Posts Tagged ‘ media ’

2012 Was A Busy Year!

The stats helper monkeys (their words, not mine) prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 7,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 12 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.


Thanks for making this blog popular in its own little corner of the blogosphere! ¬†See you next year ūüėČ


No, Really: Do You Have ANY Idea What You Are Saying?

I have an old fraternity brother who is politically liberal, and he recently put on his Facebook status, “I still don’t understand how anyone can believe that cutting taxes, especially for the super rich, helps the economy.”

I sent him one comment in response: ¬†“Do you know that it doesn’t from your studies in Economics?”

I personally seem to identify most with the Libertarian party’s values. ¬†I’m a small government kind of guy, not a “small-government-but-let’s-ban-gay-marriage” kind of guy. ¬†Irrespective of my own political views, my comment was designed to point out what we so often forget: ¬†Most of us have absolutely no idea what we are talking about.

Ron paul was booed at one of the Republican debates after he said that he believed we brought 9/11 on ourselves. ¬†It’s obvious why: ¬†Who could possibly think we had any part in that attack? ¬†They hate us for our freedom and prosperity, right? ¬†A laundry list of historical facts supports his belief on that matter (not necessarily my own, BTW), but the crowd did not want to hear it. ¬†For them, it is an open wound, and Paul is a traitor for thinking we, us, America, could be anything but infallible about that whole situation. ¬†They (the voters) are ignorant of the facts, unable to imagine life from another peoples’ perspective, and thinking with their hearts. ¬†Jeff Foxworthy said once about marriage on his comedy album “Totally Committed” (I couldn’t find a link to it online), “If she ain’t happy, you ain’t happy.” ¬†When some guys in the audience proudly booed his opinion, he said simply, “Booin’ it doesn’t make it less true.”

I understand the thinking behind cutting taxes to spur the economy, but I don’t know if it actually works other than in theory. ¬†The thing is,¬†I know that I don’t know. ¬†

Why can’t people admit that things are never as simple as they seem in soundbites, and that voting based on emotion is possibly the most irrational thing they could do? ¬†Recently a long-time acquaintance of mine put on Facebook that he would be voting for Obama after years of voting for Republicans, for no other reason than because Obama had just come out in defense of gay marriage. ¬†He is gay, and so that was his impetus to switch parties. ¬†This is pure lunacy, in my opinion. ¬†Regardless of what President Obama’s opinions on gay marriage are, he has literally no power to do anything about gay marriage’s current state. ¬†It remains a states’ rights issue, and would have to be passed by Congress to become federal law. ¬†He is throwing a vote at one miniscule issue in an election where the economy and our country’s future viability is at stake. ¬†Any port in a storm, I guess.

The fact is, if you want to be someone who has an opinion that people will actually listen to, you need to dig deeper than the talking points you’ve heard on O’Reilly or Rachel Maddow. ¬†Have a little history to back up your stance. ¬†Illustrate why your opinion is correct based on facts, trends, and historical evidence of similar situations. ¬†Don’t be this lady, repeating the mantra of “End the Bush tax cuts” to every single question posed to her, because she has a feeling-based opinion, but no facts to back it up. ¬†(Skip to 48:30 or so to see the point of this link, but watch the rest of it because it’s worth a view.) ¬†You cannot walk up to someone and spout out your view, expecting to change peoples’ minds, with this tactic.

In an actual conversation with someone, you should be open to hearing their point of view–and actually listen¬†to it. ¬†Here’s the secret to why: ¬†No one cares about you in a conversation. ¬†They want to feel like they’ve had a chance to have their side heard. ¬†They want to feel like they have spread their opinion to you. ¬†They want to feel like what they have to say is worth something. ¬†They care about themselves. ¬†It’s the reason why you will make friends by asking them tons of questions about themselves–people love to talk about themselves, and if you give them the opportunity to, they will remember you fondly and have no idea why.

I digress.  The point is to do a little homework before you spread your personal brand of cheer.  It will go a long way to bringing people to your side by way of leadership, not dictatorship.


QANTAS A380: This Is Why Commentary Is Dangerous

Recently a Qantas Airbus A380 had to perform an emergency landing because its left-hand, inboard (or Number Two) engine effectively “shelled out” for some reason. ¬†Qantas has grounded their fleet of 380s while they figure out what caused it, as any airline with a great safety record (and an effective damage-control team) would do. ¬†Everybody is covering it, and many of these commentators are having some time in the sun by dramatically asking, “But Jerry…if there are only 37 A380s in service, and this happened to this one………..could they all be at risk?”

At about 3:19 or so in this clip from CNN in London, they ask exactly that. ¬†It makes me grate my teeth. ¬†These people have no idea what they are talking about, and here’s why: ¬†They have absolutely no details yet, and obviously nothing but the barest idea of the actual parts of an airplane. ¬†They are subtly fearmongering the public into being nervous about an incident that was well-contained and superbly executed.

There are any number of reasons that damage of that magnitude could occur in a turbine engine–after all, you can see in the picture of the Rolls-Royce technician just how big the front fan is; now imagine it spinning between one and ten thousand times per minute. A turbine engine is a very tightly ¬†bundled piece of machinery, with quickly rotating pieces fitted sometimes to within ten-thousandths of an inch of each other. ¬†But engines are rigorously tested for such interruptions as a front fan blade fracturing, water ingestion, bird ingestion and hailstorm durability, and excessive heat operation before they are ever even installed on an airframe. ¬†Occasionally, circumstances line up and a part might fail, as in this case, but the fact that people are listening to these newspeople ask the “important” questions without giving their audience any background at all is a massive disservice to us, and to aviation as a whole.

Many times they will link two completely unrelated incidences in completely the wrong way. ¬†I watched one of the commentators wonder aloud if there was any link between this incident and the flock of birds that brought down a different Airbus–an A319–into the Hudson River. ¬†Two different aircraft, two different engines. ¬†But oh, the peril all of those people avoided! ¬†Even if the engine would have come clean off (as it did at O’Hare Airport to a Douglas DC-10 in 1979), there are three others to provide ample power. ¬†Aircraft design these days has come so far that it’s no accident that aircraft fatal crashes are down nearly 65% from ten years ago…but it rarely gets even a passing mention from the media, who continue to keep us nervous about flying. ¬†Aviation is safe and we need as many people to use it as possible. ¬†It makes me crazy to watch the “news” sometimes!

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