Brian Gongol Show on WHO Radio - November 28, 2010

Brian Gongol

On tonight's show, we asked whether geese are migrating later than usual this year because of the warm weather. It certainly seems like it.

I've been on a campaign to get businesses to make 100-year business plans because I think they're really the only reliable way for companies to succeed over the medium term (say, 10 to 25 years). Now it turns out that NASA and DARPA (two government agencies) are making a serious 100-year business plan for space travel. Fascinating stuff. A listener called to tell us about a recent magazine article talking about fast new space propulsion systems that could make deep space exploration a reality like the stuff of science fiction.

One problem that we'll face is that no matter how economical we can make space travel (and no matter how essential it is -- and it definitely is), our country is still $13,788,289,275,079.99 in debt, and we can't dream big and act unreservedly on those dreams until we take care of our practical problems.

Speaking of practical matters, a lot of people are rightfully excited about the pending arrival of mass-market electric cars. But there's a problem: power companies are going to have to improve their generation and distribution systems to keep up if the demand for those cars takes off like it definitely could. It may just be the price we have to pay for some freedom from oil imports.

Some anti-privacy vandals have been egging the homes of German households opting out of Google Street View. Those vandals are definitely violating the principle that my rights end where your nose begins.

It turns out that we should actually be thankful that America doesn't have a lot of high-speed rail -- part of the problem is that we've been so economically successful in so many places so far apart that we can't economically install high-speed rail without destroying far more valuable stuff than the value we'd create.