Well, it’s time time to take a break from ranting and presenting scholarly research, and discuss one of my passions, single malt Scotch. Tonight, we return to the barren island of Islay (pronounced EYE-la in the event you’ve forgotten) and review the Ardbeg 10-year-old Islay Malt. The Ardbeg distillery has had a tumultuous history since its establishment in 1815. It’s been through several owners and has even been closed on two occasions. But in the year 1997, after the distillery was purchased by the Glen Morangie company, it appears to have hit its stride, launching several new whiskeys and winning the highly-coveted World Whiskey of the Year award in 2008, 2009, and 2019.
But the proof, as they say, is in the whiskey itself, so let’s put our noses and taste buds there.
Once again, you’ll have to bear with my somewhat limited olfactory and taste glands. I don’t seem to smell or taste the same things the experts do. According to its website, www.ardbeg.com, ”Ardbeg Ten Years Old is revered around the world as the peatiest, smokiest, most complex single malt of them all. Yet it does not flaunt the peat; rather it gives way to the natural sweetness of the malt to produce a whisky of perfect balance.” While I enjoy the whiskey immensely, I’m not sure it’s the smokiest or peatiest. I think that title goes to Laphroaig. But Ardbeg may indeed be among the most complex of the Islay malts.Read More
This last week, I had the honor of speaking at the 57th Annual Corporate Aviation Safety Seminar (CASS) in San Antonio, presented by the world-renowned Flight Safety Foundation. I presented a paper entitled “CRM and SMS: Directing the Evolution of Aviation Organizational Culture,” written by my fellow Embry-Riddle PhD student, David Freiwald and me, but unfortunately David was unable to attend and I had to present solo.
The presentation was extremely well-received by about 99 and 44/100ths percent of the audience, but apparently I offended someone. After receiving multiple congratulatory handshakes as I left the auditorium and during the ensuing lunch, I was later cornered by an attendee who apparently was highly offended by an introductory joke I used which made fun of a particular aviation publication. Now I won’t recount the details of the joke other than to say that it was a throwaway line at the very beginning of my presentation, but I did highlight a specific article in the publication that I ridiculed because the article superbly illustrated a lack of understanding of Safety Management Systems and provided an excellent set-up for the context of my discussion. When I was accosted later by the offended party, he proceeded to tell me that he wrote for the publication in question and took my remarks personally. He went on to lambaste me for even using the article I had quoted, accusing me of insensitivity and deliberately insulting the gentleman who authored the article. While many retorts came to my mind (and they were superbly-worded – trust me), I remained polite and courteously told him I appreciated his feedback.
Well apparently that wasn’t enough.Read More
The Case for the Value of Time: Why the Supersonic Business Jet is Inevitable for the Future
(So here’s a little change of pace. If you’ve ever wondered what an article for a scholarly journal looks like, here’s an example. )
Part III – The Demand for Time Savings
The answer lies in the following question: why would a wealthy individual or corporation who could easily pay between $1700 and $3200 to fly first class between New York and Los Angeles choose instead to pay approximately $35,000 to fly the same route in a Gulfstream G-550? The main reason is the opportunity cost for lost productivity during travel, a real economic cost that economists have been studying for several decades. Gronau (1970) laid the foundation for this argument with his contention that increased travel time was about more than discomfort because time itself is a scarce resource and as such commands a positive price: “A firm equates the value of its employees’ time with their marginal productivity. The employees, in turn, value their own working time at prices that equal their marginal remuneration-their marginal wage rates” (1970, p, 378). De Vany (1974) went further and concluded that travelers value their time in direct proportion to their wage rate and his findings directly support the contention that time cost is a critical parameter for consideration when comparing modes of travel. Zamparini and Reggiani (2007) provided a meta-analysis of ninety different studies on the subject of travel time valuation. They defined a dependent variable they call the value of travel time saved or VTTS and provide the formula for calculating VTTS which includes the independent variables of the cost of travel and the utility cost of travel time from the perspective of the individual traveler (Zamparini & Reggiani, 2007). So the real opportunity cost of lost travel time for larger earners or wealthy individuals has real value from an economic perspective and that value is tied directly to the earnings of the person doing the traveling.Read More