business news in context, analysis with attitude

Why am I thinking that PETA this morning is wringing its hands and gnashing its teeth about the poor birds that apparently ran into that US Airways jet yesterday in New York, causing it to make an emergency landing in the Hudson River?

Apparently this is an enormous problem. In 2007, MSNBC reported this morning, there were 7,600 “bird strikes” in aircraft in the US, and since 1988 there have been more than 200 people killed as a result of bird strikes. (No records are kept, best I can tell, of how many birds have been killed in such events; I’m also trying to get confirmation of the fact that PETA refers to these events as “airplane strikes.”)

Kidding aside, I think we can all agree that next time we fly, we want Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III to be the captain of the plane. Because how he handled an emergency situation yesterday was just extraordinary.

Other than the fact that it hires really good pilots, I’m really beginning to hate US Airways.

It isn’t bad enough that you can't even get a bottle of water on its flights without pulling out some cash. You also can’t fly anywhere without the flight attendants trying to sell you a US Airways credit card that is linked to its frequent flyer program.

I know these folks have to make a buck, but give me a break.

I loved the email I got from Bin 36 in Chicago earlier this week – it was short and to the point.

The subject line of the email read, “Screw the Snow! We've got Wine!”

And the body of email said, “Don't Ever Let Snow Stop You From Having a Good Time! Tonight at BIN 36 All of Our Wine Flights are $10”

If I’d been anywhere near Chicago, I would have been there.

Of course, I was in Orlando when I got the email, staying with friends. So I laughed at the email, got a Landshark beer from the fridge, and then went to hang out by the pool.

It’s been a very good week for television.

“24” is back, and in four hours already has had enough twists and turns to satisfy any fan. The excitement is palpable, the pace is breathless, and Kiefer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer remains a compelling character and a great television hero.

“Damages” also has returned, and remains a fascinating legal thriller worthy of John Grisham or Scott Turow. Glenn Close and Rose Byrne are back as lawyers with competing agendas and dubious moral clarity, and William Hurt has joined the cast this year as the client with a secret. (Actually, I suspect he has at least a dozen secrets.) “Damages” also has a unique dramatic structure, jumping back and forth in time and keeping the audience guessing.

I’m an enormous fan of the original “CSI,” and as much as I hate to see William Petersen leave the series, last night’s farewell episode was satisfying and offered a kind of closure for his character of Gil Grissom. Laurence Fishburne is replacing Petersen on the show, and he’s one of my favorite actors – I loved his passionate and dignified portrayal of Thurgood Marshall in a one-man Broadway show last year. Life goes on, and so will “CSI”.

Finally, this week, we have the return of two wonderful shows – “Lost” on Wednesday and “Burn Notice” on Thursday.

And y’know one of the best thing about all these series? They’re all available on iTunes, so I can download them to my laptop and iPod and watch them whenever I want.

My wines of the week:

• The 2006 Joseph Carr Merlot, from Napa Valley, which has a deep color and a smooth taste.

• The 2006 Cannonball Cabernet Sauvignon, which is big, bold and bright.

That’s it for this week.

Have a great weekend.


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