Friday, May 02, 2008

Some good news for a change

A couple of encouraging stories at the New York Times:

As Gas Costs Soar, Buyers Flock to Small Cars. Yaris, Fit, and Focus are the big gainers.

Detroit needs to build more. Yeah, been saying that for about 40 years now. In the 60s I loved VWs, Austins, and drove my family's Falcon whenever I could borrow it. Aside from an occasional small pickup, almost all the cars I've owned have been small. (Currently a Subaru Forester, a bit bigger, but still gas-friendly.) I've never understood the mind-set that has women driving around alone in Suburbans and Expeditions -- because 'it's safer'. Besides, the more small cars on the road, the safer all of us will be. Those big SUVs are a menace.

Well, more nostalgia, in this story about Kodak: At Kodak, Some Old Things Are New Again. Did you know that the first digital camera was invented by a Kodak engineer -- in the 1970s? I didn't. As the daughter of a Kodak research chemist, it's been sad to see the company changing so much. In Rochester's Kodak Park where Dad worked, lots of the buildings have been demolished. I went to a Kodak 'family day' once with Dad and was amazed by the pitch dark rooms where women loaded film into cassettes, the vaults filled of silver to make that silver bromide, and the massive labs and tanks and piping to handle all the chemicals. Better to be done with all that, I guess.
So this story, is encouraging, although Kodak is a shell of the company it once was:
Kodak, which once considered itself the Bell Labs of chemistry, has embraced the digital world and the researchers who understand it.