Monday, January 5, 2009

Welcome back...

Welcome back to work today everyone!

Despite what Corrupt tried to make clear in his posts last week, I am here to assure you that I'm not a racist - though I do find credence in the argument for racial profiling.  The BoldAirtran situation was quite extreme - though as Patchus pointed out, Delta would have never done such a thing, so chose your airlines wisely.  I'm personally glad that Airtran decided to publicly apologize and give these people free flights - though that doesn't really make up for the initial public embarrassment done.

* All this NASA talk and it turns out today is a pretty important day.  On January 5th 1972, America's 3rd greatest, and most trustworthy, President, Richard M. Nixon, announced the space shuttle.  President Nixon told the world that NASA would be developing the space shuttle program to reduce the costly expenses of the Apollo program.  He bragged about the shuttle's reliability, reuse-ability, and low-cost.  Here is a quote of fact from the Wired article, here, on the subject:

University of Colorado researcher Roger Pielke Jr. calculated in early 2005 that the shuttle program to that point had cost $145 billion, or about $1.3 billion per flight. (Based on a 1995 midpoint, that's about $1.9 billion per flight in today's dollars.)

The Apollo program cost a total $19.4 billion from 1960 to 1973. That averages almost $2.2 billion for each of the nine lunar missions. (Based on a 1967 midpoint, that would be about $13 billion each today.)

* One of The Paper of Record's papers, the International Herald Tribune, runs with a story this morning about how Israel's invasion of the Gaza strip was something they wanted to do before Bush left office.  Interesting article - read it here.

* GGW ran a post last week that I often think about - why can't you walk up to drive-thru windows?  It makes perfect sense at late-night or 24-hour fast food restaurants - you should be able to walk up to the drive-thru if/when the inside dining area closes.  I understand they don't want people mulling about inside the restaurant for obvious safety reasons - but what changes if you are in a car or on foot going through the drive-thru.  I suppose the argument could be made for the pedestrian's safety, but I don't buy that.  Seems a little bit ridiculous to me, but they all have the same policy, so I guess there's something to it.  Read here.

* Biggest news ever ... Mayor Fenty announced his new pick for DDOT Director - Gabe Klein.  GGW has a full round-up here, as does just about every other blog in the city.  This guy is exactly what we have been waiting for.  His policies seem as though they would be in line with NYC DOT Director (and transportation saint) Janette Sadik-Khan.  Klein formerly served as Regional Vice President for everyone's favorite car-sharing service, ZipCar, and more recently left ZipCar to head up On the Fly - the green-friendly street vending company.  Once again Fenty has proven that he is committed to choosing leaders from the 'next-generation' of thinking in their fields - and this pick is certainly not exception.  I'm excited to see what changes come out of Klein's office, and I can only hope that we will see a continued increase in SmartBike racks, bike lanes, and car-sharing parking spaces.  (All of which I am sure various ANCs will be against for some unknown reason)

* News from the liberal West - Oregon wants to institute a VMT (Vehicle Miles Travelled) tax.  Engadget has the story here, it seems like a very interesting proposal, but I am sure people would find ways around it.  Basically they want to put a GPS in every car (of course it wouldn't be tracked, it's Oregon, they are too liberal for that), that would track miles travelled - and then you would be billed accordingly.  They are thinking something to the tune of $0.012/mile.  Certainly an interesting proposal - we will keep an eye on this one.

* In other news, I spent my weekend being as lazy as possible and have a few things for you all to check out:
1. I am Legend (2007) - This Will Smith movie is amazing.  Quick and Dirty plot summary: We cure cancer in 2009, but the 'cure' soon begins to mutate into a disease that devastates the human race.  Will Smith just happens to be immune, and is a scientist who has set out to save us.  You should watch this.  Wiki.  Imdb.
2. The Big Bang Theory - This Monday' night CBS is also amazing.  I don't really know how to describe it - there are a bunch of really smart scientists, who are beyond socially awkward - and they frequently interact with the cool/pretty girl who lives across the hall.  It's really funny, you'll just need to trust me on this one and watch an episode.  The show seems to have always been rated in the top-three for its time-slot.  You can catch The Big Bang Theory every Monday (tonight) night at 8pm only on CBSWiki.  Imdb.  [editors note: you can't watch BBT online, WB, who produces the show for CBS, asked the company to pull full epsiodes from their website.  ughhh]
3. LOST is back in two weeks, on Wednesday 1/21, starting at 8pm on ABC with a one-hour recap episode - and following with two back-to-back episodes.  I am beyond excited.
4. 24 is back this Sunday and Monday with a two-part, four-hour season premiere.  It will air on both nights, on FOX, from 8-10pm.  Watch it.

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