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February 2006 — Monthly Archive


Blondes are an Endangered Species

Blondes are an endangered species: too few people now carry the gene for blondes to last beyond the next two centuries. A study by experts in Germany suggests people with blonde hair are an endangered species and will become extinct by 2202. I suspect gene therapy and designer babies will make the problem moot by then.

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26 February 2006 9:54 pm

Prejudice

It is interesting to compare Bush’s statement on the Dubai Ports World affair that

I think it sends a terrible signal to friends around the world that it’s okay for a company from one country to manage the port, but not a country that plays by the rules and has got a good track record from another part of the world can’t manage the port.

with Chirac’s surly responses re Mittal Steel’s Arcelor bid. On the other hand, the US hasn’t been entirely free of the sort of knee-jerk reaction I would normally expect from India’s Communists: Hillary Clinton is planning to introduce legislation that bans the sale of ports to foreign governments (Dubai Ports World is an UAE-goverment enterprise, not quite the same thing) and Baltimore Mayor dramatically declares

…turn over the Port of Baltimore, the home of the Star Spangled Banner, to the United Arab Emirates? Not so long as I’m mayor and not so long as I have breath in my body.

While Patrix notes that many conservatives are up in arms about the deal, from where I stand the opposition seems to be bipartisan, clueless and reflexively believe that enterprises based in the Middle-East are somehow a terrorist risk1 (as a wag pointed out — Madame Tussauds is owned by a Dubai holding company now; can we expect bombs embedded inside wax statuettes next?). It is especially ironic that so many Democrats — normally up in arms against racial profiling — are rushing to judge a company on the basis of its origin rather than its record.

1A belief that Muslim/Arab companies (and possibly governments) are more vulnerable to being compromised by terrorists is a more understandable one. However given that the ownership by a Dubai firm does not change the day-to-day running of the ports (or Madame Tussauds, for that matter), I consider it unlikely that ownership alone can present a security risk.

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23 February 2006 4:32 pm

The Christian, the Muslim and the Jew

Belmont Club: “The code-poem he wrote and gave to Violette Szabo on her wartime mission is a memorial to a time when a Muslim, Christian and Jew could find it in their hearts to fight Hitler with one word upon their lips: Liberte.”

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21 February 2006 12:21 pm

Movie Trailer Mashups

Movie trailer mashups are going to be the next big thing after Photoshop contests. Check out the hilarious Sleepless in Seattle recut as a horror movie and Back to the Future inspired by Brokeback Mountain.

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4 February 2006 3:09 am

SmallWindows, Open Source Exposé for Windows

SmallWindows is an excellent open source Exposé-workalike for Windows. It’s still in beta and has some some rough edges, but it’s a snap to download and use. Recommended if you (like me) have 20+ windows open most of the time. (via)

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1 February 2006 4:33 pm

Irrational Exuberance re GOOG

Amr Awadallah: 22% sequential growth for a $1919M Q4 is still very impressive, but it missed the expectations and it certainly does not justify the $500 to $600 stock price targets that some analysts are setting. To put things in perspective, Microsoft with a marketcap of $300B did $11B in sales last quarter, that is almost double what Google made for the whole year, so how can Google get a marketcap of $150B (at $500 price target). I think Greenspan had a word for this, let me try to remember, ah, he called it “irrational exuberance”.

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1:07 pm

 

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