Friday, August 20


Cheryl and I are excited. Kent is on the way to Arizona for two weeks. The start of the semester at PUST, the site of his next English teaching gig, was delayed so he was able to squeeze in a trip to America. As this posts he should be leaving Korean airspace en route to Narita. From there he goes to LAX and then arrives in Phoenix mid-afternoon today. Kirk and Betsy, who have been visiting him in South Korea, are both flying now, too. Kirk is en route to LAX and Betsy to SFO. We had a good skype chat with the three of them two days ago.

The number of Swedish speakers in Finland ("the world's most pampered minority") is in decline. ~ The Local

Great PhD project -- redesigning the surfboard -- UC San Diego, of course. ~ Wired

I occasionally check the spam box to make sure that nothing critical is getting dumped in there. And I noticed a new subject line today -- "The IMF has approved your personal ATM card." I've finally made the big leagues.

American soldiers deployed in Mongolia -- doing construction projects ~ link

"North Korea Executes 3 House Church Leaders" ~ CP

"Seoul fights to block N.Korea's Twitter propaganda" -- Why? I've been following North Korea on Twitter for a few days and it's mostly rambling nonsense that just demonstrates how disengaged from reality they are. The US State Department has been more welcoming of the North Korean online presence -- seeing it as a possible channel for diplomacy. ~ AFP | Fast Company

Would you pay $800 to get an area code 212 phone number? ~ WSJ

Fidel Castro is showcasing a pop conspiracy theory "long popular both among the far left and far right: that the shadowy Bilderberg Group has become a kind of global government, controlling not only international politics and economics, but even culture." Once you begin to embrace the idea that centralized control can actually work, you're going to be predisposed toward seeing manifestations everywhere. ~ AP

"Mind Your Language" -- fun with communication (warning: British humor) ~ link

Pew Research: "Nearly four-in-ten say they would be less inclined to vote for a congressional candidate supported by the former Alaska governor" Sarah Palin. Although it is not wise to say "never," I can say that I share their reluctance. ~ link

Mortgage rates are at an historical low. 51% of Arizona homes are "underwater" right now. Because of the negative equity, distressed homeowners can't get approved for the refinancing that would relieve their stress. Vicious circle. ~ KTAR

"A Third of Teaching Positions Are Vacant at India's Top Public Universities" -- Too much brain drain? ~ CHE

$525 an hour, working for the city of Vernon, California ~ LA Times

If you're from out-of-town and you have a vehicle accident in Huntington Beach, California they'll ding you with an accident "fee" -- up to $2,000. That's inviting. ~ link

Many of the businesses adapting green practices are downplaying their green innovations. They know that too much hype will come back to bite them. As Seth Godin reminded us a few days ago, there is power in subtletyy. We're living in a time when less hype is more. ~ Fast Company

The same crowd which says that President Obama has been too influenced by Jeremiah Wright, the United Church of Christ pastor from Chicago, also says that the president is a Muslim. No one seems to be asking how both could be true.

Even if he were a Muslim (he isn't), the following from the Constitution would apply.
No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States. ~ Article VI, Section 3, United States Constitution ~ link
So, move on, there is nothing here to see.

"Hitting the reset button: how America might look after the Great Recession" ~ link

"Report: John McCain has highest 'Digital IQ' in Senate" ~ AZ Central

"Investors who follow the adage buy low, sell high may want to avoid airline 'bonus mileage' programs. Travelers who buy frequent-flier miles pay about 3 cents per mile, but then they typically redeem them for tickets at 1.5 cents each—or even less." ~ WSJ

Microneedle patches the size of postage stamps could replace the syringe. ~ LA Times

More than 1,000 Lutherans from throughout North America will gather next week in suburban Columbus, Ohio, to form the North American Lutheran Church (NALC), a new church body for confessional Lutherans. It sounds like they're trying to clone the ELCA bureaucracy -- only more conservative. ~ link

"McDonald’s Thursday became the first nonfinancial foreign company to launch a yuan-denominated bond in Hong Kong, according to Standard Chartered PLC, the Asia-focused U.K. bank that underwrote the deal..." ~ WSJ

Eric Schmidt, Google's CEO --
I don't believe society understands what happens when everything is available, knowable and recorded by everyone all the time," he says. He predicts, apparently seriously, that every young person one day will be entitled automatically to change his or her name on reaching adulthood in order to disown youthful hijinks stored on their friends' social media sites... ~ WSJ
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