US auto industry in dire straits

Green car congress has a post up about a report prepared by Center for Automotive Research (CAR) in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It doesn’t look good. They are predicting between a 100% to 50% contraction of the industry.

For the second scenario, CAR assumes that Detroit Three production and employment falls by 100% in the first year but recovers to 50% in the second and third years. CAR assumes essentially the same first year supplier crisis for all automakers in the United States, with production by the international automakers falling to about 50% in the first and second years. CAR also assumes that the international producers would recover fully by the third year and that the surviving Detroit companies would restore production to 50% of the former combined level by the second year and maintain this level in the third year.

The 50% scenario results in a first year total employment impact of a loss of nearly 2.5 million jobs in the US economy, comprising 239,341 jobs at the Detroit Three; 795,371 indirect/supplier jobs; and more than 1.4 million spin-off jobs. The employment picture recovers in 2010 (1.5 million lost) and 2011 (1.0 million jobs lost), due to the resumption of US production by the surviving Detroit Three producer and international automakers, and the process of dislocated workers finding new employment.


So May last year I weighed 100kgs. Went back to the gym today and I weigh 122kgs. Shit. Lest to say I am nowhere near as fit today as I was then. I managed 20min on bike, 10 min on x-country skier, and only 500m on the ergo. No weights yet, I’ll give myself two weeks of getting used to going again first and adjusting my cardio times/settings so I do 20min, 20min and 2km.

I am living relatively close to my gym again. I have missed it.

I am XXXL size in clothes. This is shit, especially when I went to go buy some new clothes for my new job and just grabbed some XXL shirts without trying them on and then getting home and they don’t fit.

It will take me roughing 36 weeks (9 months-ish) to get down to about 105-110kgs. It is around this weight that I look ‘slim’ instead of ‘big’ as there is a certain tipping point or threshold whereby my waist and what not are reduced to a certain size in proportion to my shoulders and chest, etc.

When I was superfit I lost 3kgs in a month, so that is the maximum amount I weight I can lose in a healthy manner. (Well it is arguable whether or not my previous compulsive gym patronage was healthy.) I need to adjust my eating patterns and lifestyle, and start manipulating my metabolism throughout the day by ‘smart eating’.

Almost time to accelerate again…

can’t sustain labour pool

The 30-year-old PhD student recently applied for a full-time position teaching sociology at the University of Sydney, only to be told the position had been scrapped in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Her two casual teaching jobs will finish at the end of the semester and she is facing a summer without money. […]

“Most of my friends are in the same boat — we’ve all spent loads on postgraduate qualifications and studying and the best that we can hope for is casual academic teaching because there is no money to hire people permanently.” University casuals had seen increased workloads in line with a reluctance to hire extra hands, she said.

“Most of my friends are resigned to be casual workers for the next couple of years, which, considering we are all in our early thirties, is quite scary,” Ms Grewal said.

Something about academic employment, and then architects, and the only connection between the two is that they are primarily bourgeois vocations.

Subscription-based streaming of tourist locales for private consumption on wall size screens

Idea: Subscription-based live streaming of tourist locales for private consumption on wall size screens.

One way remote, beach-side, famous or whatever tourist location-based businesses can make money is to have a multi-camera live video and audio recording of whatever view they have of their locale (and ambience produced) and then broadcast it live to subscribers over the internet.

Subscribers would then set up a multi-projector display on a wall of their house or business or whatever and have a wall-sized installation. Then they can have a taste of whatever location.

Think google street view, but live and fixed. Local governments in remote but beautiful parts of the world could sell their view on the internet.

Idea 2: An extension of the above. Think of a scenario of a chain of say four cafes in famous places around the world. Each would have the display setup on three walls and have recorder setup for the shop front. Imagine how freaky that would be to be sitting in a cafe that has one actual shop-front and then three other virtual shopfronts of equally famous locations.

It would be a useful way to think about the commodification of experience in relation to iconic tourist locations as it intersects with the post-industrial, service-based economy.

student feedback v2.0

I am not sure about the protocol for this, probably not that ‘professional’, but I am not that professional anyway (allegedly). Considering I post the worst of my feedback I think it is only appropriate to post something from the other end of the spectrum. The below is an email a student sent me and I have removed her name. I feel happy to have had some really good students who understand they need to mobilise their own enthusiasm for intellectual and scholarly development to achieve their best.

I just wanted to take some time and e-mail you to say thanks for a great (l33t) semester in Consumer Culture. It truly has been a great subject, and I really enjoyed researching and writing my assessments, which makes the semester that much better.

I’m sad that I won’t be seeing you around next year, I guess after having taken three classes with you over the last couple of years your classes have become a large part of my definition of ‘uni time’, and are classes that I think I have become so comfortable in that it started to feel like a group of friends rather than a lecture and listen session.

I have taken a lot from your teaching methods… which I think in my first class with you (English, Text and Writing) was very different to the experiences I’d had with other tutors.. but the more classes I took with you (Contemp. Pop. Cultures & Consumer Culture), the more I realised that you invest your interest in students that invest interest in their own work -and that is just fantastic, and helped me realise that the more interest I invest in my work the better quality work I will produce. Most of all though your classes were FUN, and with some topics that could inititiate argument, you kept thinkgs light and energitic. I think that UWS really needs more tutors like youself Glen.

Having said all that though, I wish you all the best in your new job with those Ford Magazines, I guess with a car-fanatic boyfriend I might see your name here and there quite often?

I am still awaiting the official feedback from the university, but I am stoked to have had some of this more personal feedback.