Friday, April 30, 2010

The Latest Lexus Hybrid Is An Electric Carbon Fiber Bicycle

the press release from Lexus
Introducing the Lexus HB (Hybrid Bicycle) Concept

Lexus has established itself as an industry leader in bringing advanced technologies to the premium car market. Now it has applied the same thinking on a smaller scale to create the Lexus Hybrid Bicycle, a design concept the captures the fundamental engineering and design values of the brand, but with two wheels rather than four.

In every aspect this is Lexus, from the L-finesse design language of the engaging and elegant frame, to the application of hybrid power, an electric eight-speed transmission and lightweight carbon fibre construction.

Lexus has brought what is one of the only two examples in existence (one black and one white) to the UK for the first time, following the bicycle's debut at the 2009 Tokyo motor show (at that show, the concept bike was shown in black).

above: the Lexus HB Concept bike appeared in black at the 2009 Tokyo auto show

Its arrival coincides with the announcement of Lexus's title sponsorship of the Great British Bike Ride, a four-day charity fun ride from September 1-4, 2010, that will see hundreds of cyclists following a course from Land's End to the home of English rugby at Twickenham.

Lexus has pioneered high performance, low emissions and optimum fuel efficiency with its full hybrid Lexus Hybrid Drive powertrain technology. The Hybrid Bicycle adopts similar principles, with the pedal power of the rider boosted by assistance to the front wheel from a 240W electric motor, via a 25.9V Lithium-ion battery, with a choice of Eco or Power modes. And, as with Lexus Hybrid Drive, there is an energy regeneration function that helps recharge the battery by capturing kinetic energy generated under braking.

The Lexus Hybrid Bicycle has all-wheel drive, by means of a belt system. It is equipped with an electric eight-speed Shimano internal gear system, which references the sophisticated eight-speed shift-by-wire automatic transmission of Lexus's LS 600h limousine.

The carbon fibre construction shares the same light-but-strong composite materials technology that was used on Valentino Rossi's MotoGP-winning motorcycle.

The video below is from the 2009 Tokyo Auto show (courtesy of Gizmag):

  • Length (mm) 1,598
  • Width (mm) 425
  • Seat height (mm) 900
  • Wheelbase (mm) 1,080
  • Tyre size 20 x 1 3/8
  • Weight (kg) 17
  • Charge time Approx. 2hrs
  • Motor output (W) 240
  • Battery type Lithium-ion
  • Battery voltage 25.9V/4.0Ah
  • Gear system Shimano 8-speed internal gear
  • Shift lever Shimano dual control
  • Drive train Belt drive

The big bummer? There are no current plans for the Lexus Hybrid Bicycle to become a production model.

the white bike images are courtesy of Lexus and the black bike, courtesy of Gizmag

Let the Good Times Roll

Hello and Happy Friday!!

I knew that any day now, Ilah would roll over. And....

It happened early in the evening on Wednesday while we were playing on the floor with her toys in our living room. She did it twice and then was "over" it! She knew she did something new because her eyes got so big like, "What just happened?!".

Here are pictures taken today during our morning playtime; you will see the consecutive photos show our sweet girl rolling over....

"Here I go!"

"Are you watching Mommy?"

" I did it!"

Wednesday night {well, technically it was 4 a.m. on Thursday}, we heard Ilah over the monitor making some little grunting sounds. We looked at the video monitor and saw that she had rolled over from her back to her stomach in her sleep - suddenly being in that position naturally {and thankfully} woke her up. Earlier in the day it was all claps and smiles and me saying, "Yay, you did it!"...but I couldn't exactly tell over the monitor if she was face down in the mattress or not; so my eyes got big and my heart raced as I immediately wondered how long she had been like that. I let out an "Oh my gosh!" and ran to her room.

To see that.....

Ilah had her head up very high, with her elbows/arms propping her up. I believe she was grunting because she felt "stuck". "How exactly do I get myself back over on my back like I did earlier today??"

Ilah has always done great with lifting her head up....

Sometimes she even tries to do a push up! Kidding! Ha!
The girl has some serious strength!....

But because of that brief scare on Thursday night, I wonder if I should rely on more than just thinking that because she can lift her head she should be fine if she were to do that again. When I got to her room and saw that she wasn't face down in the mattress and was breathing fine, maybe I should have indiscreetly waited to see if she would have turned herself back over. Instead, I just wanted to sooth her {ok, so maybe I wanted her to sooth me!} so I picked her up.

Ilah used a sleep positioner when she was an infant. When we transitioned her from her bassinet to her crib when she was 2 months old, we did away with it. But now that she is at the point of rolling over, I'm wondering if we should utilize one again. We always put Ilah to sleep on her back but she nearly always turns to sleep on her side immediately after we place her down for the night. But now that she has started to roll over, I'm naturally concerned about possible suffocation as she may be unable to reposition herself. The night that she rolled over on her stomach in her sleep, it took me a long while to go back to bed. I just wanted to stare at the video monitor until the sun came up and she woke up from her nights sleep.
Ilah is defininitely a verbal baby and "calls out" to us {so to speak} when she needs to have a need met, but I don't want to solely rely on thinking that she will be vocal every time. I did some research on sleep positioners but saw so many different answers as to whether parents should place their infants in one while sleeping. Some say that should you want to use a sleep positioner for your baby, they can be used until the baby is 4 months old; others say 6 months old. Another answer was that sleep positioners should be used until your infant has head control - yet others have said that they can cause overheating. Another site relayed that they can actually cause suffocation {the very thing a parent is trying to ensure doesn't happen} because the baby can slip down in the positioner and their airways might get cut off {I can somewhat attest to that. When Ilah was an infant, I bought and used the most highly rated one on the market - made out of mesh - and regardless, she did slip down in it on occasion. I was usually always awake when this would happen so I would just reposition her}. Many moms have said that when their baby used a positioner to sleep, it was a hard habit for them to break when it came to the parents not using it anymore, and that it also prevents your baby from learning on their own how to flip back over. The SIDS alliance advises against sleep positioners but for parents who have babies that roll over in their sleep, after they have been placed down on their back, what's the alternative to ensuring that their infant is breathing properly {other than staring at a video monitor, or actually placing yourself in front of the child} while they sleep? Both are impossible to do.

I will ask Ilah's pediatrician about this when we go to our next appointment, which is coming up soon.

Here are some other photos taken of Miss Wonderful this morning.....

"Hey mommy! I got somethin' for ya"....

No more pictures please. I've done my fair share of posing for one day!

The Most Beautiful Nail Art (Or Manicure Masterpieces).

above: Technoid Subculture nail art

Now, THIS is finger painting. CND (Creative Nail Design) is a company known better to professionals that the average consumer. The first to create a nail polish resistant to yellowing, the company has continued to innovate with science and beauty. The amazing nail polish art shown below was created with their products.

Afro Love nails:

Bridal nails:

Downtown Doll nails:

Flirt nails:

Punk Rock nails:

Global Chic nails:

Holiday Nails:

Pretty phenomenal, right? But what's even cooler is that on their site, they describe exactly which polishes you need to create each of the above designs of nail art and the steps as to how to apply them.

If the above nail art seems to daunting for you to try, CND still makes it easy to have uniquely beautiful nails by simply combining their color polishes with their effect polishes.

First you can choose from their cremes, primaries or chrome polishes:

After polishing your nails with the first color, you can add a number of effects (shimmer, pearl or sparkle) by using their 'effects' polishes:

and voila, many fab looks can be achieved, such as these below:

About CND
CND (Creative Nail Design) got it's start when Dr. Stuart Nordstrom, a practicing dentist, got the idea for a new nail enhancement product: A patient remarked that the material used to prepare temporary caps smelled like the material used to sculpt porcelain nails.

The result was SolarNail™ Liquid, the industry’s first-ever monomer formulation for greater nail strength and flexibility — and the first product to deliver natural, non-yellowing nail color..

Building on a foundation of hard work and smart chemistry, the fledgling company pursued and achieved one innovation after another—an uninterrupted succession of advances that continues, virtually unabated, to this day. With every new breakthrough came growth. Throughout the 1980s alone, the company doubled its revenues every year.


The latest news from CDN (even covered here in the NY Times) is the upcoming release of their long-wearing 'shellac' polish. A special nail polish that is said to last weeks without chipping.

The SHELLAC polishes (not yet available for purchase) are dried by a UV light and when removal is desired, each nail has to be soaked for 10 minutes in the special removal gel wraps, shown below.

Visit their site to learn more and to find distributors.

Special thanks to CND and NY Times for the images and info.
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