Saturday, July 31, 2010

Interactive Mirror

'The Doors'

Gingrich - Go 3 For 3

Gingrich speaking at the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute calls on the US under Obama to attack Iran and North Korea completing the Axis of Evil trilogy.

Recall that attacking all three countries is a longstanding desire of the neoconservative movement and nothing has changed to diminish that desire.

One might suspect that the next Republican president particularly another empty shirt Republican president will reinstall a neoconservative administration in the manner of Bush Jr. The nucleus is already in place, they simply need to be back in power. Imagine America involved in multiple wars with Iran and North Korea while continuing in Afghanistan and Iraq, that would be above and beyond our already pressing economic, environmental, and social needs.

The Rice Field Artwork Of Japan

The painstaking planting of different colored rice plants to create huge murals...

Da Vinci Restoration

Fascinating clip as a restorer works on the Da Vinci masterpiece and discusses the project in detail.

Guardian UK: Restoring Leonardo da Vinci's Virgin of the Rocks

Deep Sea Drilling In Brazil

Recall that the Gulf oil spill revolved around a deposit that was roughly 12,000 feet below sea level. As we know the effectiveness of dealing with that emergency was absent.

Brazil is proceeding with a deep sea well that exists at an even greater depth, a depth of 16,000 feet. They believe their company has the ability to capture the oil without a problem.

Profit is one amazing motivator coupled with an insatiable need for oil and an end to wells that are easy to tap. Say hello to the future.

CS Monitor: Cautioned by BP oil spill, Brazil continues deep-sea drilling
...the possible windfall is so big for Brazil that many observers say the Gulf spill is no deterrent.


...embarking on one of the most technologically advanced drilling operations of modern times at untouched depths below more than 16,000 feet of sea, rock, and volatile salt deposits.

July

July was hot, allegedly the hottest month on record to date.

In July the stock market advanced after a downturn in May and June. In fact were it not for the overwhelmingly bad indicators of US economic activity such as consumer confidence the market was poised to literally leap forward.

Corporate results for the second quarter have been superior. Ordinarily that would propel the market, but in the post great recession back water, the engine is getting gas but the brake is on.

Reuters: Wall Street marks best month in a year in July
The conflict between strong earnings and lackluster economic news has held stocks in a tight range throughout July.


"The market kind of stalled up the last couple of days. On the surface earnings numbers have been pretty strong, but underneath there was a loss of momentum..."

'Back In Love'

LTD

I know this is a repost, but I love this song...

Friday, July 30, 2010

Laying Low

See you on Saturday morning. Have a great night.

'Alfie'

Colbert - Barney Frank

The Daily Show - Hitler, A Homosexual

Housing Market Stalled

Have you noticed the spate of articles on the negatives of home ownership and the virtues of renting. Why is this occurring in a time when promoting the idea of home ownership is in sync with a recovering economy. Something larger is in play. Regardless, mortgage rates are amazingly low right now in the 4.5% area.

Yahoo: 6 Reasons the Housing Market Hasn't Recovered
...with roughly one in four homeowners in negative equity-meaning they owe more on the mortgage than their property is worth-that can be tricky.

The Dalai Lama - Inner Peace

Guardian UK - Istanbul

On Sex

“Sex appeal is fifty percent what you've got and fifty percent what people think you've got.” - Sophia Loren


“Women need a reason to have sex. Men just need a place.” - Billy Crystal


“Food has replaced sex in my life, now I can't even get into my own pants” - anonymous


“You know that look women get when they want sex? Me neither” - Drew Carey

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Uninsured By State

Arizona is not one of the states with the highest number of uninsured individuals.

According to Gallup, 16.3% of Americans are uninsured. That figure is up from 14.8% in 2008.

Gallup: Texas Maintains Highest Number of Uninsured, Mass. Lowest

The Market On Friday

Well what do you know, the weekend is back and better than ever. My weekend agenda is the same as always, work, rest, work. We are always renovating this old house. It never ends. The house abuses me with unremitting uncompromising control, it is master and slave driver. Please, release me old house.

At 7:00 a.m. futures are moderately down. The market can be summed up in one word - down. Things look pretty crappy right now. The GDP is worse than expected. Hey isn't that some kind of screwy oxymoron, "worse than expected." Think about it.

I place the blame on you, you ingrate. Clearly you have not heeded my message. Spend your money, all of your money, all the time. You can't take it with you.

CNN: Stocks poised for weak start
A revised reading on consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan is expected to have risen to 67.5 in July, up from the previously reported 66.5.


U.S. light crude oil for September delivery fell 62 cents to $77.74 a barrel.
Reuters: Stock futures slip ahead of GDP data
The main focus on Friday is U.S. GDP figures at 8:30 a.m. ET. U.S. economic growth likely slowed in the second quarter as a capital investment drive by businesses was sated by imports and consumer spending tapered off, a government report is expected to show.

'Lost In The Supermarket'

The Clash

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Guardian UK - Endgame in Afghanistan

Watch this clip

Exxon Profits

Phew, I was beginning to worry that big oil was not making enough money.

Fortunately Exxon pulled one out, took one for the team, and slouched its way to a 91% second quarter profit.

Recession? What recession?

WSJ Online: Refining Business Lifts Exxon's Profit
Exxon Mobil Corp.'s second-quarter earnings jumped 91%...

Nikkei Opens Lower On Friday

What A Day For A Daydream

Hang on a second, now where was I, oh yes, blog....

Live Science: Daydream Distractions Depend on How Far Mind Wanders

Live Science: 7 Thoughts That Are Bad For You
Anxiety...among the outgoing extroverts, dementia risk was 50 percent lower for participants who were calm compared with those who were prone to distress

TPMtv - Graham On Birthright Citizenship

Warmest Decade On Record

I would suspect that readers of this blog are already on board with climate change. Each decade is warmer than the preceding decade. As the years go by, we are getting deeper into a warmer Earth. No doubt the next decade will continue the warming trend.

NOAA: Past Decade Warmest on Record According to Scientists in 48 Countries
Each of the last three decades has been much warmer than the decade before. At the time, the 1980s was the hottest decade on record. In the 1990s, every year was warmer than the average of the previous decade. The 2000s were warmer still.


More and more, Americans are witnessing the impacts of climate change in their own backyards, including sea-level rise, longer growing seasons, changes in river flows, increases in heavy downpours, earlier snowmelt and extended ice-free seasons in our waters.

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Jobless Economy

According to this article the key out of poverty is education, though it is not a guarantee.

CS Monitor: Recession widened jobs gap between blacks and whites
...blacks and Hispanics are more than three times as likely as whites to live below poverty...


Unemployment for Americans with a college degree or higher is 4.4 percent, versus 10.8 percent for those with a high school diploma only.

The Market On Thursday

At 7:45 a.m. futures are moderately up - go figure. In fact the trifecta is in place - futures up, dollar down, oil is up per barrel.

What is so completely striking to all of us, and let's just state the obvious here, is that companies are posting amazing second quarter results and yet the economy is in the poor house, jobs are not back, these companies are not hiring anybody. So what gives. Are the remaining employees in these companies working like they are on speed all day long. Possibly yes, would you agree? The remaining jobs are now in Asia somewhere. I like talking to some dude in Malaysia about my bank account. I try to make friends with the guy, hey you never know when you might need a place to stay in Malaysia.

Regardless, Exxon Mobil reports second quarter results today. I will go out on a limb here and take a wild guess that the company made enough money to fill the Grand Canyon and then some.

CNN: Stocks set for early gains
"[Companies] are touting these positive outlooks, but there's still a lot of cash in their coffers, and they're not willing to expand and hire...It's hard to believe what they're saying when they aren't backing it up with cash."


The Department of Labor releases weekly jobless claims figures before the opening bell.

'Volare'

Gipsy Kings

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

'Miasto Ruin - City Of Ruins'

trailer

Moon Malk

Ecovative Design Of Green Island, N.Y.

Very cool - two undergrads from RPI are developing a company that makes packaging material using fractions of the energy of regular packaging materials. One secret ingredient is mushroom roots.

Live Science: Mushrooms Turned into Green Packaging
The composite material, called Mycobond™, requires just one-eighth the energy to produce and generates one-tenth the carbon dioxide of traditional foam packing material.


Now Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute undergraduates Gavin McIntyre and Eben Bayer are developing a new, less energy-intensive method to sterilize the agricultural waste, killing spores that could otherwise compete with the mushrooms.

TPMtv - Arizona's Governor

On Conformity

“The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it is conformity.” - Rollo May


“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” - John Fitzgerald Kennedy


“I have a high state of resentment for the conformity in this country. If you're not married and having children, it's like your life is empty or you're a communist meanie.” - Bill Maher


“Case by case, we find that conformity is the easy way, and the path to privilege and prestige; dissidence carries personal costs.” - Noam Chomsky

Do Not Recline

Your chances of surviving a car accident are best if your car seat is in the full straight up position. The more the seat is tilted back, the greater your chances of serious injuries. Good to know eh...

Fox 23: Dangers in reclining during a car ride
The study showed that partially reclined passengers involved in an accident increased their risk of death by 15 percent. Fully reclined passengers increased their risk by 70 percent!

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Oil Cleanup

I'm becoming a bigger and bigger fan of the Christian Science Monitor. In my opinion their coverage of the oil spill is the best, the information is extensive.

Here they are reporting on how the oil is dispersing in the Gulf. In fact skimmer ships are having a hard time locating pools of oil. Some suspect that the microbes in the water are feasting on the oil calling the oil fillet mignon in the eyes of the micro-organisms. That's fine with us, feast away.

A complete recovery will still take years.

CS Monitor: Gulf oil spill: Where has the oil gone?
...the oil slick has shrunk to about 10,000 square miles from 80,000 square miles in just a matter of weeks.


At least part of the disappearing act has to do with fast-feeding and fast-breeding bacterial microbes that are thriving on a huge new food supply, and egged on by 88-degree water and a blistering sun that's heating surface air temperatures to nearly 100 degrees.


Many suspect it has settled either on the bottom or in mid-layers of the Gulf.

The Market On Wednesday

At 7:00 a.m. futures are slightly down.

What a difference a day makes. Today we are back to worries about the strength of the economic recovery, whatever that means. Allegedly it was a report on consumer confidence that shook up the investment class yesterday replete with a selling spree, although cooler heads seem to have prevailed.

Second quarter corporate results continue to excel. Coca-Cola reports today and I am going to guess that will look just fine and dandy. I can't believe I used to drink that stuff.

We've hit some turbulence.

CNN: Stocks set for shaky start
The Federal Reserve's "beige book," a reading on the nation's 12 economic district, is due at 2 p.m.


U.S. light crude oil for September delivery edged down 25 cents to $77.25 a barrel.

'Sonata II For Prepared Piano'

John Cage

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Two Legs

Little complaint here -

Can we get rid of the two legged Cheetah pictures that are on every damn website please. I don't know about you, but I've had enough thank you.

The Forty Seven

I approve this message.

This Old House: 47 Skills You Need to Survive Homeownership
38. Stop an overflowing toilet

'Meeting People Is Easy'

The band Radiohead's documentary -

Colbert On Sherrod

Huge Wind Farm To Be Built In California

Very good, this is what we like to see.

LA Times: Wind farm 'mega-project' underway in Mojave Desert

Brain Coupling

In my opinion you know when someone truly hears what you are saying, and vice versa. The keyword is know.

Interpersonal science is moving in interesting directions.

Live Science: Successful Conversations Involve Mind Melds, Study Reveals
...during successful verbal communication, brain responses of the speaker mirror those of the listener.


"In principle, producing speech and listening to speech are two different things. But because you and I have the same kinds of brains, it might be that those processes ... aren't nearly as distinct as we think."

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Bottom Kill

The effort to seal off the BP oil well will continue this week. Right now all signs look good.

I truly hope that common sense prevails here and that deep water drilling is suspended. Obviously oil companies do not have ways of adequately dealing with emergencies and the price for this glaring inadequacy is far too costly.

CS Monitor: From 'static kill' to 'bottom kill’: next steps in Gulf oil spill
This week BP and Coast Guard officials are preparing what they call a “bottom kill” – the permanent sealing of the runaway Macondo well through one of the two relief wells drilled 13,000 feet below the seafloor. According to Allen, BP will deposit through the relief well a combination of drilling mud, cement, liquids, and nitrogen to stop the flow of oil – perhaps as early as Aug. 7.


That operation will come after “static kill,” which has a tentative start date of next Monday. Static kill would deposit the same mixture of materials into the top of the well.

The Market On Tuesday

At 7:45 a.m. futures are moderately up.

The flood of better than expected second quarter corporate results has helped to propel the market higher from mid July. Today investors will also be looking at data on home prices and consumer confidence.

At some point soon the market will pull back. It has to happen. But overall the emotion expressed in the articles is positive. We are in one of those short periods of guarded optimism.

CNN: Stocks set to extend rally
"...overall the market is heading higher..."


The Case-Shiller 20-city home price index is expected to have risen 4% in May after rising 3.8% in April.


After the start of trading, the Conference Board releases the Consumer Confidence index for July.

'That's Amore'

Dean Martin

Monday, July 26, 2010

Nikkei Opens Lower On Tuesday

Kill The Goose

The article is rather brief but in my mind the question mark comes up.

What's the deal here, kill most of the geese. What?

CBS6: Plan calls for mass killings of NY geese
...trim the state's goose population to 85,000, down from an estimated 250,000.


The plan was developed after Canada geese disabled a US Airways jet, forcing it to ditch in the Hudson River.

Starting Off With A Bounce

Among the various indicators that investors saw today which consequently pushed the DOW up 100+ points are these three.

Fed Ex posted a nice second quarter report indicating that people are clearly buying and trading merchandise. The S&P closed above 1,100 again and this is regarded as one of those psychological trip lines that once crossed potentially spells clear sailing. Finally there was a bounce in new home sales in June from May. Housing cannot possibly be more central to the market and the US economy. It is right up there with energy AKA oil.

Reuters: Stocks climb on home sales data

TPMtv - DSCC Executive Director JB Poersch

Jane Austen's Fight Club

Most Ridiculous Headline Of The Week

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

BP Leak

Efforts to permanently seal the oil well will resume this week after a three day hiatus caused by tropical storm Bonnie.

BP chairman Hayward is on the way out. The extreme arrogance was not helpful in the midst of the crisis.

Miami Herald: As efforts to plug leaky oil well resume, reports say Tony Hayward will leave BP soon
From initial reports, the most serious damage (from Bonnie) was to the time table for permanently plugging the well.


``I think what the world expects from BP is an acknowledgment that something was done wrong. I think BP has a long way to go to gain the trust of the people.''

The Market On Monday

I hope you had an excellent weekend. Mine was productive and restful.

At 7:20 a.m. futures are slightly down. Investors will spend the week going through second quarter corporate reports from 157 companies. As we know the trend so far has been very positive.

The drama for the week will be the push and pull between these very positive earnings versus continuing indicators that show a weak recovery. At the very minimum and for obvious reasons, many would like to see the markets at least maintain their present level through the summer and hang on till the fourth quarter beginning October 1st. Traditionally the fourth quarter is a period of market gains.

CNN: Stocks set for weak open
...157 companies are on tap to post their results this week.


A report on new home sales will be released at 10 a.m. ET.


The dollar was up against the euro, but down versus the British pound and the Japanese yen.


U.S. light crude oil for September delivery fell 46 cents to $78.52 a barrel.

Sixteen Story Fall Survivor

This is absolutely unbelievable.

Yahoo: NZ teen survives 16-story fall onto concrete floor

'Cherry Bomb'

The Runaways

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Nikkei Opens Higher On Monday

The War Logs

Link to the documents which expose the mayhem that is the Afghanistan War.

Guardian UK: The War Logs

'Night Of Demons'

Pure junk...

Greetings Earthling

Get your inter galactic language translators charged, the aliens are coming.

I love this. Is it feasible that we are alone in the universe as semi-conscious human beings? Maybe some other planet has fully conscious beings. What if they're worse than us?

Hey, explain to me again what lies beyond the universe...

Daily Mail: Prospect of life in deep space as Nasa probe finds hundreds of new planets
Up to 140 of the newly-found planets are rocky and Earth-like containing both land and water, conditions which could allow simple lifeforms to develop.

XC1T Ellipse

Cute little Martin guitar I got my eye on.

Martin Guitars: XC1T Ellipse

Harvard Online

Its about time, would you agree. We all need degrees from Harvard. Are you in?

Harvard Extension Courses: Sustainable Buildings: Design and Construction

On Deceit

"God is not averse to deceit in a holy cause." - Aeschylus (note - The fundamental problem is who decides what is holy and more often than not the deciders are a slew of less than holy individuals. This logic has been used for centuries to justify atrocity after atrocity and has significant resonance right now.)

"The people wish to be deceived; let them be deceived." - Cardinal Carlo Carafa

"Hateful to me as are the gates of hell, Is he who, hiding one thing in his heart, Utters another. " - Homer

"Where the lion's skin falls short it must be eked out with the fox's." - Lysander

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Deficit Grows

We are reading differing opinions on the deficit and how to react to it at this particular juncture. Some believe that the government needs to continue with economic stimulus programs especially right now, in order to prevent the second coming of the recession. Others believe that severe austerity measures are called for and that the official 9.5% unemployed are collateral damage that can't be helped especially with things like unemployment benefit extensions. One would tend to think that the latter idea will send another stake into the heart of the crumbling middle class.

CS Monitor: US deficit heads toward record $1.47 trillion
...10 percent of the nation's gross domestic product...

Killing The Well

Crews are back on the site of the Gulf oil leak. They are resuming "permanently" killing the well. The tropical storm that forced crews away for three days did not create the mayhem people anticipated. I am reading that some believe that the effect that the storm had by boiling the waters will help the oil to naturally degrade. One can only hope for as much.

McClatchy: Work resumes on capping runaway Gulf of Mexico oil well
The mechanical cap that's been preventing oil from leaking into the Gulf for the past eight days remained in place.


It could take as much as a week before crews begin pumping in the mud and cement...

'Bohemian Rhapsody'

Queen

Freddy Mercury was off the charts talented.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

'The Five Obstructions'

One of those post artsy, post existential European films...

New Vatican Issue

Celibacy is a very tricky thing.

UK Telegraph: Catholic priests 'filmed at gay clubs and having casual sex'

Humidity Is Back

Yikes, the humidity is back, it is very humid here again. Its hard to get motivated, all I want to do is sit in a chair.

Voice Synth Pedal

CNN - Skimmer Ship

Harsh

Have you seen the slide show on HuffPo. America is getting poorer. That is an understatement. The focus here is Southern Ohio.

The Impoverished In America

A/B comparison -

Tommy Hilfiger's New Apartment

Hot, Real Hot

There you have it, the first six months of 2010 have been the hottest on record.

I'm still recovering from the heat and humidity of two weeks back. I'm serious.

Its not the heat, its the heat.

CS Monitor: Temperatures hit record highs globally. El Nino or global warming?
During the January-to-June period, combined land and ocean surface temperatures around the globe ran 1.22 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th-century average.

Coming Up On Wall Street

Hallelujah it is the weekend.

So how about that stock market. After a real stinker of an early July with all kinds of lows and worries, we are now back into a bull run. As far as I can tell this is the result of better than expected second quarter corporate profits. Hey, when even Ford starts strutting around showing off its big bad bank account, investors are taking notice.

The second coming of the recession is presently on hold. That could change real fast of course as this is one little temperamental period. Its hard to get a fix on the long view, while the short view is like a Mexican jumping bean.

Regardless, the sentiment seems to be that if the trend of better than expected second quarter results continues, all bets are off and the market runs up the hill with ease.

Reuters: Stocks on brink of breakout
...he believes the selloff has run its course, and the early July low will prove to be the low for the year.


New home sales will kick off the week, with data expected to show a rise to 320,000 units in June...


Lastly will be the first reading for second-quarter gross domestic product. Investors are expecting the economy to grow by 2.5 percent, compared to 2.7 in the first quarter.

Your Weekly Address

'The Girl Next Door'

Wes Montgomery

Friday, July 23, 2010

'The F Word'

Boehner On Tea Party

Ford

Ford just posted a $2.7 billion profit in the second quarter. This is a huge boost to the American car manufacturer and a boost to the American car heavy psyche.

Recall how GM and Chrysler really came apart during the depth of the recession. Their own fault too considering they simply were not producing desirable vehicles, vehicles that reflected the changing need for better efficiency. They were stuck in post Bush oil mayhem.

I do not know the depth of economic complexity by any means, and I can only react from what I read in the news and such but in my opinion, and it is just opinion, this bodes well.

CNN: Ford swings to $2.7 billion profit

Taking A Leap Of Faith

"People too weak to follow their own dreams will always find a way to discourage yours." - anonymous


"The supreme gift you can give a friend is laughter, to be a fool is noble. But, do not confuse being a fool with being an idiot." - James Dean Baxter


"Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen." - Albert Einstein


"I beg you, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer." - Rainer Maria Rilke

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Oil Cleanup On Hold

The Market On Friday

Ah the weekend rolls around once more. It may very well be time for a visit to the Jake Moon Cafe for their summertime every weekend lobster bake.

At 6:45 a.m. futures are slightly up. According to CNN and Reuters, the markets' rise or fall will depend on the weight of more second quarter profits versus the weight of news on Europe's bank stress tests.

Then there is always the x-factor. This would be the unknown hitch that develops in the afternoon and drives investor emotion.

Its unclear, will investors run with the amazingly good second quarter profits and drive the DOW back towards 10,500. Will investors freak at the weight of Europe's fiscal issues and take a step back. Will corporate profits and Europe's fiscal problems cancel each other out, and send everything sideways. This is today's dynamic market drama. The show begins at 9 a.m.

CNN: Futures want to extend the rally
In Europe, report cards on the health of big banks are due to be released at noon ET. The tests are aimed at determining how well European financial firms would fare in the case of another economic downturn.
Reuters: Ten banks to fail European stress tests: Goldman

Reuters: Stock index futures point to higher open on Wall Street
Companies expected to report earnings on Friday include Honeywell International Inc, Ingersoll-Rand Plc and Verizon Communications Inc...

WaPo - Sharron Angle

This is Nevada's Tea Party Senate candidate out to oust Harry Reid. She is setting out to win the hearts and minds of Nevada by wanting to phase out Social Security and Medicare. She also does not believe that job creation is her responsibility - take it to the State's Attorney General. She is also recommended and approved by GOD, of course.

Free Courses At MIT

'Cool Eyes'

Horace Silver

Thursday, July 22, 2010

GM's IPO

Look who is getting ready to get back into the stock market. GM is allegedly starting the work to become an IPO by the November election. IPO is an initial public offering.

Recall that GM was kicked out of the DOW after declaring bankruptcy. It was a huge deal with all kinds of jobs at stake and calls against the government for socializing corporations and such.

The filing before the election would be a boost for Obama. It would show that his economic policies have produced some benefit. It would also throw mud in the face of the rabid extreme right always quick to condemn. GM goes from bankruptcy to re-entering the market as a publicly held corporation.

Reuters: GM plans to file for IPO during week of Aug 16-sources
By filing with the SEC in August, GM is aiming to complete its IPO before the November U.S. elections...

Lucky Strike Cigarette Ad (1953)

French Riot In Grenoble

Markets Rise

Nice day on Wall Street with the DOW gaining 202 points. Corporate second quarter reports continue to be strong. Where's this going to go?

Reuters: Wall Street rallies on corporate outlooks
Upbeat outlooks from economic bellwethers 3M, UPS and Caterpillar catapulted stocks...

STEP

Now we're talking.

Physorg.com: Solar-powered process could decrease carbon dioxide to pre-industrial levels in 10 years
The new process, called Solar Thermal Electrochemical Photo (STEP) carbon capture, was recently suggested theoretically by a team of scientists from George Washington University and Howard University, both in Washington, DC. Now, in a paper just published in The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, the scientists have experimentally demonstrated the STEP process for the first time.


“The significance of the study is twofold,” Stuart Licht, a chemistry professor at George Washington University, told PhysOrg.com. “Carbon dioxide, a non-reactive and normally difficult-to-remove compound, can be easily captured with solar energy using our new low-energy, lithium carbonate electrolysis STEP process, and with scale-up, sufficient resources exist for STEP to decrease carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere to pre-industrial levels within 10 years.”


As the scientists explain, the process uses visible sunlight to power an electrolysis cell for splitting carbon dioxide, and also uses solar thermal energy to heat the cell in order to decrease the energy required for this conversion process. The electrolysis cell splits carbon dioxide into either solid carbon (when the reaction occurs at temperatures between 750°C and 850°C) or carbon monoxide (when the reaction occurs at temperatures above 950°C). These kinds of temperatures are much higher than those typically used for carbon-splitting electrolysis reactions (e.g., 25°C), but the advantage of reactions at higher temperatures is that they require less energy to power the reaction than at lower temperatures.

CNN - Prepping A Skimmer Ship

Song Birds As Food Delicacy

I just learned about this trend occurring in parts of Southern Europe. Song birds are trapped and sold to eating establishments where they are prepared as a delicacy. They are killing millions of birds for this purpose.

Bird Life: Migratory birds served in Cypriot restaurants
Trappers usually target Song Thrushes Turdus philomelos or migrant birds such as Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla, which are then served in restaurants as ambelopoulia 'delicacies', for up to five Euros a piece. The trapping methods are so indiscriminate that up to 100 species of bird are known to have been captured.


"Bird trapping is coming back to haunt us in a big way and the reason is the same as it has always been: there is a lot of money to be made out of it, and it will continue as long as restaurants are allowed to break the law”, said Hellicar. The banned bird delicacies remain widely available, because in 2008 only 9 restaurateurs were charged for serving ambelopoulia.

Gray Perception

On Deception

“We are never deceived; we deceive ourselves.” - Goethe


“Do not bite at the bait of pleasure, till you know there is no hook beneath it.” - Thomas Jefferson


“I think there is a good reason why the propaganda system works that way. It recognizes that the public will not support the actual policies. Therefore it is important to prevent any knowledge or understanding of them.” - Noam Chomsky


"Art is the most beautiful deception of all. And although people try to incorporate the everyday events of life in it, we must hope that it will remain a deception lest it become a utilitarian thing, sad as a factory." - Claude Debussy

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Another Gitmo Detainee To Be Released

It becomes clearer all the time that they just rounded up people that anyone on the street suggested was "different." It is a pretty weak criteria for terrorism. This guy is the equivalent of a number of homeless people we see all the time, someone in serious need of mental health services. This is very sad and unnecessary.

Miami Herald: Yemeni psych patient ordered freed from Guantánamo
Latif's attorney, David Remes, has long described the man as despairing and suicidal -- covering himself in excrement, throwing blood at the lawyer, consuming shards of metal.


"This is a mentally disturbed man who has said from the beginning that he went to Afghanistan seeking medical care because he was too poor to pay for it. Finally, a court has recognized that he's been telling the truth, and ordered his release."

The Market On Thursday

At 6:40 a.m. futures are significantly up. With the dollar down against the pound, euro, and yen, and with oil up per barrel, the market is poised to open higher. At 8:30 a.m. the weekly jobless claims report is released. Check back at 8:40 a.m. to see if futures are maintaining their buoyancy.

Both CNN and Reuters are reiterating the same message. Investors are proceeding with caution, looking for any positive signs in an economy that is growing but far less than robust. Call it caution in the face of a firming but shaky economy. Stating the obvious, the DOW is oscillating between 10,000 and 10,400. The onslaught of second quarter corporate reports continues.

CNN: Stocks set for a bounce
"The strong sell-off at the end of the day yesterday is bringing the bargain hunters in this morning..."


The dollar was down against the euro, the British pound and the Japanese yen.


U.S. light crude oil for September delivery rose 45 cents to $77.01 a barrel.
Reuters: Stock futures signal rebound
On the macro front, investors awaited the weekly jobless claims, due at 1230 GMT (8:30 a.m. EDT), as well as the Conference Board leading indicators and existing home sales, both due at 1400 GMT (10 a.m. EDT).

'Christmas Song'

Yo Yo Ma and Allison Krauss

Just go along with it...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Nikkei Opens Lower On Thursday

'The Ten'

PSA From Cats

China's Oil Spill

Another monstrous oil leak is occurring, this time in China.

CS Monitor: China oil spill spreads but not as big as BP oil spill in Gulf
The disaster began Friday in the port city of Dalian when an oil pipeline exploded. Crude oil leaked into the Yellow Sea, then burned in a huge firestorm for 15 hours. Dalian is China's second biggest oil import port.

Shakespeare?

Refudiate? Refudiate?

Sorry that's not creative use of language, that is plain old gotcha stupidity.

The Examiner: Sarah Palin Compares Herself To Shakespeare
When it become apparent to Palin that "refudiate" is not a word, she deleted the above post and re-Tweeted: “Peaceful New Yorkers, pls refute the Ground Zero mosque plan.”


Palin's use of "refute" is inappropriate in its use. The post was taken down as well and Palin Tweeted for a third time: “Peace-seeking Muslims pls understand. Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation.”


In the end, Palin made light humor of her made-up and inappropriate use of words and Tweeted that her writing is akin to Shakespeare: “‘Refudiate,’ ‘misunderestimate,’ ‘wee-wee’d up.’ English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!”

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Unemployment Benefits Extended

Despite the Republicans vision of full unemployment and an arising fear in the American public that the deficit is the problem and must therefor be reduced at all costs, unemployment benefits for 2.5 million people got an extension. I do support this act and yes the can has been kicked down the road. All I know is that 2.5 million people better find some kind of self employment work real fast because this bill is not getting renewed, that is not going to happen. Also the economy on its own is not going to create 2.5 million jobs by November 30th.

McClatchy: Jobless-benefits bill clears key test; passage assured
The new measure will allow benefits to continue through Nov. 30.


Moderate Democratic lawmakers from swing districts have been increasingly reluctant to back deficit spending. Liberal Democrats painted Republicans as heartless for insisting on offsetting spending cuts, however, citing stories of personal hardship to illustrate their points and getting Obama directly involved.

The Market On Wednesday

At 7:15 a.m. futures are slightly up. CNN and Reuters are pointing to Apple's exemplary second quarter results and future forecasts as the cause for an expected upward bounce to the markets this morning. Apple computers are great, I've used them for 15 years.

Bernanke will be testifying before Congress today and when that man speaks, investors listen. Its all about the state of the US and world economy, and Bernanke is regarded as having a direct nerve connection to all that vast money activity.

CNN: Stocks set to get an Apple boost
The dollar was up against the euro, but down versus the British pound and the Japanese yen.


U.S. light crude oil for September delivery edged up 28 cents to $77.86 a barrel.
Reuters: Wall Street futures point to gains after Apple results
Markets are expected to focus on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony to Congress due at 1800 GMT for fresh indications on the health of world's biggest economy, and policy signals from the central bank.

'Dying To Live'

Nataly Dawn

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The New King

Nikkei Opens Higher On Wednesday

CNN - Anti Ground Zero Mosque Ad

Kagan Passes Hurdle One

Obama nominee Elena Kagan's approval by a Senate committee was the first major hurdle on the way to becoming a Supreme Court judge.

CS Monitor: Senate committee approves Elena Kagan: how the senators voted
The committee vote was 13 to 6, with all but one Republican committee member voting against her.


Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) of South Carolina was the only senator to cross the aisle to support Ms. Kagan.
Kagan must still be approved by the Senate.
If she is confirmed by the Senate as expected early in August, the nine-member court will have four Democratic appointees for the first time since 1971. source

Super-Unemployment

The primary political question right now is how do we create more jobs?

The Atlantic: The Scariest Unemployment Graph I've Seen Yet
The median duration of unemployment is higher today than any time in the last 50 years...It is more than twice as high today than any time in the last 50 years.

'A Normal Life'

Composer and fellow upstate New Yorker Michael Farley has undertaken a unique music project. He has taken the spam email that we get for money requests, and used the words as lyrics for original songs. Here's a sample -

A Normal Life by thebeigechannel
I got your contact through my personal search, and I wish you
will assist me in actualizing this urgent desire.
I am Utabai, widow to the former Adviser to
Kenya president Mwai Kibaki who had being killed.

My quest is owing to the political situation.
Thus his been killed. I guess his enemies are after me.
As things stands now, I intend to relocate with family
out of Kenya where I can have peace and lead a normal life.

On Perseverance

"The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won't." - Henry Ward Beecher


"Don't be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs. Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger. If you do the little jobs well, the big ones will tend to take care of themselves." - Dale Carnegie


"When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on." - Franklin D. Roosevelt


"Fall seven times, stand up eight." - Japanese Proverb


"It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer." - Albert Einstein

Leak Worries

The good news gleaned from this article is that the well bore is considered to be integral. BP is now suggesting using the "static kill" method again to seal the well. That would be pumping mud AKA heavy drilling fluids to seal off the oil. This sounds similar to a method tried several weeks ago.

McClatchy: Amid leak worries, feds and BP focus on killing Gulf well
Those include methane gas leaking seeping from the ocean floor three kilometers from the well, and bubbles — which had traces of methane — seen escaping near the well. They also appear to have a small leak from a gasket on the capping equipment, Allen said, but do not think it is serious. They have nothing to suggest there's a threat to the well bore...

The Market On Tuesday

At 6:40 a.m. futures are moderately down.

Today investors will get some key data on housing starts and unemployment along with second quarter reports from Goldman Sachs, Apple, and Johnson and Johnson. One might suspect the news to be mixed. Housing has not been a particularly bright spot lately.

With the dollar down and oil at around $77, it will be a struggle to see which metric wins out for the direction of the market - poor economic data on housing and unemployment or reasonable second quarter corporate results.

CNN: Stocks set for mild open
A reading on housing starts and building permits comes out at 8:30 a.m. ET. A state unemployment report is due out at 10 a.m. ET.
Reuters: Stock index futures down as Goldman results eyed
The dollar eased on Tuesday, inching closer to a two-month low versus the euro hit last week as investors continued to cut long positions on more disappointing U.S. economic data.


Oil climbed to $77 on Tuesday as forecasts for a fourth consecutive weekly drop in U.S. crude inventories bolstered the positive influence of rising stock markets in most of Asia.

HIV And The Economy

Another casualty of the global economic downturn is funding for HIV treatment. We are to be taking a step backwards here.

CNN: Economic woes put HIV-AIDS advances at risk
The global economic downturn is affecting how much governments around the world are giving to fight the the spread and early treatment of HIV-AIDS...

'Antisocial'

Trust

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bloodhound SuperSonic Car Model

Congratulations to the BBC for making its clip embed-able.

Nikkei Opens Lower On Tuesday

Lifting The Economy

This is what we want to see a useful debate on how to lift the economy.

CS Monitor: Beyond unemployment insurance: Six ideas to lift the economy
- Support consumer demand
- Incentivize hiring
- Tame the deficit
- Give clarity on taxes and regulation
- Have the Fed do more
- Get a long-term growth strategy

TPMtv - Tea Party Politics

On Foolishness

“Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it.” - Henry David Thoreau


“A fool may be known by six things: anger, without cause; speech, without profit; change, without progress; inquiry, without object; putting trust in a stranger, and mistaking foes for friends” - Arabian Proverb


“He who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client” - Proverb


“Only a fool expects to be happy all the time.” - Robertson Davie

Seeping

This is not what we wanted to see or hear. Seeping oil could mean that the well pipe deep in the surface of the Earth is ruptured. If that is the case, the problem grows in scope.

McClatchy: BP well, thought sealed, may be leaking, officials fear
If this scenario is accurate, the well cap will likely be reopened to prevent the existing environmental disaster from becoming even worse and even harder to fix. Once the valves are open, oil would gush once again into the ocean, cutting the pressure on the well system for the first time in three days.

Al Jazeera - World News Update

The Market On Monday

At 7:25 a.m. futures are moderately up.

A slew of second quarter reports will hit the air waves this week. With the DOW falling to 10,097, one might assume that corporations are reporting so so results. Not true, 75% of companies reporting so far have had second quarter results that are far better than expected. I don't really know what gives, I can't explain it. One would think that the DOW would be screaming right now, but its not.

CNN: Stocks poised to begin week higher
...results from 122 companies on tap this week.


The dollar was down against the euro, but up versus the British pound and the Japanese yen.


U.S. light crude oil for August delivery edged down 4 cents to $75.97 a barrel.
Reuters: Stock futures point to bounce for Wall Street
Halliburton, the No. 2 oilfield services company, kicks off the quarterly earnings reports for a sector that has been hurt by the blown-out well BP well in the Gulf of Mexico, on which the company did some work.

'Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On'

Jerry Lee Lewis in 1957 -

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Seep Detected

'The Story Of Anyburg, USA'

Coming Up On Wall Street

I can't really explain it and in my opinion neither does this article, but the DOW dropped significantly on Friday. Once again we are back to fears of a double dip recession or a weak recovery.

The trouble I have is that 75% of the companies reporting second quarter results so far have exceeded expectations. One would think that alone could help calm nerves. It has not. Comments from the Fed on lowered future economic growth and a return to weak consumer sentiment apparently were more powerful forces in directing the market.

So although the present seems fine from the corporate point of view, speculation on the future is a more powerful force. Its like pre-anxiety worry.

Reuters: Stocks eye earnings after ugly data
This week, investors will also hang on the words of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke when he gives his semi-annual testimony on the economy and monetary policy to members of two congressional committees. He will appear before the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday -- the same day that President Barack Obama will sign the massive Wall Street regulatory reforms into law. On Thursday, Bernanke will speak to the House Financial Services Committee.


According to Thomson Reuters data through July 16, 48 companies in the S&P 500 Index have reported earnings for the second quarter, with 75 percent having topped analysts estimates, 13 percent in line with expectations and 13 percent below expectations.