Today we’ve got some loose ends to clean up – and some phone bills to lower:


Tom:Future Phone is offering free international phone calls until 2010 from any phone – even from your cell phone. You are allowed unlimited calls at any time and no registration is required. Just call their Gateway Access Number listed on the site, dial the international prefix 011, the country code and then the phone number. For Canada, it is even simpler; after calling their Gateway Access Number, just dial 1 and the area code and the number. The Gateway Access Number listed when I looked was in Council Bluffs Iowa so you may incur a domestic long distance charge unless you live in Council Bluffs.’

☞ What’s the catch? That is a frequently asked question. (Their answer: no catch.)


James Musters:This works because it is performed so well.’

☞ Only click the link if you have an irreverent sensibility and thought the fuss over Janet Jackson’s ‘wardrobe malfunction’ was silly. Otherwise, you may be offended, and that is not my intent.


Dave: ‘Democrats do not marry, they co-habit. This cuts divorce rates and explains the paradox.’

☞ Hmmm. According to this, the marriage rate in Massachusetts in a recent year was low: 6.4 marriages per thousand residents. But the rate in Georgia and Oklahoma was even lower (6.3 and 4.9), so that may not entirely solve it. (Then again, perhaps a preponderance of Georgians and Oklahomans chose to take their vows in Las Vegas – Nevada has 75 marriages per 1,000 population.)

Robert Pohl: ‘I suspect that you’ll also find that people in red states get married much earlier than those in blue states. And that drives the divorce rate. If you can spend some time living with someone without benefit of matrimony, you’re more likely to marry someone with whom you can actually live for the rest of your life.’

David Williams: ‘James Wolcott in the November Vanity Fair [not yet online] does a very nice job running down a whole list of comparisons – crime, health, education – ALL demonstrating the contradiction.’


Dan: ‘Joel’s comments (‘My company designs and manufactures electric motors and generators, and my VP of Engineering has a PhD in magnetics design. We both think the Chorus Motor stuff is totally bogus.’) seem more like those of a guy who couldn’t do what he’s attacking. He and his associates seem to have been left behind by a new science. After all, we did see the ‘watermelon’ pull the plane around. It’s impossible to deny but easy to ridicule. Now, whether or not the company can sell the science remains the big question.’

Bill: ‘Can you ask Joel to be more specific? My impression about the motor was not that it was a special magnet design but that it relies on electronics to continually adjust itself to maximize torque. I’m not a motorologist (Ph.D. in biophysics) but it seems like something that could work.’

☞ Hey, don’t beat yourself up; even motorologists have trouble predicting stuff more than a few days out.

SCB: ‘You might remind Joel that the guy who pulled the jet is dead. Maybe plane-pulling isn’t the perfect isometric.’

Man Who Pulled Jet With Hair Dies
(10/19/05 – KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia) – Letchemanah Ramasamy, known to Malaysians as “Mighty Man” for feats that included pulling planes and buses with his hair, has died of heart complications, his family said Wednesday. He was 55. . . . Ramasamy achieved national fame in 1990 when he used his hair to drag a Boeing 737 aircraft over a distance of nearly 56 feet at a Malaysian airport.

☞ Ah. Well now that we have all the facts, let’s be clear: first, the Chorus motor pulled a 767, not a 737, which is much smaller – and it was at full take-off weight, which I’ll bet the 737 was not. Second, the Chorus motor pulled the plane for miles, not 56 feet – and in 120-degree heat. Third, how the hell did Mr. Ramasamy do it? It makes my hair hurt just imagining it.

But wait. Here’s a thought. If it’s impractical to have guys pull jets around the tarmac, how about teams of horses? That could work.


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