It’s the ‘little’ things. When you think about the differences between flying today and flying, oh, 15 years ago, have you thought about the impact consumer electronics has on the cost of your flight? Well, you should because it’s significant.

Check out this article on FiveThirtyEight regarding how much airlines spend to carry ‘stuff’. Here’s what caught my attention:

It costs Southwest about $1.2 million per year in added fuel when every passenger carries a cellphone, with larger costs of $7 million if every passenger brings a tablet computer, and $21.6 million if everyone totes a laptop.

I love this article for a few reasons:
1. It turns out progress comes with a cost. Smart devices seem to have the opposite effect on traveling. Hey, there’s a price to pay for everything.

2. Would you pay an upcharge to take your devices on the plane with you? If it came down to paying to go to the bathroom v. paying to take multiple consumer electronics with you, which would you be more willing to pay?

3. This study is another example of the benefits of looking at things differently. Change your perspective next time—the solution isn’t found in the outcome. It’s found in the factors affecting the outcome.

Road rage unleashed. Ever cut someone off while driving? Eh, it happens. You catch a middle finger, and, depending on your lip-reading skills, a few expletives. And then you move on.

But what if the person you cutoff was waiting for you when you got home? Well, thanks to a new app from GM this could be the new reality.

This Android app makes it possible to scan a license plate, allowing you to then contact the driver. The premise behind the app is that it will allow you to contact that cute girl/guy you just passed on the road. Or, from a more practical standpoint, contact the owner of the car who is blocking you in the parking lot.

But we all know where this could go. There is a certain amount of privacy associated with a license plate. Sure, it does hold your identity but it doesn’t reveal your identity for all to see. This app would break down that wall.

In my opinion this would be filed in the ‘just because we can doesn’t mean we should’ bin. There are far more negatives tied to something like this. Just ask the ACLU, which released a statement last year on license plate reading technology.

Besides, doesn’t this kind of negate the whole ‘no texting while driving’ thing?

Hug it out. Hug it all out. If you’ve been reading this blog on a somewhat regular basis you know two things:

1. I love when readers send me potential stories.
2. I am not a touchy feely guy… specifically, I’m not one to give out hugs.

These two things have yet to intersect. Until today. I received this article from Teresa DeJohn on the health benefits of…you guessed it, hugging:

Hugs prompt the body to produce oxytocin, which repairs muscle. According to the Daily Mail citing research at the University of California, Berkeley, the hormone could be used to slow down muscle wasting in the elderly, improve bone health and even combat obesity.

Listen. I’m sure there are many health benefits to the human touch. Springsteen named an album after it. Cuddling brothels are popping up all over the place. And now this study. But for every good thing that can come from a hug or a handshake, there are millions of bad things. As in the millions of germs stuck to that hand or to your grandma.

And what about all of the studies that say elderly are more susceptible to germs? They can’t ride rollercoasters. They can’t go to certain concerts or see certain movies. But we’re just supposed to throw caution to the wind and give them a big ol’ hug? Fine, if you want to jeopardize your grandma’s long-term health for the short-term benefit of a hug…go right ahead. But don’t blame me. I tried to warn you.