Sunday, February 28, 2010

Chesapeake Bay - massive crater

I'd never heard of this, but I was watching a show on the Discovery Channel talking about pre-historic North American animals. Apparently about 35 million years ago a massive impact crater was formed in the Chesapeake Bay area. The crater has subsequently been buried, but investigation is showing the crater to be at least 50-60 miles wide and a mile deep.

Here's a couple of LINKS


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Steven Wright

A few Steven Wright jokes from here:

I was once walking through the forest alone. A tree fell right in front of me--and I didn't hear it.

Right now I'm having amnesia and deja vu at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before.

I went to the museum where they had all the heads and arms from the statues that are in all the other museums.

Ever notice how irons have a setting for *permanent* press? I don't get it...

There was a power outage at a department store yesterday. Twenty people were trapped on the escalators.

Every so often, I like to stick my head out the window, look up, and smile for a satellite picture.

I'm moving to Mars next week, so if you have any boxes...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

On Killing

A powerful piece by an Iraqi war vet on killing:

an excerpt:

Killing enemy combatants comes with its own emotional costs. On the surface, we feel as soldiers that killing the enemy should not affect us — it is our job, after all. But it is still killing, and on a subconscious level, it changes you. You’ve killed. You’ve taken life. What I found, though, is that you feel the shock and weight of it only when you kill an enemy for the first time, when you move from zero to one. Once you’ve crossed that line, there is little difference in killing 10 or 20 or 30 more after that.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


95% of the time that I go to get ice from the freezer to put in my orange cup, I drop 1 or more pieces of ice in the floor. I have come to believe there is no better slippery design for ice "cubes" than those produced by the automatic ice maker in my fridge. I'll go to grab some ice from the bucket, and even when I think I have a good hold one will slide out, hit the floor, slide across the kitchen floor, and hide somewhere that I can't find it... It's a fun game I play every day.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Job Creation Stats

I saw a link to this over at the Marginal Revolution Blog. It's an interesting discussion of the government "job created" statistics by Felix Salmon - and how the stats can be highly misleading - talking about some highly creative accounting:

Yes, for the purposes of this report, the government has calculated the number of jobs created by taking the number of hours worked and dividing by 173. If you pay a man to wield a shovel for one year, working 40 hours a week, then hey, you’ve created 12 jobs! If you pay him overtime, and he works 60 hours a week, then you’ve created 18 jobs! If he keeps on working at that pace for three years, then you’re up to 54 jobs! All from one man earning one paycheck.

Here's the full blog post - very cool reading. I think the post tends to downplay/overlook the multiplier effect of one job creating income that in turn gets spent to create other jobs, but it does seem a bit of a stretch to get to the math above if 1 job created is expected to create 11 others.

Monday, February 15, 2010

George Washington

Here's an interesting story about George Washington's leadership and character in his effort to maintain the support of angry and mutinous troops from the NYTimes

In early 1783, with Revolutionary War victory in sight but peace uncertain, Washington and the Continental Army bivouacked at Newburgh, N.Y. Troops were enraged by Congress’s failure to provide promised back pay and pensions. Rumors of mutiny abounded.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Selling Gamestop

In an effort to adhere to some self-imposed stop loss rules I've put in a sell order on Gamestop GME which is now down over 20% from where I purchased. I can see both a long and short case for being in this company, but the short side is winning out right now. Cutting losses and stepping aside to re-evaluate.

Also looking at cutting Garmin loose, but decided to hold on for a while longer to see what developes. There's so much downside priced into GRMN right now that I'll wait and see what happens. They pay a 2.3% dividend and the balance sheet is loaded with cash so I'll wait. The smartphones might be the end of them, but I'm not convinced of that yet.