MAX100 The Shows Must Go On

A big crowd likes MAXine better than MAX, and I’ll see you soon, at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Puyallup, Wash.

We Are What We Read

My husband Alan’s first gift to me was Helen and Scott Nearing’s Living the Good Life. The books we turn to regularly have changed, although some we go back to again and again, year after year. A list of our top 10 favorite books follows.

MAX Update No. 97: Deer Prudence

MAX finally got a deer deflector, after three years of writing about how much it needs one. It'll give a bit of extra rollover protection, too.

MAX Update No. 96: Jevons' Paradox and Gore's Dilemma

Does 100 mpg fuel economy justify cross-country recreational travel? Maybe so and maybe not, but I need to be careful—increasing fuel efficiency can increase fuel consumption if you increase your driving, too.

MAX Update No. 94: FrankenMAX

MAX gets a temporary mash-up of old and new style body parts (the new nose is at the fiberglassers' having a mold made so we can make more of them) to get road-legal for a trip to Canada.

MAX Update No. 93: Plugging Away

Jack has dismantled MAX's body and is making molds from the body parts, so other MAX-like car builders won't have to duplicate his work.

MAX Update No. 91: The Light Underbelly

The tail end of MAX's bellypan (diffuser) gets tuft tested, and the attached video shows the results. This was the finishing touch that got MAX its 100 miles per gallon on the highway.

MAX Update No. 89: Good Work Car

To improve MAX's versatility, the passenger seat is removable, which converts MAX from a couple carrier to a cargo carrier.

MAX Update No. 80: Cooling Tests and Travels

On a summertime cross country trip from Oregon to Ohio, I restricted MAX's radiator inlet air a little at a time, demonstrating that very little inlet area (28 square inches) provides sufficient air for cooling.

Are You Ready for Chickens? Chickens 101

Chickens - how do you know if you’re the ‘chicken type’? If you’re pondering a backyard flock, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself.

MAX Update No. 69: Two Tired to Test

MAX got a new set of high efficiency Goodyear tires, and a second set of wheels so we can do comparison testing. Will the difference be detectable to our low budget testing technology?

MAX Update No. 68: Idle Speculation

Hybrid cars save fuel by shutting the engine off at idle (among other things). Does MAX burn enough fuel at idle to be worth the effort? Our honey bear can tell us.

MAX Update No. 66: Go With the Flo

Technology marches on. It comes at a price, but a FloScan fuel consumption and mileage meter could give me instant feedback on MAX's fuel efficiency.

Amanda Little at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Environmental journalist and author Amanda Little gives a keynote speech about America's dependence on fossil fuels at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.

Gary Paul Nabhan at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Author and food and farm advocate Gary Paul Nabhan gives a presentation on how we can change our food habits to become more sustainable at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.

Kevin Danaher at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Author, activist and co-founder of Global Exchange Kevin Danaher gives a presentation about the bright future of green jobs at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.

MAX Update No. 62: Throttle Management

A treatise on the difference between a gasoline engine throttle and a diesel "throttle," what that means for MAX, and how the difference was overcome.

Recycling at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

John Rockhold, managing editor of MOTHER EARTH NEWS, talks about the recycling effort of staff and volunteers at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.

Why MAX Didn't Make the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Jack McCornack tells the story of how he got lost in the Oregon outback and how MAX was damaged such that the DIY-, super-fuel-efficient car couldn't make it to the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.

Mother Earth Resources Co-Op at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

GRIT Assistant Editor Caleb Regan talks to a representative of the Mother Earth Resources Co-Op, one of the sponsors of the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, about his company's vision and the reception he's gotten from fairgoers.

Nite Guard at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

GRIT Assistant Editor Caleb Regan chats with a representative of Nite Guard about his company's booth and his experience at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.

Shelf Reliance at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

GRIT Assistant Editor Caleb Regan talks to two representatives from Shelf Reliance about their experiences advertising their company at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.

Solar Shuttle at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

MOTHER EARTH NEWS Assistant Editor Heidi Hunt chats with Dan Lepinski of MOTHER EARTH NEWS RADIO about converting sunshine into electricity at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.

Talking About a Weed Diet at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

An attendee at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Penn., speaks to GRIT Assistant Editor Caleb Regan about his experience surviving on little more than kefir and common weeds for 40 days.    

NRDC’s Richard Schrader: Don’t Kill All the Lawyers

What do you get when you put a pack of attorneys, environmentalists, and politicians in the same room? According to Richard Schrader, legislative director for the National Resources Defense Council, a fighting chance to save the planet.

Missing Pics From FAIR

Photos from tectonic shift. Ruminations on MEN and MOTHER EARTH NEWS and masculine and feminine, and feminine planet.

Where Is That Cloning Machine?

We need a cloning machine workshop on top of all the plethora of other workshops organized at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR. Or maybe not ...?

Wood Gas Car at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

MOTHER EARTH NEWS Managing Editor John Rockhold catches up with Chip Beam of Beaver Energy to hear about Beam's latest exploits with wood gasification to power vehicles.

Dairy Farmer Arrives at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

GRIT Assistant Editor Caleb Regan catches Mike Ard, who has come to the FAIR from Ohio and has recently inherited a 60-acre dairy farm. Mike's main challenge is choosing between the numerous FAIR sessions.

Keynote Kevin Danaher Preaches Golden Rule

Kevin Danaher, the first keynote speaker of the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, proved an appropriate choice to kick off the event. His presentation, Green Jobs are the Future, was an upbeat assessment of what ordinary citizens can do to affect positive economic change.  It also reminded everyone gathered that in order “to save the eco-system, we must transcend the ego-system.”  

MAX Update No. 60: An Unplanned Body Modification

So here you have it: MAX with a crumpled rear fender, crumpled trunk section, a turn signal bashed out, a door knocked loose, and a flat tire. It's fully reparable, but not today, and not in time to drive to the MEN Fair.

Our 2010 FAIR Is Almost Here!

The 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania, is almost here! Follow this blog for news, photo and video from this FAIR and future events.

MAX Update No. 51: The Rally Green Route

The Rally Green starting flag drops in Knoxville Iowa, Sunday August 15, beginning a cross country fuel economy rally ending in San Francisco the folowing Saturday. MAX will be there and going for the gold.

MAX Update No. 46: Working With the Fiberglass Body

We're modifying the Lola race car's nose to fit MAX's chassis. The first step is cutting the nose down the middle so we can move the fenders apart a few more inches, which will let us steer enough for parking and other normal street activities.

MAX Update No. 41: New, Safer Seats

In which Jack departs a little from his fashion sense and MAX gets new racing seats. But not just any racing seats: safer seats with real head restraints.

MAX Update No. 33: Your Roof Ideas Wanted

MAX needs an aerodynamic and easy-to-assemble roof. Plus it needs to look cool, be cheap, cost little, have a simple design and be reliable. No problem, right? So, do you have any ideas?

MAX Update No. 27: The 5,000 Mile Inspection

One would think a car wouldn't need a mechanical inspection at 5,000 miles. But when you're building a 100-mpg car from scratch, and the builder is meticulous, it's wise to look for problems even when there are no signs of problems.  

MAX Update No. 8: Fuels Rush In

MAX version 2.0 is about to start moving. This may come as a surprise, but Jack is going to try it with biodiesel.

MAX Update No. 1: Half a Glass

Is the glass half empty? Half full? Or is there just too much glass? I'm designing MAX to be just the right amount of "glass" for the vast majority of our driving. Here's to efficiency.

Enter MAX: 100 mpg or Bust

We're at work on a 100-mpg DIY car! Come meet MAX and take a seat for what will be a long, but fun, journey.