Gongol.com Archives: June 2007
Brian Gongol


June 25, 2007

Graphics Graphic of the day: Specialty Love

Computers and the Internet The dots don't matter in a Gmail address

Business and Finance Why gas costs $4.30 a gallon in San Francisco
The owner of one Shell station is in a fight with Shell's management and he's taking it out on them by jacking up the price that shows up right next to their logo. What a way to conduct public-relations warfare. In a totally different part of the world, Shell is trying to become the #2 gas station chain in Poland.

Business and Finance Why pay off a mortgage early?
Ben Stein points out a range of reasons why there's really little reason to pay down a mortgage prior to its maturity -- especially when most mortgates are long-term instruments that cost less over that time horizon than a conservative investor would likely earn from conservative investing over that same long term.

Computers and the Internet People who deserve a swift kick: Text-message spammers
Verizon Wireless is suing a company that tried to send out 12,000,000 text messages full of spam to Verizon's customers. Incredible. In a highly-related problem, as millions of people get the new Apple iPhone, expect crooks to pay more attention to mobile platforms as ways to scheme and steal. This ought to be especially significant, since there seems to be a large segment of the population that's computer-illiterate and yet simultaneously very enthusiastic about the iPhone (perhaps because it seems less threatening or complicated than most computers).

Water News Normal summer weather for the Midwest, but wildfires in the Southwest

Socialism Doesn't Work The black hole that is America's fiscal future
The Washington Times -- too often a slightly nutty newspaper -- has a dead-on editorial that concludes with this dead-on comment: "The bipartisan, presidential-congressional abdication of long-term fiscal responsibility that we shall witness over the next year and a half will be nothing less than incomprehensible."

Socialism Doesn't Work Cameron Diaz: Cute but stupid
Carrying a Mao-themed bag in a country where Maoists killed 70,000 people isn't such a bright idea. The whole "Communism-is-cute" thing that fashionistas seem to think makes them hip is really pretty inexcusable, when one gets down to it. Communism is a stupid way of bullying people around and stealing their property, and it has been responsible for killing millions of people, in China, the USSR, and still today in North Korea. And Maoist militias are still terrorizing people in India.

Business and Finance Chicago Fed says the economy isn't quite growing at the regular pace

Humor and Good News Some people can handle serious cognitive dissonance
Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte was a "committed republican" in Napoleon's army who (according to legend) had "Death to all kings" tattooed on his arm. Then he became king of Sweden. The story about the tattoo may be myth alone, but his republican leanings were not. Oddly enough, Sweden isn't alone among countries today in keeping a monarchy around. How any concept of "royalty" makes sense to anyone living in an era of spaceflight, nanoparticles, and the Internet is completely beyond the realm of logic.

Recent radio podcasts