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Comment: Re:"Michigan, give us your water!" (Score 1) 311

by drinkypoo (#48615807) Attached to: 11 Trillion Gallons of Water Needed To End California Drought

Those wetlands keep the rain from flowing straight out into the ocean; part of the reason we're in this mess now is that we've spent the last 100 years plowing them into the ground and pouring concrete over them (see: LA river).

The general tendency to cover the ground with concrete is more than half of the problem of LA, they receive more than enough rainfall every year to cover 100% of their needs but more than 99% of it runs off because that's what they designed the city to do. It's not just wetlands, it's all the lands.

Comment: Re:In IT, remember to wash your hands (Score 1) 151

by drinkypoo (#48615751) Attached to: In IT, Beware of Fad Versus Functional

I'd say CUVs are a fad. They're for people who need a minivan but feel emasculated by not owning some ludicrous SUV.

Minivans are what happens when you take a car and stretch it into another vehicle. CUVs are what happens when you purpose-build a vehicle to do a job.

What's not to like?

Minivans get crap mileage and have crap handling.

Comment: Re:"You can always rely on the Americans... (Score 1) 311

by drinkypoo (#48614205) Attached to: 11 Trillion Gallons of Water Needed To End California Drought

"coherent, effective strategies" all involve stealing water rights and destroying agriculture.

That's overstating the case a bit. I'm seeing grapes go in all over Northern California at a time when we can't afford the existing water consumption, let alone additional. Precious few of these vines are dry farmed.

Comment: Re:Created? (Score 1) 190

by drinkypoo (#48613923) Attached to: Jaguar and Land Rover Just Created Transparent Pillars For Cars

You may improve a safety system, but any 5-point harness without pre-tensioners would be removal, not improvement of a safety system.

That assumes your car has those, lots of cars don't. The W126 Mercedes was the first car on which they became standard... in the long-wheelbase editions, which means my 1982 doesn't have them. But lots of newer cars don't have them either, like most cars of the 1990s.

A 5-point system helps even without a cage.

Not really. The seat mounts can't handle the load, and the original mounts aren't in the right place. The racing harness is designed to keep you in place in a car with proper crash protection around you. In the 1960s race cars still had wacky little half-seats, around then they started to become part of the crash protection and that's when race cars got harnesses.

A 5-point system without a cage is usually mounted to the seat, and usually reduces the safety of the vehicle as a result. You can get a cute little half-cage or even a roll bar with a proper place to mount the straps, so you don't need a full cage, but you need to add something.

Comment: Re:spacer (Score 1) 190

by drinkypoo (#48613545) Attached to: Jaguar and Land Rover Just Created Transparent Pillars For Cars

You mentioned ABS, I was thinking it was like the blocks they put on pedals for short people.

Yeah, I self-replied much later with a correction, sorry. I meant SRS. I think in acronyms in car-land, too. Sometimes the wrong ones.

Spacers can dick with the airbag clockspring arrangement. If your car is old enough this ain't an issue. But ISTR it's illegal to defeat a working airbag.

Comment: Re:In IT, remember to wash your hands (Score 1) 151

by drinkypoo (#48613397) Attached to: In IT, Beware of Fad Versus Functional

Minivans are dying. They have turned out to be a fad. They are being replaced by CUVs. It turns out almost nobody actually wanted to carry cargo and a lot of passengers, and a minivan is half-assed at both. The only exception went out of production because buyers decided it was too old — the Chevy Astro. Only one engine but since 2000 it was awesome, and available in short or long versions and AWD or RWD. RWD with 3.23s gets up to 26 mpg on the freeway at speed, I wouldn't lie to you. We would have got rid of it already otherwise. This is on an engine rebuild and a trans rebuild and an axle rebuild and a brake rebuild, though, I'm not claiming it's great in all ways. But have you seen the kind of mileage minivans get? Mostly it's no better than that, and they don't behave like a truck when you want them to. The only one I ever wanted to drive was the mid-engined Previa S/C, and it gets like 22 on the freeway.

Comment: Re:Created? (Score 1) 190

by drinkypoo (#48613085) Attached to: Jaguar and Land Rover Just Created Transparent Pillars For Cars

So a 5-point harness is essentially illegal in the US for street cars, despite being provably better than 3-point belts.

Nah, it depends on the state. You can improve the system in some places. Also, if you mount a 5-point to the 3-point mounts you're a fool, that's a waste of effort. You really need a cage.

Comment: Re:Or just make the A-pillar narrower. (Score 1) 190

by drinkypoo (#48613069) Attached to: Jaguar and Land Rover Just Created Transparent Pillars For Cars

I agree a narrower width has to be compensated for, but there's plenty of room for that if you increase the depth.

If you make the A-pillar too deep, you'll have the same problem. You won't be able to see through it sideways. You can see this effect at work in the back of many cars, where it's often quite annoying. Hopefully advances in materials science (e.g. cheaper carbon fiber) will let us have skinny A-pillars again.

Comment: Re:spacer (Score 1) 190

by drinkypoo (#48612919) Attached to: Jaguar and Land Rover Just Created Transparent Pillars For Cars

My personal problem is that the pedals are too close, the seat too high, and the steering wheel too far away.

Right, if you have a spacer behind the steering wheel, that brings it closer. Unless, of course, it doesn't have tilt. My latest car has a telescoping column, so it's not a problem, I just adjusted the wheel back towards me.

Comment: Re:That's not the problem; the rearview mirror is (Score 1) 190

by drinkypoo (#48612599) Attached to: Jaguar and Land Rover Just Created Transparent Pillars For Cars

The trunklines didn't go up for crash safety. They went up for aerodynamics.

Who told you that? That's hilarious. Every automaker has complained about having to raise that line to deal with legal requirements, not to make them better pass crash tests, but because they've been legally required to raise the rear impact zone. Raising the rear increases drag, on its own; when you kick it up over the rest of the lines of the car, you're ultimately just increasing area. Sometimes it's an intentional part of a design meant to increase downforce, but that's exceptionally rare.

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