V for Vendetta

Пересмотрев кинофильм “V for Vendetta” 2005 года я заинтересовался, чем же навеяна идея фильма/оригинального комикса:
  – воспоминаниями о Германии 1933
  – реминисценциями СССР 1937
  – предвидением Великобритании 2012
  – “предзнанием” о США 2003 и далее?

В любом случае, авторы – гении!


Definition of investment: a-la CA dmv

I am kidding you not: they really think that this

is investment. Can someone send a Webster dictionary to the pundits of Kalifornia DMV? Seems like they are reading too much Krugman’s editorials in NYT.

How to win an argument with a libertarian.

I have encountered these two debate winning statements – there were more, but I omit them today – while chatting with two different and intelligent people:

1. “It is impossible to have an argument with libertarians – they believe in their thing… and don’t listen to anything else.”

I assume “the thing” refers to Non Aggression Principle, but I haven’t asked for a very apparent reason.

2. “If a person pays and legally owns something [100 acres of land] he/she can’t live there the way they want and democratic society has the right on it.”

Apparently, Magna Carta Law and the last 800+ years of legal precedents – not to mention 4th and 5th Amendments to US Constitution – are nothing in the view of progressive proponents of democratic principles.

May be this is just a thing with those pesky libertarians after all?

How successful iPhone5 launch turned out for Apple?

Despite of the evidences of the contrary, AppleBots keep telling the world that their new beloved gadget is different. Let’s see how much difference has it made since its release.

iPhone5 has been released on Sep 21, 2012. The stock price at the moment $698.7. Today, about 3 weeks later, on Oct 11, 2012, AAPL is at $628.10.
The number of outstanding shares of the company is 937.41M. So, a simple arithmetic operations shows that Apple has lost $65618.7M in 20 days.


A two-bit analysis of US national debt trending

As I have been writing earlier, the second derivative of US national debt is a quite fascinating thing to watch. I thought that looking into a tabular data isn’t very illustrative and even a dull experience, so I did this little chart below that should be much more telling. As usual, the picture worth a lot of words, but just a couple of comments for your convenience:

  • Y-axis is measured in dollars/second. Yes, that’s how much bigger the debts pool becomes bigger every second 
  • thin green line is a mean value of growth, and it seems pretty constant over time, but not let it fool you, because….
  • red line represents the trend (or second derivative of the national debts). Simply put it shows how fast US govt is loading up on debts. And that’s what really matters

To put this in perspective: every second, there appears a new looser loaded with US$45K to pay for US govt spending spree. Until recently The Champion Looser of the World were Chinese people, who were holding the most of US debts. Now this prestigious award belongs to US central bank also known as Fed, that buys T-bills directly from US Treasury. Ok, technically, they buy this crap in the open market, but it doesn’t change the overall picture, really.

I will continue publish this chart in a more automatic fashion for non-US readers entertainment.
For the US readers this won’t be so entertaining, because essentially the situation will either lead to the currency collapse through inflation, or incredibly high taxes, or the debtor’s default on its obligations. Although the first option is more likely than the others, either way means pain, pain and more pain for people who left holding the bag. Unless, they choose otherwise.

My first limerick (translated from Russian)

I am not really sure it can qualify as a limerick, but I like it nonetheless.
By the way, if you can tell me what was the original Russian poem – feel free to let me know 😉

You are lucky if you haven’t
Stepped in any kind of pit
You’ll keep minding own business
With no traces on your feet.

Enjoy your Swedish crap

My wife bought this Romania made kitchen from IDEA last night for $10. We aren’t ever shopping there for apparent reasons, but were just passing by when she realized she’s in a need of one. Today, she washed it. Here’s the result:

As per famous Futurama episode “Enjoy your affordable Swedish crap”

Why I am not patronizing San Francisco diners anymore

Well, first of, I prefer to pay only for what wanna pay for. Say, if I order a juicy New York steak, then I know that I pay for the steak I’ve ordered. Now, depends on how good is the chief’s cooking and how fast and polite were the servants (my bad – they aren’t servants, they are waiters nowadays; I always was wondering what the hell are they waiting for anyway?), I will pay a certain percentage of what my food costs in the form of tips (aka gratitude; which begs a separate questions if the restaurateurs ever looked it up in a dictionary before putting it on the bill?).

On top of these expected charges there’s a usual amount of theft called “sales tax”. But now some city governments are trying to squeeze in another one and make me to foot the bill for their next reelection.

Already outraged? Totally!

Yet, you’ve heard me right. Say, the stinky city of San Francisco is adding what they called HSF tax on every bill at the diners with 20 employees or more. Where the money go? Well according the website above, the surcharge is paying for health care of the people who can not qualify for other forms of government dole such as Medicare or Medicaid.

Sure, I feel for people in dare circumstances. I donate to charities (mostly animal ones, really). But as any blanket program this one allows for all sorts of abuse and mis-allocations. And what’s more – it doesn’t benefit me slightest, because I do not leave in the city of watermelons (aka San Francisco by the Bay).

I don’t know about you, but I am voting with the only mean I still poses (only partially though): my wallet. And while people of the city can make their own decision of how to deal with it, I am making my own and take any of my hard earned currency (yes, we are not paid in money, you silly!) away from the grabs of the socialist types from the once great bay of California.