Gongol.com Archives: February 2009
Brian Gongol


February 17, 2009

News French sub collides with British sub in the mid-Atlantic
Both ships were carrying nuclear weapons. Their anti-sonar equipment made each vessel invisible to the other, and the French didn't even know they'd been in a collision. This gives "Run Silent, Run Deep" a whole new meaning.

Business and Finance In a time of economic uncertainty, the US remains the only economy people really trust
China's going to continue buying US Treasury bonds -- even though actions like the "stimulus" package put us in serious danger of creating inflation. Related: If you need to be convinced that today's knowledge and technology will help us recover from the recession more swiftly than we would have escaped the same troubles a decade or two ago, just take a look at a 1988 commercial for the latest Yugo and ask yourself: Wouldn't you feel safer in the lowest-end Kia today than in any average sedan from 1988? After all, now we have airbags, three-point seat belts throughout, ABS, and better latches for children's seats.

Computers and the Internet Twitter continues to grow by leaps and bounds
But it runs some serious risks that aren't discussed much: Due to the 140-character limit to any unique contribution on the site, Twitter is developing its own jargon that's pretty painful in its linguistic contortionism. The site really has great promise, but it has to keep from being overrun by self-designated "social media experts".

Iowa Proposal for a gas-tax hike reaches the Iowa Senate
The proposal is for an 8-cent-per-gallon increase in the tax, which is likely easier to put out in front of the Legislature at today's $1.80-a-gallon gas prices than at the $4.00 per gallon mark they were reaching last summer. But in the long run, gas taxes are doomed and must be replaced. Related: The new government spending package might subsidize new passenger-train service for Iowa.

Iowa If you make a trip to tour flood damage, it might help to go and make the tour
(Video) Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano came to Iowa to see the lingering damage from last summer's flooding, but according to KCRG-TV, she really didn't bother to see the damage itself. She watched a video instead. It's not that hard to see the flood damage in Cedar Rapids up-close -- the damage is spread out over a huge section of town, and damaged homes and businesses are still to be seen everywhere. Related: Only 32 of the nation's 1,400 newspapers has a dedicated bureau in Washington, DC.

Threats and Hazards Britain now has laws against taking photos of police on duty
And there are reasonable fears that the power will be abused

Humor and Good News Spoken-word renditions: How to do 'em

Broadcasting Podcast: Taxes are headed up
We're pretty bad about paying our bills here in the US. And one of these days, there's a good chance that the people who have been loaning us the funds that allow us to put off paying those debts will cut us off. (Audio file)

Water News Oil slick creates international incident

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