Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Pathological falls in love with the Volvo V90 CC

What makes a Volvo a Crosscountry vehicle? Well, standard all-wheel-drive and a raised driving height. Don't forget the body cladding that gives them the rugged look, now on to a serious question? Would you pay near $70,000 just to own one?

The V90 CC comes with a 2-liter turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder pumping out only 315hp. It doesn't seem like much but you'll be surprised at how flexible the engine really feels. We haven't had the chance to test drive one fully laden but from what we've been able to experience the V90 CC doesn't feel out of its depth with this engine combo. However, we do wish that Volvo did chase after making this the best turbo four-cylinder they could possibly make. It just doesn't feel refined for a vehicle with such a hefty price tag.

It's a crossover and that's all you need to know. Dynamically you won't even come close to the X5 or Cayenne, but for what most buyers will use this for it's just enough. Steering feedback is okay it's nothing to brag about, but the ride comfort deserves all the praise. It's silky smooth and so quite inside that well, it's premium feeling like a Volvo should.

The quirky infotainment system is easy to use while on the go. We love the large screen and easy to use menus. The front seats are comfy and provide much support while the rear seats are best left for four passengers. You can fit three abreast but that's going to be pushing it because of the large transmission tunnel that eats up precious foot space.

The V90 CC only comes with one trim and it's a very well kitted trim at that. Blind Spot Monitoring System, Full-LED headlights, keyless start, and semi-autonomus drive system. You'll have to pay extra for some luxury features such as 4-zone climate control, heated rear seats and rear sun curtains on the rear side doors.

The fact that the V90 CC costs as much as it does makes you wonder if its really worth considering because both the V90 and XC90 are cheaper. You'll find yourself looking at Audi, BMW and Mercedes for the smoother six-cylinder engine options also. But, we strongly suggest short listing this vehicle because it really is worth the look.

Likes: Smooth engine with plenty of flexibility. It's comfy to drive and is very stylish. It's hard to not consider this when most of its options are much more pricey.

Dislikes: Most people (not everyone) won't associate luxury with a turbo four-cylinder. V90 and XC90 could deter people away.  

Trying to make sense of the Toyota CH-R

The CH-R dare we say is the most stylish Toyota we’ve seen in a long time. It’s coupe-like profile means that you can have the rakish style of a BMW X4 without the premium price, but sometimes is the premium price justified?

The CH-R looks like it would have a large turbo under the bonnet, but you’ll be sad to learn that it isn’t even offered as an option. Instead you’ll be greeted by a 2-liter four-cylinder which offers decent flexibility if spirited driving isn’t in your vocabulary. Don’t get us wrong here, we love the low running costs associated with this engine but the sporty looks are just deceiving. We were hoping for more. There is no manual gearbox available just a continuously variable transmission offers smooth acceleration around town and doesn’t really make too much of a ruckus on the highway, unless you flat out flog it.

The previous statement about the CH-R looking sporty but not feeling sporty at all follows into the driving experience. Steering feedback is just numb while road holding is more on the safe side rather than sporty or adventurous, to put it mildly you won’t want to push it through corners and bends like you would in let’s say a Nissan Juke. The steering is so numb that you have no clue what the front wheels are doing. We can say however, that road and wind noise are well suppressed and it is comfortable to drive on long journeys.

Most people won’t be driving it like hooligans and well those people who drive it more conservatively will find it quite comfortable. It’s dinky size makes parking in tight urban areas a breeze and while the steering is numb, it does make maneuvering around town easy.

The interior of the CH-R is a mixed bag. While the materials used in the cabin feel sturdy and long lasting, some of the plastics feel hard and cheap. The infotainment screen is fiddly to navigate through while on the move, it takes some time getting used to some of the menus. The front seats offer plenty of space, but those in the back will not want to ride for too long. The rear windows are downright tiny, and the fact that you can’t get the CH-R with a panorama sunroof means that those in the back will feel claustrophobic on long journeys. Visibility is great all but through the tiny rear window, luckily a parking-camera comes standard to help take the sting out of that. The boot space is tiny also and well, we understand that with style you give up practicality, but there should at least be some trade-offs that make it feel worth compromising for.

The CH-R does come well kitted for the money. XLE trim comes standard with auto-dimming rearview mirror with integrated backup camera, dual-zone climate control, LED daytime running lamps and 4.2-inch infotainment screen with Bluetooth for your mobile device. XLE-premium comes with keyless start, Blind Spot Monitoring system, electronic parking brake and sport-fabric trimmed front seats.

You’ll either love or loathe the CH-R. It doesn’t come with all-wheel-drive, visibility isn’t great and the engine doesn’t really go with the sporty looks. However, you do get a comfortable overall package here with low running costs. Which for some is good but others it feels lacking, and even if it does have Toyota’s Legendary build quality, there are rivals that have caught on and offer a more engaging driving experience to match.

Likes: Low running costs along with stylish exterior looks, rock solid build quality.

Dislikes: It’s not engaging to drive, the boot space is tiny. The rear passenger window is a joke. A panorama sunroof option is much needed here.

Devon’s pick: We strongly suggest sticking with the basics of the XLE. It already comes with all the kit you’ll need and is attractively priced, the XLE-premium only adds a few extra bits that some can do without. Plus without all-wheel-drive option it feels pretty expensive compared to those that are priced similarly with all-wheel-drive standard. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Mitsubishi Outlander (updated) review

There really isn’t much to say about the Outlander, other than it comes with three-rows of seats standard and has an attractive price tag. But is that the only reason to consider one?

ES, SE and SEL only come with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder which produces 166hp. The all three trims offer optional all-wheel-drive. While the top of the range GT offers a 3-liter six-cylinder producing 224hp. It’s nice that Mitsubishi offers the six-cylinder but we question if it is really needed. Unless you are looking at the more spec’d up versions of the Escape and Rogue, the SE trim is the pick of the range. It comes with just enough kit without being too expensive and offers all-wheel-drive optional.

The Outlander just doesn’t feel as composed to drive as a Ford Escape. The ride comfort however isn’t as firm as the Escape. But ride is too easily upset over some road surfaces, which causes the ride to feel bouncy especially at higher speeds on the highway. At least there’s plenty of grip, but the steering doesn’t really weight up at highway speeds. Road and wind noise are well suppressed and you won’t really hear much from the engines at relaxed speeds.

There’s plenty of space for passengers to get comfortable. Drivers won’t struggle to find a comfortable seating position. The third row seat which is best left for children; with the third row seat folded down the boot space opens up and offers plenty of space. The dashboard is somewhat easy to navigate through. We dislike the fiddly to operate touch screen display which is too distracting to use on the go.

The ES trim comes with 7-passenger seating, 18-inch alloys, 6.1-inch touch screen with rearview camera and dual-zone climate control. SE adds 7-inch touch screen display, push button ignition, Bluetooth connectivity and heated front seats. SEL trim adds leather seating surface, power folding mirrors and power driver’s seat. You’ll have to step all the way up to the GT trim to get premium audio system, multi-view camera system, and remote power tail gate.

The Outlander is priced competitively among its keen rivals like the Ford Escape and Nissan Rogue.  Even though you get more kit than both vehicles, we think you’re better off picking one of the two. Running costs with the Outlander should be average but resale value should be a bit of a worry. Reliability is above average though.

The Outlander is a great option for those who want something with good value for the money. However the Outlander just isn’t as polished as its keen rivals and resale isn’t great. But if you want something a little different from its rivals and you really want seven seats at a discount this is your best option.

Likes: Seven seat crossover at a reasonable price, running costs with four-cylinder are decent. The kit level is very impressive at this price range

Dislikes: Resale value is questionable. Exterior design is on the bland side. This is not the halo car Mitsubishi desperately needs.

Devon’s Choice: SE trim offers optional all-wheel-drive, and comes standard with alloy wheels, keyless start and a rearview camera. It’s the only trim that makes the most sense without over paying for the GT trim. The newly added SEL is also worth considering if you want a few extra bells and whistles. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

50 proofs that god (is not) real!

Reason 1: DNA
Whilst agreeing that random patterns occur naturally by chance, DNA however, consists of code, which requires a designer.

Well according to the bible, we are all product of incest. Yes if we are descendants from Adam and Eve that means that we are all somehow related to each other and well, down the road lots of incest had to have happened in order for the world to be populated. It’s not like God could just magically pop people into existence? Oh wait, he did!

Reason 2: Paranormal phenomena
How do you explain the paranormal, such as people witnessing positive or negative sightings, likeghosts or angels? I saw a ghost with a friend of mine I am not a liar, an attention seeker. Neither was I overtired when this happened.

We are steadily learning about our universe and the fact that time travel is possible opens new windows for science wide open. We are steadily learning new things but to make shit up like your angel story is just ridiculous and attention seeking. Yes, we don’t know what happens to us when we die but it doesn’t mean fantastic story! I mean for fucks sake man, if you don’t know you don’t know. Why is that so hard to say!!!

Reason 3: Prayer
Try praying. What good is it when a mind is set to coincidence & disbelief regarding the positive outcome?

Pray doesn’t work. Pray does nothing. You’re just talking to yourself. Next!

Reason 4: First cause
The law of cause & effect - in order to have an effect, there has to be a cause. Everything is caused by something.

Yes I agree but that doesn’t mean fantastic story! We all know the world wasn’t created in six days and no god spoke it into existence like a wizard.

Reason 5: Complexity
Mindless nothing cannot be responsible for complex something.

Man wasn’t formed from dirt and women didn’t form from bones. I’m sorry but evolution makes much more sense than the bible.

Reason 7: Evolution is only a theory
Evolution has never been proved, which is why we call it the 'theory of evolution'. It's a fairy tale for grown ups!

Evolution simply means change over time. It is not a theory, it has been scientifically proven. What do you call the bible? I mean there are loads of fairy tales in that book, each one more ridiculous than the next.

Reason 8: Atheism is based on faith
Atheism is a faith which has not been proved. The disbelievers have not witnessed anything to not believe in, whereas the believers believe because they have witnessed. There is no 'good news' to preach in atheism.

Atheism is not a faith. It’s actual the lack of a belief in a god or deity. The arguments used to suggest a god doesn’t exist seem to be far more compelling than the arguments for a god. Well, most atheists aren’t actually out there screaming from rooftops about a mythical person like your religion does. Secondly, atheists just want to live their lives peacefully and aren’t trying to convert other people. It’s just a group of people who think for themselves. That’s such a cult-y thing to do right? Also, radical claims require radical proof. Appeal by popularity isn’t one of them.  

Reason 9: Atheists are angry with God
How much of the atheist's faith relies on anger with God as opposed to genuine disbelief in God?

I know no atheists that are angry with god; to be angry with god requires a certain belief in a god. Thus why we call ourselves atheists, we lack the belief in a god. We aren’t angry with him/her we just don’t believe he/she doesn’t exist. What’s so hard to grasp about that!

Reason 10: Atheists need to get a life
Why do many atheists shake their fists & spend so much time ranting & raving about something they don't believe in? If they are no more than a fizzled out battery at the end of the day, then why don't they spend their lives partying, or getting a hobby?! Why don't they leave this 'God nonsense' alone?

I’m a bad example of this because I love talking about how ridiculous religion really is. But it’s unfair because not all atheists are like me. There are atheists out there that actually do live their lives and don’t bother people. But to say that all atheists should just get a life is really rude. How about some of you Christians get a life? I see more religious people trying to convert people into their religion if anything. Shouldn’t they get a life?

Reason 11: Chicken-and-egg paradox
What created God? What came first, the chicken or the egg? I am not going to deny the existence of the chicken or the egg, merely because I don't understand or know what came first. I don't care - they both exist!

Prior to the first true chicken, there were non-chickens. The DNA changes came about in cells housed in the egg. So the egg came first. In July 2010, British scientists, using a supercomputer, claimed to have come up with the final and definitive answer. (Of course you don’t care. You look at the bible blindly and follow a supernatural figure you don’t even know if it exists or not.)

Secondly, what created god? That’s a valid question. God couldn’t have created himself and if he thinks nothing created him then he’s an atheist himself which makes no sense!

Reason 12: Improbability vs. impossibility
Improbability is not the same as impossibility. You only have to look at life itself for that backup of proof.

You don’t know the difference between improbable or impossible.

It is highly improbable for me to walk out my house and run into a god trying to convert me into a religion.

It is impossible for one to walk across water.

Do you understand now?

Reason 13: Complexity of human life

There’s nothing complex about human life. Birth is a natural process of life; illness and death are also part of life. How all this came to be is still being questioned to this day, but that doesn’t mean fantastic story. We’ve gone over this!

Reason 14: Complexity of the human mind
How could the complexity of the human mind possibly evolve on its own accord out of mindless cells? Where does our consciousness come from?

The human brain is a very powerful organ. It can make you believe things that aren’t even there and also can be your worse enemy. Well, that’s exactly what happened. Evolution happened and well here we are now. Exactly how that happened we still can’t answer that question, but it wasn’t because of some god sitting on a cloud.

Reason 15: Food and drink
What/who knew that our hunger & thirst had to be catered for by the food & drink which we're supplied with?

Well god did a piss poor job at both. He created animals we aren’t allowed to eat and he’s also created water that we can’t drink. If this world were really created just for us, it would be less deadly to us.

Reason 16: The five senses
Most of us are born with the five senses to detect our surroundings, which we're provided with.

We’ve gained our senses to detect our surroundings because we adapt to our environment. This is why some people have heightened senses when they lose one. However, that doesn’t mean that it comes from god. Otherwise we’d all still be running around naked and not knowing right from wrong.

Reason 17: Goldilocks and the habitable planet, part 1
What/who knew that had Earth been set nearer to the sun, we would burn up?

God surely didn’t know that. Besides if you believe in god and the bible, you’d be saying that the earth is flat and the sun and moon spin around the earth like a spinning flat disc.

Reason 18: Goldilocks and the habitable planet, part 2
What/who knew that had Earth been set any further from the sun, we would freeze up?

NASA has found proof that life can exist on the moons of both Saturn and Jupiter. Please explain to me how this is possible since both planets are far beyond the realm of the ‘Habitable Zone’. It wasn’t god that did this and I’m pretty sure the whole universe is just stars and nothingness or heaven according to the bible.

Reason 19: Goldilocks and the habitable planet, part 3
What/who knew that had Earth been built larger or smaller, its atmosphere would be one where it would not be possible for us to breathe?

Which earth are you talking about? The bible says the earth is flat, so if you think the earth is round then you clearly think that the bible is not telling the truth. You can’t cherry pick what you want to believe and what you don’t. Also, the earth really isn’t truly a perfect sphere because it’s wider at the equator and flat at the north and south poles. So it’s more oblate shaped or pear shaped which seems more likely also.

We still truly don’t know the origin of our universe, but that doesn’t mean fantastic story!

Reason 21: The tornado and the 747
The concept that life came about through sheer chance is as absurd & improbable as a tornado blowing through a junk yard, consequently assembling a Boeing 747!

We aren’t entirely sure how life came to be on earth and there are many theories. Evolution suggests that planets and animals including (humans) evolved over time to adapt to the changing environment around us. We didn’t come from dirt and bones!

It is highly improbable for a human to pop into existence from dirt and bones.

Reason 22: The invisible and the supernatural
We are willing to believe in physically unseen waves that exist through the air, operating physical forces & appliances to work [sic], yet not supernatural God forces being responsible for the same.

We have proof that does waves exists. We don’t have proof of a god existing. I mean all god has to do is float down from his cloud and say here I am. I am alive, but does he do that no! This is why the existence of god is questioned so much because we have no evidence to suggest he does, and most of the proofs are based on blind faith.

Reason 23: Self-organization and entropy
Matter cannot organise itself. An uneaten tomato will not progress on its own accord to form a perfect pineapple. It will transform into mould, into disorganisation. The laws of evolution fall flat.

Are you fucking serious right now? A tomato is not going to evolve into a pineapple. You have such a gross misunderstanding of evolution. It simply means change over time. Secondly, if a tomato did evolve into a pineapple, then everything we know about evolution would change. Everything we know about science as well would change. Please keep your religious garbage to yourself.

Reason 24: Darwin's deathbed conversion
Our 'inventor' of evolution, Mr. Charles Darwin had this to say to Lady Hope when he was almost bedridden for 3 months before he died; "I was a young man with unfathomed ideas. I threw out queries, suggestions; wondering all the time over everything, and to my astonishment the ideas took like wildfire - people made a religion of them." Darwin then asked Lady Hope to speak to neighbors the next day. "What shall I speak about?" She asked. He replied; "Christ Jesus and his salvation. Is that not the best theme?"

Evolution isn’t a religion. It is scientific fact. It doesn’t make radical claims that your religion does about human origin, the universe origin and also mythical creatures that don’t even exists.

Reason 25: Morality
Where do our moral values held within our conscience come from? If the atheist is right, why then would we care about what we did?! If there is no God, then we've no-one to be accountable to.

Are you fucking stupid? You’re accountable for your own actions! If you killed someone you will go to jail! If someone went out and raped someone you would be held responsible and anyone whom assisted you would also go to jail. You don’t need a god to tell you that, oh wait god think these things are perfectly okay to do. Yeah you’re fucked no matter what.

Also we all know that morality from the bible would make us all psychopaths. There’s nothing moral about stoning people to death or setting your daughter on fire.

Reason 26: Man vs. animal
If man has evolved from an animal, why doesn't he behave like an animal? Yet man is civilised.

Well according to the bible if Adam and Eve didn’t fuck up, we would pretty much be in the same boat as wild animals, running around naked with no common sense.

Reason 27: Chance and ignorance
'Chance' isn't the cause of something. It just describes what we can't find a reason for.

It highly depends on how you use the word chance. There’s a slight chance for rain. There’s a chance you could injure yourself. I took a chance and ran across the street. We can find reason for them but that doesn’t mean ignorance unless you say well there’s a chance that god created the universe and Adam and Eve are our ancestors. That’s just stupidity!

Reason 28: Limitations of science and logic
Science & logic do not hold all the answers - many people are aware of forces at work which we have no understanding of & no control over.

Yes it is true that there are many things in this universe we can’t explain and we are steadily learning about it. However, it doesn’t mean fantastic story and god.

Reason 29: Gregorian calendar
Look at the date/year on our calender - 2000 years ago since what? Our historical records (other than the Bible) record evidence of Jesus' existence.

The Earth isn’t 2000 years old! Our planet is millions of years old just like our universe. Otherwise the pyramids are much older than our planet and we all know that makes no sense.

Reason 30: Martyrs
Many people have died for their faith. Would they be prepared to do this for a lie?!

Any ideology that encourages you to harm others is not one worth being part of. Also, any ideology that thinks that you should die for it is not worth being part of as well. We don’t know if god does or doesn’t exist because there’s no data to suggest he does, there’s no evidence! These people died blindly for something that participated in blindly.

Reason 31: Biblical accounts
Much of the Bible deals with eyewitness accounts, written only 40 years after Jesus died. When the books in the New Testament were first around, there would have been confusion & anger if the books were not true.

Eyewitness isn’t really much of proof unless you have actual physical evidence to back it up. I could say I saw my best friend fly across the sky without any aid of technology. You would surely ask me if I have a video or any kind of proof to show he flew across the sky.

This is how you are saying it though, I saw Jesus he’s a 6’1 super model. Do you have proof of this? Here’s a book and a poorly drawn photo. This is all the proof you need now worship him. Do you see how incredibly insane it sounds and how one could be skeptical of your claims?

Reason 32: Archaeology
From as early as 2000 BC, there is archaeological evidence to confirm many details we're provided with in the Bible.

Yes some of the cities and many buildings were found but that doesn’t mean that everything in the bible is true. There’s no evidence to suggest that snakes once talked and also the Garden of Eden existed.

Reason 33: Biblical prophecy
Not one single Biblical prediction can be shown as false, and the Bible contains hundreds.

There’s a difference between prediction and factual information. The bible could predict tomorrow the sky will turn blue and all the clouds will come crashing down to earth. Does this mean that it will happen? No, because it’s a prediction! It’s not the same as saying well I know the sky is going to fall tomorrow and here’s my proof of that.

Reason 34: Al history
The evidence from literature & historical studies claim that Biblical statements are reliable details of genuine events

So what you’re saying is a man lived in a whale’s stomach and managed to live without being digested? Yes, that’s in the bible and it is a radical claim. But is it true? Well no it’s not but please continue telling me how that’s factual information.

Reason 35: Christianity and science in harmony
From the birth of science through to today, there is no evidence to claim that Christianity & science are in opposition. Many first scientists were Christians; Francis Bacon, Isaac [sic] Newton, Robert Boyle, to name a few, along with the many who stand by their work & faith today.

Creationism isn’t a scientific fact; neither is Noah’s Ark and a man living in a whale’s stomach. Science sets out to explain things by trying to figure it out with logic and reason, while the bible just makes shit up and runs with it.

Reason 36: How vs. why
Science can explain 'how' something works, but not 'why' something works.

Science does explain how things work yes but it doesn’t come up with bullshit to justify anything. If a scientist doesn’t know they don’t know but are looking into ways to try and figure out how it works. Your bible just says god does everything and that’s it.

Reason 37: Science changes
Science is constantly recorrecting [sic] its findings. Past theories contradict certain beliefs which are held today. Our present 'discoveries' may change again in the future to rediscover how we originally came into existence.

Science is constantly changing because science is steadily finding new thing about our earth and the universe. When we find new information or discoveries that change what we know, we change our information and adapt to the new findings. It’s not like your bible that hasn’t changed in 2,000 years.

Reason 38: Abiogenesis
Evolution describes the way life possibly started, yet doesn't explain what made life start & why. Scientific questions fail to do that. Even if evolution were proved, it would still not disprove God.

Evolution isn’t trying to disprove or prove that a god exists. Evolution simply means change over time!! What don’t you understand? Secondly, it’s better to say you don’t know than to say god did it. What’s wrong with admitting you don’t know?

Reason: 39
The two people who discovered Jesus' empty tomb were women. Women were very low on the social scale in first century Palestine, so in order to make the story fit, it would have made far more sense to claim that it were male disciples who had entered the tomb. But it wasn't - we're left with the historical & Biblical truth.

There were many things that could’ve happened to Jesus’s body. One, his body could’ve been taken from the tomb and moved somewhere else. Two, his body was never placed in the tomb to begin with. Three, well Jesus never existed. I’d like to think it’s the latter in this case. I agree in the bible women are depicted as untrustworthy, manipulative and evil. Eyewitness claims still require proof of these claims, otherwise I’m going to say I’m skeptical of this claim that Jesus rose from the dead like a zombie.

How many times does Jesus rise from the dead?

Reason 40: Near Death experience
Think about Near Death Experiences. It's naive to believe that they all are induced by chemicals or drugs. How do we account for a blind person having this experience, coming back to describe what they had never before seen, a person telling the Doctor that there is a blue paperclip on top of the high cabinet, which they couldn't have otherwise known, an african [sic] man being dead in his coffin for 3 days, coming back to life to tell of much the same events which took place as those of many others? We never hear of the witnesses describing "a dream". We're not silly - we know the difference between even the most vivid of dreams to that of reality.

The sudden awareness that one has had a 'fatal" accident and not survived
An out-of-body experience
A sensation of floating above one's body and seeing the surrounding area
Pleasant feelings, calmness
A sensation of moving upwards through a tunnel or narrow passageway
Meeting deceased relatives or spiritual figures
Encountering a being of light, or a light (possibly a religious figure, i.e. Jesus, God, Buddha)
Being given a life review
A feeling of being returned to the body, often accompanied by a reluctance to return

Things like heart attacks, near-drowning and severe loss of blood can all trigger near death experiences.

NDEs have been experienced by thousands of people and have been widely cataloged in a variety of books. Many of these books are "spiritual" or "religious" in nature.

What is not mentioned is that there is a drug called Ketamine that produces all of the elements of an NDE when it is injected into normal, non-dying people. In other words, an NDE is a natural, chemically induced state that the human brain enters. The trigger for an NDE is lack of oxygen to the brain and body. If you read scientific papers like these, you find that there is a completely chemical and completely non-spiritual reason for the features of every NDE.

Is this a direct proof that God is imaginary? No. However, it is a direct proof that the NDE (which many people use as "indisputable" proof that God and eternal life exist) has no supernatural meaning. We can scientificaly prove NDEs to be chemical side-effects rather than "a gateway to the afterlife" as many religious believers claim.

Reason 41: Biblical skeptics
There are many skeptics who didn't believe in Jesus before his crucifixion, and who were opposed to Christianity, yet turned to the Christian faith after the death of Jesus. Just as the many who continue to do so today.

This makes no sense whatsoever! There is no proof that Jesus actually existed, and there is no proof that he was crucified also. I don’t understand how someone could say ‘well I didn’t believe in Jesus until after his crucifixion.’ What?! Are you stupid?

Reason 42: Einstein quote
Albert Einstein said; "A legitimate conflict between science & religion cannot exist. Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind".

Religion without science is blind. Science without religion is awesome. You don’t need religion to make you a good person and you certainly can’t use religion as scientific fact, then we’d have talking snakes and burning bushes talking to people. Which by the way none of those things ever happened!

Reason 43: The tomato thrower
A speaker in Hyde Park who was attacking belief in God, claimed that the world just happened. As he spoke, a soft tomato was thrown at him. "Who threw that?" He said angrily. A cockney from the back of the crowd replied; "No-one threw it - it threw itself!"

Well, that maybe kind of true to an extent. Yes, we don’t know why or how our earth was formed and the creation of the universe is still unknown. However, you cannot tell me that some wizard created the earth in six days and its only 2000 years old. We have an old earth not a young one.  Science has proven this! I don’t know how many times I have to keep repeating myself here. Secondly, the person throwing the tomato is just plain rude; even if you disagree with the guest speaker, throwing things at him isn’t the answer.

Reason 44: Occam's supernatural razor
It is easier to believe that God created something out of nothing than it is to believe that nothing created something out of nothing.

Again, it is completely hard to believe a wizard spoke the universe into existence and that our earth was created in six days. I also find it hard to believe that a man was created from dirt and a woman was created out of bones. People don’t just pop into existence! Whatever helps you sleep at night!

Reason 45: How-vs.-why Hawking quote
Stephen Hawkins [sic] has admitted; "Science may solve the problem of how the universe began, but it cannot answer the question: why does the universe bother to exist?"

So you think that since science has no answer that religion does? At what point can you tell someone who has never heard of your god that their goal in life is to glorify your god? I mean this is just ridiculous! Just because there are no definite answers doesn’t mean insert fantastic story!

Reason 46: With God all things are possible
We cannot confuse God with man. With God in the equation, all things, including miracles are possible. If God is God, he is Creator of all, inclusive of scientific law. He is Creator of matter & spirit.

This has to be the dumbest thing ever said. Miracles Science has proven that miracles don’t really exist. God is not the creator of the universe because if this were the case, we’d all be product of incest.

Reason 47: Evolved vs. evolving
If we are the product of evolution - by sheer accident, chance, then we are still evolving. Does it just so happen that we exist here today with everything so finely tuned for our living. as we now have it?

Evolution simply means change over time. We (as humans) adapt to our environment and when our environment changes so must we in order to adapt. Secondly, the world we live in isn’t finely designed. Majority of the earth we can’t live on with many dangers that can kill us. God did such an amazing job with designing us and our earth. It’s like death is literally everywhere.   

Reason 48: The Missing Link
Could it possibly be that the missing link does not exist?!

The missing link does exist! It’s not Adam and Eve! We share a common ancestor with primates. We’ve gone over this several times already!

God has proved himself to us in numerous ways, all around us. The atheist needs to put his glasses on. What more can God possibly do if man has shut his eyes to him?

How about God get off his lazy ass and reveal himself! You can’t leave a book as proof of your existence. Secondly, where does one look for this proof?

There could only be a few reasons for God and his lack of presence.
1)      God doesn’t exist.
2)      God is hiding from the fact that he failed his creation.
3)      God abandoned us.
4)      God doesn’t exist.

I know I repeated myself twice there but what other facts do we have to go by? The bible isn’t evidence to suggest otherwise.

Reason 50:
Jesus Christ is either who he says he is, or he is the biggest con man history has ever known.

Religion is the biggest con in the universe. We have no proof of anything that’s written in its texts other than a few geographic locations. That’s it!

The problem with religion is that most of it is based on blind faith. You don’t know who god is; you don’t know what this god looks like and you certainly left wondering if this god even exists. A book isn’t proof of someone’s existence without evidence to suggest it. Why is there no photo of god? Why can’t we look at god? Why can’t we question God’s motives? Why has god killed so many innocent people? Well, if you’ve read your bible like you claim then the answer is pretty clear. It’s in the first book (Genesis) when god created Adam and Eve and didn’t give them a sense of right and wrong. God made it clear, he created us and intended for us to follow him blindly and stupidly. Otherwise, Satan is the hero here because God is truly the evil one.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Devon test drives the Activehybird3 replacement (Updated)

BMW wanted to prove a point when they created the Activehybrid3. They wanted to create the sportiest hybrid you can buy. But it didn't really live up to the hype that BMW hoped it would, so the 330e iPerformance is here to fix that. It's a plug-in hybrid, but does this mean that it loses BMW Core Values?

Performance: The 330e iPerformance comes with a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder instead of the 3-liter turbocharged six-cylinder from the previous Activehybrid3. It also pumps out even less horsepower at 248hp and 310lb-ft torque. Flexibility is actually not as bad as you would think since there is diesel like torque at low revs. We really do however miss the powerband that the old Activehybrid3 had. It felt more special than this and was so focused on running costs with the electric only mode and plug-in feature. We understand hybrids and electric cars are the future but the Activehybrid3 was special in its own right and this just doesn't feel that special.

On the road: The 330e we had as a tester car only came with the adaptive M sport suspension which really does improve handling and steering feel. Even with the combined M-sport package with larger alloys we still found the ride comfortable and much more refined than the C-class with AMG package. In the cabin road and wind noise are all well suppressed with a premium feel.

Behind the wheel: There’s plenty of space for the driver and front passenger to get comfortable. Passengers in the rear seat will also find comfort as well. The infotainment system and iDrive are a paradigm of clarity. Everything is easy to use thanks to the redesign of the iDrive system and of course BMW’s minimalistic approach to dashboard layout. The boot is of decent size too even though it is smaller than the standard 3-series.

Equipment: The 330e iPerformance comes standard with LED fog-lights, power-folding/heated exterior mirrors and HiFi 7-speaker sound system. You'll have to pay extra for LED headlights, leather seats and rear-view parking camera. There are cheaper hybrids out there that offer more value for the money, which is one of the many reasons we loved the Activehybrid3, it really didn't have any competition. Even if it was completely and utterly pointless as a hybrid.

Buying & owning: The only reason we really see the 330e making sense is if you are looking for green cred or if you really want a 340 but can’t afford the running costs. It may not have the blistering performance of  the 340 but it is much cheaper to buy and run. Resale value however will be outstanding thanks to the badge.

Quality & Safety: The 330e interior feels classy and well put together. Many of the materials used feel sturdy and long lasting. BMW reliability record has been good but we do however question the long term reliability of the complex hybrid system. When it comes to safety the 330e comes with everything you’d expect a BMW to come with in terms of safety. But for those who may not know, stability control is standard as well as a host of braking technology to help you avoid a collision.

The 330e is one of those cars that only make sense if you are looking for green cred or trying to find a way to reduce your fuel bills without giving up the performance that you crave. It’s a great car to drive but you’ll have to add on the options to make it drive better. Plus it’s close to the entry-level 5-series sedan. If you really want a performance hybrid this is your only option otherwise we highly suggest looking at the 328d or 320i which are both cheaper and just as fuel efficient.

Likes: The most potent hybrid we have ever driven. With the right option it will drive like a dream.

Dislikes: The Activehybrid3 was more charming. The electric-only range is nothing to brag about and neither is the fact that it's sparsely equipped with a price tag near $50k. The 320i and 328d trims still make more sense if you are looking at running costs.

Devon wants to like the Jaguar XE

Remember the Jaguar X-type? Well Jaguar hopes that you don't either and focus on the XE instead. It really is a breathe of fresh air in a segment dominated by Audi, BMW and Mercedes. But is it worth the consideration?

There's one diesel and three petrol engines available on the XE. The 2-liter turbo diesel engine offers decent flexibility and can be had with or without all-wheel-drive. This engine is our pick of the range because it offers decent running costs and also those who worry about all-wheel-drive can still have it with this engine choice. The only other engine you can have with all-wheel-drive is the 3-liter supercharged six-cylinder at the higher end of the range. If you don't mind paying the premium and the slight spike in running costs, it is a good engine as well. The 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder offered is pleasant as well but the 3-liter supercharged six-cylinder (listed above) is the sweet spot in the petrol range.

If you think that the XE isn't as fun to drive as the benchmark 3-series then you seriously haven't test driven an XE. The fact that the XE offers sharp steering and road holding manners similar to that of the 3-series means that Jaguar is on the right path with this vehicle. It seriously won't disappoint at all. Our tester car came equipped with R-Sport package which had 18-inch alloys and a Adaptive Dynamic Package which gave the XE a premium ride even though it costs nearly the same as BMW's Adaptive M Suspension and doesn't even come with the same adjustments that the BMW 3-series offers.

Here is where things began to go downhill for the Jaguar XE. The infotainment system which in our tester car suffered from many glitches. The Bluetooth and hands free calling system just completely failed as well as the navigation system which showed error message and took almost fifteen minutes to reboot. However, when the system was working many of the controls and menus were fiddly to use at best. We had high hopes of Jaguar/Land Rover fixing these electrical issues as we've experienced the same issue with vehicles we've previously tested from them. The auto-high beam headlights seemed to be the only feature that worked decently. The interior build quality is also iffy as well, with many plastic bits that make the XE feel way below par compared to the 3-series.

We understand that Jaguar is bouncing back and are on fire with their latest new products but we feel that they still have a long way to go before they will be considered superior to Audi and Mercedes, we feel that even Volvo has snatched some of that lime light from Jaguar with the S90/V90 and XC90.

Speaking of the interior, the cabin feels narrow and the front seats don't really offer the support that we were expecting. The rear seat offers okay legroom while headroom is somewhat tight. The boot offers decent space as well.

Standard XE trim comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, HD Radio and fully electric glass moonroof. XE Premium adds auto-dimming and power-folding exterior mirrors, 380watt Meridian sound system and a rear-view parking camera. XE Prestige offers keyless entry, navigation (SD Card) and interior mood lightning. R-Sport trim adds integrated body-kit, Xenon headlamps, lane keep assist and autonomous emergency braking.

The Jaguar XE is a great alternate to the Audi, BMW and Mercedes. But we have been let down by the electrical issues and of course the XE looks rather plain compared to the Mercedes C-class. Plus the long term quality issues really do cause a bit of concern.

Likes: It drives way better than a 3-series. The range of engines offered are all great, plus its the cheapest Jaguar of the range.

Dislikes: Quality issues during review. Interior is plain and some materials are questionable in quality. Halogen headlights are weak and shouldn't even be standard on three of four trims.

Overall: We enjoyed our time with the Jaguar XE. It was very engaging to drive and the engines all offer great flexibility. However, the electrical issues with the infotainment system were annoying and the fact that three of four trims for the XE come with halogen headlights instead of HID headlights seems very strange to us (yes we complained about this on Audi, BMW and Mercedes). You can find so many other options that are just as good but none of them feel as composed as the XE and that's where the charm lies. It's one of those vehicles you buy because everything else sucks but when you drive it. You'll instantly forget all about them.