My friend Mark Plotkin is afraid of nothing (I am afraid of everything), having, for example, paddled down the Amazon from its freezing mountainous headwaters, through leeches, piranhas, crocodiles, electric eels, candiru (the one that inflicts an agonizing death if you pee in its pool), snakes, more snakes, yet more snakes, poison frogs, heat, sweltering heat, bugs, and much else all the way to the ocean. He and his Amazon Conservation Team may have helped save  more rain forest than any man living, but he blogs here, yesterday, only of rubber — and NASCAR and the NBA and how it all comes back to the rain forest.  (Did you know  “rubber” got so named in 1770 when Joseph Priestly, of oxygen fame, noticed how well it erased — rubbed out — pencil scratchings?)


I’m a huge “dad” fan and an even huger fan of traditional families.  My mom and dad married young and remained completely in love until death did them part, complete with the traditional two kids, one straight, one gay, a collie, and a station wagon.  But the study summarized here suggests that having two moms and no dad may produce kids with even more self-esteem and even fewer discipline problems.

Obviously, this is no knock on traditional families — just worth mentioning to those who fear harm will come to kids raised by same-sex parents.

(Like Ugandans, whose president just signed a law mandating life in prison for gays and lesbians; seven years for sympathizers.  Sign here.)


Jim:  “Re yesterday’s post, consider the apparent extreme sketchiness of BOREF:  They’re based in GIBRALTAR, for god’s sake!  They’re not even trying not to seem sketchy!   2. The extremely sketchy corporate nesting doll structure (investors take on blind faith that any profits will trickle up to BOREF).   3. The sketchy CEO falsely stating that Safran-Honeywell interferes with brake cooling.   4. The thinly-veiled repugnance in the Airbus statement about WheelTug.    The set-up’s sketchy. The reaction’s been sketchy. The time frame’s been sketchy. The CEO acts sketchily.  Add that to all of Chris Brown’s (smart) points, and I can’t understand why you’re in this one. It seems like precisely the sort of thing the author or your book would advise against!  (But best of luck with it!)”

☞ And yet WheelTug works – you can watch it on video – and fourteen airlines including El Al, KLM, and Alitalia have signed on – and industry icon Bob Crandall, who used to run American Airlines, has allowed his name to be used publicly – and Parker Hannifin and a whole lot of others have signed on as partners . . . and I’m guessing all have looked at this more closely than Jim and none of them is particularly sketchy . . . so why does Jim assume there’s no chance the lighter, better, patented system will succeed?  Or that Honeywell-Safran’s view of the brake heat problem trumps that of WheelTug’s view (or the view of that other fellow quoted in the article, identified as “chief technical manager of IBA Group, a U.K.-based aviation technical services firm”)?

So, yes, maybe VHS will beat Betamax – but does it always work that way?  Is that why Apple disappeared, rolled over, despite its more elegant design, by IBM?  Why winglets were never ultimately adopted?

Those who believe WheelTug’s chance of success has become material see what appears to be a grossly undervalued speculation — to be made only with money we can truly afford to lose.



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