Monday, June 23, 2008

Live long and prosper

Everybody knows that oil is the world’s most traded commodity. What’s second? Move to the front of the class if you said coffee. Some 23,000 cups of coffee are downed every second on earth. Quick head math calculates that’s more than 710 billion cups per year. OK, I lied about head math.

A switch-pitcher can throw lefty or righty. Ditto, a switch-hitter. So what happens with two guys who can go both ways match up in a ball game? It happened in the NY minor leagues. After a low comedy routine of change ups by both pitcher and batter caused a seven-minute stand off, the refs ruled each could change once. If you are still following this, the batter struck out.

Does the high price of gasoline and crowded airplanes make you think of taking the train next time? Get in line. Amtrak carried about 25 million passengers last year and will likely hit 27 million this year. Fuel costs hurts the railroad, too. Oil costs may reach 11 percent, up from six last year. Bad news: Amtrak is using airline-style “yield management” to raise or lower the ticket price based on how many seats remain. Idiots.

Now that jealous husbands are no longer a contributing factor, type in “how long will I live” into a search engine and mess with some of the Q&A. For example, if you’ve made it to age 65, there’s a good chance you’ll see 82 (male) or 85 (female). Next question: do you really want to know?

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