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Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Shutdown?  Debt crisis?  The Dow certainly couldn't care less, for it is up 200 at this writing, not all that far from the all time high of 15,677.

Our Congress will not get close to my Grand Compromise, but what they will do is agree to move any deadlines until early next year.  They will again play brinksmanship and maximize grandstanding, for this is akin to nightly gaining free campaign commercials.  Again, as I indicated in my review of Captain Phillips, as the Somalian pirates have no better option to survive than to kidnap ships, the Tea Party can only pretend to be important by holding the nation hostage.  The other members of Congress go along with these ploys because, in the long term, this insures for re-election, for most of them are polished enough to be almost sensible in local sound bites (they blame the other party and themselves are doing what they can to solve the problem--and their constituency actually mostly believes them!!!).

So on to more interesting news items of the day:

  • Remember Louise Brown, the first test-tube baby, who is now 35 years old?  There are now 5 million such children, with 2.4 million created over the past six years.  Louise is getting ready to give birth to her second child, naturally.  In the USA, medical insurance in 15 states covers this treatment, but if not, the cost is in the range of $16,000.
  • An 18 foot oarfish was found off Catalina Island, California this weekend:

The oarfish actually can grow as long as 56 feet, and is said to be the longest bony fish in the world.  Whales are bigger (the blue whale gets up to about 100 feet), but they are not fish, and giant squids (66 feet) have no bones.  However, whale sharks do have bones and they can reach 65 feet. Following photo from the Maldives:

Typhoon Wipha did kill at least 17 people, but on Oshima Island.  Tokyo and Fukushima escaped major damage.  However, there seems to be, maybe, two new depressions off Guam, and one of them, Tropical Storm Francisco, will strengthen into a Category 4, and likely take a path similar to Wipha, but at this early stage of projection, even further offshore of Japan:


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