An Airbus A380 hits 2 Light Poles at LAX while carrying Fewer Passengers than a Smaller Boeing 777 can Carry

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 17th, 2014

Week in Review

The Boeing 747 ruled the long-haul routes for decades.  Because of its range.  And its size.  With it being able to carry so many passengers the cost per passenger fell.  Allowing it to offer ticket prices at prices people could afford while still making airlines a decent profit.  Airbus took on the Boeing 747.  And produced the mammoth A380.  A double-decker aircraft that can carry around 555 in three classes.  But this plane is big.  With a wingspan greater than the 747.  Not to mention special boarding requirements to load and unload its two decks.  But this extra large size couldn’t board at any run-of-the-mill 747 gate.  It needed a wider parking place.  Double-decker boarding gates.  As well as wider taxiways (see Korean Air A380 Hits 2 Light Poles At LA Airport by Tami Abdollah, AP, posted 4/17/2014 on Time).

A Korean Air A380 superjumbo jet hit two light poles while taxiing to its gate at a remote end of Los Angeles International Airport with hundreds of passengers aboard.

Airline spokeswoman Penny Pfaelzer says the flight arrived from Seoul Wednesday afternoon with 384 people aboard. She says an airport operations vehicle guided the jet onto a taxiway that wasn’t wide enough…

The A380 is the world’s largest commercial airliner, carrying passengers in a double-deck configuration. It has a wingspan of nearly 262 feet.

The search for Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 is important.  Because Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 was a Boeing 777.  One of the most popular long-range, wide-body aircraft flying today.  So if there is a mechanical defect every airline flying that plane would want to know.

Because of the cost of fuel airlines prefer 2-engine jets over 4-engine jets.  Which is why they like the 777 so much.  The 777-300ER can take 386 passengers in three classes 9,128 miles.  On only 2 engines.  Whereas the Airbus A380 can take 555 passengers in three classes 9,755 miles.  But on 4 engines.  Burning close to twice the fuel a 777 burns.  So the A380 can out fly the 777.  But at much higher fuel costs.  And with greater restrictions.  As the 777 can fit most any gate and taxiway at any airport.  Unlike the A380.  So is that extra passenger capacity worth it?  It is.  As long as you can fill the seats.  In this case, though, the A380 flew the approximately 6,000 miles from South Korea to Los Angeles with only 384 people aboard.  Something the Boeing 777-300ER could have done on half the engines.  And about half the fuel cost.

This is why the Boeing 777 is one of the most popular long-range, wide-body aircraft flying today.  Because it allows airlines to offer tickets at prices the people can afford while allowing the airlines a handsome profit.  And it has an incredible safety record.  Unless Malaysian Flight 370 changes that.  Which is why it is so important to find that plane and determine what happen.  As there are so many of these flying today.

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Obamacare is even less Consumer-Friendly than Cable/Television/Telephone Television

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 17th, 2014

Week in Review

Currently there are no market forces in health care.  Which is why health care costs are so high.  When buyers and sellers meet they always agree on a price that makes them both feel like winners.  Just watch an episode of one of those pawn shop shows.  The seller wants a higher price.  The buyer wants to pay a lower price.  As they move towards each other they arrive at a price that makes them both happy.  The seller gets an amount of money he values more than the thing he’s selling.  And the buyer is getting something he values more than the money he’s paying for it.  Making them both feel like winners.

It’s not like this in health care.  Because there is a third party between the buyer and seller.  Either an insurance company.  Or the government.  Just like there is a third party between networks’ programming content and the consumer.  The cable/satellite/phone company (see Why Your Cable Bill Keeps Going Up by Evan Weiner posted 4/12/2014 on The Daily Beast).

The television networks and the television carriers, whether it’s through cable, satellite or phone lines, carriers seeming are always fighting these days over the cost of programming and what rights’ fees should be. The rights’ fee is what a television carrier pays for a networks programming. The carrier then passes that cost along to consumers and tacks on an additional fee because they too feel the need to be compensated for bringing the program into a home.

The injured party is the subscribers who have little course to affect the talks unless they decide to drop their provider for another, and there is no guarantee switching to another provider will end TV blackouts…

Thanks to the 1984 Cable TV Act, cable subscribers have really no say in what they want for their needs. The cable carrier was allowed to establish tiers of services. The consumer could take a local, basic tier alone or basic and basic extended but would have no choice in what they wanted to buy and were forced to take whatever the multiple system operative wants to give them or they opt out of having cable TV. The same apparently holds true for satellite TV and the phone companies.

Cable/satellite/telephone television is like Obamacare.  As consumers can’t keep the programming they liked and wanted to keep.  As it is for Obamacare.  Where people who had health insurance they liked and wanted to keep could not keep it.  Instead, a third party, the government, forced them to buy a tier of health insurance they did not want.  Only they do not have the option to opt out of Obamacare.  Because buying health insurance is mandatory.  Unlike cable/satellite/telephone television.  For as much as we may hate our cable/satellite/telephone companies at least we don’t have to buy from them under penalty of law.

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Postponing Motherhood may be good for Busy Women but not for their Children

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 17th, 2014

Week in Review

Once upon a time I was having a conversation with a consultant.  He was bald.  And not in the best of shape.  He looked older than he was.  He started a family later in life.  And one of the worst days of his life was when a waitress said how cute his grandson was.  Because he looked like a grandfather.  Even though he was only a father.

I had a coworker who died from a heart attack while on vacation.  Running around with his grade-school-aged children.  Another father who started his family later in life.  It was not a problem for him.  For men don’t have a biological clock ticking.  So they can start a family as late as they want to in their life.  But they may not live to see their children graduate from high school.  Which is a horrible thing for a child.

This was something women were spared.  Because they have a biological clock ticking.  And couldn’t put off becoming a mother until they were ‘grandmother age’.  Until now, that is (see Later, Baby: Will Freezing Your Eggs Free Your Career? by Emma Rosenblum posted 4/17/2014 on BloombergBusinessweek Technology).

LaJoie fits the typical profile of an egg freezer: They’re great at their jobs, they make a ton of money, and they’ve followed all of Sheryl Sandberg’s advice. But the husband and baby haven’t materialized, and they can recite the stats about their rapidly decreasing fertility as a depressing party trick. For LaJoie, now 45, it was demoralizing to see friend after friend get married and have kids, while she was stuck at the hospital without romantic prospects.

“You feel bad about yourself, like you’re the odd man out, and somehow you’ve messed up on your path,” says Sarah Elizabeth Richards, who spent $50,000 freezing several rounds of eggs in 2006 to 2008 and wrote a book about the experience, Motherhood, Rescheduled: The New Frontier of Egg Freezing and the Women Who Tried It. “By freezing, you’ve done something about it. You’re walking taller; your head is held higher. And that can pay off in both your work and romantic lives.” Richards, now 43, is dating someone promising and says she’d like to thaw her eggs in the next year or so. She’s also at work on a new book and plans on finishing it before she tries to get pregnant. “Egg freezing gives you the gift of time to start a family, but it’s also, like, here’s how many years I actually have left for my other goals—what can I do with them?”

LaJoie got married soon after she froze (she told her husband about it on their very first date: “I was upfront and said, ‘This is my plan.’ He was, like, ‘OK!’ ”) and had her first baby naturally at 39. A few years later, after briefly trying fertility drugs, she thawed her eggs. The implantation worked, and her second son is 2 years old.

This is great news for women who want to conveniently work in the burden of being a mother somewhere in their busy schedules.  But when you have a child at 43 you will be 51 at that child’s high school graduation.  Old enough to be a grandmother.  While the grandmother may be in a nursing home.  Who may only see her grandchildren on holidays when they reluctantly visit her.  For nursing homes are not places children want to be.

And you could be dead by your child’s graduation.  For a lot of health issues can plague you by the time you turn 51.  Especially when you’re having your children in your 40s.  The risk of breast cancer increases with age.  The risk of hypertension and pre-eclampsia/eclampsia increase with age.  The risk of gestational diabetes increases with age.  The risk of heart disease increases with age.  As does the risk of other cancers, lupus, diabetes, pancreatitis, etc.  Things not that common for women in their 20s and 30s.  But more common for women over 40.

And babies have risks, too, when their mothers give birth when over 40.  The risk of stillbirths and miscarriages increase with age.  As does the risk for birth defects.  So it’s all well and good for the mother to postpone motherhood but it’s not the best thing for her children.  Who deserve young and healthy parents.  Who can run with them while on vacation.  And they deserve healthy grandparents to spoil them.  Things you may not be able to do if you postpone motherhood until after you’re 40.

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