John Kraus: ‘Caning is still widely used. Make certain not to pee in that pool.’


Inch by inch, Borealis subsidiary Chorus Motors subsidiary WheelTug drives toward commercialization. Will it ever happen? That, my dear and patient friends, is the $64,000 question.

Prague Airport to support development of WheelTug electric aircraft drive system

Prague, 07/01/2010

Prague-Ruzyne Airport has become the world’s first airport to support development of a new technology enabling aircraft to use on-board electric motors to taxi between terminal gates and runways. The new WheelTug® system is expected to reduce aircraft emissions, fuel consumption, and noise at airports, and to improve safety, airlines’ schedule reliability, and both airline and customer convenience at airports.

Prague-Ruzyne International Airport, named the Best Airport in Central and Eastern Europe, will become WheelTug’s Flagship Airport in Europe and will be a world leader in encouraging cleaner air, less noise, and greater fuel efficiency, safety and operating efficiency within airports. The WheelTug system is projected to reduce aircraft taxi-mode fuel consumption and CO2 emissions both by 66%, and to reduce hydrocarbon emissions by 75% per flight cycle.

An agreement between Letiste Praha, a. s., operator of the Prague Airport, and WheelTug plc, developer of the WheelTug system, states that Prague Airport will actively assist WheelTug with development support during testing and certification.

“This support includes necessary airport assistance, as well as facilitation of smooth co-operation between WheelTug and other organizations at the airport including airport handling services and air navigation service provider,” stated Jiri Pos, Member of the Board and Executive Director of Aviation, Operations and Property Management at Prague Airport and he added: “The team of Prague Airport Consulting will also be working with WheelTug to adapt existing operating procedures, checklists, and operating regulations to achieve maximum benefit from WheelTug systems at Prague and at other airports.” . . .

☞  There is the very real possibility that this will never work out.  But do you know those little “winglets” at the tips of many airplane wings?  Here is the timeline of those folks’ innovation.  Company formed in 1991, patent granted in 1994, flight test on a Boeing Business Jet in 1999 . . . Southwest orders 169 of its jets retrofitted in 2003 . . . and it just keeps building.   My point is just that WheelTug’s endless delays don’t necessarily spell failure.  These things take time.


Oy.  Last I looked, $5.75.  But cancers will still metastasize to the liver, I’m afraid, and patients will still want DCTH’s far better alternative to having themselves cut open, so time, I like to think, is ultimately on our side.  Hang in there.  And if you missed buying it the first time (with money you can truly afford to lose, because there are no sure things, even in treating liver cancer), a year or two from now, if not sooner, you could be pleased you bucked the trend.


Astonishingly, according to this report on NBC News, in the last 50 years the average American male waist has gone from 35 inches to 39.7 – up nearly 5 inches.  Women have gone on average from 30 inches to 37.   Men have gone from 166 pounds up to 195, women from 140 pounds to 165.

Is it stating the obvious to say this is appalling?

Eating less, and healthier, would be better for us personally, nationally, and as a sustainable planet.

One simple step in the right direction: go back to the size plates we used to use, when we were trim and fit.

Alex Bogusky, author of The 9-Inch ‘Diet’: Exposing the Big Conspiracy in America and the brilliant ad man of Crispin, Porter & Bogusky (ironically, the agency for Burger King), noticed that the original kitchen cabinets in a 1940 house he bought wouldn’t fit his dinner plates.  “What kind of idiot makes kitchen cabinets too small for dinner plates?” he wondered – and then realized they weren’t idiots in 1940, they used smaller plates.  Over time, we had switched from the typical 9-inch plate to plates ranging up to 12 inches and more, which – I need hardly tell this numerate crowd – is not a third bigger, but (remember pi R-squared?) 78% bigger.   (Even a 10.5-inch plate is 36% bigger than a 9-inch plate.)

Not that you eat the plate itself, ordinarily; but a large plate just cries out for more mashed potatoes than a small one.  And once the food is on the plate, it’s a sin not to finish it.  And I wouldn’t be able to resist even if it weren’t.


It’s a grand old flag – it’s a high flying flag.  And forever, in peace, may it wave.


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