By The Numbers: Electra Meccanica Solo Wins On Efficiency

“The SOLO is just the latest in a series of innovative electric vehicle designs. Green Car Reports provides a nice discussion of electric cars along with their specifications. Listed here in order of increasing cost, electric cars that are available in 2017 include: – EMVC SOLO $15,500, 16 kWh battery, 100 miles (EPA), 150 MPGe, 60 kW motor
– Mitsubishi i-MiEV $23,845, 16 kWh battery, 59 miles (EPA), 112 MPGe, 49 kW motor
– Ford Focus Electric $29,995, 33.5 kWh battery, 115 miles (EPA), 107 MPGe, 107 kW motor
– Nissan Leaf $31,545, 30 kWh battery, 107 miles (EPA), 112 MPGe, 80 kW motor
– Fiat 500e $32,780, 24 kWh battery, 84 miles (EPA), 112 MPGe, 83 kW motor
– Kia Soul EV $32,800, 27 kWh battery, 93 miles (EPA), 105 MPGe, 81 kW motor
– Chevrolet Bolt EV $37,495, 60 kWh battery, 238 miles (EPA), 119 MPGe, 150 kW motor
– Mercedes-Benz B250e $40,825, 28 kWh battery, 87 miles (EPA), 84 MPGe, 132 kW motor
– BMW i3 $43,395, 22-33 kWh battery, 81-114 miles, 118-124 MPGe, 125 kW motor
– Tesla Model S $69,200-$135,700, 60-100 kWh battery, 210-315 miles (EPA), 98-104 MPGe, 234-396 kW motor”
See Charged Up: Electric Cars Are Morphing Into Many Species
I love the concept of the Solo. It’s clearly the most efficient people-mover of all the electric vehicles out there, if you are riding around by yourself. At 150 MPGe, Solo is a winner. That’s a combined rating. On the highway, I expect the difference might be even greater as the lower cross-sectional area causes less air-resistance. I want to pay to move me around, not air or empty seats.

On a personal note, yesterday, a relative drove a bunch of us out into the country for a family visit/Easter dinner. It was a very comfortable and speedy drive and the operator cared nothing for efficiency. We checked the average fuel economy and it was 19.4 MPG (CDN gallons – just 15 MPG US)… Even if you multiplied that by five for the passenger-count it was only 97 MPG per person. Maybe, next time, I should roll out a fleet of Solos for such a trip. Of course that would have excluded the one non-driver… 😉 The Solo is a great concept, the perfect car for many, but it’s not for everyone on every occasion. No car is that.

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Yes, Electra Meccanica Has A Factory

“Wednesday, April 19th, Electra Meccanica invites you to visit our SOLO factory. From this 5,000+ square foot facility, located at 47 Braid Street in New Westminster, will soon emerge the first run of production SOLOs! Come by between 5:00 P.M. and 7:00 P.M. for a look at this bustling new centre for B.C. automanufacturing. Say hello to the manufacturing team behind the SOLO, including Intermeccanica’s Henry Reisner, and Electra Meccanica CEO Jerry Kroll!”Yes, folks are grumbling while waiting for production to begin but there is space and manpower for the ramp-up from prototype to production. Waiting for my number to come up is painful and Vancouver is too far for me to visit but if you are in the neighbourhood, drop by. See

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Mary Jane Goes Crazy

“On Thursday, the Canadian government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled its plans to legalize recreational marijuana.Canadian PM Justin Trudeau endorsed marijuana legalization during his campaign.
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau endorsed marijuana legalization during his campaign.If the Cannabis Act passes Parliament, Canada would become the second nation in the world, after Uruguay, to regulate a legal marijuana market.”
See Canada’s marijuana proposal: 5 things to know
There are so many issues related to legalization of marijuana in Canada, I scarcely know where to start. I’ve never used the stuff and I especially hate smoking anything. It’s just stupid and unhealthy to take into lungs random chemical products subjected to high temperatures.

Nevertheless Canadians like most other humans to some extent enjoy or value marijuana either for “recreation” or medical benefits. Perhaps the best place to look for reason in all this is to consider why marijuana was made illegal in the first place. After all, alcohol and tobacco are almost certainly more harmful but legal.

On the plus side, re-legalization may help wrest marijuana from criminal elements which are involved in so much violence, medical uses could be properly explored and exploited and governments could benefit from taxation. On the negative side, re-legalization could encourage/enable use by children who are the most vulnerable to smoking and likely the least to benefit from “recreation”, whatever that is. Watching my grand daughters playing is all the proof I need that they don’t need marijuana, yet I know peer pressure and curiosity will expose them to marijuana sooner or later.

Eventually, farmers could benefit from marijuana as they used to. As a child I used a rope made of hemp in a swing in the maple trees in my yard. Hemp is a valuable fibre from the plant. I’m sure farmers could produce marijuana in quantity if not quality compared to the greenhouse operations I’ve seen on the news. I’d sure prefer Canadian farmers grew and profited from marijuana rather than tobacco especially if non-smoked products were manufactured. I see nothing wrong with people having some pleasure from their meals rather than sucking tar into their lungs.

Eventually this will all be sorted out. The one inevitable evil from all of this will be one more way folks will be lulled into a stupor while driving tonnes of vehicle down the highway at 100km/h. I’m sure that happens now but with legalization and wider availability the danger will increase. I hope these governments who hope to profit from marijuana invest heavily in education to guide our children to make good choices. Make sure your democratic representatives know your views.

Posted in family, food, horticulture, politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sessions: We’ll Do Forensics Without All That Science Stuff

“Attorney General Jeff Sessions will end a Justice Department partnership with independent scientists to raise forensic science standards and has suspended an expanded review of FBI testimony across several techniques that have come under question, saying a new strategy will be set by an in-house team of law enforcement advisers.”
See Sessions orders Justice Dept. to end forensic science commission, suspend review policy
Government by ignorant people just doesn’t work, it seems. Now the USA’s Department of Justice will dispose of inconvenient science to streamline operations. [SARCASM]Who cares if the prisons are full of the wrongfully convicted? Who cares if a bunch were actually executed? Tough. We’ll do it our way and we’ll dodge outside scrutiny just to make sure the boat doesn’t rock.[/SARCASM]

This is what you get when you elect a raving lunatic to hire other lunatics to run things. Do better, USA.

Posted in politics, technology | Tagged , , | 15 Comments

Not In PEI, You Say? Pity!

According to The Native Plants Database, Canada has Rosa acicularis everywhere except in Prince Edward Island. Surely, that can’t be right. Even the “Newfies” have them. PEI has Anne of Green Gables, I suppose. Perhaps that’s a compensation. I found it growing wild in my yard. Now one’s in a pot waking up in my dining room. They’ve been everywhere I’ve lived in Canada, even the Arctic.

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Diss United

I hate a lot. I hate M$, BillG, Intel, That Other OS, things that don’t work, stuff like that. Today, I saw how United Airlines treats passengers and operates more like a criminal gang than a proper business. I don’t like that. I think everyone who pays for a ticket has a proper contract with United and United should do their level best to fulfill the contract, even if some of their employees want to fly to Louisville to go to work, especially if so. I mean, would the world end if four of United’s employees missed a flight? Would the world end if they were hung over and couldn’t fly? Would the world end if they were in a severe collision on the way to the airport? What’s the difference then when the problem is United OVERBOOKING the flight?

I was only on one overbooked flight ever in my life. I had just received the job-offer to go to work in Saudi Arabia and wanted to propose to TLW that we marry and have our honeymoon in Saudi… I wasn’t going to take some money to take a later flight… In the event, TLW made me wait a day or so anyway, but that’s besides the story. This poor guy did nothing wrong but book a flight on United. He shouldn’t have been assaulted and kidnapped because of that.

I think everyone should check their itineraries to make sure United flies only their dead-heading employees until they go bankrupt.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 19 Comments

Trump Dipping Toe In Syria

I was heartened Trump activate one of Obama’s old plans for inaction in Syria by hammering one of Assad’s airbases. I think that’s the right idea. Whether proper maintenance of this mindset persists is another matter.

The attack on the airbase was not very serious:

  • The Russians were warned.
  • The cruise missiles are not great on concrete.
  • No attempt was made to go after the toxic inventory, personnel, or even planes.

A real attack would tip Russians that A, B, and C were going to be attacked whereupon the Russians and Syrians would move to D and E. Then those bases would be attacked for more effect on soft targets. A mix of cruise missiles, bunker-busters and areal denial weapons should be used. That would really send a message and reduce effectiveness. Further, air-defences all over Syria should be attacked and close air support of all cities should clear out artillery and armour.

If Trump is worried about refugees he should recruit military aged men with a promise to relocate and protect families either in Syria or USA or other friendly country and raise a real army to defeat Assad on the ground. That’s the only way to force negotiation of a new constitution and settle issues.

It’s just silly to hold that a war-crime involving Sarin is worthy of intervention when those involving chlorine, TNT, starvation and torture are not. Trump should be consistent and get on with it. USA does not have to go it alone. Much of Europe and neighbours of Syria would get involved if there was a coherent plan. Shut down Assad’s air and artillery and Syrians will be able to much of the dirty work.

Posted in politics | Tagged , , | 20 Comments

My Smartphone And Me

I went for a walk with my new smartphone today. It was our very first one. Yesterday, I picked it up at the post office, charged and played with it indoors. The display is much larger. The adaptive brightness even works in full sun. The GPS is super fast and accurate. I’m still becoming familiar with the newer Android but it does work for me after I figure things out.

Along the way I met a magnificent oak that was probably around when the first Europeans settled here. I managed to chop off the top in the picture above but the camera was very easy to use even in full sunlight. Now, I just need to work up to walking four times as far twice as fast and I might live a bit longer to enjoy such beautiful sights.

PS I have some afterthoughts. During my walk the phone dingled a few times. There was a notice that an “open” WiFi signal was detected. Every few hundred yards another came up. About 10% of my neighbourhood doesn’t care or can’t do anything about securing their WiFi. That’s interesting. It means when I’m tooling around in my EV and need a tow, I can send a service request to the CAA via the web. Amazing. CAA has free enrolment these days. The benefits of smartphone ownership appeal to me. 😉

Posted in horticulture, hunting, technology, weather | Tagged , | 22 Comments

RK 3399 And Linux

“This patch add basic node for the board and make it able to bringup.
Peripheral works:- usb hub which connect to ehci controller;- UART2 debug- eMMC- PCIe
Not work:- USB 3.0 HOST, type-C port- sdio, sd-card”
See Linux-Kernel Archive: [PATCH v2 1/2] arm64: dts: rk3399: add support for firefly-rk3399 board
This is good news. The newest ARM64 chip I’ve been wanting is going “mainstream”, with not just a kernel the FireFly maker can love, but everyone else. It’s not a perfect setup, but it’s a start and shows there’s life in this chip with users like me. That board certainly has the power I need to replace my current server but it still doesn’t support SATA directly. I would have to use the single Ethernet or USB3 interface to get to big/fast storage. Still, it’s affordable and can be extended through PCI-e. You can even buy a set-top box using the chip today at a very nice price. This would make a far better client than the Odroid-C2 as long as you love Android/Linux… I guess there’s a way I could put Debian GNU/Linux on that.

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Trump As Kamikaze

“When you get on the airplane, you better be rooting for the success of the pilot”
See Jamie Dimon on Trump: On a plane, you root for the pilot
Trump’s reckless behaviour, poor choice of people, outright lying, and constantly changing course do not indicate he’s a good pilot of the ship, USA. USAians would better root for the copilot. Pence? Maybe he would not be my first choice but I don’t think he’s suicidal and wanting to take the whole world with him.

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The Sad Case Of The Linux Foundation

“Tom King and I collared Jim Zemlin and I made mention to him that there was little to catch the Desktop user’s attention or interest within the gathering’s program and scheduling for the duration of the summit. Zemlin stood in front of Tom and I and looked down his nose while explaining that there was no real market for the Desktop application For linux and The Linux Foundation had no real use for the desktop or its users.”
See The Linux Foundation: Not a Friend of Desktop Linux, the GPL, or Openness
Once upon a time, TLF had a Desktop User’s Group… No more. Red Hat and many other members have little interest in the desktop and are willing to let M$ run roughshod over the world… That’s sad, but we desktop users will survive systemd, pulseaudio and all the other M$-like crap folks throw at us. We will go over, under or around all the barriers and enjoy desktop software that works for us, not against us. I recommend Debian GNU/Linux simply for that reason.

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Trump An Agent Of Rage, Not Change

“Why has the peso enjoyed such a massive rebound? Investors believe the most severe of Trump’s trade threats may not come to fruition. And Mexico’s central bank has taken steps to buoy the battered currency.
Trump administration officials signaled in a draft memo to Congress this week that they don’t plan a wholesale rewrite of NAFTA, the free trade deal between the U.S. Canada and Mexico.”
See Mexican peso nears full recovery after Election Day plunge – Mar. 31, 2017
In four years, Trumpism will be just a bad memory in the dust of history. Trump is an agent of rage, not change. He got into power by manipulating the media and stoking anger against various strawmen while accomplishing nothing once in power. All his edicts can be written out by the next president’s pen and the world will go on with or without USA participating in the economy, culture or humanitarian endeavours. His swamp is deeper and darker than anything that came before. The ethics of his inner circle are a benchmark that will not soon be equalled. He’s told more lies per hour than any ordinary politician, actor or newsman tells in years. Meanwhile, he and his friends are getting richer while his voters continue to starve.

Posted in politics | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments