Brian Gongol Filling In for Jan Mickelson
Brian Gongol

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.