Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thursday morning tab dump: Because I care 

Sitting as I am among the homeless in the Starbucks on Clay Street across from the "Pyramid" in San Francisco, deep thoughts are a bit thin on the ground this morning (except, maybe, that the city by the bay ought to rethink its handling of the homeless, but there I go again). Time, therefore, for a tab dump!

The WSJ has a great front page story this morning (open to non-subscribers) about a big surge in the American tradition of "tinkering," the invention of physical products rather than software or services. A whole new generation of inexpensive computer-driven fabrication machines has made it possible for kids to engineer new bike parts in their dorm rooms (to pick one example). It is the most optimistic story I've read in days, and if you are romantic about American entrepreneurialism, which I most certainly am, it will put you in a good mood all morning.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, priced in gold, since 1900. If you are made of brass, maybe it is time to short gold and buy stocks! You could end up with the next trade of the century...

French women are getting fatter. Is your reaction schadenfreude, or despair? Having something of a thing for French women, I choose despair.

If you thought October was really, really, cold and wet, you were on to something.

Gotta scramble. More later.


By Blogger Purple Avenger, at Thu Nov 12, 10:16:00 AM:

For quite a while now I've been saying the 21st century will be the real "American Century" and the 20th was just warmups and practice.

Industrial Revolution 2.0 is a pretty apt description of what's going on.  

By Anonymous feeblemind, at Thu Nov 12, 11:09:00 AM:

Re wet October: In my corner of Nebraska we had over 6" of moisture. Normal is 1-1.5".  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Nov 12, 12:29:00 PM:

Only Brian would make that trade.  

By Anonymous Brian Schmidt, at Thu Nov 12, 01:42:00 PM:

Funny, I have been thinking about shorting gold, but I'm not a very active investor.

I meant to short stock in housing companies in 2005 but never got around to it. Oh well.

Regarding October temps, the same source TH is using doesn't yet have the October figures for the remaining 96% of the earth's surface. They do have it for September, though:

"The combined global land and ocean surface temperature for September 2009 was 0.62°C (1.12°F) above the 20th Century average of 15.0°C (59.0°F). This was the second warmest September on record, behind 2005, and the 33rd consecutive September with a global temperature above the 20th Century average. The last below-average September occurred in 1976."


Remember though, it's the long-term trends that count. That September 2009 was exceptionally hot is unimportant, but that 33 Septembers in a row have been above average is important.  

By Anonymous Mazzuchelli, at Fri Nov 13, 02:12:00 PM:

Lived and worked in the City for 3 years, worked there for 13. There's nothing like getting panhandled by big, strapping hippies who hold one's groceries hostage at the shopping basket barriers which are within 10 feet of the store exit. Even facing another frigid Iowa winter, I'll take this flyover state any day over SF and California. The weather, keep in mind, filters the riff raff.  

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