Thursday, October 29, 2009

The GDP report

OK, well, it's certain now that the US is coming strongly out of recession. Third quarter GDP rose over 3% on an annualised basis, meaning that the recession is obviously over.....for that is the technical definition of when it's over, that GDP is rising again.

There might still be concern about a W shaped recession, it might be that growth won't continue: and that's goiing to be the argument of those who want another stimulus. But for most economists this will be the sign that it's all over. Or rather, that it's not going to get any worse at least.

Getting your car parts

OK, so we all know that when we go to the garage we're going to get ripped off. So many of us try to do at least the simple repairs at home. And of course there are those who actually know what they're doing and do all of their repairs and modifications at home.

But that means that we need somewhere to get our auto parts. And just like everything else these days getting them online makes sense. A much, much larger stock than any one store could possibly have plus the best prices around. Oh, and shipping is free on orders over $50.

Yes, you really should check out the Car Parts Warehouse, just clik through the link above.

That Michael Jackson autopsy photo

There's a bit of confusion going on about whether there really is a Michael Jackson autopsy photo out there. The "out there" is the important part of that sentence.

For of course there are Michael Jackson autopsy photos: they're a standard part of any autopsy.

The question is whether someone has leaked one of them or not: and at least one reporter has said that someone has tried to interest him in it.

But then we also get to a confusion of the Michael Jackson autopsy photo: is it actually one of the official ones? Oe is it something that someone took with a cell phone when they shouldn't have?

At the moment we'll just have to wait and see.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Getting a loan

OK, so we all know that at times we need to get a loan. And sometimes we really, really, need to get a loan. When what we've got to hand simply won't cover things until the next payday. Which is why we might want to get a payday loan, or another type of very fast extension of credit. So why not check out: Get a Payday Advance - Payday Advances at Money Now! USA ?

The huge advantage of this site is that they're a comparison engine for the various different possible lenders. So instead of having to go around many different sites, or visiting offices or calling around you can simply check out the offers from 122 different lenders all in one place.

Andre Agassi on crystal meth

The Andre Agassi crystal meth story has broken. It's supposed to only come out in the US on friday, in People Magazine and Sports Illustrated. But extracts from his new biography ran in the London newspapers today. So of course there's no need to wait.

But the heart of the story is that Andre Agassi took crystal meth. You can read the whole story at that link.

Bay Bridge closure

This doesn't look good at all. The Bay Bridge is closed today after a piece fell off it last night.

It's not just that the infrastructure is getting old: this particular fault was seen as routine repairs were being done on Labor Day and the engineers had tried to lash something together. It's this repair that failed and came down onto hte roadway.

There's no news as yet as to when the bridge might reopen: it's possible that it could be a long time as a replacement part is manufactured.


The M&A Advisor awards are nearly upon us: they're in 14th December in NYC.

For those who don't know this is one of those occassions when an industry acknowledges and honors their peers: in this case it's the mergers and acquisitions industry. The value is of course that it's the very people who know all about the sector who make the awards. So congratulations to Generational Equity who have 11 nominations: indeed, congratulations to all who have been nominated.

Monday, October 26, 2009

John Lynch

John Lynch has just been acknowledged as the most pierced man in the world. He had an extra 20 or so piercings popped into his arms just to make sure of the title when he went for the count with the Guinness Book of World Records. He says of course that he never really thought about going for the record: but then says that he had the extras to make sure that he got the record.

But then do we really expect consistency from a retired bank manager with over 250 piercings?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Betting on football

If you're interested in betting on football then there's a great site that you should find really helpful. It isn't just a bookmakers, although it does have links to them and a huge amount of information on who is offering what.

What it does offer is something called Livescore. That's the detailed information you're going to need if you're going to be betting on things like first and last scorer, how many corners in a half and all that sort of thing. Bit like a ticker tape from the stock market.

There's also a full and complete list of football fixtures, meaning that you'll never need to miss another match: nor the opportunity to bet on one. And yes, that list is international.

If football and betting on it are your thing then you really should be looking at this site.

More balloon boy story

There's more on that balloon boy story.

It appears that there was a media outlet already in on the story. Some TV show, although the investigators aren't telling us which one. Plus, and this is something of a surprise, the parents have both taken lie detector tests. Quite why isn't sure, for they don't actually work.

Finally, an ex-assistant is claiming that the father had told him all about attempting to do a hoax.

Difficult keeping things quiet really, ain't it?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Where to get your hire car

When off on a jolly, when travelling abroad to sunnier climes, of course we're all interested in getting a car to use while we're there.

However, doing a comparison shop isn't all that easy: you don't know which car hire firms are actually in which location and so you've got to trawl through all of the different sites. Until now that is: now there's a comparison engine which will do all of that for you. Take a look here at a sample location: Car Hire Spain.

They work out who is available at your location, they then interrogate them as to what is the best deal and then present it to you. An excellent idea and extremely easy to use. Well worth checking out.

Food snobbery

Well, quite, this does indeed rile:

Not for these people the common supermarket aisle; they source their beef from the most romantic Herefordshire hillsides and pick daintily at the most saintly of organic carrots. In some parts of Britain, this cashmere-clad notion of nutrition as a lifestyle choice borders on the obsessive. But fresh food to suit all pockets, as supplied by supermarkets, is one of the triumphs of the modern world. It may not be perfect, it may not be pretty — but it is not evil.

Not only is this not evil it's one of the massive and fabulous achievements of the modern age. The idea that everyone would have access to cheap and nutritious food at any stage of the year or seasons would have astonished our own grandparents, let alone those from eariler times.

What is it about some people that they decry the very things that make our times the best of times?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Getting the house finished and furnished

As regular readers will know we're in the process of getting this house (actually, it's morphed into two houses now) rebuilt, sorted out and restyled. Fortunately we're near the end of this process: workmen will be out in a week or two and then it's time to start dealing with how we furnish the place.

All of which of course has me looking online to see how we can best do that. For of course, an online store can have a hugely larger stock than chain of stores: rather than having stock that people want to look at, online the stock can be virtual. And of course you don't need to have that stock in every store. This then feeds back into much better prices for furniture bought online.

And that of course is what we find: great stocks and very good prices when we go looking for the necessary young adult furniture. And, yes, we find the same thing with the needed kids furniture and as they want bunk beds we can even find those too.

This is so much better than tramping through bricks and mortar stores. We have a better selection and better prices and I can have a beer while I'm looking (but shhhh! don't tell the wife that).

Matthias Schlitte

Wow, this is pretty weird. There's a professional arm wrestler out there called Matthias Schlitte. OK, I didn't even know there was such a thing as professional arm wrestling. But what's really weird is that he's got a huge right arm and and entirely normal left one. It's almost the opposite of say, Ian Dury, who of course had a withered left arm as a result of polio.

You can see links to photos and a video of a professional fight here.

But it's just weird, weird man.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Now this is getting it bad. One man is such an arachnophobe, so scared by spiders, that Halloween could actually kill him.

John Stafford is so scared of spiders that even seeing a shop display of fake ones can cause him to pass out. Doctors have said that his heart is so bruised from this over the years that something as simple as Halloween could kill him.

Jon Stafford is the arachnophobe's arachnophobe: simple seeing some spiders in a window display once made him pass out. He's tried various pills and hypnotherapy but nothing seems to help. In fact, he's been shocked and passed out so often over the years that his heart is now bruised. His doctor tells him that being shocked agin, such as by fake spiders put up for Halloween, could kill him.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Help with weight loss

OK, we all know how to diet: simply eat less. Yes, and if it was that easy we'd all be thin, wouldn't we? And as we all also know it isn't that easy which is why we're not all thin. What we all need while we're dieting is some help. You know, something that was tasty and nutritious, something we'd actually like to eat and which will do us good: without being high in calories.

Fortunately there is such a thing: diet bars. Have a click through that link to see how many of them there are too. And how many flavors.

That's actually a great site to get them from too: great prices, a full range stocked (far more than in any supermarket) and of course, being on the web, so convenient. Go have a look: dieting was never as easy as this.

Jackson's"This is it"

Michael Jackson's "This is it" can now be heard as a free stream if you want to hear what his first (and most certainly, not the last) posthumous single sounds like.

All the reviews are indicating that it's much better than his more recent stuff: partly because it's an old song but also it seems because Jackson himself didn't produce it. As can happen, he wasn't perhaps the best judge of his own work and it would appear that having other people produce and arrange it has made it better than those albums he did mostly on his own.

Fleshed out this way "This Is It" has the spring and warmth of classic Jackson ballads like 1979’s "She’s Out Of My Life," or "Human Nature" from "Thriller." The melody has a sweet fluidity and Jackson’s vocal ripples with far more feeling than heard on his last few overwrought, and overthought, albums.

While Jackson’s last disc of new material, 2001’s "Invincible," suffered from both mechanical sounding vocals and cold production, "This Is It" leaves more rawness around the voice, to moving effect, and uses its strings as purposeful enhancements, rather than as drenching sweeteners.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Paying for telecoms

One of the things this brand new world of digital information has brought us is this idea that we don't in fact have to buy our long distance phone calls from the guys who provide the copper wire to our house. But there's more to it than that: we don't have to buy our long distance phone calls from the guys who provide anyone else's phone either. Nowadays we can buy one of the Calling Cards and they change everything.

For, just like a long distance provider can buy, if we sign up to their plan, long distance minutes in bulk, then so can a provider of Prepaid Phone Cards . Once they've started to sell Phone Cards then they know that there will be a certain number of minutes that will be used. So, they can get a bulk discount. That bulk discount then gets passed on to us in lower per minute fees.

This might all sound a little complicated but it's really quite simple. Instead of us all having to pay the old, hugely high, per minute charges to talk to our families, say, in India, or China, or in my case, Europe, we're able to take advantage of these new services and keep in touch for much lower prices.

Hey, ain't capitalism great? More of what we want for a lower price?

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

About that Demi Moore bush pic

I've never really been able to understand the interest that keeps being shown in that Demi Moore bush pic.

OK, yes, she's a beautiful young woman, in hte prime of life, not wearing many clothes, this is very often of interest. But that's not what gets people searching for it again and again. (You can see the pic here.)

It's that she hasn't shaved her crotch: but why is that of such excessive interest? The picture was taken back in the 1980s, a time when women, by and large, simply didn't shave or wax there.

What is interesting is how the social standard has changed since then:

That's the change in the social mores: but that interesting question is why? What on earth has happened to make adult women decide that they should look like pre-pubescents? Hair there is, like hair on the chest of a man, a secondary sexual characteristic indicating sexual maturity. Why or how could there have become a social standard that one should not show that one is indeed mature?

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Michael David Barrett

Michael David Barrett has been arrested by the FBI on charges arising from the Erin Andrews peephole video of a few months back.

According to them he did not simply film her once on a lucky chance, he was stalking her across the country and filmed her 8 times, in a number of different hotel trooms and at least two different cities.

Barrett was caught because he tried to sell the tapes to TMZ, the gossip site, and they informed the FBI. How about that eh, a gossip site with a conscience?

There's more on Michael Barrett:

Michael David Barrett was arrested Friday night as he arrived on a flight from Buffalo, N.Y., the FBI said. He faces federal charges of interstate stalking for taking the videos, trying to sell them to celebrity Web site TMZ and posting the videos online, the FBI said in a statement.

Erin Andrews peephole video

You remember all that about the Erin Andrews peephole video? Yes, that's the one, where the ESPN lovely, Erin Andrews, was secretly videod in her hotel room?

Yes, videoed through the peephole while she was naked in her hotel room? It appears that the case might have been solved.

The FBI have arrested a man and will be charging him later today with having made that tape.

Here's more on the Erin Andrews peephole video: case closed.

A Chicago-area man arrested at O'Hare airport who is accused of taping surreptitious nude videos of ESPN reporter Erin Andrews was due to appear in federal court late Saturday morning, authorities said. Michael David Barrett was arrested Friday night as he arrived on a flight from Buffalo, N.Y., the FBI said. He faces federal charges of interstate stalking for taking the videos, trying to sell them to celebrity Web site TMZ and posting the videos online, the FBI said in a statement.

Let's hope it's actually the right guy, eh?

Friday, October 02, 2009

Robert Halderman

Uh Oh, looks like Robert Halderman has got himself into a whole heap of trouble over here.

It's in relation to that David Letterman extortion case: he's been fingered and lifted for attempting to blackmail $2 million out of Letterman.

Doesn't matter that his allegations were actually true: he's still under arrest for demanding money not to repeat them.

Robert Halderman has been taken into custody over the David Letterman extortion case.

Robert J Halderman, commonly known as Joe Halderman, has been taken into custody over the extraordinary scenes that attended the attempt to blackmail David Letterman.

Looking your best

There are various ideas about how you should or could look your best. Diet and exercise of course, grooming probably, dressing well and so on. But technology has moved on from all of those simple things: there's so much more that medicine can do for us now.

For example, it's entirely possible to get fat in places where alomst no amount of exercise will get it off: and we'd have to be on a starvation diet to get rid of it that way.

That's why things like Liposuction are becoming so much more popular. Of course, it's not just to look good either: losing that weight can make you healthier as well.

Hey, technology marches on so why limit it just to the gadgets we buy? Why not use the advances in plastic and medical technology to better ourselves?

That David Letterman blackmail attempt

Quite the most bizarre story of the day: someone tried to blackmail David Letterman out of $2 million over allegations that he had been bonking female staffers on the show. Really? Rich, famous man in showbiz bonks women? Wow! Alert the media!

That the story wasn't in fact worth two million bucks is shown by the fact that Letterman didn't in fact pay it, he went to the authorities, set up a sting and then announced the whole thing on his show.

You can see a full report on the David Letterman extortion at the link.

An amazing scene played out on the Late Show last night as David Letterman revealed that he had been the subject of a $2 million extortion attempt. The blackmail was over the possible revelation of his having had affairs with staffers on the show. As a result Robert J Halderman, a producer on the "48 hours" show has been taken into custody reports say, although police have not yet released his name officially.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Accessing speedy cash

There are times when all of us feel the financial strain and that's what borrowing is all about. Being able to bring income forward from the future to now, so that we can keep going in order to make that income in the future. Such borrowing comes in many possible forms: from a loan from the bank, through a credit card balance to perhaps a payday loan.

The value of that last, a payday loan, is that it provides speedy cash, and there are times when we really do need cash in a hurry.

For example, I've had the need to pay a utility bill I wasn't expecting and I've needed to pay it fast. The mail wasn't being delivered right and so the one bill I did get was the final disconnection notice. Yes, they wanted cash and they wanted it by tomorrow: the bank account was empty (I wasn't budgeting for it) so what could I do? That's right, a payday loan was the solution: whatever I was paying to the loan company was going to be less than the reconnection fee (and damage to my credit report) and the electricity would stay on.

Payday loans aren't for everyone all of the time: but they're a very useful addition to the arsenal of options at our disposal.

That James Bond Test

This is really rather amusing. Would you like to be a spy? Especially, would you like to be a spy for MI6? James Bond's fictional outfit (or rather, the real world version of James Bond's fictional outfit?)

If you would, try going over here to find out about the James Bond application test.

No, passing it won't get you in but failing it will probably mean that you shouldn't try to get it. What they're asking you to do is to read your fictional cover and then answer questions on it. Not too hard, but if you cannot do it then you ain't got what it takes to be a spy.

Finding auto insurance

It's not just that there are laws in most places requiring us to have it: auto insurance is in fact more important than that. Even if we're driving some old clunker and we don't care what happens to our car there's still a need to get insured.

For there's always the (low) possibility that we'll hit someone else and thus be liable for their expenses. And it's not just their car either: what if they are injured and therefore we're responsible for their medical costs for however many years they need to be treated?

So getting the insurance is important: vital even. But there's no reason it should cost a fortune as well. Clearly, we want to get the best deal we can even on something so important. So have a look here for cheap car insurance quotes. Simply put in your zip code and then you'll be able to see what other information you need to provide and what the best deals are.

Yes, the insurance is something you want to have but there's no need to over pay for it, is there?