Author's posts

Wednesday Morning Science Supplement

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Took a long time to do There’s More Fun With Numbers.

From Yahoo News Science

1 Cache of Ice Age fossils found in Los Angeles

By ALICIA CHANG, AP Science Writer

Wed Feb 18, 8:00 pm ET

LOS ANGELES – Scientists are studying a huge cache of Ice Age fossil deposits recovered near the famous La Brea Tar Pits in the heart of the nation’s second-largest city.

Among the finds is a near-intact mammoth skeleton, a skull of an American lion and bones of saber-toothed cats, dire wolves, bison, horses, ground sloths and other mammals.

Researchers discovered 16 fossil deposits under an old parking lot next to the tar pits in 2006 and began sifting through them last summer. The mammoth remains, including 10-foot-long tusks, were in an ancient riverbed near the fossil cache.

39 more Stories, all Science.

There’s More Fun With Numbers

A Stars Hollow Gazette

I call these diaries Fun with Numbers because for me part of the attraction is working out the HTML (which delights Caribou Barbie who is easily distracted by bright and shiny things).  I really started paying attention to the economy when it became apparent the the W years were in fact nothing but a scam.

These are some pieces I wrote before I started having fun-

Happy Anniversary! covers the dates from October 1st to October 9th including the anniversary of the HIGHEST DOW EVER!, 14,164 on October 9, 2007.  It’s the first time I started having fun with numbers.

You’ll notice they’re all very red.

Over those 7 days alone (and those would be trading days) the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2,271.47 points.  Why use the DJIA?  Why not, it’s a broad and easily tracked indicator as well as one of the most popular.  Economists may quibble but I’m not an economist.

I’m a critic.

Fun With Numbers

I started my data set September 26th, the Bail Out Boost, followed immediately by September 29th, the Wall Street Snit Fit, the largest single day point loss for the Dow ever, -777.68.  Let’s take a moment to pause and reflect that it was because Congress (thank goodness for small favors) didn’t give Paulson 700 BILLION dollars for an extortion note he scribbled on the back of a napkin.

November 19th is the last time I go back all the way to the beginning because the table was starting to get a little long, but I don’t want people to forget how we must bow down before her Bartiromoness and all the Galts for they know ever so much more than us mere serfs and peons.

This one only covers 7 trading days and it has a lot a of green in it which made Caribou Barbie very happy, but it also includes November 20th when the Dow fell 444.99 points and finished at 7,552.29.

That’s the November bottom you keep hearing about on CNBC.

An extensive record of FAIL!

Madam Zelda, Madam Zelda- Do The Markets Lie?

No, the markets are perfect and flawless indicators.

But Wait!

Monday Morning Paranoia

China eyes resources security with Rio deal

by Fran Wang, AFP

Sun Feb 15, 12:14 am ET

BEIJING, Feb 15, 2009 (AFP) – China’s record investment in a foreign firm has underlined the nation’s drive to get more control over the natural resources that have helped fuel its rapid rise, analysts say.

State-owned aluminium firm Chinalco said last week it was putting 19.5 billion dollars into troubled Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto — the most money China has ever invested in an overseas company.

For Rio, the deal provides cash to help pay off its vast debt load.

China confident of overcoming economic difficulty: Wen

AFP

Sun Feb 15, 7:43 am ET

BEIJING (AFP) – China’s Prime Minister Wen Jiabao expressed confidence in his government’s ability to overcome the nation’s economic downturn, his cabinet said Sunday.

“We are fully confident that we have the conditions and the capability to overcome the challenges we are facing,” Wen was quoted as saying in comments posted on the government’s website.

“We should fully realise the severity and uncertainty of the global financial crisis… and take firmer action.”

Monday Morning Outrage

White House wants changes in executive pay rules

By DOUGLASS K. DANIEL, Associated Press Writer

2 hrs 18 mins ago

WASHINGTON – Facing a stricter approach to limiting executive bonuses than it had favored, the Obama administration wants to revise that part of the stimulus package even after it becomes law, White House officials said Sunday.

While President Barack Obama plans to sign the $787 billion stimulus bill in Denver on Tuesday, his administration will seek changes in the government’s approach to executive compensation, senior Obama adviser David Axelrod said.

“We all have the same goal. We all have the same sentiment. And we want to do something that’s workable, and we’ll work with them to get to that point,” Axelrod said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Citi, M. Stanley may pay $3 billion to keep brokers: report

Reuters

Fri Feb 13, 10:11 pm ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Morgan Stanley (MS.N) and Citigroup Inc (C.N) are preparing to pay $3 billion of retention awards to brokers to keep them from fleeing a brokerage joint venture, the Wall Street Journal said on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Terms are not expected until later this month, but the issue could grow politically sensitive because the government has injected money into both companies, the newspaper said.

Morgan Stanley is paying Citigroup $2.7 billion to take control of the joint venture, which will combine its brokerage operation with Citigroup’s Smith Barney unit.

In defence of bonuses: experts warn on banker pay caps

by Katherine Haddon, AFP

Sat Feb 14, 10:47 pm ET

LONDON (AFP) – From Britain to the United States and France, political leaders are clamping down on the bankers’ bonus culture they say helped cause the credit crunch — but some experts warn this could be counterproductive.

The screw-tightening comes amid public fury at big payouts — thousands of people have joined groups on the Facebook Internet site with names like “Bankers Are Leaches”, “Impudence: The Act Of UBS Bank” and “No Ifs, No Buts — Give Up The Bonus, RBS.”

But taking too tough a line with banks could have unintended consequences for taxpayers according to academics and insiders, who say the risks include banks losing their best staff and their share prices falling even lower.

Merkel slams bonuses at bailed out banks: report

AFP

Sat Feb 14, 10:40 am ET

BERLIN (AFP) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel hit out at banks that have doled out bonuses to executives despite having received government aid to weather the global financial crisis.

“It’s incomprehensible that, in several cases, banks that have benefited from the support of the state distribute huge bonuses at the same time,” Merkel told Der Spiegel magazine in an interview to be published Monday.

Bank bonuses will be on the agenda at the meeting of the Group of 20 advanced and developing nations in London in April.

Merkel does not rule out nationalising Germany’s HRE bank

AFP

Sun Feb 15, 5:15 pm ET

BERLIN (AFP) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she had not ruled out nationalising the troubled Hypo Real Estate (HRE) bank as a last resort, during a television interview Sunday.

What ever happened, she wanted the state to have a majority stake in the bank, she told Germany’s ZDF public channel.

“We can get that by taking control by means of a majority stake” in the shares, she added.

Monday Morning Business Update

Well I told you it would be after 8.

Japan economy shrinks at fastest pace in 35 years

By TOMOKO A. HOSAKA, Associated Press Writer

22 mins ago

TOKYO – Japan’s economy contracted in the fourth quarter at the fastest pace in 35 years as a collapse in global demand battered the world’s second-largest economy.

Japan’s gross domestic product, or the total value of the nation’s goods and services, dropped at an annual pace of 12.7 percent in the October-December period, the government said Monday.

That’s the steepest drop for Japan since the oil shock of 1974. It far outpaces declines of 3.8 percent in the U.S. and 1.2 percent in the euro zone.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

As you know, Sunday Weekend News Digest builds throughout the day leading to my Sunday Overnight News Digest.

Currently contaning 46 stories of interest from the Yahoo News Top, World, U.S., and Politics categories, expect updates for Business after 8pm (et).

1 Japan to launch ‘fresh stimulus package’

AFP

Sun Feb 15, 7:35 am ET

TOKYO (AFP) – Japan is to launch a fresh stimulus package as the world’s second largest economy faces a sizeable contraction, a ruling party official and local media said.

Prime Minister Aso Taro will “shortly” announce a plan to compile the fresh economic package, Yoshihide Suga, a senior official of Aso’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), told reporters.

Some LDP members already suggested that the package should be worth 20 trillion yen to 30 trillion yen (217 billion yen to 326 billion yen), Suga said, adding: “I think we need such a size.”

Weekend News Digest

Special Valentine’s Day Edition

Saturday Final

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

Yahoo News Valentine’s Day Stories

Kisses unleash chemicals that ease stress levels

By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID, AP Science Writer

Fri Feb 13, 9:19 pm ET

CHICAGO – “Chemistry look what you’ve done to me,” Donna Summer crooned in Science of Love, and so, it seems, she was right. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a panel of scientists examined the mystery of what happens when hearts throb and lips lock. Kissing, it turns out, unleashes chemicals that ease stress hormones in both sexes and encourage bonding in men, though not so much in women.

Chemicals in the saliva may be a way to assess a mate, Wendy Hill, dean of the faculty and a professor of neuroscience at Lafayette College, told a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science on Friday.

In an experiment, Hill explained, pairs of heterosexual college students who kissed for 15 minutes while listening to music experienced significant changes in their levels of the chemicals oxytocin, which affects pair bonding, and cortisol, which is associated with stress. Their blood and saliva levels of the chemicals were compared before and after the kiss.

Judd Gregg is out as Commerce Secretary

The best, though still short, treatment so far is by David Sirota at OpenLeft who reminds us-

Gregg wants to slash Social Security and is an ardent free-market fundamentalist

He was under the shadow of the Abramoff investigation, and he and the far-right were demanding near-unilateral control over the Census, which will be crucial for the 2010 redistricting battle.

Wednesday Morning Science Supplement

Wednesday Science Supplement is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Science

1 On Darwin’s 200th, a theory still in controversy

By GREGORY KATZ, Associated Press Writer

Sun Feb 8, 7:58 am ET

LONDON – It’s well known that Charles Darwin’s groundbreaking theory of evolution made many people furious because it contradicted the Biblical view of creation. But few know that it also created problems for Darwin at home with his deeply religious wife, Emma.

Darwin held back the book to avoid offending his wife, said Ruth Padel, the naturalist’s great-great-granddaughter. “She said he seemed to be putting God further and further off,” Padel said in her north London home. “But they talked it through, and she said, “Don’t change any of your ideas for fear of hurting me.'”

The 1859 publication of “On the Origin of Species” changed scientific thought forever – and generated opposition that continues to this day. It is this elegant explanation of how species evolve through natural selection that makes Darwin’s 200th birthday on Feb. 12 such a major event.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

Updated with 63 Stories including Top, World, and U.S.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Summers warns that stimulus battle not yet over

By STEVEN R. HURST, Associated Press Writer

2 hrs 48 mins ago

WASHINGTON – One of President Barack Obama’s top economic advisers forecast Sunday a difficult struggle with Congress over Senate cuts of $40 billion for state and local governments from the administration’s massive spending and tax cut package to stimulate the failing economy.

The $827 billion Senate version of the plan – designed to bring the economy out of the worst downward spiral since the Great Depression – was expected to pass the Senate on Tuesday. The House had already passed its $819 billion version of the measure.

Lawmakers were likely to begin reconciling those differences later this week, with Obama still pressing to have the stimulus measure on his desk for signing by mid-month.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Summers warns that stimulus battle not yet over

By STEVEN R. HURST, Associated Press Writer

2 hrs 48 mins ago

WASHINGTON – One of President Barack Obama’s top economic advisers forecast Sunday a difficult struggle with Congress over Senate cuts of $40 billion for state and local governments from the administration’s massive spending and tax cut package to stimulate the failing economy.

The $827 billion Senate version of the plan – designed to bring the economy out of the worst downward spiral since the Great Depression – was expected to pass the Senate on Tuesday. The House had already passed its $819 billion version of the measure.

Lawmakers were likely to begin reconciling those differences later this week, with Obama still pressing to have the stimulus measure on his desk for signing by mid-month.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

Now with World News Update!

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 A-Rod reportedly tested positive for steroids

Associated Press

14 mins ago

NEW YORK – Alex Rodriguez tested positive for steroids in his MVP season of 2003 with Texas, according to a report by Sports Illustrated.

The New York Yankees star failed a drug test for two anabolic steroids, four sources told the magazine in a story posted Saturday on its Web site.

His name appears on a list of 104 players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in a 2003 baseball survey, SI said. He reportedly tested positive for Primobolan and testosterone while playing for the Rangers.

Load more