Picnic in White

I thought this was kinda cool how all these people dressed in white for a high-toned picnic in front of the Eiffel tower at sunset.

Baccarat Picnic

Austin at Dusk

Here are some boats on the weird lake that is really a river but everyone called Town Lake even though it is the Colorado River, except it is not the same Colorado River that everyone knows from the Grand Canyon. I could have said that more clearly, but I really could not have because I said it right.
Evening on the Lake

The Grant Well

Here is the old shack that is outside the Grant Well, the first oil well in the US.

Office of the Grant Well

A Theory on New Airline Regulations

Since I hang out a lot on planes, I find I spend far too much time over-thinking the logistics of air travel. I think I have stumbled upon a happenstance conspiracy. I’m not using the word conspiracy in the “illegal sense”, but instead in the not-what-you-think sense.

The new airline regulations have forced 90% of travellers to check their baggage rather than take extra carry-on baggage, since most people stay overnight and require a decent amount of fluid or gel to make it through the night and into the next day.

This has resulted in, my observation, consistently better on-time departures because passengers are spending less time trying to make efficient Tetris-like usage of the overhead stowage. Before, each decently-full flight would spend an extra five minutes (at least) of people moving stuff around, unpacking thick overhead bags, re-arranging, and there was usually some poor schmuck (me), who would have to carry their bag from the back to the front of the plane for a gate-check.

So, that is five minutes per flight times hundreds of thousands of flights per day. Airlines typically want a good on-time arrival record, so they burn extra fuel during the flight to make up in speed what they lost in time. The extra burned fuel is small in volume per flight, but propogated across hundreds of thousands of other flights, I am sure it gets extremely high.

Now for the conspiracy bit. By forcing passengers to check more baggage, airlines end up saving millions of dollars in saved fuel costs because of more on-time departures. I believe the FAA and TSA are a bunch of brain-dead beaurocrats that disprove the ballyhooed wisdom-of-groups theory. I believe that airlines propose these new “baggage check rules” under the guise of national security, when all they really are is a way to save on jetfuel costs, and then the FAA says, “Okay that sounds like a good idea so let’s call a press conference.”
I’ve contacted Steven Levitt at Freakonomics to see if he can sick his Indian research team on it. I don’t know if he really uses a team in India to do his statistical collection, but he should because it is statistically the cheapest way to gather statistics, statistically speaking.

Here are some pictures I recently took out of airplane windows when I would take breaks from feeling bitter about the US Government annoying me.

Cotton Balls

Rain Cometh

Delicate Organ Paintings

Here is a really cool church I found in Amsterdam that had very nice paintings on the organ cover. You have to zoom in to see the Large version to see the detailed work.

Delicate Painting in the Church

Golden Dallas

After I came out of Northpark Mall, there was a nice sunset behind these buildings, so I grabbed a quick shot:

Golden Dallas

Trip to Haarlem

Here are a few images from my trip to Haarlem. This first one comes from Amsterdam and it is where you can see about 10,000 bikes parked at the train station.

I Forgot Where I Parked

The Rose Garden Path

Holland Farmhouse

Bald Baby

Here is a Hindu father and daughter, whose head has been shaved to prepare for an important ritual. I don’t know what that ritual is, exactly, but it appeared to involve a lot of sweating and crying.

The Bald Baby

Images of Italy

Here is a variety of pictures I recently processed from Italy. These are from all over: Rome, Milan, Milan, and Naples, in that order.

The Ancient Roman Forum at Midnight

Home in the Trees

Train Hangar

Orange Heart of Napoli

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