- December 1, 2014: Vol. 26, Number 11

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For the ages: Counting time in airline miles and cloud formations

by Geoffrey Dohrmann

At 63 years of age, I’m still spending a good deal of my time on airplanes. Right now, rather late on a Thursday evening, I’m sitting in a plane at 30,000 feet somewhere over the heartland of America on my way back to San Francisco, after a week of meetings and conferencing in New York City and Montreal.

I’ve been making these kind of weekly pilgrimages from my home to somewhere else on earth now for more than 30 years. I figure I’ve spent a whole year or more of my life, sitting in narrow metallic tubes like this sucking down bad recycled air and looking over the same puffy cloud formations.

Like George Clooney’s character in the movie of the same title, we all are spending far too much time “up in the air” these days. And there are thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of souls just like me who are living the same kind of routines. We routinely fly in hours distances that would have taken our ancestors, less than 100 years ago, months to traverse.

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