Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Interactive graphic shows transformation of Ole Miss, Alabama into regional, national universities


Click to enlarge
   The Chronicle of Higher Education  has an interesting interactive graphic that allows one to see the geographic origin of the freshman class of almost any university in the United State from 1998 to 2014.
    As a parent with two kids doing college searches, it’s good to be able to see the makeup of the student body of various colleges. I also found it interesting to view the changes at two of the fastest-growing flagships in the country, Ole Miss and Alabama.
    Both Ole Miss and Alabama have exploded in size over the past 20 years, fueled in large part by out-of-state enrollment. These out-of-state students pay a large supplement, almost paying private-school rates to attend a public college. In other words, these students are a real profit center for the schools and subsidize the in-state students
    In 1998 Ole Miss was already attracting a fair number of out-of-state students, with 985 in-state and 824 non-resident freshmen, for an out-of-state percentage of 46 percent of a freshman class of 1,809. Almost a third of these were from Tennessee, and from my experience most were from Memphis or the Southwest part of the state; in some ways these Tennessee students weren't really from out of state, since Ole Miss was their closest flagship.
    By 2014 the freshman class size had more than doubled, to 3,809, with 1,688 in-state and 2,121 non-residents, or 56 percent out-of-state.
    One of the biggest changes in the composition of the Ole Miss freshman class is the increase in the number of students from Texas and Georgia. In Texas, the 10-Percent Rule (or Seven-Percent Rule, depending on the mood of the moment) has made admission to that state’s top schools almost impossible for good students from top school districts. In Georgia, the Hope Scholarship has encouraged the state’s best students to attend the University of Georgia or Georgia Tech, and made admission highly competitive (the average freshman ACT at Georgia is 29).
    The Texas and Georgia numbers are plain to see. In 1998, Texas sent 84 and Georgia 78 freshmen to Ole Miss. In 2014 those numbers were 353 and 295. In 1998 California sent four students; in 2014, 84. Connecticut went from three to 19. Massachusetts, one to 15. New Jersey, zero to 21. Pennsylvania, 3 to 23. Florida 23 to 99. And so on.
    Over at Alabama, the growth has been even more explosive and transformative. In 1998 Alabama had 2,616 freshmen with only 26 percent coming from out of state. So in 1998 Ole Miss was much more of a regional school than Alabama. By 2014 Alabama had 6,824 freshmen, 2,462 in-state and 4,362, or 64 percent, out of state. The growth in the number of Northeastern and far West students attending Alabama far exceeds the growth at Ole Miss. Connecticut went from five to 67 from 1998 to 2014. Massachusetts, two to 85. New Jersey, nine to 142. Pennsylvania, five to 123. Florida 71 to 386.
    Both Ole Miss and Alabama are using generous merit scholarships to attract top students from around the country. Students with a 32 on the ACT can attend tuition-free; at Alabama, if a student finishes in fewer than eight semesters he can use the scholarship towards graduate school.
    Alabama gets a lot more buzz over its Presidential Scholarship than Ole Miss does for its Academic Excellence Award, and the graduate school rollover certainly makes it a better deal. On the other hand, top students have a far greater chance of being able to stack scholarships and perhaps even get a full ride at Ole Miss.
    Of course, most out-of-state students don’t get scholarships; they pay their own way. Part of what attracts them to Ole Miss or Alabama is the desire to attend a relatively small, traditional Southern school.
    There can be too much of a good thing, though. If these schools keep going on their current trajectory, neither will be small nor Southern 20 years from now. And that’s not a good thing, in my view.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Record number and percentage of OHS seniors score 30 or higher on ACT test

     A record number and percentage of Oxford High School seniors scored a 30 or higher on the ACT this year.
    According to an ACT score report given to the Oxford School District board by the high school, 39 students from the Class of 2016 scored a 30 or above on the ACT. An additional 10 students scored a 29. This compares to 25 students with a 30 or higher from the Class of 2015, with an additional 10 members of that class scoring a 29.
    Some of the increase is due to a larger graduating class. The Class of 2016 had 247 students taking the test, versus 203 from the Class of 2015. But class size doesn't account for all of the increase. 15.8 percent of the Class of 2016 scored at least a 30, versus 12.3 percent for the Class of 2015 and 13.6 percent for the Class of 2014.
Click to Enlarge
    In any event, the Class of 2016 is the largest graduating class ever from OHS. Based on enrollment numbers from the state, the Class of 2017 will likely be even larger; and the Class of 2018 bigger still; the Class of 2019 even bigger. The Class of 2020 is likely to set another record, after which class size should drop by about 50 students for a few years.
    So why the sudden end to growth for the class of 2021? Well, my theory is that the housing and credit crisis slowed the massive movement of families with young children to Oxford. Subtract 13 from 2021 and you get 2008, the year Easy Money Died.
    I find looking at school enrollment numbers interesting, in that you can get a good idea of the overall health of various communities. You can review the Mississippi data for yourself by clicking here.
    Enrollment in the Oxford School District has increased from 3,320 in 2006 to 4,250 in 2016. That's an increase of 28 percent in 10 years. Schould this rate of growth continue for 20 more years the school district will have 7,000 students. Of course, it's got to end sometime, although that sometime doesn't appear to be in sight right now.
    There are a lot of ways to interpret data, but when a large enrollment increase is accompanied by an ever larger increase in high-end test scores, the most obvious conclusion is that an unusually high number of people moving to Oxford have very bright children. That's a sign of a robust and thriving community. I've referred to this trend in the past as "Brain Clustering."
    A score of 30 on the ACT is in the top five percent, so a nationally representative sample of 247 students would have 12 or 13 students with a 30 or higher. With 39 such students, Oxford has three times more very bright students than the national average.
    Congratulations are due to a lot of OHS students as well as the high school. May the numbers go ever higher

   

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Thanks to estate-sale armoire, I now have plenty of storage for my 'stuff,' at a reasonable price

My new armoire storage and my tiny, old chifferobe shelves

    I recently purchased a large armoire at an estate sale. It's not a "fine antique," but it's an old piece of furniture that looks nice. And it's big; five feet wide by seven feet tall.
    I was desperately in need of more storage space. The rule in our house is that Jinny gets whatever storage space she needs and I get what's left. We had been sharing a small chifferobe that, in my view, is so small it's hardly worth a nickel. (I also have a bachelor's chest and a closet for storage, so I wasn't living out of three shelves and a drawer!).
    I put the armoire in place more than a month ago, but haven't gotten around to making use of it until this week. I considered trying to install a ShelfTrack system that would have given me lots of shelf space, but decided that cost too much and might tear up the back. I also considered drilling holes and putting in shelving, but that would be fairly expensive as well, not to mention a lot of work.
    I ended up buying two 24"x14" wire shelf sets for $19.95 each. They took perhaps an hour to put together, but only because I took one of them back apart and reassembled it to change the shelf heights. The inside width of the armoire is just over 58 inches, so there's a 10-inch gap between the shelves, which works out fine.
    There was a place for a clothes rod at the top, so I paid $14 for an adjustable rod. I couldn't figure out exactly how to use it, so I just put it in place and taped the seam with duct tape to keep it from contracting. Good ol' duct tape.
    I'm going to use the armoire to hang my short-sleeve button-downs and trousers; my long-sleeved shirts, suits, and rarely used items will remain in my regular closet. There is only enough room for a few pairs of shoes, so I will keep some of my favorites in the armoire and the rest in my closet. And in the 10-inch gap I mentioned earlier, I was able to store a couple of pairs of boots, and there's room to hang a couple of long overcoats.
    On my left shelf I have socks, short-sleeved "polo"-style shirts, and long-sleeved sweatshirts and sweaters. On the right shelf I have printed t-shirts I like, colored tees to wear around the house, a shelf of white t-shirts, and a shelf with some shorts and really old ragged t-shirts that I can't bear to throw away. There's also a tie-rack on one of the doors that will hold about 25 ties or belts, which will come in handy.
My old t-shirt collection
(Click to enlarge)
    The left bottom drawer is devoted to white socks. The right drawer contains all my old Phi Tau and Cavalier Shoppe t-shirts. These are priceless!
    We didn't get rid of the chifferobe; we just moved it to the other side of our bedroom fireplace. And Jinny now gets the whole thing to herself, which gives her some more storage, which will be overstuffed within a week.
    I can't remember the exact price I paid for the armoire; it may have been as much as $325, which is a good deal for a functionable piece of furniture. The storage racks and clothes rod cost about $54, so for $380 I've solved a lot of storage problems, with a piece of furniture that I'm happy to look at.
    Believe it or not, I actually have a good bit of empty storage in an old bachelor's chest that I have. I'm sure I'll fill it soon. One of life's rules is that possessions expand to fill all available space.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Ol' Stompy Foot finally got up the nerve to say 'radical Islam,' but it upset him greatly

James O'Keefe, dressed as Osama bin Laden, crossing the Rio Grande
    President Stompy Foot finally got up the nerve to say Voldemort.
    Actually the words he dared to use are “Radical Islam,” which up until now he has avoided like a Hogwarts student afraid to say the name of “He Who Must Not Be Named.” Obama insisted that the use of the phrase doesn’t matter; but it does matter, a lot.
    Honesty from our elected officials is important. The Obama administration has repeatedly tried to declare that acts of terror committed by radical Islamists are in instead simply garden-variety crimes. So he told us, with a straight face, that our ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were murdered by citizens upset about a Youtube video, rather than admitting it was a planned terrorist attack. When a Muslim army major in regular contact with Islamist extremists murdered 13 of his fellow soldiers at Ft. Hood, Texas, while shouting "Allahu Akbar!,” the administration refused to label the attack terrorism, calling it instead “workplace violence.”
    And now we have the murder of 49 people in Orlando, murdered by a man who cheered the 9-11 attacks, who recently took two expensive trips to Saudi Arabia, and who pledged allegiance to ISIS during the murders. Obama blames the murders on a lack of gun control. And Obama insists that immigration wasn’t a factor in the Orlando shootings since the shooter was a native-born citizen. Of course, the man’s father, who has been known to support the Taliban, immigrated to this country from Afghanistan, and if he hadn't been allowed to do so his son would never have been a citizen; another reason to do away with Birthright Citizenship.
    The problem isn’t Youtube, an unfriendly workplace, or the administration’s inability to confiscate all of our weapons. The problem is that Obama and Hillary Clinton have done very little to stop terrorists, and in many instances have actively aided them. And we have no control whatsoever over our immigration process, as Obama simply refuses to enforce our laws. Our borders are so unguarded that filmmaker James O'Keefe was able to wade across the Rio Grande border wearing an Osama Bin Laden costume. He wasn't stopped, because we have virtually no border security.
    Libya was a success story of the Iraq war. When Muammar Gaddafi realized the United States meant business he agreed to give up that country’s weapons of mass destruction. While maintaining innocence, Gaddafi paid the family of each victim of the Pam Am Lockerbie bombing $10 million in compensation. Libya became a reliable ally of the United States in the war on terror.
    When the Arab Spring movement began, rebel groups with strong ties to al Qaeda began attacking government troops in eastern Libya. Obama immediately came to the aid of these terrorists, and used NATO to get the United Nations to authorize the use of force to create a no-fly-zone for eastern Libya; this was the only use of force the U.N. authorized. NATO immediately violated this order and began attacking the entire nation, as well as making assassination attempts on its leader. In one of these murder attempts NATO bombed the home of Gaddafi’s non-combatant son – killing several young children.
    The War Powers Act requires a president to seek Congressional approval for any military action lasting more than 30 days. Obama ignored this law, as he ignores most laws; it was more important to help terrorists than to obey the law. Obama won, Gaddafi was captured, sodomized, and murdered with his help, and eventually our ambassador to Libya would be murdered by some of the same terrorists that Obama supported. Libya is now and ungovernable mess and serves as a organizing point for ISIS. This was completely foreseeable, as I noted at the time.
    In Egypt, Hosni Mubarak had been one of our country’s strongest allies in the Mid-East. When the Arab Spring protests began, Obama rushed onto television to say that he must immediately be removed. With Obama’s support, the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood moved into action and was able to gain control of the government. When the military was able to remove the terrorists from office, Ol’ Stompy Foot really stomped his foot. He was furious that the terrorists that he had supported were no longer in charge of Egypt.
    Then there is Syria. I wrote five years ago that the Obama-Clinton team seemed determined to throw the entire Middle East into armed conflict. I pointed out the danger that Syria might descend into civil war. Everything I said would happen has happened. Obama and Saudi Arabia continue to support terrorists who are trying to topple Syria’s secular, elected government and replace it with a Sunni, Sharia-law regime.
    It is out of this huge power vacuum that ISIS was born. Even now the Obama administration continues to support Syrian terrorists; the result has a monumental disaster, as millions of refugees are trying to pour into Europe, or worse, the United States. There is no way to screen these refugees for ISIS agents or other extremists.
    Obama threw quite a tantrum over the fact that he was forced to say the words “Radical Islam.” But he finally said it! He told the truth, which for both he and Hillary Clinton is quite a difficult thing to do.
    To prevent future acts of terror we have to control our borders and limit immigration of those who might do us harm. We need a leader who will be honest and tell the truth. Clearly honesty and border control are beyond the Obama-Clinton pay grade. We need someone who can do the job.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Baptist leader Moore goes off the tracks with heretical attacks on Donald Trump, immigration

Yazidis give us a clue to the appearance of ancient Jews.
    Neo-liberation-theologist Russell Moore, who is doing his best to turn the Southern Baptist Church into a Communist-front organization, has declared that true Christians shouldn't support Donald Trump for president. Moore is president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the public-policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention.
    Oh, and in a New York Times article Moore declares of Trump supporters that, "A white American Christian who disregards nativist language is in for a shock. The man on the throne in heaven is a dark-skinned, Aramaic-speaking 'foreigner' who is probably not all that impressed by chants of 'Make America great again.'"
    For the record I don't consider either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton to be particularly Godly people. I was, and still am, a Ted Cruz supporter, but I vote for my candidates on the basis of their political positions, not on their religion. As a strong supporter of religious liberty, I certainly thought Cruz would have been a far better candidate than Trump. But it is apparently not to be. On a personal level, I don't like Trump, but I support some of his policies.
    If you Google Moore's statements over the past couple of years, what you'll find is there isn't a leftist cause he doesn't like; this blog post doesn't allow time to refute it all, so I'll limit myself to Moore's comments on Donald Trump.
    First, Moore blasts Trump's "Nativism." The first Google definition of "nativism" is "the policy of protecting the interests of native-born or established inhabitants against those of immigrants." I think a more accurate definition, particularly to describe nativist thought in the current election, is "The policy of protecting the interests of citizens against those of non-citizens or illegal aliens." Given this definition, I am a proud nativist, and I would hope most American Christians would be as well.
    Jesus is recorded in Mark 12:27 instructing that we should show fealty to our earthly sovereign: "And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him."
    We American's don't have a Caesar; we have no king, no emperor, no ayatollah, no pope. We The People are sovereign, and our fealty is owed to our fellow citizens, pursuant to Christ's command. Moore's assertion that favoring citizens over non-citizens is somehow wrong is in direct conflict with the instructions of Jesus Christ. It is heresy.
    Moore has repeatedly criticized Trump for his statements concerning "immigrants." Of course, when Moore says Trump has made these statements he is bearing false witness, because Trump's comments have been directed almost entirely at illegal immigrants, not legal immigrants. There's a big difference.
    Let's look at some of Trump's "objectionable" statements concerning immigrants:
As has been stated continuously in the press, people are pouring across our borders unabated. Public reports routinely state great amounts of crime are being committed by illegal immigrants. This must be stopped and it must be stopped now.

We're going to bring people in, but we're going to bring people in legally.


When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending the best. . .They're . . .sending people that have lots of problems and they're bringing those problems. They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime. They're rapists and some, I assume, are good people, but I speak to border guards and they're telling us what we're getting.
    Here are the facts: Central America, the source of the bulk of illegal immigration, used to send us their best and brightest, who were often denounced as traitors for leaving their home country. No more. We now get far more people likely to end up on welfare.  Immigrant households use welfare at twice the rate of native-born citizens, and illegal aliens with children have an even higher welfare rate. If we were getting the best and brightest, as we used to get, the immigrant welfare rate would hover around zero.
    The crime rate of illegal immigrants is a major problem, as the left-leaning Atlantic pointed out in a July 29, 2015 article. As that article reports, in 2011, there were an estimated 42,000 robberies, 70,000 sex crimes, 81,000 auto thefts, 95,000 weapons offenses, and 213,000 assaults committed by illegal aliens in this country.
    So let's get this straight. Moore bore false witness against Trump by indicating that his comments were against all immigrants and not just illegal aliens. This is a direct violation of Exodus 20:16, "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour."
    Even worse, Moore has criticized Trump for telling the truth. And yet Jesus advocated the telling of the truth: "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32). To attack trump for making a statement without first addressing the veracity of the statement is a direct, frontal assault on the teachings of Christ.
    When it comes to racial issues, Moore is no less obsessed than a Klan Kleagle in reverse. Thus we get Moore's claim that Christ "is a dark-skinned, Aramaic-speaking 'foreigner'."
    I don't believe Christ is going to have a skin color in Heaven, but I do think it's important to address the poison that Moore is spreading. We really can't know what Christ looked like; but we can make educated guesses. In all likelihood he didn't have long hair as always shown in the paintings, as men didn't wear their hair long in that time.
Bashar al-Assad
    But the people of the Middle-East are not necessarily dark in complexion. Some have light skin and deep, blue eyes, such as Syria's Bashar al-Assad (A clue, a clue!). And many Jews have blond or red hair; their skin is not particularly dark (A clue, a clue!). It is quite possible that many people who now live in the Mid-East may have dark skin due to intermarriage with other groups. I visited with a  newscaster for Al-Arabya some years ago, and in conversation he described a "true Arab" as having blond hair (his hair was not blond).
    The most endogamous group in the Middle-East is quite possibly the Yazidis, an Aramaic(!) group that lived directly to the northeast and east of the Roman-recognized state of Israel. Yazidis only marry each other, and therefore give us a clue (A clue, a clue!) as to what Jesus might have looked like. Yazidis often have fairly light skin tone and blond or reddish hair; sometimes they are darker.
Another clue as to Christ's appearance!
    With all of this said, even if Christ should have had a darker skin tone (and given exposure to the sun, he would have had a very deep tan regardless of his genetic makeup), what does it matter? Does Russell Moore really think it matters to anyone? Most of us have friends who are Lebanese, Syrian, Greek, Italian, and Hispanic. Many members of these groups have the type of darker skin that Moore is insisting that Christ had. So? Jesus is Jesus, regardless of what He looked like, so Moore just needs to stop race-baiting.
    I do agree with Moore that Donald Trump is a pretty awful person morally. I feel the same way about Hillary Clinton. As much as I dislike Trump, his political views are the most consistent with my own of the two likely major-party candidates, and I intend to vote for him if he is the Republican nominee.
    The most Christian thing any American voter can do is to vote for the candidate who will show fealty to our earthly sovereign, the citizens of the United States. I'm going to vote to elect a president who will best serve the interests of my fellow citizens, not a Sunday School teacher.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Liberals have specious arguments against border fence; all they want is more welfare recipients

    One of the things that America’s sheltered elites just don’t get is that most Americans want a wall built on our southern border to keep unskilled workers and terrorists from pouring into the country. And should people start pouring in from the north at some future time, we will want a barrier there as well.
    I remember as a young kid being asked to pass some item at the dinner table to one of my brothers. My response was to lean back just as far as I could in my chair and declare, “I can’t reach it!” I’m reminded of that as border security opponents bleat out specious reason after reason why we can’t have a border fence.

Specious Reason 1: Jesus is against it

    The most annoying anti-fence excuse is the religious argument: Jesus tells us to help the poor, therefore we can’t have secure borders and have to allow people to break the law. Even if this was Jesus’ teaching, which it’s not, America is not a theocracy; we are not ruled by priests, rabbis, or ayatollahs. Every decision of government should be made based on what is based on what is best for the American citizenry, not on somebody’s misplaced religious belief.
    But for those who insist on invoking Christ, I must point out that illegally entering a country is a form of theft from the legal citizens of that country. All a border wall would do is assist people in obeying the Ten Commandment prohibition against theft, in the same way that banks help people not to steal by keeping their money in a vault. I cannot believe that Christ would find such efforts anything but laudatory.
    Mexico isn’t exactly Somalia or Bangladesh. Although a developing country, Mexico’s per capita income has more than tripled in the last 15 years. In the bigger scheme of things Mexico is a wealthy country; it’s just not as wealthy as the United States. When compared to the rest of the world, Americans have average incomes in the top one percent. Mexicans are in the top three percent. Oh, cry me a river!
  

Specious Reason 2: People will find a way to get around a wall

    We’re told that some people might be able to breach a border fence. Yup, they sure will. But a fence will stop the majority of those who just dash across the border. If we can successfully stop most of the border jumpers we’ve accomplished our goal.
    Remember Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption? He managed to excavate a tunnel out of his prison cell with a little rock hammer. It only took him 17 years. So he is clearly an example that walls, no matter how carefully constructed, can be breached.
    And yet, the prison walls held him for 17 years. They continued to contain all of the other prisoners. Does it really matter that one guy managed to escape after 17 years if all of the other prisoners remained locked up?
    Walls are effective most of the time.

Specious Reason 3: Border jumpers are only one source of illegal immigration

    Border jumpers only account for half of illegal immigrants in the United States. The rest enter legally and overstay their visa. Therefore a fence won’t completely solve the problem of illegal immigration.
    So what? It will solve half of it!
    And at least those who come in through the visa process have received some type of government scrutiny that presumably is designed to keep terrorists out of the country. A visa gives us a paper trail to use in tracking down and deporting illegal infiltrators, which we cannot do with unknown people who slither across our border undetected.

Specious Reason 4: We can’t possibly afford it!

    This is perhaps the most annoying excuse of all. The worst-case scenario for a border wall/fence is $25 billion. If for some reason we can’t afford that, we could at least put up a wall in all of the places where there are currently illegal border crossings, and they are legion.
    Given that illegal immigration costs federal, state, and local governments more than $100 billion Every Single Year, $25 billion to cut the number of illegal immigrants in half seems like a bargain.
    And for what it’s worth, I would guess that those who are just walking across the border are far more likely to end up on welfare or have uncompensated care at our hospitals than those who arrive by airplane, which makes a border fence an even greater bargain. A fence will keep out the worst illegal immigrants.
    So a border fence costs absolutely nothing, since as soon as it is built the taxpayers start saving massive amounts of money. We can afford to build it, since we will actually be paid to build it – it’s better than free.

The Real Reason Liberals Oppose a Fence

    We all know the real reason liberals don’t want a border fence. A large majority of those coming across the border are going to be multi-generational welfare cases. Since the Democratic party has become a party of fringe groups and welfare recipients, liberals have an interest in bringing in as many illegal aliens as possible.
    Think about it; in order to retain or gain control of government, Democrats are willing to destroy our nation, even to the point of having no barrier to terrorists entering the country. We can stop these people, or at least slow them down, and a border wall is the first step.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Boeing's Dreamliner is appropriately named, as nightmares are dreams, too

    I’ve just flown the Edsel of the skies: the Boeing 787 Dreamliner that I flew on LOT Airlines to get to Europe. I’ve been wanting to fly on one of these; that desire has now been forever extinguished.
    The Dreamliner is a beautiful plane. It’s big and tall, with lots of bin storage; and it reportedly maintains a higher cabin pressure during flight, while means passengers will suffer less dehydration. Because of its large size, there is far less turbulence. And although the food was lousy, the LOT Airlines stewardesses wear little caps, which is a neat little throwback to the olden days of aviation.
    In fact, everything about the plane was great except for one thing: LOT Airlines, like almost every airline, is flying the Dreamliner with a nine-across seat configuration which results in a seat width of 16.9 inches – just about the narrowest airline seat in the air. These planes were originally designed with the idea that they would have 8-across seating.
    The trend towards super-narrow airline seats started a few years ago when some greedy airline decided to replace the 9-across, 2-5-2 seating on their 777 airplanes to 10-across, 3-4-3 seating. Seat width on these 777 airplanes decreased, from a somewhat generous 18.5 inches to 17 inches. Presumably this made the airline more money, but it did little for passenger comfort. Most airlines have adopted the narrower 777 seats with the exception of Delta. So if you want to fly the 777 in comfort, fly Delta (United was 9-across on the 777, but they have started to switch to the dreaded 10-across seating).  With the 787 Dreamliner, there are almost no exceptions to the super-narrow-seats caused by the nine-across format. As a result, if you fly this plane in coach, you will be miserable.
    At 200 pounds I am admittedly on the fat side. But I’ve flown far fatter and been far less uncomfortable. I’d grateful that I’ve lost some weight over the past few months, or otherwise my misery would have been compounded. I’ve simply never had a flight before where I was so aware of how uncomfortably narrow my seat was. No person will find a 16.9-inch wide seat comfortable, no matter how thin they are.
    The solution to this problem is to avoid it in the first place. Seatguru.com does a pretty good job of describing what the various seats are like on different airlines, including information about seat pitch (legroom) and width. I suggest never flying a long-haul on a plane with less than a 17.9-inch seat width. That’s only one inch wider than LOT's Dreamliner seats, but that one inch makes a big difference.
    I knew when I booked my ticket on the LOT 787 that the seat would be narrow. I just wasn’t aware of how miserably narrow it would be. Of course, when you’re trying to get a super-cheap fare to Europe, sometimes it entails some misery.
    I’m surprised Boeing allows the airlines to operate its airplanes in this manner. On one hand, it makes sense for them to just sell the planes and allow the airlines to use them as they will. But when everyone who flies a certain type of aircraft has an unpleasant experience they avoid it in the future, thus reducing that model’s lifespan. The Dreamliner could have been one of the greatest planes of all time, but by overstuffing it with seats the airlines have made it one of the worst. I know I will avoid it in the future, and anyone reading this would be wise to do the same.
    Most airlines allow overweight flyers to buy an extra seat. On the 787 everyone is overweight. In cases where major discounts are offered, it might make sense for two people flying together to buy an extra seat; since the planes operate with a 3-3-3 configuration, two people could just have an empty seat between them.
    I would advise my friends to never fly on a 787 Dreamliner if another plane is available at a similar price. If pursuing a hot bargain, couples should consider buying an extra seat, which would turn a miserable experience into a enjoyable one. You can contact the airline for information about how to do this.
    As I’ve mentioned, we paid $625 for a round-trip flight to Europe. At that price we really couldn’t complain even if we were forced to share a crate with a bunch of chickens. Even so, I’ll fly the Dreamliner one more time, and that’s to get home; after that, only if I fly with someone and share an extra seat.