Monday, December 8, 2008

Quick Update

Good job by everyone keeping the discussion flowing while I was away/busy. Haven't had too much time to focus on the blog tonight, but here are some things that caught my eye.

1. The real "Mr. Short-term Memory" died today in New Haven. He had been the subject of several medical studies of the brain. Remember the Tom Hanks as "Mr. STM" on SNL?

2. Cojones- John Thain, the CEO of Merrill Lynch recently requested a $10 million bonus for this year. Are you kidding? I don't know how right it is for the government to regulate CEO salaries/bonuses, but I think that companies that received government money should not be giving out bonuses for AT LEAST this year. Mr. Thain did withdraw his request after public scrutiny, but it is still ridiculous.

3. Bear Grylls, of Man vs. Wild, was injured in Antartica. It was only a matter of time. I hope he will be OK soon that he can resume taping one of my favorite shows and start drinking the fresh blood from the severed jugular of a yak again.

4. This study on the spread of happiness totally makes sense, but it does seem like it was a lot of work to actually prove. It was published in BMJ. Fortunately, sadness does not spread as easily. Each happy friend increases your own chance of being happy by 9 percent, whereas each unhappy friend decreases it by 7 percent. Choose your friends wisely!

5. The above study also demonstrated that obesity co-segregates. A person's likelihood of becoming obese increased by 57 percent if he or she had a friend who became obese in a given time period. I guess that would explain the new study that demonstrates that Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Texas are the unhealiest states in the U.S. Nothing against BBQ and other types of Southern food, but the portion sizes are just way too large.

6. Dog tries to save injured/dead dog in highway in Chile. Watch the video- it's pretty incredible. A new study also demonstrates that dogs have a sense of fairness. And, in Chicago, an obese dog froze to the sidewalk. Thankfully his layers of fat saved him from freezing to death.

7. OK, so the shooting and death of the teenager in Greece was a tragedy that needs thorough investigation. But, three days of rioting in Athens? That's enough. These people are always protesting in the streets. Where does it get them? What is this destruction going to accomplish? Already several have been injured now. Time to round up some Spartan police officers to quell the unrest.

8. The recession is even affecting television. NBC will cut back the number of hours of programming during primetime. And, in an interesting move, Jay Leno will move to 10 PM timeslot after Conan O'Brien takes over the 11:30 time slot in the spring. Conan is a gem. I'm glad he will have a chance to be seen by more people in the earlier time slot.


Jeanette said...

Unbelievable about Thain. How can this be? AIG going to spa days after the bail out, the big three flying on private jets to beg in Washington, now this. I mean, I agree there may be only a limited role for governmental regulation but there has to be some role for human decency in these horrible times when people are struggling. If you must have a 10 million dollar bonus, don't accept bail outs. It is that simple. And, I blame that on the years (8) of unchecked, unbalanced allowance of these occurances. I am shocked and disgusted.

Don said...

Blaming "unchecked, unbalanced allowance of these occurances" is missing the point. If companies want to pay such extravagant salaries to their executives, they can. I have no problem with that whatsoever. But, when those executives come to the government for handouts, the government has every right to curtail such salaries. I don't think taxpayers should be bailing out these companies anyway, but they most certainly should not be paying bonuses to the people who didn't foresee these crises in the first place. The sad fact is that the people with smarts will get NO help from the government, because they avoided catastrophe. Ridiculous.

Bob said...

The problems were in place when Thain took the job. Many people think he did a great job under the circumstances and kept things from being even worse. Performance wise, he deserved a bonus. However, there is now way he should receive one given the government aid.