Episode-487- Call In Friday 8-6-10 — 17 Comments

  1. I was going into withdrawal. Welcome back. Hope the vacation was what you needed.


  2. Hey Jack, glad to have you back. Regarding the hybrid diesel, you’re exactly right. Volkswagen IS developing a hybrid diesel, among others. I’m not sure how close to production any models are, as this is something I haven’t paid much attention to for more than a year. One issue that persists with VW is most of their best cars never make it to America, and if they do it is much later or very “watered down”. I’ve heard theoretical mpg numbers upwards of 100 though.

  3. Regarding the diesel hybrid…I’ve been told that diesel engines do best when just running as opposed to starting and stopping. That comes from a trucker and a couple of farmers. I guess that is what VW might be working on. They did have a prototype or something back in 2008. 69.9 mpg. Don’t know what happened to it.
    Good to hear you again Jack!

  4. from what i have heard, guineafowl are the most voracious eaters of pest insects. so if you can put up with the noise they make then they’d be the best option for solving your grasshopper problem.

  5. The reason diesels aren’t popular in North America is that the cost of gas is relatively cheap. Contrast that to the cost of gas in Europe and you now why diesels are so popular there.

    Also the only car sized diesels offered in North America are from VW and Mercedes Benz.

  6. Volkswagen, Mercedes, Hyundai, Nissan, Land Rover, and others are being developed. The closest to production is Mercedes E300 Blue Tech. The Hybrid’s ability is tied to battery capacity just like electric cars.
    One reason for diesel being efficient is that fuel can be directly injected into the cylinder, but now some gasoline cars are doing this too (FORD’s TAURUS SHO)

  7. We have lots of birds, esp. mockingbirds. Several others around such as cardinals, bluejays. I don’t know which are eating my berries, but next year I will put up a bird net when the blueberries first come out. With my grapes the birds don’t touch till they turn ripe and they all disappear the day they ripen. Blackberries they eat some, not seen a problem with my raspberries and birds. First year with blueberries and was surprised to find the birds would raid my blueberries long before they ripened. Also told I could hang old cd’s on fishing line so they spin around, not tried that yet.

  8. Grasshoppers: heritage turkeys are best, but you might also try ‘Nolo Bait’ early in the year. Just sprinkle the powder around and on your plants. Other traditional early applications is milk, whole or skimmed, diluted 6 parts water to one part milk, then sprayed weekly on your garden and the area around it. As well as improving soil, the plants produce a higher level of sugar content which grasshoppers don’t like due to their inability to digest sugars.

  9. I’m a law student and no expert on Jury Nullification, but I can give you a little insider perspective.

    First of all, they don’t teach this stuff to new lawyers. There is a chapter on nullification in the standard textbook, but my professor, and I gather many others like him, simply skip over it. My own professor brushed nullification off as an “anomaly”.

    Second, there have been cases at the Supreme Court that have ruled that a jury is not entitled to an instruction on nullification. This means that the defendant’s lawyer cannot tell the jury about nullification, and it is against the interests of the judge and prosecutor to advocate nullification.
    The reason that the prosecutor doesn’t want nullification is obvious, he can lose even an open and shut case.
    The judge doesn’t want nullification because it takes away his own power to judge a case, but there is also the fact that, despite the recent supreme court nominations, judges themselves are often very conservative. Nullification makes waves and draws attention to lower level trial courts that the judges in regional courts often want to avoid.

    The good news is that nullification still exists and it is the right of the jury to acquit to prevent any injustice. The “system” is currently stacked against nullification, since 2/3rds of the parties involved don’t want the jury to know about nullification, and the other 1/3rd is muzzled.

    The best way to get jury nullification to catch on is simply to tell others about it. Spread the word, and if you hear that someone you know is going to be on a jury, print down the stuff on the FIJA site and give it to them.

  10. Further, most lawyers who do get taught this stuff get get brainwashed against it because there was a case or two where all white juries refused to convict a white person who killed a black person.

    Trust me, law students can be sheeple just like everyone else (moreso, sometimes, because it draws a lot of people seeking the material trappings of the profession) and will equate nullification=racism=bad and move on without considering the fact that the problem may have been jury selection and not nullification.

  11. Why are there so few diesels in the U.S? General motors. In the late 70’s when Gasoline was soooo expensive, they built a “diesel” engine for their Olds 98/88; Buick Lesabre; etc. They did it by swapping the heads and maybe pistons on the good ole 350 inch V-8 voila they had a diesel. You can just imagine how well it worked. My uncle bought one of the first 98s that came out. In a year the thing had had more than the purchase price spent on it in service.
    I remember a buddy had a 83 Mazda diesel pickup that got well into the 30’s per gallon! I want to say it had a Perkins diesel engine, but I’m not sure.

  12. The commonly miscalled “Geo-thermal” you described is really a ground source heat pump. I put one in my last house near Philly and it is NOT WORTH IT THIS FAR NORTH (ie Philly). My guess is that south of the Mason-Dixon line it might be worthwhile. The reason is that it cools nearly for free (literally free if you use a de-superheater to pre-heat your hot water), but heating is not so good. The heat in the winter was costing me more than A/C used to cost in the summer. The reason is that these system use ground temperature basically a constant 55F, which is cooler than the average house temperature of 70C therefore cooling takes little to no energy (heat naturally goes to where it is colder (less heat))

    As for hybrid diesels, Dodge supposedly had a contractor truck about 5-10years ago that was a hybrid diesel, which doubled as an electric generator which could be used to power electric tools. Sounded like a great idea, but I never found it.

  13. Great show. I wanted to let you know that I purchased the Backyard Food Production DVD and it is everything you said it would be. Thanks for the recommendation.

  14. I believe locomotives use a diesel generator to power electric motors on the wheels due to mechanical issues with transferring power to the wheels. I don’t think they use any of the hybrid technologies usually associated with hybrid vehicles such as instant engine start/stop and storing electric energy from braking. I’m nearly certain there are no batteries for electrical energy storage on trains. Its these other hybrid technologies that make personal transport modes more efficient. As Jack has said many times the Jetta hybrid is already super efficient. I had a 1999 and normally got >50MPG.