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rd95's comments

    It will be interesting to see how ford will make their fleet average mileage numbers without cars though.

The EPA is entertaining the idea of rolling back future target mpg standards. Ford has been playing with the idea of dropping sedans for a while and maybe they think now they'll be able to if the pressure from the EPA for efficiency targets is let up a bit.

Subaru famously got around it by putting seats in the bed of the BRAT. They were totally removable, which was good, because their safety was questionable at best.

tacocat  ·  3 hours ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm not surprised people died so a company could avoid a tax.

It'll be a different beast than the Ranger you remembered. Bigger, but also probably more refined. Today's Civics for example dwarf Honda Accords from the '90s but drive a lot better and are even more reliable. You'll see something similar with the new generation of Ranger.

If I recall, they stopped selling it in the states because it cost only slightly less than the entry level F-150 and had only slightly better gas mileage. They figured, pretty correctly, that it wouldn't hurt their sales too much to cut it out.

It's death didn't really come as a surprise. Light Trucks kind of faded from the American market due to a mix of reasons, namely a combination of The Chicken Tax and CAFE standards.

tacocat  ·  4 hours ago  ·  link  ·  

TIL there is a tariff on trucks called the chicken tax

rd95  ·  4 hours ago  ·  link  ·  

Subaru famously got around it by putting seats in the bed of the BRAT. They were totally removable, which was good, because their safety was questionable at best.

tacocat  ·  3 hours ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm not surprised people died so a company could avoid a tax.

They were kind of leaning this way, then kind of not, and now I guess they're going all in. The Ford Sedans, like the Ford Mustang, are about brand loyalty and getting people onto the lot. In raw numbers though, Ford sells trucks.

According to Wikipedia, last year they sold in the North America alone over 1 Million Ford F-Series trucks, 300k Ford Escapes, and 270k Ford Explorers.

In comparison, last year they sold about 48k Fiestas, 170k Focuses, 209k Fusions, 40k Tauruses, and 81k Mustangs.

There's your difference in raw numbers.

I can't think today, so here are some random thoughts.

1) I see more Ford SUV police vehicles on the road than I see Sedans. I know police officers, everyone I talk to hates the sedans Ford, Chevrolet, and Dodge makes because they're too cramped but everyone loves the SUVs. The guys repairing them miss the hell out of Crown Vics though.

2) During the '80s, '90s, and early '00s, Ford's cars had a dodgey reputation where their trucks were often still highly regarded. Which would you be willing to buy? A Ford Fusion or a Honda Accord? Why?

3) Fleet sales are probably a factor here, but that's more than I know how to look up.

4) There's a larger profit margin in Truck sales than Sedan sales. Don't ask me to explain why, cause I don't know, but that fact is part of the reason why GM gave Pontiac and Saturn the axe when they were restructuring but decided to keep GMC even though everyone and their mother pointed out that Chevrolet, Pontiac, and Saturn all sold different cars while GMC trucks were basically upbranded Chevrolet trucks.

5) The Mustang, like the Corvette, like the Toyota 86, like the Mazda Miata, is a flagship car. It's not about sales numbers or profit margins for those cars. It's about keeping the brand in your mind by creating excitement when you see them on the road and letting you know the company exists through T-Shirts, Calendars, Magazine Ads, etc. The Mustang is core to Ford's image. The day they announce they're gonna stop making Mustangs is the day they decide to announce they're taking the company in a completely different direction.

6) The Mustang is cool. The Ford Focus RS is fucking sick.

tacocat  ·  5 hours ago  ·  link  ·  

I hope the Ranger stays the Ranger because I don't think anyone else is making a small truck like it at the moment. I had one and I miss it

rd95  ·  5 hours ago  ·  link  ·  

It'll be a different beast than the Ranger you remembered. Bigger, but also probably more refined. Today's Civics for example dwarf Honda Accords from the '90s but drive a lot better and are even more reliable. You'll see something similar with the new generation of Ranger.

If I recall, they stopped selling it in the states because it cost only slightly less than the entry level F-150 and had only slightly better gas mileage. They figured, pretty correctly, that it wouldn't hurt their sales too much to cut it out.

It's death didn't really come as a surprise. Light Trucks kind of faded from the American market due to a mix of reasons, namely a combination of The Chicken Tax and CAFE standards.

tacocat  ·  4 hours ago  ·  link  ·  

TIL there is a tariff on trucks called the chicken tax

rd95  ·  4 hours ago  ·  link  ·  

Subaru famously got around it by putting seats in the bed of the BRAT. They were totally removable, which was good, because their safety was questionable at best.

tacocat  ·  3 hours ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm not surprised people died so a company could avoid a tax.

rd95  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 25, 2018

Thank you. I'm pretty happy with how the fox came out. Out of the three, I think the animal looks least like the source image, but out of the three it feels the most balanced. I have this weird compulsion where I think all of my drawings need backgrounds, because even though I can't draw realistically, I'm convinced that because there's a background to everything in real life, anything I draw is incomplete if they don't have one. Unfortunately, backgrounds are usually where I end up ruining a picture.

I tried to draw a mountainscape one time, and I think all I drew were three or four black lines on a single sheet of paper. Between you and me, I think extreme minimalism isn't really all that great art, but I looked at these lines I thought "If I literally do anything else to this, I know I'm gonna mess it up." So I drew an extremely minimalist piece, and I hate it because it looks halfway decent and all it took was about thirty seconds to make, so I feel like I cheated on it. I'll see if I can dig it out and share it on next week's Pubski if you'd like to see it.

WanderingEng  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·  

I'd like that a lot! I think some minimalism can be good.

rd95  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 25, 2018

Surly Bird

Source Image

Sleepy Fox

Source Image

Serious Goat

Source Image

I honestly really, really hate that goat picture. I was doing so well drawing the actual goat and then I messed everything up by just rushing to try and fill in the background without putting any effort into it. Then I tried to fix it and in doing so, made it even worse. So now I have this really okay looking goat surrounded by a messy blob of color that just ruins the effort I put into it because I didn’t want to put effort into the rest of the picture. It’s a metaphor for life people, let the eyesore be a warning.

WanderingEng  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·  

I really like the fox, and then reading your criticism of the goat, maybe I like the stark white background with the vivid fox colors.

rd95  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·  

Thank you. I'm pretty happy with how the fox came out. Out of the three, I think the animal looks least like the source image, but out of the three it feels the most balanced. I have this weird compulsion where I think all of my drawings need backgrounds, because even though I can't draw realistically, I'm convinced that because there's a background to everything in real life, anything I draw is incomplete if they don't have one. Unfortunately, backgrounds are usually where I end up ruining a picture.

I tried to draw a mountainscape one time, and I think all I drew were three or four black lines on a single sheet of paper. Between you and me, I think extreme minimalism isn't really all that great art, but I looked at these lines I thought "If I literally do anything else to this, I know I'm gonna mess it up." So I drew an extremely minimalist piece, and I hate it because it looks halfway decent and all it took was about thirty seconds to make, so I feel like I cheated on it. I'll see if I can dig it out and share it on next week's Pubski if you'd like to see it.

WanderingEng  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·  

I'd like that a lot! I think some minimalism can be good.

I know, right? I actually remember the first time I learned about todies. I was seventeen or eighteen years old, in my school library, going through a book for birds. All it had was just a little blurb for the Jamaican Tody that I totally would have passed over if it wasn't for a little two by three inch picture of one. I thought it was probably one of the prettiest birds I've ever seen and I've liked them ever since. Even though I've never seen one in person, they're still one of my favorites to look at.

tacocat  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·  

There's a chance that's not green pigment. Blue is almost totally unheard of in the animal kingdom. Blue Jay feathers look blue because of how their structure refracts light. I think that might go for green feathers too.

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rd95  ·  5 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Shooting in self-defense

Literally nowhere have I made the statement that self defense is wrong. In fact, in many instances, it's the right thing to do. This statement . . .

    The morality behind those concepts can be discussed to the point where we'd fill a book.

Is me admitting to the point that there are moral rights and wrongs to self defense and that they are numerous and worth discussing. However, you have readily illustrated, through this conversation and conversations in the past that you want to assume my arguments, make me defend positions I have not taken, and talk in circles without ever desiring to make any progress. Which means you want to argue instead of converse and not approach any dialog with a sense of good will. So we will not be having that conversation or any other.

rd95  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: One third of Amazon employees in Arizona need food stamps to feed themselves.

Actually, I'm sure they'd object to being on the list. I figured they'd go the whole route of "Wait a minute! We're a franchise system!" They tend to go that route for pay disputes.

rd95  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: One third of Amazon employees in Arizona need food stamps to feed themselves.

Compared to some of the overt cruelties we see in the world? It's pretty subtle. The psychological, financial, and social impacts it has on workers and their families, once again, if left unanalyzed, pretty subtle.

I don't know. None of this is surprising. Everyone knows that Wal-Mart benefits from Foodstamps both in the sense that they are used to subsidize worker pay and at the same time as payment for goods Wal-Mart sells. In the context of this article I can make a statement such as "It only makes sense that Amazon would try and copy that business model" and once again, I've stated nothing profound, only the obvious. You bring these ideas up in a conversation and people respond with "and water is wet." People don't really stop to think about how fucked up all that is, at least, not on the regular.

It's like we all willfully trivialize the issue because in doing so, it's easier for us to ignore it, or at least, ignore the idea that we should do something about it.

rd95  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: One third of Amazon employees in Arizona need food stamps to feed themselves.

There's a subtle cruelty to being surrounded by an abundance of food as part of your job and knowing you're not able to have it for yourself without help from the government.

kleinbl00  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·  

...I don't know how subtle that is.

rd95  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Compared to some of the overt cruelties we see in the world? It's pretty subtle. The psychological, financial, and social impacts it has on workers and their families, once again, if left unanalyzed, pretty subtle.

I don't know. None of this is surprising. Everyone knows that Wal-Mart benefits from Foodstamps both in the sense that they are used to subsidize worker pay and at the same time as payment for goods Wal-Mart sells. In the context of this article I can make a statement such as "It only makes sense that Amazon would try and copy that business model" and once again, I've stated nothing profound, only the obvious. You bring these ideas up in a conversation and people respond with "and water is wet." People don't really stop to think about how fucked up all that is, at least, not on the regular.

It's like we all willfully trivialize the issue because in doing so, it's easier for us to ignore it, or at least, ignore the idea that we should do something about it.

Dala  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm seconding kb on the 'not very subtle.'

rd95  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Underwater adaptation of the Bajau people, demonstrates human evolution.

It seems like the list is ever growing. Our bodies and our genetics are absolutely amazing at adapting to environmental pressures and abundances and sometimes it can happen impressively fast.

A few different populations in a few different areas independently developed lactose tolerance, allowing them to process milk and dairy products.

Here's an article you might like from National Geographic that, like the lactose tolerance Wikipedia article, talks about how various populations adapted to low oxygen environments in the higher atmosphere. Here's an opening quote to whet your appetite . . .

    "To have examples of three geographically dispersed populations adapting in different ways to the same stress is very unusual," said Cynthia Beall, a physical anthropologist at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. "From an evolutionary standpoint the question becomes, Why do these differences exist? We need to figure out when, how, and why that happened."

    To begin to answer some of these questions, a multidisciplinary group of scientists, including Beall, met earlier this month at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Seattle, Washington.

    "High-altitude populations offer a unique natural lab that allows us to follow [many] lines of evidence—archaeological, biological, climatological—to answer intriguing questions about social, cultural, and biological adaptations," said Mark Aldenderfer, an archaeologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who organized the AAAS symposium with Beall.

For those interested, Wikipedia has even more in depth and technical articles out there, from Human Variability to Human Evolutionary Genetics. It doesn't take much clicking around until you find yourself down a rabbit hole of articles to read.

Edit: I forgot to add, as an aside, I saw this article also on Deutsche Welle and National Geographic. Similar to your article about the scientists looking at signs of Anthroprocene climates in Earth's past. Looks like everyone has their eyes on sciency stuff right now, which is good, cause maybe that means everyone is focusing a bit less on politics at the moment.

rd95  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Berlin police defuse WW2 bomb after evacuation

I was in the middle of writing one hell of a pacifist slanted rant when I realized it probably isn't all that appropriate. So I'll just say, on philosophical grounds, I disagree. :)

rd95  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Berlin police defuse WW2 bomb after evacuation

It's disheartening that everybody dropped so many bombs during World War II that even decades later we're still finding them. They not only speak to the scale and brutality of the war, but they're also potentially deadly ghosts from the past.

As bad as unexploded bombs are, landmines are even worse. They literally kill thousands of people a year (many of them civilians and many of them well after conflicts have ended), leave land unusable for farming, building, or traveling, and erosion caused by heavy rains or flooding is all it takes to unearth old mines and make an area that once was considered relatively safe dangerous all over again.

WanderingEng  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'll put a positive spin on it: this bomb killed zero people. Had it exploded, it might have killed people or made them homeless (I'm sure there are war era maps that would help us verify that was there). Most Germans weren't war criminals, and maybe those not impacted by this bomb went on to help others. Maybe they had families or helped other families raise happy children who went on to spread good will.

I'm hopeful we can look at this bomb and believe no harm came to others from it.

rd95  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I was in the middle of writing one hell of a pacifist slanted rant when I realized it probably isn't all that appropriate. So I'll just say, on philosophical grounds, I disagree. :)

rd95  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What Brings You to Hubski?

This ^ ^ ^