Archive | March, 2011

Early Bible Found? Maybe.

Posted on 31 March 2011 by Thraxxus

Apparently some archaeologists discovered what appear to be first century bible like metal books in Jordan. Very quickly people are coming out of the woodwork to either validate what they are or deny that they serve any proof whatsoever of anything in the Christian faith. To me I am indifferent as either way they are still “books” (really canons) created by men. Why is that important? Many Christians will tell you that the Bible is a book that contains the word of god – some going so far as to outright state that God (he/she/whatever) wrote the Bible. This perspective has always amazed me for several reasons:

  1. The Bible is a book that was constructed from various disparate texts. Those texts were voted on in Charlemagne’s court and those that were selected made it into the bible. Meaning – the bible is a book constructed from a vote by MAN (note not women as they were not allowed to vote). The irony here is that it is documented that any canon written by a woman was automatically dismissed – which I find odd since those canons are the word of God then we have an issue whereby the word of God was voted on and found dismissive of that word of god came through a woman.
  2. There are several versions of the Bible. Right. A book that is the word of God has been interpreted and re-interpreted to get different versions out there. I can only conclude then that God keeps revising God’s perspective on reality – which to me is a bit odd.
  3. The Bible comes in many different languages – and nobody seems to think that matters. The Khoran also comes in many different languages however Islam recognizes that the meanings may be different in different languages and thus the only authentic text is the one written in Arabic. Christians don’t seem to think that is the case with the Bible. Most Linguists will tell you differently.
  4. Finding Canons written before the Bible was ever written really doesn’t validate the Bible, but rather validates the story of how the Bible came to be. A bunch of Holy MEN met, reviewed the canons the had collected, and voted on them. The ones found could be early versions of those canons – that’s it.

I can’t wait to see where this little journey takes us.

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Banks Finding a Way

Posted on 29 March 2011 by Thraxxus

Recent times have been hard on banks – they have had to start following the rules, at least to some degree. Yes, yes, many still find a way to avoid doing anything to the letter of the law – but still at least we are trying to reign in their evil ways. The amusing thing here is that banks are starting to act like they are being victimized by the law, and they are doing it for the most pathetic reasons possible: their NET every year may be lower!

If you know anything about the numbers banks have put up in recent times, especially the ones that benefited from TARP, then you are aware of how big banks have announced record revenues – thus the victim aspect of their argument being so ridiculous. It turns out that banks are fighting back!

This article states the how – they are increasing the cost to access the money you are lending them. You didn’t know that you were lending them money? That is because they have brilliant marketing material – you have been lead to believe that they are doing you a favor when it is you who is doing them one – that being borrowing your money so that they may lend it to someone else and turn a profit of which you get none of. I digress.

Back to the charging you to access your money. Banks are members of data sharing networks that allow you to access your money at a bank that you don’t even belong to – cool idea right? Most of us have been dumb, or desperate, enough in the past to take advantage of this cool service without realizing or dismissing the fact that we are being charged to do so. The charges used to go something like this:

1) I want $20 from my bank, but my bank is nowhere around so I go to bank X.

2) Bank X charges me $1.50 – $3.00 to get that money.

3) My own bank charges me $1.50 – $3.00 to get that money.

Thus $20 may have cost me as much as $26. The new way ups that to $30+, meaning you could be charged as much as 50% of your money to get your money.

Who is being victimized again?

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Tembatsu For You

Posted on 25 March 2011 by Caravaggio

When Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara called the massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan tembatsu — or “divine judgment” – he was invoking a belief structure detailing a theological cause and effect shared by nearly 40 percent of Americans. Ishihara later apologized for his remark – which is most likely appropriate for a political leader (but I digress).

The following should shock anyone with an IQ above ambient room temperature: A recent poll from the Public Religion Research Institute and Religion News Survey shows some support for his original sentiment: 16 percent of Americans agree that natural disasters are a sign from God, while 22 percent mostly agree. A slight majority — 51 percent — disagreed natural disasters are a sign from the Almighty. Yet a slightly larger majority, 56 percent, said they believe God is in control of everything that happens in the world.

Aha! Therefore, the statistical majority think (I am using the word “think” very loosely) that G-O-D is in control but natural catastrophes are not a sign. What? It was if a “father” decided to indiscriminately grab one of his numerous children who was simply walking-by and violently spanked said child while stating, “Dear Child, I don’t want you to consider this punishment for anything in particular… although I am in charge and can spank you anytime I want.”

In a way, the poll examined the age-old philosophical dilemma: “If God is good, why is there so much disaster, tragedy and pain in the world?” “On the one hand, people are confirming straightforward theological affirmations of a personal God that’s in control. But many won’t draw a straight line between what’s happening on the ground and that God,” said Dr. Robert P. Jones, chief executive officer of PRRI. Others had their own take on the poll’s results. “Increasingly, Americans want a God who loves and doesn’t judge,” said Rabbi Irwin Kula, author of Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life.

As usual, Americans do not want to have to extend themselves to any meaningful degree – even within the theological rule set, which can lead one to golden, cloud-floating afterlife. The current American culturally endorsed ethic can be described as: If the field goal distance is too far to kick through… use your wealth to have it moved closer to you regardless of the rules or spirit of the game.

Kula maintained traditional theology, “that natural disasters are punishment for sin, is rejected by God in the (Old Testament’s) book of Job, but it is a dominant strand in every tradition.” According to Kula, “tragedy has nothing to do with the victim’s behavior. It is simply the mystery and vastness of nature.”

For a slightly different stance, take Eric Metaxas, author of Everything You Always Wanted to Know About God, said that “according to the Bible, the world is NOT the way God wants it to be.” Metaxas said he believes God created “a perfect world that somehow — in the Garden of Eden — became broken. … The rest of the Bible is the story of God trying to restore what was broken.” Events like earthquakes and tsunamis, said Metaxas, are examples of that brokenness “that God is in the process of redeeming and (that) He is with us in the suffering.”

So according to Metaxas, God is omnipotent enough to create the world, but once humans f’d it up… suddenly (s)he is having struggles in repairing it? Maybe (s)he just needs a vitamin B shot? Or a red bull drink?

The poll results revealed differences of opinion on the subject among various Christian denominations. Nearly 6 in 10 (59%) of white Evangelicals said they believed natural disasters are a sign from God. HOLY SHIT that is scary! (Think: Sarah Palin). But a much smaller minority — just 31 percent of Catholics and 34 percent of non-evangelical Protestants — agreed. The perceived increase in the number and severity of natural disasters is evidence to 44 percent of Americans of what the Bible calls The End Times, prophesied in the Old Testament’s book of Daniel and the New Testament’s book of Revelation. Fifty-two percent disagreed, according to the poll.

Dr. John Rankin, president of the Theological Education Institute, cautioned against drawing conclusions from the number of earthquakes and global disasters. “People have tried to get a timetable on the End Times since A.D. 100. The book of Revelations does not give any time frame. It just gives us seven cycles repeating.” What it shows, said Rankin, is that “God is incredibly patient.” NICE! God is extremely patient when it comes to destroying you, your family, your friends, and your world. Thank God for God.

In summation, it really matters not what your personal interpretation on spiritual beliefs are. The exercise I have engaged in here is to question the logic being employed in reference to the topic at hand. Ishihara, Jones, Kula, Metaxas, and Rankin can each be argued as existing somewhere across a broad spectrum of definable insanity. Yet when the majority is of a similarly insane bent, you are no longer an outlier but smack dab in the middle of the bell curve.

Einstein said it best: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” How do we, as humans, even hope to evolve past the superstitions of our ancestors?

Read more:

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All That is Red,White, and Blue

Posted on 22 March 2011 by Thraxxus

The United Nations voted to place a no fly zone over Libya, you know, to protect citizens and what not. Granted those citizens themselves are now classified as freedom fighters, or terrorists, depending really on who is doing the labeling – meaning they have guns and are using them, but hey! Tomato Tomahto. Cool cool, now take a look at Chapter VII of the UN Charter – apparently nations attacking other nations is BAD, moreover to quote wikipedia – which we all know never lies right?

Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter sets out the UN Security Council‘s powers to maintain peace. It allows the Council to “determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression” and to take military and nonmilitary action to “restore international peace and security”.

Chapter VII also gives the Military Staff Committee responsibility for strategic coordination of forces placed at the disposal of the UN Security Council. It is made up of the chiefs of staff of the five permanent members of the Council.

The UN Charter’s prohibition of member states of the UN attacking other UN member states is central to the purpose for which the UN was founded in the wake of the destruction of World War II: to prevent war. This overriding concern is also reflected in the Nuremberg Trials‘ concept of a crime against peace “starting or waging a war against the territorial integrity, political independence or sovereignty of a state, or in violation of international treaties or agreements…” (crime against peace), which was held to be the crime that makes all war crimes possible.” – Wikipedia!

Hmmm.. so imposing a no fly zone is okay, however bombing 49 military targets is against the UN Articles. WEIRD. By that rationale can we then conclude that bombing Libya is against the rules of conduct by the UN Members? Then explain this. It is obvious that many UN Members are bombing the living crap out of Libya – NPR reported that 49 sites had been hit day one by American Bombers flying out of Kansas. Apparently America is also hitting them with Tomahawk missiles.

So who is to be held accountable for any of this? Congress is saying that it is Obama’s fault – catch is if they truly believe that then they should move to impeachment as their cries are based on the concept that the President can’t do what he ordered to have done – that being bombing the bejeezus out of Libya.


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Yakuza aid Japan

Posted on 20 March 2011 by Kenfu

Interesting article about Japan’s Criminal element

Much like the Japanese failed to take advantage of looting opportunities, the Japanese criminal element were one of the first to get supplies flowing to the affected areas – anonymously even so their donations would be accepted. The culture continues to impress.

Would/did the Mafia or Gangs in the States do anything similar for any disasters that have struck the US, like Katrina?

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Ode to Japan

Posted on 17 March 2011 by Thraxxus

It has become clear lately that the Japanese people are going through some difficult times, and have, quite possibly, a tougher road ahead of them in the near future. First there was the largest Earthquake to hit Japan in their recorded history. Building were smashed. Foundations wrecked. Before anyone could even truly assess the damage an Earthquake spawned Tsunami hit the North Eastern side of Japan killing thousands of Japanese and causing an estimated $200 Billion in Damages. Entire towns were literally wiped out. Families lost completely. The event is hard to wrap your brain around. There are before and after pictures on the internet of some of these zones – they look as if a nuclear weapon was used.

Now Japan is dealing with four failed or failing nuclear reactors – each in turn spewing radioactive material into the environment causing untold damage that will be felt for nobody knows how long. All they need now is famine and they may very well have encountered the Four Horsemen themselves.

How does one react who has been through that? Entire cities are gone – left behind miles of debris, bodies  and a potential to make a buck. Gross? Yes. However it has been proven that in some parts of the world another’s tragedy is someone’s opportunity. Consider Hurricane Katrina and her effect on New Orleans. The city was all but totally destroyed. Buildings survived, but to this day entire neighborhoods that were once thriving are now completely abandoned. Many people lost their possessions, homes, families and lives during Katrina and yet, through all that tragedy some people saw it all to be an opportunity – one to commit crime. Reportedly an amazing amount of looting occurred in New Orleans during and after Katrina. There were rapes, and even a few murders. A population that bordered on chaos took matters into their own hands to better their own position in life, instead of pulling together to survive.

Now consider Haiti. An Earthquake struck Haiti killing, all told, some 200,000 people. The Earthquake took place a year ago and still there are ten of thousands of people without homes, clean water, food etc. Cholera has even broken out there post the Earthquake causing much of the water their to be non potable  and killing even more people. To make matters worse the population there has turned on each other. The rape rate has sky rocketed, there have been murders, gangs, theft all many other things bordering on evil.  Needless to say the Haitian people on a whole have failed to pull together as a nation – instead they have turned on each other. A Tragedy.

What of the Japanese? Yes it is early on after their series of tragedies – that said they must also be turning on each other right? One can only conclude given what has happened in other nations after nature disasters that the Japanese have also opted for chaos – feeding off of each other like starving jackals, right? To the contrary, the Japanese live in a culture where respect and honor are a live and well. In fact, honor runs through everything. Honoring the family, ancestors, relatives, friends, the community, and nature. One earns their right to be a part of the community through honoring it.

The Japanese people proved themselves to be formidable foes during World War II because of their resolve, dedication, and honor. The Unites States of America far outstripped Japan in resources, production and man power and yet Japan was not easy to defeat. Why mention World War II now? Because even in the eyes of defeat, even when facing tragedy on a massive scale, the Japanese people find a way to pull together and thrive. Post World War II they could have tossed it all out the window, opting for a care free style of life. Did they? No instead they pulled together, acknowledged their failures, and worked as a true nation to overcome them.

I respect and ency the Japanese people for who they are as a whole as it is a testament to who they are as individuals. God speed to you Japan – I truly hope you the best.

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We Heart Kenfu

Posted on 15 March 2011 by Thraxxus

Kenfu is a regular here on Blinkinblogs. He has written some stories (is sort of our Sports commentator) and frequently comments on others’ articles with a flair for flippantly snarky – we love that here. What you don’t know is that Kenfu is in Japan and has been for quite some time. We heard from Kenfu just after the Earthquake in a message where he stated that he and his family were ok, for now.

This little piece is dedicated to Kenfu and his family. God speed brother, we hope that you and your’s are safe and continue to be so. We hope to hear from you again really soon.

As for the rest of Japan, my heart goes out to a culture, a people, who have been having a rather tough go of it for years now. To my understanding Japan was the only culture in the world who’s population was actually declining in numbers. Japan had many struggles they were trying to overcome starting with their financial crisis back in the 90’s. Just as it seemed that Japan was getting her feet solidly underneath here again she is dealt a deadly blow. Again, god speed Japan for you and your people – I, for one, hope to see you bounce back.

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Funny People

Posted on 14 March 2011 by Thraxxus

I don’t usually watch movies about comedians as they are normally forced funny films – much akin to forced Epics, they usually fail to deliver. There are quite a few of these types of flicks in existence and almost all of them aren’t really all that funny – as opposed to the stand up work of the people in the film. Consequently when Funny People showed up at my house via Netflix I wasn’t overly excited to watch it. Don’t get me wrong here, the case is so amazing that it is difficult to wrap your brain around, not to forget MASSIVE. The sheer amount of Comedic Geniuses running cameos in this film is nuts. It is as if this movie became a convention for comedians that made it big. Check out the list.

My other concern about this flick is that prior to it showing up at my house I hadn’t heard a single good thing about it. I don’t prescribe to Movie Critics as most of them are totally worthless, so I typically dismiss what is said anyway – however in this instance I really hadn’t heard anything about the flick at all. Maybe it was how the back of DVD read, who knows, but in my mind I had instantly concluded that this was an Adam Sandler jerk off session that was to showcase his stand up comedy years in a really bad way. I could not have been more wrong.

The film is about a character who is basically Adam Sandler, and oddly enough player by Adam Sandler, but with a different name. He is a hugely successful, multi talented comedian/actor/musician who, right at the beginning of the film, finds out he has a rather rare form of Leukemia that comes with only an 8% chance to live. Yes a movie that is filled with comedians starts out with the main character coming down with Leukemia. One would think that the rest of the film would be about him going out with a bang etc – however that isn’t the case at all. Instead the film is a character study about the self reflection of a guy who really isn’t all that nice.

To go further the movie shows what the private life of the famous might really be like – and that is what grabbed me the most. You have this guy, and all the people he knows and interacts with, who is and are super famous who talk in many ways about how jacked up fame can really be. One of the quintessential scenes of the film takes place in a Restaurant where Adam Sandler is sitting with Eminem who explains to Sandler why life being famous sucks.  I actually like Eminem as an actor, and rapper, and thus would have probably enjoyed the scene anyway – but what gets you is what Eminem says “You can’t go to Walmart, Kmart, Target – no where.”

Many people think that being famous is probably awesome – this film shows how it can be a nightmare. For example when Sandler first finds out about his Leukemia he walks out of his Doctor’s office only to run into fans who are dying to get their picture with him. In a moment where he wants nothing more than to be alone and deal with the shock of the news he has to again perform for the masses. I am not saying that I feel sorry for famous people, I just think that this film conveys very well what famous life might be like – not all rainbows and balloons – sort of a be careful what you ask for kind of thing.

I actually recommend this film – I hope you enjoy it as much as I did – besides any film that makes fun of Ray Rommano by having him play himself has to be worth watching.

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Science Frontiers

Posted on 11 March 2011 by Caravaggio

When one thinks of Science Journals, one usually thinks of slick organizations that funnel university and/or government peer-reviewed research through an expensive editorial cycle of scientific reviewers. If you’ve ever subscribed to one of these Journals, you also think “very pricey” when considering subscription rates.

I’ve found something better for an $8 annual subscription rate. A Journal that truly matches the focus and pulse of this blog. It is a Journal that is entirely devoted to the scrupulous collection and analysis of scientific anomalies in current premier scientific literature. Upon opening the envelope covering my first edition today (it actually had typewritten addresses on it) I smelled what can only be described from my memory as a “good and ancient smell.” This brought me instantly back to the top floor of the University of Georgia’s Document Archive where I dug through old journals for research or earlier memories of my Grandmother’s attic where I spent numerous late summer afternoons with my plastic army men locked in battle. Inside was a typewritten coversheet stating, “Your new subscription begins soon. Delay is due to personal injury and hospitalization. Apologies.”

I looked into the Publisher, Science Frontiers, and saw that a single gentleman had been producing this bimonthly digest since 1974. He has a very respectful following. The gentleman’s name is William R. Corliss. Wikipedia defines him as: “William Roger Corliss (born August 28, 1926 [Age: 85] in Stanford, Connecticut) is an American physicist and writer who has become known for his interest in collecting data regarding anomalous phenomena. Arthur C. Clarke has described him as “Fort’s latter-day – and much more scientific – successor.” Looking at his body of work, Corliss has produced articles and books for NASA, Atomic Energy Commission, and the National Science Foundation. Based on the information I’ve read in his Journal thus far, this guy must read and synthesize EVERYTHING at or approaching light speed. He makes my somewhat prodigious reading list look like that of an illiterate.

[Excerpt from Wikipedia] In his book Unexplained!, Jerome Clark describes Corliss as “essentially conservative in outlook”. He explains, “Corliss [is] more interested in unusual weather, ball lighting, geophysical oddities, extraordinary mirages, and the like — in short, anomalies that, while important in their own right, are far less likely to outrage mainstream scientists than those that delighted Fort, such as UFOs, monstrous creatures, or other sorts of extraordinary events and entities.” Arthur C. Clarke said: “Unlike Fort, Corliss selects his material almost exclusively from scientific journals like Nature and Science, not newspapers, so it has already been subjected to a filtering process which would have removed most hoaxes and reports from obvious cranks. Nevertheless, there is much that is quite baffling in some of these reports from highly reputable sources.”

I’ve just begun to dig fully into the envelop filled with back copies of his Journal. He obviously felt bad for being injured and starting my subscription late (I had no idea it was late!? Nor would have I cared knowing who this is published by now). All-in-all, his analysis is done in the classical way – extremely formal with absolutely no room for hubris or even colloquialisms. His critiques are delivered in a serious tone, yet presented in common language. I already consider this one of the coolest subscriptions I have – this guy is the definition of living history!

If you’re interested and have $8 to spare, I highly, highly recommend a subscription.


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Super Moon is coming!!!!!!

Posted on 10 March 2011 by Kenfu

Read this article on

I’d like to place my bet that nothing will happen and anything that does will be purely coincidental.

What makes this Astrologer “noted”?

One of my favorite quotes from the article: “(It should be noted that astrology is not a real science, but merely makes connections between astronomical and mystical events.)”

Yeah to Yahoo for shooting this down this quack’s predictions.

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Republicans are better at Politics?

Posted on 10 March 2011 by Thraxxus

I am neither a Republican nor a Democrat as I think they both have a series of flaws that frankly I don’t want to go into right now. I have been watching this Wisconsin drama play out over the last few weeks and have come to the conclusion that at the very least the Republicans are better at politics than the Democrats. I am not saying that they are right, or that I believe at all in what they are saying or doing, or that I disagree with what they are saying or doing – I am merely pointing out that in the grand scheme of things the Republicans seem to have their crap together more than the Democrats do when those two play games together.

Consider the Wisconsin ordeal. The Governor of Wisconsin says that the state is totally broke and thus can’t afford some programs. He has proposed record cuts. If they don’t come up with some solution then the state goes belly up. These are FACTS. The guy isn’t necessarily trying to better his career, in fact this drama might quite possibly end it. I am not defending him, I am simply stating that he has brought up a very real problem and wants to solve it as it is HIS JOB to do so. That said what he proposed was taken very badly by Democrats of that state, so much so that they decided that since they were in the minority they would just disappear so that the vote on the table “can’t happen”.

Think about that. The way the Democrats dealt with a problem they didn’t like was to simply not participate. In fact one could argue that they felt the best way to do the job they were voted into office to do was to not do it at all. How is that okay to do in any job? “I don’t like the task handed to me by my coworkers so I just won’t come in ever again! And they still have to pay me!” You have to figure that after a while they should get fired. I mean, they aren’t doing their job are they?

So now there is this vote on the table that can’t take place because the Democrats aren’t there. Brilliant right? Wrong. Here is where the point is made that the Republicans are better at politics – they did their homework. Apparently they couldn’t vote on what they wanted to vote on, but they could change other laws while the Democrats where gone – they even went so far as to check with several national committees and overseeing bodies on political conduct and law to make sure that they could do what they were about to do – and they could. So while the Democrats made their grand movement of trying to win a game by not playing it, the Republicans actually won it by playing it better than the Democrats and now the Democrats, those guys that want to bed paid for not doing their job, or in this case playing the game, are considering this a political victory.

How? The Democrats think this will help them during election time. See for them it wasn’t about doing right or wrong, or getting the job done – it was about potentially winning votes. How sad. How far we have fallen. Instead of doing the job that you all voted me into office to do I will sit idly by in HIDING so that my opponents run away with the local government all in hopes that maybe you will not like what they have done more than me not doing my job.

Perhaps I am jaded – I know right? However let us use a sport analogy, because that is never done, to showcase what has happened here. There are two teams (all conspiracy theories aside here) that are scheduled to play a Baseball game. One team doesn’t like the field so the way they deal with it is to not show up at all. The referee calls play ball. He looks over at the dugout and notices that the team isn’t there. GAME IS OVER. Forfeited by the team that didn’t show up. And the fans? No they don’t get their money back.

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The Price of Oil

Posted on 07 March 2011 by Thraxxus

If you own a car, or do anything that is related to the price of oil (realize that practically everything is) then the recent spike in those oil prices has an effect on you. You may already know that the price of oil fluctuates quite a bit but you may not know why or what effect that really has on things like the Oil and Gas Companies.

Let us start with the definition of a Commodity – which is what Oil is:

“A commodity is a good for which there is demand, but which is supplied without qualitative differentiation across a market.[1] A commodity has full or partial fungibility; that is, the market treats it as equivalent or nearly so no matter who produces it. Examples are petroleum andcopper.[2] The price of copper is universal, and fluctuates daily based on global supply and demand. Stereo systems, on the other hand, have many aspects of product differentiation, such as the brand, the user interface, the perceived quality etc. And, the more valuable a stereo is perceived to be, the more it will cost.” – wikipedia on Commodity.

The next paragraph of that same writeup really hits the nail on the head regarding the price or what really drives the price of a commodity:

“In contrast, one of the characteristics of a commodity good is that its price is determined as a function of its market as a whole. Well-established physical commodities have actively traded spot and derivative markets. Generally, these are basic resources and agricultural products such as iron orecrude oilcoalsaltsugarcoffee beanssoybeansaluminiumcopperricewheatgoldsilverpalladium, and platinum.”

What needs to be understood is that commodities change their prices based on perception of value only – there is lots of dirt in the world thus its lack of value. It has been said that Diamonds are expensive only because their are so few of them – if the market was suddenly filled with a limitless supply of diamonds then the chance that buyers felt that they were valuable would go down dramatically – and thus the price would go down as well.

Let us apply this concept to the price of Crude Oil. In the Middle East, a region of the Earth that is responsible for a huge percentage of Oil Production, there is quite a bit of political upheaval lately. This hasn’t had an effect on actual oil production, but it has had a dramatic effect on perception. Speculators are under the impression that the Middle East political landscape could have a dire effect on oil production and thus the supply of oil could be effect which in turn would cause the front side of the Supply/Demand equation to be hammered. Has it been yet? Nope. But it COULD happen. Thus the $106/Barrel price stated today.

So how is it then that oil companies end up making so much money? They have the commodity, in fact they are the global market’s source of oil and right now their supply hasn’t dropped but the prices that they are being offered for their commodity has sky rocketed. So they have the exact same amount of supply at twice the price that they used to sell it for with no increase in the cost to produce it. Simply put let us pretend that Oil Cost them $35/Barrel to produce. They were selling it for $65/barrel and thus netting $30/barrel. With the speculator price hike to $106 they are now netting $71/Barrel – having not had to do anything whatsoever.

Are the Oil companies pure evil? That is up for debate. However to blame them for the price of oil borders on conspiracy theory. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see a smoking gun pointing to them hiking the prices – but as I have not I have to blame the one thing that is to blame – Paranoia.

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Your Kid? He is Wuss.

Posted on 04 March 2011 by Thraxxus

I have often giggled at my pondering of my childhood having zero idea how I lived through it. My friends and I often tried to kill each other, all in the name of fun. We’d make up games that involved hurting other kids, but never really said the fact out loud. My friend Doug and I would go to this field where this type of weed grew into throwable spears – we’d pluck several and then throw them at each other. I almost managed to send Doug to the hospital doing that. In another game we’d pretend we were Jedi Knights with whiffle ball bats, Doug almost sent me to the hospital playing that game. I miss being a kid.

As an adult I am made of some pretty hard stuff. If I get cut I really don’t complain a whole heck of a lot. I have cut my finger to the bone to a degree where blood was spurting out of it heart chimed gushes and all I did was wrap it with duct tape. That said my father is far tougher than I am and I am fairly sure that his father wasn’t even a human – something manifested from the very bedrock we all walk on daily. I have three kids now, the oldest having just turned four years old. My oldest is a bit of a freak of nature – he is big (about the size of most 8 year olds), strong, fast, agile, and smart as a whip. People lovingly call him Superman. He beats me as a kid on every level except for the rag tag nature that I described above – he cares more than I did about booboos. But he is still tougher than the kids in his class.

ScanJack sent over this article that is about as accurate as any article can be :  It is titled “A Nation of Wimps“. The article is a must read if you are a parent, and a great read if you aren’t. In effect it states what many of us know but are fueling in our interactions with our children – kids today are wimps. Is it their fault? Not one iota. Helicopter Parents are the scourge of the Earth now, always around, always watching, to the point of the ridiculous. They have managed to convince their kids that they are made of glass. What is even more amusing is that if a Helicopter Parent encounters a non Helicopter Parent they are appalled by the lack of interest that the non HP shows in their own kids. “My god, its like he doesn’t even care that his son is going down a slide!! He could be killed!” Probably not.

The real issue is not just the physical aspect of being an over protective parent – yes your kid will be afraid of everything – no, the real issue is not showing a kid what failure is like. In life their is often a winner, that said there is also often the opposite – the guy who got his ass handed to him by said winner – aka the loser. Losing is part of the game. If you want to be a winner you have to understand that there is the remote chance that it won’t go your way and you will thus be crowed the loser. Congratulations! Losing teaches people things that winning rarely does. How did you lose? What could you have done better? Humility is learned through losing, not winning. People grow through losing, not winning.

It turns out that many childhood sports are now no longer keeping official score – instead opting to tell the children that everybody is a winner. Bullshit. I coached kids between the ages of 9-15 Football for 4 years. Even if we didn’t keep score I can guarantee you that the kids and parents surely did. Telling a kid who just lost that he didn’t lose is doing him a discredit. You are lying to him. You are telling him a line of bunk to try to shield him from life – this is wrong and you should be ashamed of yourself.

What happens when you aren’t there to protect little Timmy from the evils of the world? It will happen you know. What will he do when he loses or fails? I hope he doesn’t lose it himself – with any luck – he will learn about failure for the first time in his life because you sure as hell didn’t show it to him – except with your parenting.

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I to the N to the D to the I to the A

Posted on 01 March 2011 by Caravaggio

I submit onto you a very popular email that is circulating the Indian Sub-Continent currently. The Indian people and their culture have much to be proud of… as this list illustrates. In reflecting upon different cultures, I always try to find something to emulate or, at the very least, use as a lesson with my children. The email seemed worthy of a post – especially since the primary focus in on Indians living in the USA.



Who is the co-founder of Sun Microsystems? Vinod Khosla

Who is the creator of Pentium chip (needs no introduction as 90% of the today’s computers run on it)? Vinod Dahm

Who is the third richest man on the world?
A. According to the latest report on Fortune Magazine, it is AZIM PREMJI, who is the CEO of Wipro Industries. The Sultan of Brunei is at 6th position now.

Who is the founder and creator of Hotmail (Hotmail is world’s No.1 web based email program)? Sabeer Bhatia

Who is the president of AT & T-Bell Labs (AT & T-Bell Labs is the creator of program languages such as C, C++, Unix to name a few)? Arun Netravalli

Who is the GM of Hewlett Packard? Rajiv Gupta

Who is the new MTD (Microsoft Testing Director) of Windows 2000, responsible to iron out all initial problems? Sanjay Tejwrika

Who are the Chief Executives of CitiBank, Mckensey & Stanchart? Victor Menezes, Rajat Gupta, and Rana Talwar.

We Indians are the wealthiest among all ethnic groups in America, even faring better than the whites and the natives. There are 3.22 millions of Indians in USA (1.5% of population). YET,
38% of doctors in USA are Indians.
12% scientists in USA are Indians.
36% of NASA scientists are Indians.
34% of Microsoft employees are Indians.
28% of IBM employees are Indians.
17% of INTEL scientists are Indians.
13% of XEROX employees are Indians.

You may know some of the following facts. These facts were recently published in a German magazine, which deals with WORLD HISTORY FACTS ABOUT INDIA.

01. India never invaded any country in her last 1000 years of history.

02. India invented the Number system. Aryabhatta invented ‘zero.’

03. The world’s first University was established in Takshila in 700BC. More than 10,500 students from all over the world studied more than 60 subjects. The University of Nalanda built in the 4th century BC was one of the greatest achievements of ancient India in the field of education.

04. According to the Forbes magazine, Sanskrit is the most suitable language for computer software.

05. Ayurveda is the earliest school of medicine known to humans.

06. Although western media portray modern images of India as poverty striken and underdeveloped through political corruption, India was once the richest empire on earth.

07. The art of navigation was born in the river Sindh 5000 years ago. The very word “Navigation” is derived from the Sanskrit word NAVGATIH.

08. The value of pi was first calculated by Budhayana, and he explained the concept of what is now known as the Pythagorean Theorem. British scholars have last year (1999) officially published that Budhayan’s works dates to the 6th Century, which is long before the European mathematicians.

09. Algebra, trigonometry and calculus came from India. Quadratic equations were by Sridharacharya in the 11th Century; the largest numbers the Greeks and the Romans used were 106 whereas Indians used numbers as big as 1053.

10. According to the Gemmological Institute of America, up until 1896, India was the only source of diamonds to the world.

11. USA based IEEE has proved what has been a century-old suspicion amongst academics that the pioneer of wireless communication was Professor Jagdeesh Bose and not Marconi.

12. The earliest reservoir and dam for irrigation was built in Saurashtra.

13. Chess was invented in India.

14. Sushruta is the father of surgery. 2600 years ago he and health scientists of his time conducted surgeries like cesareans, cataract, fractures and urinary stones. Usage of anaesthesia was well known in ancient India.

15. When many cultures in the world were only nomadic forest dwellers over 5000 years ago, Indians established Harappan culture in Sindhu Valley (Indus Valley Civilisation).

16. The place value system, the decimal system was developed in India in 100 BC.

Quotes about India.

We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made.
Albert Einstein.

India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend and the great grand mother of tradition.
Mark Twain.

If there is one place on the face of earth where all dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India.
French scholar Romain Rolland.

India conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries without ever having to send a single soldier across her border. Hu Shih.
(Former Chinese ambassador to USA)



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