Friday, December 31, 2010

'Biutiful'

trailer

On A New Year

"An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves." - Bill Vaughan


"New Year's Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual." - Mark Twain


"Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account." - Oscar Wilde


"Many years ago I resolved never to bother with New Year's resolutions, and I've stuck with it ever since." - Dave Beard


“The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul” - G. K. Chesterton

BigDog

Allegedly a military robot in development and I have posted this before.

I guess they are not planning to use it for secretive missions. Sheesh, this thing is nosier than a field of bee hives miked through a rock concert PA. You could hear the thing coming at you from the next county over.

CNN - 100 Car Wreck

Ajax

Pareidolia

I am all for it. All religious appearances are fine with me. I don't care what food, what house shingle, potato chip, anything, I like it all.

Live Science: Virgin Mary Makes Trio of Holiday Appearances
This phenomenon, called pareidolia, is well known in psychology, and it is the cause of many supposedly mysterious and miraculous events (including the famous "Jesus in the Tortilla").

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Chomsky On Wikileaks

In my opinion Chomsky is one of the most brilliant political thinkers of this time. When Noam speaks, I listen. He is going to give you a raw truth and his research and knowledge are about as vast as vast gets.

ABC Melbourne: Few American friends for Wikileaks
The left-wing academic says he has spent a lot of time a lot of time reading declassified documents and that secrecy is usually aimed at 'protecting the government against their own population'.


'I think the burden of proof is always on the power systems that want to keep their citizens in the dark'.


"What's at stake is whether citizens of a country have a right to know what their government is doing..."


"The internet certainly offers many opportunities for disseminating information," says Prof Chomsky, "but if the press was doing its job most of these things would be known."

The Market On Friday

Good morning and Happy New Year's Eve. It is a cool and clear day here in Upstate NY. We made it through another year!

At 8:30 a.m. futures are descending, the dollar is down across the board, and oil is down.

Who can explain it?

Not I, I have no idea why we are into a triple negative trifecta of indicators. Hopefully evenness will prevail and the indexes will end at worst sideways as we wrap it up for 2010.

All in all, and if you are into equities, it was a pretty good year. You made some gains, take a deep breath and enjoy.

CNN: Stocks set for a dull finish to roller coaster year
...many investors have sealed their books and are celebrating another solid year for the stock market.

Oil for February delivery slipped 14 cents to $89.70 a barrel.

'Alive And Kicking'

Simple Minds

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ideas

Check out the page then go to the link for turbine free wind power. It is stunning.

NYT: The 10th Annual Year Of Ideas

'Love & Rage'

From Fandango -
A drama of romantic obsession turned violent, Love and Rage was inspired by a true story and partially filmed in the home where the actual events occurred. James Lynchahaun (Daniel Craig) works at the estate of Agnes MacDonnell (Greta Scacchi), a wealthy woman who considers her privacy important but shows flashes of a high-spirited nature among those she trusts...

Right Of Right

These guys make Nixon look like a communist.

Raw Story: Tea party group: Homeland Security ‘a liberal hate group’

K2 - Spice

I am so out of the loop. I didn't even know there was synthetic marijuana and now I am reading that its getting banned in state after state throughout the country.

From Wikipedia:
A large and complex variety of synthetic cannabinoids, most often cannabicyclohexanol, JWH-018, JWH-073, or HU-210, are used in an attempt to avoid the laws which make cannabis illegal, making synthetic cannabis a designer drug.
Seattlepi: State bans synthetic marijuana
Often called "K2" or "Spice," synthetic marijuana is a mix of common herbs sprayed with chemicals that mimic the high of pot. It is often sold as incense with a disclaimer that is it "not for human consumption." But users smoke it the same way they do cannabis.

TPMtv - O'Donnell: Biden And Soros And Disgruntled Workers, Oh My!

You know, we don't wish litigation on anyone, its a real drag.

As much as I am not a fan of O'Donnell, I hope she skates clean on the investigation into an allegation of improper use of campaign funds. On the other hand, if the investigation starts getting dirty and dirtier, well...that would be most interesting.

The Decade Of The Robot

According to California thinktank The Institute for the Future, we are entering the decade of the robot.

But there will never be another you...

Guardian UK: Dawn of the age of the robot
The US military is backing the development of a four legged mechanical pack-carrying robot, called the BigDogs. Guided by its own sensors BigDog can navigate treacherous terrain carrying 150kg on its back.


The University of South Carolina has developed a system called Contour Crafting that allows machines to construct buildings in layers guided by computers. The system can reduce construction times and costs by 75%, according to USC.


Google is working on cars that drive themselves.

Happy Sad

Think of your partner, turns out your mood really affects their mood.

Stay plucky you ingrate...

Live Science: Couples Grow Old, Happy and Sad Together

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Optimism For 2011

We are well aware that employment and the lack thereof remains a huge thorn in the economic recovery process. For many of us, the recession persists. Also, we are reading that our homes continues to lose value. In my area the market is saturated, and prices seem to be slightly stable. I spoke with someone just last night who told me they got an offer for their house that was significantly lower than the expected value of the house. People are accepting less money in order to sell. It is a buyers market.

Its important that we not only read the articles that expect lots of doom and give us warnings but also the slightly optimistic articles as well.

This CNN article is surprisingly bullish in sentiment citing four key aspects of the ordinary economy that are positive.

CNN: Four reasons for optimism in the 2011 economy
...a rise in the average workweek might suggest that sustained job growth is in the horizon.


...business investment in capital equipment rebounded in November.


Real money supply – the amount of money in circulation measured in traveler's checks, savings deposits, currency, money market accounts and the like – has increased...


...stock prices have surged.

The Market On Thursday

Good morning. It is a clear and crisp day here in Upstate NY. The sun is out and it is quite bright. During my morning walk the moon and starts were out and it was spectacular. If you can get out around 5:30 a.m. do it.

At 8:30 a.m. futures are slightly lower, the dollar is mixed, and oil is slightly down.

I just read that the first time unemployment filers number is 388,000. That is actually good. Below 400,000 is considered a more normal number. So this will be seen as positive news indeed.

CNN: Stocks set for a flat open
The Department of Labor releases its weekly report on jobless claims before the open.


After the start of trading, the National Association of Realtors is expected to report that pending home sales slipped 3% in November, after jumping 10.4% in October.


Oil for February delivery slipped 8 cents to $91.04 a barrel.

'Catch Me (I'm Falling)'

Pretty Poison

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Nikkei Opens Lower On Friday

'Grey Gardens'

Mother and daughter Big and Little Edie Beale, high-society dropouts and reclusive cousins of Jackie O., thrive together amid the decay and disorder of their ramshackle East Hampton mansion.
From Wikipedia:
Grey Gardens is a 1975 documentary film by Albert and David Maysles, with Susan Froemke, Ellen Hovde, and Muffie Meyer. The film depicts the everyday lives of two reclusive socialites, a mother and daughter both named Edith Beale...

"Big Edie" died in 1977 and "Little Edie" sold the house in 1979 to former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee and his wife Sally Quinn. "Little Edie" died in 2002 at the age of 84.

Installing Masterpieces

This is from the Brooks Museum in Memphis.

The Year In Deer

Comedy Central - David Chappelle

Chappelles Show
Celebrity Trial Jury Selection
www.comedycentral.com
Black Comedy

Hard Wired Politics Part 2

I think this article merits another look.

I was thinking about the premise of this study where conservatives and liberals may be politically hard wired - the shape of the brain resonating with the political affiliation.

It makes me think about FOX News in a different light. We are aware of the study that indicates that FOX News viewers are less informed as a result of viewing FOX. This is perplexing to many of us. Certainly it is frustrating and unhelpful.

If the study were to hold up and it turns out that conservatives do have a larger part of the brain associated with fear then FOX makes much more "sense." The idea is that FOX is not providing news but is providing fear as if it were a consumable and needed quantity for a particular viewer. The viewer doesn't go to FOX to be informed, they go to get their fear activated which is central to their brain makeup. One thing you must admit, FOX may not provide factual news, but they do provide fear.

Its a stretch, and I am searching here.

Any thoughts?

Telegraph UK: Political views 'hard-wired' into your brain
...a study that suggests people with right wing views have a larger area of the brain associated with fear.

Al Jazeera - World News Updates



Police Deaths Rise

When I think about all the difficult work that is conducted, certainly being a police officer has got to be one of the most difficult of all jobs.

These people put their lives on the line every day, just imagine working the beats in some of these harsh urban areas and poor rural areas.

Personally I have been perplexed by the release of data indicating that violent crime is down in America. Here we see that more police were killed while on duty in 2010. The former and latter don't jive.

In my opinion reviewing the article the most salient cause surrounds a more coldblooded type of criminal. Perhaps there are less criminals but the remaining ones are more coldblooded and there's still plenty of those people.

CS Monitor: Why police officer deaths rose 37 percent in 2010
But in five of the past 10 years, the number of police officer deaths topped 160, making the decade almost as dangerous for police as the street wars of the 1970s, when the average number of officers killed per year hovered around 200. And in the gangster heyday of the 1920s, about 150 died every year.


"Every cop that's slain or otherwise killed in the line of duty is a horrendous situation, but the numbers fluctuate so much percentage-wise because it really is a low-base-rate phenomenon. So even a little movement from one year to the next can produce a high percentage of difference over the previous year..."

"A more brazen, coldblooded criminal element is on the prowl in America, and they don't think twice about killing a cop..."

The Market On Wednesday

Good morning. It is approaching 32 degrees and its gray with clouds here in Upstate NY. This is the land of gray. The roads are now perfectly clear of snow, even the cyclists are back out. The squirrels are on the hunt and we are keeping the bird feeder hopping with activity.

At 8:15 a.m. futures are ever so slightly up, the dollar is flat and down, and oil is slightly down but is still holding above $90 per barrel. Interesting listening to the former head of Shell predict $5 per gallon gas in 2012. America's energy policy is in disarray. If the Republicans take over the complete reins in 2012, we can expect nothing to happen with alternative renewable energy outside of the individual's effort and a complete return to oil as the main energy focus. The eye will be on oil.

Investors are taking it easy this week. Trading is light. Hopefully the market will stay relatively flat as the new year rapidly approaches.

CNN: Stocks poised for slightly higher open
...as investors hold off making their next big bets till the new year.


Oil for February delivery slipped 43 cents to $91.06 a barrel.

'Crush On You'

The Jets

With the passing away of Teena Marie, we are remembering this vast repertoire of Prince influenced dance music from the later 80s. This one is a good example. The presentation leans in the direction of clean cut youthful dancing positiveness without detours into decadence or cultural irony. Bouncy choreography, big hair, color, and fast looping synth lines are requisites. It is the sober child of 70s disco music without the cocaine and quaalude sex.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Platts Energy Week

Listen to the former head of Shell talk energy policy.

Nikkei Is Flat On Wednesday

From Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

"The most difficult discipline is to be what you are. Constantly trying to be what you are NOT is much easier, because we are trained to con either ourselves or others, to fit things into appropriate categories. Whereas if you take all of that away, the whole thing becomes too irritating, too boring." from "Crazy Wisdom"

WSJ - 10 Trends In Mobile Technology

TRNN - 'The Man That Shoed Bush'

Confidently Not Confident

Today's two pieces of economic data that were supposed to help continue a Christmas rally on Wall Street fell flat on their duffs.

Home prices are down, again. And now consumer confidence is down a tad as well.

How can I make you feel more confident? You're nice, you work hard, you are deserving....

CNN: Consumers lose a little confidence
But consumers are somewhat more concerned about the outlook for jobs following a jump in the unemployment rate in November to 9.8%. Those who believe jobs are hard to get rose 0.5 percentage point to 46.8%, and those who there will be fewer jobs six months from now crept up 0.4 point to 19.5%.

Home Prices Down

The Case-Shiller home pricing index for October was just released and it shows that home prices dropped across the board in 20 major US cities.

This is bad news.

The worst affected areas over the last year are Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, and Portland.

Reuters: Case-Shiller home price indexes for October

Indeed

Allegedly in Massachusetts.

The sign is good but if it had the word 'dude' in there somewhere it would be at least 100 times better.

Computerized Sporting Apparel

Al Jazeera - World New Updates

Crock

The only thing this proves to me is that Gallup polling is a crock.

The top five women includes Condoleeza Rica and Sarah Palin. Seriously now, these are two of the top five most admired women by Americans.

Are you kidding me? You expect us to take this seriously? This is terribly disappointing and unimaginative.

Move on to the next train wreck...

CS Monitor: Gallup poll: Top 5 men and women admired by Americans
2. George W. Bush and Sarah Palin


1. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton

The Market On Tuesday

Good morning. It is a beautiful cold, clear, crisp, crystalline day here in Upstate NY. We paid the price with a monster snow storm now we are reaping the benefit of the exquisite post storm brilliance. I hope. It is the Northeast and as the saying goes, if you don't like the weather, well just wait a minute.

At 8:25 a.m. futures are ever so slightly up, the dollar is down across the board, and oil is slightly up. One might say the positive market trifecta is in.

Investors will be looking at two pieces of economic data that may very well influence the direction of the market.

We will see numbers on home prices and consumer confidence. Let me ask you right here and now, are you confident you ingrate.

I was reading an extensive article on the retiring baby boomer generation last night. Turns out the boomers are mostly broke. We are in for a decline in lifestyle in our retirement period or as I like to call it the pre-white light period. We didn't save enough, we lived recklessly, and our houses are now worth bupkiss. But man we sure got laid a lot in the 70s and 80s and if you were lucky maybe the 90s. Hell yes.

CNN: Stocks poised for higher open
Consumer spending accounts for about two-thirds of economic activity...


The Case-Shiller 20-City index of home prices in major metropolitan areas for October is due at 9 a.m. ET.


At 10 a.m. ET, the Conference Board will release a reading on consumer confidence for December.


Oil for February delivery rose 15 cents to $90.15 per barrel.

'Just What I Needed'

The Cars

Monday, December 27, 2010

The C Six

I am down on this list, except for garlic. I like it in small doses once in a while. There's a restaurant around here that really revs up the taste with garlic. We hit it once a month because they really do well with tasty. Around 3 a.m. the garlic makes itself unwelcome in the stomach, and a Pepto night ensues.

Eat these foods you ingrate...

Yahoo: 6 cancer-fighting superfoods
1. Broccoli
2. Berries
3. Tomatoes
4. Walnuts
5. Garlic
6. Beans

Nikkei Opens Lower On Tuesday

'Widening Gyre'

Sons of Anarchy

Think soap opera that takes place in the middle of a biker drug running club with lots of room for violence, sex, drugs, love triangles, loyalty oaths, patriarchal overlords, within the context of utterly confused human psychodrama.

TV moguls must be testing the market for the next generation of daytime programming...

I give it 3 Harleys, 5 knuckles, 1 decent bj, and 2 superlative buttocks.

The Real News Network - History Of The National Security State With Gore Vidal

Bakugan Naga Toy

Apparently its all the rage among the youngsters.

The figures fold up into a perfect ball.

Affair Plus Trial

Talk about being hapless. This guy snoops on his wife's email and finds out she is having an affair. They get divorced and now he faces a court trial for hacking into her computer. No mention of alimony but that would be the topper.

Allegedly the trial has major implications in how a particular hacking law is enforced.

Guardian UK: American charged with hacking after snooping on wife's emails
Walker was charged after opening the Gmail account of his wife, Clara, who was married twice previously. Walker found she was having an affair with her second husband, who had once been arrested for beating her in front of her young son from her first husband.


Walker is due to stand trial in February.

Before After

Before the storm, 4pm Sunday -


After the storm, 2:30pm Monday -

The Capnometer And Panic Attacks

There is a breakthrough in the treatment of panic disorder.

Live Science: To Stave Off Panic, Don't Take a Deep Breath
The treatment is called capnometry-assisted respiratory training, or CART.


"It's not because they have a lack of oxygen, it's because they're exhaling too much air," Meuret said, adding, "'Take a deep breath' is not a helpful instruction."


The treatment works by normalizing the baseline levels of carbon dioxide in the blood, Meuret said, making people less prone to hyperventilation and giving them the tools they need to reverse an attack. (Individuals only need to use the capnometer in the training phase of the treatment.)

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

A Better 2011

We like to read about ways to improve our world.

Nice extensive article over at CS Monitor on this topic.

It seems like stupid is on the rise. A broken political system is now more broken. Hysteria is a normal reaction, and the media promotes hysteria. I thought one of the more interesting articles of the year had to do with how FOX viewers were consistently ill informed and held incorrect facts as truths. This is the state of a sizable part of the country. The country as a whole is ill informed. There's so much talk about rekindling education and elevating the American student once again, but how do you start a roaring fire in the middle of a swamp lake, the fuel is inadequate.

Ordinarily I am optimistic about our society. How else could one look at the daily onslaught of disaster if there wasn't a counter balance. But right now I am not optimistic. There is no political party Democrats or Republicans that is conducting the work of the American people. There are a few individuals out there maybe 10% of Congress or so who are okay but 90% is doing the business of corporations and their own personal self interests.

We are still the objects of a mass hysteria campaign that rams through destructive ideas, as the American public is repeatedly lied to in order to clear a harmful path. The formula that rammed through the Iraq war is very much alive and present.

CS Monitor: Ideas for a better world in 2011
John H. Adams


Idea: A fuel-stingy car in every garage


He wants to require US cars to get 60 miles per gallon of gas by 2025. "It's a solution that will save the planet, sustain America's independence, and rebuild our economy," says Mr. Adams. He also sees it as a primary way to fight global warming, extracting a "giant chunk of carbon from the atmosphere."


Joseph S. Nye, Jr.


Idea: Why the US isn't Rome


Mr. Nye writes: Sixty percent of Americans think the US is in decline. A recent poll shows 47 percent think China's economy is stronger (though the Chinese economy is unlikely to equal the size of America's for another 20 years).


Why does it matter? Because a fearful, inward-looking US is less likely to provide leadership that the world needs to solve transnational challenges such as climate change, financial stability, cyber-security, and terrorism.


Americans are prone to cycles of belief in decline. Polls showed a belief in decline after the Soviet Union launched Sputnik in 1957, after Nixon's economic adjustments and the oil shocks in the 1970s, and after the closing of Rust Belt industries and the budget deficits of the Reagan administration in the '80s. Such cycles of "declinism" tell us more about American psychology than real shifts in power.

The Market On Monday

Good morning. It is snowing and very cold here in Upstate NY. We really got clobbered with snow overnight. People are digging out and as far as I could tell the main roads look pretty good. I went out for my 2.5 mile walk a few hours ago and I had on a silk t-shirt, regular cotton t-shirt, microfiber long sleeve shirt, woolen sweater, fleece vest, woolen jacket, and down vest. Also had on the microfiber long johns and flannel lined pants. That's seven top layers, no wonder I was so hot. Walking was not easy, it was like walking in a nightmare where your moving your legs but not getting anywhere.

At 8:30 a.m. futures are modestly down, the dollar is down, and oil is down. Its all down.

The one or two investors who somehow managed to make it down to Wall Street now have a lot of say over the world's economy.

It is China's recent bank interest rate hike that has investors puzzling. They are wondering what exactly this means in terms of the soon to be world's greatest economy.

CNN: Stocks set for lower open
On Sunday, the People's Bank of China raised its benchmark interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point...


Trading volume is expected to be extremely light.


Oil for February delivery slipped 25 cents to $91.26 a barrel.

'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds'

Beatles

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Coming Up On Wall Street

Perusing the Reuters article on what's coming up on Wall Street this week, one sees that the quoted investors suspect a market correction is in the near future.

Recall that February is a big dividend month.

As a novice follower of the market, three simple observations occur.

First, whatever happened to the "double dip?" Contrary to many expert economists, the double dip didn't.

Second, the DOW is at 11,500 and this is where yours truly was thinking the DOW would be at around September of 2011. We are perched on high.

Third, does anyone really think the DOW will crack 12,000 especially when cracking 11,000 was the biggest surprise story of the year.

A correction is coming.

Reuters: Santa rally continues as China hikes rates
The CBOE Volatility Index VIX .VIX, known as Wall Street's fear gauge, was down by two-thirds from this year's peak in May.


"We think there could be a correction of 5 to 7 percent" toward the second half of January...


"Currently, bullish sentiment has been rising, but we feel optimism is not widespread and only skin deep, which means that investors are likely to turn bearish at the first downtick...


"Odds are that a meaningful correction lies in the near future..."

Nikkei Opens Higher On Monday

Suspicious

A local road is shut down when a cab driver notices a suspicious package.

I had no idea suspicions were so raw.

CBS 6: 'Suspicious package' shuts down Everett Road

'True Grit'

trailer - new Coen Brothers film.

Confronting Birthers

The new governor of Hawaii has pledged to take on the birthers and put the detraction to rest once and for all.

Then how come we are reading about this in a publication out of England?

Salacious news is a big deal in the USA, we need birthers for the economy.

Guardian UK: Barack Obama detractors, the birthers, face challenge from Hawaii governor
"[Obama's] a big boy; he can take sticks and stones. But there's no reason on earth to have the memory of his parents insulted by people whose motivation is solely political. Let's put this particular canard to rest," he said.


The governor is working with Hawaii's attorney general and health department to find ways of producing definitive evidence of Obama's Hawaiian birth. Full disclosure is restricted under the state's privacy laws.

Snow Down

Started to snow here around 4:00.

Its the first big storm of the season. I think some people are a little unnerved by it. That seems perfectly normal. Its very quiet around here.

That's the before shot. I will do an after shot tomorrow...

Changing Times

If conservative Catholic Ireland can adjust its laws, we suspect the rest of the world will catch on.

Irish Central: Ireland’s gay civil partnership recognized in law
"Their relationships will be legally recognised and protected."


After they register as a civil partnership, the couple will be treated in the very same way as spouses under tax and social welfare codes.

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Gaseous

America is floating on natural gas. Allegedly there is so much of it, we don't know what to do with it all.

America's got gas.

CS Monitor: Top 5 overlooked stories of 2010
4. Rise of natural gas


The dramatic rise in the amount of retrievable natural gas in the United States could recast the nation's energy profile.


Natural gas is threatening the dominance of coal and undercutting nascent efforts not only to resuscitate nuclear energy but also to establish renewable energy as a viable and economic alternative.
Discovery: Sex Offenders Thrive in Oil and Gas Boom Towns
...Joel Berger and Jon Beckmann of the Wildlife Conservation Society have found that registered sex offenders are three times more numerous per capita in towns whose economy relies on natural gas mining than communities built around agriculture or recreation...

Patron Of The Arts

Roy R. Neuberger has passed away at age 107.

He was a financial wizard and a huge patron of the arts. If you enjoy MOMA, you are viewing work donated by Neuberger.

Reuters: 20th century financial titan Neuberger dies at 107
In 1967, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller offered to build a museum at the New York State University at Purchase that would serve in part as a repository for Neuberger's collection. The museum opened in May 1974.


He donated other major works in his collection -- which included paintings by Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock and Milton Avery, to New York's Museum of Modern Art and Metropolitan Museum of Art.

'Just Dropped In'

Kenny Rogers and The First Edition

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Lesson On Silver

This is almost 2 years old.

Silver is at present slightly over $29 per ounce.

'The Christmas Song - Chestnuts Roasting'

Nat King Cole

Simply the best...

Snow Time

What we've been waiting for, a white Christmas.

CNN: Blizzard warning issued for parts of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut
The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for the New York metro area, northeast New Jersey and coastal Connecticut, CNN has confirmed.
WRGB
A Winter Storm Watch is now in effect from Sunday afternoon through Monday morning for the immediate Capital Region, mid Hudson valley, Schoharie valley, eastern Catskills and Bennington, Berkshire and Litchfield counties for the possibility of 7" or more of snow.

PBS - The Dude Abides Excerpt

Watch the full episode. See more American Masters.

On Giving

“If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another.” - Tenzin Gyatso, The 14th Dalai Lama quotes


“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” - Kahlil Gibran


“The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving.” - Albert Einstein


“Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.” - Albert Camus

Christmas Wish

I am going to try very hard to protect my peace today.

The Buddhist monks would meditate and beside them would be a pile of black marbles and a pile of white marbles. One black marble would represent one negative thought. One white marble would represent a positive thought.

When they would actually have a negative thought while meditating, they would create a second pile of black marbles. When they would have a positive thought, they would create a second pile of white marbles.

Allegedly when they first started meditating, the pile of black marbles would be the largest. Over time, that pile would get smaller and the white pile larger. Eventually they would create only a white pile of marbles.

I am going for a white marble type of day.

I hope your day is absolutely delicious.

'Hallelujah Chorus'

Handel

Friday, December 24, 2010

Renewable Fuel

This gets a huge wow.

Guardian UK: Researchers develop reactor to make fuel from sunlight
A simple reactor that mimics plants by turning sunlight into fuel has been demonstrated in the laboratory, boosting hopes for a large-scale renewable source of liquid fuel.

'A Prophet'

trailer

Watched this on Netflix. It is outstanding. One of the best films I've seen in a while. Its the best film of the last few years.

'Valse Statique-La Théorie Du Combo'

Chaser The Border Collie

I love this dog.

Widening The Gap

The rich didn't just get richer, they got almost everything!

CNN: The rich are much richer than you and me

Stroke Belt

I was not aware of a stroke belt. The stroke belt is "an area..that includes the coastal plains of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia."

People in this area run a higher risk of dying from a stroke.

The idea is that people in this region particularly black people, eat too much fried fish. Fish is considered a decent enough food for many reasons but it is the deep frying that may turn it into something that the body can't handle.

Health News: 'Stroke Belt' Mystery: Fried Fish Linked to Higher Death Rate
...there is evidence that frying fish reduces their amount of omega-3 fatty acids...Frying is also associated with an increase in the food's fat and calorie content.

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Right Solution, Wrong Congress

The EPA has worked out a timetable for reducing greenhouse gases. The plan has been hailed by environmentalists.

So far so good.

Ah, one itty bitty sticking point arises in January when a Republican party hell bent on the world's screwiest agenda takes over in Congress.

The Republican party does not believe in greenhouse gases, its some kind of socialist liberal trick and all of the scientists in the world could get on board but they are also socialist liberals.

We can go over the angina producing reasoning here, but let's save that for after the holidays.

I would expect that we see more about this in the coming months.

CS Monitor: EPA presents plan on greenhouse gases. Can next Congress stop it?
...the US Environmental Protection Agency Thursday laid out a timetable for the nation's largest carbon emitters – power plants and refineries – to begin curbing those pollutants.


Republicans have said all year that they plan to pull out all the stops to keep the EPA from phasing in greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations beginning in 2011, saying they would damage the energy industry, raise prices, and cost jobs.

No Market On Friday

Good morning. Its cold and starting to slightly clear here in Upstate NY. Lots of unfriendly dog walkers were out this morning. No one was willing to say good morning and that's in a neighborhood where everyone lives comfortably in a decent looking house. Must be the holiday cheer kicking in. Lesson learned...

As you know the stock market is closed today for Christmas Eve. Car traffic in my community is light as I presume many have taken the day off.

As long as investors are taking the day off from the stock market, I will too except for one thing.

The price of oil has passed $90 per barrel. This can only mean that the threshold of $100 is in sight and on the lips and pockets of commodity speculators. It also means that gas is going to get more expensive. You can take that to the bank.

CNN: Stocks take early vacation, end flat
"Everyone is on vacation or just taking a break from the stock market..."


Oil for February delivery jumped $1.03, or 1%, to settle at a fresh two-year high of $91.51 a barrel...

'Touch Me'

Doors

Look at the shiner on the guitar player...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

UFO Files Released

Nikkei Opens Lower On Friday

Although some world markets are active on Friday, Wall Street will be closed for the holiday.

Reuters: Nikkei opens lower on yen but sentiment strong

Blue Collar Comedy

'In Debt We Trust'

Rachel Maddow - Gingrich

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Stripped

Conflict between medical priority and religious priority arises in Phoenix.

ABC News: Bishop Strips Hospital of Catholic Status After Abortion
Nun Gets Ex-Communicated From Catholic Church After Approving an Abortion to Save a Mom's Life

Gift

Allegedly the work of David Mamet

Okay

You know, I am no longer a big Obama fan or supporter. That train left the station. He pretends to be a progressive and then goes about dismantling SSI. I have no love for this guy anymore.

Seperate from this, you would have to agree that the attacks on Obama are quite bizarre.

You thought you heard it all with birthers, and death squads, Muslim birth etc etc. Yet there is more. A conservative group is now alleging that Obama wants to give the USA back to the Indians.

Raw Story: Conservative group: Obama will give ‘entire land mass’ of the US to ‘the Indians’

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Titan

Titan is a gorgeous looking moon of Saturn.

The Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn is still swooping around Titan and has produced some amazing data that has scientists aflutter.

Think about it - volcanoes that spew slushy ice, prospects for pre-biotic chemistry, and hydrocarbon lakes.

Nice place to visit. The idea is that Titan is in a type of pre-Earth-like state. It is a bio-chemists dream world.

CS Monitor: What's new with Titan? Five intriguing findings about Saturn's moon
To be sure, planetary scientists had posited that Titan was home to liquid-hydrocarbon lakes or seas.


...Titan, so on a very young Earth, complex pre-biotic molecules could literally have fallen from the skies.


...there are four possible explanations. But the most provocative involves the presence of organisms that are methane-based, rather than water-based, as terrestrial organisms are.

The Market On Thursday

Good morning. We are having some light snow. Earlier I was out walking and the snow was stinging my eyes as it whipped around in the wind. I really like the feel of that.

At 8:30 a.m. futures are flat, the dollar is mixed, and oil is slightly up per barrel remaining over $90 per barrel for a few days now. Notice that gas prices are climbing again. The national average is over $3 per gallon. Relative to the rest of the world its still pretty cheap.

The journalists are indicating that the day is supposed to be relatively quiet. We shall see. Investors will be looking at data on personal income and new house sales. The first time layoffs number is slightly improved again.

CNN: Stocks positioned for a flat open
Pre-holiday trading sessions are usually pretty quiet.


U.S. markets will be closed Friday for the holiday weekend.


Oil for February delivery gained 12 cents to $90.60 a barrel.


Gas prices have risen more than 4% from a month ago, and are nearly 16% higher than the a year ago.

'Bad Romance'

Lady Gaga

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

'The King's Speech'

trailer

Finally

Its about damn time, and shame on the GOP for holding this up.

CNN: House passes 9/11 health bill

What Is Mindfulness?

Jon Kabat-Zinn, who is the son of the late Howard Zinn, gives a short talk on mindfulness.

Kabat-Zinn runs a stress reduction clinic in Boston. He's very good. I'm a fan of his book 'Full Catastrophe Living.'

Hexane Use With Soy

If you eat soy beans in any shape or form, check out the video.

Hell Freezes

TPMtv - Repealing DADT

2.6

The government has revised the third quarter GDP up a notch to 2.6% up from 2.5%.

Previously owned house sales are up as well.

The data is pointing to a slightly strengthening economy.

Reuters: Third-quarter GDP raised, home sales bounce back

Lunch

I just made a completely rocking health food lunch for myself. Its still making me happy.

- Sauteed some tempeh and some mushrooms in canola oil.
- Toasted a multigrain wrap and spread some horseradish on it, not too much though.
- Put some arugula and carrot on the wrap.
- Tossed in the hot sauteed tempeh and mushrooms.
- Wrapped it up and ate it like it was my last meal.

That puppy was tasty.

I almost forgot the very small glass of fresh pomegranate juice.

Pope Makes Excuses

How quickly one can lose respect for an individual.

Here we have the Pope making excuses for pedophile priests.

The responsibility for your actions lie with you. This is one aspect of liberal thinking that it wrong. We can talk about context with all kinds of issues, but people make their own decisions. Whenever I see someone blaming their actions on the social context, I get steamed. Its called not accepting responsibility.

Live Science: Pope Blames 1970s Society for Pedophile Priests

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Do Not

So this guy out in Chicago ran a blog. On the blog he objected to some kind of weapons ban in Chicago. As a way of retaliating against the ban he wrote on his blog for his readers to go out and kill judges. He wrote personal information about the judges, how to get at the judges.

What was this guy thinking? First off, never threaten people with death, don't ever do that. I don't care what justification you think you have. Yes I do believe in self defense in a life threatening situation but after that, nobody needs to make death threats. Okay bottom line, no death threats. Thank you.

CS Monitor: Blogger gets 33 months for threatening Chicago judges on Internet
...Turner posted photographs, phone numbers, work addresses, and room numbers for the three judges.

The Market On Wednesday

Good morning. Welcome to hump day and welcome to winter, little by little the light will return. The ground freezes and the soil has a chance to rest. Snow gives us a rest from the vibrancy of color in the summer. Winter always strikes me as an especially contemplative time.

At 8:20 a.m. futures are flat, the dollar is mixed, and oil is now up over $90 per barrel. That $90 per barrel is on the high side...

Investors will soon learn the latest revised numbers on the third quarter GDP, along with data on previously owned housing. That should be of concern to all homeowners.

Volume is expected to be low as many investors have already closed the books on 2010 as they now vacation and take tourist tours of outer space.

CNN: Stocks poised for flat open
...both companies and investors have piles of cash on the sidelines.


The existing home sales index from the National Association of Realtors is also due Wednesday morning.


...a reading on mortgage applications also are on tap for Wednesday.


Oil for February delivery gained 42 cents to $90.24 a barrel.

'I Shall Be Released'

The Band

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Real

Here is something we really need. Its a positive story and we just don't have enough of these.

Please read.

NPR: A Victim Treats His Mugger Right

Nikkei Opens Higher On Wednesday

'Exit Through The Gift Shop'

trailer - a film by Banksy.

'The Art Of War' Part 1

Secession Ball

Ordinarily a ball celebrating the 150th anniversary of the South Carolina secession from the Union would not bother me in the least little bit even if I do have to read about it from a website based in England.

But this point is a good one. "What would happen if Japanese Americans decided to have a ball to celebrate Pearl Harbour?"

Yes, there is a very severe double standard at play here. We can fill in the above critique with all kinds of different names linked to various atrocities and they just simply could not take place. People would be aghast.

So in my opinion, there must be a social threshold that an event has to cross in order to muster enough demanding dissent to stop it. Or if the threshold is crossed, which I believe the Secession Ball does, there has to be a counter force that pushes the dissent backwards, pushes it back down to the level of non story, non starter.

I suspect we might be able to think of reasons why this ball can be held, and who is not going to try to stop it even in the face of valid dissent.

Guardian UK: 'Secession ball' marks start of American civil war with champagne and dancing
A ballroom full of white guests gathered last night, each paying $100, to mark the anniversary of 20 December 1860, the day that South Carolina became the first state in the US to declare secession from the Union in order to protect the right to slavery.

"What would happen if Japanese Americans decided to have a ball to celebrate Pearl Harbour?"

The Real News Network - Howard Zinn

As you know Zinn passed away. This is from April 2009.


More at The Real News

'Episode 1'

Million Dollar Money Drop

Think 'They Shoot Horses Don't They.' This one is in need of some serious critical commentary. You can touch it, you can feel it. If you get the answer wrong, the money drops away out of sight just like your investments and your house value.

These people are actors.

Crazy Baby

Tom Tomorrow's take on 2010...

Salon: 2010 moments of pure crazy

Commercial Christmas

Have you emptied your wallet yet? I did. Life just isn't right unless I am broke by the 25th....

Live Science: 7 Holiday Marketing Tricks Retailers Use
1. Turning your friends into salespeople


One of the newest holiday marketing tricks doesn't take place in the store. Retailers are increasingly turning to social networking to recruit average shoppers as advertisers.

Military Rape

Recall Dahr Jamail. He was an independent journalist during the Iraq war, one of the few non embedded writers, giving us another view of the war.

He's written an eye opening article on rape in the military. The victims are women and men, yes men.

Al Jazeera: Rape rampant in US military
Armando Javier was an active duty Marine from 1990 to 1994. He was a Lance Corporal at Camp Lejeune in 1993 when he was raped.


Five Marines jumped Javier and beat him until he was nearly unconscious, before taking turns raping him. His sexual victimization narrative reads, “One of them, a corporal, pulled down my shorts and instructed the others to ‘Get the grease’. Another corporal instructed someone to bring the stick. They began to insert the stick inside my anus. The people present during this sadistic and ritual-like ceremony started to cajole, cheer, and laugh, saying “stick em’ – stick-em’.”

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Stamped

While America flaunts TV shows that have happy couples buying million dollar homes in Honolulu, a different parallel story emerges if one takes the time to look under the hood for an instant.

You know, we are reading that crime in America is down. That is pure and utter nonsense. I mean look at this article below, 1 in 7 Americans now rely on food stamps. That's criminal. We don't call it a crime, but its an f-ing crime.

Hey, I'm surprised there even are food stamps at this point. Why isn't Newt Gingrich out there blasting and blaming the hungry for needing food. Obama is not any better. He wants to see millions of American seniors living out of garbage pails. The happy black man president is demolishing Social Security and meanwhile everyone is praising him for giving Gays military freedom. If there ever was a series of planned policy signings to mask Obama's deviant attack on SSI, this was it. Did you notice that, Obama attacks SSI, and a day later signs the end of DADT.

Hypocrite.

CNN: 1 in 7 Americans rely on food stamps
"The high unemployment rate caused the high participation rate (sic)..."

The Market On Tuesday

Good morning. We are into the deepest darkest part of the year. The Sun is about to start its effervescent rise till mid June. Can you see June from here? I like it when its dark in the morning, I would trade more dark in the morning for more light in the afternoon. When I'm out walking in the morning its dark out and I like it. Too much cloud coverage around here to see the moon properly early this morning. I woke up around 3 a.m., looked out, and jumped right back into bed.

At 8:25 a.m. futures are modestly up, the dollar is mixed, and oil is down a penny. Oil is just below $90 per barrel again. It is leaning more towards $90 than $80 in recent weeks.

Trading volume is expected to be low with many investors looking into purchasing private islands in the Caribbean and wondering which impossibly expensive Italian sports car to buy. Such demanding choices, life can be so hard.

With president Obama's vicious assault on Social Security, peace and happiness are descending on Wall Street. Dollar signs have replaced candy canes. Mounds of gold and silver are raining down, its manna from you, you freaking ingrate.

CNN: Futures edge up ahead of the open
The three major indexes have risen to two-year highs during the last few weeks, since President Obama announced the compromise deal on the Bush-era tax rates.


Eurozone debt woes continue to brew for overseas investors.


There are no major economic reports on tap for Tuesday.