Tuesday, March 22, 2011

the magic washing machine

This explains in an interesting manner what economic development is about:

[ht: him]

Sunday, March 20, 2011

no-fly zone buzz kill

I find it hard to see how the no-fly zone over Libya is going to drive Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi from power. Maybe a couple of weeks ago it would have made sense, but since then pro-Gaddafi forces have recaptured most of the rebel-held cities. The no-fly zones won't help those folks. Even if Benghazi is not retaken, Gaffafi has control over most of the country and will stay in power.

This military strike does not seem to have been thought through. No wonder DOD Secretary Gates opposed the no-fly zone. Most military people do not relish the thought of putting their people in harm's way, to spend hundreds of millions on armaments that kill, to merely send a message.

Think I'm wrong about the no-fly zone? Well you can put your money where your mouth is. At Intrade.com, a prediction market (i.e., an Irish betting site), you can buy "stock" in Muammar al-Gaddafi to no longer be leader of Libya before midnight ET 31 Dec 2011. The current price is $6.67 to get $10 if Gaddafi is gone. If you are correct then you would make a 50% profit!

As you can see from the chart below (red marks price), a week ago the price was $4, but after yesterday's hoopla over tomahawks being fired, the price soared up to $8. Of course, the smart money is moving in and the price is falling. I suspect it will be back to $4 or less in a week or so.

Will I put my money where my blog is? Nah. It is illegal and therefore too much trouble to get money to and from Intrade.com.

Be blessed.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

spring break

RB spent seven weeks getting caught up at work. Then Spring Break! Problem: RB gave tests in all his classes just before break. Why not? It is the halfway point in the semester. A logical time for evaluating learning. More on that later.

Nine days of break. The first three days began with the #1 grandson visiting us. Oh yeah, his parents were here as well. The next three days was spent traveling to and from Boston with a day and half in between looking at apartments for my #3 offspring (#1 daughter).

After visiting potential apartments, mostly overpriced, very old, flats with were once chopped up from 100+ year old housing, we made an offer on the first apartment we saw.

It was the biggest, nicest apartment we visited and at a rent below what we expected. That is, just exorbitantly expensive rather than outlandishly exorbitantly expensive.

No undergrads, a quiet, well-maintained, well-built building, an outstanding management company on the premises, on a safe street, with a T-station (Boston trolley) at the corner. Near stores and other businesses. No need for a car but parking if you have one. In short, a real, big-time blessing.

Friday, the seventh day of break, I slept in and then watched an NCIS marathon. Georgetown later lost big time in the NCAAs.

The highlight of this weekend, the last two days of break, is a visit by our #1 granddaughter.

However, I must spend all tomorrow afternoon, and well into the evening, grading tests. Last day of break will not be the best of the nine days.

Be blessed!

Sunday, March 13, 2011