Thursday, 29th of September, 2005
Wednesday, 28th of September, 2005
Left for New Zealand today on an Air New Zealand flight to Auckland. Air New Zealand is beginning to fit their 747s with completely on-demand entertainment. There are tons of movies available, that start, pause, and end when you want it to. There are relatively new releases like Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and classics like the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Sound of Music. There are also a bunch of popular full CDs on demand like Green Day. This is all free with the flight - even the Nintendo video games.
Picture - The in-flight entertainment did break at one point, though. That's when I found out that each person's system was just a computer running Windows CE.
Picture - Here's the second screen of the boot-up process.
Monday, 26th of September, 2005
Here's a lesson learned. Don't give the State Highway department the job of disposing of a dead whale.
It doesn't look like this person got hurt but it has to be a really good example of stupidity - pouring kerosene into a melon, lighting it, and then trying to hit it with a baseball bat?
Picture - Those in the C-stock class, though, definitely had to tote some rain tires out.
Thursday, 15th of September, 2005
Monday, 12th of September, 2005
Enjoyed playing the solo parts scattered through the program this evening. I definitely wasn't as tense as I've often felt in the past - pretty much it's just great to feel like I'm still making progress at playing violin even though I'm out of school now.
Tuesday, 13th of September, 2005
On a totally different subject, I've found data collected by the Insurance Research Council on the rate of automobile property damage liability claims in each state in 2000. Since most states have fault-based insurance policies, this is a pretty good indicator of the rate of automotive accidents that occur per number of insured cars that involve someone else at fault:
|Property Damage Liability (PD) Frequencies by State in 2000|
Insurance Research Council
|State||PD Frequency (per 100 insured cars)|
Friday, 9th of September, 2005
Thursday, 1st of September, 2005
Indeed, it looks like the Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas, Virginia, and Maryland could be in trouble if they the pipeline stays dry for a few days, and the local supplies of gasoline start running out. This uncertainty has driven up gasoline prices in those states - some places as high as $6/gallon, which is all over the news.
It's interesting that this densely populated Southeast region is dependent on just those two major petroleum product pipelines. Most other parts of the country seem to have a bit more redundancy in the supply built in.
We've seen some big hikes in gasoline prices here in Missouri and Illinois too. While I can easily see an explanation for the prices in the Southeast, I don't really know about in the midwest. It's actually kind of amazing how many pipelines run through Missouri and Illinois, compared to the more densely populated Eastern part of the U.S. None of the gasoline pipelines here in the Midwest are linked to the refineries in Louisiana at all. So we definitely don't have any gasoline transport issues here.
The map also reveals that the oil we use in the Midwest comes from Texas and Canada, as well as the Louisiana Gulf Coast area. Our refineries in the Midwest shouldn't run dry - though there could be a slight decrease in their supply of crude oil since there is one crude pipeline that runs up from Louisiana to Illinois. The Midwest's oil/gasoline pipeline system seems to not be quite as fragile as the Southeast's situation due to the sheer number of pipelines and oil sources.
On other news, here's a column in the St. Louis Post-Disgrace on how watching Lasik surgery is not a great idea.