Jaguar D-Type

Designed to win the Le Mans 24-hour race, the slippery D-Type was produced by Jaguar Cars Ltd. between 1954 and 1957. Sharing the straight-6 XK engine and many mechanical components with its C-Type predecessor, its structure however was radically different. Innovative monocoque construction and aerodynamic efficiency integrated aviation technology in a sports racing car, some examples including a renowned vertical stabilizer. Engine displacement began at 3.4 litres, was enlarged to 3.8 L in 1957, reduced to 3.0 L in 1958 when Le Mans rules limited engines for sports racing cars to that maximum. D-Types won Le Mans in 1955, 1956 and 1957. After Jaguar temporarily retired from racing as a factory team, the company offered the remaining unfinished D-Types as XKSS versions whose extra road-going equipment made them eligible for production sports car races in America. In 1957 25 of these cars were in various stages of completion when a factory fire destroyed nine of them. Total production is thought to have included 18 factory team D-Types, 53 customer cars and 16 XKSS versions.

The design, by Jaguar's Technical Director and Chief Engineer William Heynes, applied aeronautical technology, revolutionary at the time. The "tub", or cockpit section, was of monocoque construction comprising sheets of aluminium alloy, its elliptical shape and comparatively small cross-section provided torsional rigidity and reduced drag. To the front bulkhead was attached an aluminium tubing subframe for the engine, steering assembly, front suspension. Rear suspension and final drive were mounted to the rear bulkhead. Fuel was carried in the tail and the designers followed aviation practice by specifying a deformable Marston Aviation Division bag in place of a conventional tank; the aerodynamic influence was the work of Malcolm Sayer, who had joined Jaguar following a stint with the Bristol Aeroplane Company during the Second World War and worked on the C-Type. The D-Type required a minimal frontal area. To reduce the XK engine's height, Chief Engineer William Heynes, responsible for the C and D type overall design, developed dry sump lubrication, it has been said that the car's frontal area was a consideration in canting the engine at 8½° from the vertical.

Philip Porter, in his book Jaguar Sports Racing Cars, says that " more reason was to provide extra space for the ram pipes feeding the three twin-choke Weber carburettors." Reducing underbody drag contributed to the car's high top speed. For the 1955 season, factory cars were fitted with a longer nose, which lengthened the car by 7½ inches and further increased maximum speed. Mechanically, many features were shared with the outgoing C-Type, its front and rear suspension and innovative all-round disc brakes were retained, as was the XK engine. Apart from the new lubrication system, the engine was further revised as development progressed during the D-Type's competition life. Notably in 1955, larger valves were introduced, together with asymmetrical cylinder heads to accommodate them. Elements of the body shape and many construction details were used in the Jaguar E-Type 1961-1969. Jaguar D-Types fielded by a team under the leadership of Jaguar's racing manager Lofty England were expected to perform well in their debut at the 1954 24 Hours of Le Mans race.

In the event, the cars were hampered by fuel starvation caused by problems with the fuel filters, necessitating pit stops for their removal, after which the entry driven by Duncan Hamilton and Tony Rolt speeded up to finish less than a lap behind the winning Ferrari. The D-Type's aerodynamic superiority is evident from its maximum speed of 172.8 mph on the Mulsanne Straight compared with the 4.9 litre Ferrari's 160.1 mph. Three weeks the D Type won the Rheims 12 hour endurance race. For 1955 the cars were modified with long-nose bodywork and engines uprated with larger valves. At Le Mans, they proved competitive with the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLRs, expected to win. Mike Hawthorn's D-Type had a narrow lead over Juan Manuel Fangio's Mercedes when another Mercedes team car was involved in the most catastrophic accident in motorsport history. Driver Pierre Levegh and more than 80 spectators lost their lives. Mercedes withdrew from the race. Jaguar opted to continue, the D-Type driven by Hawthorn and Ivor Bueb went on to win.

Mercedes withdrew from motorsport at the end of the 1955 season, Jaguar again entered Le Mans in 1956. Although only one of the three factory-entered cars finished, in sixth place, the race was won by a D-Type entered by the small Edinburgh-based team Ecurie Ecosse and driven by Ron Flockhart and Ninian Sanderson, beating works teams from Aston Martin and Scuderia Ferrari. In America, the Cunningham team raced several D-Types. In 1955, for example, a 1954 works car on loan to Cunningham won the Sebring 12 Hours in the hands of Mike Hawthorn and Phil Walters, in May 1956 the team's entries for Maryland's Cumberland national championship sports car race included four D-Types in Cunningham's white and blue racing colors. Driven by John Fitch, John Gordon Benett, Sherwood Johnston and team owner Briggs Cunningham, they finished fourth, fifth and eighth, respectively. Although Jaguar withdrew from motorsport at the end of the 1956 season, 1957 proved to be the D-Type's most successful year. 3.8-litre engine Jaguar D-Types took five of the top six places at Le Mans, Ecurie Ecosse, with considerable support from Jaguar, finished first and second, the best result in the D-Type's racing history.


Zero Milestone

The Zero Milestone is a zero mile marker monument in Washington, D. C. intended as the initial milestone from which all road distances in the United States should be reckoned when it was built. At present, only roads in the Washington, D. C. area have distances measured from it. The monument stands just south of the White House at the north edge of The Ellipse, within President's Park. Atop the monument is a bronze 16-point compass rose with a small worn-down pyramid at its center whose top serves as a National Geodetic Survey benchmark. Coordinates: 38°53′42.38736″N 77°02′11.57299″W Altitude: 8.382 m Designed by Washington architect Horace W. Peaslee, the monolith is about 2 feet square and about 4 feet high, it is made of precambrian Milford granite from Milford, light pinkish to greenish gray, with spots of black biotite mica. The bronze disk on top of the milestone is "an adaptation from ancient portolan charts of the so-called wind roses or compass roses from the points of which extended radial lines to all parts of the known world—the prototype of the modern mariner's compass."

The monument has engravings on four surfaces: North: ZERO MILESTONE East: STARTING POINT OF SECOND TRANSCONTINENTAL MOTOR CONVOY OVER THE BANKHEAD HIGHWAY, JUNE 14, 1920 South: POINT FOR THE MEASUREMENT OF DISTANCES FROM WASHINGTON ON HIGHWAYS OF THE UNITED STATES West: STARTING POINT OF FIRST TRANSCONTINENTAL MOTOR CONVOY OVER THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY, JULY 7, 1919In addition, a "brass plate placed on the ground at the north base" shown below, contains the following inscription. THE U. S. COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY DETERMINED THE LATITUDE, LONGITUDE AND ELEVATION OF THE ZERO MILESTONE AUTHORIZED BY ACT OF CONGRESS JUNE 5, 1920 DEDICATED JUNE 4, 1923 In his plan for Washington, Pierre Charles L'Enfant intended a column to be placed 1 mile east of the Capitol, of, now Lincoln Park, "from which all distances of places through the continent were to be calculated." Instead, in 1804, the Jefferson Stone or Jefferson Pier was placed on the meridian of the White House due west of the Capitol to mark the Washington meridian, 77° 02' 12.0".

The current Zero Milestone monument was conceived by Good Roads Movement advocate Dr. S. M. Johnson, formally proposed on June 7, 1919, he was inspired by ancient Rome's Golden Milestone located in the Forum. On July 7, 1919, a temporary marker for the Zero Milestone was dedicated on the Ellipse south of the White House during ceremonies launching the Army's first attempt to send a convoy of military vehicles across the country to San Francisco, California. On June 5, 1920, Congress authorized the Secretary of War to erect the current monument, design to be approved by the Commission of Fine Arts and installed at no expense to the government. Dr. Johnson raised donations for the design and construction; the permanent Zero Milestone was dedicated in a ceremony on June 4, 1923. Benchmarking Geodetic datum Kilometre zero Kilometre Zero List of public art in Washington, D. C. Ward 2 Zero Kilometre Stone Dept. of Transportation: Zero Milestone North view with inscription "ZERO MILESTONE" and profile of compass rose Compass rose atop the Zero Milestone Many comments from geocachers and more pictures

Rosebud (The Simpsons)

"Rosebud" is the fourth episode of The Simpsons' fifth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 21, 1993; the episode begins by showing how on the eve of his birthday, Mr. Burns starts to miss his childhood teddy bear Bobo; the bear ends up in the hands of Maggie Simpson and Burns does everything in his power to get Bobo returned to him. "Rosebud" was written by John Swartzwelder and was the first episode to be executive produced by David Mirkin, the show runner for the fifth and sixth seasons of the show. Directed by Wes Archer, supervising director David Silverman describes the episode as "one of the more challenging ones" to direct; the Ramones guest star in the episode as themselves. The episode is a parody of the 1941 film Citizen Kane and the title references Charles Foster Kane's dying word "Rosebud"; the episode contains references to The Wizard of Oz, Planet of the Apes, George Burns, Charles Lindbergh, The Rolling Stones and Adolf Hitler. Critical reaction to "Rosebud" was positive and in 2003 Entertainment Weekly placed the episode in fourth place on their list of the 25 best episodes of The Simpsons.

Smithers finds Mr. Burns having a nightmare in which he murmurs the name "Bobo". In a flashback, it is revealed that as a child, Mr. Burns lived with his family and cherished his teddy bear Bobo, but he dropped it in the snow when he left to live with a "twisted, loveless billionaire". Meanwhile, preparations for Mr. Burns' birthday are underway and, after the Ramones perform while berating Mr. Burns, Homer is chosen to entertain the party guests with a comedy routine. Mr. Burns reveals to Smithers that he misses his cherished bear Bobo and wants it back but has no idea where it is. Another flashback reveals Bobo's history: after Mr. Burns leaves it behind, the bear finds its way to Charles Lindbergh, who brings it aboard the Spirit of St. Louis and tosses the bear into a crowd after his transatlantic flight to Paris, where it is caught by Adolf Hitler. In 1945, Hitler tosses him away. Bobo is seen again in 1957 on board the USS Nautilus headed for the North Pole. Bobo becomes encased in a block of ice until picked up by an ice-gathering expedition in 1993.

The bag of ice with Bobo in it is sent to the Kwik-E-Mart in Springfield. Bart finds Bobo inside and gives it to Maggie to play with. Mr. Burns orders Smithers to start looking for his bear, Homer realizes that Maggie's new toy is Bobo. Homer negotiates with Mr. Burns and agrees to give it back in exchange for "a million dollars and three Hawaiian islands; the good ones, not the leper ones." However, when Maggie refuses to give Bobo up, Homer decides to stick up for his daughter and sends Mr. Burns away. Mr. Burns promises vengeance on Homer unless he gets his teddy bear back. After many failed attempts to steal the teddy bear, subjecting Homer to harsh duties at work, Mr. Burns has Smithers beg Homer for the bear. Homer tells Mr. Burns that it is Maggie's now, she is the only one that can return it. Mr. Burns decides to talk to Maggie, who refuses to give up the bear after Burns attempts to take it from her. Mr. Burns becomes depressed and asks Maggie to look after his bear. Maggie, in an act of pity, lets.

Mr. Burns is overcome with joy and promises to be nice to everyone as a result. Having watched this transpire, Homer asks Marge if it's a happy ending, since Mr. Burns got Bobo back, or a sad ending because they didn't get any money. Marge cryptically replies "it's an ending. That's enough." In an epilogue taking place in the year one million A. D. after the Earth has been reduced to a post-apocalyptic desert and having been conquered by intelligent apes who unearth a fossilized Bobo, Mr. Burns—with his head in a jar attached to a cybernetic body—grabs Bobo from one of the apes and says "Bobo, I know I say this every century, but I'll never leave you behind again." Smithers -- now a robotic dog -- follows Mr. Burns. "Rosebud" was written by John Swartzwelder and was the first episode to be executive produced and run by David Mirkin. Mirkin enjoyed working on the episode so much that he spent "an enormous amount of time on post production" experimenting with various elements of the episode; the backstory for Bobo included several much darker scenes, including one where the bear was involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

The scenes were cut. The ending of the episode was longer, but two segments were cut; the first saw Washington D. C. destroyed by invading Canadian troops. The second featured the entire planet being overrun by spotted owls. David Silverman describes the episode as "one of the more challenging ones" to direct. Guest stars The Ramones were "gigantic obsessive Simpsons fans" and their characters were designed by Wes Archer. Marky Ramone called their appearance "a career highlight"; the episode is a parody of the 1941 Orson Welles film Citizen Kane. The title is a reference to Charles Foster Kane's dying word "Rosebud".