August 5th, 2005

Boston-area road rage.

Some years ago I remember LA getting a lot of crap about people shooting each other on the roads after a couple of incidents. As totient explained, at least one of them was way up in Antelope Valley or something, but LA still got a reputation for highway shootings.

Now, with two road rage shootings in two days in the Boston area, I wonder if the national and international media are giving the story as much play as they did the LA shootings. For one thing, Lynn and Brockton are each closer to Boston than Antelope Valley is to LA.

If not, I think it speaks to differences in the images people have of the two cities. I'm particularly wondering what kinds of stories people elsewhere are hearing about the story.

[Edit: two stories from the Globe:
http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2005/08/04/mother_and_son_shot_after_traffic_dispute/
http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2005/08/03/brockton_traffic_argument_ends_in_tragedy/]

Aviation-related question for the pilots on my friends list.

This is kind of a basic question, but I thought I'd ask, because I can't find it in the reference I'm looking at.

I'm doing some calculations of wing loading and power loading for various aircraft. However, there's an important question: what weight do I use when I calculate it?

I've found a definition which says that wing loading is calculated with the loaded weight of the aircraft. However, it's from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wing_loading), so I thought I'd check around. :)

The corresponding definition for power loading (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_loading) is much more general and doesn't discuss which weight is used. It would make sense if it were calculated with loaded weight, but I choose to assume nothing.

Anyway, thanks for any light you might be able to shed on this topic.