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"I miss mad gerbils...though they are all dead now." Lie Bot, what is the saddest thing?

Hey, how about some more photos of James Rice's gerbil, Speedy, who lives a far more exciting life than any of us ever will? Like, how about some photos of Speedy actually speeding? James sent me this set with the following note:

Speedy spent the last couple of weeks vacationing in Utah. He did the normal tourist things like visiting Zion and Bryce National Parks.





But being in Utah causes changes in Speedy. Some might call it a disease. "Salt Fever" is the name it goes by. So he had to stop by the Bonneville Salt Flats to see if he could bum a ride in something fast. As it turned out, there were several vehicles to choose from. Four different cars with speeds over 400 mph, for instance. But he's already done that, so this time he chose the former world's fastest motorcycle, Ack Attack, ridden by Rocky Robinson, in its bid to recapture the title.



Things didn't go well the first several days with top speeds only around 330 mph, well below the existing record. There were handling problems, tire problems, engine problems, and finally transmission problems. With the meet ending, they still hadn't gotten within 30 mph of the record. But no one wanted to give up, so running was extended an extra day. Then Speedy's luck kicked in, and they ran two consecutive passes just one mph below the record.

With daylight fading, the Ack team changed gears to bypass a shifting problem, pulled out all the stops on the engines, deciding they'd break the record or break the bike trying, they got one final run. And OH WHAT A RUN. They shattered the world record by about 10 mph, to 376 mph, and had an unofficial exit speed of a blistering 394mph!



With this record, Speedy only needs record rides on the fastest turbine car and the fastest jet or rocket car, to have been on the fastest of virtually every class of world record land vehicle. Those last two are in the works...


Yes, you read those words correctly. ROCKET CAR.

James also alerted me to Speedy's appearances in this magazine article and this video. So not only does Speedy live a more exciting life than I do, he's also more famous. Not to mention photogenic.

5 comments:
Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

In the magazine:
Speedy's little goggles and
aviator scarf!!!!

Shaenon, please bring back
the haiku contest.  Here's one
readers may enjoy:

There once was a comic, Narbonic,
Refreshing as cold gin and tonic
The readers all rave
For Helen and Dave
To get hedonic, not platonic

Oh, wait, that's a lim-
erick, not a haiku.  I
always get confused.

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Wow.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

Many years too late!
How I wish that I had found
This strip earlier.

Kaja Foglio's
Livejournal had a link to
This webcomic here.

Started near the end,
Had to do an Archive Binge ...
By then, I was hooked.

Now I spend my time
Drawing fan art, writing filks.
Both blessing and curse!

Tiff Hudson (tiff_hudson) says:

Sounds like Ed and Tiff

Found Narbonic the same way

Steampunk Livejournal

James Rice (jhrice) says:

Hey, that brings back some memories.  Those photos are from back in September.  To (try) to keep up with Speedy, visit his Facebook page.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Speedy/206129972101

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The education bestowed on Shaenon K. Garrity by her parents had been expensive, athletic and prolonged. ... full profile