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Emptying the Nest

March 7, 2011

Never seen such a good film of this before and found it quite touching.

Too bad we can’t communicate with these intelligent creatures. It would be nice to be able to at least say “Well done” to the exhausted mama.

37 Comments leave one →
  1. cometman permalink*
    March 7, 2011 2:07 pm

    Just a few notes today –

    Somebody hacked into French government computers and removed documents related to the G20 summit in France. Ought to be interesting if those are made public.

    Speaking of hackers and secret documents, this article purports to tell what really happened with rape allegations against Julian Assange – How the Swedes Set Up Julian Assange. In short, it basically tries to confirm suspicions that have been floating around for a while that the charges are trumped up by people in league with Sweden’s right wingers who are looking to find favor with the right wing US government. Take with a grain of salt though. It reads like it was written by David Byron with lots of “man-haters” at fault for everything. At least it’s entertaining of not completely trustworthy.

    And finally, in the “shocked to find gambling at Casablanca” department, the head of the London School of Economics rolls for his role in helping Gaddafi’s kid get a fraudulent doctorate in exchange for a whole bunch of cash – LSE head resigns over links to Gaddafi regime.

    Evidently Gaddafi Jr. had written a doctoral thesis with quite a bit of intellectual heft to it. That didn’t sound right to his former tutor John Christensen who had this to say

    He [Christensen] said: “Shortly after Mr Gaddafi started his studies at the LSE it became clear that he was struggling, not least with economics. The then Libyan ambassador to the UK discreetly requested that Saif be given extra tuition, and by various circuitous routes I was approached to tutor him.”

    Mr Christensen said he pulled out of the arrangement after a few months, without taking a penny, when he realised Saif had “absolutely no academic ability”. Not even the hinted reward of a top-of-the-range Mercedes could make him change his mind.

    His pupil was “thick” and, ironically, was studying democracy and the role of civil society – “concepts that were entirely alien to him”.

    More on all this from the BBC- LSE investigates Gaddafi’s son plagiarism claims

    and from the Independent – Gaddafi son’s LSE thesis ‘written by Libyan academic’.

    Anybody care to start looking into the bona fides of Geithner, Summers, Dimon, Blankfein, etc., on this side of the pond?

  2. artemis54 permalink
    March 7, 2011 2:38 pm

    5 ways to maximize your cognitive potential

    1. Seek Novelty

    2. Challenge Yourself

    3. Think Creatively

    4. Do Things The Hard Way

    5. Network

    Not that the squidlette is in need or anything. Caveat: If doing things the hard way really helped all that much, I would surely be some sort of genius by now.

    Behind in the house, the yard, the desk, the latest was this stupid rar file I downloaded (whatever rar is). In trying to find some way to open it I think I killed the hamster running C drive. This took forever to get straithened out, and now I’m further behind than ever.

    • cometman permalink*
      March 8, 2011 1:28 pm

      That was really interesting. Been reading and watching a few related things lately so be warned if I start rambling again. Far from an expert in this subject but that article sounds about right to me. I was reading another article a couple days ago which was defending cog-sci from some debunkers. The author wrote along that lines that cognitive science is wrong except when it isn’t, much like any other science. Because I’m evidently cognitively impaired, I wasn’t able to find that article again, but the gist was that yes, there are some areas where this field strays a little (or sometimes a lot) from what would be considered good science. IMO cog-sci doesn’t do so well when it comes to trying to describe emotions or personalities, not yet at least, since there are so many variables and external data that go into producing an emotion or personality. But you have to start somewhere.

      I do think it does quite well in showing how the mind functions on a more basic level when you’re just dealing with what happens internally amongst the neurons and synapses.

      Stephen Colbert had a guy on just last night talking about how you really can improve your memory through practice. Pretty interesting interview that you can watch here. Never knew there were actually memory competitions before, but this guy started out by studying some of these memory “athletes” and eventually became one himself within the year he was working on the book.

      All this leads to the question of what “intelligence” actually is. I’ve always been of the opinion that there are very few people who are actually stupid in the sense that they simply can’t learn. They just don’t want to learn for one reason or another and for many education stops once they get out of school, and even in school a lot of times people don’t learn to think. We are definitely awash in ignorance in this country but that is something that can be fixed and I’d love to see some of the author’s ideas implemented into our education system. Then I’d have more people to network with and talk to about the things that I’m interested in :)

      And doing little mental exercises does keep your brain sharp. Comparing what I used to be able to do off the top of my head to my present day capabilities, I really do think you need to use it or you lose it. I’d be hard pressed to perform even simple differential equations these days but 20 years ago I could no problem. Still like to keep up with the simple math though and I used to get a rise out of customers at the bank when I’d add up their list of checks in my head. And reading a lot about a lot of different subjects does have a way of linking things together in your head and making it easier to see the big picture.

      Here’s the big question I have though. Why is it that “genius”, the kind that leads to new insights and discoveries, only seems to happen when you’re young? You’d think that if you kept your mind sharp, then scientists would be making big discoveries into their old age but the biggest breakthroughs in math and physics tend to come when people are in their 20s or 30s with not much after that. Always been puzzled by that. You’d think people would be able to build more on their earlier breakthroughs but it just doesn’t seem to happen. Suppose it’s possible that the whole idea is just a canard – can’t say that I have anything more than anecdotal evidence to back it up. But there are quite a few scientists like Einstein who made their big breakthroughs while they were young and then spent years being frustrated at not being able to make the next step.

      • artemis54 permalink
        March 8, 2011 2:18 pm

        Well aren’t you a little ray of sunshine today?

        I’ve certainly noticed math is the first thing to go.

        • cometman permalink*
          March 8, 2011 2:55 pm

          Heh. Didn’t mean to be a downer. I really find this stuff fascinating.

          Besides the math leaving, I also notice that I have to really think about spatial relationships sometimes, even for simple things like giving directions and telling somebody to go east vs west.

          Anyway, you probably noticed that I have a lot of physics envy and wish I could understand the language these people speak better. Looking forward to busting out the old calculus books and trying to help the squidlette with her homework in another decade or so.

          • artemis54 permalink
            March 8, 2011 4:31 pm

            Child rearing clue: they are more impressed with practical knowledge. Miraculously, I was able to fix the clothes dryer – because my mom used to have a laundromat and because there isn’t really that much to dryers.

            For a couple years, the kids thought I was a genius. I doubt a Nobel in chemistry would have impressed them as much.

  3. artemis54 permalink
    March 8, 2011 2:15 pm

    Speaking of cog sci, a PNAS paper on the ability of elephants to work cooperatively

    I think it is going viral. The only thing surprising is that this experiment hasn’t been done before. Is there really any question that elephants have considerable intelligence?

    The video tells it all, including the most interesting bit: a young heffalump slacker immediately figured out a way to cheat and make someone else do all the work.

  4. cometman permalink*
    March 8, 2011 2:43 pm

    Well hallelujah! First article I’ve read in a long time which suggests that just maybe we shouldn’t assume that all financial “innovations” are good – Should all financial innovation be curbed?

    A paper just came out suggesting the answer to that query is “hell yes” and from reading the article it sounds like the UK at least is finally considering limiting them. Just finished reading Yves Smith’s book Econned. Wouldn’t recommend it unless you are a sucker for arcane financial stuff as it’s not really for complete beginners in this field and Smith does like the financial-speak so it isn’t an easy read. But there was one part where she described how these CDO we’ve heard about were constructed and this was the first time in two + years of reading this crap that I really understood the specific mechanism the banksters used. And it was nothing but a blatant rip off, repackaging debt that should never have been issued in the first place.

    The CNBC “wisdom” is that it was all the fault of subprime borrowers with bad credit who got loans they shouldn’t have and nothing could be further from the truth. A small percentage of subprime borrowers defaulting by itself was not enough to cause a global meltdown. It was all due to predatory lending and lack of regulation. Smith had some nice graphics to show how these deals were packaged but I’m going to try to put it in words.

    Subprime loans were riskier than normal loans to begin with, that’s a given. some defaults were to be expected but nothing posing a systemic risk. So far so good. Then groups of subprime loans were bundled together into CDOs which was supposed to alleviate risk to the loan underwriters. Each CDO had separate tranches people could invest in. The top tranche contained the best of the subprimes and was rated AAA, then a riskier tranche rated AA, all the way down to the riskiest tranche with the worst loans rated BB. About 80% of the loans were in the top tranche and the top tranche gets paid first, which means that more than 20% of the loans would have to never pay back a penny before the AAA tranche investors would see any losses. That was very unlikely so those tranches were justifiably rated AAA. Since the risk was low, AAA investors were paid less interest, and the BB investors were paid the highest interest since that tranche did have a high risk of default. So far still pretty good.

    Here’s where the problem came in. Nobody wanted to buy the riskier BB tranches and the issuers didn’t want to keep holding on to them. So then these whiz kids took all the BB tranches from various CDOs and created new second tier CDOs with the worst of the already riskier subprime debt and structured them the same way as before. Now all the shit debt was in one CDO and the “best” of this shitty debt was again rated AAA !!!! (that 2nd repackaging is the part I hadn’t really understood before) The same stipulations applied – 80% or so would have to default before the AAA investors took any losses. But this time the risk of default for the entire CDO was extremely high and there was a very high likelihood that more than 80% would default when all the shit loans were packaged together. But to supposedly alleviate this risk, investors could by insurance in the form of a credit default swap. If the CDO defaulted, insurance would pay in full. But of course the CDOs were going to default and investors didn’t even need to own the underlying CDO to get insurance on it. How anybody could not see that this was going to blow up in everyone’s face is beyond me. And yet the ratings agencies kept giving this shit AAA ratings and investors kept snapping them up, leading to even more demand, leading to predatory lending where loans were given out to people with no assets and no jobs. You really don’t have to be all that smart to see this and they only way this was allowed to continue was through continued FRAUD by all parties involved.

    The only thing many of these new financial “innovations” do is let the bankers lend money that should never be lent because it will not add anything productive to the economy. They serve no useful purpose whatsoever and should be banned outright.

  5. cometman permalink*
    March 8, 2011 3:11 pm

    Couple notes –

    Why in the hell are Patriot missiles allowed to be built using prison labor?

    And not surprisingly, Chevron did find a more friendly judge in NY who halted payment of the $18 billion Ecuadorian judgment against them. This jurist wants to see how Chevron’s laughable racketeering lawsuit against Ecuador plays out first. This bit really chaps my ass –

    “There is a significant risk that assets would be seized or attached, thus disrupting Chevron’s supply chain, causing it to miss critical deliveries to business partners,” Judge Kaplan wrote.

    Well no shit Sherlock. That’s kind of the point – you don’t get to foul a whole ecosystem and then continue business as usual. Is there an honest person left in any position of power in this country? I might even settle for one who isn’t willfully ignorant.

    • artemis54 permalink
      March 8, 2011 4:28 pm

      That was sickeining. He went on too about the damage to their reputation, etc. Boo fucking hoo.

  6. cometman permalink*
    March 8, 2011 6:36 pm

    Thx for the child rearing tips above. I need all the help I can get! She was pretty impressed with the gardening last year and really took to it but the addition lessons with her blocks, not so much now that I think of it.

  7. sisdevore permalink
    March 8, 2011 7:56 pm

    What percentage of them survive?

    • cometman permalink*
      March 9, 2011 7:33 am

      Well under 1% survive to adulthood. Most of them go into the plankton supply and get munched.

      Here’s another similar one with a little more info in it. This time the mama can’t hold on until the eggs hatch-

  8. cometman permalink*
    March 9, 2011 1:29 pm

    A Maine librarian speaks the truth to the teabaggers yesterday during testimonies regarding proposed “austerity” measures to the state budget – A pointed budget message hits the mark.

    …along came Kelley McDaniel of Portland — No. 48 on the day’s speaker list.

    She’s a part-time librarian at King Middle School — and a very good one at that.


    She told the committee that she recently won a national “I Love My Librarian” Award from the Carnegie Corp. and The New York Times — an honor that included a check, made out to McDaniel, for $5,000.

    “I plan to report that money on my income tax and I expect to pay taxes on it,” she told the lawmakers. “Even though I donated the money in its entirety to the public middle school where I work.”


    McDaniel said she’s “happy to pay those taxes” because the way she sees it, taxes are “like membership dues” for being a citizen of this great state.

    She said that while she gets lots of things (education, health and safety, arts and recreation) in exchange for those “dues,” she realizes “I may not personally benefit from everything that tax money is used for.”

    She has no problem with that. As McDaniel put it, “I try to trust that elected officials will spend money to the best benefit of society and not just to a handful of individuals.”

    Then, without missing a beat, she turned her attention to the budget.

    She talked about how, over there, the budget contains $200 million in tax cuts — including an expansion of the estate-tax exemption from $1 million to $2 million — that largely would benefit Mainers who aren’t exactly scraping to get by.

    And how, over here, that loss of state revenue is more than offset by $413 million in various curtailments on benefits earned by retired state workers — many of whom, like McDaniel has at King Middle for the past 11 years, served long and nobly in Maine’s public schools.

    Observed McDaniel, “I don’t understand the rationale for this proposal.”

    She said she doesn’t buy the idea that the tax cuts, putting significantly more money back into the pockets (or portfolios) of Maine’s wealthy, will stimulate the economy.

    Citing reports from the Congressional Budget Office, McDaniel said “the best way to stimulate the economy is to give modest increases to the poor. Wealthy people tend to hold on to their money, while poor people tend to spend it as they get it.”

    Then McDaniel, as those experts might say, “re-framed the issue.”

    “I don’t think it’s a moral decision, because taking money from people who don’t have much money and giving it to people who have more money than the people you took it from seems, well, greedy,” she said. “Greed is frowned upon in every major world religion — and I don’t think agnostics and atheists look too kindly upon it, either.”

    She wondered aloud, “Is this about a quid pro quo? A gift from elected officials to wealthy people who have donated, or will donate, to election and re-election campaigns?”

    Finally, as the clock wound down, McDaniel dropped the hammer.

    It’s not economically sound. It’s not morally sound. And I think you know that,” she said. “I would be embarrassed to support something so ludicrous — taking from the poor to give to the rich.

    “Maybe you’re testing us, checking to see if we, your constituents, are really paying attention, really listening,” she continued. “I hope that’s what’s going on, because the alternative involves me losing faith in representative government, in democracy and in you, the elected officials.”


  9. cometman permalink*
    March 9, 2011 2:06 pm

    Some notes –

    Bushwa Barry’s fecklessness continues – Obama Makes Indefinite Detention and Military Commissions His Own.

    And so does overall stupidity from the left as NPR gets punked by criminal douchebag James O’Keefe causing the resignation of the CEO. Un-fucking-believable on so many levels.

    And so does the whitewashing by the banks and state attorneys general. From Naked capitalism – Mortgage Settlement Term Sheet: Bailout as Reward for Institutionalized Fraud. This effort started out with some promise that the states would do what the Feds were to afraid to do. The article notes that the lead AG on this case from Iowa is gunning to be the new head of the Consumer financial Protection Bureau and if that’s the case, he is unlikely to do anything that will upset the banksters.

    And so does the utter uselessness of the SEC as Mary Schapiro gets hauled before Congress to discuss conflicts of interest with one of her recent appointees.

    …[Schapiro] is coming under Congressional fire for hiring as the S.E.C.’s general counsel someone with a Madoff financial interest — David M. Becker, who participated in matters involving how the scheme’s victims would be compensated.

    In a nutshell, this guy’s mother invested $$ in a Madoff account which her son inherited and then later withdrew at a hefty profit before the whole thing blew up. Now he’s involved with overseeing how Madoff’s victims get compensated and is fighting to be able to keep some of his gains on top of the original principal. If that isn’t a fucking conflict of interest, I don’t know what is. Perhaps Congress would like to ask Schapiro why she helped deregulate the industry at Madoff’s request several years back while they’re at it. And maybe monkeys will fly out my ass too. If she even gets a stern talking to I’d be surprised.


  10. cometman permalink*
    March 9, 2011 2:33 pm

    On a more positive note – New UN Report on How to Feed the World’s Hungry: Ditch Corporate-Controlled Agriculture.

    “To feed 9 billion people in 2050, we urgently need to adopt the most efficient farming techniques available. And today’s scientific evidence demonstrates that agroecological methods outperform the use of chemical fertilizers in boosting food production in regions where the hungry live,” says Olivier de Schutter, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. Agroecology is more or less what many Americans would simply call “organic agriculture,” although important nuances separate the two terms.

    You can read the actual report here.

    Just skimmed through it, but it seems to talk a lot about the kind of mixed agriculture we’ve discussed here before.

    • artemis54 permalink
      March 9, 2011 3:15 pm

      Yes and going about it in a methodical, dare I say scientific way. This will be painted as a job killer if the usual suspects ever get around to reading it.

  11. cometman permalink*
    March 10, 2011 1:17 pm

    All hell breaks loose in WI as Walker throws down the gauntlet. Here’s hoping some Teamster picks it back up and shoves it up his ass so far he can taste it.

    Protesters storm the capitol Wed night as the state senate strips budget measures from the legislation and rams through union-busting measures with all the Dems still absent. Expected to pass in the state assembly today. Haven’t heard the final vote yet but it seems to be a foregone conclusion. Can’t try to claim it isn’t about union busting anymore.

    More from the Nation – ‘Shame!’ Legislators Approve Wisconsin Governor’s Anti-Worker Agenda .

    And from Yes! –“This is Not Democracy” — Wisconsin’s Anti-Union Bill Passes.

    Read the police say protesters would not be forcibly removed but this article seems to indicate that at least some have been.

    Some unions are calling for strikes but I also read that the weak-kneed teachers union encouraged its members to go back to work. Hopefully their membership will defy them again.

    WI Senate leader admits on Pox news that it’s really all about winning elections –

    Thousands more protest in Indiana.

    • cometman permalink*
      March 10, 2011 7:55 pm

      Democracy Now! had excellent coverage of recent events in WI, much better than the scattered links above.

      They mentioned a couple times during the coverage that the teachers union had to encourage teachers to go back to work due to some legal obligations coming out of Taft Hartley. Pardon the incorrect criticism above.

  12. cometman permalink*
    March 10, 2011 1:34 pm

    While all eyes are on WI, the US House strikes another blow against net neutrality.

    Also, after a months long investigation, the Fed finds that there was no gambling whatsoever going on at Casablanca – Fed Report Finds No Wrongful Foreclosures By Banks, Consumer Advocates Slam Methodology. Are people tired of being treated like morons yet by these assholes?

  13. cometman permalink*
    March 10, 2011 1:38 pm

    Civil war continues to rage in Libya as Gaddafi prefers watching his country being ripped apart to stepping down.

    Saudi police reportedly fire into crowds of protesters in the runup to tomorrow’s scheduled “Day of Rage”.

    I think it’s time to stop having just a day of rage. Seems like the majority of people all over the world are pretty fucking righteously pissed off just about 24/7 these days.

  14. artemis54 permalink
    March 11, 2011 8:18 am

    Just to let you know, c-man: pfiore has asked me to become the managing editor over at witr. I am not sure what all this may entail, but have agreed to give it a try. The reign of terror will commence later today I guess.

    • cometman permalink*
      March 11, 2011 10:07 am

      Heh. Off with their heads!!!!

      Or at least off with the 18 posts a day telling everyone what has been posted elsewhere even though there are direct links to that elsewhere right at the top of the blog.

      Tried to get a word in edgewise a few days ago but got drowned out by all the swedish blade reposts and gave up.

  15. cometman permalink*
    March 11, 2011 1:17 pm

    Walker signs the WI Serfdom 2011 Act in to law.

    Here’s a good rundown of what Walker has in store next – Wisconsin Death Trip: The Plan to Steal Everything and Sell the People into Slavery . Basically he’s looking to sell off everything he can to the looters and gut the state pension system.

    Don’t think Wisconsinites should be waiting around for recalls that can’t be accomplished until next year to remedy this situation. Once this stuff is sold, there’s no getting in back. Not in one piece at least.

  16. cometman permalink*
    March 11, 2011 1:22 pm

    Not surprising that I missed this one when it came out, but evidently the US military slaughtered another 9 Afghan children about 10 days ago, gunning them down from helicopters as they tried to flee.

    After reading that one I did a search for “9 children killed in Afghanistan” and the only thing that came up near the top from US media was this note from the LA Times saying Petraeus had apologized. So I guess no further reporting necessary.

    And here’s how seriously apologies from the great war hero should be taken. It’s all a fucking joke to this clown –

    • cometman permalink*
      March 11, 2011 2:58 pm

      And here’s another one I missed. Pakistan has issued an arrest warrant for Pervez Musharraf becuase he had foreknowledge of Bhutto’s assassination in 2007 and did nothing about it. Pakistan sent the warrant to the UK but neither the UK nor the US media has seen fit to cover the story.

      Evidently these Pakistanis all live in caves and haven’t heard of Charlie Sheen or the fact that he’s far more newsworthy.

  17. cometman permalink*
    March 11, 2011 1:41 pm

    A few more unrelated notes –

    State department spokesperson P. J. Crowley goes on the record decrying the treatment of Bradley Manning. Bushwa Barry continues to remain silent about the continuing torture committed on his watch.

    Bernie introduces legislation to tax the rich, a whopping 5.4% increase. I can already here the gnashing of teeth by the oligarchs. What if they had to switch to domestic caviar?

    Quantum computing comes closer to being a reality.

    Protests continue in the Arab world but the “Day of Rage” planned for Saudi Arabia today is quelled by Saudi authorities.

    And then there was this –

  18. sisdevore permalink
    March 11, 2011 2:00 pm

    This is so fucked:

    • cometman permalink*
      March 11, 2011 2:07 pm

      Yeah it is. And what the hell is a “linking website”?!?!?!?! Pretty much every website does that.

  19. sisdevore permalink
    March 11, 2011 4:49 pm

    Interesting site I found today:

  20. artemis54 permalink
    March 13, 2011 1:32 pm

    For your files c-man: maybe you can stay one step ahead of the squidlette – for a little while, in the long term you are doomed to irrelevance – by boning up at the Khan Academy. Extensive catalog of math review lectures. I just dipped into one, a little over my head. I did get a lot out of the two parter on the Haitian Revolution.

    • cometman permalink*
      March 14, 2011 9:22 am

      Thanks. Lots of interesting stuff in there to keep me busy. Watched a couple of the banking ones and they were pretty good.

      Did some reading over the weekend that sent me digging through some math books. Picked up Ted Chiang’s Stories of Your Life: And Others and it’s very good. It’s classified as scifi on the cover but I wouldn’t really call it that from what I’ve read so far. The book is all short stories with the main theme being what happens when some new knowledge causes you to look at the world completely differently than you had before.

      He’s only published a few short stories and many are available online for free. Here’s a sample if you want to give him a try. This one was about a mathematician who discovered a formal proof of the inconsistency of arithmetic which rendered all mathematics pretty much useless – Division by Zero.

      I’d bought an old book of math essays a few years ago. I was surprised when first reading through it to find that real proof of the internal consistency of mathematics was only discovered fairly recently in the 1st half of the 20th century. Had to bone up on some of the concepts while reading the story above.

  21. cometman permalink*
    March 14, 2011 12:38 pm

    First estimates of how much the Japan quake shortened the Earth day are in. We’re short 1.8 microseconds.

    Maybe that number will rise from more shaking if Japanese nuclear reactors can’t be contained.

    • artemis54 permalink
      March 14, 2011 2:18 pm

      Beck is explaining how safe nuclear reactors are using m&m’s and a series of pots and pans, some of which could use a little soap and water. Turns out there is a media conspiracy to focus attention on the possibility of hazards from nukes because they are just safe as a bouquet of daffodils.

  22. cometman permalink*
    March 14, 2011 12:49 pm

    The Obamination of a presidency continues.

    Barry still can’t be bothered to show much support for citizens in Wisconsin and other states under assault from retarded republicans.

    He did finally weigh on on the treatment Bradley Manning has been receiving by firing the State Dept spokesperson who had been critical of the Pentagon’s policy of torture.

    And although it hard to get a read on what’s going on in Libya, it sure appears that Bushwa Barry is at least considering instituting a “no-fly” zone in Libya with some help from France and the UK.

    Of course, to set up a “no-fly” zone you have to destroy any anti-aircraft on the ground which constitutes an attack on another country which is illegal without UN security council approval. Don’t see that little obstacle stopping Barry though, considering the cheers he receives from the right wing every time he copies the illegal acts of his predecessor.

  23. cometman permalink*
    March 14, 2011 12:53 pm

    Anonymous leaks info damaging to Bank of America today. Just seen preliminary reports so far. While this may turn out to be damaging, it doesn’t appear to be the huge dump of documents that were implied from earlier reports.

    Info released via Looks like the site is getting a lot of traffic and it’s been difficult to access so far today.

  24. cometman permalink*
    March 14, 2011 1:19 pm

    A few notes –

    New York Fed President William Dudley says happy days are here again all those jobless lucky duckies will be just fine because although the price of food may be rising precipitously, people can still buy the much improved ipad2 for the same price as an ipad1. So voila, no inflation!

    An Israeli settler family was murdered a few days ago. The response from Israel even though they don’t know exactly who did it or whether it was politically motivated or just a personal beef? – Build more illegal settlements immediately!!

    A WI state senator gets a little comeuppance. When protesters went to Randy Hopper’s house over the weekend, they were greeted by his wife who told them if they really wanted to find him, they should check out of district at his mistress’ house where he’s been living. She also said she’d sign the recall petition against him :)

    Nice to see the farmer’s show up in WI (as well as the Solidarity cows) –

    And finally, I’ve wondered before whether reading so much about a world filed with stupidity and venality will someday just pop a blood vessel in the old bean. Turns out that those who like to accentuate the positive may well be the ones who become worm food first

    “We came to a new understanding about happiness and health,” said Martin, now a psychology professor at La Sierra University in Riverside. “One of the findings that really astounds people, including us, is that the Longevity Project participants who were the most cheerful and had the best sense of humor as kids lived shorter lives, on average, than those who were less cheerful and joking. It was the most prudent and persistent individuals who stayed healthiest and lived the longest.”

    The rose colored glasses do make it difficult to see the blood pooling at one’s feet.

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