Monday, April 10, 2017

Roundup

-- At The Christian Century, Brian Doyle muses on why baseball may be best encountered on the radio. He acknowledges that being present at a game is the top choice, but after that comes the choice of voluntarily limiting ourselves to just one sense in experiencing the game -- hearing. Atmosphere plays a big role, but Doyle suggests that the open invitation of the frequently repeated phrase, "For those of you just tuning in" is a huge part of the appeal. The late tuners are as welcome as those who indulged themselves in all the pregame show, and on equal footing. I like the idea -- one of the best things about Major League Baseball's app is that you can listen to radio broadcasts of any game currently being played, from either team's home station. It's a case of technology actually expanding what already exists instead of supplanting it with something that is perhaps less.

-- United Airlines has some new publicity it didn't want after a variety of cell phones showed security officers dragging a man from a plane because he did not agree to take their deal of a hotel stay and travel voucher in exchange for a later flight. As always, the flight was overbooked because that makes the most financial sense for the airline despite its inconvenience for travelers -- something about which airlines give less and less of a damn every year. Four seats needed to be cleared so four United employees could travel to the next airport where they would work. No one took the offer voluntarily, so the airline used a computer to randomly pick which passengers would take it involuntarily. The man in question was so selected but refused and was dragged off (it's Chicago, after all). Mollie Hemingway, writing at The Federalist, points out that United has done itself some real harm by being too cheap -- they stopped the bidding at $800, but if they had kept inching up someone would have said yes, and they would have been out a whole lot less than whatever they settle the lawsuit they're going to face. The first item on this list notes how an economist pointed out the initial problem to them. Maybe they should have had an economist on call for instances like this, but I'm betting the real problem was a security moke who decided "dis guy is gettin' off dis plane one way a duh utter." Who will probably be available for hiring in the very near future.

-- Should Scotland decide to leave the United Kingdom, which it's going to vote on again sometime soon, might it decide to join Canada? A Canadian writer of Scots descent offers the idea, saying that Scotland would be the third largest province of Canada and is closer to Newfoundland than California is to Hawaii. Canada has a large population of folks with Scot heritage -- one of its provinces is Nova Scotia, after all -- and the atmosphere could be pretty congenial to the match. Of course, it opens up the possibility of conversations that contain sentences like, "Oh, aye, eh?" which might make Scots even harder to understand than they are now.

3 comments:

Todd Bergman said...

I'm thinking that I would jump at the $400 offer. If my family of 4 could get a free night's lodging (and finagle meal vouchers), that's $1600 that would be put to good use for skipping one day of responsibilities. I think that would make up for any loss of revenue on my part. At $800 in United vouchers, that is just a trip to London or Hawaii for Lisa and I. If it is cash, I'm getting a 3D printer.

Friar said...

No way to be sure, but I've heard there was some sort of corporate-policy set ceiling at $800. If so, they're going to wish someone had broken that rule.

fillyjonk said...

I'd be really leery of taking a voucher. (I'd take cash). 'Cos you know they're gonns set ridiculous limits on the vouchers, like you can't use them the entire months of November or December (holiday travel) or July or August (vacations....)

Eh, meh, I barely ever travel and most of the places I go I can take Amtrak, which has apparently better accounting for when their employees need to deadhead back to another station....