Thursday, November 11, 2010

News Article Round-Up: Electric Cars and Elizabeth Smart

This is good.  One of the big problems of fully-electric cars is that miles-per-charge is low and there's no electric infrastructure analogous to to the existing gasoline infrastructure, but an advanced hybrid design like Volt eliminate that problem by having a gasoline engine run the generator when the batteries get low.  Obviously this won't eliminate the need for gasoline entirely, but 37.1 MPG is a big improvement over current gas mileage.

(I've divided miles driven by gas in the tank and I've deduced my Accord gets around 24 MPG on average, although I can't differentiate between highway and city driving since I don't drive in only one environment while on a single tank of gas.)

Hopefully the prices will go down as technology improves so the tax credits can be phased out and the cars will stand on their own two feet.  And hopefully they'll improve the Leaf's mileage-per-charge or build more charging stations so owning an all-electric car is practical for all uses, not just in-town driving.

I'm impressed at how clever Elizabeth Smart was to use religion (and the possibility of getting his hands on more "wives") to manipulate the vile SOB who'd kidnapped her into taking them to a place she'd be more likely to be recognized.  Good job.  And based on her testimony and how she bears herself in the courtroom, kudos to her for getting on with her life and being such a strong person.  She's orders of magnitude higher on the food chain than that lowlife Brian Mitchell is.

And for the record, I don't believe Mitchell is insane.  From her accounts of the nine months he held her, he strikes me as far too clever and manipulative.  Methinks he's cranking the loony prophet act up to be put in a mental hospital rather than an ordinary prison where the other inmates will tear him apart*.  I'll give his defense attorney credit for being gentle with Smart, unlike the way some accused rapists' defense attorneys behave toward rape victims, but he's got to be almost criminally naive if he really thinks Mitchell is nuts enough to merit "not guilty by reason of insanity."

*Rapists and especially child molesters are not very popular in prison.  Not at all.

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