I keep telling myself: Television did catch on. Television did catch on. But – invented in 1926 – it took a little while. Younger readers may think the Simpsons have been in reruns for 100 years; but television itself didn’t even begin entering people’s homes widely until 1950 or so.

The other thing I keep telling myself: The plane moved. (‘It was said you couldn’t drive an airliner around an airfield with an electric motor,’ Semikron UK Managing Director Paul Newman told Electronics Weekly. ‘The prototype has done it.’)

And if Borealis owns a subsidiary that owns a subsidiary that has an electric motor that can actually move a jumbojet in a revolutionary way, maybe the company’s other incredible claims have some validity as well. (It claims to own valuable iron ore deposits, to be able to turn heat into electricity with no moving parts – all kinds of stuff.)

And so we taxi down the tarmac of my financial fantasy. (Full disclosure for new readers: I own bundles of Borealis. It is a speculation only to be made with money you can truly afford to lose.)

Want to see what a WheelTug™ motor could save you if you owned your own plane?  Click here.  Almost nothing, as it turns out, because, c’mon, how often would you really use it?  Twice a week?  And you’d probably fly in and out of odd little airports like Teterboro, where ground delays are minimal.

But let’s say you own a fleet of 737s that average 3.55 flights a day into airports like LaGuardia and Hartsfield and O’Hare.  And let’s say fuel costs you a couple bucks a gallon.  According to this nifty calculator, you will save $388 per flight – $502,083 a year on each plane.

That could be worth something.

Assume $3 fuel and a 767 and the WheelTug™ calculator estimates annual savings north of $1 million.

That could be worth even more.

Not to mention the environmental benefits (less noise and pollution), or the benefit to frequent fliers (who frequently find themselves stuck on a plane a few minutes longer than necessary as they wait for a tug to pull the plane).

Of course, all this is only as good as the calculator’s underlying assumptions . . . which you can judge for yourself . . . and the success with which they are able to win orders to supply new planes, and retrofit old ones, with WheelTugs™ at a price higher than it costs to do the work.

But when you compare Nitromed, which has a single product readily available in generic form at a fraction of the price – yet commands a market cap of $350 million – with Borealis, which has half a dozen chips to build a dream on (and commands a market cap of $75 million), I say:  Don’t sell your Borealis.  And don’t sell your puts.


A couple of Mondays ago, I wrote:  “Adults – most insidiously parents or uncles, but any adults, obviously – should not molest children.”

Well, duh.

And yet to my surprise I got an angry e-mail.  “I hugely resent this,” Frank wrote.  “For someone who was molested by an aunt, that is just the kind of prejudiced, sexist language I find particularly painful and outrageous.  Shame on you.  You should be apologizing in your column, but of course you won’t do that.”

My first instinct was to dismiss this.  But Frank seemed genuinely upset, so I wrote back that, “I guess I need a little more from you to understand this.  You want me to apologize for not including aunts as especially heinous child molesters (as opposed to merely including them in the ‘or any adults, obviously’ category)?

Frank replied:  “Yes, I think that sort of oversight is far too much the norm and deserves illumination.  The sexism in the statement, obvious to me and to many men, is that only uncles, not aunts, are portrayed as sexual predators.  The statement  leaves those boys who have been molested by women (and there are many more than you think, since boys are MUCH less likely to report it than girls, for many reasons) are left feeling unacknowledged, feeling that they don’t count.  I’m not exactly without volatility on this, especially since most of the planet doesn’t want to hear about this problem from men.  Our culture doesn’t want to see women this way, and doesn’t want to allow that men can be victimized by women in any way.  People get really angry if a guy brings this up.  You’d be astonished, as you would also be if you could hear how widespread it is.  In my men’s group – started without this topic as any kind of inspiration – a surprising number of men have stories like this to tell.  For a primer, go to and to  There’s a lot there to enlighten you.  But it rarely surfaces.  Guys like me feel we have no voice at all.”

☞ Point taken.


Meanwhile, look at American Express – up from $52.50 this summer to the equivalent of about $64 Friday, adjusted for its Ameriprise spin-off ($54.87 for AXP and one-fifth of a share of AMP adding $9.25).  That’s 22% in ten months.  If we don’t have a financial crisis, AXP could have another 20% to run.  (And if we do, AXP will hardly be the only stock to get clobbered.)


Comments are closed.