NY Times Business:
Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac shares plummet. In the past, I’ve called the financial crisis a slow motion train wreck. Now, I see the collapse of a house of cards. Yet a house of cards of this enormous size is easy to recognize ... where were the critical analysts while it was being built? Why is the blame for this crisis not sitting squarely on Greenspan?
NY Times Olympics 2008:
In Sea of Similar Body Types, Nonconformists Can Succeed. Don’t judge a book by the cover.
SF New Mexican:
Suit claims global warming threatens mammal. “More than a third of the documented pika populations in Nevada and Oregon have disappeared, and elsewhere they are moving upslope to avoid rising temperatures ...” The Rockies wouldn’t be the same without the chirps of pikas.
SF New Mexican:
Snakes on a plain: Rail Runner officials say wavy tracks aren’t finished. Let’s just say we all have experience with quality issues in locally-supplied workmanship that makes us wary.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 Review. Read it through to get all the good stuff. My mouse wheel adjusts brush size on-the-fly ... don’t know why the reviewer missed that. The gradient filter is great for lightening dark directional shadows. The judgment of RAW images ... the Aperture output looks, upon close inspection, to be unsharp masked a bit, compared to Lightroom. Subjective, of course. The reviewer clearly prefers Aperture. I’m sure screwing with defaults will alleviate any such issues.
Christina Applegate has double mastectomy. She knew she had a history in the family ... lord, what a hard decision to make. This way, she never has to live through the fear of waiting for the other shoe to drop. Get better soon.
Upgraded to Lightroom 2.
I love it when this kind of thing happens. The gradient tool immediately proved so useful on photos from yesterday’s shoot, it’s saved me a significant amount of production time already. And that’s without reading a manual (yet).
Lately, when upgrading software, my mind has been casting back to my experience with the first Macintoshes and MacPaint. Drawing little black and white children’s sketches with that big fat round brush. The liveliness of the mouse interface was just so exciting. Features that seem so minor now.
US bank ‘to fail within months’. “We’re going to see a whopper, we’re going to see a big one, one of the big investment banks or big banks.”
Photo District News redesigns. Hope their membership renew process has been fixed, too.
Small talk with a web designer. Happened to me twice yesterday.
“Real men, goes the unwritten rule of American punctuation, don’t use semi-colons.” Aw, phooey ...
SF New Mexican:
Apparently, we had tornadoes over the weekend. I did notice that at one point, my silver lace vine had been partially stripped of leaves, and the pillows in the various backyard seating areas had been whipped across the courtyard ... indications of unusually high winds. 60mph won’t do that ... we get those windspeeds in the springtime ... had to be higher.
Professors for the class of 2012 need to shift their frames of reference.
“As angry voters spark a barrage of energy bills in Congress, the oil industry is spending record amounts of money protecting its interests.” Renewable energy has spent less than half, and is making virtually no headway with Congress. Money talks.
goes back to Mac.
The Great American Yard Sale. Foreign buyouts of companies, in my direct experience, have always ended up in further buyouts - with no profits realized. The primary mistake is often not completely replacing faulty management and doing an extensive ground-up accounting audit. I do agree with this, however: “Indeed, European infrastructure firms calculate that the U.S. needs a massive infusion of capital to modernize its roads, bridges and power lines, highlighted by a recent spate of blackouts and the tragic collapse of a Minneapolis highway bridge last year.” The overengineered bridges and tunnels built in the late ‘40’s and ‘50’s are succumbing to overuse and age, whereas our new bridges and tunnels are ‘efficient and economical’ - and falling apart before their projected lifespans due to poor quality building materials, criminally shoddy workmanship, and designers who don’t allow for those realities of modern construction. Just the other week, the DOT was ‘refacing’ bridge abutments with concrete, covering over the heavily rusting, exposed rebar under the interstate. “They’re safe”, supposedly. Read about failures of prestressed concrete, you won’t be so sanguine.
Appearances Are Everything : The NYT notes McCain’s “aura of commander in chief”. “Did encouragement from U.S. hawks—including McCain himself and Randy Scheunemann, his top foreign policy advisor, whose firm lobbies for Georgia—lead Georgia to believe, wrongly, that it could count on American military support if it tried to retake its breakaway provinces?”
“Toxic chemicals from thousands of idols of Hindu gods immersed in rivers and lakes across India are causing pollution which is killing fish and contaminating food crops ...” And there are a lot of Hindu deities, something like 300,000 of ‘em.
Ten paradoxical traits of the creative personality. “Without eros, it would be difficult to take life on with vigor; without restraint, the energy could easily dissipate.” Ask Picasso.
Times Online.UK Book Review:
What They Teach you at Harvard Business School. “... why the hell would the rest of us want to be led by these spreadsheet-reading, PowerPoint-presenting swots who’ve devoted the best years of their lives simply to making moolah?”
The Daily Galaxy:
Tent caterpillars in my beloved aspen.
Hate ‘em. Went out and bought me a big ole lopper.
[Named it “Cyndi”.]
SF New Mexican:
Knew you all were waitin’ with baited breath: NM Senate OK’s pared-down health, tax rebate bills.
Six years ago,
a pair of webloggers got hitched around these parts. Two webloggers, married by a weblogger, witnessed by a weblogger and wife ... that was a ‘first’. Hal remembers it fondly, too. Great memories. You folks remember waltzing down the hiking trail in your wedding clothes and hiking boots, using umbrellas to keep the sun off? It’s actually cool here today ... far cry from the heat of 2002. I went back to the spot a few months ago, and the rock cairn we built during your last visit is still there. Happy anniversary, Andrea and Andre.
Asphalt Roads as Solar Collectors the Next Alternative Energy Revolution? “Because roads and parking lots are typically resurfaced every 10 to 12 years, it will be ideal for retrofits to be built into that cycle, while cooling the asphalt surfaces by the heat extraction process without any visibility.” Simple, brilliant. Do it now.