Weekly Meanderings, 4 June 2016

The Top Ten Worst airports in the USA? [SMcK: I rank the worst to be LaGuardia and LAX second. Best airport experience for us? Savannah GA.]

To hear frequent flyers wax poetic about Singapore’s Changi Airport, you would think that the airport itself was the destination. It has a rooftop pool, an orchid garden, a butterfly garden, a sunflower and light garden, a koi pond, a FREE movie theater, gaming centers, sports zones, a lounge area for sleeping, and SO much more. It is, quite simply, magical. Though it is not exactly “new,” having first opened in 1981, Changi has certainly kept up with the Kardashians in the way it has adapted to modern tech and travel demands.

You’ll never hear anyone talk about American airports in quite the same way.

Most of our airports date back to the middle of the 20th century, if not all the way back to before the Great Depression. Even as old terminals have been demolished and replaced with new buildings, the basic planning bones of these airports are 50+ years old, designed during a time of much lighter air travel (and even when they tried to plan for the future, they WAY undershot it) and on parcels of land that would soon be swallowed up by the ever-expanding cities around them. And then there is some just plain weirdness, like in Denver.

So, with help from travel experts — pilots, flight attendants, former baggage handlers, and frequent travelers — and our own experience flying through way too many of these hellholes, we ranked the absolute worst-designed airports in America.

Truth be told:

Counting only caucuses, Sanders has won 63 percent of the vote, 64 percent of the delegates and 11 of the 16 contests. In doing so, he has earned 341 elected delegates, compared with Clinton’s 195 delegates, for a margin of 146 delegates. These caucuses have had approximately11.1 million participants. As a point of comparison, turnout in the caucuses has been only about 13 percent of the total number of votes President Obama got in the 2012 presidential election in these states.2

Sanders has done far worse in the states that have held primaries. Counting just primaries, including Tuesday’s in Washington,3 Sanders has won only42 percent of the vote, 42 percent of delegates and 10 of the 34 statewide contests.4 Clinton earned 1,576 elected delegates, compared with Sanders’s 1,158, for a margin of 418. The turnout in these contests has been far higher than in the caucuses, with a little more than 24 million votes cast. That’s about 49 percent of the total number of votes Obama got in the 2012 election in these states.5

Now, it is fair to point out that the caucuses have taken place in states that are demographically different than the primary states. Caucus states in 2016 are overwhelmingly white and overwhelmingly rural compared with primary states. Still, these differences don’t come close to explaining the differences in results between the caucuses and primaries so far. We can look to Nebraska and Washington as two examples of the disparity. Of course, one could argue that because no delegates were up for grabs in those states’ primaries, the campaigns didn’t really compete for residents’ votes and therefore those contests aren’t representative of what a truly competitive primary would look like there. Fortunately, because the vote in the Democratic primary has largely broken down along demographic lines, we can use statistical models to approximate what would happen if states that held caucuses had held primaries instead.

Trump be told, and Kermit Zarley asks if Trump is hurting the PGA Tour golf:

If he is, it looks like the Tour is fighting back.

Doral was always one of my favorites tournaments on the regular PGA Tour. I’ve blogged about this before. It was at Doral Resort and Country Club, in Miami, Florida, where I had my first good chance to win a PGA Tour tournament. It was in 1966, my second year on Tour. I led wire-to-wire until I three-putted the 71st hole to go one stroke behind. On the toughest finishing hole on the American pro golf tour then and ever since to the present–the long par four 18th hole–my ten foot birdie putt for a tie for first place stopped on the right edge of the hole, with nearly half of the ball hanging over the cup. If only there had been a little earthquake.

Talk about earthquakes, Donald Trump is an earthquake these days, what with his rhetorical and volatile campaign as the presumptive Republican nominee for the U.S. presidency. Now it looks like he’s an earthquake happening to the PGA Tour.

Yesterday, at Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial Tournament on the PGA Tour being held at Muirfield Village, Ohio, this week, PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem announced that the Tour’s 54-year relationship with Doral in Miami is coming to an end. Next year, the World Golf Championships held there the last few years is moving to Club de Chapultepec in Mexico City and will be named the WGC-Mexico Championship.

In recent years, there have been four World Golf Championships. Three of them have been staged in the U.S. and the other one in China. Some pro golfers, especially foreigners, think too many are held in the U.S. So, they probably would welcome this change despite the controversial Donald Trump and his ownership of Doral.

Donald Trump–an avid golfer, mega real estate entrepreneur, and now a celebrity TV star–bought the Doral resort in 2012 partly because of the PGA Tour’s long-standing tournament there. Then he sank $250 million into renovating the place, much of which went into improving the Blue Monster golf course on which the tournament is played….

Finchem revealed that Cadillac, the long-time sponsor of the tournament, did not renew its contract. He said the Tour couldn’t find any other company to take its place. What is surprising about that is that General Motors, the parent company of Cadillac, has a long relationship with the PGA Tour as a sponsor of its tournaments, especially with Buick and Cadillac. And both Cadillac and General Motors have been doing financially pretty well lately after being bailed out by the federal government during the Great Recession. Thus, it looks like Cadillac had other than financial reasons for ending its sponsorship….

Ireland’s pro golfer Rory McIlroy–who plays on the PGA Tour and recently slipped from #1 to #3 in world rankings–said of this change of venues, “It’s quite ironic that we’re going to Mexico after being at Doral. We just jump over the wall.”

Was there a Dark Ages? Ask Philip Jenkins. [HT: JS]

Let me explain the issues here. In bygone decades, historians used to look at certain eras and apply that Dark Age title to them. The classic example was Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire in the West, and especially the years between, say, 450 and 750. Familiar evidence of settlement and building all but vanished from the archaeological record: cities and villas faded into disuse. Also, written historical sources dried up, suggesting that literacy shrunk. An organized “civilized” society had collapsed, to be replaced by a barbaric order. The classic stereotype is of a roofless, ruined, Roman villa, with some filthy peasants building a fire to stay warm amidst the fading Classical mosaics. And that was a Dark Age….

Move the film forward, though, and Dark Ages became very unfashionable indeed. In more modern interpretations, there were multiple reasons to avoid the term, and to some extent they reflected new political perceptions, chiefly of a left/progressive nature.

First, to speak of the collapse of civilization suggested a judgmental approach that was elitist and even pro-imperialist. Yes, perhaps imperial authority had withdrawn, but the life of ordinary people carried on much as before. Village life endured, and was even vastly improved by the absence of centralized states and tax collectors. The decline of written sources and literacy might have affected elites, but these were always a remote upper crust. Maybe the cities are no longer reading Virgil, but those egalitarian local communities are composing their own vernacular treasures. So why was that a decline or a deterioration?

Below the level of those vanished elites, there was a thriving world of villages and small towns, trade and crafts, so which Dark Age are you talking about? Who gave you the right to say that an era with a strong state – and a strong colonial/imperial order at that – was somehow superior to what followed? These ancient “civilizations” were absolutely based on slavery. So villas disappeared, so what? Isn’t that like bemoaning the collapse of modern-day gated communities and BMW dealerships?

Seeing things from the bottom up, (in that view), Dark Ages for the rich might actually be golden ages for the poor….

So, let me offer my own definition. We can look at an era and say that it is marked bysystematic societal collapse and cultural impoverishment, reflected in collapsing population levels, and acute declines in urbanization, technology, literacy, productivity, and communications. Or, for simplicity, we can use the D word.

Hence, with all due caveats, I believe that the term Dark Age can and should properly be used. In my next post, I will look at some new insights into the term, and the processes it describes.

Tiny house for you? 

Think you could live in a 300-square-foot house?

Even if you wanted to join the trendy “tiny house” movement, you probably couldn’t live in one in the suburbs, or even park it in your driveway or backyard, because it would violate zoning laws.

However, you can buy one here. South Elgin-based Titan Home Builders — which will be featured on “Tiny House Nation” on the FYI network July 9 — is being bombarded with construction orders for tiny houses.

Most customers want them as high-quality trailer homes, which they can travel with or put on their vacant lakefront property in Wisconsin, rather than as full-time suburban housing.

As the only tiny-house builder within 800 miles, Titan Home Builders owner Bob Clarizio said he’s been working in “blitzkrieg mode” ever since he decided in January to stop doing kitchen and bathroom remodels in the Palatine area and instead focus exclusively on building tiny houses.

“It’s absolutely incredible how fast this thing has grown,” said Clarizio, 30, of Gilberts.

The company receives about 20 inquiries a day and presold more than 15 homes in four months, totaling more than $500,000 in sales, Clarizio said.

People have waited in hourlong lines to view their model homes at green expos and home shows, and Clarizio is looking to expand his business fivefold to accommodate demand.

“Our plan is to change an industry,” he said. “We feel we’re creating a product for the common person.”

Catholic sentenced to a Baptist church for twelve sermons, Chris Graves:

CINCINNATI — Judge William Mallory enjoyshanding out creative sentences from his bench at the Hamilton County Courthouse.

But one he meted out Wednesday in his Municipal Court room wasn’t even his idea. Instead of sending Jake Strotman to jail on a misdemeanor attempted assault conviction, Mallory sent the 23-year-old Catholic to a Baptist church for the next 12 Sundays.

The sentence was Strotman’s idea.

To understand how Stroman got to court, rewind to a Saturday night, Jan. 23, just after the Cincinnati Cyclones beat the Fort Wayne Kometshere. Strotman, who lives downtown, had imbibed with his buddies at the hockey game and approached a band of Baptist street preachers who were, as he puts it, condemning him.

A curious and naturally jovial guy, Strotman said he “gave them my 2 cents’ worth.

The problem with those no touching signs?

(NEWSER) – The trouble with “no touching” signs: 4-year-olds can’t read them. Such was the situation in Ningbo, China, when on Sunday a boy of that age ducked under the rope encircling a sculpture of Zootopia character Nick Wilde and knocked it over, ruining the $15,000 Lego fox, reports Shanghaiist. It was crafted by a man identified only by his surname of Zhao, who the BBC reports built the piece over the course of three days and nights out of some 10,000 pieces. The “masterwork” hadn’t even been on display for a full hour before it was destroyed, reports What’s on Weibo. While Zhao reportedly wrote of being “depressed and frustrated” in the words of the South China Morning Post, he noted that he had accepted the family’s apology and was not looking for any compensation as the destruction wasn’t intentional.

Sheryl Sandberg’s shoes got some critique this week, by Emily Peck.

The rules for dressing for the office are completely different for men and women.

Perhaps no two people better exemplify the double standard than the most well-known executives working at Facebook: cofounder and Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, known for wearing the same grey T-shirt and jeans every day, and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, who is typically seen perched atop towering high heels.

Sandberg is arguably the most influential female executive in Corporate America, inspiring (or pissing off) many women with her book Lean In. Her frank opennessabout dealing with the sudden death of her husband last year was both heartbreaking and admirable. She’s incredibly successful by every measure.

Yet on Wednesday, while watching her talk to Recode’s Kara Swisher and Facebook Chief Technology Officer Michael Schroepfer, I caught myself staring at her shoes. Just look at them… I couldn’t help but marvel at the fact that while Zuckerberg slomps around in super-casual clothes every day, Sandberg is smartly decked out in full corporate power garb: towering, patent leather, red peep-toe heels.

Still, their case highlights the fact that even in the tech world, where the concept of dressing down was invented, and even at Facebook, a progressive company run by a guy in jeans, women and men don’t quite play by the same rules.

Women can’t just roll out of bed, toss on yesterday’s jeans, brush their teeth and do well at work. If they do, they’ll struggle in the professional world. One woman I spoke with recently, who works at a private equity firm, told me that she wasn’t taken seriously at work until she started wearing stilettos.

In fact, women who spend more time grooming — including efforts like putting on makeup — are promoted more often and make more money than their bare-faced colleagues, according to one recent study.

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