Photo of the day

So, I had no idea Prince Harry had been part of a team walking across the Antarctic to the South Pole.  But here’s the Telegraph gallery to prove it.

Chris Downey of Team Commonwealth treks on the first day of the expedition
Prince Harry and his fellow adventurers pulled sleds across the frozen wastes of Antarctica for three weeksPicture: REUTERS/Victoria Nicholson/Walking With the Wounded
On a semi-related note, I recently compiled a list of 10 books that have really stuck with me for FB.  One of those definitely on the list was Endurance by Alfred Lansing.  An amazing, amazing Antarctic true story.

Quick hits

1) Was fascinated by this Atlantic piece on how the earliest sunset and latest sunrise do not coincide with the shortest day of the year.

2) Gizmodo says the days of the DSLR are numbered.  Maybe.

3) Car hits deer and sends it onto nearby jogger.

4) Eric Hoover disapproves of the Greene family Christmas card.  He does have a point.

5) I had an excellent physician, but he left the practice to go become a doctor for rich people only.  Apparently, this is quite the trend in NYC.

6) Very nice essay in the Economist about how science is not nearly as self-correcting as we’d all like to think it is.

7) Enjoyed Emily Bazelon’s take on the Jameis Winston sexual assault case.

8) How to read about science.

9)Loved this three-part series on the life of NFL officials.  If you are a football fan at all, you should definitely read this.

10) Sometimes when you privatize a needed social service like ambulances, people don’t get ambulances.

11) This NYT Magazine piece on the political power of the NRA is a must-read.  Going straight onto the Parties & Interest Groups syllabus.

12) Amazing (but, sadly, not all that surprising) to learn that we get interrogations completely wrong in this country.  Like much of forensic “science” it is based on junk science.  Great Fresh Air interview if you cannot read the New Yorker article.


Car efficiency

I’ve read on a number of occasions that a lot of the very impressive gains in efficiency in the internal combustion engine have largely gone into giving us more powerful cars, rather than cars that get better mileage.  Not till yesterday in Wonkblog, however, did I finally come across a chart that so nicely demonstrates this fact:

car weight

Now engineers are making so much progress that mpg is going up even as they are still increasing horsepower.  Just imagine how much more fuel efficient we’d be (and how much money and pollution we’d save) if we were happy with 1995 or even 2000 levels of horsepower.  Of course, I am, I’m still driving my 1998 Toyota Corolla with 120 horses that are not going to win me any drag races, but get the job done.

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