Baron explains why checking for a working DB connection at the head of your code in website development is actually a pretty bad idea. And I'll be damned if he's not right. I've been doing this for years, but I'll stop now.
A Purdue University researcher has analyzed the video of BP's ongoing oil spill (three weeks and counting) in the Gulf, and using particle image velocimetry has found that rather than the 5,000 barrels per day that BP claims, it's closer to 70,000 barrels per day. That's the Exxon Valdez every three and a half days, or six Valdez spills so far.