Animal’s Daily News

Angry-BearAs a person who travels for a living, this was of great interest:  What’s Up With That:  Boarding Airplanes Takes Forever.  Boy howdy, does it ever.  Excerpt:

I was at the airport last week, and all I wanted to do was sit down, strap in, and lift off. Of course I couldn’t, because there were a bunch of people standing in my way. As the line crept along, I scanned ahead for malingerers, but everyone seemed sufficiently ready to board. I couldn’t help but wonder, is there a more efficient way for airlines to put get our butts into our seats, and into the air?

Millions of other people probably have pondered this question. At least one wrote a computer program to find the answer. Jason Steffen is an astrophysicist at Northwestern University, and several years ago he modeled different airline boarding methods to see what made them so slow. He also figured out how airlines could get us on board much faster.

Unfortunately the airlines aren’t really listening.

The problem is this:  It’s not possible to come up with a perfect system for boarding an airplane or, for that matter, any other operation that involves people – unless you have perfect people.  Having boarded a few hundred airplanes over the last ten years or so as an independent consultant, I can observe with some experience that there is always – always – at least one knucklehead who holds up the line because:

  • They brought aboard an enormous dog-coffin “carry-on” that they can’t manage to cram into the overhead bin.
  • Airline seats are an intimidating and mysterious thing, and they have to stand in the aisle for an extended time examining their seat before getting in.
  • The overhead bin above their seat is full, so they proceed to the back of the plane, stuff their bag in the last bin at the back, then have to swim against the current all the way back to their row.
    • A variation on this is the knucklehead who stuffs their bag in a bin in First Class, then has to come back forward from Economy and retrieve it when the flight attendant tells them they can’t use that space.
  • Last but not least, the idiot who can’t stop talking on the phone long enough to sit down and strap in.

Sad-BearThe traveling life has it’s share of frustrations, and air travel is stressful enough already without having to deal with nitwits.  Unfortunately, like death and taxes, nitwits will always be with us.

Perhaps, instead of looking for more efficient ways to board aircraft, science should look for a cure for nitwittery?

Quick Election Recap


It’s all over but the shouting, at least here in Colorado.  We saw Cory Gardner coast to a win last night, neatly defeating Mark Udall for our Senate seat, but this morning’s news is that Governor Hickenlooper has eked out his re-election, as predicted.  The Colorado Senate has gone red, though, which should prevent any further gun control stupidity – we may have to wait a while to repeal the stupidity already in place.

Cory Gardner is certainly the man of the hour here in Colorado, and that’s a race that very nearly didn’t happen.  Ken Buck, the man who lost against Michael Bennett in the last go-around, was the presumed candidate for this year as well, but he – fortunately – was amenable to a deal, wherein he ran for Gardner’s House seat in deep red northeast Colorado and Gardner took on Udall for the Senate.

Honestly, Gardner was a better statewide candidate than Ken Buck ever could be – and Mark Udall’s campaign was apparently set up to run against staunch social-issues conservative Ken Buck, and Gardner’s candidacy completely wrong-footed the Udall camp – and they never recovered.

Senate races in Alaska and Louisiana are still undecided, but both are confidently expected to go to the GOP, which will give them a solid Senate majority of 54 seats.

This, True Believers, is a stunning rebuke of the Obama Presidency.  Barack Obama is, without doubt, the most far-left President we’ve ever had, and the American people just handed him his lame-duck notice.  He ran as a unifier and instead has been openly, arrogantly divisive; he ran as an intellectual, and all indications are that he really isn’t all that swift.  He ran as a leader, and instead he’s been a puppet.

And now he has been rendered largely irrelevant.

Yes-YOU-bearNow the GOP has to govern.  There’s a hard rule in the Imperial City; you can either govern or be governed.  Mitch McConnell and John Boehner need to get with the program now, hard and fast.  Some things they should do quickly:

  1. Eliminate the tax on repatriation of corporate capital.  American companies are sitting on billions in overseas banks, because they will be penalized for bringing that capital home and putting it to work.  That’s well to the left of stupid and needs to end, now.
  2. Completely revamp the corporate tax structure.  A rate of zero would be best (corporations are tax collectors, not tax payers) but even a competitive rate would be nice – while eliminating all loopholes, exemptions, back-door subsidies and so forth.
  3. Eliminate the medical device surtax that was idiotically included with Obamacare.
  4. Defund a platter of Federal Imperial agencies.  The Department of Education could go; education should be handled at the local level.  The Department of Commerce has done more to hamper commerce than to encourage it.

There’s more, but that would be a good start.  It would be nice, over the next two years, to see major tax reform and a return to the welfare reform that Bill Clinton signed into law in the 1990s.

Speaking of that Democrat President; when Bill Clinton took a shellacking in 1994, an electoral ass-whupping that wasn’t as bad as the one Obama Democrats suffered yesterday, he was smart enough to see the writing in the wall – and the 1996 welfare reform was one of the better results.  President Clinton listened to the American people when they told him, loud and clear, to change course.

TeddyBarack Obama is no Bill Clinton.  Will he be savvy enough to take the same message his predecessor did in 1994?

I’m guessing not.  I’m hoping to be surprised.

Election Update 12

Sleepy-bearAaaand that’s the finish.

Both Fox and RCP have called Iowa for Joni Ernst, giving the GOP the 51 seats they need to control the Senate.  I’m guessing they’ll pick up North Carolina and Alaska for 53, and in January the Louisiana runoff should net them another for 54.

And I’m looking forward to the results of the one election I miscalled – as of right now Bob Beauprez is leading Governor Hickenlooper by 20,000 votes, with 77% of precincts in.

And so to bed.  No early news post tomorrow; I’ll post a recap of today’s results later in the day, probably after I get back from shooting a couple of rounds of trap.  Good night, True Believers!

Election Update 11

Smiling BearVirginia looks to be going down to the wire, but it looks like Mark Warner will survive with a few new gray hairs.  In North Carolina, It looks like Tillis is ahead of Kay Hagan 49% to 47.3% with 94% of precincts in – that’s looking like  a GOP win.

Nobody other than WHO-TV has called the Iowa seat yet.  I’m expecting the Alaska Senate seat to go red.  If Joni Ernst wins, that puts the GOP up eight.

Louisiana is going to a runoff that Mary Landrieu has almost no chance to survive.  That would put the GOP up nine.

Colorado Governor’s race too close to call, but Bob Beauprez has a small but solid lead, ahead by about 16,000 votes with 68% of precincts in.  Bob may pull it off.

Election Update 10

WHO-TV in Des Moines has called the Iowa Senate race for Joni Ernst.  That puts the GOP up six Senate seats, giving them control of the Senate – anything else after this is just icing on the cake.

And Fox News just called Kansas for the incumbent, Republican Pat Roberts.  There’s almost no path for the Democrats to hold the Senate now.

Election Update 9

Peeking-Bear-150x99And Scott Walker romps to re-election in Wisconsin.

No news from Iowa yet, but if Joni Ernst picks up that Senate seat – and the latest polls had her a tad ahead – then that puts the GOP up six seats, without LA’s runoff.  I’m guessing Perdue wins in GA, and Roberts is still leading in KS, which means the Obama Administration will have to get used to dealing with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Deep thoughts, news of the day, totty and the Manly Arts.