Posts Tagged ‘Financial Meltdown

01
Oct
11

10.1.2011 … ‎!♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♪♪¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Happy Birthday (LXXXV) to my mamma ♪♫•*¨*• .¸¸♪♪¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ … another end of an era … M’s last SAT … Wohoo! … and “Last” high school homecoming dance (better than last SAT) …

Davidson College, Study Abroad Program: I think the 1968-69 brochure speaks volumes for Davidson College … way ahead of its time.

According to a 1968-1969 brochure, “A year of study in a foreign country, confronting the student with new combinations of old ideas and opening his intellect to the possibilities for the development of new ideas, is an invaluable adjunct to any college program. This is particularly true for Davidson, which has as its goal the development of ‘disciplined and creative minds,’ minds which ‘make relevant and valid judgements,’ which ‘discriminate among values,’ and which communicate freely with others in the realm of ideas. Such study goes far toward making understanding out of prejudice, intellectual sophistication out of intellectual provincialism, and mature insights and habits of thought out of uncritical and adolescent minds. It therefore contributes in the most profound way to a truly liberal arts education.”

With its central place in the liberal arts tradition, Davidson now sponsors wide range of study abroad programs in its history, ranging geographically from Europe to the Indian sub-continent to Africa to South America. The current study abroad program for Davidson students is administered through the Dean Rusk International Studies Program.

via Study Abroad Shapes Students at Davidson — Around the D.

gLee, tv: Spoiler  …

It looks like the honeymoon is over for Kurt and Blaine.

Sources confirm to TVLine exclusively that Glee has tapped up-and-coming theater actor Grant Gustin to play the recurring role of Sebastian, a gay Dalton Academy Warbler who sets his sights on Blaine.

Major Glee Spoiler Alert: Big Developments For Rachel/Finn and Kurt/Blaine in Episode 5

Both Fox and the show’s producers declined to comment, but the buzz is that Sebastian is the polar opposite of Kurt in every possible way. He’s more like the male version of Santana in that he’s both promiscuous and kinda-sorta scheming.

via Glee Exclusive: New Gay Warbler Played By Grant Gustin to Come Between Kurt and Blaine! – TVLine – TVLine.

Spirits of Meath Halloween Festival, halloween, history, Ireland:  Never heard it was rooted in Ireland.

Spirits of Meath Halloween Festival

21 October 2011 – 06 November 2011

County Meath, uniquely where it all began, is bringing you Ireland’s most electrifying Halloween Festival…Fun by day, frights by night!! Samhain, the ancient Celtic Festival that we now call Halloween, originated in Co. Meath more than 2,000 years ago. Samhain marks the end of the old Celtic Year and the beginning of the New Year. One of the main spiritual centres of the ancient Celts was located on top of the hill of Tlachtga, now called the Hill of Ward, near Athboy, Co. Meath. Today, the old Celtic ceremony at Tlachtga has been revived and we mix the ancient past and the twenty-first century with a re-enactment of the Celtic celebration starting with a torch lit procession from the Fair Green in Athboy, Co. Meath to the top of the Hill of Tlachtga, at 7pm on October 31st each year.

via Spirits of Meath Halloween Festival.

Disney World, kith/kin, 40th Anniversary, family secrets:  OK, I am sure my brother (and I only have one)  has been wondering when this family secret would come up.  Our grandparents took the two of us to the NEW Disney World in the summer of 1972.  And we were allowed to go through the park together … and he abandoned me.  I had to ride the teacups by myself … You can cry now. Happy 40th Disney World!

 

Don’t get sick! This photo from 1955 shows some of the first children to ever brave Disneyland’s dizzying teacup ride, formally called “Mad Tea Party” and based on Disney’s animated version of Alice in Wonderland.

via Disney Theme Parks, Then and Now – Photo Gallery – LIFE.

Troy Davis, funeral, martyr, death penalty:  Martyr … is martyr the right word?  Tragic victim, maybe, but not martyr.

Sent to death row 20 years ago as a convicted cop killer, Troy Davis was celebrated as “martyr and foot soldier” Saturday by more than 1,000 people who packed the pews at his funeral and pledged to keep fighting the death penalty.

via More than 1,000 mourn Troy Davis as a martyr at Ga. funeral preaching end to the death penalty – The Washington Post.

BofA, Merrill Lynch, Warren Buffett, financial meltdown:  Profits, but no joy … they forget that many at ML got their hefty bonuses at the time of the merger … despite hefty losses.

IT sounded like a crank call, the business equivalent of “Do you have Prince Albert in a can?”: Hello, Warren Buffett wants to talk to your boss.

Brian Moynihan, Bank of America’s chief. The bank is still reeling under mortgage-related woes despite recent success at its Merrill Lynch unit.

Only this was no gag. The caller was telling a banker in Chicago that none other than Mr. Buffett wanted to reach the chief executive of Bank of America, ASAP.

The hurried deal that emerged from that early-morning call in late August underscored Bank of America’s predicament: It was the too-big-to-fail bank that, to some, also seemed too big to succeed.

Its C.E.O., Brian T. Moynihan, has been struggling to fix things for almost two years. After the financial markets turned on the company this summer, Mr. Buffett invested $5 billion, arresting a precipitous decline in Bank of America’s share price.

But not even the imprimatur of the Oracle of Omaha has been enough to dispel the clouds. Despite the billions from Mr. Buffett, and tens of billions in asset sales, Bank of America can’t seem to find its way.

The situation has set teeth on edge at its headquarters in Charlotte, N.C. But perhaps nowhere is the grumbling louder than in Midtown Manhattan, at One Bryant Park, now the base of the Wall Street bank formerly known as just Merrill Lynch.

DESPITE the pain, some senior bankers are saying privately that they’re hoping the division can become a bit nimbler as a result of Project New BAC.

“There is just a feeling that you can’t make a move on things that make a great deal of sense,” one executive says. “There’s just this enormous black hole.”

Sometimes, he says, the bureaucracy is suffocating. “I like being out on the road with clients,” this executive adds. “It’s only when I’m sitting in this office am I reminded of what a big, burdensome place this can be.”

Mr. Montag isn’t one for moaning and groaning. “At many firms, not just here, there’s a woe-is-us attitude,” he says. “The market is after us, the economy is after us. You name something and people will say it’s after us.”

He says morale is much better than it was two years ago. His advice for the complainers? “Show no fear. People respond to that.”

With that attitude, he says, “people will walk through the fire with you.”

via At Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Profits but No Joy – NYTimes.com.

02
Feb
11

2.2.2011 … Punxsutawney Phil: No shadow. Early spring! … Happy Groundhog Day (a strictly secular holiday :) )… and Candlemas, too.

Groundhog Day:

Punxsutawney Phil has been prognosticating about when spring will come since the 1880s, and he’s developed quite a legend in the meantime.

via Punxsutawney Phil tweets: five little-known facts about Groundhog Day 2011 – There is only one Punxsutawney Phil – CSMonitor.com.

Punxsutawney Phil: No shadow. Early spring!

via Facebook.

 

Candlemas Day, Groundhog Day, worship:  I’ll give it to the Episcopalians for making sure I know that Groundhog Day is a “strictly a secular holiday!”

FEAST OF THE PURIFICATION OF THE VIRGIN

CANDLEMAS DAY (FEB 2)

The events commemorated today are recorded in Luke 2:22-39.

Counting forward from December 25 as Day One, we find that Day Forty is February 2. A Jewish woman is in semi-seclusion for 40 days after giving birth to a son, and accordingly it is on February 2 that we celebrate the coming of Mary and Joseph with the infant Jesus to the Temple at Jerusalem (1) to offer sacrifice on behalf of Mary to mark the end of her seclusion (see Le 12:1-8), and (2) to ransom or redeem (buy back) Jesus as a first-born male (see Ex 13:11-13; 22:29; Nu 18:15-16; Dt 15:19). As they did so, they were greeted by the aged Simeon. In a Sunday-School pageant, I once saw, the narrator said, “And now Simeon bursts into a spontaneous song of praise, assisted by the Temple Choir.” His song, called the Nunc Dimittis, has always had a prominent role in Christian worship. It has often been rendered in verse. I append one example.

Because an old reading for this festival contains the line (Zephaniah 1:12), “I will search Jerusalem with candles,” the day is also known as Candlemas, and sometimes observed with a candle-lit procession. On the other hand, Groundhog Day (“If the groundhog (or woodchuck, a kind of marmot, which burrows and hibernates) sees his shadow on 2 February, there will be six more weeks of winter.”) is strictly a secular holiday, brought to the United States and Canada by German immigrants.

via Feast of the Presentation (Purification of the Virgin Mary; Candlemas Day).

RIP, Willie B, childhood,  Atlanta: Oh, I didn’t know … One of my favorite childhood memories was going to see Willie B.  I even took my kids to see him in his new habitat in the 90s.

On this day in 2000, Willie B., Zoo Atlanta’s famous resident gorilla, passed away.

By: Atlanta History Center

CU – Boulder, students, kith/kin:  So now I know what Boulder students do after graduation!

The University of Colorado at Boulder is ranked the No. 1 school recruiting undergraduate students to serve in the Peace Corps.  According to a CU news release, 117 students are serving around the world this year.

In the CU news release, Chancellor Philip DiStefano said he is glad CU is contributing to the global community.

“I am delighted that our emphasis on civic engagement as part of the learning experience at CU-Boulder has resulted in service-oriented graduates contributing to their global community,” DiStefano said in the news release. “Service learning and civically engaged graduates are a cornerstone of our Flagship 2030 strategic plan and it is gratifying for the university community to realize that our vision is becoming a reality.”

via CU ranked No. 1 for graduates serving in the Peace Corps | CU Independent.

Super Bowl, sex trafficking, culture:  Yesterday I posted a friend’s blogpost about the feasting aspect of the Super Bowl … I guess the fans feast in other ways, too.

While football fans are eagerly anticipating the Feb. 6 Super Bowl showdown in Dallas, some state officials are gearing up for the big game’s dark side: the surge in human trafficking that tends to accompany major sports and entertainment events. “What we’ve learned is that sexual trafficking, sexual exploitation of children in particular, is all about supply and demand,” says Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. With more than 100,000 fans descending on Dallas, that demand is going to be great. There is a “looming potential explosion of human trafficking around the Super Bowl,” says Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is expecting hundreds of girls and women to be brought to the area.
Past Super Bowls have borne this out. In the wake of 2009’s game in Tampa, Florida’s Department of Children and Families took in 24 children who’d been trafficked to the city for sex work. Given that Texas, according to Abbott, is second only to California when it comes to trafficking, the figures for Dallas could be even worse.

via The Super Bowl of Sex Trafficking – Newsweek.

2012 Democratic National Convention, Charlotte, kudos: … “beautiful, energetic, innovative and diverse city we are building”  – we have some work to do … “few singular events in the U.S. rival the domestic and worldwide media exposure of a major political convention: a presidential inauguration, a royal wedding, the Super Bowl and the Olympics.” … I am not so sure about that one …. But kudos nonetheless to my home city!

“We’re honored that the Democratic National Committee chose Charlotte to host its 2012 convention,” said Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx. “Thanks to the hard work and support of so many throughout our community, we have an unmatched opportunity to show the world what a beautiful, energetic, innovative and diverse city we are building in Charlotte. As we tell the story of Charlotte, and what a great place our city, state and region are to live and do business, we also will tell the story of America to our fellow citizens and our neighbors around the world.”

Duke Energy Corp. CEO Jim Rogers, who co-chairs the Charlotte In 2012 organizing committee with Mayor Foxx, added, “Charlotte’s selection clearly elevates our city to a new level in national and world stature. Only a few singular events in the U.S. rival the domestic and worldwide media exposure of a major political convention: a presidential inauguration, a royal wedding, the Super Bowl and the Olympics. The economic and reputational significance of being chosen for this honor cannot be overstated.”

via Charlotte to Host 2012 Democratic National Convention | Charlotte in 2012.

Apple, apps, lists:  A new list for me to checkout! Full List – 50 Best iPhone Apps 2011 – TIME.

Great Recession, consumers, superlatives, Wilmington NC:  Thumbs down on this one Wilmington, NC:

Where are people most addicted to their plastic? Apparently it’s Wilmington, whose residents seem to love (or maybe just need) their credit cards more than anywhere else in the country.

That’s according to data from Equifax, one of the national companies that compiles credit reports on consumers. According to a just-released study from Equifax, people in Wilmington owe an average of 17.26 percent of their income to credit cards, more than any other U.S. city. Maybe it’s just a coincidence, or maybe it’s something in the water, but the seaside haven is also the hometown of two of the three N.C.-based banks that have failed during the financial crisis.

via Wilmington tops the list for U.S. credit card debt – CharlotteObserver.com.

blogposts, quotes, Winston Churchill, C.S. Lewis, graphics: Two of my favorite blogs have great quotes by great folks this week.

“To be really happy and really safe, one ought to have at least two or three hobbies, and they must all be real.”
Winston Churchill

The Happiness Project.

-and-

quote of the week – cs lewis – my blog – Ordinary Courage.  And don’t you like her graphics!

Great Recession, Financial Meltdown, BofA:  Well I think Moynihan came out ok given the Bank’s performance.

It was a tough year for Bank of America, what with the foreclosure mess and a sagging stock price. Its chief executive, Brian T. Moynihan, nonetheless received $10 million in his first year on the job.

Mr. Moynihan will get a bonus of $9.05 million in the form of restricted stock, along with a base salary of $950,000, bringing his total pay to $10 million for 2010. In 2009, before Mr. Moynihan took over as chief executive, he received a total of $6.1 million in compensation.

Mr. Moynihan’s base salary did not go up, however, and he received no cash bonus, a reflection of Bank of America’s slow recovery from the financial crisis, when it received two bailouts from Washington totaling $45 billion. What is more, Mr. Moynihan will have to fulfill performance goals to earn the full $9.05 million.

Other top officers of the company did receive a cash bonus of $900,000, but it will be paid in monthly installments and is tied to the stock price.

“All of the year-end compensation was deferred and tied to some measure of stockholder value,” said Bob Stickler, a spokesman for the company.

via Brian Moynihan Gets $10 Million as Bank of America Chief – NYTimes.com.

icons, places, Athens GA, REM:

Wilmot Greene sat among charred remains of his iconic Georgia Theatre recalling the fire that reduced it from an alternative rock icon to rusted steel girders and walls of black bricks.

A year after an unexplained fire gutted the century-old musical cradle of bands such as R.E.M., the B-52s, Indigo Girls and Widespread Panic, Greene still kicks himself for missing Rockinwood play the last show before the fire. He says he’d missed only about 20 shows since buying the place in ’04.

via Alt-rock icon struggles to make a comeback after fire – CNN.com.

green, Great Recovery, history, recycling:  Actually recycling a town …

And that’s just the start. Sempra has big designs on being a major player in the green energy game. But as the wind whips through my hair and I study the immense emptiness all around, I can’t help but ask, “Why is this such a good location for such a thing?”

“First, there is a lot of available, flat land,” Crider says. “Second, it is incredibly sunny. This region gets about 330 days of sunshine per year. And third, there’s existing transmission lines which provide access to major markets throughout the western United States.”

Which, as is so often the case, raises another question: Why are those lines way out here?

To find that answer, you have to drive 20 minutes to struggling Boulder City, population about 16,000. The town is uniquely poised to cash in on the new energy boom precisely because it was built on old energy technology; during another time when the economy and energy collided; when thousands of jobless men came here during the Great Depression to undertake an unprecedented power-generating project.

“This town is here because it was a federal reservation to build Hoover Dam.”

via Struggling Nevada town sees sunnier times ahead – CNN.com.

globalization, poverty, social responsibility, solutions:  “Some 1.6 billion people around the world lack reliable access to electricity.”

The first decades of the 21st century will be remembered as the ones in which the world finally began to grapple with global development. The likes of Bill and Melinda Gates and Bono — TIME’s Persons of the Year in 2005 — have channeled funds to fighting malaria, TB and HIV, while supporting agriculture, infrastructure and even governance. But there’s one obstacle to development that has too often been forgotten, a blind spot that does more than almost anything to keep the poor poor: they don’t have electric power.

Some 1.6 billion people around the world lack reliable access to electricity. That means they don’t have electric lights for students to study by at night. They can’t easily charge cell phones — assuming they even have them — which means they can’t easily create markets or sell goods. Without regular power, their hospitals are severely limited — after all, you can’t even keep vaccines cold without a refrigerator. Agriculture is essentially peasantry if farmers lack powered machinery. As long as those hundreds of millions remain in the dark, they will remain poor — yet solving energy poverty isn’t even one of the U.N.’s ambitious Millennium Development Goals.

via Clean Energy: How It Can Help Light Up the Developing World – TIME.

art, google street view, art galleries:  I still would rather travel there, but I think this is a great idea. YouTube – Art Project – Preview.

Now that Google has conquered a majority of the earth’s major streets with its Google Street View project, the company is starting to move inside. It’s  creating the Google Art Project, a virtual equivalent of 17 major art museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate Britain and the National Gallery in London, and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, among many others.

via Google Takes Street View Into Art Museums – NYTimes.com.

Egypt Uprising, titles: “The Last Pharoah” …

Hosni Mubarak: The Last Pharaoh – Photo Gallery – LIFE.

Egypt Uprising, media, twitter:

With Egypt’s last remaining internet service provider taken offline, the country’s citizens have resorted to old school telephone technology to establish limited connections to the outside world.

Several internet service providers outside of Egypt have established dial-up phone numbers that can be used for pokey-yet-usable connections like the ones that have slowly died out in many developed countries as broadband internet becomes more prevalent and less expensive.

And Google and Twitter teamed up to build a speak-to-tweet service that allows people inside Egypt to call one of three international phone numbers and leave a voicemail that’ll be transcribed and sent out over Twitter. The messages themselves can be heard at the Speak To Tweet Twitter page.

via Egyptians Sidestep Internet Blackouts with Landline Phones – Techland – TIME.com.

Egypt Uprising – getting out, students:

Hilliard said that although classes at the American University have not begun, four students are currently in Cairo awaiting the start of their semester. Three students will be leaving Cairo, while one is still deciding.

“We expect three of those students will return home within the next 24-36 hours, and to be in a safe location in Europe within the next 12-24 hours,” Hilliard said. “The fourth student is thinking over the option of staying or going, and has not made the decision yet.”

via CU-Boulder’s Study Abroad Program in Cairo cancelled | CU Independent.

Egypt Uprising – victims:

Google’s head of marketing for the Middle East and North Africa has been missing in Egypt since last week, according to multiple news outlets.

Wael Ghonim, who has headed the company’s marketing in the region since January 2010 , has not been seen for several days as protests continue to swell in Egypt, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Times reports that Ghonim was a guest speaker at an Al Jazeera forum in Januray and that the news agency had been contacted by Ghonim’s family and friends.

“His wife is appealing for any information on his whereabouts,” said an Al Jazeera blog post on its English website.

Google declined to confirm to the Times if Ghonim was in fact missing. A spokeswoman told the newspaper: “We care deeply about the safety of our employees, but to protect their privacy, we don’t comment on the individually.”

via Google Exec Reported Missing in Egypt – World Watch – CBS News.

csr, Egypt Uprising – getting out:

Coca-Cola Co. closed its Cairo office starting Sunday. The office “will not reopen until security in the city improves,’’ said Kenth Kaerhoeg, a spokesman for the big beverage business in Atlanta.  “The safety of our employees is our primary concern and we are taking all necessary measures to ensure everyone’s safety.”

Mr. Kaerhoeg declined to offer any details about possible evacuations or the exact number of Coke staffers in Egypt.  An Egyptian bottler operating as its local franchisee owns eight bottling plants there.

Egyptian operations of food giant Nestle SA “have been temporarily interrupted due to ongoing political unrest across the country,’’ said Nina Backes, a spokeswoman for the owner of brands such as KitKat, Gerber baby food and Nescafe coffee.  “The company is currently evacuating the families of around 20 expatriates,’’ she added.

Ms. Backes said its three Egyptian factories “have temporarily been shut down.’’  She declined to say how family members are being evacuated – nor whether Nestle might also evacuate expatriates.  “We continue to monitor the situation closely,’’ she added.

Nestle’s Egypt unit has three factories  and 3,000 employees.  It began factory operations there in 1988.  Nestle, based in Vevey, Switzerland,  is the world’s largest food company by sales.

Unrest in Egypt also is affecting U.S. companies without permanent offices there. An Occidental Petroleum Corp. spokesman said ten professionals on a temporary Egyptian assignment cut short their stay and left Cairo Sunday on chartered aircraft arranged by the company without difficulty. “They left sooner than anticipated,’’ he continued.

He declined to disclose why the Oxy Pete staffers went to Egypt several weeks ago.  “There was no definitive time frame” for their abbreviated business trip, the spokesman said.

via Coke, Nestle Report Egypt Shutdowns – Dispatch – WSJ.

Egypt Uprising – impact, Syria, Middle East:

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad may face mass protests this weekend from opposition groups.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
Syrian opposition groups are organizing protests against the government
The calls are the latest call for demonstrations in the wake of Tunisian protests
Those protests helped topple the Tunisian government and spark widespread unrest in Egypt
(CNN) — What began as a popular uprising that toppled the Tunisian government before spreading into Algeria, Jordan, Yemen, Sudan and, of course, Egypt, may now be headed for Syria.
Opposition movements in Syria are calling for mass protests on Saturday against the rule of President Bashar Al-Assad.
The groups are organizing on Facebook, with several pages promoting protests in Damascus, Aleppo and other cities.
Protest organizers want better living standards, human rights improvements and a greater voice for youth, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute, a Washington-based organization that studies and translates news accounts and social-media postings.

It’s unclear how many people might join the protests. A few thousand people had expressed their support for the movement on the Facebook pages, some of them undoubtedly from outside the country, the research institute said.

via Unrest in North Africa and Middle East may spread to Syria – CNN.com.

Egypt Uprising  – “Youthquake”, new terms:

It’s 11:30 on Tuesday morning and the dusty office space around Adil is buzzing with the idealism of two-dozen young professionals, many of them juggling four cell phones at once. They’re lawyers, accountants and web designers. They wear jeans and flip flops, colorful headscarves, and the black and white checkered keffiyahs associated with the Palestinian intifadeh. Today they are among the country’s core activists who shoulder the responsibility for the largest Egyptian uprising in more than 50 years.

Welcome to the nerve center of the Arab world’s latest rebels. The 6th of April is one of several youth activist groups who have helped to bring the nearly three decade regime of President Hosni Mubarak to its knees. It was formed in the wake of a massive labor strike on the 6th of April 2008, becoming since then the group that made Egyptians under 30 a force to be reckoned with.

via Egypt’s Youthquake: At a Nerve Center of the Revolution – TIME.

art, Davidson, Davidson College, Herb Jackson, art galleries, NYC, kudos: Kudos to Herb Jackson!

Riding the Phoenix by Herb Jackson

Riding the Phoenix by Herb Jackson

In case you have your snow boots ready and are traveling to NYC, be sure to plan your trip for mid-February to catch Herb Jackson’s art exhibit at the Claire Oliver Gallery on 513 West 26th Street (just off 10th Avenue).  The opening will be Thursday, Feb. 17, from 6-8 p.m. at the gallery.  For a digital preview of Herb’s paintings, access http://www.claireoliver.com and select the heading “upcoming” before clicking on his exhibition.  Congratulations, Herb, on your continued artistic success.

via Rabbi and fiancee’s love story makes a Times Sq. billboard | DavidsonNews.net.

health, obesity, fad diets:  Another new fad diet?

For more than 25 years, De Vany has been an advocate of what he calls “evolutionary fitness”: a regimen of low-carb eating and interval- or cross-training workouts (with periodic fasting) aimed at controlling insulin. But he has also become the grandfather of the growing Paleo movement, a health philosophy built around the belief that modern life — dating from the advent of agriculture 10,000 years ago — is simply alien to our genes. Believers say that only by returning to a diet of wild game and fresh produce, eliminating grains and dairy, and exercising in short, intense bursts, can we thrive in a world of escalators and cheese fries.

via Paleo Diet: ‘New Evolution Diet’ Author De Vany on Food and Exercise – TIME.

media, twitter:  I follow quite a few magazines and newspapers on twitter (where do you think I get my clips?), so I am very disappointed that the most followed is People magazine.

There are eight magazine brands with more than a million followers, and 14 with more than half a million, while the newspaper industry has just two: the New York Times (2,882,697) and Wall Street Journal (618,751). Inspired by a survey done by The Wrap last fall, we decided to take an updated look at the magazines with the most Twitter followers.

The following list of most followed magazines was culled at the end of January (follower counts were taken on Jan. 31). For about 50 titles, the follower counts were compared to a similar count conducted in October, to see how their counts grew over the last three months. Among the top 25, Rolling Stone (#25) and The New Yorker (#14) both grew about 30 percent in terms of followers, while the Economist (26 percent) was not too far behind.

via The Most-Followed Magazines on Twitter – emedia and Technology @ FolioMag.com.

health, obesity: You would think we could solve this one …

Obesity drugs are dead. Orexigen Therapeutics(OREX_) is done. Arena Pharmaceuticals(ARNA_) is a corpse. Vivus(VVUS_) is in an irreversible coma, waiting for someone to pull the plug.

The only silver lining from Tuesday’s outright and devastating rejection of Orexigen’s obesity drug Contrave is that investors need not waste time or money any longer speculating on which of these three companies will be the first to get their drug approved. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has made it crystal clear that it has serious problems with the entire obesity drug field and that none of these drugs — Contrave, lorcaserin or Qnexa — have weight-loss benefits that justify the safety risks.

via Obesity Drugs: The Road to Perdition – TheStreet.

26
Jan
11

1.26.2011 … still raining …

Pinky’s, Amelie, restaurants, Charlotte, followup:  Great lunch with my great friend.  I will say this … I prefer the old Penguin to Pinky’s,  and I highly recommend Amelie’s for coffee and dessert.  However I have heard that the view of Charlotte  on a nice evening is wonderful from Pinky’s … not much on a cold, rainy, wintry day.

World Economic Forum, bucket list: The WEF is 40 years old … I would like to go.  It’s added to my bucket list.

Leaders in business, politics and academia from around the world will gather in Davos, Switzerland, this week to try to rescue the planet. It’s a safe bet that, for the 41st year in a row, they will fail.

Even if it were possible to save the world in five days, the list of global problems just keeps getting longer — to the point where Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, is worried.

Ruben Vardanian, chief executive of Troika Dialog, an investment bank based in Moscow, said that Davos offered a place where people from emerging markets could meet on equal terms with counterparts from the United States and Europe.

“We didn’t go to the same universities, we are not members of the same golf clubs,” Mr. Vardanian said, explaining why Davos was still relevant. “For me, being head of the bank and trying to connect Russia to the Western world, it’s one of the best platforms.”

via Expanded List of Problems Awaits World Leaders at Davos – NYTimes.com.

Global businesses must play a role in raising global living standards, says BT CEO Ian Livingston via video at WEF

YouTube – Ian Livingston CEO BT Group: Globalisation 3.0 World Economic Forum, Davos, 2011.

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icaVOPZGUgc]

statistics, economics:  These are amazing statistics.

Which countries match the GDP and population of America’s states?

IT HAS long been true that California on its own would rank as one of the biggest economies of the world. These days, it would rank eighth, falling between Italy and Brazil on a nominal exchange-rate basis. But how do other American states compare with other countries? Taking the nearest equivalent country from 2009 data reveals some surprises. Who would have thought that, despite years of auto-industry hardship, the economy of Michigan is still the same size as Taiwan’s?

via Comparing US states with countries: US equivalents | The Economist.

technology, culture: interesting … “Maybe it’s because constant digital communication between dates increases a sense of intimacy, and makes even days-old relationships seem longer or more intense.”

Does your heart skip when your phone buzzes with a message from your new flame? If a new survey is to be believed, all those texts and late-night Facebook chats might lead you into the bedroom faster too.

In the survey of 1,200 men and women by Shape and Men’s Fitness magazines, nearly 80% of women and 58% of men said they believed that using social media tools with new partners leads to sex sooner, according to a recent Reuters article. (More on Time.com: An Evolutionary Explanation for Altruism: Girls Find It Sexy)

Maybe it’s because constant digital communication between dates increases a sense of intimacy, and makes even days-old relationships seem longer or more intense. Or maybe it’s because lovey-dovey text messages (or sexting, more likely) amps up anticipation and paves the way to the bedroom sooner.

But regardless of what they said they believed about digital communication hastening sex, only 38% of women said they had actually slept a partner sooner than they otherwise would have, because of a textual relationship.

via Survey: Do Texting and Facebook Chatting Ease the Way to Sex? – TIME Healthland.

followup, childhood,Disney Princesses, culture:  I am getting more of her point … it is not so much the fairy tale stories as it is the mass marketing to our girls. Not much different from mass marketing to our children sugary snacks/cereals and obesity.

“It’s not that princesses can’t expand girls’ imaginations,” Orenstein explains. “But in today’s culture, princess starts to turn into something else. It’s not just being the fairest of them all, it’s being the hottest of them all, the most Paris Hilton of them all, the most Kim Kardashian of them all.” Translation: shallow, narcissistic, slutty.

Orenstein is the first to admit she’s not a perfect parent. But her advice to others is to pride yourself on saying no. “People have said to me, ‘Don’t you feel like you’re brainwashing your daughter because you’re not giving her the choice of what she consumes?’ ” Orenstein says. “But there’s not really a choice. Disney isn’t giving you a choice.” Being a princess may seem simple. But raising one takes a whole lot of brains.

via ‘Cinderella Ate My Daughter’: Are Princesses Bad for Girls’ Self-Esteem? – Newsweek.

economic history, the dollar:

THE dollar’s ascendance to the rank of world’s most important currency is often remembered as having been slow and gradual, mirroring the decline of sterling and Britain’s historic economic dominance. In fact, it was surprisingly swift. From a standing start in 1914, the dollar had overtaken sterling in international importance by 1925. The first world war played a part, but so did a lesser-known factor. America had surpassed Britain as the world’s largest economic power as early as 1870, but it had a stunted financial system: its banks could not open branches abroad, it had no central bank and panics were common. All these things discouraged international use of the dollar.

via The rise and fall of the dollar: Go with the flows | The Economist.

youth, altruism, community service, Davidson: I have not given a swab … but I will.  Be The Match , Archive » Celebrating 20 years of student commitment to saving lives.

redemption, second chances: I do believe in second chances.

Vick has signed his first paid endorsement contract since his release from prison. The Philadelphia Eagles’ Pro Bowl quarterback inked a two-year contract with Unequal Technologies, a provider of the football pads Vick wore most of last season.

via Michael Vick gets first paid endorsement since dogfighting arrest – NFL – SI.com.

faith and spirituality, forgiveness, Henri Nowen:

Forgiveness, the Way to Freedom

To forgive another person from the heart is an act of liberation. We set that person free from the negative bonds that exist between us. We say, “I no longer hold your offense against you” But there is more. We also free ourselves from the burden of being the “offended one.” As long as we do not forgive those who have wounded us, we carry them with us or, worse, pull them as a heavy load. The great temptation is to cling in anger to our enemies and then define ourselves as being offended and wounded by them. Forgiveness, therefore, liberates not only the other but also ourselves. It is the way to the freedom of the children of God.

via January 26, 2011 – Forgiveness, the Way to Freedom.

new blog, SOTU: Another blog to follow.  I like her style very much … even if I do not agree with her.  She did a nice job on the SOTU speech last night.  Althouse.

Ann Althouse

I’m a law professor… and sometimes I write about law.

via Althouse: law.

public art, change, Charlotte:  I’m mad.  I do not like change.  I find the airport Queen Charlotte amusing and welcoming … she’s certainly not pretty!

Queen Charlotte must find a new home after more than 20 years greeting travelers from a cast stone column at the front of Charlotte Douglas International Airport’s terminal.

Airport Director Jerry Orr says expansion plans for the airport have forced the move of the 16-foot-tall bronze statue from her 25-foot-high perch.

Queens Table — an anonymous group of donors — commissioned the work in the late 1980s from sculptor Raymond Kaskey. That’s the same artist who cast the statues marking the four corners of The Square in uptown (also a donation from the Queens Table).

via Queen Charlotte statue departing from airport terminal | Charlotte Business Journal.

Supreme Court, SOTU, history: After the 2010 SOTU, I am amazed any of the conservative justices are going … and a  little history of this “issue.”

There is little question that the four members of the court’s liberal wing — Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen B. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — will attend. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the court’s swing justice, attended there last year, and he is likely to be on hand again Tuesday night.

And Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has apparently concluded that his distaste for last year’s address, which

he called a “political pep rally,” was not reason enough to stay away. He may have concluded that the court’s reputation as an avowedly apolitical institution would be harmed should only the court’s more liberal justices attend.

via Six Justices to Attend State of the Union – NYTimes.com.

Back in the day when his predecessor, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, stopped attending (he explained his first absence by saying that the speech conflicted with a weekly painting class he was taking) nobody much noticed or cared – one more indication that today’s political world is more complex and more toxic. 

via Thread of the Union – NYTimes.com.

App, IRS: For some reason I am not sure I want the IRS App on my phone … giving the IRS my personal data.

The free IRS2Go phone app, which works with iPhone or Android phones, allows taxpayers to check the status of their tax refund and obtain tax tips.

“As technology evolves and younger taxpayers get their information in new ways, we will keep innovating to make it easy for all taxpayers to access helpful information,” IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said in a statement Monday.

via IRS Announces Tax Refund ‘App’ for iPhone – WSJ.com.

Apple:  I am glad I know someone with Apple stock.

The take home message from this report and others is that Apple is thriving. Even with Steve Jobs on a leave of absence, the Cupertino company has a team of executives that are second to none, and they will continue to develop innovative and inspiring products worthy of the Apple name.

via The significance of Apple’s earnings call numbers.

Great Recession, Financial Meltdown, compensation:  Doesn’t sound like much has changed … Viewpoints: Has Compensation Changed? – Video Library – The New York Times.

quotes, BSF Isaiah:  From last week’s lesson (Lesson 16), this is my favorite quote:

Isaiah 40

Comfort for God’s People

3 A voice of one calling:
“In the wilderness prepare
the way for the LORD[a];
make straight in the desert
a highway for our God.[b]
4 Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain.
5 And the glory of the LORD will be revealed,
and all people will see it together.
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”




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