Showing posts from January, 2010

Slippery Bankers

Wouldn't You Know It

The Prez sets out to recover our (we the taxpayers') TARP money from the banks we saved. Then before the plans get finalized, we have this Reuters story:

Banks, experts eye possible ways around Obama fee

Dan Wilchins NEW YORK Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:20pm EST NEW YORK (Reuters) - No sooner does Washington propose a new tax than an army of experts tries to figure out ways to avoid it.That is already the case with U.S. President Barack Obama's proposed fee on banks, designed to ensure that Wall Street banks pay up to $117 billion to reimburse taxpayers for the financial bailout: Bankers, lawyers and consultants are already considering ways to avoid paying the fee."This law could be a real boon for lawyers and consultants like me. There are tremendous opportunities for coming up with new mechanisms to avoid it," said Bert Ely, a bank consultant in Alexandria, Virginia."This tax could indirectly fall on the banks that the government is trying to suppo…

Facing my limits

86 is a "B" Isn't It?

An oft repeated thing I say (and have said and said) is: "I discovered the limits of my brain's capacity in differential equations." Usually I'm explaining how I went through four majors and five years at four universities without winning a degree. (Then I say, "a broad, shallow education.")

It's no small thing to actually have a hard number on your limits. But now I have one. 86. Oh, not that I don't strive for and occasionally reach, say, 90. But it never holds up long.

The measuring metric is - get this - FreeCell Solitaire. Note:

Squint hard, and you will see the "86%." Wins, that is.

That, by the way, is up from 80% at about 500 games, begging the question, "How much time do you waste on FreeCell?" Well, Duffer?

If I hit 90%, I'll give you an update.

Oh, You Rascally BPA

It Just Keeps Getting Worse
Ye who have checked this humble blog occasionally might sense that I have been on the anti-BPA (Bisphenol Acid in common plastics in our lives) bandwagon for quite a while.

And NOW... whoo, boy... it seems BPA in the blood correlates with heart disease.

Not good.

Anyway, check out Web-MD's take on the research.

And watch what the stuff you eat and drink is packaged in.

[Here are my prior rants on the stuff:]

Letter to the Editor


As gratifying as blogging is, there is something more special about seeing one's letter in a paper.

This in the Dec 31-09 alibi, the hot "alternative" paper in Albuquerque: