The economics of reclining airline seats

One of the strangest developments in modern air travel are the fights that are breaking out over the issue of reclining seats, between those who try to recline and the people behind who feel that it encroaches on their already limited space. This has sometimes escalated to the point where people have poured water on another person or planes have had to make unscheduled stops and passengers have been ejected.
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How (not?) to move a couch

There is a phenomenon that often occurs when a few guys get together to do some chore. One of them will get an idea that on the surface seems ingenious and save labor and everyone jumps on it because of its novelty. As they try to implement the idea, it becomes clear that the novel way of doing things involves much more work than the straightforward one. But once guys are committed to the idea, they will overlook all such problems and stick with the original plan.
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Great moments in parenting

The coach of a youth football team canceled the rest of the season because of the “ongoing poor sportsmanship and bad attitudes” of the players. A 46-year old parent of one of the players was so outraged by this that he ran across the field and tackled the coach and the fight continued until other spectators separated them.

I wonder from where these youths get their bad attitudes and poor sportsmanship?

Center for Inquiry conference in Cleveland

There is still time to register for Northeast Ohio Center for Inquiry biennial one-day conference this coming Saturday, October 4, 2014 from 9:00am-4:00 pm in Independence, Ohio. The theme is Science Peers Into the Future: Research for the 21st Century and Beyond and four scientists will be featured speakers.

More details and registration information can be found here.

MacArthur genius awards

Most people are realistic enough to know that they will never win a Nobel prize. But winning one of the annual MacArthur Fellows grants, the so-called ‘genius’ awards, seem much more realistic. For one thing, there are many more of them awarded annually, with the this year’s crop numbering 21. And while the awards of $625,000 are given to “to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction”, many of the winners seem to be ordinary people who have been plucked out of obscurity.
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Cyclist survives collision with truck and car

This video of a road accident in Russia is stunning. The accident was caused by a cyclist, car, and truck all simultaneously breezing through an intersection. It is amazing that not only was the cyclist not killed by either the car or the truck, but that he recovered quickly enough that he got up off the ground and went to the aid of the truck driver trapped in the cab of the overturned truck.
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My horoscope predicts a big day for me tomorrow

Susan Miller is a very popular astrologer. She puts up her monthly horoscope predictions for free on her website Astrology Zone at the beginning of each month and has a huge readership, estimated at 6.5 million. Recently she has been running late with her postings because she says she has been sick. You would think that her readers would cut her some slack, but no. These repeated delays have apparently caused great consternation among those who apparently need their monthly horoscope fix in order to live their lives and are distressed by not being told what to do in a timely manner, and some of them have turned ugly, accusing her of a lack of ‘professionalism’.
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Child abuse

The media has been abuzz with the atrocious behavior of football players assaulting the women and children in their lives. As disgusting as that behavior is, what is also odious are the defenses being offered by prominent figures such as CNN’s Don Lemon and Charles Barkley for such abuse, saying that they received similar treatment from their parents when they were children and see nothing wrong with it or that it is somehow some cultural thing.
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