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  • 2015 Budget Presentation, YES or NO

    MC logo moneyThe Mason County preliminary 2015 Budget has been distributed. Now comes the hard work, getting the forecasted $33,647,430 in county current expense spending closer to the expected (forecasted) revenues of $26,642,576, allotted to pay for the 2015 current expenses… Read More +

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  • UW Criticizes Med School Study

    asklepianEDITThe University of Washington is criticizing a deeply flawed study released last week that supports the creation of a new medical school in Spokane by rival Washington State University. A press release from the Seattle university on Monday says the study… Read More +

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  • San Diego Over Hawks

    seahawks blueAntonio Gates had three touchdown catches and the San Diego Chargers controlled the tempo to keep Seattle's offense off the field and upset the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks 30-21 Sunday. Gates' 21-yard catch late in the third quarter was epic, as the star tight end split two defenders and extended for Philip Rivers' pass, reaching out with his left hand to gather it in.

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New Car Shrinks by Nearly Half for Compact Parking

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-08_f082aa5a04.jpgKorean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (NEW YORK) -- The Smart car might face some stiff competition in the tiny vehicle market. Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) unveiled a prototype car that can fold itself almost in half with just the press of a button on the driver's smartphone.

In-Soo Suh, an associate professor of the Graduate School for Green Transportation at KAIST, named the car the Armadillo-T.  After the car is parked, a stabilizing wheel pops out from underneath, followed by the back of the car curling forwards and upwards, much like its namesake desert mammal.  The Armadillo-T shrinks down to a little under five-and-a-half feet.

Suh and his colleagues have found additional ways to bring cutting edge technology to the Armadillo-T.  In place of side view mirrors are cameras that both take up less space and reduce blind spots by providing a more comprehensive side view.  The car can also be partly controlled from the smartphone, allowing drivers to step out and better see how they're navigating tricky parking spaces.

"This car is ideal for urban travels, including car-sharing and transit transfer," said Suh in a statement.  "I expect that people living in cities will eventually shift their preferences from bulky, petro-engine cars to smaller and lighter electric cars."

Nick Gianaris, the executive director of the Composite Vehicle Research Center at Michigan State University, noted that the Armadillo-T has four individual motors in each of the wheels, rather than one centralized motor.

"The speed of the car is limited, but the control of each motor provides you safety," he told ABC News.

People who complained about the Smart car's lack of speed probably won't find much solace in the Armadillo-T.  The prototype car's top speed currently stands at around 37 miles per hour, half as fast as the Smart car's 75 miles per hour.

Overall, Gianaris thinks that though the car is futuristic looking, it's also realistic.

"It's going to be a lot of touching and feeling around," he said in regards to the Armadillo-T's future.  "But it's a good thing."

According to KAIST's statement, three shrunken Armadillo-T's can fit in a single five-meter parking spot.  However, Suh and his colleagues haven't provided information on how a car could get out if it's cramped bumper-to-bumper between other cars.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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