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Bank of America, Now Channeling Peanuts

Every year Lucy tells Charlie Brown that she’ll hold the football for him while he kicks it. We all know how that works out. This week I felt like Charlie Brown, with Bank of America holding the football. The football was my new Bank of America Debit card, which arrived in the mail appearing to be an EMV CHIP and PIN card. Wow, I’ve been … Continue reading

Next We’ll Be Streaming The Big Mac Index

Talk about fast news cycles. It’s the Economist’s Big Mac Index for 2010 … again! In a sign of these unusually uncertain times The Economist has speeded up their news cycle, and in the process seems to be taking themselves and their index more seriously. Used to be we’d get annual updates to the index, … Continue reading

Give Dad A Manly Rat For Father’s Day

As a recovering procrastinator, I am big on last-minute gift ideas. Here’s one for Father’s Day, and there is still plenty of time. Hours even. So what’t the gift? A Manly Rat. That’s also smart. Specifically, an African giant pouched rat, about 30 inches long including tail. These are he-man rats, the kind that send cats … Continue reading

Yes Sean, I Really Do Know How To Wait For My Guinness

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day I’ll share my Irish drinking (what else) story. A few years ago Leslie and I spent a month driving around Ireland. We had a fine time. Beautiful place, wonderful people. Having spent more than a considerable amount of time in English pubs over the years I felt I should … Continue reading

Have Your PhD With Fries And A Coke, All On Us

The Chinese seem not inclined to clown around with the value of the renminbi. Meanwhile the administration is trying to apply pressure on them to revalue their currency, “which President Obama says is kept at an artificially low level to give China an unfair advantage in selling its exports”. From the NY Times, A senior … Continue reading

It’s Always Nice To Be At The Top Of The Charts

It’s alway nice to be Number 1. For example, I’m terrifically proud that I purchased my current home at the absolute peak of the real estate bubble. And I feel equally puffed up over this chart from the Economist showing that we in the US are supporting Big Pharma in their quest for profits. Shame on those Health … Continue reading

Is Big Mac 2010 Still The Gold Standard?

Time flies. It’s the Economist Big Mac Index for 2010. That’s pronounced “Twenty-Ten” F2u Rio Linda. Just to review, The Economist has been publishing their (not so tongue-in-cheek) Big Mac Index since 1986. It’s a reality check on world-wide currency exchange rates, based on the concept of Purchasing-Power Parity. Purchasing-Power Parity (PPP) says that exchange rates are … Continue reading

The Swiss Step Poorly, Falling Off The Mont(blanc)

As recently reported in the Financial Times, the Swiss have stuck their foot in it once again, The Swiss penmaker Montblanc, in a jarring attempt to raise its profile in India, has unveiled a gold-and-silver fountain pen to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi, the independence leader whose austere asceticism was at the heart of his liberation campaign. … Continue reading

“Where Men Win Glory” – Audio Book Review

Just finished listening to “Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman” by John Krakauer. It’s a well written and timely (believe it or not) account, which I can recommend. Like the men whose epic stories Jon Krakauer has told in his previous bestsellers, Pat Tillman was an irrepressible individualist and iconoclast. In May … Continue reading

Is Managing National Pride The New Patriotism?

Ignoring the very weird background graphic, what are we to make of the results of a survey taken by the Reputation Institute and reported in The Economist on National Self-Image? The Reputation Institute who performed the survey, specializes in Corporate Reputation Management, and according to their website: Reputations are perceptions people have of an individual … Continue reading

Bandwidth? We Don’t Need Your Stinking Bandwidth

I’ve gotta admit to being surprised by this chart from the Economist showing that there are now 3 times more mobile phones in the developing world than the developed world. Mobile-phone subscriptions in poorer countries accounted for just a quarter of the global stock in 2000, but had risen to three-quarters of the 4 billion … Continue reading

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