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Monday, September 5, 2011


This is Labor Day, something I reported on two years ago.  Nothing particularly great nor terrible happening around the world.  Japan is recovering not only from Fukushima, but Tropical Storm Talas, and the Atlantic coast of the USA is anticipating Hurricane Katia, now at 115 MPH, but expected to turn north before getting close to the shoreline.  Good a time as any to enlighten you about quirky world stuff:

1.  China has been executing billionaires for graft at a rate of almost two per year, 14 over the past eight years.  However, China is responsible for more than two-thirds of all death penalties, and, depending who you ask, ranges from 1000 to 15,000/year.  The victim is usually shot, but those convicted of economic crimes usually die by lethal injection (right).

2.  The GDP/capita for Singapore jumped from $516 in 1964 to just about $44,000 in 2010.  They also developed silkworms that spin colored silk (left, from Scientific American, May 2011).  The U.S. GDP/capita in 2010 was around $47,000, and that of China, $7,600.

3.  Why do you we need faster computers with more memory?  To download a 3 minute CD song takes .02 gigabytes.  The entire Lord of the Rings trilogy in 1080 HD requires 41.6 GB.  Streaming a 90-minute 3D ultra HD movie takes 324 GB.  Canada has now limited their monthly GBs to 25 per month.  U.S. providers have bandwidth caps between 100 and 250 GB/month, but all signs are this will shrink.  Oh, you can use more, but the added cost in Canada is $2/GB. (From Wired, August 2011).

4.  The biggest banks have changed in three years.  In 2008 only one was Chinese and #1 was HSBC.  In 2011, Bank of America is #1, but there are now three Chinese banks.  Mitsubishi UFJ jumped from #11 to #5.

What else on this American holiday?  Lady Gaga was alive.well and scintillating in the UK....

...and sunset over Honolulu was fabulous:

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