The Victa rotary lawn mower is as iconic to Australia as, say, maybe a Harley Havidson might be the US. Originally invented in the early 50's, using a peach tin fuel tank and pram wheels, it soon wowed a nation and was produced in every increasing volumes. Apparently nearly 7 million of the noisy, stinky, two stroke engine-powered destroyers of the Sunday morning lie-ins have been made. All crafted in Australia, which at least is one good thing. And somehow we managed to convince another 30 countries that they needed them too. This includes a few European states, who have belated come to their senses and imposed emission and pollution standards on the wee beasties. Rising to this challenge Victa enlisted the help of Professor of Engineering, Dr Guang Hong and her students at the University of Technology, Sydney. Seems they have managed to green the humble petrol mower. "The hydrocarbon has been reduced by 30 per cent. The fuel consumption has been reduced by 20 per cent and also the power goes up by five per cent," said the Prof. Which is good news 'coz the USA EPA is said to think that the standard two stoke mower generates as much air pollution as a car driven 350 miles (~560 km). (Mmm, wish we could track down the original EPA doc on that one.) Anyhow, hat's off to the Professor and her team, but we still think a good push mower, a goat, sheep or appropriate cover plant in the first instance would negate the need for petrochemicals to be involve at all. Via AM.