2013 Mini John Cooper Works GP

2013 Mini John Cooper Works GP

Back in February, Mini invited me to come try out its brand new Paceman coupe crossover hatchback thing in Puerto Rico, and not long after, I spit out a Quick Spin detailing my impressions of the little big two door. But here’s what I didn’t tell you: Mini also let me loose on those fine, curvaceous, tropical roads in its hottest hatch, the John Cooper Works GP. And while that behind the wheel gigglefest would have no doubt made for a story laden with positive notes and warm regards, the truth is, I only drove it for 15 minutes, so I couldn’t in good conscience offer much of a story to you. (European Editor Matt Davis also got a short stint behind the wheel of the GP late last year.)

There’s that old saying about April showers bringing May flowers, and if that little ditty is true, next month had better be a vibrant tapestry of floral delight here in Detroit. As I said, Mini was kind enough to give me eight days with the JCW GP at home in The D, and it rained every single one of them, even turning to snow for a short while. There were very brief periods of sun and warmth during the car’s time in my care (as in, it stopped raining long enough for me to hastily bang out the photos you see accompanying this text), but let’s just say that if front wheel drive hot hatch rainstorm wrangling were a sport, you’d want me on your fantasy team.

Outside, it’s like a red over gray bulldog, all aggressively stanced and ready to go. The JCW GP sits 20 millimeters lower to the ground thanks to its fully adjustable coilover suspension (there’s a wrench in the glovebox, kids) and it rides on lightweight 17 inch four spoke wheels a design that pays homage to the first generation GP kit from 2006. Those rollers are wrapped in ultra sticky Kumho Ecsta V400 215/40R17 tires (not as hardcore 205/45 series rubbers are also available), which proved to be a highly integral part of the overall GP experience but more on that later.

Other visual changes for the GP include the unique Thunder Gray paint with red accents on the more aggressive front fascia, not to mention those cute little red mirrors, as well as red/black/white GP decals on the hood and doors. Around back, a big ol’ wing has been bolted to the C pillar, and there’s a larger rear diffuser with dual center exhaust that sounds, well, amazing. Of course, lots of aero bits are found along the lower front fascia and side sills, and it’s all there to make this car nothing short of excellent on the road. Those of you who remember the old GP Kit will recall the serialized number just above the driver’s door, and Mini tells us that this can be done on the new model, as well. In fact, folks who own that first gen GP can even reserve their same number should they choose to order the new model.

A huge factor in the Mini’s excellence is its overall weight reduction some 121 pounds have been removed versus the normal John Cooper Works Hardtop, meaning at 2,558 pounds, the GP is only 23 pounds heavier than a base Cooper Hardtop. A big part of this has to do with what’s inside the car, or rather, what isn’t. The rear seat has been removed in favor of a red bar that spans the strut towers, but do note this piece of metal apparently has absolutely no structural significance. It doesn’t make the car any stiffer, and Mini tells us it’s only there to keep luggage from flying into the forward cabin during hard stops. Honestly, we like the rear seat delete setup, since let’s be honest that rear bench isn’t exactly fit for passengers anyway. Instead, you just get a fully usable cargo area that’s capable of lugging 25.5 cubic feet of your precious goods. That said, we’re function over form types at Autoblog, and it seems like an opportunity was wasted not making the crossbrace. well, an actual crossbrace.

Up front, new Recaro seats are standard (they’re optional extras on other Hardtop models), but the whole cockpit is, basically, the same as it ever was. We’re all really growing tired of the Mini’s kitschy over function cabin, though the high quality leather and plastics used throughout the interior remain appreciated. The dark surfaces blend nicely with red highlights on the shift knob, badges and contrast stitching, and the thicker JCW steering wheel is as joyous as ever to grab onto, free of any sort of buttonry.

The beating heart of the John Cooper Works GP is the same 1.6 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine found in every other S and above Mini model. Here, 211 horsepower and 207 pound feet of torque are on tap. That’s only three more stallions than the normal JCW Hardtop, for those taking notes, but Mini says that because of its lighter weight, this is the quickest vehicle the company has produced to date, able to hit 60 miles per hour in just a hair under six seconds. And it feels every bit as quick from behind the wheel.

So let’s start with the positives: On the flat, smooth, dry pavement of Puerto Rico, I could have easily decided that this is the best driving Mini I’ve ever tested. And it all has to do with how that power gets transferred to the road. The 121 pounds of reduced heft is noticeable, as the GP doesn’t feel as fat as other Minis when you’re really caning it, especially during hard cornering. Off the line, typical turbo Mini attributes like torque steer are still present, but it’s easy to manage, and with the full torque (including small moments of overboost) coming on strong at 1,750 RPM, there’s never a lack of power in any gear.

Mini has fitted upgraded six piston, fixed caliper brakes at all four corners 13 inches in diameter and ventilated in the front, 11 inches out back and the stopping performance feels just as well tuned as any other part of the car, bringing all that grunt to a halt with a quickness. During my spirited mountain runs in Puerto Rico, brake fade was never noticed, though my stint behind the wheel wasn’t exactly long enough for this sort of thing to rear its ugly head. Overall, it’s really hard to get the Mini to act squirrely or break loose in perfect conditions every bit of the driving experience is just so perfectly balanced and in tune for a car with the utmost sporting intentions.

On top of that, because the excellent, typically go kart like Mini steering is so in tune with exactly what the wheels are doing, hitting a frost heave with one front wheel at speed will result in an instantaneous and unpleasant reaction from the steering wheel. So while the GP is a joy to toss around on good roads, it becomes rather more challenging when you’re trying to drive quickly over blemished pavement. With other Minis, we can blame much of this phenomenon on run flat tires, but that’s not the case with these purpose developed Kumho shoes, as they’re regular high performance radials.

But now, I need to talk about the obvious elephant in the room: pricing. Simply put, this thing ain’t cheap. The John Cooper Works GP is limited to a production run of only 2,000 units, all of which sticker for $39,950, including $700 for destination, which represents a whopping increase of $8,450 over a standard JCW Hardtop model,
facebook besthairbuy a car that already starts at $6,800 more than my go to choice for everyday Mini fun, the $24,000 Cooper S Hardtop. Just for the sake of comparison, I built my ideal Cooper S on Mini’s online configurator, and with every option that I’d want (not necessarily need), the grand total comes to $30,000 dead, meaning I’d have to warrant spending an extra $10,000 for the added awesomeness of the GP. And I just can’t do it. (At least the first generation GP still offers impressive resale value hopefully these will pick up the baton where it left off.)

I love Minis, and despite the ark worthy rainy season that plagued my test in Detroit, I still maintain that the GP is the best driving example from the brand I’ve ever tested. The problem, however, is that it isn’t that much better than the already enjoyable Cooper S, and you give up a lot in the way of refinement and functionality from a daily driver standpoint if you live in an area with roads like mine. California? The ownership picture, as well as the weather, is probably altogether sunnier. Either way, as a second car, this thing is a sweetheart, and I have no doubt that Mini will sell every last one of the 2,000 it produces. Even so, it’s a good thing I have those memories from Puerto Rico that way there’s at least a huge helping of sugar to salve the harsh taste left in my mouth after eight days at home.

Can Any Products Thicken Hair Stimulate Hair Growth

Can Any Products Thicken Hair Stimulate Hair Growth

You want full, thick hair that is full of body, but you have thin, slow growing strands that fall flat. magazine states that you can stimulate hair growth and increase volume by using products that invigorate your scalp and follicles, as well as keep your locks moisturized and pampered.

Look for products that will help you make the most of the hair you have and take care of it while you encourage it to grow.Start treating your hair before you even shampoo it with Phyto Botanical Scalp Stimulant, says This product promises to moisturize and strengthen dry, damaged hair, as well as calm your scalp, which will help lessen the amount of hair loss you experience. It contains a blend of essential oils to clean and refresh your hair and scalp while it helps to regulate your scalp production of sebum. This will get rid of any dandruff or other types of buildup that may be clogging your follicles and inhibiting growth.

It claims to add shine and overall health to your strands and to invigorate your scalp by increasing circulation and stimulating growth. The company states that this product is for those with or slightly thinning hair. First, the wild orchid extract helps to normalize and nourish your scalp, which will unclog follicles and encourage better blood circulation. The second ingredient, lavender oil, stimulates hair growth by locking in the product moisturizers and nutrients into every strand. The company promises that these hair sheets will help repair weak, thin hair and improve its elasticity, all while providing your hair with a pleasant scent. It works from the tips to the roots to make your hair fuller, softer and healthier.Fekkai Ageless All Day Hair PlumpIf your hair cuticles appear damaged, recommends using Fekkai Ageless All Day Hair Plump, which works to fill out frayed cuticles and make your hair look and feel fuller.

This leave in conditioning product promises to plump up and thicken your hair, as well as make it smoother. It claims to provide deep nourishment to strands and to keep your hair looking fuller throughout the day. The company states that this product bio conditioning
wholesale brazilian lace closure ingredients work with your hair to strengthen and repair it. This will encourage healthier growth, as well as
www.tedhair.com get rid of multiple signs of wear and tear, making your locks both thicker and more luxurious.

A Low Cost World

A Low Cost World

When ingenuity produces efficiency, where businesses don have a competitive advantage, the benefit will flow either to consumers or to a business in the chain which does have a competitive advantage.

Human ingenuity is leading to low cost energy, low cost production and more efficient business, which could lead to increased discretionary income and higher discretionary spending, although the technology which brings the benefits could also reduce lower and middle incomes.

I make connections across many fields, I don’t claim specialist knowledge in any of them and I doubt if anyone has specialist knowledge of many of them.

The title is not meant to imply that everything is low cost or soon will be, and anyone paying for dental treatment in the US is likely to see why.

For the same level of consumer confidence, more discretionary income means more discretionary spending. I don’t try to predict future consumer confidence.

Much of the piece is about innovation in a variety of fields, with little specifically about the cloud and biotech because they are well known. As well as lowering costs, innovation will produce profound changes, but that’s not the point of this article.

Factors against rising discretionary income

Further down I write about consumer debt, and about technology displacing jobs. There are other risks and factors that affect discretionary income (and more), some of which I list here although any detail is beyond the scope of this article: war, natural disasters, European debt and Europe’s immigration situation, and anything else that would massively disrupt trade. Other factors are mentioned where they are relevant, for example the claim that fracking businesses operate as a Ponzi scheme is in the following section about fracking. I don’t list all the negative factors every time I say something is positive for discretionary income.

Cheap energy is good for discretionary income any place where energy consumption outweighs production. While the consumption roughly equals the production, cheaper energy is good for the world economy (the "oil shock" in the 1970s when OPEC was formed and exercised its cartel power did not make the world richer). There are doubts about the commercial viability of fracking (technically, "hydraulic fracturing"), as in Shale Fracking Is a "Ponzi Scheme" (September 19, 2014, but with older quotes), and I haven’t found a fracker that has not racked up a load of debt. If the debt goes bad, I can’t say how widely the consequences would spread. If a well generates cash, it’s worth something and will have a buyer in the event of bankruptcy. It’s the bankrupts that hit the news, but it’s the survivors that will shape the future of the industry. There are about 39 bankrupt solar power companies in the linked list, from 2009 to 2014. It didn’t stop the price of solar PV modules from falling or stop installation from rising.

It’s claimed that the technology is advancing rapidly, for example with smart drill bits. President Obama said about gas, "We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly 100 years" in 2012. Energy Information Administration used to underestimate the amount of gas that could be extracted, but seems to have over compensated and been too optimistic in 2012.

The problem with the predictions is that the easiest gas is naturally extracted first. (The term "sweet spots" has been picked up by detractors, it implies a sharp division between resources easy to extract and resources hard to extract, which may be the case but I haven’t seen data for how sharp the division really is.) Next year, the gas won’t be quite as easy to extract, but technology and expertise will have improved. That describes the situation for any year, and it’s difficult to project which factor will win the race in the years to come. It’s also hard to know if or when the finance will dry up, with the availability and terms depending on perception and attitude as well as the facts, and on the decisions of ratings agencies. Finance has obviously dried up for some operators.

The arguments I’ve seen over profitability were polarized, and you can spin the same facts to say there’s rapidly advancing technology, or that fracking depends on uncertain future technological advances.

Some sources claim there’s a vast amount of shale oil and gas elsewhere in the world. If US shale runs out soon, either it will discourage extraction overseas, or America’s frackers will tour the world and there’ll be more total oil and gas extraction, during which technology will advance and expertise will develop, eventually allowing production in the US to be resumed.

While there’s some doubt about the future of cheap oil gas in the US, solar photovoltaic energy has been steadily getting cheaper. The industry has followed Swanson’s Law, which says that the price of solar modules drops 20% for every doubling of the total capacity ever produced. It’s a bit like Moore’s Law (which drives the falling price of computing power), except that Moore’s Law depends on time rather than cumulative production. Installation costs will be stickier.

I checked the US holdings in the solar ETF TAN’s top ten holdings and I give a very sketchy financial summary for the three most profitable ones. I only looked at the latest 10 K and 10 Q, and used Morningstar when needed for a three years ago figure.

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) (SEC filings) has had positive Net income for two full years and for six months in 2015, and three full years of positive free cash flow but a negative six months operating cash flow in 2015. They have a strong balance sheet with more current assets than total liabilities. The cash flow can vary due to the timing of revenue recognition. They sell solar modules and the solid results are not representative of solar project companies. The stock price looks volatile on the ten year chart.

Advanced Energy Industries Inc. (NASDAQ:AEIS) (SEC filings) do power conversion products and are also not representative of solar project companies. They have consistently positive free cash flow numbers for three full years (if you don’t count acquisitions) and for six months in 2015, also current assets are more than total liabilities, but they lost so much market share in the solar inverter business in Q1 2015 that they decided to exit it, with layoffs expected.

SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ:SPWR) (SEC filings) has had two whole years of positive Net income but a negative six months in 2015. Cash from operations has been positive for three whole years, but free cash flow has generally been negative. The balance sheet seems reasonable, but is complicated by many items referring to footnote 1, about related party balances for transactions made with Total. From the Q2 10 Q, in thousands, Total current assets of $2,172,113 are 1.95 times the Total current liabilities of $1,113,960, and are 80.3% of the Total liabilities of $2,706,213. Long term debt is small at $225,338, and the biggest long term liability is Convertible debt, net of current portion $693,938. Some of the debt is non recourse, with no claim on the company beyond the assets used as collateral. SunPower are engaged in solar projects. From Morningstar’s company profile, you’d think SPWR maintained the solar system (a big ask).

Solar projects need finance for development, the official lifetime is about 20 years and they are likely to last longer, so high debt is expected when they are retained. In contrast, fracked wells deplete quickly so high debt seems more likely to be a problem. The equipment is not likely to last anything like twenty years (and at least some of it is now a lot cheaper, probably the older stuff). Debt has been incurred in both industries to finance fast growth (or to stay afloat, as alleged for fracking). I disclosed that I’m long SUNE, but it’s speculative and I’m not recommending it. What matters here is, I don’t see valuation or other issues stopping solar PV from growing and contributing to low energy costs. The implications of negative free cash flow, financing etc. can be argued over, as can the retained projects, but solar PV does not have shale’s depletion issue.

There is also
facebook besthairbuy high interest in energy storage, mainly battery technology, with Elon Musk (CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, and chairman of SolarCity) betting on conventional Lithium ion technology for his Gigafactory (and he’s betting against "over hyped" breakthroughs). The Gigafactory should reduce costs through economies of scale.

At $3,000 to $7,140, Tesla’s Powerwall for domestic energy storage is currently not cost effective compared to a net metering plan, but otherwise would usually break even on a "levelized cost of electricity" basis (which includes things like installation costs). That’s without considering the benefit of keeping the lights on in a power outage. Tesla also makes the Powerpack for industrial customers. You get more power per up front dollar from a home generator, but you have to pay for gas, and other factors complicate a comparison.

The Lowdown on Locks of Love and hair donations

The Lowdown on Locks of Love and hair donations

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) When you donate money to a charity, you want to know where your money goes, right?How about a hair donation? There are a lot of questions swirling about the most famous hair charity. "Luckily you have a lot of time to decide where you want to donate it to. You want to know where your hair is going and who it will go to."WTOC viewer Debbie Kissinger is facing
http://www.tedhair.com that dilemma when she sent in this viewer video question about her desire to donate to Locks of Love:"There was a recent post on my newsfeed that gives me some question about Locks of Love and how it does not help the kids and it really concerned me. I want to do the right thing and make sure my hair gets to the right place.""Locks of Love is very well known," said Tammy Smith from One Cut Above. "It creates wigs for children with hair loss. Whether it be cancer or alopecia."Smith cuts about 20 to 25 hair donations for Locks of Love in Savannah a year."You have to have a minimum of 10 inches for Locks of Love, and then they go online and print out an application themselves," said Smith. "We just bundle the hair for them so they can send it off."There are various negative claims and articles all over the internet. "In fact, these children usually receive a hairpiece immediately. Our recipients are financially disadvantaged children, age 21 and under, suffering from long term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. Most of our children suffer from an autoimmune disorder called alopecia where hair loss is permanent in most cases. "All types of hair loss applications are accepted, including short term."In regards to a Facebook post’s claim the company sells its custom fitted wigs and hairpieces for a profit, Locks of Love said that’s false."Never have we ever sold hairpieces. We provide hairpieces and repairs free of charge or on a sliding scale based on the financial need of those responsible for the children."The charity urges people to read their mission statement, which is posted clearly on their website, along with Frequently Asked Questions about the application process for their custom prosthesis."We just want to know they are going through cancer treatment," said Amy Riesinger with the American Cancer Society. "I knew that because we were getting the wigs back.Court date set for man involved in fatal wreck in Long County almost four years agoCourt date set for man involved in fatal wreck in Long County almost four years agoUpdated: Sunday, December 27 2015 9:30 PM EST2015 12 28 02:30:50 GMTAfter almost four years, a Long County family is finally getting some answers.After almost four years, a Long County family is finally getting some answers.Hit and run injures woman in The LandingsHit
http://www.tedhair.com and run injures woman in The LandingsUpdated: Sunday, December 27 2015 6:49 PM EST2015 12 27 23:49:11 GMTA woman is in the hospital with serious injuries after being struck by a car in a hit and run incident. The woman was riding a bicycle in The Landings community when the car.A woman is in the hospital with serious injuries after being struck by a car in a hit and run incident. The woman was riding a bicycle in The Landings community when the car.Wreck causes traffic congestion on I 95Wreck causes traffic congestion on I 95Updated: Sunday, December 27 2015 4:05 PM EST2015 12 27 21:05:35 GMTA grey Jeep and a white Ford Thunderbird collided in the northbound lane of I 95 just before mile 109. Traffic was congested with many people traveling on the way back from holiday trips. Officials on the scene said the. A grey Jeep and a white Ford Thunderbird collided in the northbound lane of I 95 just before mile 109. Traffic was congested with many people traveling on the way back from holiday trips. Officials on the scene said the. Sunday. .

The benefits of cod liver oil capsules for hair

The benefits of cod liver oil capsules for hair

We all wish for thick luscious hair; however, not all are blessed with perfect locks. It feels miserable to have hair that are dull and weak. Nowadays, there is abundance of styling merchandise

in the market, which claims to improve the quality of our hair. However, these products only offer a temporary solution often. Styling products which claim to increase the strength and

shine of our hair often are only changing the style of how your hair appears but not the actual health of every strand. The look of your hair depends on the quality of your body functions and

good health too. Your body’s health will depend on the lifestyle you follow. If you are obtaining plenty of minerals and vitamins from the food you’re eating, then it’s probable that you won’t

require taking any supplements. However, if you require a little extra assistance, then there’re a range of natural remedies available, which you can take to boost your health.

If you’re looking to improve the health and look of your hair, cod liver oil can be the one for you. This oil can sustain and improve overall health, which results in healthy looking hair. This

oil is known to be a nutritional supplement that has appropriate levels of Omega 3 fatty acid, DHA and EPA, and vitamins A and D as well. Sometimes, even though you are an extremely healthy

person, you may have brittle or dry hair, which lacks shine. Omega 3 fatty acids are present in foods like soybeans and certain kinds of seeds and nuts. Omega 3 fatty acid is present in high

concentrations in fishes like tuna and mackerel. Omega 3 fatty acid cannot be produced in the body, so it must be acquired through food or through supplements. Omega 3 is necessary for good

health and fitness and is known to be worthwhile natural remedies to incorporate into your lifestyle, in case you’re looking to

improve the strength of your hair.

Cod liver oil comes in either liquid or capsules form; the cod liver oil capsules are more preferable as they don’t taste and smell as liquid does. Omega 3 has the properties of hair growing as

it provides sustenance to the follicles. It means that it will speed up hair growth system as well as prevent hair loss. It is essential to consume a good quantity of proteins in order to promote

hair growth. Often lifeless or dull hair is the effect of deficiency of Omega 3 acid in your diet and if you’re unable to enhance your intake through your diet, then it may be worth considering

cod liver oil.

Cod liver oil capsules offer essential nutrients for overall health and will make sure that your hair follicles and

scalp are getting the required nutrients for efficient growth. You’ll notice a variation in the feel and look of your hair as your hair will be thicker, stronger, shinier and durable. Hair shafts