First Look: 2015 Volvo XC90 to set a new standard

Now if I had $85,000 to spend, I’d be hard pressed to choose between this car and the Tesla Model S. They both look like great vehicles.

New and Used Car Reviews, Comparisons and News | Driving

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN — All too often, a car that’s billed as being all-new really is not — the majority of it may have been tweaked or reworked, but seldom is it overhauled from bumper to bumper. The Volvo XC90 is the exception that makes the rule. Everything from the styling to the platform and powertrain choices is totally new, as is the company’s infotainment system.

Stylistically, the new XC90 will not be mistaken for anything other than a Volvo, although the front LED daytime running lights (nicknamed Thor’s Hammer because of the shape) add a bejeweled look to the front end. The curvaceous tail lights do the same at the back end.

Any and all similarities to previous model end right here.

For starters, the XC90 rides on Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform that was developed in-house. A full 40 per cent of the structure is made of ultra-high…

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Robin D.G. Kelley: The U.S. v. Trayvon Martin: How the System Worked

Robin D.G. Kelley: The U.S. v. Trayvon Martin: How the System Worked.

“In 2012 alone, police officers, security guards or vigilantes took the lives of 136 unarmed black men and women — at least twenty-five of whom were killed by vigilantes. In ten of the incidents, the killers were not charged with a crime, and most of those who were charged either escaped conviction or accepted reduced charges in exchange for a guilty plea.”

The American justice system worked the way it is designed to work and the design is seriously flawed. Unfortunately, they way it works is heavily weighted against a significant percentage of the population. In Florida, you can shoot to kill even if retreat is a safe and viable option. Zimmerman was allowed to claim self defence even though he provoked the confrontation.

Unclean at Any Speed – IEEE Spectrum

Unclean at Any Speed – IEEE Spectrum.

I hate to break this to you but the movement towards greater use of renewable resources is anything but green. The article that I have linked to here is quite depressing. It demonstrates quite clearly that from cradle to grave, manufacture to disposal, an electric car pollutes our world far more than a standard car with a gasoline engine. Alberta’s tar sands project gets a lot of criticism based on destruction of the environment and pollution of surrounding areas. It would appear that and electric car is more damaging to the environment than a car fuelled exclusively by gasoline obtained from the tar sands. Please read the included article to find out why.

Why the Ethanol Boom Means More E. Coli Burgers | Mother Jones

Why the Ethanol Boom Means More E. Coli Burgers | Mother Jones.

I have a friend who believes that everything is connected. You cannot alter one thing, no matter how subtly without that change having an unexpected effect somewhere down the line. Some refer to that as the “Butterfly Effect”. [The formation of a hurricane may be caused by the flapping of a distant butterfly’s wings.] Human beings through the ages have been working hard to upset the balance of nature by changing things arbitrarily without giving sufficient thought to possible consequences. As this article in Mother Jones points out, the addition of ethanol to gasoline, supposedly a good thing, has the spin-off effect of increasing the risk of e-coli infection. Definitely a bad thing. Chalk up another one to lack of forethought. We’re on a roll.

The Food Lab: 7 Old Wives Tales About Cooking Steak That Need To Go Away | Serious Eats

Now that we are well into official BBQ season, this article is particularly timely and helpful. The information presented here should help to contribute to many successful outdoor cooked meals. There is quite a lot of information here about cooking steak that I was completely unaware of.

The Food Lab: 7 Old Wives Tales About Cooking Steak That Need To Go Away | Serious Eats.

With regard to veganism, carnism, and my omnivorous diet

I am a dedicated omnivore. I do understand a vegetarian’s ethical opposition to killing animals for food. I also understand their concerns with regard to the treatment of animals being raised to be food. Where our ideas diverge completely is with what I consider to be vegan evangelism.  I accept the fact that we eat too much meat. I agree that we could all benefit, health wise, from a diet that placed a greater emphasis on the consumption of vegetables. What I reject utterly is the persistent reference to meat eaters as murderers. I most strongly object to being called a murderer by these evangelists. By all means, educate people about the choices that are available by which we can replace some of the meat protein that we consume with vegetable protein. But do not pretend that society can switch from being omnivorous to being vegan. The existing population cannot be sustained by a vegan diet. There is simply not enough of the right kind of food to replace the meat part of our diet.

I also take offence at what vegans refer to as “carnism”. To quote from their website, “Carnism is the invisible belief system, or ideology, that conditions people to eat certain animals. Carnism is essentially the opposite of veganism; “carn” means “flesh” or “of the flesh” and “ism” denotes a belief system. Most people view eating animals as a given, rather than a choice; in meat-eating cultures around the world people typically don’t think about why they find the flesh of some animals disgusting and the flesh of other animals appetizing, or why they eat any animals at all. But when eating animals is not a necessity for survival, as is the case in much of the world today, it is a choice – and choices always stem from beliefs.”

I do not eat meat because of any belief system. I eat meat because I am a human being and human beings are omnivorous. Our dental and digestive apparatus has evolved to accommodate the eating of meat as well as vegetables, fruit and grains. Being vegan is a choice based on a belief system. Being omnivorous is following a natural instinct.

The first attached article caught my attention recently because it touches on the importance of cooking food and eating meat. The second article appealed to me because of its surprising conclusion. I won’t give away the conclusion here. I recommend you read these articles for yourself. I came upon both of these articles quite by accident. I was not searching the internet for information to support my pro-meat eating ideas. But now that I have found them, I feel somewhat vindicated.

Cooking May Have Driven Human Evolution | Food & Think.

Unless you’re a fan of steak tartar, cooking meat before you eat it is a matter of course. It’s a culinary custom that human ancestors may have been practicing for millions of years. But is there a reason behind why we’ve been doing it all this time? It could be that prepared animal proteins can provide a body with a “pick-me-up.” In a first-of-its-kind study, Harvard researchers investigated the energy a body gains from consuming cooked meat. Follow the link above to read the rest of the article.

Long-distance running and evolution: Why humans can outrun horses but can’t jump higher than cats. – Slate Magazine.

Burton Newman: The NRA’s Fraud: Fabrication of Second Amendment Rights

In Idaho, recently, a woman left her infant children alone in her car. There was a loaded handgun in sight. The three year old shot and wounded the ten month old.  No charges will be laid because, in Idaho, the law allows you to keep a loaded handgun in your car. Congratulations to the NRA. Surely, the mother could at least be charged with leaving the children unsupervised in an unsafe environment.

Burton Newman: The NRA’s Fraud: Fabrication of Second Amendment Rights.