Saturday, June 30, 2012

Phantom limbs

I thought this article about phantom limbs was interesting, and may say something about how our brains are to a degree pre-wired to expect certain sensory input.

The patient was born with a deformed hand that didn't have several fingers. After a bad accident that required the amputation of that hand, she started having phantom pains of a 5-fingered hand that she had never had.

Click here for the article: "Phantom Finger Points to Secrets in the Brain"

Monday, June 25, 2012

First tomatoes

So far my tomato plant seems healthy - better than the past 2 yrs where the tomatoes tended to die on the vine. Here's the first red ones of the year.

John Mayer's version of Crossroads

I was listening to my playlist today and John Mayer's funky take on the blues standard "Crossroads" came up. I really like Mayer's interpretation of this song. Here's a youtube video of a live performance with extended intro and solos from the Letterman show. I know some folks, especially blues fans, don't like to or want to give Mayer credit for his fretwork, but I dig his style.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Alternative Energy statistic

Alternative Energy stat of the day from

"Renewable power, excluding large hydropower, accounted for 44% of all new generating capacity added worldwide in 2011 - up from 34% in 2010."

You don't see it as much yet, but it seems a tipping point is nearing wrt power generation. More and more applications are seeing alternative energy approaches becoming feasible.

The investment implications are still cloudy. I eventually want to be long in this space, but now there's so much competition that hardly anyone is making money.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Pet statistic that surprised me

I'm a shareholder of online Pet pharmacy PetMed Express PETS. I was reading their annual report and came upon this statistic for the United States which surprised me a bit: "The dog and cat population is approximately 165 million, with approximately 62% of all households owning a pet."

I found the 62% figure to be high. I don't have pets right now so I guess I tend to think that the majority of people are like me and don't have pets - but I'd be wrong. I guess I'm in the 38% minority that doesn't have pets.

Some more info on spending on pets: "According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, pet spending in the United States increased 5.3% to $51.0 billion in 2011. Pet supplies and medications represented $11.8 billion, or 23% of the
total spending on pets in the United States.."

If you do the math on that it works out to $11.8 B / 165 M = approximately $71.50 in average spending on each animals pet supplies and medications annually.

In total spending on pets it works out to $51.0 B / 165 M = $309 annual spending on each pet.

These annual spend figures really are pretty low and don't surprise me alot.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Noah/Grimmie duet

A friend posted a link to a viral video of Noah's cover of LMFAO's tune "I'm Sexy and I know it", which I thought was awesome, so I looked at some of his other tunes. I actually thought this cover of Gotye's "Someone that I used to know" was even better.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Hey Dad

Here's a pic of what we did with that broccoli you gave us. This isn't the crappie you gave us (it's catfish from Kroger), but the crappie will be looking like this too before too much longer:

and here's one from memorial day

Bill Gross quote

I read this quote from super-investor Bill Gross on Forbes' website today:
"The whales of our current economic society swim mainly in financial market oceans. Innovators such as [Steve] Jobs and [Bill] Gates are as rare within the privileged one percent as giant squid are to sharks, because the one percent feed primarily off of money, not invention."

Here's the full story: What Investors Can Learn From Apple, McDonald's And Wall Street's Blunders.

This quote encapsulates much of what I've come to believe about how the financial industry has become a parasite on the economy.