Monday, April 30, 2007
Pepper . . . and Salt
Built to Last
Some people buy cars because they fall in love with the style, the curves, the attitude of something new. But a lot of people buy cars for the same reason they buy a dishwasher: They need an appliance to do a job.
There's good news for the latter group: Cars really are lasting longer, and that is starting to have an impact on the way the car business works from the factory to the dealership.
|Passenger Cars||Light Trucks*|
|50% survived until age||Expected lifetime travel
|50% survived until age||Expected lifetime travel|
Here's an excerpt from a recent WSJ analysis on the subject:
"In 1977, half the cars on the road survived until they were 10.5 years old and you could expect to put about 107,000 miles on a car during its useful life, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data. By 1990, half the cars put into service stayed on the road for 12.5 years, and owners could expect to get 127,000 miles out of their vehicles.
The government's latest survey, using 2001 data, found that 50% of cars were lasting 13 years, and drivers could expect to roll up 152,000 miles on a new vehicle over its life.
The data for light trucks, the category that includes pickups, sport utility vehicles and minivans, make a choppier graph. The government's measure of 50% survival rates for light trucks has bounced from 14 years for 1977, up to 15.5 years in the 1990 sample and back down to 14 years in the 2001 sample. But the expectation for miles traveled over the vehicle's life has risen to 180,000 miles as of 2001 from 128,000 in the 1977 survey.
There are other signs that consumers are hanging on to cars longer. Although 2004 was a pretty good year for new-vehicle sales, with 17.4 million registered, only 11.9 million vehicles were sent to the junkyard. The vehicles scrapped in 2004 were equivalent to just 5.4% of total vehicles registered. A decade earlier, the number of vehicles scrapped was 6.6% of total registered vehicles. At one time, car makers assumed that roughly 8% of vehicles on the road would get scrapped in any given year."
Sales data suggests a lot of consumers put a high value on brands that have a track record of delivering cars that last. The brands that had the biggest market-share gains during the 2000-to-2005 period -- BMW, Toyota, Nissan and Honda -- also had relatively strong records for functional reliability, according to an analysis by Walden Consultants. Chevrolet, Ford, Dodge and Chrysler have lost share or stayed flat in that period, and they also have worse-than-average reliability records.
Cars' Useful Lives Are Longer Than Ever,
Sending Ripples Through Auto Industry
February 27, 2006; Page D3
Sunday, April 29, 2007
A live version I've never seen before
Saturday, April 28, 2007
The Demographics of American Newspapers
1. The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country.
2. The Washington Post is read by people who think they run the
3. The New York Times is read by people who think they should run the
country and who are very good at crossword puzzles.
4. USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country
but don't really understand The New York Times. They do, however, like
their statistics shown in pie charts.
5. The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn't mind running
the country -- if they could find the time -- and if they didn't have
to leave Southern California to do it.
6. The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the
country and did a far superior job of it, thank you very much.
7. The New York Daily News is read by people who aren't too sure who's
running the country and don't really care as long as they can get a
seat on the train.
8. The New York Post is read by people who don't care who's running the
country as long as they do something really scandalous, preferably
9. The Miami Herald is read by people who are running another country
but need the baseball scores.
10. The San Francisco Chronicle is read by people who aren't sure there
is a country . . . or that anyone is running it; but if so, they oppose
all that they stand for. There are occasional exceptions if the leaders
are handicapped minority feminist atheist dwarfs who also happen to be
illegal aliens from any other country or galaxy, provided of course,
that they are not Republicans.
11. The National Enquirer is read by people trapped in line at the
12. The Pensacola News Journal is read by people who have recently
caught a fish and need something in which to wrap it.
Friday, April 27, 2007
THE YEAR 1907
THE YEAR 1907
This will boggle your mind. One hundred years ago -- here are some of the U.S. Statistics for the Year 1907:
The average life expectancy in the U.S. Was 47 years.
Only 14 percent of the homes in the U.S. had a bathtub.
Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
A three-minute call from Denver to New York City
Cost eleven dollars.
There were only 8,000 cars in the U.S., and only 144 miles of paved roads.
The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were each more Heavily populated than California .
With a mere 1.4 million people, California was only the 21st Most populous state in the Union.
The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower !
The average wage in the U.S. was 22 Cents per hour.
The average U.S. Worker made between $200 and $400 per year.
A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year,
A dentist made $2,500 per year,
A veterinarian $1,500 per year,
And a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.
More than 95 percent of all births in the U.S. Took place at HOME.
Ninety percent of all U.S. Doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION! Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which Were condemned in the press AND the government as "substandard."
Sugar cost four cents a pound.
Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.
Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.
Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.
Five leading causes of death in the U.S. were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
4. Heart disease
The American flag had 45 stars. Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Alaska hadn't been admitted to the Union yet.
The population of Las Vegas , Nevada , was only 30!
Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and ice tea hadn't been invented yet.
There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.
Two out of every 10 U.S. Adults couldn't read or write.
Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.
Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores. Back then pharmacists said, "Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health."
There were about 230 reported Murders in the ENTIRE U.S.A. !
What a difference a century makes!
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Political Fund Raising by Candidate
Nice interactive Map on the political fund raising of the candidates, via the NYT:
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Dick Dale on Record Labels
Dick Dale tells the record label to go f#@% themselves:
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
WTF with Amazon?
Uh, you guys may want to tweak that algorithm a bit . . .