Last week we told you of Raffia the camel, the latest mode of transport to carry Google's Street View camera though Abu Dhabi's Liwa desert.
Well, it seems that US-based animal rights group PETA is claiming Google is exploiting the camel for publicity purposes, hiring it on the cheap from its abusive owners in order to generate priceless "awww" factor and "cutesy" attention for its product. PETA president Ingrid Newark took exception to Google's use of Raffia to carry the camera, claiming the company should have used a 4WD instead.
Which are all very valid points. Except for the fact that, as we pointed out in the original article, the Street View camera that Raffia wore was a backpack camera designed for a person to wear. We really don't think a 10-year-old camel would struggle much with that and, as far as it was concerned, it was just out for a nice stroll in the desert. Something that it would have been doing anyway ...
We are the world
• A publicity stunt designed to promote the value of advertising on the side of trucks backfired spectacularly in Moscow, where it's blamed for causing more than 500 accidents in one day. AdvTruck.ru thought it would get attention by running huge ads solely featuring a photo of a woman's breasts with "They attract" emblazoned across them. They sure did! The company says it will compensate motorists ... no such thing as bad publicity right?
• When Tammy Rahn, 50, of Florida, was pulled over by police for doing 57mph (91.2km/h) in a 40 zone, she admitted drinking several beers, handing over her credit card instead of her licence. But she had a valid excuse; "I'm on a Hell mission. I gotta go. I need to complete this Hell mission soon." She was arrested on a DUI charge. Satan was, presumably, pleased.
As never used by James Bond
The Dartz Black Shark
Despite all the brilliant dash cam videos to choose from, The Good Oil's absolute favourite crazy Russians are still the wonderful weirdos at certifiably insane SUV "maker" Dartz.
We love them not just because they feed this column with a regular supply of seriously demented press releases, but also because they almost always follow through on whatever ridiculous creation they promise to make. We say almost because that whole whale penis leather interior they wanted to put in the Prombron didn't quite pan out ...
But they have stayed away from the cetacean dangly bits for this one, so we have no reason to think their latest bit of insanity won't become a reality as well.
The company has released a teaser shot of its latest monstrosity; the Dartz Prombron Black Shark. But more importantly, it has also let loose one of its fantastically twisted press releases to accompany it.
Seriously, we could just run the whole text of one of these things and let it entertain you with its mangled English and wildly unsubstantiated claims, except they are simply too big ...
Anyway, the latest one kicks off with the fantastically surreal and completely unsubstantiated claim that Dartz "cars" have been "up until this point approved by two former 007 agents - Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan - the Dartz cars have been mainly used by the opposite side in the movie conflict - the villains", despite never having been featured in a Bond film.
Facts aside, the whole point of it is to illustrate that the Black Shark is a "real life James Bond car".
Based on a Mercedes-Benz GL platform, the Black Shark takes its name from a Russian attack helicopter and will come with a choice of a V8 or V12 engine (from the AMG GL 63 or GL 65 respectively).
The body is apparently made from bullet resistant Kevlar-titanium, which Dartz says is "to prevent the use of magnetic mines", which is a handy feature.
It is also fully loaded with military tech like a road analyser, explosive detector and signal jammer. If that's not enough, the door handles disappear into the body and have what the press release calls an "anti-paparazzi shock-device", which sounds like fun.
While on the outside the paparazzi fry, you can sit back in opulent comfort listening to the Bang and Olufssen stereo while enjoying the luxury features, such as the champagne holder with sterling silver hand-polished flutes and a humidor, or just play the latest games on the built-in Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Although we can't think of a game that could compare in any way to your actual life if you actually need one of these things.
The Ford F-150 designed by Vaugh Gittin jnr.
Ford has teamed up with drift star Vaughn Gittin jnr to create a unique F-150 for this year's SEMA show - a drift truck.
Boasting 12 inches of travel via a Kibbetech custom suspension, the Gittin-designed truck will "take full advantage of the weight savings and serious torque offered by the all-new F-150".
Just look at the pic. There really isn't a lot else to say about it, although we will let Mr Gittin sum up his thinking.
"I love trucks, and to build one that has daily on- and off-road capabilities, as well as drifting and jumping capabilities, is something I have always wanted to do."
Haven't we all?
While we are sure you would agree that most Porsches are very good looking cars, there is one glaring exception, and it comes in the form of the ungainly Panamera super sedan.
There is really no getting around the fact that, despite its being one of the best selling Porsches globally (but not here in New Zealand), the Panamera is an unfortunate attempt to transfer 911 styling cues to a four-door shape.
And we are not alone in thinking that, as a recent interview with Porsche's CEO Matthias Mueller showed that he pretty much feels the same way!
In the interview with Australia's Motoring.com.au, Mueller was surprisingly open on his views of the Panamera's looks: "There have been some small mistakes and we will do it better," Mueller promised when asked what we could expect from the next Panamera.
"For example the design could be better." Asked if he was referring to exterior styling, he said "as well as the interior."
Mueller said the next Panamera (due in 2016) will look "faster" with a more coupe-like roofline.