Worst seatmate, ever

I fly alot, yet never realized until today just how lucky I am. For I have never met Dr. Joy Reidenberg on a flight.

Dr Reidenberg dissects whales for a living. She loves her work. Which is why, unlike any sane person, she has crawled inside over 400 whale carcasses.

Dr. Reidenberg and an absent friend. Her fancy rubber suit doesn't help.

After a dissection she takes multiple showers and baths but still smells “like a refrigerator that has gone days without power.” She has a busy teaching schedule and can’t wait the several days needed for the stink of whale grease to evaporate from her skin. Goodness knows how I have never wound up seated beside her.

So I wish her well. And I hope she posts all her travel plans on TripIt. Whenever she’s travelling, I want to be on a different flight.

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Viagara vs energy conservation

It pains me deeply that viagara spam often has a better success rate than energy conservation programs. Researchers have known for 30 years that the ways we motivate people to conserve energy often don’t work. But we keep at it the old way.

Here’s what we do. We carpet bomb people with facts about how much energy we waste and how much all that waste costs. Then we offer to pay them to behave better, to use energy efficiently.

Studies of the success of these programs show them to be hit or miss. Some programs are heavily used, some gather dust. Sometimes people permanently cut their energy use, alot. In others people still guzzle energy like there’s no tomorrow.

It seemed like a good idea at the time. With thanks to http://www.fark.com.

So I dug into the roots of the problem. Over the next little while I’m going to share what I found. It all starts, and stops, with how we think. We assume that people think rationally. We don’t.