Gongol.com Archives: September 2010
Brian Gongol

September 15, 2010

Business and Finance Why the Midwest didn't get hit all that hard by the recession
Less participation in a bubble means less suffering when the bubble pops. On a related note, after two years, they're still trying to unravel the remains of Lehman Brothers. And it's costing billions of dollars to figure out how to distribute the remaining assets of the company to the people to whom they belonged. It's time (as it really always has been) to focus on fundamentals: Conservative financing, innovation, and honest business practices. Americans have both known how (and been willing) to build for the long term -- witness the durable buildings constructed 100 years ago in places like Fort Dodge, Iowa. They come from a time when aspiration was matched by foresight.

Weather and Disasters Better weather forecasts save billions of dollars
Improved hurricane forecasts are preventing needless evacuations and saving hundreds of millions of dollars. Another example of how life is getting better all the time, in ways we rarely comprehend. And where does this improved quality of life show up in our conventional measures of economics and other well-being? We hardly think about the number of car accidents we don't get into, or the storm precautions we don't have to take, but things like these make life substantially better and save us time, money, and suffering. How do we measure things like people sharing personal interpretations of pop music in sign language? Skills and talents that might otherwise have been seen only by a handful of friends and family end up attracting hundreds of thousands of views, from the curious just as much as from the intended audience of the deaf and hard-of-hearing (who themselves undoubtedly gain in new and novel ways from communication tools like captions on YouTube in addition to the interpretive videos themselves).

Socialism Doesn't Work Cuba's government plans a million layoffs
That's supposed to be about 20% of the nation's entire workforce, and they're officially hoping that the private sector will take up the slack. And yet there are still people who defend Communism, arguing that its pure form has "never been tried". There's positively zero evidence that suggests that Communism, Marxism, Leninism, or whatever else one wants to call it, is an efficient means of ensuring material prosperity for anyone. Cuba has had fifty years to try to get Communism to work. Isn't it patently obvious that the system is doomed to fail?

Computers and the Internet Facebook: The personal-security black hole
A list of "six things you should never reveal on Facebook" sounds a lot like some of the advice delivered on the WHO Radio Wise Guys. Too much of what passes for "security questions" these days is easily given away through social-networking sites like Facebook, and it should neither be relied upon by website designers, nor given away so freely by users.

Computers and the Internet AMD says it's going to offer a chip to compete with Intel's new "Sandy Bridge"
Both computer chips match the processor with a graphics processor to accelerate the delivery of images on-screen

Humor and Good News Betty White breaks character
(Video) She's usually one of the most legendarily unflappable actresses anywhere, but sometimes even a legend has to slip

Agriculture Would high-fructose corn syrup sell better if it were called "corn sugar"?
It's an intriguing marketing question

Broadcasting Legendary Iowa newsman Jack Shelley is dead

Iowa Reverse 911 launches in Des Moines tomorrow

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