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Archive for August 2015

Flight Delays and Nervous Markets

I’ve had some time today to reflect about flight delays, nervous markets, and the certainty of insanity.

Here’s what’s been going on.

It’s been about 36 hours since I left my apartment and headed for the airport.

My flight out of Tampa was delayed by a couple of hours.

But flight delays are normal. I still had ample time to make my connecting flight in Baltimore.

Except for one problem.

When I arrived at Baltimore Washington International Airport yesterday afternoon, I wasn’t confronted with more flight delays.

Instead, I learned that my connecting flight had been completely canceled.

More Than Just Flight Delays

Massive weather disturbances were creating pandemonium in the airport, with plenty of long flight delays and hundreds of angry passengers in evidence. Some of the airlines’ customers were so upset, in fact, that their outbursts ended with the offending parties being escorted away by the airport police.

It was quite a scene – not unlike the wild action that was going on with Wall Street traders.

Actually, though, at the time I was basically oblivious to the massive selling that was underway in the stock market.

After standing in a line of irate and weary people for two-and-a-half hours, I finally got to speak with an airline agent, who politely informed me that I was being re-booked on the next available flight – which was two days later.

By that time, of course, all the hotels near the airport were booked solid. A quick investigation revealed that the potential travel alternatives by bus or rail didn’t offer an options much better than my unscheduled two-day layover.

Some Reason for Flight Delay

Keeping on schedule can be pretty tough when you’re rushing to make connections, so it’s especially comforting to know that there’s a good explanation when things get slowed down.

So right now I’m still in the Baltimore airport. There are more gory details to my travel saga, of course, but I’m confident that hearing them would be too much like listening to an account of a co-worker’s colonoscopy or having to look at hundreds of poorly-shot photos from a distant cousin’s family vacation.

So I’ll spare you.

Sanity and Certainty

Suffice it to say, I’m doing my best to put this unexpected break in my schedule to good use.

I’m catching up on some reading and writing, and I’ve been polishing up my people-watching skills.

I’ve also been thinking about sanity and certainty.

To say that air travel today borders on sheer madness is an understatement. Yet that’s precisely why I don’t feel like a victim, in spite of being in the midst of screaming hordes of stressed-out displaced travelers.

Like it or not, this kind of airport chaos has become the norm, with or without an extra dose of flight delays.

And from the looks of things, more turmoil and market volatility are likely to become the norm on Wall Street as well.

That means more uncertainty for astro-traders.

But it also means more opportunity.

As long as we don’t take market fluctuations personally, and get carried away with a victim mentality, we can actually profit from the chaos.

That means we have to get serious about maintaining our sanity while everybody else is freaking out. That’s a skill that only comes with practice.

And from that perspective, at least, maybe being stuck in airport like this is actually a good thing!


What Asteroid Collision?

Nobody seems to be really sure about how the rumor got started.

But when something goes viral on the internet, there’s no stopping it.

If doesn’t matter if it’s fact or fiction.

In the case of the of the latest asteroid collision forecast, it pretty much turned out to be fiction.

So we can all breathe a big sigh of relief.

This Asteroid Collision Was “The Big One”

As fearful fantasies go, an asteroid collision with the Earth is not all that rare.

There have plenty of asteroid collision forecasts in the past, with some of them coming from certifiable crackpots and others coming from otherwise reputable sources.

But what made this latest forecast so striking was the specificity of the projected impact zone, and the scale of the asteroid collision itself.

Bye-Bye, Puerto Rico!

According to the internet rumor, a major asteroid collision was due sometime between September 15 and September 28.

It was going to be so massive that it would completely destroy Puerto Rico, as well as big chunks of Central and South America and much of the coastlines of the United States and Mexico on the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean as well.

NASA Says No

Late September will definitely be a time when we’ll want to watch the skies..The next solar and lunar eclipses will be coming up, and there will be plenty of cosmic action to keep astro-traders well occupied.

But an asteroid collision won’t be one of them, at least as far as NASA is concerned.

According to the director of NASA’s Near Earth Object office, “There is no scientific basis – not one sred of evidenc – that an asteroid or any other celestial object will impact Earth on those dates.”

As far as the space scientists are concerned, seeing is believing.

“If there were any object large enough to do that type of destruction in September, we would have seen something of it by now.”