Monday, October 29, 2012

Titan Supercomputer

Is your Excel running a little slow. Maybe try this. Check out Titan - what is to be the worlds largest super computer - currently being built in Oak Ridge to study nuclear core reactions. "uses more than 18,500 NVIDIA GPUs, along with nearly 300,000 CPU cores"

Friday, October 26, 2012

More pictures from the past

Here's some more spaceship pictures from when I was little - this time in striking crayola color. A couple of the pictures are inspired by my favorite cartoon: G-Force. I kindof crack up at some of it - but heck - I still can't spell Commander = Camander Boomerang = Bomerang not sure? = Twerters - I think I must've made this one up - more like Bolas I guess The Yo Yo Bomb needs no further explanation

Thursday, October 25, 2012


I'm putting MSFT on my watchlist again for possible investment. I really want to wait and see how the Windows 8 launch goes, and how the reception for the Surface tablet is, but once we get past that I'm starting to get interested again.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Futuristic Pencil Drawings

I was going through some old boxes of stuff to throw out and came across these pictures I must've drawn when I was little.  Kindof funny to see this stuff.  I particularly like the little guns on the spaceships and the ships in the landing bay - probably influenced by Battlestar Galactica (the original) and my favorite cartoon as a kid called G-Force.
Although I think I apparently mistakenly thought JCPenney and Sears might exist in the future. Good to know that McDonalds and Pizza Hut were part of the vision though.

Apple Patent Overturned

Ooh.  Here's a big story.  The Patent behind Apple's $1Billion verdict over Samsung has been disavowed by the U.S. Patent Office.    Why companies tie up courts and wage legal wars over things like screen "bounce" is beyond me (well - I understand you do it if you can make money via suit, but why else?), and I don't really see how patent laws protecting such things make any sense.

The next black swan?

I've been thinking for a while that one day we're going to see a cyber-attack like this on a large scale, and our ATMs won't work, the internet will come to a standstill, and normal daily activity will come to a halt because everything runs online now.  To me it seems like more of a "when", not "if" scenario - and I worry I might get financially wiped out when it happens - but I guess I just hope the world will have too much at stake to destroy the economy that way.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Remember Cold Fusion?

Here's a new hypothesis at explaining what might be going on that creates the additional unexplained heat - .  Called Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR) by the scientists doing the research estimate that if the hypothesis is confirmed - "LENRs could potentially satisfy the world’s energy needs at a quarter the cost of coal."

Monday, October 22, 2012

Japan to become US top creditor soon

This article is interesting - indicating Japan is about to overtake China as the top U.S. creditor.  Japan is currently purchasing more U.S. debt than China and should become our top creditor by January per this article from Businessweek.

quote:  "“Whatever deficit we’re running, we’re going to supply a lot of Treasuries and someone’s going to buy them, and if it’s not China it will be someone else.”"

Whale imitating human speech patterns

This is kindof cool.  It's a recording of a whale who imitates human speech patterns.  Article from Discover Magazine.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

This is a good story - are general physicals worthless?

Are General Physicals Useless? - from the Washington Post

quote:  "What the researchers did find, however, was an increase in diagnoses among those who went to their general exam, compared to those who did not. Those additional diagnoses, however, did not appear to have any impact on health outcomes"

So bottom line:  General physicals might find something "wrong", but it probably won't make a difference.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Poor Dog

video taken from a home security camera...  poor dog

Monday, October 15, 2012

Planet w/ 4 suns

Another interesting discovery:   Planet with Four Suns Discovered

quote: "It's absolutely not what we would have expected."

Retiring on the Go

Good article about living without a "home" - staying mobile.  One of the options mentioned is Lake Cumberland, KY - the "Redneck Riviera."

Rambling Retirees Trade Homes for Boats, RVs, Sofas

Interesting Read

I thought this was an interesting project.

Mix It Up at Lunch Day
"On Mix It Up at Lunch Day, schoolchildren around the country are encouraged to hang out with someone they normally might not speak to."

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Lit Motors

Check out this 2 wheel car/motorcycle - steadied by gyroscopes, with an outer enclosure, and with a steering wheel and foot pedals.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Made a Move Back into the Market

This might be bad news. I've been out of sync with things going on in the stock market for a while which caused me to lighten up this spring, so I'm probably a contrarian indicator for what it's worth, but I made a move today to increase my market exposure today.

 This moves me up to about 70-75% market exposure from well below 50% where I was previously. Again, this is probably a sign of impending apocalypse, but here's what I did:

Moved retirement accounts into
- S&P 500 index,
- Russell index,
- and Intn'l Index.

Purchased half positions in
- INTC Intel
- CMI Cummins
- CSTR Coinstar
- CF CF Industries
- NEU Newmarket

I've had position in INTC and NEU before, so I'm back exposed there.

Everybody probably knows Intel's business, but main thinking here is how they're finished building new facilities giving them a big tech lead going forward on most other chip vendors out there (they're not just PC chips anymore), and they do pay a 4% dividend which is nice. The big concern is global PC demand. Opportunity is getting more chips into so many other devices - including possibly more chips in Apples devices given Apple's fight with Samsung.

Newmarket makes petroleum additives. No real big ideas here other than I like it's numbers and it looks like a solid long term growth story. This is a growth story - dividend is only 1.2%, but it helps.

Cummins is one that I've had my eye on for a long time. They make heavy duty engines for trucks and equimpent. Cyclicals have burned me in the past, but I'm giving it another shot. 2.2% dividend here. Many like Boone Pickens think Natural Gas engines are an opportunity in trucking, and Cummins will be a player here. Also - I just like their numbers. They're a cyclical and it scares me some because they can be volatile, but I'll go with it here.

Coinstar owns the Red Box business. Alot of folks think they've had their one big idea and there's nothing more to get out of the business. To me, they seem like a cash generating machine and as long as management doesn't pursue bad ideas they should be fine because of all the cash being thrown off by DVD rental. I don't expect that business to fall off as quickly as others expect, and even with possible price increases it's pretty cheap entertainment. I hear they're maybe going to put out automated coffee machines next, and I hope they don't just try to grow for growths sake, but instead keep an eye on rates of return - but that'll have to play out. I really wish they'd pay a dividend (they don't right now) as I worry they might be tempted otherwise to plow all the excess cash into possible bad ideas, but maybe that's coming.

CF Industries is another company I've been watching for a long time. They're a chemical company that makes fertilizers. I understand low natural gas prices help financials for these type companies alot, so rising natural gas prices would be bad. I have no insight on the issue but have watched the natural gas glut for years and it shows no signs of abating. New techs seem to allow access to a whole lot of new gas deposits they previously just couldn't get to.  0.7% dividend.

That's about it. Put on your hardhat now because me buying might be the sign you were looking for to run for the hills.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Geysers on Mars?

Here's an interesting article with very detailed photos of strange features seen on Mars. Apparently the leading hypothesis is CO2 geysers.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October Tomatoes

Just picked these Roma tomatoes from the plant in my backyard today. It's doing better now that the temperature has cooled down. I think the hot summers might just be too much because 2-3 years in a row I've had tomatoes almost stop producing in the summer - only to really start growing after it cools off. All of these were from one plant. I would've probably had more but the weight of the vines has caused a couple branches to break/bend hurting the fruit on those branches. September and October have been really good months for tomatoes so far.