Gongol.com Archives: June 2010
Brian Gongol

June 16, 2010

Business and Finance China agrees to a bunch of new investments in Greece
Taking a classic contrarian position, China's government is investing in projects with the European country just as everyone else rushes for the exit. It's strange how a Communist country with an authoritarian government can have at least some leaders who invest like value-oriented capitalists. China is planning for long-term economic growth much better than many individuals and institutions in the West -- but it still needs to come to terms with the need for self-government by the people.

News Can statistics help the Chicago Cubs?
The team has hired a new analyst to go through the Cubs' statistics, perhaps to help figure out why they're losing. That's one of the beautiful things about baseball: With a 162-game regular season, baseball is a game of very large numbers. Large enough that statistics really do matter, and so does their analysis. It's just one of the reasons why baseball is the greatest professional sport in the world today. Oh, and because the season lasts so long, the world doesn't just stop working for a month, like it's doing right now for the World Cup. That doesn't mean baseball can't be improved upon -- but a lot of its appeal comes from its tradition. It's been played so many times each year for so long that it's woven deep into Americans' historical memory. Which is why the switch from organ music to pop music at Wrigley Field during the batters' walk-ups is a horrible decision that should be reversed. Some changes we can handle -- a noodle outside the park may be weird, but it's not a real change to the atmosphere inside the park. But killing off the organ music? That's just bad branding.

Business and Finance A strange decision in a city with an empty skyscraper
Apparently, we haven't learned our collective lesson about the real-estate bubble. The Dallas Police and Fire Pension System is investing in the construction of a new 42-story skyscraper full of luxury condominiums -- in a town where a 52-story office skyscraper is empty. Seriously. It's on the market for $19 million. Building a brand-new building with larger buildings sitting empty nearby is positively daffy.

Health A man's relative strength is predictable from the quality of his voice

Humor and Good News Why do Iowans love ranch dressing?

The United States of America A history of Cadillac Presidential limousines

Broadcasting Podcast: Why you should vote in every election, every time

Broadcasting Podcast: Answers to a few common tech questions

Water News Awful flooding in eastern Nebraska

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