Studies in Nebraska and Pennsylvania say people who wait to merge at the last minute actually make traffic flows through construction zones 15% more efficient. A Virginia study says it only works if trucks make up at least 20% of traffic. So maybe it's a selective effect -- but everyone seems to agree: It has to be the law, with signs mandating a late merge, or else everyone else just gets mad. And how about those rolling roadblocks put up by semi trucks? Louisiana made them illegal, with a 30-day prison term.
NASA runs a budget of around $9 billion a year. The Space Shuttle returns to service with a launch scheduled for tomorrow. Is it time to privatize NASA? They deserve credit for offering inducement prizes for new innovations -- a system that clearly works. We may need some big innovations if we're going to complete the International Space Station.
Why are newspaper circulation numbers in serious decline? Plenty of reasons -- but one of them is that most of the comics just aren't funny anymore. That's not the case with Pearls Before Swine, the often-twisted, always-funny product of Stephan Pastis. He's funny enough to earn a feature in Newsweek, so why isn't he in the Des Moines Register? Contact the editors and ask them for yourself.