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jmecklenborg

Jeddah Tower 3,281'
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  1. No, it can't route anything into the transit center because of the flood wall that separates the transit center from FWW.
  2. Briley, who inherited the mayor's seat after Barry's resignation, is defeated by John Cooper. So the last vestige of the Barry scandal is gone. Some pretty choice quotes from this article: https://www.tennessean.com/story/opinion/columnists/2019/09/12/nashville-mayoral-election-david-briley-john-cooper/2306429001/
  3. He could resign and hand the seat over to his presumed successor. I say Laketa "Sassy" Cole.
  4. The overall C02 emissions of natural gas (the entire process) is half or a little less than half of coal. So while significantly cleaner, it is not "clean". Natural Gas is cheaper to produce and distribute than coal because it is ideally transported in pipelines, which require much less labor than coal, which is transported by rail, barge, or truck. When I worked on tugboats, coal was the #1 cargo. Several of the small, older coal plants that we went to have closed and been converted to natural gas. Freight on the inland waterways is WAY down over the past five years, thanks to the fracking boom. Ironically, transporting coal by barge was the greenest way to do it, and since there has been so much damage to the barge business, it's going to raise costs for everything else transported by barge (grain, gravel, scrap, chemicals, etc.).
  5. Google Earth has satellite images of the Amazon on it dating back to 1970. Those are much more useful in gaining a realistic perspective than a graphic that uses the color red. It's also important to note that the southeastern deforestation was forest that wasn't quite as robust as that closer to the namesake river. What is much more harmful in reality than it appears to novices is the many narrow stretches of deforestation. These breaks isolate many types of animals and set the stage for them disappearing from areas (although many animals are already segmented by the region's many large waterways). Also, runoff from these relatively small deforested areas no doubt completely disrupts tributary creeks and sends negative effects up the food chain to land animals and birds. What is also really interesting about Google Earth is it gives you elevation data, and you see just how amazingly flat the Amazon forest is from the Atlantic coast all the way to Peru. Like 200-400 feet in elevation change over 2,000 miles. By comparison, the Mississippi river descends at 2x the rate. This explains why the Amazon River and most of its tributaries are slow-moving and muddy.
  6. Well we're really going to see what happens when silicon valley rideshare goes poof. The only way Uber and Lyft don't become penny stocks by 2025 is if one of their side businesses becomes profitable. Maybe they could get into web hosting like Amazon. Like roaches, the old cab companies will carry on as if the whole Uber/Lyft thing never happened.
  7. When I started driving in 2014, you were given an Uber-issued iphone 4. That was just a data device and didn't function as a phone. You still needed your own phone. Then sometime in late 2014 they recalled all of the iphones and the driver app could now work on your own iphone. There have been many changes to how the driver app functions since then. There has been a lot of reprogramming of the way drivers can choose rides -- i.e. requests that will go in a particular direction, usually toward the driver's house and not away.
  8. When I drove 2014/15, the app updated all the time. Like every 2-3 months with a fairly significant redesign. Word is now spreading that Uber / Lyft are looking to put a referendum on the 2020 ballot in California that would exempt them from the independent contractor bill. So tens of millions, if not over $100 million, of investor money will pay an army of shills to knock on every door in the state.
  9. Many new electric cars shown at the 2019 Frankfurt Auto Show: https://www.wsj.com/articles/electric-cars-dominate-frankfurt-auto-show-11568201099
  10. NPR reported today that about 1 million acres of forest scattered throughout New England has died since 2016 thanks to the Gypsy Moth. This is about half of what was reported that burned recently in the Amazon. A forest which is, btw, WAY over 1 billion acres within Brazil's border, and almost 2 billion if forests in neighboring countries are included. The United States, by contrast, is estimated to have about 750 million acres of forest per the USDA. And North American forest, almost without exception, lose their leaves for 5-6 months per year, so aren't as important to the planet's carbon/oxygen exchange. My point is that 1 million acres of forest isn't very much, and people have absolutely no reference point when the media reports facts and figures regarding many items. Unfortunately, their reporting with regards to the Amazon fires was totally sensational and in absolutely no way reflected reality. Deforestation, generally, is a major issue. It permanently damages the forest because even with managed replanting, it will take hundreds of years for full biodiversity to return to former farm land. The fires were only one part of the overall deforestation story, and the Amazon is nowhere close to disappearing. It would take a herculean mechanized effort to bulldoze almost 2 billion acres -- like 2,000x1,000 miles.
  11. The most egregious violator might be The Boring Company. 30+ companies around the world manufacture tunnel boring machines. Does anyone really think that Elon Musk and the guys he has hired are capable of making massive breakthroughs that the 1,000+ engineers around the world who have been working on this for 50 years can't come up with?
  12. I'm not sure that any of this is technically possible. The Lytle Tunnel is actually fairly high in "altitude". I-71 would have to slope at a steeper angle than it does currently downward from Walnut Hills, dip significantly lower than it is currently where it is elevated above Eggleston (so 50~ feet lower than it is now), and then rise to enter the Lytle Tunnel, assuming it isn't rebuilt 50+ feet lower than it now exists.
  13. They weren't paying tech engineers or marketing people. Their costs were way lower. Which meant the owners made money and the drivers made a living.
  14. They're trying and trying and trying but can't figure out how to kill off real estate agents: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-buying-and-selling-a-home-could-soon-be-as-simple-as-trading-stocks-2019-09-11 What they're trying to do, fundamentally, is turn ordinary retail buyers and sellers into institutional buyers and sellers. That's never going to work with established neighborhoods because "identical" homes are never actually identical. Buying unseen property only works when the building is brand-new. After five years, identical units in a condo building aren't identical at all. Even if they pinpoint the "proper" sales price of a home, they can't streamline the process. There is still a title company. There is still a mortgage (most likely). Who negotiates repairs or reductions in sales price after the inspection? How does a transaction maintain a comfortable arms-length character if the buyer and seller start talking face-to-face? We arrived at the way homes are bought and sold in the United States, with a pair of fiduciary agents, as a way to protect buyers and sellers from getting completely ripped off. Let's throw it out and see what happens so our sales commission drops from 6% to 4% and that commission goes to San Francisco Bros instead of locals. Same with taxis - we arrived at the medallion system after decades of lawlessness in the early 1900s. It's an ugly system, but it worked. It was profitable. Uber and Lyft are superficially handsome, and we enjoy a squirt of dopamine when we dwell on its cleverness, but its solutions to 2-3 problems with traditional cabs came at the cost of at least as many issues that traditional cabs solved. Primary amongst those is...profitability.
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