21,000 Car Parking Lot

As part of the settlement after it got caught cheating on its emissions tests, Volkswagen has bought back about 350,000 of its U.S. diesel vehicles. The automaker so far has spent more than $7.4 billion on the cars, according to court filings seen by Reuters.

Where does VW put all those cars? Wherever it can find the space.

The German automaker has 37 remote storage facilities across the U.S., and they’re not just parking lots. The sites include a former football stadium in the Detroit suburbs, an old paper mill in Minnesota and a giant patch of land in the California desert.

A court filing seen by Reuters said that, “Volkswagen had reacquired 335,000 diesel vehicles, resold 13,000 and destroyed about 28,000 vehicles. As of the end of last year, VW was storing 294,000 vehicles around the country.”

The Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville, Calif., is already well-known as an “aircraft boneyard” — a sort of desert purgatory for old airplanes.

Now VW has made it a major place to store its diesel VWs and Audis.

“These vehicles are being stored on an interim basis and routinely maintained in a manner to ensure their long-term operability and quality, so that they may be returned to commerce or exported once U.S. regulators approve appropriate emissions modifications,” VW spokeswoman Jeannine Ginivan said in a statement to Reuters about the Victorville facility.

VW reportedly leased 134 acres at the site. That is enough to hold 21,000 cars while the company decides their fate: whether to be fixed — or scrapped for parts.

The aircraft area



Cat Uses Up One of its Nine Lives after Washing Machine Ordeal

Cat survives 45-minute ordeal in washing machine

Felix the cat used up one of his nine lives last week after he survived a 45-minute trip through a washing machine.

“The personality on this guy is … it’s one of a kind,” said Felix’s owner, Stefani Carroll-Kirchoff of Maplewood. “He’s lovable, but he does get himself into trouble.”

The year-old black-and-white tabby is recovering from the Wednesday incident, when, unnoticed, he climbed into a front-loading washing machine. He got water in his lungs and suffered a concussion, and veterinarians feared he could be permanently blinded by the laundry detergent.

Felix the cat, who survived a 45-minute ordeal in a washing machine on June 19, 2019, is pictured in an oxygen chamber at an Oakdale animal hospital. Felix climbed into the front-loading washing machine, unnoticed. (Courtesy of Stefani Carroll-Kirchoff)

But he’s proving to be resilient.

He still needs help breathing in an oxygen chamber while he recovers at the Animal Emergency and Referral Center of Minnesota in Oakdale. But he’s standing and eating and seems to be regaining his sight.

Carroll-Kirchoff said he must have climbed into the washing machine when she left for a moment to fetch more clothes.

Unknowingly, she shut the door and started the wash cycle. She said it was fortunate she had selected the express wash, which uses less water and takes less time. When she opened the door, she found the soaked Felix wrapped up in a towel and in bad shape. He was rushed to the animal hospital.

Carroll-Kirchoff’s daughter, Asha Carroll, started a GoFundMe page when the veterinary bills climbed into the thousands. As of Saturday night, more than $3,000 of the $5,000 goal had been met.

“I said to my daughter, ‘This is a feel good thing,’” said Carroll-Kirchoff. “I didn’t know there were this many good people in the world. I have people reaching out and helping that I have never met before. I could never repay what they have done.

Felix is missed at his household by two other cats, Nala and Bleu, who make up the Three Musketeers, Carroll-Kirchoff said.

The family noted on the GoFundMe page that such incidents have been reported before. They issued a warning to others:

“To those of you with cats, PLEASE always close your washing machine and dryer doors in between washes, and ALWAYS check your washing machine and dryer doors prior to beginning a wash. You can prevent an accident like this from happening.”

The Pervasive Grain Bins of the Prairies

Grain bins, technically called steel grain silos, dot the the Prairies and Plains of North America. They come in many different sizes, tiny to massive. They first appeared in the 1920’s, they would last longer than wood structures and were stronger. Driving across grain country of the central U.S. and Canada they are everywhere.

I kept my eyes peeled for them on this latest trip to south central Manitoba. They are all over the place.

These big ones can hold up to 30,000 bushels of grain. Brock makes giant grain bins that can hold up to 71,000 bushels!

They have their own staircases up to the top.

Near Roseisle Manitoba above

Rathwell, Manitoba

A lonely solitary bin

Hopper bottom bins

Somerset, Manitoba



The World’s Biggest House

Why one family would need a residence this big boggles the mind.  But when you have 2 billion dollars in the bank, creative spending is needed.  To build something like this in a city that has hundreds of thousands of homeless people doesn’t seem appropriate.  The building has approximately the same floor space as a 30 story office building.

Antilia is the name of a twenty-seven floor personal home in South Mumbai belonging to India’s richest man, businessman Mukesh Ambani, the billionaire Chairman of Reliance Industries.  There will be 600 full-time staff to maintain the residence, which is considered the most expensive home in the world with a price over US$ 1 billion dollars.  Its also been described as the “Taj Mahal of 21st century India”.

The home will house Ambani, wife Nita, their three children and Ambani’s mother.

Location Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Status Completed
Constructed 2007-2010
Use Residential
Roof 173 metres (568 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 27 (equivalent to 60 floors tower)
Cost US$50-70 million est. yearly maintenance
Companies involved
Architect(s) Perkins & Will

The structure was designed by U.S. architects using principles of Vaastu, Indian traditional geomancy akin to Chinese feng shui, to maximize “positive energy.” No two floor plans are alike, and the materials used in each level vary widely.

The home will include:

  • 400,000 sq feet of living space.
  • Parking space for 168 cars.
  • A one-floor vehicle maintenance facility.
  • 9 elevators in the lobby.
  • 3 helipads and an air traffic control facility.
  • Health spa, yoga studio, small theatre with a seating capacity for 50 on the eighth floor,  multiple swimming pools, three floors of hanging gardens, and a ballroom.
  • An ice room infused with man-made snow flurries.


Some Indians are proud of the “ostentatious house,” while others see it as “shameful in a nation where many children go hungry.”  Dipankar Gupta, a sociologist at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, opined that “such wealth can be inconceivable” not only in Mumbai, “home to some of Asia’s worst slums,” but also in a nation with 42 percent of the world’s underweight children younger than five.

Woman named Marijuana Pepsi at birth earns PhD… she is now Dr. Marijuana Pepsi

Despite her name, Dr. Marijuana Pepsi Vandyck says that she doesn't drink Pepsi and has never tried smoking weed.

Despite her name, Dr. Marijuana Pepsi Vandyck says that she doesn’t drink Pepsi and has never tried smoking weed. Photo: Facebook via Daily Mail

Dr. Vandyck, 46, has refused to change the name her mother gave her at birth despite lifelong external pressure to do so. She has now earned her PhD in education leadership from Wisconsin’s Cardinal Stritch University. Dr. Vandyck graduated in May.

“I’ve grown into my name because I am a strong woman. I’ve had to be,” she was quoted saying in an interview with Daily Mail.

“People make such a big deal out of it, I couldn’t get away from it,” she told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, saying that teachers would relentlessly question the veracity of her name, some even insisted on calling her Mary, which she hated.

Dr. Vandyck works at a small liberal arts college in Wisconsin and lives with her husband on a small hobby farm in Illinois with pigs and chickens. She works in real estate and uses the name “MP Vandyck” on her signs to prevent teenagers from jacking her ‘For Sale’ signs. She has two conventionally-named sisters called Robin and Kimberly.

Despite her name, Dr. Vandyck says that she doesn’t drink Pepsi and has never tried smoking weed.


Paranormal Date

Do you like discussing the latest evidence for the existence of Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster? Do you revel when talking about UFOs, crop circles, hauntings and Chupacabra? Then you need to delve into these subjects with somebody with the same passion for those interests. Someone you can hook up with on none other than a paranormal date! Wine, sasquatch reports, horderves, werewolf sightings, greek salad, 9/11 conspiracy theories, all capped off with a full course chicken cordon bleu. Pure paranormal nirvana!

There is such a dating site: http://www.paranormaldate.com.

It could be the beginning of a super special long term relationship with a person who intensely believes in all those strange interests so dear to your heart.


A Science Fiction Submarine Extraordinaire

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea is an American science fiction television series based on the 1961 film of the same name. Both were created by Irwin Allen, which enabled the movie’s sets, costumes, props, special effects models, and sometimes footage, to be used in the production of the television series. Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea was the first of Irwin Allen’s four science fiction television series, and the longest-running. The show’s theme was underwater adventure.

Voyage was broadcast on ABC from September 14, 1964, to March 31, 1968, and was the decade’s longest-running American science fiction television series with continuing characters. The 110 episodes produced included 32 shot in black-and-white (1964–1965), and 78 filmed in color (1965–1968). The first two seasons took place in the then-future of the 1970s. The final two seasons took place in the 1980s. The show starred Richard Basehart and David Hedison.

The pilot episode “Eleven Days to Zero” was filmed in color but shown in black-and-white. It introduces the audience to the futuristic nuclear submarine S.S.R.N. Seaview and the lead members of her crew, including the designer and builder of the submarine Admiral Harriman Nelson (Richard Basehart), and Commander Lee Crane (David Hedison), who becomes the Seaview’s captain after the murder of her original commanding officer. The submarine is based at the Nelson Institute of Marine Research in Santa Barbara, California, and is often moored some 500 feet beneath the facility in a secret underground submarine pen carved out of solid rock. The Seaview is officially for undersea marine research and visits many exotic locations in the Seven Seas, but its secret mission is to defend the planet from all world and extraterrestrial threats in the then-future of the 1970s.

Seaview’s hull was designed to withstand a depth of 3600 feet (1 km), and in one episode survived a depth excursion approaching 5000 feet (1.5 km). The transparent-hull “window-section” bow of Seaview was not rounded like a traditional submarine but was faired into a pair of manta winglike, stationary bow planes (in addition to her more conventional sail planes). This was added after the original B 29 -like front with twelve pairs of windows on two levels was modified for “Freudian anatomically analogous issues.” In exterior shots, Seaview’s bow had eight windows in the film and the first season of the television series, and four windows in seasons two through four of the series. The interior shots always showed only four windows although it did indeed imply two levels in the feature’s scene with the giant octopus attack. Also in seasons two through four of the TV version, a pair of sliding metal “crash doors” shut across the face of the bow’s observation deck to protect the four-window transparent surface in emergencies. In Theodore Sturgeon’s novelization of the film, the windows are described as “… oversized hull plates which happen to be transparent.” “They are incredibly strong because they are made of “X-tempered herculite”, a top secret process developed by Nelson. To avoid a claustrophobic feeling during viewing of the 1961 feature film, Seaview’s interior was considerably more spacious and comfortable than any real military submarine. This was further enlarged when the Flying Sub was added to the miniatures with an even more open set for the control room interior.

The stern had unconventional, lengthy, V-shape planes above the twin engine area. On the original Seaview design, a single, central skeg rudder was specified, as well as two trailing edge control surfaces similar to an aircraft V-tail; a combination elevator-rudder or “ruddervator” fitted to the Beechcraft Bonanza and other aircraft. But on the filmed miniatures, the 8 1/2 foot (103″) miniature had three rudders: one behind each nacelle and on the rear most portion of the skeg (see “The Ghost of Moby Dick”). This functional skeg rudder was only fitted to the 103″ miniature and non-operationally inferred on the 51 1/2″ miniature and not at all on the 206″ version which had a fixed skeg.

The Seaview also had a small flying sub that would launch from beneath the bow.

In both the film and the series, Seaview was armed with torpedoes and ballistic missiles. The series added anti-aircraft missiles to Seaview’s armory. They were called “interceptor missiles” in the pilot episode, and “sea to air missiles” in the episode “Terror” (season 4, episode 10).

In seasons two through four of the series, the forward search light also housed a laser beam that could be used against hostile sea life or enemy vessels.

Seaview was also capable of electrifying the outer hull, to repel attacking sea life that were trying to destroy the ship. In the episode “Mutiny” (season 1, episode 18), Crane ordered the “Attack Generators” made ready to use this capability on a giant jellyfish.

Lastly, Seaview was outfitted with an “ultrasonic” weapon capable of causing another submarine to implode, though special authorization was normally required to utilize it. (“The Death Ship”, Season 2, Ep 22)

The ship needed every trick in its arsenal. Sometimes it was attacked by giant sea mutants.

A great ship!!

The beast breaches the surface in the Arctic.