Friday, February 27, 2015

Hard to Understand!

The German government has issued bonds with a negative yield.  People are buying them.  It’s hard to understand how they are a good investment.

Alex Rodriguez has been a good baseball player in the past.  He’s also been a liar, a performance enhancing drug user, a source of distraction for his team.  I know it would cost the Yankees some money to dump him, but I don’t understand why they refuse to cut their losses and move on.  It seems to me he’s a negative yield player with little upside.

Speaking of negative yield sports figures – Sepp Blatter is a poster boy for corruption and autocracy in the world of football (soccer).  It is no secret why his cronies won’t dump him – they would lose the power they have with him in charge.  Some day he’ll die, step down or be ousted, but that day doesn’t seem to be close at hand.  In this case, I do understand why the status quo is firmly in place.

The handwriting is on the wall for the film industry.  They act like it is still the 1940s, when 60 million Americans went to a movie theater once a week.  Those days are gone and will never come back.  Mobile devices, streaming, the Internet, broadband, and a desire by people to see what they want when they want and where they want is today’s world.  Yet, we still have to wait months to see most first-run films outside of a theater.  I don’t understand why smart people insist on shooting themselves in the foot.  It could be, of course, that they’re not so smart after all.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Insanity Masquerading as Art!

In today’s Chronicle Matier & Ross talk about a Richard Serra sculpture soon to be installed at MOMA in San Francisco.  OK, so what, right?  He’s a well-known artist and the museum is in the process of being remodeled.  So far, so good.

Only one problem: this monster made of steel, called “Sequence,” weighs 214 tons – 12 curved steel sections 13 feet high and 30 to 40 feet long.  The trucks hauling them in aren’t allowed on certain highways after 5 a.m.  There are restrictions on when cranes can be used to lift them.  And 2 of the 4 lanes in front on the museum need to be closed for several days while they move these pieces inside.

To accommodate the installation, the museum has delayed putting up the entrance’s glass walls.  With all that, MOMA does not own this ‘sculpture.’  It is on loan for five years.  Then they’ll need to tear down the glass walls again to get it out.  And the cranes will be back.  And the street will be closed.  Etc., etc.

Some people call this ‘art.’  I’m not one of them!

Monday, February 16, 2015

In Case You Missed It!

We lost two of my favorite news guys recently:  Bob Simon and David Carr.  Simon combined insight and humanity in every story he covered.  Carr talked about media in a way that provided context – past, present and future – as well as facts.  Bob Simon died when the livery cab in which he was riding crashed in New York City.  David Carr collapsed and died at work at the N.Y. Times, apparently because of cancer and heart failure.  Double bummer!

What I can’t get my head around today:  Scientists say we can observe only 5% of the universe.  Of the other 95%, 27% is called dark matter, which we can’t yet prove exists.  And the remaining 68% is dark energy, which is a theory to explain why (we think) the universe is expanding.

I thought Beijing was the poster-city for pollution.  Wrong!  New Delhi is much worse.  If you live in Delhi (which I did long ago when the air was cleaner), coal, truck exhaust and burning cow dung combine to shorten your life.  Prospects for improvement in the future?  Bad!

Magnesium is good for your health and most of us don’t have enough magnesium in our diet.  What foods are high in magnesium?  Seeds and nuts – especially pumpkin seeds and brazil nuts.  A half a cup a day will give you all you need.  That or a bucket full of kale.


Tiger Woods will win another Major.
The ceasefire in Ukraine will hold.
The drought in California will end this year.

Our species will avoid extinction in just a few thousand years.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Sad Stories!

Some sad stories in the news these days:

Brian Williams – His career threatened because he couldn’t/didn’t risk the temptation to embellish his Iraq war experiences with made up stuff.  Unless something new emerges, like lies about what he reported he saw during Katrina, he’ll weather this media/Internet storm, but we’ll never trust him like we did before.

Tiger Woods – Not being able to finish a tournament two weeks in a row.  Last weekend he didn’t make the cut.  This weekend he pulled out because of back pain.  He hasn’t been the same since his wife beat him up that night years ago in Florida.  We thought he would overtake Nicklaus and wine more majors than anyone in history.  Not gonna happen.

Innocent people being killed – In Ukraine, Nigeria, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Mexico, etc. etc.  And by cops in the U.S.

Harper Lee – She’s become a pawn as competing camps argue about why she is going to publish a book written before her only other known best seller, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

Argentina – Awash in theories about who killed the prosecutor who accused the President of conspiring with Iran to cover up responsibility for the bombing of a Jewish community center.

Vaccinations – Preventing children from contracting dangerous diseases, like measles, has become a political controversy.  Ridiculous!

Dean Smith – A great coach dies.