Gongol.com Archives: September 2007
Brian Gongol

September 5, 2007

Graphics Graphic of the day: CPR

Water News $10,000 to dispose of zoo poop

The American Way Massive world milestone: More people work in service than in ag or industry
World employment in service jobs is now 42.0%, with agriculture in second place at 36.1% and industry at 21.9%. That's a huge milestone, since shifting from an agricultural or industrial economy to a service economy is a primary indicator of economic growth. Perhaps, too, it's a good argument to get American politicians to lay off the "erosion of the industrial economy" nonsense. America still manufactures a lot of goods, but it does so with fewer workers than ever before. Truly, though, the shift to a plurality of world employees in the service sector is a titanic moment.

Threats and Hazards British judge wants everyone to be DNA tested and included in a database
That would include visitors from other countries. Not a good idea. Not at all.

Computers and the Internet Facebook will add public search soon

Health CPR may be completely revised soon
Purdue engineer says that instead of breaths and chest compressions, we really ought to just push on the abdomen, which would both circulate blood and encourage airflow

Health Dutch study: Cell phones should be kept one meter away from hospital equipment

The United States of America FEC rules that political websites are exempt from campaign-contribution rules
That means the Internet remains a haven for free speech, which is a good thing. Campaign finance regulations are a pretty bad way to deal with political speech to begin with: Instead of obsessing over the amount of money that's spent on politics, we ought to be more concerned about the tax money spent by politicians. The more government spends, the more useful it is to have influence over politicians; conversely, if politicians didn't do very much (which was what the Constitution actually calls for), there wouldn't be much incentive for anyone to try to buy them off with political contributions. Campaign-finance regulations are a weak bandage for the wrong symptom, not a real cure for the true problem. Related: Russia's President Putin has just announced that his successor will be elected on March 2, about four months before the US political parties anoint their official candidates.

The American Way The best quote ever about Communism
Ronald Reagan: "How do you tell a Communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin." It's true: Their books are so patently ridiculous, it's depressing to realize what horrible influence they had.

Broadcasting France tries to figure out international broadcasting
They have a bunch of international broadcasting channels, but not a lot of coordination among them

Business and Finance How much are newspaper readers worth?
Depending on the newspaper being sold, apparently somewhere between $1,261 and $3,251 per reader, given recent sales. By comparison, Clear Channel was paying between $53.94 and $8,000 per listener during its buying frenzy of the late 1990s and early 2000s. AT&T spent $1,300 to $3,000 per cable subscriber when it bought TCI around the same time.

Business and Finance GAO says 61% of sole proprietors understate income
But half of them are off by $900 or less. The bulk of understatements come from the worst 10%, who understate income by $6,000 or more

Broadcasting Beyond the shadow of a doubt, the best TV episode guide in the world
For fans of the absolutely brilliant Arrested Development, the-op.com is the most incredibly complete and perfect episode guide and TV show accessory ever. The website (a fan creation) is a real work of art.

Business and Finance Some poor schmucks fell victim to another online stock scam today
Andover Medical, Inc. issued a press release today indicating that it had nothing to do with a ridiculous series of spam messages sent out today as part of a pump-and-dump scheme against the company's stock. Unfortunately, some of the recipients obviously fell for the scam -- witness the fact that thousands of shares traded today on a stock that hadn't seen any volume in weeks. People need to know that when they receive pump-and-dump scam messages by email, they need to ignore them. No one's giving you a stock tip; they're trying to conduct a scam. Worse, there's at least some chance that the crooks behind it are involved in organized crime or even terrorism. The September state of spam report from Symantec says that a larger number of crooked sites are coming from China than before, too.

Humor and Good News History's "ten biggest wastes of talent"
#6, the sinking of the Titanic, is probably the best

Business and Finance How much cash should a person carry?
Economist Greg Mankiw has an answer, based on the value of one's time. What it neglects is the important worst-case-scenario condition: A massive power blackout that renders one's credit, debit, and ATM cards useless. It happened in New York in 1977 and again in 2003, in California in 2001, and in Quebec in 1989. Actually, reflecting on the New York City blackout of 2003 brings to mind a number of things people ought to consider about preparedness in their day-to-day lives.

Threats and Hazards Zimbabwe clearly on the brink of collapse
When the country's main bakery says it's down to just two days' worth of flour, time is clearly running out. Hyperinflation has brought Zimbabwe to its knees, and we've been able to see it coming since at least August of last year. Good fiscal and monetary policy aren't just nice to have; they can mean the difference between life and death. An out-of-control central bank can kill far more people than any incompetent surgeon.

Threats and Hazards Terrorists in Germany wanted to attack Ramstein base and Frankfurt airport

Aviation News B-52 flies from North Dakota to Louisiana with nukes strapped to wings

Health UK regulators OK hybridization of human and animal embryos
Even the people in favor of the plan admit, "It does seem a little abhorrent at first analysis." But they say they don't want to create weird cow/human hybrids, but rather to use cow eggs (with the nucleii removed) as vectors to help make human stem cells divide, which may be a way to derive new human organs for those who really need them. It's probably a halfway sensible idea, especially since so many people die each year because they can't get replacenemt organs. And it may allow scientists to get around the use of cells from human embryos, which is what people tend to object most to. Supposing you could choose to use your own cells and have them injected into a cow's (de-nucleated) egg in order to generate your own replacement kidney or heart, you would probably agree to such a lifesaving project. Realistically, it's not just about saving people who might die without transplanted kidneys or livers: In the end, anyone who dies from heart disease is technically a victim of organ failure, too. What if you could replace your own heart with a new one bio-engineered from the first?

News British intelligence spied on George Orwell for a decade
Just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean they're not watching you, right?

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