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Zero to 60 in three seconds

In these rough economic times, people have reorganized their values. If you walk into a restaurant, you see fewer waiters and waitresses. The crowds in the malls have diminished and every few days you hear about a new bank going under, or another car manufacturer turning over control to the court in bankruptcy. Fewer people have made home improvement purchases, gone splurging for new wardrobes and have even had to downsize on housing.

Yet, with all that said, it’s nice to know that Europeans still tickle the American fancy, and they do it better than the Americans could ever.

A great modern philosopher turned lunatic once said, “I feel the need, the need for speed.” Speed is something Americans have loved since we climbed on a horse’s back and told it to run for the sunset. We’ve turned those horses into mechanical horsepower, shelled it in aluminum, carbon fiber and fiberglass. Then we advanced upon that and utilized aerodynamic science from aviation development and created the race car. NASCAR, Formula-1, Indycar and even the urban street racing culture are stem from this tree.

Speed once was the pride of American Muscle, and loud engines that went fast and got 36 feet to the gallon were our adrenaline fixation. The Japanese then created fuel injection, and made cars just as fast, and the Europeans had style; both leaving Ford, Dodge and GM in the dust.

But if there’s one thing America itself hasn’t lost, its our insatiable quest for the better, faster, and most expensive status symbol.

Welcome, the Gumpert Sportwagenmanufaktur Apollo.


Gotta get away? There’s no better time than now

Whether it’s a trip to the Golden State or the Golden Kingdom, airline prices have been slashed as a result of the current (slumping, to use a euphemistic term) economic situation. Even more than this, many theme parks, hotels and other various travel destinations are now offering deals on admission, stays, meals and just about everything else in an effort to keep tourism afloat in a time when we all have little bucks to buy with.

I can’t think of a single reason not to take advantage, and here’s a little help:

Top budget travel destinations for 2009 (according to Budget Travel):

If you’re really looking to save – and maybe even help stimulate that slumping economy we were just talking about – stick to the U.S. for all your travel desires. Here are those top three spots:

Austin, Texas. This city is chalk full of free and affordable events this year, such as the Austin City Music Festival (Oct. 2-4). Austin is also known for its good weather, pop culture, diversified private and public sectors and art.