Darwin’s NT News (”all the news that’s fit to print - and all the news that’s not!“) has kicked up a minor diplomatic incident by calling Singapore “a place where people think shopping is a sport and are so materialistic that they’ve stopped having children” and “zzzzzzzzzzz”. Fortunately for the NT News: in Australia, truth is an absolute defence to libel. That was nine months ago. This week, Bloomberg Businessweek joined the pileon:  Singapore ranks as the most emotionless society in the world, beating out Georgia, Lithuania, and Russia.

It’s like the last flight of Concorde… except not.

I was more than a little disappointed to hear that Singapore Airlines (one of the good things about living in Disneyland-with-the-death-penalty) is pulling the plug on SQ21-SQ22, its 18-hour nonstop over-the-top flight between Singapore and Newark (the best airport in the world and the worst? Quite possibly!). I’ve flown that route a couple of times, and sometimes - if you’re lucky - it will take you further north than any other regularly scheduled flight in the world.

Seventeen hours, fifty-five minutes

17:55 to go, Singapore: Takeoff. Singapore shrouded in low cloud, as per usual. 17:45 to go, Johor Bahru: seatbelt sign off. Bust out my half-finished copy of The Rational Optimist. 15:15, Thailand: take a break from reading. Matt Ridley was a terrible bank manager, but he’s a brilliant science writer. Good to see he’s decided to stick to his doctrine of specialization and trade. 15:14: leaf through inflight duty-free catalog. What on earth is a Lancome Duo Virtuose Precious Cells and why does it sound like something pilfered from a Genentech lab?

GPS is Stupid

Picture this. You’re tootling along the road toward the little town of Kilrush in your rented Nissan tinycar. It’s a glorious Irish afternoon; the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and you’ve got the Allman Brothers Band turned up loud on the stereo. (Probably Jessica, but Southbound or _Ramblin’ Man _is fine too.) You’ve been ignoring your GPS all afternoon, driving along the coast road instead of the main roads it wants you to take toward your destination.


And here’s the Veyron.