Economic rescue could cost $8.5 trillion Heavy spending to battle the financial crisis is unlikely to abate soon. Analysts say next year's deficit could top $1 trillion. November 30, 2008 Reporting from Washington -- With its decision last week to pump an additional $1 trillion into the financial crisis, the government eliminated any doubt that the nation is on a wartime footing in the battle to shore up the economy. The strategy now -- and in the coming Obama administration -- is essentially the win-at-any-cost approach previously adopted only to wage a major war. And that means no hesitation in pledging to spend previously almost unimaginable sums of money and running up federal budget deficits on a scale not seen since World War II. Indeed, analysts warn that the nation's next financial crisis could come from the staggering cost of battling the current one. Just last week, new initiatives added $600 billion to lower mortgage rates, $200 billion to stimulate consumer loans and nearly $300 billion to steady Citigroup, the banking conglomerate. That pushed the potential long-term cost of the government's varied economic rescue initiatives, including direct loans and loan guarantees, to an estimated total of $8.5 trillion -- half of the entire economic output of the U.S. this year. Nor has the cash register stopped ringing. President-elect Barack Obama and congressional Democrats are expected to enact a stimulus package of $500 billion to $700 billion soon after he takes office in January. The spending already has had a dramatic effect on the federal budget deficit, which soared to a record $455 billion last year and began the 2009 fiscal year with an amazing $237-billion deficit for October alone. Analysts say next year's budget deficit could easily bust the $1-trillion barrier. "I didn't think we'd see that for a long time," said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. "There's a huge risk of another economic crisis, a debt crisis, once we get on the other side of this one." But the Bush administration and the economic team that Obama is rapidly assembling like a war Cabinet are vowing to spend whatever it takes to avoid a depression; they'll worry about the effect later. Los Angeles Times
GM Founded by a Carriage Maker named Crapo General Motors was founded in 1908 by William C. Durant. The C stands for "Crapo." It's pronounced "cray-poe." Billy Durant, as most people called him, was named after his grandfather Henry Howland Crapo , a Governor of Michigan. Durant founded GM with only $2,000 in capital. Before making cars, Durant was a carriage maker. His company, Durant-Dort Carriage Co. in Flint, Michigan, was the largest carriage-maker in the United States, producing more than 100,000 horse-drawn carriages a year. Within just a few years, Durant quickly built GM by buying Buick, Oldsmobile, Cadillac, and Oakland (now Pontiac). He then lost control of GM in just two years, then regained control six years later, only to lose it again (for good this time) four years afterwards. In his olden days, Billy Durant poured his time, energy, and money into his latest venture: bowling alleys. He believed that bowling was the next big thing and that every family in America would spend their time at the bowling alleys. Needless to say, his last venture didn't grow as big as GM ( source ).
GM "Firsts" Despite its current precarious financial troubles, GM had a long history of innovation and technological "firsts." To end on a (more) positive note, here are but a few of General Motors' achievements: First V-8 Engine (1914, a 70 horsepower engine for the Cadillac) First room air conditioner (remember to thank Frigidaire, then a GM subsidiary, who came up with the brilliant device in 1929) First barrier impact and rollover tests (1934). First concept car, the legendary Buick Y Job in 1938. First fully automatic transmission (the Hydra-Matic in 1939). First to put turn signals as standard-equipments on its cars (1939) First mechanical heart pump (1952, built for Dr. Forest Dodrill by the GM Research Laboratory. The story is fascinating.) First company to make $1 billion a year (in 1955) First hydrogen fuel cell car (the 1966 Electrovan ). After the project was scrapped because it was cost prohibitive, GM tried to give the Electrovan to the Smithsonian Institute. They refused the vehicle because they'd never heard of fuel cells before ... First Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) in 1972. First Electronic Fuel Injection (1979)
Thomas Jefferson…… - The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not. - It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world. - I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. - My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. - The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government. - To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical. In light of the present financial crisis, it's interesting to read what Thomas Jefferson said in 1802: 'I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.'
'12 Days of Christmas' items would cost $86,609 Associated Press Published: Dec 01, 2008 01:20 EST PITTSBURGH Given the economic downturn, even the most romantic might balk at the $86,609 price tag for the items in the carol, "The Twelve Days of Christmas." That's this year's cost, according to the annual "Christmas Price Index" compiled by PNC Wealth Management, which tallies the single partridge in a pear tree to the 12 drummers drumming, purchased repeatedly as the song suggests. The price is up $8,508 or 10.9 percent, from $78,100 last year. "True loves may take it on the chin for a peck on the cheek," said Jim Dunigan, managing executive of investment for PNC Wealth Management, which has been calculating the cost of Christmas since 1984. In this tight economy, what's a romantic to do?
Stash seems to have been intended for buried shaman to use in the afterlife Nov 27, 2008 01:23 PM THE CANADIAN PRESS OTTAWA – Researchers say they have located the world's oldest stash of marijuana, in a tomb in a remote part of China. The cache of cannabis is about 2,700 years old and was clearly ``cultivated for psychoactive purposes," rather than as fibre for clothing or as food, says a research paper in the Journal of Experimental Botany. The 789 grams of dried cannabis was buried alongside a light-haired, blue-eyed Caucasian man, likely a shaman of the Gushi culture, near Turpan in northwestern China. The extremely dry conditions and alkaline soil acted as preservatives, allowing a team of scientists to carefully analyze the stash, which still looked green though it had lost its distinctive odour. "To our knowledge, these investigations provide the oldest documentation of cannabis as a pharmacologically active agent," says the newly published paper, whose lead author was American neurologist Dr. Ethan B. Russo. Remnants of cannabis have been found in ancient Egypt and other sites, and the substance has been referred to by authors such as the Greek historian Herodotus. But the tomb stash is the oldest so far that could be thoroughly tested for its properties. The 18 researchers, most of them based in China, subjected the cannabis to a battery of tests, including carbon dating and genetic analysis. Scientists also tried to germinate 100 of the seeds found in the cache, without success. The marijuana was found to have a relatively high content of THC, the main active ingredient in cannabis, but the sample was too old to determine a precise percentage. Researchers also could not determine whether the cannabis was smoked or ingested, as there were no pipes or other clues in the tomb of the shaman, who was about 45 years old. 2,700-year-old marijuana found in Chinese tomb
The new 2010 Prius will be bigger and more powerful than the current model but will have better mileage. Toyota’s next-generation petrol-electric Prius hybrid is expected to make its world debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January, however new images alleged to be the first official shots of the car have made their way onto the ' PriusChat ' Internet forum, and are now confirmed as genuine by Toyota.
Wood on Mars? , Science & Tech December 2, 2008 Mars Rover was rovin’ along the Red Planet where it snapped a picture of what looks like … a log of wood? The photo immediately a conspiracy theory rush in the blogosphere: The unusual image was featured in a NASA press release in 2004, although the space agency made no mention of the timber-like object captured on the spacecraft’s 115th day on Mars. But one website insists it is a leaked image that ‘could get someone killed.’ A writer from TheCrit.com said NASA’s claims Mars was a desert world were ‘lies’ and that ‘there are vast forests on Mars, ones that are kept from the public.’ They go on to speculate the ‘wood’ was brought to its present position by a flood of water that must have happened within 40 years ‘because the wood is intact.’
FREE MARIJUANA CHURCH OF HONOLULU Is a Drug Right for You? Chemicalology I Chemicalology II The Religious Experience by Timothy Leary Modern Man & God Press Release Recent Psilocybin Experiment Subscribe to Mailing List Archive of Previously Send Mailings Edit Your Mailing List Preferences One Toke to God - Two Tokes to Party Reference Books Pertaining to Consciousness & Drugs Aloha and welcome to the Church devoted to the religion of higher consciousness. You are cordially invited to open your door of perception and discover the God within your own mind with one free toke of marijuana. I am an ordinary guy with an extra-ordinary life since I opened my door of perception and discovered the ultimate purpose of human life is our own enlightenment. I invite, urge and pray that you look beyond your ordinary concept of God by chemically opening the door in your mind to experience the inestimable value of higher consciousness and come to know the God within you own mind. Special Sunday Service (SSS) is available from 8:00 AM to noon for anyone over the age of eighteen with a good mental presence. Only people who have a genuine interest in developing their higher consciousness should attend. Stoners need not come. Please allow two hours for your visit. No charge is required. Donations of value are accepted. Please note if you have high grade marijuana you do not need to come to Hawaii to be a member of the Free Marijuana Church. After a good night's sleep, simply take one toke, lie down in a dimly lit room with your eyes closed and marvel at the experience within your own mind. http:// www.freemarijuanachurch.org /
Dutch ban on "magic" mushrooms to take effect AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Netherlands will ban the sale and cultivation of all hallucinogenic "magic" mushrooms from next week, the latest target of a country seeking to shed its "anything goes" image. The Dutch government proposed the ban in April, citing the dangerous behavioural effects of magic mushrooms following the death of a French teenager who jumped from an Amsterdam bridge in 2007 after consuming the hallucinogenic fungus. "The use of magic mushrooms has hallucinogenic effects. It is proven that this can lead to unpredictable and therefore risky behaviour," the Dutch Health Ministry said in a statement. A challenge to the ban was rejected by a court in the Hague on Friday. From December 1 the production or sale of fresh magic mushrooms could lead to a maximum jail sentence of four years, a spokesman for the Dutch Justice Ministry said on Friday. "We are targeting the growers and the shops who are selling the mushrooms," the spokesman said. The active ingredient in magic mushrooms is psilocybin. Effects last up to about six hours and can include nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness and drowsiness in the early stages after consumption. The psychological consequences of psilocybin use include hallucinations and an inability to discern fantasy from reality. Panic reactions and psychosis also may occur, particularly if a user ingests a large dose, according to the U.S. Justice Dept's National Drug Intelligence Centre. Some proponents of magic mushrooms say that their use aids in spiritual awareness, gaining personal insight and meditation.
Victoria’s Secret and their neverending stable of flawless angels. The gift that keeps on giving, and giving, and giving…
Fri Nov 28, 2:04 PM ET Uganda's police warned male bar-goers to keep their noses clean after a probe found a gang of robbers had been using women with chloroform smeared on their chests to knock their victims unconscious.
Fri Nov 21, 9:57 AM ET Victoria's Secret model Adriana Lima walks the runway at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2008 in Miami Beach, Florida November 15, 2008.
Paris Fashion Week Tue Dec 2, 1:10 AM ET A model presents a creation by British designer John Galliano as part of his Fall/Winter 2008/09 men's ready-to-wear fashion collection at Paris Fashion Week, January 18, 2008.
Britons 'saving money with sex' Snuggling under the duvet could also save on those heating bills As the credit crunch bites, Britons may be turning to sex as a cheap way to pass the time, a charity says. A YouGov survey of 2,000 adults found sex was the most popular free activity, ahead of window shopping and gossiping. The Scots were most amorous with 43% choosing sex over other pastimes, compared with 35% in South England. Aids charity the Terrence Higgins Trust, which published the survey, also welcomed recent figures showing an increase in condom sales. Around one in 10 respondents to the survey, carried in November, said their favourite free activity was window shopping and 6% chose going to a museum as the cheapest way to pass the time. But the sexes differed on their priorities, with women preferring to gossip with friends while men had sex firmly at the top of their list.