Sunday, August 09, 2009

Pay more for Opening nights

Theater ticket pricing is a good instance where pricing varies with demand.
Fridays and Saturdays (opening nights for most movies) the tickets are charged the max (here locally it is $10 per tix), on rest of the days from Mon till Friday 5pm it is lower ($5 per tix).
There are enough customers willing to fill theaters paying for opening nights as the movies do their best to line up demand for Fridays and Saturdays through intense advertising campaigns. After that it is a diffusion process that proceed more or less by word of mouth.

Pricing might be refined to get better revenues if it were not for the simplicity of a two tier system.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Lead Pencils : a big waste!

One repeats the following process with lead pencils.

A. Sharpen to a cone pointed tip.
B. Flatten the head through use.

So if you divide the "cylindrical" lead structure in the pencil along the length into mini cylinders. Then you basically remove 67% the volume by sharpening the mini cylinder and using the conic remainder.

So you lose at least 67% of the lead in the pencil by sharpening. You can save unnecessary waste of wood and lead by not using lead pencils.

TIP: A cylinder has 3 times the volume of a cone of the same base and height.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Why have Fingerprints?

Some ideas:
  1. Friction and increased surface area.
  2. DNA coded unique for each human specimen
  3. Increased sentitivity due to blood flow.

In fact this post on NPR suggests fingerprints may not aid in friction and in fact reduce contact area. The study mentioned in the post still leaves most possibilities open to scientific debate.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Iran is a threat to Israel?

Israel's foreign minister Tzipi Livni wrote an Op-Ed in Haretz a while ago saying "Iran's nuclear arms do not pose an existential threat to Israel". So what supports the judgment of those who think so?

To give some context to who Tzipi Livni is: from a Jan 22, 2006 Wa-Po interview

Tzipi Livni, is a rising star in Israel's centrist Kadima party. Although she grew up in a right-wing Likud family, Livni, 47, strongly supported Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's decision to withdraw Israeli troops and settlements from the Gaza Strip as well as his formation of a new party -- which is favored to win the most votes in elections set for March.

Kadima Party did win in March 2006 ushering Kadima Party led by Ehud Olmert into Power.

Back to the Iranian threat. The chronology of the collective efforts of a few from the U.S administration to the domestically raise the threat of Iran provides the context for the latest reports from Pentagon of Iranian ships threatening U.S ships in the Strait of Hormuz.

from April of 2006, Seymour Hersh reported in his rather long New-Yorker piece "Iran Plans":

The Bush Administration, while publicly advocating diplomacy in order to stop Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon, has increased clandestine activities inside Iran and intensified planning for a possible major air attack.

The war plans, the article states, included the use of tactical nuclear weapons and that some senior officers and officials were considering resigning over the such a use of nuclear weapons.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Al Franken bags key endorsement

Minnesota Public Radio reports:
The political arm of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 5 voted Saturday to back Franken, a comedian turned candidate.

The union represents 43,000 public and nonprofit employees in the state. Its leaders said in a news release that Franken's membership in four entertainment unions and his proven ability to raise money for the campaign put him in a stronger position than Ciresi.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


From the Women's Press
After a Philadelphia prostitute was gang-raped at gunpoint by four men, she sought justice in court. The 20-year-old single mother, who worked for a service advertised on craigslist, agreed to have sex with two men for money. Instead, one of the men pulled a gun, robbed the woman, and forced her to have sex with himself and three friends at gunpoint, stating that if she did not cooperate he would kill her. In court, Municipal Judge Teresa Carr Deni dismissed the rape and sexual assault charges. stating "she consented and didn't get paid. I thought it was a robbery."
Can you believe this?