Wednesday, December 04, 2002

Fodder for both sides of the cell phone debate
A Harvard study shows that cell phone usage in cars does cause an increased number of accidents, but that the economic benefits of cell phone usage is comparable to this cost. (This article is frustratingly vague about whether the benefits refers to the benefits of all cell phone usage, or just the benefits of using your cell phone in the car, which is a rather important difference.)

While my attitude towards cell phones has mellowed considerably over the past few years, I still have no patience for people who act like idiots on the road, for whatever reason (save your snide remarks, you), and so I do reflexively feel annoyed when I see people talking on their cell phones, probably out of the fact that this may cause them to do something stupid.

The thing I fear the most are the cell-phone defenders pointing to this and saying that it's still worth it on a utilitarian basis. I have one word to answer that: externalities. If you plow into me because you're blathering on your phone, I certainly don't reap any of the benefits of your usage.

Sunday, December 01, 2002

Stupid NFL quote of the day
No, don't worry, this isn't going to be a regular feature...if it were, I wouldn't have room for anything else in the blog. But I have to comment on this:

Vikings linebacker Henri Crockett (formerly a Falcon), on Falcons quarterback Michael Vick: "He's changed the game. There are going to be no more pocket passers anymore.'' Leaving aside the fact that comments like this have been made every time a "scrambling" quarterback has made a splash in the league (most recently, Donovan McNabb, but going all the way back to Kordell Stewart), the simple truth is that Vick's success may cause other quarterbacks to try to imitate Vick's style, but you know what? They're not going to succeed, because they don't have the talent that Vick does. Unless they come out with human cloning a lot more quickly than I suspected...
Semper cras
If I ever have a Latin motto -- for a family crest or something (you know, just in case I get knighted) -- that'll be it. Here's my recipe for making sure not to get any work done on a 4-day weekend:
1) On Thursday, think "well, it's Thanksgiving, so there's no need to worry about work today. I still have plenty of time."
2) On Friday, think "well, I've earned a day off, and I still have plenty of time, so I'll worry about it on the weekend proper."
3) On Saturday, get a chance to see three old high school friends, one of who is just visiting for the weekend from Annapolis, one of whom you haven't seen since his recent return from Japan, and one who you have no good excuse for not seeing, but who you haven't seen in a while. Stay up until 6:30 am having fun and reminiscing about old times.
4) On Sunday, wake up feeling absolutely terrible (partly from lack of sleep, and partly from an incipient cold), and have to decline all offers to do something interesting because "I have to work". Sigh.