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The Shrinking Seats

A few years ago, I read a story about the salary cap in the National Football League. Part of the motivation for having a cap for players salaries was based on the fact that owners did not believe that they could govern themselves. So, they all wanted to be governed by the league to control their own spending.

By the way, I thought that this was a good time to throw a money pic o’ joke in here. Do you remember getting all those emails from Nigeria, about someone wanting help to get money out of the country? Well, you might get a good laugh out of this picture:

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Which brings us to the analogy to those owners in football. Would it surprise you that there’s a movement to get more people to fit on a airplane. Should government get involved in regulating. In fact, here’s an article (here) that describes a Columbian based airline named VivaColumbia who want to fly with planes that have no seats. Without regulation, they could fit more people for the ride. Here’s their idea to “make flights cheaper” More of a standing lean:

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This is a good case of considering government regulation versus the right of private business. Should there be seating regulations? Well, a federal court thinks so. (Bloomberg)

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., has ordered aviation regulators to consider setting minimum standards to guarantee seating space on airlines.

This is the Case of the Incredible Shrinking Airline Seat,” Judge Patricia Ann Millett wrote on behalf of the appellate three-judge panel. “As many have no doubt noticed, aircraft seats and the spacing between them have been getting smaller and smaller, while American passengers have been growing in size.

In the case mentioned, the court found in favor of Flyers Rights, a nonprofit advocacy group, which argued that shrinking legroom and seat size create a safety hazard. Safety concerns should require the Federal Aviation Administration to impose restrictions.

Do you agree, or do you think that the free enterprise system should just control?

And finally, I received this pic o’ day for posting, and it gave me a smile!

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Fighting Medical Errors

     Politico.com reports that “Sully” Sullenberger is now on the lecture circuit for patient safety.  I have pulled out a portion of the article. His focus is to get healthcare providers to share information, to help reduce medical errors.

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Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger in 2009 coolly landed his jet safely on the Hudson River in what was dubbed as the Miracle on the Hudson. He has refashioned himself as an expert on reducing medical errors, which by some estimates kill up to 200,000 people a year — “the equivalent of 20 jetliners crashing per week,” he told POLITICO. If tens of thousands of people died in plane crashes, he says, “There would be a national ground stop. Fleets would be grounded. Airports would close. There would be a presidential commission. The NTSB would investigate. No one would fly until we had solved the problems.” But patients die needlessly every day, and it’s barely a blip on the national radar. Click for full article (Politico.com)

     DID YOU KNOW that 90% of US money contains traces of cocaine (CNN) I attached the cite for that because it seems almost unbelievable. I guess there is validity to the term “dirty money”.

     And for pic o’ day I found the adversary to Lawyer Dog:

Lawyer Dog Purr jury cat

 

Limits on Drones for Private Use?

 

 

Some stories of technology just really get your attention. Maybe like an Eli Manning getting tackled kind of  attention. Yes, real attention.

Okay, I admit it, I can’t take my eyes off this picture. Maybe I will just include it in every blog. It just gets me… but I digress! Like the Kentucky Fried Chicken commercial, “Game day bucket go boom”.

It’s no surprise that the  Apple rumor is already suggesting that they are coming out with iPad 5 and iPad mini 2.  That doesn’t cause the “Eli look”. But to move from my stream of consciousness detour, let’s head to the current session at the Virginia General Assembly.

Pilot Online is reporting that a Virginia state Senator is pushing legislation that would take aim at unmanned non-governmental “drone” aircraft flying over private property or just plain snooping. This legislator says “Nay Nay!”. His legislation to limit private technology came to state Senator Frank Ruff (R-Mecklenburg County) when he read  a news story about an animal-rights group that was caught flying a small remote- controlled little plane equipped with a tiny camera.

It was flying over a hunt club in Pennsylvania and captured the images of captive pigeons being released in the air and then shot down by waiting “hunters”.  Then, the hunters saw the little drone plane and shot it down, like one of those pigeons. Game day plane go boom! (see, everything does tie in, even my mental wandering)

 

There are no known stories of  airborne private drones flying over any Virginia hunters, but Senator Ruff wants to make sure to keep that from ever happening. His Senate bill (SB-954) would outlaw “the use of a drone by a private person to monitor and photograph persons lawfully hunting on private property, when the drone is used by a private person without the permission of the landowner”.

The bill won unanimous approval in the House Agriculture, Conservation and Natural committee on Thursday. Now, it is being forwarded to the Courts of Justice Committee to debate the broader issue of prohibiting aerial photography and observation and whether that has a Constitutional protection. The issue is really to consider how far a property owner can expect privacy. If the bill is construed too broadly, it could effect commercial aerial photography and data gathering.

I expect that Google is going to weigh in on this bill. This could potentially have impact on their satellite maps. Plus, this really reaches into whether a landowner has a reasonable expectation of privacy that could even extend into air space and into outer space.

As I type those thoughts out, I believe that this legislator, with an intent to protect hunters against groups like PETA; really is going to end up facing a whole lot of opposition from other groups and services that could be impacted. Plus, maybe the hunters could even use the drones to force wildlife to their property. Just a thought!

Of course, that brings us to pic o’ day and a bit of dentistry:

US Air Pilot Concern

I enjoy reading recommendations. For books, they sometimes call them reviews. On Amazon.com, readers rate books with stars. Many times on an unknown author, it helps me determine if I want to download the book.

When I recently read a US Air Pilots review, it made me give pause about flying with US Air.

First, a pilot declined to fly because of auxiliary and battery failures. She returned to the gate and was escorted from the airport.

A second crew then declined to fly the aircraft. The article says that a rigorous maintenance and repair was done.

About 7 hours later, a third crew took off. The flight was from Philadelphia to Rome.

The US Airline Pilot’s Association took out a full page ad in USA Today that accused the airline of putting “revenues first, safety second”.

The article does list the back and forth between the airline and union. It’s interesting reading as long as you don’t have an overseas flight soon, with US Air!

Sittin’ on the Tarmac

     My wife and I had just finished a nice vacation overseas. Since I’m not a big fan of flying (ok, I’d rather be driving over a tall bridge, during a lightning storm, in an elevator with wheels, while having a spider crawling on my leg). We had flown about 9 hours straight and now only had a New York flight to go.

     We climbed on the little “puddle jumper”. Then, we got in line and the pilot told us we were number 23 for takeoff. I smiled and said, ” I’m so glad we’re not 24″. Then, 3 hours later, we were getting back in line after having to refuel. All told, before finally taking off, we spent over 4 hours in the cramped airplane. It’s why there are no songs about “Sittin” on the Tarmac with my Honey”.

     All that is about to change. The following is what goes into effect on Thursday, which should have some future impact on your travel. Conversely, if you believe the airlines, it just means that flights will now be cancelled for the old “mechanical problem”, instead of telling you that boarding should be soon. Anyway, here’s the list of what is to come:

     1.Let passengers off planes that are stuck on the tarmac after three hours. Exceptions are allowed for safety/security or if air traffic control advises the pilot that returning to the terminal would disrupt airport operations. That one might be the excuse most often used. I’ll bet that it will look like the last day of school crowd, when they open those airplane doors.

     2. The airline attendants will be required to  provide drinking water and snacks after two hours and maintain working lavatories. No more fighting over the one bag of stale peanuts. I can’t even joke about the non-working bathrooms. Nay Nay I say.

    3. Report information about delays on their websites. I guess the airlines don’t see the humor in the increased traffic to their website!

     4. Avoid scheduling chronically delayed flights.

     5. Comply with these regulations or face fines of up to $27,500 per passenger for violations. I guess that one will put them in the upright and locked position.

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