The final fiscal dominoes begin to fall . . .

I’ve just read, via the Drudge Report, the news that the US Federal Reserve has reached an agreement with major foreign central banks to make currency swaps cheaper, easier and more freely available. The Fed — along with central banks of the eurozone, England, Japan, Switzerland and Canada — announced a coordinated plan to lower prices on dollar liquidity swaps beginning on December 5, and extending these swap arrangements to February 1, 2013. A swap takes place when the Fed provides U.S. dollars to a foreign central bank, in exchange for the equivalent amount of foreign currency from that central

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He probably needed a beer after that . . .

A man identified only as ‘Mr. Rob from Holland’ recently attempted to set a new world record by carrying 22 one-liter beer steins (full, of course). He had to lift them by their handles, not using a tray. Here’s how it went. A liter of water weighs 2.2 pounds, so 22 liters of beer would weigh 48.4 pounds. From the sound as they fell, the steins were plastic, not glass; and according to Amazon.com, a one-liter plastic beer stein like this one, similar to those pictured in the video clip, weighs 0.6 pounds. That would make the combined weight of

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Talk about ‘hard’ water!

I was amused to read a report from Groton, CT today. A former Groton Water Department worker has resigned after he was allegedly caught making moonshine on town property. Groton Town Manager Mark Haddad confirmed that distilling equipment and some mason jars containing alcohol were found at the Baddacook water treatment plant last month. . . . The police became involved shortly after a plant supervisor discovered the makeshift distillery. “That was stuff that really shouldn’t have been in the water treatment plant. It wasn’t known to the water superintendent who discovered it. We decided to have the police come

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The fundamental dishonesty of our financial system

I’ve recently come across a few articles that sum up the fundamental dishonesty, corruption and – frankly – criminal nature of our financial system. If, after reading them, you still believe that we can get out of our present economic mess without wholesale reforms . . . you clearly haven’t been paying attention. First, a guest article at Zero Hedge reminds us that ‘You Cannot Build a Financial System on Rumors and Lies‘. This is not a monetary Crisis; it is a Crisis of values and morals. It is a Crisis caused by the notion that you can lie about

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A very creative advertisement

I was very interested to come across an advertisement for a new frequent flyer/airmiles program in England called Avios. Further investigation revealed how it was made. Here’s the advertisement . . . . . . and here’s how it was made. Looks like a lot of fun was had by all concerned! Peter

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Keeping the monsters flying

A few days ago I posted an article about a custom-built car in England powered by a Rolls-Royce Meteor V-12 engine, a derivative of that company’s legendary Merlin aircraft engine that powered so many great Allied aircraft of World War II. A World War II Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX fighter,powered by a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine (image courtesy of Wikipedia) My late father was an engineer officer in the Royal Air Force during that war, and so had personal and intimate knowledge of those engines as well. You’ll therefore understand that I was very interested to find an article titled ‘Masters

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Garbage in . . . earth out?

I’ve long had a special interest in the disposal of garbage – and not just any garbage, but the more hazardous forms of waste. Coming from Africa as I do, I’ve seen all too many places where First World companies transport shiploads of toxic waste to the Third World and essentially dump it there, ostensibly for recycling, but in reality poisoning the environment and those who live there. There are many accounts of the problem out there, for those who’re interested. That’s why this article in the Tennessean caught my eye. A quarter-ton of roofing shingles, 5 tons of construction

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For Jackie Chan fans

I’ve enjoyed many of Jackie Chan‘s movies over the years, so I was very pleased to find two tribute video clips from Cinemassacre on YouTube. The first is ‘Top 10 Jackie Chan stunts’. The second is ‘Top 10 Jackie Chan Fight Scenes’. Jackie Chan is unique in my experience – a martial artist and actor who does almost all his own stunts, and really throws himself into his work (often literally!). Thanks for the many good times and happy memories, Mr. Chan. Peter

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Fighting disease – without antibiotics?

That’s what the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) appears to have in mind. Wired reports: Darpa is making a long-shot request for an all-out replacement to antibiotics, the decades-old standard for killing or injuring bacteria to demolish a disease. In its place: the emerging field of nanomedicine would be used to fight bacterial threats. The agency’s “Rapidly Adaptable Nanotherapeutics” is after a versatile “platform capable of rapidly synthesizing therapeutic nanoparticles” to target unknown, evolving and even genetically engineered bioweapons. . . . Darpa wants researchers to use nanoparticles — tiny, autonomous drug delivery systems that can carry molecules of

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USS Enterprise – 50 years in service and still going strong!

On November 25th, 1961, USS Enterprise, the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, was commissioned into the service of the US Navy. On Friday, November 25th, 2011, she marked her 50th year of service to this nation. USS Enterprise in 1964, with her crew forming Einstein’s formula for mass-energyequivalence on her flight deck. She is in company with the nuclear-powered cruiserUSS Long Beach and the nuclear-powered destroyer USS Bainbridge.The three ships circumnavigated the world in 65 days during Operation Sea Orbitwithout refueling or requiring resupply, setting a new record. Enterprise has seen generations of service personnel come and go – as

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