The Trick is to Redefine “On Time”

Dear Southwest Airlines,

I’m not entirely sure you’re using the phrase “on time” the way the rest of us are. Let’s review how you reported on Fight 1215’s status tonight:

"On Time" is just Another Word for "Delayed"

"On Time" is just Another Word for "Delayed"

You’re acknowledging that when a flight leaves three hours later than scheduled it’s “Delayed”. But in what system of timekeeping did you conclude that a 12:30 am arrival for a 9:20 schedule is “On Time”?

I’ll tell you what happened. Your developer forgot about dates when writing code that probably looks something like this:

if (scheduledArrivalTime < publishedArrivalTime) { return "On Time"; }

See, even though 12:30 am is earlier in the day than 9:30 pm, the flight is still unquestionably delayed.

We’re just hoping the same person didn’t write the software that helps land the planes.

Someone who will be leaving for the airport long after this plane should have been here

Special Letters Unit

Okay, one more. These are just way too awesome. Here’s Law and Order: Special Letters Unit

“In the alphabet system there are 26 letters. The detectives who investigate these ABCs are members of an elite squad called the Special Letters Unit. These are their stories. [chung chung]”

Meal or No Meal

Sesame Street should get medals for this stuff. I hereby delightedly present: Meal or No Meal with Howie Eatswell.

I honestly can’t decide if my favorite part is the muppet’s earrings or the fact that he keeps taking calls from “The Baker”.

Hartford, Massachusetts?

Dear JetBlue,

Since the fundamental purpose of the service you provide is to transport people to a particular location, shouldn’t you at least know which state each of your destination cities is in?

Where is Hartford?


Roll Down the Windows

Driving without air conditioning can definitely be uncomfortable. Fortunately, there’s an easy solution requiring only a spare air conditioner and some plywood!

Air Conditioner Repair

Air Conditioner Repair

I was so obsessed with the air conditioner assembly when I pulled up behind this vehicle at a stop sign next to Wal-Mart that I didn’t even notice the spare tire attached to the roof with what looks suspiciously like duct tape.

Chernobyl vs. A Banana

In the ongoing wake of the Fukushima Daiichi crisis, news outlets have been saying “Three Mile Island” and “Chernobyl” a lot. To help alleviate the ensuing confusion and help us all understand radiation doses a little better, Randall Munroe of xkcd fame has prepared a chart of radiation doses on the xkcd blag.

We can see at the 1µSv scale the effect of eating a banana, at the 1mSv scale the dose one gets during a mammogram, and at the 1Sv scale the doses that are likely to kill you. The dose for “Ten minutes next to the Chernobyl reactor core after explosion and meltdown” is pretty astonishing.

Reinventing the… Encyclopedia?

For today’s lesson, let’s turn to Wikipedia for some information on the wheel:

The wheel is a device that enables efficient movement of an object across a surface where there is a force pressing the object to the surface. Common examples are a cart pulled by a horse, and the rollers on an aircraft flap mechanism.

I feel newly enlightened! But could we suppose for just a moment that if I’m researching the wheel on Wikipedia I am not already intimately familiar with an aircraft flap mechanism’s roller assembly?

Shuttles on a Plane

During the final launch of the space shuttle Discovery a passenger on a passing commercial airliner recorded video of what the launch looked like from the air. Even after watching the launch live in spectacularly high definition video from NASA, this is somehow even more amazing.

Probably the best part is the pilot’s announcement near the beginning:

Folks, the space shuttle’s going off the right side of the aircraft right now. Those of you on the right side of the aircraft can see the space shuttle. Those of you on the left side of the aircraft can probably see the people on the right side of the aircraft looking at the space shuttle.