AWC Pictures » 2007 » November

 virtual museum of Mexico

The stucco head of a young Maya noble with a deformed skull. Found in the burial chamber of Lord Pakal in the Temple of the Inscriptions of Palenque.

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bugatti targa veyron

Bugatti will launch a new $1.9 million version of its Veyron supercar in 2008, according to a published report. The so-called Veyron Targa will receive a glass roof engineered by Webasto — the same German firm responsible for the folding roof on the Volkswagen Eos, according to Edmunds. Unlike the Porsche 911 Targa — which has a glass roof that retracts and is stowed onboard — the Veyron’s roof panel will have to be removed by hand and kept in the garage.

The reason for this shortcoming is the Veyron’s tightly packed design, which leaves no room to store the panel. To compensate, the car will offer an expandable fabric cover that will slide in place of the glass and shield the interior from the elements.

The report seems to suggests that, unlike the Porsche 911 Targa, the Bugatti will have no structural member connecting the windscreen to the pseudo c-pillar/roll-bar. Consequently, reinforcements will be added to the windscreen to maintain rollover safety, and other changes will be made to the underbody to maintain torsional stiffness.

Bugatti will make up for the added weight by giving the car a carbon hood and doors — bringing the weight back to down to the coupe’s level. While acceleration figures should remain unchanged, top speed will be electronically limited to 217 mph for safety reasons. The aerodynamics of the Targa model will not be suitable for the car’s regular top speed of 250 mph, the report said.

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French, Italian and Japanese carmakers extended their lead over German rivals last year in the race to deliver fuel efficient and low emission vehicles according to new figures published today by Transport and Environment (T&E), the sustainable transport campaign group.

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dinosaursThe extinction of the dinosaurs has long been considered a crime committed by a lone gunman: an incoming asteroid that struck the earth 65 million years ago, filling the air with sun-blocking dust. Now, however, controversy is being stirred anew as evidence suggests that the asteroid might have had a partner in crime: volcanoes, massive ones, blasting clouds of toxic gas from the bowels of the earth and poisoning much of the planet’s life.

It was nearly 30 years ago that physicist Luis Alvarez and his son Walter, a geologist, proposed the giant-impact theory of dinosaur extinction. Their evidence was compelling: a thin layer of iridium in the earth’s sediment dating to about the time of the die-off. Iridium is rare on Earth but common in asteroids. The iridium layer, mapped by the Alvarezes in scattered sites around the world, suggested an asteroid that vaporized on impact, spreading a cloud throughout the stratosphere. The argument seemed sealed in the 1990s, when geologists realized that a huge crater centered near Chicxulub, Mexico, was almost certainly caused by a giant impact at just the time the extinctions occurred.
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MATTER Pierre - Scalaire

French artist Pierre Matter has a steampunk sensibility when he pounds out these copper sculptures, exploring Gothic themes while mixing up man and machine in a postmodern maelstrom. He’s been creating these crazy sculptures for the past couple of decades out of copper, aluminum, resin and other metals, and the suckers are big—some weighing more than 1.5 tons.

Le clone

Rhino’s head

These sculptures are not something you’d want to have sitting in your living room, but the prize-winning work has been deemed good enough to occupy prestigious galleries around the world. Speaking of galleries, click through our gallery below for more examples of Matter’s work, some of which might be NSFW if you’re working in a church or nursery school.

L’oiseau du temps

Tête a tête

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