July 17th, 2017

End of an era, start of another: Volvo out of full ICE market in 2019


"We are convinced that the future of Volvo is electric" -- Håkan Samuelsson, CEO of Volvo Cars Corporation AB, in a short promotional video from Volvo. The company has recently announced that "the cars that [they produce] from 2019 onwards will range from battery-only to plug-in hybrid – which can run for a significant distance before switching to petrol or diesel – and mild hybrids, where a battery helps a conventional engine achieve greater fuel economy." While this serves customers who have asked for more electric and hybrid car options, Adam Vaughan, writing for The Guardian, also points out "the move will also help the Swedish firm meet legally-binding carbon targets for new cars sold in the EU from 2020."

Volvo will be the first major car manufacture to stop producing pure internal combustion engine (ICE) cars.

In March of this year, Green Car Reports noted that a minimum of six new all-electric models are expected in 2018 and 2019, all promising ranges of 200 miles or more—which until a few months ago had been the exclusive province of Tesla Motors. This was before Volvo's announcement, which could bring that total up to 11, as the firm will introduce five 100% electric models between 2019 and 2021, as reported by The Guardian.

 Luther's Revolution


 The Reformation did a lot more than transform Christianity. - " This paradox—that the Reformation could birth a peasant revolt while its instigator rallied behind the princes—is a picture of Protestantism's confusing political legacy in miniature. Protestantism arguably brought about many of the preconditions for the Enlightenment and liberalism, and at the very least introduced Europe to a headier skepticism of authority than had prevailed before. (Indeed, Roper credits the Reformation with sparking the secularization of the West.) On the other hand, the release of significant portions of life—namely politics and economics—-from the purview of religious authority may have expanded certain freedoms, but it didn't result in a betterment of conditions for the most disadvantaged, even as it helped transform the Christian message into something far more internal and private than that of the earlier Church."  By Elizabeth Bruenig

Not your usual Getting Things Done.


Interested in productivity but can't relate to the dry managerialness of GTD or the saccharineness of the planner decoration world? Want advice and insight from nerdy, salty, artist types? Check out Productivity Alchemy, a podcast by sysadmin and media producer Kevin Sonney featuring his wife, author, illustrator, and Wombat Test Subject Ursula Vernon, as well as interviews with people from all walks of life who are all convinced that they are not as organised as people think they are.

Oh, just vacuuming my bees, you know...


Sheila and Jerry have a problem with swarms. But, there may be a solution: "... the vac doesn't need to be opened right away, but the bees can stay there for a few days until they are no longer furious at being sucked up in a vacuum." In which people describe how to build or operate a vacuum for the collection of bees. Can be built using Staples clear boxes by a foundation activist. Can be used by someone in shorts on a ladder, a sensibly suited individual, a stereotypical tea party supporter or someone crouching next to a "missile detector". Sheila and Jerry give it a go.

"Music is the effect created against silence."


Why does the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest winner sound so different from other contemporary pop songs? Luís Figueiredo, the arranger of the song "Amar Pelos Dois" sang by Salvador Sobral and written by Luísa Sobral, explains why. Includes an analysis of "corporate" music and advice on finding good new music since you really can't expect corporate radio to give it to you.

Staying on top of the -ography in a digital age