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Member since: Sat Mar 29, 2008, 10:11 PM
Number of posts: 37,613

Journal Archives

Tesla Co-founder: What the hell did you do to my Porsche?


This quote from a guy they were initially trying to get as an investor, who had just driven away in his Porsche after test driving a Tesla engineering prototype, and angrily called a few minutes later, is classic: “What the hell did you do to my Porsche? I just spent a quarter of a million dollars on this thing, and it sucks now!“

Best quote from this informal talk by Marc Tarpenning, a co-founder of Tesla Motors. I found it the most interesting talk I've heard about Tesla, the audio isn't very good though so you have to listen carefully in some places.

Another good quote:

“It turns out that Priuses were selling really well in 2003. Now, Lexus… they were a little shocked. The Prius was a little bit of a publicity stunt. They brought it out to California for a variety of political reasons. They didn’t expect it to sell very well. And it sold pretty well…. But what freaked them out is that it cannibalized their Lexus sales. People were trading in their Lexuses and getting a Prius, which was built on their absolute cheapest possible platform that Toyota made at the time. So, again, Toyota thought that Priuses would only be for people that wanted to save money on gas. And instead, it was for people who had discretionary money that wanted to make a statement — you know, cars are all about statements…. Cars are all about making a statement. These people bought Priuses to make a statement to do the right thing — for whatever reason they wanted to do the right thing, they were doing the right thing. So, near where I live, in Palo Alto, it was a cliche: I mean, every driver had a Prius and a Porsche.”

How to write an OP in GD that sinks like a stone

1) Avoid snarky and divisive titles

2) Don't broad brush groups

3) Be serious and at least try to see more than one perspective

4) Avoid personal attacks on other DUers

5) Post about something other than the current GD obsession du jour

That's my top five, what are your hints and tips for writing OPs that are guaranteed to drop into total obscurity?

TPM: Walmart Selling Occupy Wall Street Souvenir Posters

My face, it is palmed.


America's biggest retailer is cashing in on the Occupy Wall Street protest movement.

Walmart is selling a pair of posters depicting scenes from the main Occupy Wall Street protest encampment in New York City's Zuccotti Park at the movement's height in late 2011.

One of the posters shows the tents that filled the park before it was cleared by police in November 2011. It retails for $42.75. The other is slightly larger and shows a protester holding an American flag inside the park. It is selling for $52.25.

The poster showing the tents was out of stock on the Wal Mart site on Tuesday morning, but the larger one was still available. One customer using the handle TyMcW reviewed the tent poster on the site and given it a five star rating.

"Maybe you should check into applying for Obamacare?"... "Yeah, that's what the doctor said"

So my late fiftyish, self-employed, not-really-political but vaguely Paulite and currently uninsured neighbor went for his first checkup in five or so years yesterday. I talked to him this morning and he told me he has high blood pressure, some kind of electrical abnormality with his heart and is a candidate for a hip replacement.

I quietly mentioned that he should possibly check into Obamacare and he told me the doctor had said just that to him and I think he's really going to do it.

I think Obamacare sucks because it doesn't go nearly far enough but that doesn't stop me from reminding people to take advantage of what it does do for them.

It's interesting that I've become the go-to person in my circle for dispensing information about Obamacare despite the fact it won't do anything for me AFAICT.

They say that driving a Porsche is like becoming one with the road


On Thursday, the driver of a Porsche 911 decided he'd take a shortcut around some construction cones and drove straight into wet concrete near Marina Green on Marina Blvd. in San Francisco.

"It was coned off," according to Bobswire, a user of the Paceline bike forums. "He was just trying to sneak in from a side street. concrete looked solid." Bobswire reports that the hapless driver remained stuck in his car. "He didn't want to open the door and have concrete get in; the whole undercarriage and brakes will need to cleaned or replaced."

Demographics of the 1980 election

I've read a number of times here on the DU lately that Boomers "elected Reagan", like many urban myths this one doesn't appear to be supported by the facts.

If you look at the age breakdown in voting at the site I have linked to below, the younger voters in 1980 went for Carter and Reagan in almost equal numbers while the older voters heavily favored Reagan.

The older voters in 1980 mostly being the Silent Generation and the Greatest Generation, not Boomers.


It's also instructive to note that Liberals went heavily for Carter (67% to 27%) while Independents, ie pragmatic moderate centrists, went for Reagan (56% to 31%).

Another thing I find interesting about the 1980 election is the large skewing of the vote by income with the sub $15,000 group going for Carter and those making over $15,000 voting for Reagan. Over $50,000 went for Reagan 66% to 23%.

A neighbor of mine went to Walmart on Black Friday for the $100 TV

His comment at our Saturday morning coffee get together this morning after a couple of hours in line at the store, a "rain check" and then a couple of more hours online and eventually some time spent on the phone in order to straighten out the rain check; "I'll never do that again.".

With an effort I managed not to laugh too loud for too long.

"You're in better shape than me and twenty years older than I am"

Words from my forty two year old neighbor today as I helped him wheelbarrow firewood from a downed tree we were cutting up to his front porch for winter fireplace use. I was wheeling the wheelbarrow and he was just walking besides me and pulling a bit on the steeper sections but he was the one out of breath.

I credit regular bicycling for that, it's really the only aerobic exercise I get since I loathe exercise for the sake of exercise but I really enjoy riding my electric assisted BikeE recumbent around town.

I've come to really like the electric assist I put on my bike, I still get about as much exercise as I did before adding the hub motor but I go considerably further and quite a bit faster, not crawling up the hills in a low gear adds a lot to my confidence level on the road. The rear Schwalbe Big Apple on my machine will need to be replaced soon and I put it on new when I added the electric, I figure nearly 4,000 miles of electric assist now without any mechanical problems beyond having to tighten the rear axle bolts twice and one broken spoke that needs replacing. I'm going to strip the bike down and repaint/restore it as soon as the weather is too cold for regular riding, probably in December, it's going Emergency Vehicle Yellow from the current red.


Do you ever read facts/perspectives on the DU that allow you to dominate conversations in real life?

It happens for me all the time, someone will say something really silly/stupid/uninformed, usually straight from the M$M, and I'll have the perfect line already written or found for me by a DUer and very often tuned and tempered by other DUers.

I've got quite a few people convinced I'm a good bit smarter than I actually am due to DU.

Thank you everyone whose words and ideas I borrow in order to try to make a slightly better world for us all. I really try to make help the people I talk to think about things from a little different perspective and I try to find words that talk to the ideas and facts rather than the person, the DU has been very helpful in all that.

So many things are a matter of perspective and that's one thing DU has a lot of, much of it rubs off on me. I've changed my mind about a lot of things since I've been on the DU although you probably wouldn't know it from my normal humble demeanor.

Anyhow, I just wanted to say I appreciate all of you, even and perhaps especially those I often disagree with, you make me think and I think that's a good think thing.

Charlie Pierce is like a god to me division: Hacko di Tutti Hacki


For going on three decades now, there has not been a hackier hack on this little blue marble than Mark Halperin. He is the worst thing to happen to political journalism since the mob in Alton iced Elijah Lovejoy. He is walking journalistic potato blight. He is a living, breathing, suppurating punditizing boil on the asscheeks of a once-proud profession. Doc Alterman has the 411 on the history of this towering 'ho, and the remarkable Driftglass, friend to young bloggers and owner of the prettiest website (Bring back the meteor, dammit!) on the Intertoobz, catches Halperin in his latest act of abject 'ho-dom, servicing (of all people) Glenn Beck.

This is something, this appearing with a public lunatic, that should send you off to Hannity Island for the rest of your sorry-ass career. (There is absolutely no relative difference in credibility between Glenn Beck, Alex Jones, and the recently returned -- Hoorah! -- Art Bell. It should mark you as, at best, a crackpot.) I suspect we once again will be seeing him very soon on the liberal MSNBC channel, which is just like Fox, if you read, say, Double Down. My idea of frog-marching the lot of them off to a journalism re-education camp in the Smokies is looking better and better.
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