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Acorns Disappear Across the Country 474

Hugh Pickens writes "Botanist Rod Simmons thought he was going crazy when couldn't find any acorns near his home in Arlington County, Virginia. 'I'm used to seeing so many acorns around and out in the field, it's something I just didn't believe,' said Simmons. Then calls started coming in about crazy squirrels. Starving, skinny squirrels eating garbage, inhaling bird feed, greedily demolishing pumpkins. Squirrels boldly scampering into the road. And a lot more calls about squirrel roadkill. Simmons and Naturalist Greg Zell began to do some research and found Internet discussion groups, including one on Topix called 'No acorns this year,' reporting the same thing from as far away as the Midwest up through New England and Nova Scotia. 'We live in Glenwood Landing, N.Y., and don't have any acorns this year. Really weird,' wrote one. 'None in Kansas either! Curiouser and curiouser.' The absence of acorns could have something to do with the weather and Simmons has a theory about the wet and dry cycles. But many skeptics say oaks in other regions are producing plenty of acorns, and the acorn bust is nothing more than the extreme of a natural boom-and-bust cycle. But the bottom line is that no one really knows. 'It's sort of a mystery,' Zell said."

Comment Is the main fuss about relative prices? (Score 1) 766

The article proves that you could better spend your time going to a cheaper grocery store, rather than hunting for the cheapest gas.
However, it seems to me that complaints about gas prices are not regarding the relative prices between gas stations, but rather the inflation of gas prices as a whole. No matter how much time I spend looking for the cheapest grocery store and the best discounts, if gas prices go up then I spend more on gas than I did before. A rise in gas prices of 10% means I have (0.1 * money spent on gas) less to spend on other things.

So if you devote your time to finding the cheapest gas station and you complain that it takes you too great an effort to find a cheaper one, then yes, please stop doing that and go find a cheaper grocery store instead. But if you like to complain about gas prices being high _in general_, then that doesn't depend on which grocery store you go to.

But it's a nice article anyway.

The road to ruin is always in good repair, and the travellers pay the expense of it. -- Josh Billings