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Berkshire’s Munger Favors ‘100% Ban’ on Credit Swaps (Update3) -
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:08 pm EDT, May  1, 2009

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Vice Chairman Charles Munger said he supports an outright ban of credit- default swaps to prevent speculators from profiting on the failure of companies.

“If I were the governor of the world, I would eliminate it entirely -- 100 percent,” Munger said in a Bloomberg Television interview today. “That’s the best solution. It isn’t as though the economic world didn’t function quite well without it, and it isn’t as though what has happened has been so wonderfully desirable that we should logically want more of it.”

Berkshire’s Munger Favors ‘100% Ban’ on Credit Swaps (Update3) -

Specter To Switch Parties - The Caucus Blog -
Topic: Miscellaneous 2:05 pm EDT, Apr 28, 2009

Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania said on Tuesday he would switch to the Democratic party, presenting Democrats with a possible 60th vote and the power to break Senate filibusters as they try to advance the Obama administration’s new agenda.

Specter To Switch Parties - The Caucus Blog -

Supreme Court Backs F.C.C. on Indecency Rule -
Topic: Miscellaneous 2:01 pm EDT, Apr 28, 2009

The Supreme Court ruled narrowly in favor of the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday in the agency’s efforts to punish television broadcasters for airing dirty words. But the court’s opinion guaranteed that the issue of obscenity in the age of modern communications would be revisited.

Supreme Court Backs F.C.C. on Indecency Rule -

Inherent Vice
Topic: Arts 5:12 pm EDT, Apr 27, 2009

Thomas Pynchon:

Part noir, part psychedelic romp, all Thomas Pynchon— private eye Doc Sportello comes, occasionally, out of a marijuana haze to watch the end of an era as free love slips away and paranoia creeps in with the L.A. fog.

It’s been awhile since Doc Sportello has seen his ex-girlfriend. Suddenly out of nowhere she shows up with a story about a plot to kidnap a billionaire land developer whom she just happens to be in love with. Easy for her to say. It’s the tail end of the psychedelic sixties in L.A., and Doc knows that “love” is another of those words going around at the moment, like “trip” or “groovy,” except that this one usually leads to trouble. Despite which he soon finds himself drawn into a bizarre tangle of motives and passions whose cast of characters includes surfers, hustlers, dopers and rockers, a murderous loan shark, a tenor sax player working undercover, an ex-con with a swastika tattoo and a fondness for Ethel Merman, and a mysterious entity known as the Golden Fang, which may only be a tax dodge set up by some dentists.

In this lively yarn, Thomas Pynchon, working in an unaccustomed genre, provides a classic illustration of the principle that if you can remember the sixties, you weren’t there ... or ... if you were there, then you ... or, wait, is it ...

Ok, now I have a new deadline to finish Against the Day.

Inherent Vice

Fructose-Sweetened Beverages Linked to Heart Risks -
Topic: Miscellaneous 4:57 pm EDT, Apr 22, 2009

Some research has suggested that consumption of high-fructose corn syrup, used as a sweetener in a wide variety of foods, may increase the risk of obesity and heart disease. Now, a controlled and randomized study has found that drinks sweetened with fructose led to higher blood levels of L.D.L, or "bad" cholesterol, and triglycerides in overweight test subjects, while drinks sweetened with another sugar, glucose, did not. Both L.D.L. and triglycerides have been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Fructose-Sweetened Beverages Linked to Heart Risks -

YouTube - Inspired Bicycles - Danny MacAskill April 2009
Topic: Miscellaneous 4:47 pm EDT, Apr 21, 2009


YouTube - Inspired Bicycles - Danny MacAskill April 2009

Op-Ed Contributor - Up, Up and Out -
Topic: Miscellaneous 4:06 pm EDT, Apr 21, 2009

ROBERT GATES, the secretary of defense, has proposed a budget overhaul that will go a long way toward improving our national security, but more can be done to meet his long-term goal: creating the right military for the 21st century.

Not since Henry Stimson’s tenure from 1940 to ’45 has a defense secretary been faced to the same degree with simultaneously fighting a war and carrying out far-reaching reforms. Yet there are three major changes Mr. Gates should add to his agenda, and they deserve President Obama’s support.

First, the Air Force should be eliminated, and its personnel and equipment integrated into the Army, Navy and Marine Corps. Second, the archaic “up or out” military promotion system should be scrapped in favor of a plan that treats service members as real assets. Third, the United States needs a national service program for all young men and women, without any deferments, to increase the quality and size of the pool from which troops are drawn.

Op-Ed Contributor - Up, Up and Out -

photo: Atlantis and Endeavour at the pad
Topic: Miscellaneous 3:52 pm EDT, Apr 21, 2009

In all liklihood, this is the last time 2 shuttles will be at the pad at the same time.

photo: Atlantis and Endeavour at the pad

FiveThirtyEight: Politics Done Right: When Does 'Close' Become Too-Close-to-Call?
Topic: Miscellaneous 12:26 pm EDT, Apr 21, 2009

The Wall Street Journal's Editorial Board, whose previous coverage of the Minnesota recount has tended to reflect a lack of command of the facts and circumstances of the case, is now back for another round, this time pressing for a re-vote:

538 update on the Coleman/Franken debacle.

FiveThirtyEight: Politics Done Right: When Does 'Close' Become Too-Close-to-Call?

Oracle Agrees to Acquire Sun Microsystems -
Topic: Miscellaneous 1:22 pm EDT, Apr 20, 2009

The Oracle Corporation, the technology information company, announced Monday that it would acquire a rival, Sun Microsystems, for $9.50 a share, or about $7.4 billion.

Oracle Agrees to Acquire Sun Microsystems -

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