Yes, We’re Open!

Posted on December 16, 2010Comments are off

Today through Saturday, 9am – 6pm, we are selling Ruby Red Grapefruits and Navel Oranges in Fairfax Circle, adjacent to Home Depot!

There’s snow on the ground, but the fruit is still moving!  So are the Virginia peanuts and Vermont maple syrup, so don’t put off visiting to pick your’s up today!

Click here to see full details of our December Citrus Sale.

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Citrus Sale: December 16-18, 2010

Posted on December 6, 2010Leave a comment

Ruby Red Grapefruit

Join us at the next Citrus Fruit Sale!

We will be selling fresh Ruby Red Grapefruits and Navel Oranges straight from the farms of Florida, Vermont Maple Syrup, and Virginia Peanuts. Entertainment books will also be available.

Our doors are opened from 9am – 6pm Daily. Find us at Fairfax Circle, along Old Lee Hwy, adjacent to Home Depot. For those who attended the November sale at the new and temporary location in the parking lot, the December sale will return to our old location at the corner of the lot. Look for the blue and white moving van from Craig Van Lines.

If you haven’t signed up for our notification list, please CLICK HERE so you will receive notification prior to each sale. You’ll also receive a coupon for $3.00 off each full box purchased!

Fairfax Lions Citrus Sale Location

Find us adjacent to the Fairfax Circle Home Depot

All remaining dates for our sales this season include Dec 16-18, 2010 and Mar 24-26, 2011. Don’t forget to sign up for reminders and coupons!
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The Blind Driver Challenge

Posted on December 5, 2010Leave a comment

Recently, I had the opportunity to see the second generation of a technology that many say is impossible. While attending the annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind during the 4th-of-July week in Dallas, Texas, I experienced technology that someday may enable the blind to drive their own cars.

The hands-on exhibit consisted of the latest technological advances coming from the NFB’s Blind-Driver-Challenge which was initiated just over three years ago. The Challenge was issued to all universities in the United States asking them to develop an automobile that would be drivable by a blind person. One requirement was to utilize current technology and to make the vehicles semi-autonomous while the blind person would do the driving.

The College of Engineering at Virginia Tech took on that task and just one and a half years later had created a prototype vehicle. This consisted of a dune buggy outfitted with devices that translated visual information into tactile allowing the driver to make decisions based on what they could “feel” about their surroundings. This type of transforming information is called haptics. It is not a new technology but used in a new way. There are plans to demonstrate this technology to the public. A Ford Explorer equipped with the non-visual interface technology, will be driven by a blind individual who will navigate part of the famed Daytona International Speedway.

There were three other devices on display at the convention that make this car possible. The first technology incorporated by the Blind-Driver-Challenge vehicle utilized Lidar. Lidar is a lot like radar except that it uses light rather than radio waves to gage distances to objects. The Explorer will have Lidar devices positioned around it and on-board computers identify objects surrounding the automobile. This helps the driver “look” around the vehicle.

The second technology assists the driver in interpreting the Lidar information. The driver wears a pair of specially designed gloves with built-in transducers. Depending on the type and urgency of the information the car’s on-board computer needs to communicate, dif-ferent areas of the gloves would be energized creating different sensations in the driver’s hands. The urgency of the information would be directly proportional to the intensity of the sensations.

The last technology informs the driver of the presence of surrounding objects consisted of a matrix of blow holes placed on a flat panel. Very much like the blowing holes in an air hockey table to keep the puck floating, the air holes in the blind drivable car would communicate information to the driver.

During a demonstration I had, I was asked to identify the pattern generated by the holes that had air coming out of them and by those that didn’t. The first pattern I could identify with my hand was a cross. The second was a circle, and the last was a triangle. In a car, these would be the object pre-sent outside the car.

An on-board computer in combination with the Lidar information could be displayed tactilely on this device. No one I spoke to at the convention thought that a blind-drivable car would be on our highways anytime soon. Rather, the goal of the Blind-Driver-Challenge was to spur on innovation and to raise the visibility of how challenging transportation is to our visually impaired population.

~John Bailey

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