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Comment Re:Perhaps (Score 1) 990

That's a completely different argument than "all taxation is theft."

In any case, the $7500 credit is not really designed as a taxpayer subsidy -- it was designed to reimburse the manufacturers for the R&D expenses of moving to electric, without direct government expenditure (but with a government loss of revenue). That's why it phases out after each manufacturer has sold a certain number.

However, it really does trickle down, in that used EV prices comprehend the credit. You can get a used i-Miev for $6K or so in some markets.

Comment Re:2013 Leaf Owner here (Score 1) 990

Sorry, must not have been you. Yes, I do own an EV. Yes, I live in Austin. Yes, I have seen somebody waiting to pick someone up at ACC, sitting in an EV at the charger with the AC on.

Come to think of it, though, it couldn't have been you because IIRC it was a plug-in hybrid, not a BEV.

And yes, I'm a prick, but not as much of one as someone who hogs the charger just to run the AC when their car is perfectly capable of running on gas anyway.

Comment Look for warrant canaries (Score 3, Interesting) 86

Yes, kids, you too can try this at home.

Actual transcription from a "conversation" between me and Alexa:

"Alexa, do you work for the CIA?"
"Hmmm. I can't find the answer to the question I heard."
"Alexa, do you work for the FBI?"
"No, I'm not employed by them. I'm made by Amazon."
"Alexa, do you work for the NSA?"
(no voice -- descending 5th musical tone)

Comment Re:Do bats really control mosquitoes? (Score 1) 115

You're probably right about the bats not getting too many dragonflies.

I think the article I read was conflating bats and purple martins as "stupid things people do thinking they will reduce mosquitoes."

In any case, I have found a source that claims that dragonflies do eat mosquitoes (adult dragonflies eat adult mosquitoes and larval dragonflies eat larval mosquitoes). I can easily believe this -- at least around here, they are both active in the dusk and morning.

Also a source that claims that purple martins eat dragonflies, but very few, if any mosquitoes.

So the bats don't eat mosquitoes, but do carry rabies, and the purple martins don't eat mosquitoes, but do eat mosquito predators.

Comment Do bats really control mosquitoes? (Score 4, Interesting) 115

According to mosquito.org:

Recently the public has shown increased interest in the value of insectivorous species of bats in controlling mosquitoes. Although untested lately, this is not a new idea. During the 1920's several bat towers were constructed near San Antonio, Texas, in order to help control malarial mosquitoes. Mosquito populations were not affected and the project was discontinued. Bats in temperate areas of the world are almost exclusively insectivorous. Food items identified in their diet are primarily beetles, wasps, and moths. Mosquitoes have comprised less than 1% of gut contents of wild caught bats in all studies to date. Bats tend to be opportunistic feeders. They do not appear to specialize on particular types of insects, but will feed on whatever food source presents itself. Large, concentrated populations of mosquitoes could provide adequate nutrition in the absence of alternative food. However, a moth provides much more nutritional value per capture than a mosquito.

They talk about other opinions, but most of those seem to be either anecdotal or from data taken in laboratories.

I also read that, not only do bats (and purple martins) not eat that many mosquitoes, they also eat other insects that would themselves eat mosquitoes, such as dragonflies.

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