Section D: This is nice. Ranking of airlines for 2012. Overall #1: Delta. Followed by Alaska, US Airways, and Southwest. Surprisingly, Jet Blue was #5 of the seven listed. Other gauges (#1, #2, and #8 listed):
- Getting planes off on time: Alaska, Delta .... American
- Fewest canceled flights: Delta, Southwest ... American
- Fewest extreme delays: US Airways, Alaska ... Jet Blue (hmmmm)
- Fewest bumped passengers: Jet Blue, Delta ... United
- Fewest lost bags: Jet Blue, Delta ... United
- Fewest complaints: Southwest, Alaska ... United
The sports page, very interesting today:
- Baseball's big day of deep weirdness
- What Lance wants from Oprah
- rumors of the Sacramento Kings moving north to Seattle; to be bought by Steve Ballmer (of Windows 8 fame) and a partner. Again, a rumor (for some) at this point.
This is simply very, very interesting. All that talk of global warming and one would think that South America -- much of it at the equator -- would be hit hard by global warming. And then this huge photo-story on the front page of section C: Brazil's surprise coffee call throws off the market's bean count -- with 50 million bags, this is at the upper end of Brazilian government's forecast for the country's 2013 coffee harvest. There has been talk that slightly increased CO2 and slightly warmer temperatures does do wonders for agriculture (all other things being equal). The story is actually on page C4; only the huge photo is on the front page. Years ago I was part of a research team studying the efficiency of Arctic plants. We were based in Barrow, Alaska. It was obvious that a slightly longer growing season would do wonders for these plants and a degree or two in temperature increase would do the same. The lemming population would probably do better, also. But I digress. Another story along this line (agricultural profits) is on page B3 -- Cargill and Monsanto are reporting sharply higher earnings. Weather around the world varies immensely, but overall, the data does not suggest the world is coming to an end due to that forecast of one to two-degree rise in global temperature over the next century.
Apple is in the news with talk of a low-priced phone. As an elitist when it comes to Apple, I wish Apple stuck to its high-end, high-margin, high-priced business model. [Update, one day later: that story was pulled by Reuters. It never did sound "true" to me; Apple doesn't "dumb down" for profit margin or market share. Tea leaves suggest Apple will continue making high-end, high-margin, high-priced products and accelerating the product cycle.]
A nice story on Clearwire, Sprint, Dish. Huge front page story. [Wow, a most beautiful male cardinal just showed up -- it's quite interesting that putting out different types of bird seed results in different birds showing up.] Back to Clearwire, Spring, Dish. I don't think folks understand how important spectrum is. I remember the challenge the military had back in the early 2000's with not enough spectrum, and then the government turning over some of that spectrum to the civilian sector. I don't follow telecom, but for those who, it would be interesting to track value of company based on spectrum.
As tax hikes loomed, some CEOS sold stock. Five biggest sales of stock by executives or directors in December, 2012 -- companies mentioned: Teavana Holdings (#1 by a huge margin), First Citizens Bancshares, Google (Eric Schmidt), Starbucks (Schultz), and Shaw Group. I would not have linked this story except for the fact that my daughter buys an excellent honey for our older granddaughter from Teavana. The honey is priced right and, best of all, it doesn't crystallize.
Natural-gas rally fizzles.
Page A3 (followed closely by page B3) is always the most interesting. Today: schools get taste of own medicine; states assign A to F grades based on test results, other factors; some parents, administrators are shocked by poor scores. [This link is first one today that I could not access on the web without logging in with a paid subscription.] I have mixed feelings about over-reliance on testing.
US lags peers in life expectancy. [Link required password, see above.] This is the list with average life expectancy at birth for men in 2007:
- Switzerland: 79.33
- Australia: 79.27
- Japan: 79.20
- Sweden: 78.92
- Italy: 78.82
Having said that, the "verbal conclusion" tends to overstate the actual numbers. I can't get too excited about 76 vs 79 years of age, especially considering the number of 76-year-olds with Alzheimers and other quality of life issues. My attitude will probably change when I have my 76th birthday. American women: life expectancy for those born in 2007, is 80.8 years. That is five years shorter than Japan's, which had the highest expectancy.
Northern Gateway pipeline in Canada under seige.
Supreme Court case to watch: forced DUI blood tests.