Tag Archives: Instagram

Friday Linkage 6/26/2020

Do you want to know why I want to see more long range electric cars?  It’s about the points of failure.

This past week I spent three hours stranded on the side of the road after the vehicle I was riding in had a spectacular failure of its water pump.  Without warning the water pump failed, sending shrapnel into the adjacent hoses, and dumping all of the engine’s coolant on the interstate.  Thankfully, we were near an exit and pulled off without causing any engine damage.

For anyone who tells you that electric cars are too complex just ask them about the cooling system on their existing ICE vehicle.  I doubt the person has a working knowledge of just how complex that system has become let alone the other liquid systems on the vehicle.  That is my rant for a furlough Friday.

Stay safe out there.

On to the links…

Great American Outdoors Act Approved by Senate in Major Conservation Win—It’s a win, but it took vulnerable senators in an election year to get behind something that the majority of the American people support.  This is where our political climate is right now.  Republican politicians will only support things that a majority of Americans want to see if they are in a tight race for reelection.  Otherwise, it is gifts to rich people and corporations all day long.  Yes, I am looking at you Cory Gardner.

The Untouchables—Not the movie with Kevin Costner and Sean Connery.  Rather, we are talking about multi-national corporations that have become trans-national governments beholden to no one but their owners.  No wonder the planet is messed up.

Can Working Less Save the Planet?—It cannot hurt.

Trump Administration will Not Regulate Rocket Fuel Chemical in Drinking Water—Who wants to guess that somewhere a company with liability exposure to perchlorate pollution has donated money to Trump’s reelection campaign or his inaugural committee or stayed at one of his hotels or just handed an envelope of money to one of his doltish sons?  The opportunities for corruption are just too varied to even guess.

The $3 Trillion Green Plan To Get The Economy Out Of Intensive Care—It’s a good idea, but it is a dead letter in a Congress where Mitch McConnell has any role.

For Oil, The Writing Is On The Wall: New Times Call For New Energies—It is not longer a question of if, but rather when and how fast.

Wowzers — 2X More Electricity From Offshore Wind For USA—Basically, the U.S. has offshore wind resources that could power the electricity needs of the nation two times over.  Start building those turbines.

World’s Largest Liquid Air Battery Will Help the UK Go Carbon Neutral—It’s not all about lithium ion batteries, which are great for EVs but cost too much to really be a solution for stationary energy storage.  If we can deploy enough storage capacity to shift renewable energy from its peak production to the moment of peak demand the renewable revolution can succeed.

Taking a Page from Tesla’s Notebook, Sunrun Builds a “Virtual” Solar Power Plant in California—This idea is so cool.  Link a bunch of distributed power generation and storage assets in such a way that they become a virtual power plant with respect to the grid.

Central USA Set Several Wind Power Records In Spring—Damn, 62% of energy provided over the course of the day for the Southwest Power Pool came from the wind.  Remember when the maximum was supposed to be 5%.  Then the critics said 10%.  What happens if we get to 100% for a power pool and start exporting the excess?  The future is an amazing place.

‘Desperate’ To Get Natural Gas Out Of Appalachia, Pipeline Builders Face Long Battle Even After Supreme Court Victory—Even in defeat, the opponents of natural gas projects have to remain hyper vigilant because these people will never give up trying to destroy the land, air, and water of the United States.

A Utility In The Middle Of Coal Country Opts For Renewable Energy—When Indiana starts to abandon coal you know the writing is on the wall for coal in the United States.

Now Is Not The Time To Pump The Brakes On Fleet Electrification—Now is the time to retire old gas guzzling fleet vehicles and replace them with EVs.

Importance of Accelerating EV Adoption To Reduce CO2 Emissions, Using Kenya As An Example—Transitioning to EVs is not just an issue for developed Western economies.

India Eyes Private Investment to Open 41 New Coal Mines—Some ideas will just not die.  Despite the pollution, India’s politicians seem wedded to the idea of coal as the energy for the future of the country.

Cuba’s Clean Rivers Benefit From Sustainable Agriculture—Because of the political climate in the U.S.—particularly Florida—the U.S. is not really allowed to look at Cuba in a positive light.  Just ask Bernie Sanders how well it went over when he praised one aspect of the island nation’s development.

The UK’s Barn Owls are Growing in Number – and for Once it’s Thanks to Humans—Maybe, just maybe, we are not completely trash after all.

Wood Heaters too Dirty to Sell are Clean Enough to Give to Tribes, says EPA—This is the EPA on Donald Trump.  It is like he is a drug for every bad idea to get all hopped up on and go out into the world to wreak havoc.

The Gas Industry is Paying Instagram Influencers to Gush over Gas Stoves—As a dyed in the wool evangelist for smooth top electric ranges—the clean up is just too easy—I am so tired of hearing people gush about gas stoves.  There is nothing quite like having an open flame spewing pollution into your home.  Now it comes out that the Instagram pimps are being paid by the gas industry to be shills for stoves.  The one thing I wish COVID-19 would kill off is the entire influencer “industry.”

What’s in the Box: Nomadik April 2017

Sorry for getting this posted late, but life has a way of getting in the way of things.

Niteize CamJam:


In the interest of full disclosure, I already own a half dozen of these little things for various tasks like tying down items in the back of my truck or securing tarps.  Work like a champ, easy to tighten at 5 AM in the middle of Nebraska, and cheap enough that I do not care if I misplace one due to a hangover induced late start.  I keep them in the cavernous center console of my truck for this “it’s gonna’ happen sometime” events.

Mountainsmith tent stakes:


I do not camp, so the utility of tent stakes is somewhat limited.  That being said I do use tent stakes to secure coverings on outdoor projects with some frequency.  There might be some utility here after all.  Are tent stakes kind of like getting socks for Christmas?  Sure, we all need them at some time and we all appreciate a high quality rendition.

The PowerPractical LumiNoodle comes is one seriously over packaged piece of allegedly outdoors gear:


That is just the outer wrapper, a thick laminated foil like material similar to what is used for freeze dried camping meals, that opens to reveal the second layer:


Yep, it’s a bag in a wrapper that yields the LumiNoodle eventually:


Nomadik may tell me that the LumiNoodle is worth $20, but it is really worth nothing since it does not work without a battery pack.  Sure, a 25% off coupon was enclosed to purchase a battery pack from PowerPractical but I kind of feel like these items should be useful from the moment I open the box.  Call me critical.

A battery pack from PowerPractical runs approximately $30 ($22.50 after 25% off coupon) for 4400 mAh.  Significantly larger, in terms of power capacity, battery packs are available online from Amazon for the same price.  Seems a little odd to me.

Maybe I am just not hipster enough to use the LumiNoodle for Instagram.

The inclusion of a three month trial subscription to Reelhouse’s Slipstream leaves me the most conflicted.  Slipstream is a streaming collection of action sports films. There are some interesting films in the catalog, but aren’t we supposed to be encouraging people to get into the outdoors as opposed to watching the outdoors on a screen?

This month’s box was kind of a bust.

Everyone is a Shill Nowadays

Instagram is my little curated slice of the Internet.  It is filled with post after post of people living and recreating in the mountains.  It is essentially the life I would like to lead if I did not have things like a mortgage, children, and a general sense of long term fiscal responsibility.  Yes, I am so basic in that respect but basic pays the bills.

Instagram is also a cesspool of shills.  It seems like everyone is shilling for someone or something.  I find Mikaela Shiffrin to be an amazing athlete and my nine-year-old daughter is infatuated with her skiing exploits, but I know that she is shilling for Barila or Vail Resorts when she posts on Instagram.

Loki the Wolf Dog is shilling for Toyota or whoever else is sponsoring the latest adventure.

Heck, even hippies in vans are shilling for potato chips.

All is not lost because we can peer through the marketing noise for the message we truly care about.  I am genuinely curious about the results from World Cup ski races and my daughter hangs on every post Mikaela Shiffrin makes but the occasional Barila blast is not going to change my pasta buying habits.  I enjoy watching Loki the Wolf Dog tear down some backcountry slopes in the San Juan Mountains but I am not going to test drive a new Tacoma.

Once we recognize that everyone online is shilling for someone or something we take the power away from the marketers.