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Argument Clinic

Say no more!

It’s… Monty Python’s Flying Circus!

No it isn’t.

Yes it is!

I Bought Gas for $1.89/Gallon Today

Gas Prices

GAs 2

Can you believe this? I couldn’t! So I took a few pictures.

I actually bought gas for $1.89/gallon tonight in Fort Lee, NJ, on my way home from a client’s house. I’ve just become numb to the price of gasoline lately, and hadn’t really noticed the prices falling. I cannot remember the last time I saw gas for under two dollars per gallon.

I did a quick Internet search, and found that the highest price in my area of New York City was $4.41/gallon on 7/16/2008; that was only 4 months ago. (The highest price in the Fort Lee, NJ area was $4.01/gallon on 7/6/2008.)

Today I got 12.217 gallons for only $23.20, that would have cost about $50 four months ago.

The Fuel Gauge Report website has more information about gas prices, including this chart of the:

12 Month Average For Regular Unleaded

12 month

Google Flu Trends

Flu Trends

Has every state now gone blue?

No, there are still a few red states left. But what the above map does show, is the levels of flu activity in each state (as of today, November 11, 2008); lighter blue for minimal flu activity, and darker blue for raised levels of flu activity.

Google (that’s right, the search engine) has just launched a new service called Google Flu Trends. Google has observed that certain search terms are good indicators of flu activity. Google Flu Trends uses Google search data to estimate flu activity up to two weeks faster than traditional flu surveillance systems managed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Of course, not every person who searches for “flu” or “flu symptoms” is actually sick. But trends do develop amongst the millions of searches done each day. It makes sense when you think about it; people might do a search themselves before they actually end up at their doctor’s office where their case of the Flu gets reported.

By making flu estimates available each day, Google Flu Trends may provide an early-warning system for outbreaks of influenza, and may enable public health officials to better respond to seasonal epidemics and pandemics.

Learn more about Google Flu Trends here.