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Friday, January 13, 2012


Friday, the 13th, is considered to be a bad luck day, and there will be three this year (the next threesome will occur in 2026), including today.  From this article is this statement:

More than 60 million people worldwide are claimed to suffer from fear of the day - known as paraskevidekatriaphobia, from the Greek.

Don't blame the Greeks, for the early Christians are mostly responsible:  Christ invited Judas as the 13th and final guest for the Last Supper and He was crucified on the 13th.

Two decades ago, the British Medical Journal actually published an article that said:

Friday 13th is unlucky for some. The risk of hospital admission as a result of a transport accident may be increased by as much as 52%. Staying at home is recommended.

Subsequently, traffic dropped on those days.  Some buildings don't have a 13th floor, the number 13 in ancient Egypt signified death. Turkey almost expunged the number 13, there are 13 witches in a coven and guess how many characters are in the name of Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Theodore Bundy and Albert de Salvo?  If you want more, click on Friday the 13th.

Of course, if you search, you will find that the USA started with 13 colonies, and there were 13 signers of the Declaration of the Declaration of Independence.  Our dollar bill has 9 separate 13 items, the 13th amendment freed the slaves and John Holmes (that adult film star) was endowed with an appendage that measured...(top ten included Milton Berle, Wilt Chamberlain and Bart Simpson).

So some added good news today:

1.  I was right, from The Venus Syndrome, methane is bad.  This is good news?  Well, a recent article in Science indicated that the key to stopping global warming (this is good) are soot and methane.  I knew methane was deleterious to the health of Planet Earth, but I thought that the more particulates you have in the atmosphere, the more sunlight is reflected, and this global dimming reduces warming.   In fact, one of the geoengineering measures to remediate climate change is to purposefully scatter particles into the atmosphere.  Apparently, the latest data says just the opposite.  Now, you must be confused.  But, I guess this is a kind of good news.

2.  Myanmar is becoming a good world citizen.  The military junta is releasing 651 more political prisoners, and the USA has agreed to exchange ambassadors.  Pro-democratic Novel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi will be running for office and is not anymore under house arrest.  Why are they doing this?  To gain financial aid and have economic sanctions eliminated.

3.  The USA is pulling thousands of troops from Europe.  Actually, the reduction is around 10% of the 80,000 by 2015.  Why not bring them all home???  Okay, leave a few thousand there, but sell (just a portion of Ramstein Air Base--left--in Germany, for it is said to be worth more than $3 billion) at least 260 of the 268 bases in Germany (about 1000 of them worldwide).  We won that war more than half a century ago, and the Cold War ended more than two decades ago!  In most of these non-Middle East bases, there are more military family members living there than soldiers.  CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT THE PENTAGON RUNS 234 GOLF COURSE ON FOREIGN SOIL?  I got to ask this question.  How man foreign military bases are in the U.S.?  NONE!!!

4.  If you are a Democrat, Obama raised $211 million (about the worth of Mitt Romney) for his presidential campaign last year, while Romney, who gained $56 million, is in a tougher race in South Carolina than thought just a few days ago.  A Conservative Super PAC film (note:  28 minutes long) will nail Romney over the next week (primary in SC on January 21), and it would not be surprising if the race for the Republic nomination is prolonged for weeks, if not longer, sucking up all the funds from Romney.

5.  Finally, Joran van der Sloot got nailed.  A Peruvian court sentenced him to 28 years for murdering Stephany Flores.  He also has to pay the family of the 21-year old student $75,000.  Joran, of course, is the individual from Aruba who also almost certainly killed Natalee Holloway, then having the nerve of extorting her mother for $25,000.  Will he be extradited to the U.S. for a death sentence?  Nah, there is still no real proof.

6.  Samantha Garvey, a homeless student from Brentwood High School (New York), is a semifinalist for the nationwide Intel science competition.  This news no doubt spurred donations and the local government finding for her family a rent-subsidized 3-bedroom house.  She will be accepted by Brown, and, perhaps too, Harvard.

7.  From Global Good News:

    a.  North Korea appears open to a disarmament deal.

    b.  U.S. consumer sentiment is at the highest level in eight months.

    c.  U.S. and Russia arms negotiators will hold stability talks.

    d.  A senior UN nuclear agency team will visit Iran on January 28.

    e.  Most people around the world are optimistic about 2012.

    f.  Homicide dropped off the top 15 causes of death in the U.S.

    g.  The Huffington Post now has a Good News section.

The Dow Jones Industrials dropped 49 to 12,422, and so did most of the world markets.  Gold finally went down, -$7/toz to $1639, while the WTI oil is $99/barrel and Brent Spot at $111/barrel.  The Chicago Mercantile Exchange has petroleum at $92/barrel in December of 2020.  I guess this is good news.


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