Thursday, April 28, 2011

Gas Prices

As we've all noticed, gas prices have been going up lately (again). 

An article at the personal finance site Wise Bread mentions some ways that gas prices could be brought back down again (essentially, reverse the direction of speculation, since prices are speculation-driven), as if the best thing for us all would be if gas prices were to drop.

I actually think higher oil/gas prices are a good thing. 

Why would I say that??  It's because our country's energy and transportation policies and expectations are largely based on the assumption of cheap energy for the foreseeable future.  That assumption in turn drives our foreign policy - leading us to questionable "allies" and increased military expenditures that often don't demonstrate direct benefits for the U.S. - not just wars, but protecting certain shipping lanes, for example.

Higher gas prices lead to conversations about energy policy that we as a nation need to have.  It may hurt in the short term, but hopefully it helps us figure out some longer-term solutions.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

376 Calories

That's how many calories WebMD says I burn on my daily bike commute. 

I'd never realized it could be that much.  I don't actually time myself, so it may actually be a few more (up to 411) if I'm going faster.  I'll assume the lower number though.

There are 3500 calories in a pound, so at this rate if I bike 10 days (9.3 days to be precise, but it's pretty hard to bike 0.3 round trips to work) and otherwise have a neutral food intake, I'll lose a pound. 

Seems like another good reason to bike to me!  I'm trying to lose 12 pounds from where I was at the beginning of this year.  I'm halfway there now... only 55 round-trips to work to go - which would happen in late August if I keep up current patterns.  I'm hoping it doesn't take quite that long - and now that I know how many calories I'm burning, perhaps it won't!