Gongol.com Archives: November 2008
Brian Gongol

November 25, 2008

Aviation News American Airlines pilot sent to hospital after getting flashed with green laser
The plane was on descent into Austin, Texas. A man in the San Francisco area was just arrested for shining a laser into helicopter pilots' eyes, and related incidents have recently shown up in the UK and in Canada, too.

Business and Finance Counter-intuitively, the stock market is less risky now than it was three months ago
Since the overall market has fallen by a huge amount -- almost half in the last year -- any further drop from here is quite small compared to what we've already lost. Moreover, talk of a depression is overheated and probably quite ill-informed, even if a sort of neo-Malthusianism seems hip. Over the long term, which ought to be the time horizon for anyone under age 55 anyway, the current period is basically a huge clearance sale for shares in American business. We still have some problems to work out -- for instance, some people still think they're entitled to bonuses, even when they make bad business decisions, but after a lot of shaking out, good businesses ought to begin rising to the top. There's great reason to believe things will shake out eventually, particularly in a world where a woman can hold the same job for 50 years. Besides, the original companies of the Dow Jones Industrial Average are hardly the biggest companies in America today.

Humor and Good News A word from China's own Andy Rooney
(Video) It wouldn't be funny if there weren't a grain of truth to it

Science and Technology Better screens and displays mean we could be nearing the end of the pixel era (of design)

News A soft-touch prison
Could calling inmates by their first names change their behavior? The track record of a British prison suggests that approaching inmates with a degree of personal sensitivity most people don't want to give to criminals ends up reducing their propensity to return to crime by double-digit factors. If it's really the treatment that works -- that is, if there's not something else about the prison or the prisoners that's actually responsible for the difference -- then it's probably worthwhile to at least study the effect. Whether you like the idea of treating inmates nicely or not, the question ultimately is one of what to do that results in a better society for the law-abiders. Related: Nebraska has revised its safe-haven law so it applies only to infants under 30 days old. They made the change because they had almost three dozen children left at "safe havens" by their parents, and the kids ranged from infants to teenagers. The fact that children were turned over from five different states tells us that our child-protective system isn't working quite right. A parent who would drive hundreds of miles to give up an adolescent child (whatever the reason) is telling us that something's missing from the set of options necessary to protect kids.

Water News Checking pump clearances could save Nebraska farmers a fortune