August 31, 2006
Â Â SAT scores are down to the worst levels in 35 years.
Â Â But at least on one part of the exam, according to this story, Â girls outperformed boys for the first time since the 1970s.
Â Â Not on the whole exam, mind you.Â Boys do better on the overall SAT by 26 points.
And, of course, there’s that whole cootie thing.
But, interestingly, as the article concludes: “Ironically, the SAT was designed to help predict how students would do in college. But while boys still score higher on the tests, girls get better college grades.”
So go figure.
Â Â Â For some reason, this is one of my favorite paintings.Â It’s by Edvard Munch and entitled “The Scream”.Â I have a necktie with the image on it that I like to wear on days I know will be particularly stressful.
Â Â And it has been missing for two years–stolen from a museum in Norway.Â Perhaps you remember reading about it at the time.
Â Â But Norwegian police just found it today!
That’s wonderful, of course, but what’s interesting is that M&Ms Candies had just launched this promotionÂ last week–offering 2 million M&Ms for the safe return of the picture.
August 30, 2006
Â Â Ok, I’m going with DXP EnterprisesÂ (DXPE).
Â Â They sell industrial equipment.
Â Â I’m not wild about it, but I figure–hey, you can neverÂ have too much industrial equipment, right?
Â Â So there you go.Â It’s what I’m buying tomorrow.Â You probably should, too.
Good luck!Â Â
[Edit Aug. 31, 2006:Â I ended up also taking a small position in Telekom Austria AG (TKA)–an Austria-based phone company.Â Motto: “Ve haff vays of makink you talk!”Â Just kidding!Â It showed up on my radar but is VERY thinly traded.Â Only 2500 shares changed hands today, for instance, and a significant percentage of that was my purchase!Â Hopefully, that will change when the stock takes off.Â Heh-heh]
Â Â Â I don’t know how they can read their cue cards, they’re salivating so much.
Â Â Someone has done a compilation of news clips today from our friends at FOX NEWS, discussing over and over again a “preemptive strike” against Iran.
Â Â Check out the video compilation here.
If you don’t watch FOX NEWS then you can probably read–so here’s a transcript:
FOX ANCHOR: In a Washington Times article, Arnaud de Borchgrave writes, â€œOdds makers bet sometime before the end of his second term President Bush will order a massive air attack on a wide range of carefully selected targets in Iran, in partnership with Israel, and against the advice of many of his advisers.â€
FOX ANCHOR: Some though think a more hawkish approach is in order, suggesting that President Bush should order the military to hit targets in Iran sometime before he leaves office.
FOX ANCHOR: Do you see that as a possibility?
BILL KRISTOL: It sure is a possibility, Jon. And I think the President would hate to leave office with Iran well on its way to getting nuclear weapons
GEN. BURTON MOORE: Itâ€™s interesting that weâ€™re discussing pre-emptive strike now as we get close to the deadline, which suggests that more and more people, particularly in conservative circles realize Iranâ€™s not going to back down. The U.N. is not going to be able to enforce it and it will be up to the United States, perhaps Britain with some logistics support from perhaps France and of course Israel, will have to carry out a strike before Iran gets too far down the road here.
FOX ANCHOR: And could the Bush administration prepare to launch a massive air strike against Iranâ€™s nuclear sites? This hour we will talk with one expert who says yes.
FOX ANCHOR: And I talked to a guest last hour who said military action could be imminent before Bush leaves office.
FOX ANCHOR: What about a pre-emptive strike on Iran? More and more reports on this now.
August 29, 2006
Â Â Â According to Britain’s GUARDIAN:
Â “Pink Floyd’s ‘Comfortably Numb’ has the best guitar solo of all time, according to a new poll. It was chosen ahead of the opening riff from ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ by Guns N’ Roses. Third was ‘Freebird’ by Lynyrd Skynyrd, while ‘Eruption’ by Van Halen was fourth and Guns N’ Roses’ ‘November Rain’ fifth. Led Zeppelin classic ‘Stairway to Heaven’ was in sixth place.
Â “The radio station Planet Rock asked listeners to come up with a top 40. The rest of the top 10 featured ‘Sultans of Swing’ by Dire Straits, ‘Aqualung’ by Jethro Tull, ‘Hotel California’ by the Eagles and ‘Child In Time’ by Deep Purple.”
No way.Â “Freebird”.Â Am I right?Â Right!
By the way, I am aware that “Comfortably Numb” is not on the above-pictured album DARK SIDE OF THE MOON.Â I just wanted to recommend the DVD–which I just watched last weekend–of that same title about the recording of the classicÂ album, featuring interviews with the boys in the band as well as with Alan Parsons, who did the engineering.Â Highly recommended!
August 28, 2006
Â Â Â And the results are right here.
Â Â Â I just ordered the winning novel SPIN, by Robert Charles Wilson over at Amazon.Â Â When I was a kid I read a lot of science fiction and I do like to read the Hugo and/or Nebula award winning novel each year.Â My son Clint is currently reading last year’s winner JONATHAN STRANGE & MR. NORRELL, by Susanna Clarke, and I understand him to be enjoying it.
Â Â Read more, people!
Â Â …who actually doesn’t look half bad here (she must have gone to a Mary KayÂ© party and finally learned how to apply her makeup), is running for the Senate in Florida.
Â Â You may remember her as the Florida Secretary of State who helped her Governor’s brother steal the Presidential election back in 2000.Â (I know, I know–I’ve got to get over that…)
Â Â To the horror of the local Republicans she put her hat in the ring to beÂ theÂ state’s nextÂ Senator.Â Apparently, the party had strongly urged her not to run.
Â Â But she is, and recently had an interview published in the FLORIDA BAPTIST WITNESSÂ (which presents fair and balanced news about Baptists.Â Motto: “Publishing Good News Since 1884”), in which she said:
“That lie we have been told, the separation of church and state, people have internalized, thinking that they needed to avoid politics and that is so wrong because God is the one who chooses our rulers…”
Leading me to ask only one thing:Â Has Ernesto been upgraded to a hurricane yet?
August 27, 2006
Â Â Back on July 23rd, I posted a music video hereÂ showing a lad playing an incredible guitar version of Pachelbel’s Canon.
Â Â The video has gone on to be famous on the Internet, but no one knew who the guitar player was (his baseball cap obscures his face in the video).Â Several people took credit.
Â Â Today, the New York Times reveals his identity as Jyung-Heong Lim, a 23-year-old self-taught Korean guitarist.
Just wanted to keep you up to date.Â (The video is worth checking out again–just click on the link above).
[Edit: I’m not getting that link to work consistently–sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t.Â To get directly to YouTube to see the video, click here.]
Â Gee, I guess I’m not a kid any more.
I’m glad to see summer go.Â This was a miserably hot one.Â Outdoor activity was virtually impossible.
But now there’s Nebraska football to sustain us.Â Indeed, I’ve just learned for sure that next Saturday’s game will be televised.Â Fox Sports–Cox Channel 47 for us locals.Â 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
Tom Shatel’s columns to read.Â Keeping fingers crossed that a buddy’ll have tickets for one or two of the games this season.Â Friday lunches planning the next day’s strategies and likely outcomes.Â Bipolar analyses of whether Coach Callahan is the “real deal”–depending on whether the team won or lost its last game…
Bring it on!