boarding, airplane, passengers

The best way to board an airplane is one we'll probably never see happen.

Have you ever been boarding an airplane and said to yourself, "There's got to be a more efficient way to do this"?

People love to debate the quickest way to get people and their luggage aboard an aircraft. Every airline has its own method, which largely revolves around boarding people with some kind of status—first-class/premium seats or loyalty program status—first, followed by the nonstatus coach folk in various groupings. (I personally like to spend as little time as possible on the actual airplane, so I've never understood the "perk" of early boarding. I guess you get your pick of overhead bin space, but that alone isn't worth it to me.) Airlines are always tweaking their methods, both to be more efficient and to keep their customers happy.

But none of them do it in the truly most efficient way. And why not? Well, because people are involved.


If humans were robots we could program to do what we want them to do without getting their knickers in a twist over not getting to be first, we could theoretically board airplanes in a way that would minimize bottlenecks and get everyone seated quickly. But alas, we are not.

And what is the most efficient way? I would have assumed it would be back-to-front, but it's not. As a video from CGP Grey explains, boarding methods that intuitively seem like they might work best actually don't. There are several reasons for this, from the unpredictability of who is going to struggle to get their carry-on bag into the overhead bin to the fact that, as the video points out, "The human inability to follow instructions is breathtaking."

The video is really fascinating in addition to being entertaining. (There's poetry involved.) Check it out:

So it turns out the best way to board is every other row, back to front, window seats first, followed by the same pattern with middle and then aisle seats. Seems perfectly logical.

And the only barrier to this method is getting people to line up in a specific order? That doesn't seem like it should be that hard of a task. Southwest Airlines already does that with its boarding groups (everyone gets a number and lines up accordingly), though they don't have assigned seats. Has no airline ever even given it a try? Seems like it might be worth a shot at least.

And if nothing else, at least now we know that we're doing it all wrong. If we're going to be inefficient, we should at least be aware that we're doing it on purpose.

Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy asked his Senate colleagues the questions millions of Americans have after a mass shooting.

Another school shooting. Another mass murder of innocent children. They were elementary school kids this time. There were 18 children killed—so far—this time.

The fact that I can say "this time" is enraging, but that's the routine nature of mass shootings in the U.S. It happened in Texas this time. At least three adults were killed this time. The shooter was a teenager this time.

The details this time may be different than the last time and the time before that, and the time before that, and the time before that. But there's one thing all mass shootings have in common. No, it's not mental illness. It's not racism or misogyny or religious extremism. It's not bad parenting or violent video games or lack of religion.

Some of those things have been factors in some shootings, but the single common denominator in every mass shooting is guns. That's not a secret. It's not controversial. It's fact. The only thing all mass shootings have in common is guns.

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Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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