Gongol.com Archives: December 2006
Brian Gongol


December 26, 2006

Graphics Collect $200

Business and Finance If Berkshire Hathaway had been in the Dow, we'd be at 21,000

The American Way Gates Foundation to spend all its assets within 100 years
In some ways, this makes it similar to inducement prizes, which set specific goals, rather than creating broad objectives to which an organization is expected to adhere over the long term. The problem with the nebulous long-term approach is that sometimes the people managing the endowments behave more like trust-fund babies than people charged with achieving aggressive goals. Time limits on endowments and gifts like the Gates Foundation's asset base are probably best.

News Everybody says they want to help the environment
...But they don't actually do what they say they're willing to

Broadcasting How blacks are perceived in Asia
How very strange

Agriculture Deodorant for pigs

Humor and Good News Couple splits, tries reconciliation, has running-over-each-other-with-truck spat
Husband then steals the truck

Iowa Why Iowa needs more economic growth outside the big cities
Rising costs for highway construction mean that the state will be putting off a lot of roadway improvements. Iowa has a massive network of paved highways, most of which connect smaller communities. We need a larger economic base to support the existing infrastructure. Roads are only one example: 60% of Iowa school districts are losing students.

Business and Finance A 52-year mortgage
No, really: British grocer Tesco is offering customers the "opportunity" to buy a 52-year mortgage. Assuming you would get one at age 22, you would pay it off at age 74. Perchance, average life expectancy at birth is 75.7 years for a British male. Most people, though, at age 22 aren't sublimely qualified to make such a lifelong decision.

Iowa Eight-point buck makes its way into Target store
It happened in November, but the pictures are still funny

Health Easy exemptions from vaccinations leads to higher rates of infection
Where it's easy for parents to get their kids out of whooping-cough vaccinations, rates of the illness are 90% higher than elsewhere. Vaccinations are one of the few cases for public intervention in individuals' lives.

Weather and Disasters Second anniversary of Asian tsunami comes and goes
220,000 people died; some recovery has taken place, some has not. We're still not very good at spreading the news about disasters in quick enough fashion to save lives. And too much of the world still lives in poverty, which puts the people at high risk of losing their lives in a disaster. In a cruel bit of irony, another earthquake hit southeastern Asia today.

News Saddam Hussein to hang from a high tree within 30 days

News Some alternative nominations for Person of the Year

Broadcasting Radio show notes from today's afternoon drive on WHO Radio

Business and Finance Raising taxes on low-income work to pay for low-income work
An exercise in evaluating some of the implicit problems with raising the minimum wage

Humor and Good News If you give out pint glasses with police logos on them, what happens?
The intent: To dissuade people from taking too many drinks. The reality: The novelty outweighs the deterrent, and people just steal the glasses.

Water News Winter storm shows why backup power for pump stations is critical

Business and Finance How to get a start if you have no banking history

Recent radio podcasts