Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Quick Hits

A few quick ideas that have had me thinking...

- While reading up on a CNN.com story this morning detailing the Obama campaign's efforts to defend their supporters against implications that they are "mindless fans", I noticed that I could enter the official Barack Obama webpage via a link on the page. I could not help but think that if the Obama campaign is trying to shake the image of a mindless herd of followers, maybe "Join Us" is not the best invitation. Perhaps "Find Out More" or "Enter"?

- This is not meant to be offensive or demeaning to any gymnast or their fans, but how is gymnastics considered to be a competitive sport? I understand the degree of difficulty, the mastery of the form, and the supreme physical condition that these gymnasts are in, but how can this be a sport if winning and losing is based solely on the opinions of judges? I understand that more traditional sports, via officials and umpires, etc. have their own opportunity for human opinion and error, but this is different. If gymnastics, figure skating, and the like are sports, why isn't competitive painting? Even speed painting, were it to exist, would have a time limit.

I understand that there are greater arguments over what makes a sport a sport. Is golf a sport? NASCAR? Darts? Maybe, maybe not. But let's put it this way: Kyle Busch won this past weekend's NASCAR race because he finished the race first, faster than anyone else. Jimmie Johnson had some really nice, artistic maneuvers along the way, and he drives a prettier car, to boot. He finished seventh.

- Gasoline prices, on a national average, have declined for 26 straight days. That's despite this period seeing a hurricane, two tropical storms, increased summer demand and an armed conflict in Georgia (the former Soviet Republic) that this morning shut down a major oil pipeline. What factor could be behind this suprising*, unexpected* drop? Hybrid technology? Stability in the Middle East? The discovery that liquified Alaskan Caribou antlers make a great synthetic oil?

It could be all of the above, but my money, literally, goes with the fact that this is an election year - and we've been down this road before. So the next time you are reminded how precarious the international oil situation is (and it is), warned that foul weather in the Carribbean, civil unrest in Nigeria, and not voting Republican can all have a negative effect** on oil prices, consider how effectively costs can be controlled when there is so much money on the line.
*To some
**For consumers


  1. Good catch -- Barack's ad might as well read "Click here for oBAAAAAAma".
    Gas prices have been dropping for 26 consecutive days, almost the exact amount of time since GW lifted the ban on offshore oil drilling. I think we've found our answer!
    NASCAR as an olympic sport is clearly not the answer. The last thing we need is nationally sponsored gas guzzlers burning our precious fossil fuels!

  2. I think we're in agreement here. It’s pretty wild how stupid the government thinks (or knows?) everyone is. I won’t attempt to explain the rise and fall of prices at the pump but I know it’s not because Bush lifted the offshore drilling ban. Not a direct result anyways. Maybe oil companies have been pushing for the repeal and now are dropping prices because they got what they wanted. Who knows? The bottom line is that it’s all a game, and the reasons they give for high oil prices are complete B.S.