Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Is Ethanol worth it?

There appears to be considerable information, both outdated and not, floating around about Ethanol. The WSJ on 28 Mar 2006, pointed out that even the subsidized profits (to midwest farmers and agribusiness giants like ADM) that Congress has created for Ethanol still isn't enough to get production high enough to replace MTBE in time, which is being phased out rapidly due to environmental concerns (and therefore lawsuit concerns)... and as if that weren't enough, Ethanol imports are subject to a 2.5% tariff and a second duty of 54 cents a gallon. So much for free trade.

And all of this ignores the possibility (which is constantly changing since efficiencies are going up) that it takes more energy to create Ethanol than it produces.

Complain to your Republican congressman if you don't like the Ethanol situation we're in... they're the ones that put us here (said as someone who does not typically identify with Democratic side of many things [not that I identify with many Republican side of things any more]).

Update: Discussion about Ethanol on /.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Aiports: to wait, or not

If you are waiting at an aiport for a layover, would it be worth a few extra dollars at the airport if you could you enjoy:
  • a shower after a gym workout (at the airport)?
  • watching a movie in a theater with a fireplace?
  • indoor (or outdoor?!) play ground for the kids
  • Or maybe just rent a DVD from a stand?
  • rocking chairs
  • live music
  • wire bars
  • booties for walking through metal detectors
  • or shoehorns when you go to put your shoes back on
  • a place to change your clothes
  • or simply more hooks and space in a stall in the bathroom
  • microwave oven
  • dry cleaners where you can drop off and pick up your clothes (inside or outside the security area though?)
  • manicure shop
  • cigar bars or smoking lounges
  • and of course, free wireless internet
for more ideas, see


would you rather not wait at the airport, and take a $700-$1000 air-taxi that carries only half a dozen (or fewer?) people? According to the personal journal section of the WSJ on 28 Mar 2006, NASA says that airports like Las Vegas, Dallas Love, Chicago Midway, and many others will be swamped with 350-400 flights a day of very light jets (VLJs) made by Eclipse Aviation Corp, Adam Aircraft Inc, and Cessna Aircraft flown by carriers like DayJet Corp, Pogo Jet Inc, and Linear Air. Using Pratt & Whitney engines on at least some of their planes, Eclipse already has orders for more than 2300 jets. Airports may raise fees on small jets to encourage them to land elsewhere, but how much would it have to rise?