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## This is just ridiculous

An obnoxious letter to the editor of USA Today:

It would be irresponsible to get ahead of evidence [in the AF447 investigation], but important factors are emerging. First, some experts blame global warming for the increased severity and frequency of hurricanes (most of which originate at latitudes within 5 to 15 degrees of the equator). Second, the flight appears to have passed through a band of equatorial megastorms. Finally, levels of turbulence in such storms are being investigated in the crash. Perhaps the memorial service in Paris will be recognized as the first for airline victims of global warming.

Hat tip to Cafe Hayek.

## Back from Arizona

I’m back in Washington after a good couple of days in Phoenix. Thanks to US Airways for hosting this media event — and especially for inviting bloggers and other social media folks and recognizing the increasingly important role we play in the media universe. The US Airways corporate communications office put on a great program.

It was also a pleasure to meet and see folks from the aviation media community — Richard Velotta from the Las Vegas Sun, Victoria Day from ATA, Lori Ranson from Flight, Bill Swelbar of the Swelblog, Holly Hegeman of Plane Business, and Joshua Freed of AP.

## New aviation resources

In addition to his podcast series, my friend Addison Schonland has recently unveiled a couple of nifty and useful resources for those who follow the airline industry. One is AirportButler.com, which offers reports that offer targeted results from DOT consumer air travel data. Even better is AirInsight.com, which makes the useful information logged in the Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ endless spreadsheets and data sets easy to access and use. Take a look!

## Sunday stumper: optimizing your run from one end of the terminal to the other

Suppose you are trying to get from one end A of a terminal to the other end B.  (For simplicity, assume the terminal is a one-dimensional line segment.)  Some portions of the terminal have moving walkways (in both directions); other portions do not.  Your walking speed is a constant $v$, but while on a walkway, it is boosted by the speed $u$ of the walkway for a net speed of $v+u$.  (Obviously, given a choice, one would only take those walkways that are going in the direction one wishes to travel in.)  Your objective is to get from A to B in the shortest time possible.

1. Suppose you need to pause for some period of time, say to tie your shoe.  Is it more efficient to do so while on a walkway, or off the walkway?  Assume the period of time required is the same in both cases.
2. Suppose you have a limited amount of energy available to run and increase your speed to a higher quantity $v'$ (or $v'+u$, if you are on a walkway).  Is it more efficient to run while on a walkway, or off the walkway?  Assume that the energy expenditure is the same in both cases.
3. Do the answers to the above questions change if one takes into account the various effects of special relativity?  (This is of course an academic question rather than a practical one.  But presumably it should be the time in the airport frame that one wants to minimise, not time in one’s personal frame.)

[H/T: Greg Mankiw]

## ATA SmartBrief: “Biggest aviation news of 2008”

From today’s SmartBrief e-newsletter, distributed by the Air Transport Association, the U.S. airline trade group:

Discuss.

## LOL Boeing

Lately, I’ve been reading LOLFed — the fun way to stay on top of the financial crisis. Today, on the heels of the leaking of Airbus’s dossier on the Boeing 787 and yet another round of 787 delays (deliveries pushed to 2010), LOLFed “reports” on some advice for Boeing chief James McNerny: “McNerney, upon calling his predecessor Alan Mulally for advice, received the suggestion that he taxi a 787 from Seattle to Washington, D.C., and ask Congress if they could spare a couple bucks to help the process along.”