Good Bye, Volkswagen.

When Anniken and I moved out of the city center in 2013, we realized we had to get a car. After doing a lot of research and test driving, we eventually settled on an estate model from Škoda, the Superb. The car is a pleasure to drive, very roomy with Vilde’s stroller fitting easily in the back, and the four wheel drive means we can get around pretty much everywhere. In general, the car is, as its name implies, superb, and I’ve recommended it to pretty much everyone who has bothered to listen.

But then Škoda’s parent company, Volkswagen, decided to fuck everything up.

On September 18th this year, it was revealed that Volkswagen had deliberately equipped some of their turbocharged direct injection (TDI) diesel engine models with computer software designed to activate certain emissions controls only during laboratory emissions testing – a so-called “defeat device”:

“The programming caused the vehicles’ nitrogen oxide (NOx) output to meet U.S. standards during regulatory testing, but produce up to 40 times higher NOx output in real-world driving.” — NPR: Volkswagen Used ‘Defeat Device’ To Skirt Emissions Rules, EPA Says

Long story short: It turned out Volkswagen was using the same computer software in a lot of car models, and not just Volkswagen cars. The software surfaced in models from many of their subsidiaries, including Audi, SEAT, and – Škoda.

Continue reading "Good Bye, Volkswagen."

All Clear.

After watching the live coverage from Hawaii yesterday I think we can safely say that tsunami prediction is not an exact science yet. At some point in time, Mother Earth will fuck us up real good. We’re not capable of predicting any of the things she can throw at us without even breaking a sweat: Earthquakes, volcano eruptions, floods, tornadoes. We can’t even predict the weather correctly twelve hours in advance. That cute weather girl tells you the sun will shine the next day and you wake up to a blizzard. Of course it will all accumulate in December 2012 when everything is supposed to go to hell. I, for one, would really like to experience 2013 and the years to come after that, so I’m leaning towards the Wulfmorgenthaler explanation to the whole Mayan calendar thing. See the comic above. Click to enlarge or find a good magnifying glass.


In terms of technology and the internet, the last 24 hours have been very interesting. After the earthquake in Chile, land line and cell phone networks went black in many areas, while the internet continued working. Because of this, people were able to communicate with the outside world, send pictures, messages and even connect video calls through Skype and other voice over IP services. The same thing happened to some degree after the Haiti earthquake. Continue reading "All Clear."

Boom, Boom.

So, not surprisingly, it’s happened again. A frustrated, young man gets his gun and opens fire in a crowded, public place. This time it was in USA. That’s where it usually happens, but during the intermissions, other countries take over. Last time it was Finland.

There are a lot of common factors if you compare the three latest cases of public shootings.

  1. The shooters were all young males.
  2. They had few or no friends.
  3. They had a hard time fitting in.
  4. They were all crazy to do it, but not insane when they did it. Everything was planned and prepared.
  5. They intended to die and take as many people with them as possible. To literary go out with a bang.
  6. And they all wanted to get noticed.

Actually, with only a few exceptions, all of the above are common factors for most public shootings. Another interesting fact is that the shooters have begun to refer to each other as well. Continue reading "Boom, Boom."