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July 30, 2010

Riverside Buys Electric Trucks

They are six ZAP trucks which are being sold by the Jaguar/Lincoln-Mercury dealer in Riverside. The ZAP website lists only one real truck, the ZAPTruck XL. The "Xebra Truck" is 3-wheeled and technically a motorcycle.

The ZAPTruck has a top speed of 25 MPH, a range of 30 miles, and has an "off road payload" of 1,900 pounds. Does that mean the maximum load it can carry off of pavement is 1,900 pounds? Or by "off road" do they mean loads sitting on the truck, as opposed to loads sitting in a trailer that it's hauling?

Cost to the city, about $15,400 each.

Filed under Automotive | permalink | July 30, 2010 at 11:33 AM | Comments (0)

Swedish Police Action

Those cobblestones you see mean there are no skateboarders to chase down.

| permalink | July 30, 2010 at 11:22 AM | Comments (0)

Cheaper, Lighter Kindle Introduced

There are now three models of Kindle:

  1. The big DX model, $379, 9.7-inch (diagonal) display;
  2. The "3G + Wi-Fi" (I think that's what they call it) for $189, 6-inch (diagonal) display; and
  3. The new "Wi-Fi" (they need to hire somebody to come up with some better model names) which is the same size as the "3G + Wi-Fi," but is only $139 (and lacks 3G).

The "3G + Wi-Fi" model is the only one available in a choice of colors: graphite or white. The other models are all graphite. If you have to have white, then you have to go with the "3G + Wi-Fi" model.

My suggestions for model names:

  • DX model = "Fred"
  • "3G + Wi-Fi" white model = "Ricky in New York"
  • "3G + Wi-Fi" graphite model = "Ricky in Havana"
  • "Wi-Fi" model = "Lucy"

The lack of 3G means only that the Kindle can't connect via the cellphone network, which for most people won't be a problem. If, however, you read your stuff really fast and you are often away from any computers, you'll want the 3G. I'm sure Amazon would want me to point out that you don't need to have a computer at all to use the Kindle. But you do have to occasionally bring yourself into a zone of wireless connectivity somewhere, unless you are completely satisfied with all the books you already have and never need to acquire a new one.

Here are the claims for the latest "Wi-Fi" and "3G + Wi-Fi" models:

  • They're 21% smaller: 7.5" x 4.8" x 0.335" - but all models have the same memory capacity "3,500 books" (I hate that sort of "measurement") which is double the older models. In objective terms, it's 4 gigabytes.
  • 17% lighter: 8.5 ounces for "Wi-Fi," 8.7 ounces for "3G + Wi-Fi."
  • With wireless turned off, the battery charge should last a month. Can be fully charged in 4½ hours.
  • 50% better screen contrast. Still black & white only.
  • Page turning is now 20% faster! That means cliffhangers will hang for only 80% as long as they do on older Kindle models.
  • "Kindle can now display Cyrillic (such as Russian), Japanese, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), and Korean characters in addition to Latin and Greek scripts."
  • The PDF reader is improved.
  • The menus are now Text-to-Speech enabled. Previously, some (most?) English texts could be listened to rather than read, but the menus could only be read, which didn't do blind readers much good.
  • You can load MP3s on the Kindle (via USB) and listen "while you read," although I'm sure the Kindle will continue to play music even if your eyes are not scanning the display.

If you already own one of the following devices you can download FREE Kindle software for it and never have to buy a Kindle. Text-to-Speech works only on the Amazon Kindle hardware, though.

  • PC
  • Mac
  • iPad
  • iPhone
  • Android
  • Blackberry

Filed under Books,Technology | permalink | July 30, 2010 at 08:48 AM | Comments (0)

July 29, 2010

Another Church Issue In Temecula

In addition to the big controversy about building a new mosque in Temecula there is this other zoning issue related to houses of worship. It seems that there's a 12-square mile area zoned for citrus and vineyards. That zoning does not permit churches, so Temecula is considering revising their zoning to allow churches in the citrus/vineyard zone. Some of the local vineyard owners are opposing this change citing two reasons: (1) some churches are opposed to alcohol, and (2) churches with schools could cause problems with the application of pesticides and chemicals.

As for the 1st reason, has any vineyard run into active opposition from a religious group that doesn't permit the use of alcohol?

The 2nd reason is just ridiculous. I suppose any school could cause problems with any agricultural use of pesticides and chemicals. But California is full of schools AND agriculture. Is anyone aware of any situations in California where the construction of a school as required the abandonment of vast swathes of farmland - or its conversion to organic growing?

Filed under California,Religion | permalink | July 29, 2010 at 11:00 PM | Comments (0)

The Daily Show Discovers The Real Reason For DADT

As explained by Scott Lively:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Gay Reichs
www.thedailyshow.com
 

(via Box Turtle Bulletin)

Filed under Gay Issues | permalink | July 29, 2010 at 09:15 PM | Comments (0)

Water Service Disruptions Next Week

The Mission Springs Water District has posted information on their Facebook page about the one-day water cutoffs that will happen next week due to the street work on Cactus Drive. If you are going to be affected, you should have already been notified by them directly.

August 3 Water Service Disruption
Properties affected by the Tuesday, August 3, disruption are in green (well, greenish-beige or whatever that is).


August 4 Water Service Disruption
Properties affected by the Wednesday, August 4, disruption are in pink.

Work and cutoffs are scheduled to take place from 8 AM to 4 PM on those days.

| permalink | July 29, 2010 at 08:44 PM | Comments (0)

CBPCA HERS Basic Rater Training

If you know what this means, then this may be just what you are looking for:

Desert Energy Enterprise Center And Living Eco-Wise Community Training Program

Present - CBPCA HERS Basic Rater Training (HOME PERFORMANCE TRAINING)

DESERT ENERGY ENTERPRISE CENTER
3301 MICRO PLACE (at Gene Autry and I-10 fwy)
PALM SPRINGS, CA 92262

  • BPI/HPwES Level - I Aug 16 – Aug 18 8:00am - 5:00pm (M – W)
  • HERS I Aug 19-21 8:00am -5:00pm (Th – Sat)
  • HERS Mentoring/Field Test - August 23 - August 31 (8:00am - 5:00pm (one - 3 hr mentoring session per student)

The CBPCA 2008 HERS Basic Rater certification training provides the classroom and field training required to qualify as a California Field Verification and Diagnostic Testing Rater under the new 2008 Standards. This course will qualify you for rating existing homes for Title 24, Part 6, field verifications and diagnostic testing of homes for utility HVAC incentive programs.

It will also provide required prerequisite training for the following certifications:

  • California Whole-House Home Energy Rater (HERS II)
  • Building Performance Contractor
  • the pre-qualifications needed to attend Build it Green's GreenPoint Rater course

Registration Information:
Workforce Development Center
760-863-2500
44-199 Monroe Ste B
Indio, CA 92201

Additional Information:
Yolanda Rustad [email protected]
760-799-5019

web: www.rivcojobs.com
phone: 1-866-rivcojobs

Equal Opportunity Employer/Program auxiliary aides and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

Please contact Diane Felix, 5 to 7 days before the event at 951.955.3092, 951.955.9050 TTY, 7-1-1 CA relay, or [email protected]

Filed under Coachella Valley | permalink | July 29, 2010 at 07:48 PM | Comments (2)

Antoine Dodson Issues Warnings

In Huntstville, Alabama:

| permalink | July 29, 2010 at 06:00 AM | Comments (0)

July 28, 2010

Won't Change Any Closed Minds, But Here It Is

"[F]or the first time, research on the social development and psychological health of children was not based on the opinions of their parents alone but also of outside observers (teachers and care givers.)" University of Virginia and George Washington researchers studied preschoolers who had been adopted in infancy by lesbian couples (27), gay male couples (29) and heterosexual couples (50). The conclusion: no difference.

The report on the study itself [PDF] is available here.

Our findings revealed, for the first time, that young children adopted early in life by lesbian and gay parents were as well-adjusted as those adopted by heterosexual parents. Our results suggest that lesbian and gay adults can and do make capable adoptive parents. We found no significant differences among families headed by lesbian, gay, or heterosexual parents in terms of child adjustment, parenting behaviors, or couples' adjustment. In addition, reports of children's outside caregivers were consistent with those of parents. It is important to note in particular that gay fathers and their children appeared to be faring as well as were lesbian and heterosexual parents and their children. These findings add to the very limited existing research on gay fathers and their children, as well as to the relatively sparse research on adoptive families with lesbian and gay parents. In all, our results both lend support to earlier research with lesbian- and gay-parented families, and extend these findings to adoptive and gay-father families.

Children in this sample, who had all been adopted in infancy by lesbian, gay, or heterosexual couples, were reported to be developing well by both their parents and outside caregivers. There were no significant differences among children as a function of parental sexual orientation on measures of internalizing, externalizing, or total behavior problems. These results represent the first time that teachers' reports of children's behavior have been considered alongside those of parents in a sample of young adopted children with lesbian, gay, and heterosexual parents. They are consistent with earlier findings that parental sexual orientation is not associated with children's behavioral adjustment ... Although effect sizes were small and no significant differences were detected, the direction of effects often favored children with same-sex over other-sex parents. Overall, children adopted early in life by lesbian, gay, and heterosexual parents appeared to be thriving.

We also found that young children adopted by lesbian, gay, and heterosexual parents were assessed as showing typical gender development. Regardless of whether their parents were lesbian, gay, or heterosexual, most boys exhibited behavior typical of other same-aged boys, and most girls exhibited behavior typical of other same-aged girls. There were no significant differences as a function of family type. This finding is particularly noteworthy for the children of gay fathers, whose gender development has rarely been investigated in earlier studies ... Our results suggest that parental sexual orientation is not as influential in young children's gender development as previously thought ... Rather than parental sexual orientation, biological influences and other gender-typed socialization influences are likely to be particularly important early in children's development.

Filed under Gay Issues | permalink | July 28, 2010 at 08:42 PM | Comments (1)

Other Cities VERY Interested In Pensions Of Resigning Bell Staff

Glendale, Simi Valley and Ventura may be on the hook for additional hundreds of thousands of dollars to cover the CalPERS pension of Bell, California, police chief Randy Adams. He worked in those three cities before going to the lush, lush pastures of Bell where his salary has been $457,000. The way CalPERS works, the inflated pension he will get as a result of his Bell salary will be borne by his previous employers in addition to Bell.

California city managers and the legislature are talking about ways to make city staff salaries easily visible to the public. I think publishing the W-2s would be the simplest.

Filed under California | permalink | July 28, 2010 at 07:46 PM | Comments (0)