Archive for July, 2008
I, along with most of America, saw The Dark Knight this weekend. Although I am not raving about it as much as everyone else seems to be, I did like it quite a bit. My biggest complaint was that the fight sequences weren’t nearly as good as Batman Begins. TDK had very fast fight edits that were too close-up and just generally not as impressive as I would have liked.
Anyway, the point of this post isn’t my review… it is my [with no factual basis or insider knowledge] conjecture that Mr. Nolan may have teased us with the future Boy Wonder. Since much of the Batman mythology has been altered anyway, I think the seemingly long screen time of James Gordon Jr. may in fact suggest that instead of Gordon’s daughter becoming Batgirl, we might be getting his son as the new Robin. Whether Nathan Gamble (the kid who played him) gets to actually be Robin, I doubt, but it seemed to me that the young James Jr. got more screen time than was needed and the fact that he sees Batman hiding in the shadows is more significant than than might appear.
What do you think? I only put this down because I want it documented if it turns out I am right. And so far, I haven’t read anywhere anything like this, so I want credit for being the first to suggest it.
Al’s DC Environment Speech. It’s long, but worth the listen:
This story paints a fairly sad picture about the good ol’ USA. Lowlights include:
- Americans live shorter lives than citizens of almost every other developed nation
- Of the world’s richest nations, the US has the most children (15%) living in poverty
- Of the OECD nations, the US has the most people in prison - as a percentage and in absolute numbers
- 25% of 15-year-old students performed at or below the lowest level in an international maths test - worse than Canada, France, Germany and Japan
- If the US infant mortality rate were equal to first-ranked Sweden, more than 20,000 babies would survive beyond their first year of life
Science takes another step forward and the IDiots have one less bogus thing to talk about. A University of Chicago doctoral student found evidence that proves it indeed took millions of years for the flatfish to evolve their two eyes on one side look. His paper on this topic was published yesterday. Story here.
Coincidentally, Sir John Templeton died the day before the paper was published. If he could have hung on one more day, he would have died with the knowledge that he essentially pissed away millions of dollars on his religious-based science “research.”
Unfortunately, I do not have the original article anymore, but I recently read a story about how knowing a car’s MPG doesn’t really help the average person understand what it really means - financially or environmentally. If your car gets 25 mpg vs 22 mpg, what does that mean? As such, outside the U.S., many car stickers don’t tell the buyer the car’s MPG but instead reverse the process and state how many gallons it takes to drive 10,000 miles (or kilometers per liter).
Anyway, if you knew it would take you 200 gallons to drive a certain distance versus 400 gallons, you would have a better idea of what it means. Knowing there is a 200 gallon difference gives you a better understanding. And, with this knowledge, you could fairly easily calculate in your head the financial implications. If gas is $4/gallon, saving 200 gallons equals a savings of $800. However, what if the math isn’t so easy? Quick, calculate 218 gallons at $4.21 a gallon. Also, besides the dollar amount, what is the environmental impact?
So, this inspired me to create a spreadsheet that would do all these calculations for me. Once I created that, I thought this new tool I had created would be useful to the management team at my company as they have a fleet of vehicles and the company is very concerned about its environmental impact, etc.
Anyway, with the help of my marketing team, we turned my simple spreadsheet into a pretty nifty web tool so it would be easier to use and so all of our employees could use it to help them make a better educated decision for their next car purchases. Since we put this tool online, it is essentially now public. As such, now anyone can use it. So, please take advantage.
Lastly, if you use this tool and find it useful, please comment here and let me know how it helped. I know this tool doesn’t take into account everything you might consider when purchasing a car (resale value, safety ratings, repair costs, etc.), but hopefully it simplifies one aspect of your desicion making process.
[I know www.fueleconomy.gov has a simliar tool, but their tool still makes you do the math to figure out the differences between the cars and it is not as easy or quick to change the values for miles driven per year and the price of gas]