If you think about it, language is something that’s always in flux.
Certain words may have multiple meanings or, in some cases, may start off meaning one thing and eventually mean another.
Then there are words which may describe something which, in time, becomes irrelevant or forgotten or, perhaps, a word simply falls out of favor with another taking over. Some words simply have a short life-span and are soon discarded. Some can be slang terms that don’t last a very long time.
A good collection of these so-called “lost words” have been collected in this wonderful website:
If you’ve read my posts here for a bit, you’ll likely know I’m a fan of electric vehicles and Tesla in particular.
Mind you, I don’t feel like I’m a “slave” to Tesla and their product but let’s face facts: At least at this point in time and even if you feel Elon Musk, the head of the company, is a troublesome (to put it mildly) figure, you’ll have to admit there is no other car company that even approaches what Tesla is doing with regards to the electric car market.
I have a Model 3 and I love the damn thing to death. It’s the best car I’ve driven/had since I began driving waaaaay back in 1981 or 82, and I’m certain I’ll never again buy an ICE vehicle for myself.
Having said that, there are times when it gets frustrating being an EV fan.
The fact is that even the cheapest Tesla model is still pretty expensive, though they have managed to get the prices within a stone’s throw of the more “average” ICE vehicles. The range isn’t quite as large as having an ICE vehicle, certainly, but again its not all that much behind. Finally, it does take a little more time to fully charge up your vehicle, though Tesla has done a terrific job IMHO with their Superchargers, which allow a refill within 20 or so minutes, depending on how much of a charge you need.
It may be a longer wait than an ICE car, but the only reason to use a Supercharger, at least for me, is when I’m doing long trips so when it gets to the point where I need to charge, I can manage the 20 or so minutes and use them for a bathroom break and/or to get food. Otherwise, I do all my charging from the convenience of my home and its cheap compared to gas.
The other thing which is keeping the EV revolution from becoming much more robust is what is mentioned in the article: Batteries.
The 4680 cells are the new Tesla batteries which will be made by Tesla (their previous batteries were supplied by other companies as well as Tesla built) and supposedly they are much better/longer lasting and quicker charging batteries versus the old model.
But, they do require the proper infrastructure to be built and doing so certainly takes time.
While each day seems to bring something new to the EV market (not just from Tesla) I suspect next year will be an important one.
If Tesla manages to get their battery production fully revved up, there is literally nothing stopping them from pushing out a ton of vehicles to the masses. The more sold, the cheaper, one imagines, and we may all move away from the ICE vehicles we’re using now.
Two new models are noted in the article, the Cybertruck and the Semi, which require more batteries. But if they are finally put into production by late this year and can be manufactured fairly quickly by the next, one wonders what will happen then.
If batteries are plentiful, I suspect we’ll see/hear about a very cheap Tesla car. It will probably be a smaller vehicle, likely one more designed for the European market, but the article notes that they have vans in their sights as well.
Seems like each week that passes, that’s what I look forward to most, getting to the weekend.
It’s not a healthy way to be!
Five days suck and then you’re all eager to get to the end of it for two days of… not doing all that much!
Seriously, as much as I look forward to the weekend, the reality in these times is that it just means taking it “easy” and, if I do go out, it’s just for the bare necessities and then its back to the house to chill.
In the news, it seems the big thing is GameStop and the Redditors who are investing in it, driving its price up, and the “short sellers” -the big hedge funds- who are taking a big bath because they have predicted the fall of GameStop.
Yesterday Robinhood, the Wall Street stock app, and a few others, restricted the “ordinary” wo/man from buying the stock while allowing those big hedge funds to continue buying it unaffected.
That, among other things, triggered lawsuits and general fury. Things got hot enough for the CEO of Robinhood to show up for an interview…
Now, I don’t pretend to be some Wall Street wizard, but I’ve been following this for a few weeks now, before it blew up in the media proper. I’ll admit, I’ve gotten into Robinhood and I do have some stocks -I got really lucky and bought a decent, though not terribly huge, amount of Tesla stock before it really blew up- and I’ve been curious about what to invest in and do frequent Reddit…
…I knew about the rising tide of GameStop “retards” (as the investors jokingly call themselves) who are determined to “hold the line” and keep GameStop’s stock up while inflicting pain to the Hedge Fund managers who are trying to short the stock.
I have no particular love for Hedge Fund managers and don’t feel betting on a company to fail is a particularly noble way of earning money.
Yet I’ll be very blunt to those who are inflating the price of GameStop: It will come down eventually. The fact is that the company, a so-called “Brick and Mortar” gaming store, is on the decline. Like many businesses which have also suffered (like bookstores, comic book stores, and music stores) the fact is that many people now download their games and the convenience of doing so, IMHO, will eventually lead to these stores’ end.
It’s inevitable, in time.
What will happen to all that money people on the “streets” have invested in those stocks?
Even today they still talk of “holding the line” and not selling what they’ve bought but, eventually, there will come a point when that will be done, no?
Seems to me there’s a big problem going on with Wall Street and I really, really hope history isn’t repeating itself. Back in the 1920’s, there was a time of elation (interestingly enough, it followed the so-called “Spanish Flu” pandemic which hit around 1918) and Wall Street was riding a high… like it is now.
However, there came the crash and it was bad, leading to the Great Depression of the 1930’s.
I wonder if we can fix the problems we’re currently seeing in Wall Street before we reach that sort of critical point.
More anxiety in this age of anxiety, no?
Anyway, its Friday and I’m going to try to have a nice one.
Hope you guys out there do so, too!
As I was writing the above, Johnson & Johnson released the findings of its vaccine. Unlike the Pfizer and Moderna ones, this vaccine requires only one dose versus two.
You can read about these findings in this article by Lauran Neergaard and Linda A. Johnson for the AP:
J&J said Friday that in the U.S. and seven other countries, the single-shot vaccine was 66% effective overall at preventing moderate to severe illness, and much more protective — 85% — against the most serious symptoms.
There was some geographic variation. The vaccine worked better in the U.S. — 72% effective against moderate to severe COVID-19 – compared to 57% in South Africa, where it was up against an easier-to-spread mutated virus.
Now, while it may seem like this is a bit of a disappointment, an 85% efficacy against the moderate and severe COVID-19 symptoms is a pretty damn good result for a one-shot vaccine.
While many will likely still prefer the two shot vaccine, if this one is available and it only requires one shot, it makes for a very nice alternative.
We need to get people vaccinated and we need to get them vaccinated fast to get back to “normal”.
Yesterday came word -and images!- of the new “refresh” of Tesla’s Model S and X vehicles.
For those unaware, the Model S is their high end sedan and the Model X is their high end SUV. The new versions of these vehicles will look like this…
To those who are into these cars, the exterior differences in the new Model S and X versions versus the old are subtle yet, IMHO, make it look even slicker.
The bigger, more obvious differences lie in each vehicle model’s interior.
Here’s the old interior of the S and X…
And here, ladies and gentlemen, is the new interior…
I have to say, I’m very impressed with the new “space age” look, which IMHO instantly makes the not bad looking previous interior suddenly look very old and clunky. I would quickly add, however, that I wonder about that steering wheel. Here’s a closer look…
Sorry for the red circles in this image -these circles are NOT on the actual steering wheel!- but this image, taken from Teslarati, is the closest I could find of the new steering wheel. The red circles were put on the image to show off the additional controls which are on the steering wheel, including turn signals and windshield wiper controls.
As I said above, I wonder about the steering wheel, mainly how well it can be used versus a more typical circular one. Then again, I suspect Tesla has tested this new steering wheel quite a bit before going with it, so I’m hopeful that it works.
The other very intriguing thing about the new refreshed models is hinted at in the photograph which shows the entire front dash. If you look closely at the monitor, you’ll see that there’s a picture of The Witcher III: The Last Hunt video game on that monitor.
The new refresh models will have the ability, it would appear, to play any PC games!
For more information, read this article by Katie Wickens from pcgamer.com…
Oh, and for those in the back seat who want to play games and don’t want to stretch their bodies forward to look at the monitor in the front…
This is why Tesla, IMHO has such a bright future versus other car making companies.
Yes, having a full on PC gaming system within a car may seem silly, but damn if that isn’t an interesting add on. Already you can go on the web or play a pretty good group of games (including some arcade classics like Asteroids and Centipede!) while sitting around your car and otherwise doing nothing, but to now have the ability to play the latest high end video games?
Anyway, if you have a bunch of cash just lying around doing nothing and are thinking about getting a new car, you may want to consider the new Teslas!
Yesterday President Joe Biden had a news conference where he addressed the COVID-19 situation and, especially the issue regarding vaccines.
The bottom line from President Biden is: There were more vaccines ordered by him through Pfizer and Moderna (they currently have the two vaccines which are available in the U.S., though there are a few others which are in the process of being approved) and he anticipates that by May or later in the Summer/Early in Fall the U.S. will reach a point where enough people have had the vaccine -hopefully!- that we will have reached herd immunity.
Or, as ex-President Trump said, “Herd mentality”…
I’m so very glad we’re done with that… uh… individual. At least for the next four years and -hopefully, redux- forever.
In the mere week that Joe Biden has been President, the government and its various offices sure do seem to be operating at a more normal and efficient way. Let’s be clear though: Not everything has been solved nor is the nation suddenly and completely on the right track. It just seems to be operating more… normally now. Without all that craziness.
If it continues this way and the COVID-19 threat is indeed dealt with, perhaps people will come to realize its good to have a government run by serious people and not shoot-from-the-hip would-be stable geniuses who are knee deep into conspiracy theories while cozying up to strong arm leaders of the world instead of our regular allies.
I don’t know about you, but I’m pleased to not having heard the term “fake news” in quite some time.
Anyway, with President Biden giving an estimate for when things could be back to normal, I fully expect there will be plenty of criticism along the way there and especially if his predictions are off.
And he should be criticized if that is the case!
But at least now there does appear to be a bit of competency that was lacking and I’m really hopeful that things might finally improve.
Hard to believe its been nearly a year now that we’ve been living with this Virus. Truly it’s been longer, but things got really serious in March of last year, if memory serves. That was when it was clear the COVID-19 virus was very much in the U.S. and the first closings began.
If indeed it takes through Summer to reach herd immunity, we’re talking nearly a year and a half of living under this strain.
So a couple of days ago the novel I’m currently working on seemed to somewhat come together after several months of working on it.
I wish I could offer some kind of short cut to coming up with a story but the reality is that, at least for me, its a tough process that involves so much daily thought and consideration…
For me, at least, my novels have to have a special something to make them come together and be worth pursuing. At the risk of sounding really obnoxious, I want to say something with each book. I want readers to have some very complete work which has its beginning, middle, and end which, if I’ve done things right, will leave you, the reader, satisfied.
Hopefully, more than satisfied!
I want the work to linger in your mind, at least for a little while, and maybe get you curious enough to try my other works.
When writing, I want to create something that intrigues me and which I feel would intrigue me if I were walking through a bookstore looking for something to read.
For my current novel, I have what I consider a terrific start but wasn’t too sure of the middle and ending.
What’s changed is that I’ve now got an ending I’m quite happy with and which eases -and creates!- problems. On the one hand, I now know where it is I’m going to with this book. On the other hand, I have to come up with some juicy stuff to fill the middle of the book. I already have a few things so let’s see how it goes!
Easily the most scary thing about this election happened on January 6th and that attempt at insurrection which came too close to doing some real damage to this democracy.
Many of the people involved in that event were also involved in the conspiracy theory QAnon, which trades in some mighty wild theories indeed.
Its fair to say QAnon is a cult and its biggest followers are cultists.
Yesterday I noted I feel for them and that remains the case. These are people who have bought into an alternate reality and become disconnected from the real world.
Yesterday, during the inauguration of Joe Biden, QAnon adherents talked about the military within Washington D.C. rounding up Joe Biden and Democratic leaders and jail them while Donald Trump would begin his second term as President.
When Donald Trump left Washington in the early morning and when the hour approached for Joe Biden’s inauguration, some QAnon adherents desperately clung to the alternate reality that we’re about to witness Trump’s ultimate triumph instead of Biden’s inauguration…
Needless to say, this isn’t what happened.
Instead, we had -surprise, surprise!- the inauguration of Joe Biden as President and the departure of Donald Trump. To add insult to injury for some who participated in the January 6th insurrection, no pardons were issued to any of them.
These people, sadly deluded by the alternative reality ravings which got them to commit their lawless actions, now face the consequences of their actions and for many, this will involve jail time.
Again, I feel for them. I have no desire to see people suffer, especially people who have hitched their notions of reality to a fantasy like QAnon.
Following the inauguration and once it became obvious the QAnon fantasies were not going to come true, there were several stories written about the reaction of QAnon people to this. Some were in disbelief while others -and I hope there are many of them- realized they were being duped. Still others “moved the goalposts” and opined that Trump would come back to power in March or some other silliness.
Over on CNN they offered the following article by Brian Fung and Kaya Yurieff concerning the reactions by those who frequent the various QAnon sites:
One is tempted, given the gravity of what happened on January 6th and, before that, in states like Michigan, where armed morons invaded the capitol and a group of them were arrested following planning to kidnap the governor and various officials and, presumably, try and execute them, that these people should be punished and punished hard.
Some of them very much deserve this but there should be a focus given to deprogramming these individuals.
For too many years we’ve had right wing radio (Rush Limbaugh, for example) and right wing “news” stations (Fox News being prominent) promoting an alternate reality where liberals are always wrong and dumb and so very, very evil while those on the right -and the more right wing their politics the better- are always right and noble and All-American and you-name-it.
This ignores the fact that our country has a diversity of views and, to function properly, it requires compromise when moving forward.
Unfortunately, the talking heads in the right and far-right wing stratosphere have been for too long talking about never compromising and this has poisoned the government and, IMHO, led to too much disfunction.
Do liberals have totally clean hands?
What-aboutism, where one blames “both sides” for a problem is something that’s been used way too much to excuse extremists. While left wing pols have protested and, yes, even had protests where property was damaged, I have yet to hear any left wing politician or indeed any left-wing person express happiness with the idea of protests leading to property damage.
And the stark reality is that it wasn’t left-wingers who were behind the events of January 6th or the Governor Whitmer kidnapping plot in Michigan.
Again, though: It’s my hope -and maybe I’m being naive here- that we tamper down some of the extreme dialogue. And if we can’t do that, I hope that those who’ve been held in its thrall do indeed wake up to the supreme nonsense they’ve been fed all this time.
I’m exhausted… and part of the reason are the events of the day.
While I didn’t believe there would be another January 6th type insurrection, there was the risk that some “lone wolf” type might do something during Joe Biden’s inaguration.
Thankfully, nothing happened.
All went as well as could be and Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony was an emotional, IMHO beautiful one…
Trump, of course, decided to leave early, hoping on his helicopter and flying via Air Force One to Mar A Largo after delivering a typically oddball speech which was followed by his departure to the sounds of The Village People’s YMCA. As someone (wish I could give them their proper credit!) noted on Twitter: “Has this all been some kind of weird dream?”
The crowds there for Trump’s departure at the airport -as in the various Capitols around the country- were sparse and one wonders if the self-loathing our now ex-President has in spades was churning into overdrive during his departure.
What’s he done today? What’s he been doing? Watching TV? Going volcanic at seeing how quickly -and happily- the country has moved away from him?
CNN seemed to be only to happy to cut away from Trump the moment he stepped onto the airplane, as if to say “We won’t bother with you again”. Their focus turned entirely to Biden and very little -if any- mention was made of Trump.
I don’t recall seeing any footage of his arrival in West Palm Beach, though I didn’t see every minute of the coverage during the day.
Now that Trump’s gone, I can’t help but think back to his term and, especially, the last few days.
One of the bigger things I -and I’m sure many others- wondered was who Trump would pardon.
He managed to pardon a bunch of crooks, many who probably didn’t deserve to be pardoned, but it was who he apparently didn’t pardon which makes you wonder.
There was no pardon for his children. There were no pardons to the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol on January 6th. There was no self-pardon.
Supposedly, Trump’s lawyers discouraged the later pardon, to himself, for fear he would subsequently face lawsuits arising from whatever he pardons himself for.
I can’t help but wonder about the insurrectionists, though. These people, inflamed by Trump’s winks and nods, took action on January 6th and, as a result, 5 people are dead and this wonderful democratic government was very close to being overturned by fascists.
There could have been more deaths. One wonders what would have happened if some of these fanatics -driven by conspiracy theories and a delusional sense of self-importance- had actually confronted members of congress.
As it is, its over.
Joe Biden is President and Trump -and hopefully many of the most dangerous of the fanatics egged on by him- are in our past. Each of them will have to deal with the law, I’m quite certain, and for many of them things will get very tough.
For the rest of us, let’s hope for a respite.
In the short term, let’s hope for a more competent roll out of the COVID 19 vaccines and, let’s hope really soon, we get to the point where this deadly virus has been if not eliminated, at least better controlled.
I don’t mean to dwell so much on politics but, at least for me, it, along with other things, seem to be consuming whatever free time I have.
Truly, its been a frustrating few weeks.
It feels like I’m on a treadmill, running in place and just getting by each day to keep up with things while not accomplishing the stuff I would dearly like to be: My writing.
It’s all my fault and my fault alone, but it certainly bothers.
Anyway, today is the last full day of Donald Trump’s presidency. Tomorrow, supposedly at 8 A.M., he’s going to fly out via Air Force One to Mar A Largo. He hasn’t acknowledged Joe Biden’s win nor wanted to be in Washington D.C., as is customary, to watch Joe Biden’s inauguration. His wife, Melania, similarly hasn’t called Jill Biden or invited her into the White House for the customary transition visit, either.
It’s all childishness, of course, petulance and obnoxiousness, all rolled into one.
But it ends tomorrow and today we get the joy of seeing the last full day of Trump’s presidency and, at least at this early hour, we wonder what exactly he’s going to do.
There will certainly be pardons, as I mentioned before and as many pundits suspect, and I can almost guarantee many of the names will cause much gnashing of the teeth.
Will he, though, pardon his kids? Will he try to pardon himself?
As I also mentioned, doing so has a certain… stink… associated with it, especially if it is an inter-family pardoning. His kids haven’t been formally accused of anything, at least not yet, while Trump himself has been referred to in at least one case which led to some convictions of individuals which, of course, he pardoned or commuted their sentences.
There is some worry that someone on the far right, a Qanon fanatic or fanatics, may try something tomorrow with Joe Biden’s inauguration.
It certainly is possible but I suspect what we saw on January 6th, the riot and insurrection, is a one off affair that won’t repeat.
The people involved in that, many of them, were severely deluded and felt like what they were doing was somehow patriotic based on the various rabbit holes they pursued online and through the far right wing sites many I’m sure frequented.
However, now that they see the end result of their adventure and are both exposed personally for what they are and face justice, a harsh reality and not a conspiracy twinged pseudo-reality are hitting them directly in their collective faces.
Some are losing jobs while many others may lose their freedoms as they potentially face years in jail.
Truthfully, I feel for them.
It feels -at least to me- that their fears were taken advantage of over the years. They’ve been brainwashed with literally years of increasingly frenzied and alarmist statements about the “evils” of socialism and/or liberalism… to the point where I truly doubt they know what these political philosophies really mean, much less do they know why they hate them.
Do they hate the idea of a universal healthcare system? Do they not like taxing the very rich their fair share? Are they truly against public schools and social security/Medicare? I suspect many of them have benefitted from some -if not all- these services yet there they are, protesting the philosophy that created many of them in the first place.
My hope is that perhaps the more reachable of these people were given the equivalent of a cold shower and maybe, maybe they realized they’ve gone too far.
Today is the last day of Trump’s presidency.
All I wish for is a calm, quiet day.
Tomorrow, all I wish for is to hear/see him arriving in West Palm Beach and disappearing into Mar A Largo.
From that point on, I’ll be perfectly happy if I never hear about him ever again.
On Wednesday, January 20th, Joe Biden will formally become President of the United States and Trump and company will finally be gone.
The repercussions of the insurrection/coup attempt of January 6th are still playing out, with many of the insurrectionists being identified and brought to justice. Some of them have managed to be bailed out while a few are in jail.
The after effects of this attempted coup have been interesting, at least on media.
Donald Trump and several of the more obnoxious right-wing firebrands have been blocked from social media, primarily on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Parler, a site which catered and/or was frequented by people on the far right, has gone dark.
I’ve noticed that since all these online services have dropped Trump and company, things have been far more… calm. I’m not pulling my hair with this person or that person -often led by Trump- lying over and over about how the election was “stolen”, without acknowledging the fact that they had plenty of time to present any legitimate evidence of any attempt to steal and bring it to the courts… and they did no such thing.
Sure, they went to court many, many times and, with the exception of one “win” which didn’t change a single vote, they lost each and every time.
There remain only two full days following today for Trump’s presidency and there are reports that some people have spent considerable money trying to influence Trump into giving out pardons.
Paying Trump directly or indirectly to do so, of course, amounts to bribery yet I admit to being surprised that we haven’t heard about any pardons over the past few days.
I wonder if we’re going to see a flood of pardons in the next two days -or perhaps even starting today- or maybe Trump wants to end his presidency without any more new controversies.
Here’s the thing about pardons: By given them out, the subject receiving them essentially is acknowledged to have done something unlawful. If Trump pardons, say, his children or any close business/political partner, they effectively carry the stain that they were guilty of something.
Trump will be gone soon enough but already it feels like the balloon has deflated quite a bit.