AutoMatters+: Formula E, olloclip, Cousteau and “Terminator”


Formula E Series Champion crowned

Earlier this year (in AutoMatters+ 382) I told you about the Long Beach round of the new Formula E world championship for all-electric, open-wheeled, single-seater, high performance racecars ( The winner of that race was Nelson Piquet Jr., whom you can also find behind the wheel of a Red Bull Global Rallycross racecar (AutoMatters+ 369).

Formula E cars are almost whisper-quiet as they race. The only sounds are what you might hear from life-sized radio-controlled cars, as well as squealing tires. Being able to have conversations with other race fans without needing to wear hearing protection is a welcome change.

Showcased on street circuits to emphasize that electric cars are especially well suited to urban environments, the 10-location inaugural season also included races in Beijing, Monaco, Miami, Berlin, Moscow, and Buenos Aires. Perhaps the most thrilling race by far was the recent season finale in London.

Three drivers had a realistic shot at the title, in a race that almost defied belief.

Qualifying began under dry track conditions, but rainfall during championship leader Piquet’s qualifying attempt left him way back in the pack, and in trouble. The Battersea Park street circuit in London was very narrow, which made passing difficult.

Up ahead, Sebastien Buemi was therefore in a good position to win the series title — until disaster struck. Shortly after emerging from his required mid-race pit stop to change cars, Buemi spun on cool tires and lost one critical position to Bruno Senna — a position that he was unable to regain. Even though Piquet was only able to work his way up to a seventh-place finish, ultimately that was just enough for him to secure the championship title in this, the first season of Formula E — and by only a single point! No doubt Buemi will be reliving that fateful spin for a very long time.


Widely available (at all Apple stores, Target, and other retailers), olloclip lenses ( easily clip on to popular cellular camera phones. Their optics are precision-coated, ground glass.

This is good news because occasionally I need to use my iPhone — instead of one of my professional Nikon DSLR cameras — to take photos for this column. Olloclip expands my photographic possibilities through the addition of high-quality wide-angle, macro and telephoto lenses.

One of the newest offerings from olloclip — sent to me to review — is an optional protective case that is designed to work with olloclip lenses. It works great with the new olloclip Active Lens, which combines a 2x telephoto lens and an ultra-wide lens. This combo is easily clipped to a wearable pendant or a phone’s front- or rear-facing camera, for greatly expanded photographic possibilities.

Jean-Michel Cousteau’s “Secret Ocean”

Speaking of spectacular photography, I recently enjoyed a preview of the new film titled “Secret Ocean” at San Diego’s Reuben H. Fleet Science Theater, in Balboa Park.

Opening July 3, it will absolutely blow you away with its images of an intensely colorful world bursting with beautiful, amazing underwater life — a world that is hidden from view to those of us who do not venture into the water.

Through insightful narration and breathtaking underwater photography, this film tells a story of the complex and fragile underwater food chain that is vital to all life on Earth. The Reuben H. Fleet’s Dome Theater surrounds patrons with exceptionally detailed, vividly colored scenes — from extreme close-ups to wide shots.

Check out the movie trailer from the Reuben H. Fleet Science Theater’s website (

“Terminator Genisys”

In “Terminator Genisys” (, Arnold Schwarzenegger reprises his familiar role as an old, but not yet obsolete, series T-800 Terminator — and yes, you will hear Arnold declare those famous words: “I’ll be back.”

This is a not-too-dark — and even, occasionally, light-hearted — sequel to the long-running “Terminator” movie franchise. It is the largest-scale “Terminator” movie yet, in which countless cars burn and city blocks are destroyed as the latest Terminators wreak havoc on the world, repeatedly regenerating themselves as they are shot, burned, and otherwise struck down in their unrelenting pursuit of Sarah Connor and Sgt. Kyle Reese.

Will they, along with John Connor, be able to change the future once and for all and, in so doing, save humanity yet again? There is one big, new, surprise twist that will get in the way, as multiple overlapping timelines keep things interesting. Be sure to stay for the closing credits.

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Copyright © 2015 by Jan Wagner – AutoMatters+ #391