fighting the lack of good ideas

want to reduce gas consumption?

Buy better tires.

I referenced Seth Godin earlier today in regards to investment in developing countries.

Why is it, then, that a marketing blogger would talk about wanting to reduce fuel consumption? I think it’s because it’s easier to relate to than streamlining other processes you may have in your business or development cycles. It’s something we can relate to directly.

If we assume that all the cars drive the same number of miles, which would be a better investment:

  • Get new tires for all the Suburbans and increase their mileage a bit to 13 miles per gallon.
  • Replace all the Priuses and rewire them to get 100 miles per gallon (doubling their average!)

That’s right – spend a little bit of money on the Suburbans, and cut fuel usage more than you could by doubling the efficiency of the already-efficient Prius.

Why? It’s because we think in MPG rather than GPM. What does thinking in miles-per-gallon do to our brains that gallons-per-mile would make clearer? Well, here’s the math:

  • Let m be number of miles driven by a car…
  • Let s be the gas consumption (in gallons) for Suburbans (= m/10)
  • Let p be the gas consumption (in gallons) for Priuses (= m/50)
  • Let T be the total consumption (in gallons) (= s + p = m/10 + m/50 = 6m/50 = 0.12/m)

So in Scenario #1, we have T = m/13 + m/50 = 50m+13m/650 = 63m/650 = 0.097m

And in Scenario #2, we have T = m/10 + m/100 = 11m/100 = 0.11m

Scenario #1 reduced consumption by 0.12-0.097 = 0.023; Scenario #2 only by 0.01; Scenario #1 is 2.3x more efficient!

This is due to a power-curve relationship early on in the MPG table, where a minute improvement (1 MPG on 10) is a huge percentage improvement (10%) at the front end whereas later-on it’s minuscule.

I thought it was neat 🙂

Original article –

The math as to why it works – or

removing the emergency of poverty

Seth Godin has a cool write-up on the Acumen Fund, and what they’re doing to help the 40% of the world that ekes-by on $2 a day or less –

opennms on

While I don’t currently use OpenNMS, I do lurk on the mailing lists to learn about it 🙂

While on serverfault today, I thought about checking to see what OpenNMS questions there may be, and found several. None I’m qualified to answer, but the results are here:

For posts that merely have OpenNMS mentioned:


Last Friday night, on the Brooklyn Bridge, in the rain (sounds like the answer to Clue, doesn’t it?) I officially asked my girlfriend to marry me.

Me living in Singapore means that’ll not be as soon as either of us would prefer, but at least it’s in the works. 🙂

She told me the rest of the night was a blur, which is probably just as well since it sheeted water on us for the couple blocks back to the hotel, so we were thoroughgoingly drenched by the time we got there.

Anyways, that’s my fun news for the year 🙂

heading back :)

In a few hours I get on the first of several planes to get back to the US for a couple weeks. It’s slated to leave at 0540 SGT on 09 July. That’s 1740 EDT on 08 July. I get done flying (on that trip) at about 2145 EDT on 09 July.

I’m really looking forward to all the fun activities and busyness of the next several weeks.

minty freshness

I just heard about today.

Whoever thought this one up is a genius. They’ll keep track of your financial state, sending alerts if anything is amiss.

now this looks pretty cool

I’m watching some show on the Science Channel while working from home today, and just saw a segment on the Venture One.\

It’s a three-wheeled, enclosed, hybrid car – but it’s classified as a motorcycle for licensing.If it actually does show up on schedule in 2010, I think I want one.

Wiki link.