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Monthly Archives: June 2009
Too funny, especially today with Governor Sanford’s admission.
Ikea said Tuesday that it was suspending further investment in Russia, apparently because of pervasive corruption and demands for bribes.
The announcement came after a rare statement by Ikea’s 83-year-old founder in a radio interview that Ikea had decided not to solve problems by slipping money under the table.
Kudos to Ikea for standing up and going public with how corrupt Russia is, but they should not be surprised, and they should have known better than invest money and time in Russia. Russia is run mafia style and people on the inside and who live there can easily tell you that there is little difference between the Russian mafia and the Russian government. I refuse to invest one penny in that country and this article is yet another reason to stay far away from its corrupt ways.
Here is the link: Russian Corruption
I highly recommend this inspiring LA Times article about Khadijah Williams. Here is a snippet:
“Around here, Khadijah is known as “Harvard girl,” the “smart girl” and the girl with the contagious smile who landed at Jefferson High School only 18 months ago.
What students don’t know is that she is also a homeless girl.”
Here is the link to the article:
I really enjoyed this speech on the subject of failure to 9th graders by Paul Tudor Jones. Check it out:
I’ve been noticing quite a few people I know become sick and it seems like an odd time of the year to be sick. My brother on the East Coast complained to me yesterday that a lot of people in his office are sick. Does it have anything to do with this announcement today by the CDC?
The new strain of H1N1 flu is causing “something different” to happen in the United States this year — perhaps an extended year-round flu season that disproportionately hits young people, health officials said on Thursday.
Here is the link (hat tip to Paul Kedrosky):
I just watched a very moving documentary called Smile Pinki. The movie is short, only 45 minutes, and is about children with cleft palates from extremely poor places in India. The movie follows a few of them from their villages to a hospital, where thanks to the charity, Smile Train, they can have surgery for free.
The movie actually won an Oscar earlier this year as best documentary. It is playing on HBO right now and I highly, highly recommend you watch it. Learning how these kids are afraid to go to school and how radically this simple surgery changes their lives is magical and inspiring. Here is a trailer:
And here is a link for the Smile Train charity:Smile Train
I found this speech by the CEO of Conoco Phillips to be practical, level-headed and spot on. Here is one point that I thought was important:
“Fortunately for all of us, we benefit from a massive, efficient and highly successful energy infrastructure. It is based on fossil fuels. Building it required 150 years, trillions of dollars in investments, and generations of work – by untold millions of people. They drilled wells, and constructed oil and gas pipelines, fleets of tankers, coal mines and electric power plants. Their work transformed society, created affluence, and improved our quality of life. Replacing this energy foundation would take an unimaginable effort. It could not be done quickly, despite the desire to do so. There simply is not enough investment capital, skilled labor and materials available. And much of the technology needed is still being developed. So building sufficient capacity to replace fossil fuels will take – who knows, decades, perhaps even a century.”
and this point too:
“Further, government must resist the “raise taxes” mentality. Our industry already pays a U.S. income tax rate of over 40%, compared to less than 27% for all manufacturing. Last year, ConocoPhillips paid $13 billion in income taxes, $5 billion in other taxes, and several billion in royalties to government. The Administration’s proposed 2010 budget contains tax provisions that will reduce our ability to invest in increasing production. This would cause greater oil and gas imports, higher fuel prices, and reduced competitiveness. It could also cost many of the 6 million direct and indirect jobs supported by our industry.”
Here is the link:
I grew up loving video games as a kid. Unfortunately, as I have gotten older I have less and less time for simple leisure and games. But every now and then I hear about an addictive game and I slip into the little kid I once was. It happened several years ago with Half Life 2 and eighteen months ago with the Nintendo Wii.
I’ve found another addiction: Plants Vs. Zombies. Here is a link to the game website:
The premise of the game is that you must plant seeds and plants to stop zombies from coming through your yard and eating your brains. Its cartoonish, childish, stupid and incredibly addictive. I’m writing this review because I enjoyed the game so much and it helped pass so much time on trains and planes that I want to make sure others enjoy the game as much as I did. It is a great way to pass the time. Here is a screen shot:
The fun of this game is the variety of zombies the game throws at you such as Pole Valuting Zombies and Football Zombies. And you get to use a variety of plants you can use to defend yourself from mine plants which explode when a zombie walks over it to “Wall-nuts” that serve as a barrier.
Try the demo for free and you will find what I found: a great, fun game. I’m really hoping for a sequel or expansion game.
This is a great post from Carpe Diem showing that it is patently false that the poor get poorer and the rich get richer:
A Treasury Department study of the 1996–2005 period used IRS income tax data to discern considerable mobility: more than 55% of taxpayers moved to a different income quintile. More than half the people in the lowest fifth of earners moved to a higher quintile over this period (29% to the second, 14% to the third, 10% to the fourth, and 5% to the highest).
Moreover, there is a great deal of movement in and out of the top income groups. The Treasury data show that 57% “of households in the top 1% in 2005 were not there nine years earlier.” The rich sometimes get richer, but they get poorer as well. The study also reveals that income mobility has increased, not decreased, during the past twenty years. For example, 47.3% of those in the lowest income quintile in 1987 saw their incomes increase by at least 100% by 1996. That number jumped to 53.5% from 1996 to 2005.
Here is the link: Income movement
Another classic video from The Onion. Enjoy:
Hat tip to:little green footballs