Gongol.com Archives: February 2011
Brian Gongol


February 13, 2011

Agriculture Severe drought threatens wheat crop in China
And the rest of the world has plenty of reason to care: Commodities are priced on a global basis, and we all rely upon wheat. Plus, there's a substitution effect, so if wheat crops fail, people will demand something else to take wheat's place at the dining table. Plus, there's the profound effect that food shortages can have on political stability. Nobody should expect peace if the people have empty stomachs.

Science and Technology Tom Selleck visits the future and sees...us
(Video) AT&T ads from the 1990s made some reasonably good predictions about the future of telecommunications

Business and Finance CalPERS could be in big legal trouble
The SEC is investigating whether the huge retirement fund has been sufficiently forthcoming about its assets. The Illinois state pension fund is also being examined by Federal regulators for the same reason. And it's not just a problem with pension funds, though they're big targets -- the government is also trying to figure out whether private bond funds mis-marketed themselves to unwitting consumers. The SEC says it's hoping investors will clue them in when they think something's wrong.

News Mubarak's been shifting assets offshore for a few weeks already
It's a case of "revealed preferences" -- no matter what he might have been saying in public, the thing to watch is what he actually did. And if that meant trying to shuffle assets so that he could find a place to take a soft landing outside of Egypt, that tells us he was aware weeks ago that the protests were building enough to give him serious pause to consider whether he'd get to stay in the country. Related: Mubarak has a long, long time to wait before his exile from office matches Pete Rose's exile from baseball.

Health Women's tears are an anti-aphrodesiac to men
It's like the polar opposite of the supposed effect that a man "in touch with his feelings" has on the ladies

Business and Finance Google plans a hiring spree in 2011
The company plans to add 6,000 people to the payrolls, which would essentially be 25% more than what they have today. Though it's easy to be wowed by that rate of growth, it's also hard not to be skeptical that they can keep it up. That's just a lot of people to effectively integrate into a corporate culture, and a whole lot of individual hiring decisions to get right.

Humor and Good News And you thought your hair curled badly in the humidity...
Gorillas have it even worse. Thank goodness someone's documented it with a camera.

Humor and Good News Warm your buns at the bus stop
A creative bus stop ad in Minneapolis integrates actual heating coils

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