Drivetime host Adrian Durham believes Barcelona star Andres Iniesta is the best footballer on the planet at the moment – do you agree?
One of the performances for Streetiquette is “Little Red Riding Hood crossing the street”. (Image: Open Streets Cape Town)A campaign to raise awareness of pedestrian safety is under way in Cape Town to minimise the risks pedestrians face in the streets.The campaign, aptly named Streetiquette, is inspired by a popular form of engagement in Latin America in which colourful performances and interactive theatre are used to tackle unsafe and irresponsible behaviour on urban streets by motorists and pedestrians. The campaign aims to trigger self-observation, self-reflection and, ultimately, self-education, and has been adapted for local audiences.It is a collaborative effort between the Western Cape government, its Department of Transport and Public Works, and Open Streets Cape Town (OSCT), a citizen-driven initiative working to change how streets are used, perceived and experienced.STREET PERFORMANCESThe performances started on 23 November and end on 3 December at five busy CBD intersections. They are directed by Mandisi Sindo, the artistic director of Theatre4Change Therapeutic Theatre.A soccer referee, a gogo and Red Riding Hood will be among the characters who bring the campaign to life. They will interact with pedestrians at the intersections of Darling and Buitenkant streets, Darling and Plein streets, Wale and Long streets, Adderley and Bureau streets, and at the pedestrian crossing near Parliament on Plein Street. A “finale” will take place on 3 December at the intersection of Bree and Wale streets.“We are anticipating an atmosphere of fun and hope Streetiquette will start an important conversation that everyone becomes a part of,” said Marcela Guerrero Casas, co-founder and managing director of OSCT.To get involved in the action on social media, tune into the hashtags #WalkSafe, #SafeRoadsForAll and #Streetiquette and keep an eye on www.twitter.com/OpenStreetsCT.CAPE TOWN PEDESTRIANSAccording to the Western Cape government, over 2 800 pedestrians were hit by vehicles in central Cape Town from 2005 to 2014, which means a pedestrian has been struck in the area approximately every 28 hours for the past 10 years. More than 450 of these cases resulted in serious injuries.“The Open Streets Cape Town manifesto states our strong belief that streets can be more than they are. The way we interact on those streets is the result of a combination of infrastructure regulation and human behaviour,” said Guerrero Casas.“We believe that embedding respect in our streets can lead us to truly change them as public spaces that are inclusive and conducive to a prosperous society.”Above all, it was a safer system we must develop, said Donald Grant, the provincial minister of transport and public works. “Right now, in the contexts of the National Development Plan, national, provincial and departmental strategic plans, we are developing the right models for the province to link legislation, institutional frameworks, infrastructure, district safety planning, public transport, population level communications and above all, data-driven intelligence and evidence, in such a way as to build a safe system that keeps people as its central focus.“Such a system must be based on evidence and best practice, yet allow for innovation, for trial and error, as we make our way forward,” he said.
Real estate videos are highly specific projects that can have a huge impact on the targeted audience. Here are the must-take steps to creating cinematic real estate videos that actually sell property.Cover Image via RUHM Luxury MarketingReal estate is a visual medium, so photos and video are crucial to sales. This includes everything from home sales, luxury office space, or extravagant vacation rentals. Pictures are crucial to websites that showcase homes for sale, hotels, and even places listed on sites like Airbnb. But often, real estate agents find themselves needing to showcase bigger properties in bigger ways. This is where real estate video has seen huge growth.In this post, we will cover the basic rules of real estate video production and the three main types of real estate videos. By the end, you will have a solid understanding of what it takes to make a must-see real estate video that really impresses your potential buyers.The Basic Rules of Real Estate Video ProductionFor your typical real estate property, aim to keep the final video under three minutes. Don’t waste your buyer’s time, as many are just flying through listings until they find something that catches their attention. The video can be longer if the property is a multi-million dollar facility that has plenty to show off. That said, it still should not go over eight minutes. A real estate video that has a length over 10 minutes is a waste of time and investment.Now that you know you should be sticking to a tighter schedule, be sure to only highlight key features and amenities. It’s easier to put the type of fixtures in the description than it is to show them in the video. You can even throw in a quick voiceover that talks about some of the tiny details like the floors and windows.Image via ShutterstockBe sure to shoot wide as often as possible. Close up shots of decor and furniture are not helpful, as those things don’t come with the property. Viewers should be able to see the entire room and imagine their own belongings inside. Give a feel for the space, not the material items already inside.While the property should be the main focus, you can include some quick shots of the neighborhood and nearby stores or restaurants. By doing so, you add incentive to living or working in that area. That said, don’t get carried away with everything outside of the property. Your goal is to sell the real estate in the video. Keep your focus there.Image via ShutterstockWhen it comes to cinematic real estate videos, the toughest part is lighting. This includes natural lighting, built-in property fixtures, and lighting kits. To really WOW the buyer, the lighting needs to match the ambience. You will find that shooting during the middle of the day in a home with huge windows is going to be a pain.The trick to lighting comes down to the time of day and proper color temperature. The golden hour is the best time to shoot property, because this allows your viewers to see inside and outside of the windows at the same time. Otherwise, you will have blown out windows – meaning the windows will be full of bright white light.If a room doesn’t have enough light, use a lighting kit to fill the room. We have previously covered the fundamentals of lighting and color temperature. That said, you don’t have to have a big, expensive kit. There are plenty of cheap alternatives to adding the right amount of light. Just make sure the lighting is complementary to the room. A bedroom should have a warm inviting feel, not be harshly lit to look like a hospital operating table.Image via RUHM Luxury MarketingNow that we have covered the inside of the property, what about outside? The best thing to do, once again, is to shoot wide. This doesn’t work for every property, as is depends on the look of the neighboring properties. The best look will come from setting the camera up on a tripod. You can also shoot wide at a low angle to give a very impressive look to any facility.You may be tempted to use a drone to capture impressive aerials. You really shouldn’t do this. Drones should only be used if you have an FAA Section 333 exemption. Your work on these videos classify as commercial work. This makes drone use illegal — at least until new drone regulation passes. You face a penalty from the FAA when using a drone in commercial work.While on the subject of penalties, don’t forget to license your music! Don’t spend all that time making a real estate video for it to be pulled by YouTube for a copyright violation. Luckily for you, you already found this site. The added benefit of using a PremiumBeat track is a song’s multiple use. Meaning if you absolutely love one of our songs, you just have to license it one time — then you can use it in all of your real estate videos. Three Types of Real Estate VideosImage via ShutterstockThere are essentially three different types of real estate videos – which really tie into the property value. The more expensive the real estate, the more luxurious the video should be. Standard real estate videos with use either a slide show or virtual tour, where high-end homes and vistas will often use a documentary-style approach.Now, you can certainly make a documentary-style video for a standard home, but a real estate agent won’t have as much return on their investment. The reason the documentary approach is used on expensive homes is the larger budget to sell the home.Needless to say, any real estate video should accomplish two main goals. It should showcase the property for sale, which should in turn help sell it quickly. It should also create a call-to-action to send potential buyers to the real estate agent. Even if the property featured in the video sells right away, the real estate agent can potentially get more customers that are looking for similar properties. The call-to-action can be as simple as listing the real estate agent at the end of the video or throughout the video on lower thirds.1. Slide ShowThe slide show is the easiest and most popular style of real estate video. In fact, a majority of these videos only use photographs. Since they are so simple, you’ll need to make your slide show real estate videos stand out. Add motion graphics to make the video pop. If you don’t have much experience, try using a template.Our friends at RocketStock make excellent After Effects templates. You literally just drop your photos and videos into the template, and you have instant added production value. Here is an example of their Skyline template, which was designed for property promotions.2. Virtual TourThe virtual tour showcases an entire home, room by room. This can be done with photographs and/or video. It can also be done in 360 degrees, which allows buyers to experience the home themselves.In this video from Stockworth Realty, the call-to-action immediately shows up in the beginning with a contact and phone number. Then the real estate video jumps into a nice brief intro to the property. You will then see that a majority of the video is shot wide, while the close ups only give a look at detail — like the granite countertops.There is also plenty of movement on a slider. This keeps the shots from being too static. If you aren’t going to be moving the camera — then you should probably just take photos. The video then ends with a second call-to-action to visit the website and lists the agent’s contact information. All of this is done in under three minutes. It’s an excellent example of what a real estate video should be.These virtual tours are really the best type of real estate video in terms of return on investment. They require more work than a slide show, but don’t cost nearly as much as a documentary-style real estate video.For more on these types of virtual tour real estate videos, check out this tutorial from our friend Dave Dugdale. He covers his experience making his first real estate video. He confirms that these videos should come in under three minutes, while balancing the right amount of footage inside the home versus outside the home. He also talks about using actors in the video, but not using faces so viewers can picture themselves in the property.3. DocumentaryThe documentary-style real estate video is best for luxury properties. This style does not really work for smaller homes, because it requires you to film a lot of material. The overall cost of production is very high. That said, these videos are the most popular and likely to go viral.In this video from RUHM Luxury Marketing, we are given a full tour of the home and surrounding area, all while following an incredibly charismatic and funny host. The video spoofs many home and garden cable television shows, but does so while still focusing on selling the home. The script was expertly written, mixing necessary information, humor, and some fun notes.This video does break the previously mentioned three minute rule, but the property has so much to offer and showcase that the length is justified. There are many wide interior shots on a slider, close-up shots of the beautiful wood floors, and tons of great footage of the nearby beach and retail outlets. RUHM Luxury Marketing produces some of the best real estate documentary videos, and this video is one of their best.In comparison, on of the most popular real estate videos ever is the tour of Michael Jordan‘s home. The property went up for auction, and the following tour was developed to drum up interest in the sale. The video comes in at almost nine minutes, just going over the ultimate 8 minute guideline we previously set. That said, the home and career of a basketball legend has more to offer than your typical home for sale.The real estate video still follows the same real estate video guidelines. It opens with a call-to-action, mentioning the auction company, auction date, and contact information. Nearly every shot is either wide or super-wide. A host and the listing agent take you through the entire home. This video does focus on the furniture as well, but that’s because all of the furnishing come with the purchase of the property.The video replaces the surrounding neighborhood footage with career highlights, but odds are you won’t have similar footage to work with. The outro repeats the call-to-action while adding additional information to the properties sale. Even a property as fantastic as this uses the same selling techniques constantly listed above.Ever shot any real estate videos? Share your process in the comments below!
Union minister and senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday welcomed former President Pranab Mukherjee’s decision to accept an invitation to attend an RSS event, saying it is a “good start” and “political untouchability” is an outdated concept.Mr. Gadkari, the Lok Sabha MP from Nagpur, also said the RSS was not Pakistan’s ISI, but an organisation of nationalists.Mr. Mukherjee has been invited to be the chief guest at the valedictory function of Sangh Shiksha Varg — a training camp for Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh volunteers — at its headquarters in Nagpur. The event is to be held on June 7 and a senior RSS functionary had said on Monday that Mr. Mukherjee has accepted the invitation.“Mukherjee’s acceptance of the invitation is a good start. Political untouchability is not good,” Mr. Gadkari told reporters here when asked about reported reservations in the Congress over the former President accepting the RSS invite.“It is the prerogative of the organisers to invite someone and it is the prerogative of those invited to accept it or not,” he added. Calling political untouchability “outdated”, Mr. Gadkari said, “I believe political untouchability in a democracy is not good. We should meet each other, discuss each others’ views. If we don’t agree with the views, we should express it.” Citing an example, Mr. Gadkari said, “When I became BJP national president, I went to the CPM headquarters to seek the blessings of A. B. Bardhan, who hails from Nagpur and whom I consider an icon.” Hitting out at opponents who often refer to the BJP as a “communal” party, Mr. Gadkari said that such people themselves were “small hearted”.“Those calling others communal are communal themselves and small hearted people,” Mr. Gadkari said. Even though there has been no official reaction from the Congress on Mr. Mukherjee’s decision, several party leaders had expressed surprise over the development.
The Rajasthan Assembly on Monday passed the Rajasthan Lokayukta and Up-Lokyuktas (Amendment) Bill to reduce the tenure of the Lokayukta from earlier eight years to five years. The Bill was presented by Energy Minister B.D. Kalla in the House on behalf of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and was passed by voice vote. Under the amendment in the Bill, which was brought to replace an ordinance issued in March this year, the tenure of the Lokayukta has been reduced to five years from eight years. The previous BJP government had increased the Lokayukta’s tenure to eight years from five years last year. “Recently, the term of office of the Lokayukta was increased from five years to eight years by amending section 5 of the Rajasthan Lokayukta and Up-Lokayuktas Act, 1973. But in most of the States of the country the Lokayukta holds the office for a term of five years. “Moreover, the term of the chairperson under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 (Central Act No. 1 of 2014) is also five years,” the statement of objects and reasons of the Bill said. “In order to maintain parity with the term of Lokayukta in other States of the country and, chairperson of Lokpal in the Centre, it was decided by the State government that term of five years is adequate for the office of the Lokayukta,” it further said. Heated argumentsDuring the debate on the Bill, heated arguments broke out between Speaker C.P. Joshi and Deputy Leader of Opposition Rajendra Rathore when the latter was asked to be specific on the topic.
For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers MOST READ Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Read Next LATEST STORIES “We just have to work on our defense so that we can play well in our games,” he said.Wangs Basketball-Letran returns to the court on Monday against Che’Lu Bar and Grill-San Sebastian. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises View comments 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting “Everything we worked on, everything coach Jeff taught us on defense, we were able to do in the game,” said the 23-year-old guard, who finished with 15 points, five rebounds, and three assists in his debut with his new squad.For Batiller, the key for this easy transition is the team willingly welcoming newcomers like him, Fajarito, and Larry Muyang to the team — something which could only mean good things for Wangs Basketball-Letran this conference and with the Knights in the long run.“They accepted us wholeheartedly and they trust us that we can help the team. I think that’s the reason why we’re playing the way we were againts AMA,” said the transferee from University of the East.Napa, however, knows that the best is yet to come for the Couriers as players like Jerrick Balanza and Fran Yu are still on their way back from their injuries.But as always, regardless who is on the floor, the mild-mannered mentor only wants to see nothing but no-frills basketball from his wards.ADVERTISEMENT “I’m happy with how we played and I’m positive with this team’s potential. I built this team and no matter what happens, this will be the players I will lean in from now up to the NCAA season,” the mentor said in Filipino.Napa’s expectations were realized when his side bucked the nerves early in the game and slowly built the 12-point cushion, 38-26 in the second quarter, before pulling away and taking a 22-point lead, 81-59, at one point in the payoff period.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“In the start, I felt they were excited, but when we finally got our rhythm, we made a big run and everything went as planned,” he said.Batiller echoed his coach’s observations and was elated that all of the team’s hardwork in the offseason was paid off with the win. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. PBA IMAGESCoach Jeff Napa was proud to see his team’s hard work come to life as Wangs Basketball-Letran impressed in its season-opener against AMA Online Education on Tuesday.Newcomers like Bonbon Batiller and Christian Fajarito seamlessly blended in with Knights holdovers like Bong Quinto, JP Calvo, and Jeo Ambohot as the Couriers cruised to the 93-75 victory over the Titans.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH LeBron James becomes seventh to reach 30,000 career points
TeamThenNowDiff.ThenNowDiff.ThenNowDiff. Japan5638-183226-663-3 China3257+251017+7110 How the odds have changedOdds of advancing in the Women’s World Cup before the tournament started and after the group stage Norway3534-11313021-1 Italy14%43%+293%10%+70%0%0 France8077-35440-142019-1 Cameroon316+1314+3000 England6584+194150+9109-2 Spain3922-17147-6220 Germany7291+193552+171115+4 Nigeria129-332-1000 Australia6566+13133+275-2 Make QuartersMake SemifinalsWin World Cup Below the top three, it’s a bit of a crapshoot. England won all of its group-stage matches but is scoring less than xG suggests it should be. And it will have to contend with a Cameroon side that advanced to the knockout stages in dramatic fashion on Thursday thanks to a stoppage time goal from forward Ajara Nchout. The Netherlands won all of its group-stage matches and is the current European champion, but the Dutch are scoring more goals than xG suggest they should be and will have to beat a Japanese team that has underperformed so far.Australia’s World Cup has been a bit of a mixed bag, but the Matildas boast one of the best players in the world in Kerr. Canada has Christine Sinclair — who’s just two goals shy of tying Abby Wambach’s all-time international goal-scoring record — but it has to beat a very strong Sweden side next. All of this indicates that this tournament has already lived up to its billing as the most competitive in Women’s World Cup history, and we expect more of the same going forward.Still, the marquee potential matchup remains the U.S. vs. France next Friday. If both teams do what’s expected of them in the round of 16, the eventual World Cup champion might be decided by a quarterfinal at the Parc des Princes in Paris next week.Check out our latest Women’s World Cup predictions. USA7178+7464601824+6 Netherlands4762+152847+1979+2 Canada4359+152529+467+1 Brazil5323-29227-1642-2 Sweden5141-102217-443-1 The U.S. women’s national team faced its most difficult test at this World Cup so far in its match Thursday against Sweden, and it wasn’t much of a test at all. The 2-0 scoreline doesn’t reflect it, but the Americans dominated the Swedes from the first whistle to the last. They possessed the ball 61 percent of the match and created 13 scoring chances.1According to data from Opta Sports. Sweden, on the other hand, created just four chances and rarely looked threatening otherwise.Judging the U.S. women’s probability of winning the World Cup after their first two matches was tricky. They obliterated newcomers Thailand 13-0 and then handily swept Chile to the side 3-0, but neither opponent was expected to advance beyond the group stage, let alone make a run. The Americans were always favored to win those matches with ease. But Sweden entered the tournament with a chance — albeit a small one — of winning the whole thing, and the team has been a thorn in the USWNT’s side in the past.Blowouts in the first two matches didn’t say much about what the USWNT is capable of against top competition (although Norway, which won the World Cup in 1995, proved that blowout wins in the group stage can be a good omen). But the assertive performance against Sweden proved that the USWNT is ready for all comers.2Swedish coach Peter Gerhardsson rested some starters, notably defender Nilla Fischer.Having finished atop Group F, the Americans will play Group B second-place finishers Spain in the round of 16. The FiveThirtyEight model gives the Spanish a 22 percent chance of beating the Americans and advancing to the quarterfinals. Spain’s defense has been stingy — it has conceded just two goals in three group-stage matches — but the team has struggled to find the back of the net. The Spanish are scoring just one goal per 90 minutes — 1.2 goals fewer than their expected goals (xG) tally suggests they should be scoring.The upside for the Spanish: They are creating chances. The downside: They’ll be going up against an American side that hasn’t given up a goal and has conceded exactly zero big chances in their first three matches, according to data from Opta Sports. If Spain hopes to pull off the upset of the tournament, Jennifer Hermoso will have to capitalize on whatever chances she gets. The forward scored twice in the group stage, but her mark of 0.67 goals per 90 minutes is below what xG suggests she should have. If Hermoso can’t cash in, the Americans will probably advance to the quarterfinals.The USWNT’s likely opponent in the quarterfinals is host nation France. Les Bleues won all three of their group-stage matches — although one of those wins came as the result of a *cough* controversial VAR decision *cough* that gave star defender Wendie Renard two shots at scoring from the penalty spot against Nigeria — and the FiveThirtyEight model gives them a 77 percent chance of beating Brazil in the round of 16.But France might have preferred an opponent that didn’t include Marta. At 33, the Seleção legend is decidedly past her prime. But she’s the all-time leading goal scorer in the history of the World Cup — men’s or women’s — for a reason, and she’s still capable of inspiring awe. And Magic Marta isn’t alone: Brazil forward Cristiane Roziera has four goals at this World Cup, which places her one behind Australia’s Sam Kerr and the U.S.’s Alex Morgan in the race for the Golden Boot. If Cristiane draws level with — or overtakes — Kerr and Morgan, the quarterfinal match everyone is anticipating might not even happen. That said, Brazil has to be the least happy of any team with its draw. According to our model, its odds of making the quarters dropped by 29 percentage points, the most of any team remaining.The Americans and the French might be the two most likely teams to win the tournament, but that doesn’t mean anyone should sleep on Germany. The Germans won all of their group-stage matches with relative ease and, along with the Americans, conceded the third-fewest shots on goal per 90 minutes. Not coincidentally, the Germans, like the Americans, didn’t concede a goal in the group stage. Our model gives them a 91 percent chance of beating Nigeria to advance to the quarterfinals and the third-best chance of winning the tournament.Indeed, the group stage didn’t end up telling us a whole lot that we didn’t know entering the World Cup. The top of our model looks a lot like it did before the tournament began. On June 7, it gave France the best chances of winning, the U.S. the second-best and Germany the third-best. France and the U.S. have since flip-flopped — the U.S. chances to win jumped from 18 percent to 24 percent, while the French chances to win fell to 19 percent from 20 percent. Germany’s chances to win jumped from 11 percent to 15 percent, but its chances to advance to the quarterfinals jumped by an astounding 19 percentage points to 91 percent.
October 28, 2018 Cannabis oil explosion leaves one seriously injured in South Bay KUSI Newsroom, Posted: October 28, 2018 SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — A person was seriously injured in an explosion during an apparent cannabis oil extraction operation at a South Bay home, an officer said Sunday.Police and paramedics were called around 7:30 p.m. Saturday evening to a house on Leider Drive near Green Bay Street, in Egger Highlands, according to San Diego police Officer Sarah Foster.One person was badly burned and had to be taken to a hospital, Foster said.No identifying information was available on the person. KUSI Newsroom Updated: 7:57 PM Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter
Enlarge ImageIt’s the end of an era — again. Volkswagen Update, July 10: The final Volkswagen Beetle, a coupe clad in Denim Blue paint, rolled off the assembly line in Puebla, Mexico, today. Before the third-generation car departed from this mortal coil, though, we were given the chance to head down yonder Mexico way and assist in the assembly of some of VW’s final Beetles. Head south by one paragraph to read our account of that experience.I step into a production-line-adjacent conference room at the Volkswagen Beetle factory in Puebla, Mexico. The air inside is tinged with the aroma of what seems to be a nearby bathroom leaking its wretchedness into the air conditioning vents. A presentation slide entitled “How will be work” details the day’s schedule upon a projection screen at the other end of the room. I’m ushered around a table along with a handful of US and Canadian media colleagues. We’re given a schedule rundown and safety briefing that lasts a mere 15 minutes, and then we’re directed toward the production floor to help build a home-stretch batch of Volkswagen Beetles. In just a few weeks’ time, VW’s Bug will be swatted.This factory-floor fast-tracking runs in stark contrast to my Volvo S60 production line experience in South Carolina just two months ago. With Volvo, I was put through a half-day’s training to learn how to perform just one task on the line. Today with the Beetle, I’ll be installing front bumper and radiator covers, mounting the right-rear wheel, bolting in the rear suspension and placing the front emblem.I don’t mind the opportunity to be involved in more of the Beetle’s production process, of course. We’re talking about one of history’s most recognized and influential machines. Since the Beetle’s inception in 1938, more than 23 million bugs have crawled out of VW factories the world over, from Germany to Nigeria, Indonesia to Ireland and presently, Mexico. Getting a chance to build some of the final examples of the “People’s Car” is one of those stories I’ll likely tell my grandchildren.Enlarge ImageVolkswagen Beetles rising through eight decades. Manuel Carrillo III/Roadshow Slug bugMy first task is to install the front bumper cover on a Stonewashed Blue Beetle headed to a Chinese customer. Bumper assembly would have been a rather simple process had I been given a crack at more than one car. That’s not in the cards, though, so I go about my duties like a toddler navigating along the Brooklyn Bridge’s railing. Thankfully, I’ve got a supervision safety net of pros standing around me. For these men and women who work the line every day, proper component mounting is a matter of muscle memory. Click together a few electrical connectors, bang on the body panels just right so they snap into place (kind of like you’re playing “punch bug” with the Beetle itself) and six screws later, the little Beetle’s cute face is complete. That’s not the end of my job at this station, however. I still have to install a black plastic panel that sits under the hood ahead of the radiator, which is simply a matter of lining up the component and banging it in. Easier said than done, I soon realize. My infantile banging proves futile, so a line worker helps me by realigning the piece and then popping it into place as effortlessly as your most recent breath. Once that’s complete, the car continues down the line, never for me to see it again.The latter three assembly tasks prove smoother with other Beetles. My toddler fumbling isn’t disruptive enough to make a mess of mounting the right-rear wheel. Nor is installing the rear suspension, which is simply a matter of torquing four bolts on each side and letting the computer validate my worth by lighting up with green OKs. Installing the front VW emblem is actually an automated process, but I get to place one on a Bug’s nose anyway, because why let a good photo op go to waste?Enlarge ImageVW Beetles get an inspection under the lights before heading out the factory doors and onto their test drives. Manuel Carrillo III/Roadshow By the numbersSurprisingly, robots perform just 48% of the Beetle’s assembly. The other 52% is by hand. Today’s Beetle, which has slid to become VW’s least popular vehicle in the US, shares its assembly line with Volkswagen of America’s best-seller: the Tiguan compact crossover SUV. This popularity chasm is evident as I stretch my eyes down the production line. About one in every 10 vehicles is a Beetle, and there are moments walking along the floor where nothing but Tiguans flood my sockets.Over the course of three shifts within a 24-hour production day (Monday to Friday and sometimes two shifts on Saturday), 937 new vehicles emerge off the line, 170 to 180 of which are Beetles. In addition, every unit is test-driven. Fun fact: According to surveys distributed by the plant’s human resources department, the test drivers are the factory’s happiest employees.Come on, get happyAfter getting to play on the production line, VW lets me briefly test-drive some Beetles outside the factory. I’m surprised at how heavy the (1998-2011) New Beetle’s steering is, and how it feels sportier to drive than the current (2012-2019) Beetle, which is a comparative snooze fest. I’m most excited to drive the 2003 Beetle Ultima Edicion (Final Edition), the last of the original air-cooled Beetles. The Ultima Edicion is much quieter than any classic Beetle I’ve heretofore experienced. Modern seating makes it categorically comfortable, too, but from there, its modernity slopes into the abyss.The Ultima Edicion has no power steering, but that’s fine, as there’s little weight over its nose. The car’s clutch, brake and gas pedals, however, delineate evolution in reverse. The clutch is as light as any economy car’s third pedal from 2019. The brake pedal trails the clutch’s contemporary ease, but scrubbing speed isn’t terrifying: Unlike with earlier Beetles, you needn’t stomp halfway to the floor before barely stopping in time. Even still, the pedal’s modulation is precision’s distant cousin. Traveling farther back in time, the throttle is straight out of World War II, somehow feeling heavier and clumsier than Beetles I’ve driven from the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s.The Ultima Edicion proves more ponderous than I’d expected, but it’s a heartening reminder of an automotive icon whose production has lasted longer than the average human lifespan.Enlarge ImageThe 2003 Volkswagen Beetle Ultima Edicion is what I consider to be the ultimate expression of the original, air-cooled Bug. Manuel Carrillo III/Roadshow Is this really goodbye?The Beetle’s demise is the lamentable result of how the world has moved away from the spunky and toward the practical. In its ’60s heyday, the original Beetle checked a slew of boxes for the pragmatic but imaginative American consumer. Today, crossover SUVs speak to buyers padlocked by bottom-line idealism. The current Beetle lacks the cargo space, interior volume and ride height that today’s consumer demands. Consequently, the Beetle is now an unsustainably sluggish-selling lifestyle play. VW delivered roughly 14,000 Beetles in the US last year, according to GoodCarBadCar. That’s a far cry from 423,000 US sales in 1968, according to Euronews.And so, as America and the rest of the world have moved beyond Beetle Mania, so, too, must the Bug’s factory in Puebla. The Beetle’s discontinuation will free up space to build more of VW’s popular Tiguan.While Volkswagen currently has no plans to resurrect the Beetle after manufacturing ends in mid-July, I’m willing to bet money the Bug will return sometime next decade. VW’s new, incredibly limber electric MEB platform can spawn a litter of vehicles as diverse as the ID Buzz Cargo and the ID Buggy. It seemingly wouldn’t take much of a business case or a ton of development money for VW to engineer an electric Beetle off that flexible architecture. As a result, assembling some of the last Beetles really feels like “See ya later,” as opposed to a final goodbye. At least, that’s what I hope.Originally published June 24. Tags 2019 VW Beetle Final Edition review: The last goodbye 2020 Porsche 718 Spyder first drive: A Boxster with way more bite 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe review: Stylish and sure-footed More From Roadshow Share your voice Volkswagen Automobiles Convertibles Classic Cars Coupes Hatchbacks 7 Comments Volkswagen
The shooter struck four people with gunfire in front of Big Ben Liquor Store, located on the corner of North Capitol Street and New York Avenue in Northwest D.C.Kevin Antonio Cole, 26, of Southeast, has been charged with assault with intent to kill after being arrested on June 15 as the suspected getaway driver during a quadruple shooting in Northwest D.C. on June 8. A person of interest described as a masked man in black is considered the main suspect and, according to the Metro Police, he is still at large.“There have been no additional arrests in this case at this time,” Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson Alice Kim told the AFRO June 20.On June 8, the shooter struck four people with gunfire in front of Big Ben’s Liquor Store, located on the corner of North Capitol Street and New York Avenue, a busy intersection in the late afternoon, police said. Police believe it was not a random shooting and the attacker may have shot his intended target.Video surveillance of the crime scene assisted police in identifying Cole as the suspected driver and provided a description of the shooter. “This first arrest is a good step in the right direction, but it doesn’t end this investigation,” D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier told reporters at a press conference.Three of the injured were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. A fourth person is in critical condition.Ward 5 D.C. Council member Kenyan McDuffie (D) attended an emergency meeting on June 9 to inform and listen to residents about the crime happening in their part of the city. (Courtesy Photo)On June 9, an emergency community meeting was organized by the Metropolitan Police Department’s Fifth District. Commander William Fitzgerald of the Fifth District and Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie (D-Ward 5) were present. Lanier said there is an earlier shift in the time of shootings, but the same amount of shootings are going on in the evenings.An area of about 1,000 feet around the liquor store has seen 38 violent crimes as of June 21 this year. Of those violent crimes two have resulted in homicides, according to data collected by the police department.Police are offering up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the shooting. Anyone with information can call the police at 202-727-9099 or send a text to the Text Tip Line at 50411.