Long flight, little time-zone change

by Eszter Hargittai on July 27, 2006

I’m preparing for a short trip to Buenos Aires and am seeking advice on how to approach the trip for least amount of fatigue. CT folks seem to have a wealth of experience in the travel domain so I thought I’d ask if anyone had ideas for me. I am only going for a few days so when I get there at 9am I want to be ready to start exploring town instead of spending hours in bed. But is that realistic after a ten hour flight? I have a three hour layover in DC, which may add to my fatigue. I’m usually not so good at sleeping on planes (except in business class) so I don’t know if I can count on that much.

I have lots of experience with cross-continental travel and long flights so that’s not the issue. (The longest trip was probably when we moved to Honolulu from Budapest for a few months.) I have been taking such flights ever since I was nine, but it has always involved significant time-zone changes. Is it the long trip, the time-zone change or a combination of the two that causes one to be completely useless after a trip from the U.S. to Europe? I’m hoping most of it has to do with the time change so I can avoid it this time around.

For entertainment, I am bringing the manual of my new digital camera and a small English-Spanish dictionary and phrasebook, both of which I was happy to find in my favorite dictionary brand today at the local store. (I wouldn’t bother with a dictionary for a few days, but I figured it was worth getting one given my move to California in a month. I hadn’t planned to get a phrasebook, but I am a sucker for those little Langenscheidt books.)

Trading (university) places

by John Quiggin on July 27, 2006

I’ve been enjoying the company of colleagues, Australians currently living in the US, for the last few weeks, and last night we (and families) all went to dinner at a riverside restaurant. Discussion turned to schools, as it does, and the Texas system under which the top 10(?) per cent of students from every school are guaranteed a place in the state university of their choice came up. This system seems to provide at least a partial answer to the schools choice problems. There’s a built-in incentive to send children to a school where the competition won’t be so tough. Moreover, it mutes the incentive for schools to game the system by ‘teaching to the test’ – Australian studies have regularly shown that the entry scores of students from private schools overpredict their university performance relative to those from state schools, presumably because the private schools do a better job of boosting those scores.

I haven’t thought through it in detail, but on the face of it, a system based on implicit trade in university places seems more appealing and robust than the system of cash-based markets for incoming students discussed by Harry.

Colbert on Westmoreland on Colbert

by Jon Mandle on July 27, 2006

Colbert returns to the amazing interviews he did with Rep. Lynn Westmoreland and Rep. Robert Wexler. Only this time, it is to skewer the allegedly serious television shows that mock his.

Colbert: “But the Today Show and Good Morning America could be right. I could be asking the wrong questions. For instance, I asked U.S. Congressman Lynn Westmoreland, who proposed requiring the display of the Ten Commandments in the House and Senate chambers if he could name the Ten Commandments. What I should have asked him was this …”

Clips from other shows:
“Is it possible that tanning is addictive?”
“How long does it take you to grow that thing [a long beard]?”
“Do you really need to wait a half-hour after you eat before you go swimming?”

It’s much funnier to watch the whole thing.

Tip: Atrios

Legitimate targets II

by Henry on July 27, 2006

The “New York Times”:http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/27/world/europe/27cnd-mideast.html today.

bq. We received yesterday at the Rome conference permission from the world,’’ Justice Minister Haim Ramon told Israeli radio, “to continue this operation, this war, until Hezbollah won’t be located in Lebanon and until it is disarmed.’’ Mr. Ramon also raised the possibility of an expanded air assault, saying “all those now in south Lebanon are terrorists who are related in some way to Hezbollah.’’

[as with my other posts on Israel, where our past experience has been one of vicious fights between pro- and anti-Israel commenters, I’m keeping the comments section closed. I’m not happy about this either.]

Plug

by John Quiggin on July 27, 2006

Brisbane readers of CT should already be aware of the BrisScience lecture series. The speakers so far have all been from the natural sciences, but I’m talking on Monday July 31 at the Ithaca Auditorium, City Hall, on the topic “Economics: The Hopeful Science”. The general theme is that economic progress and environmental sustainability are naturally* complements rather than substitutes.

I’m sure lots of you will want to fly in for this event, but may be concerned about the associated greenhouse gas emissions. Fortunately, although Australia is not a Kyoto signatory, Australian states are getting into the carbon credit business and (for now at least) it’s surprisingly cheap to offset a long-distance flight. More details here.

*a loaded term which I’ll try to justify in the talk

The Logic of Yogic Discovery

by Daniel on July 27, 2006

As I posted over on one of my other blogs, one’s first reaction to this paper is horrified amusement that it got printed in a reasonably respectable journal. The authors are mainly from the faculty of “Maharishi University” and it’s a study of the efficacy in reducing the frequency of terrorist incidents in Israel and Lebanon of installing a group of people practising Transcendental Meditation. It is, to be honest, pretty whacky stuff, although my personal opinion is that the meditators get the best of the methodological debate which followed (really, the yogis were not pulling any statistical funny business and they did find a significant effect; it’s discussed in this rather good article on statistical methodology generally)

But really, who is in the wrong here?
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