Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Chiswick House, London, 1993
A fantastic bit of classical revival architecture, partly designed and built by the very talented Lord Burlington.  Finished in 1729.


If you can count your money, you don't have a billion dollars.
J. Paul Getty

Friday, March 27, 2009


Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives.
John Stuart Mill

The Republican "Budget"

I don't like to spend too much time on American politics as we have our own here.  But somethings just resonate beyond the American context.  Slightly stung by Obama's sweeping, ambitious budget, the Republicans have released their own alternative budget.  18 pages.  It includes the gem below:

Their explanation of the chart:
"Republicans will be on the side of quality versus mediocrity, affordability versus unsustainable debt, and freedom of care versus bureaucrats in control. And we will be on the side of patients, doctors, and the American people."

I didn't believe this could be real, so I checked.  It is.  Let's just remember that the chart summarizes a very complex a multi-trillion dollar nest of policy problems.  But it looks hilariously like the old Internet meme:

1.  Give product away for free
2.  ????
3.  Profit!!!

Its rare to see such stunning political incompetence from professional politicians.  Some teenagers doing a high-school project could have done better.  If anyone was wondering is the the decline of the GOP is a liberal media invention or really happening, here is your answer.

Via Fark - Caution, this link leads to FARK

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Read over your compositions, and wherever you meet with a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.
Samuel Johnson

Thursday, March 12, 2009

My Pix

Lloyd’s Building, London, 1993

Friday, March 6, 2009

My Pix

    401 looking East from Don Mills, Toronto, 1987
I remember schlepping out to this spot on the bus.  It was before I had a car.
In the meantime, the streetlights and the cars have changed a lot.

Fun Facts To Know And Share

According to the Chicago Tribune, the median price of houses sold in Detroit in December was US$7500. 

Thursday, March 5, 2009

World Airline Map

IMPORTANT NOTE:  This image has a Wikipedia license.  That means you can use it or abuse it in any way you want.  You do not need my permission.  For corporate customers, that applies to you too.  However, some corporate customers have wanted specific licensing, and for a small fee I am happy to oblige.

Oct 31, 2012

Here, at long last, is the world airline map. Click for big, for enormous, go here.
Things I learned from doing this map:
  • Every country in the world, no matter how small or poor, has at least one airline
  • Some of these airlines, particularly in Africa, seem to have only one or two planes, often 2nd or 3rd hand 737s.
  • Any country with a plane big enough has a flight to New York and either their former colonial master or London.
  • If they have a 2nd flight to the US, it is usually to Washington, sometimes LA.
  • There are more airlines in Europe than anywhere else on earth.
  • Each European country has a national flag carrier, sometimes a second large airline and two to five budget airlines.
  • The big airlines fly to every 1st, 2nd and 3rd tier city in Europe, the budget airlines fly to the same, plus many smaller centers, also to holiday destinations.
  • The most popular European holiday destinations are the Canaries, followed by Spain, Portugal and the Caribbean.
  • North Americans holiday in Hawaii, Mexico and the Caribbean.
  • Asians don’t seem to have a lot of specialized holiday destinations, probably because its either warm all the time, or people don’t have enough disposable income.
  • The few obvious Asian holiday destinations seem to be The Philippines, Okinawa, Thailand, Guam and Bali.
  • The density of air traffic in Europe far outstrips the US or Japan.
  • Highest density of flight to population is probably Australia.
  • Every Muslim country has a direct flight to Jeddah, and many to Riyadh.
  • Arab airlines are huge. Not just from the Gulf, but North Africa, Jordan, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.
  • Some small countries stand out due to their long-haul business. The Netherlands, Dubai, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Belgium, Singapore and Korea, for example.
  • Some other small countries have built a good long haul business based on being holiday destinations, Fiji, The Seychelles, Mauritius, Tahiti and The Maldives.
  • Countries with a surprising volume of air traffic given economic or political problems: Ethiopia, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Central Asia, Russia, Mali, Togo, Senegal, Ghana, Ecuador, Angola, Bangladesh, Madagascar.
  • The most underserved countries for their populations: Iraq, DR Congo, Zimbabwe, Burma, Nepal, Peru.
  • Of these, Iraq is close to a black hole. You can only fly to Baghdad from Amman, Tehran, and Kuwait.
  • You can fly to almost any city in Turkey from almost any city in Germany.
  • By far the densest long-haul corridor is the North Atlantic, traffic there dwarfs Europe>>Far East or Far East>> North America.
  • 80% of the International traffic to and from Central and South America is going to the US, primarily Miami, New York, Dallas, Houston and LA.
  • South African Airlines dominates the African airspace, South Africa is also the only African country to have discount airlines.
  • Surprisingly big hubs (at least to me): Santiago, Moscow, Kuwait, Houston, Bogotá, San Juan PR, Salt Lake City, Honolulu, Bali, Guangzhou, Cairo, Tashkent, Almay, Istanbul.
Edit Aug 29, 2012: the picture was broken, now fixed.