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Friday, May 30, 2014

FRIDAY BONBONS

Fridays and Saturdays are the slowest days for this blog site.  I thus attempt to experiment on those days.  As most people who know me lament the length of these daily musings, I have created something called bonbons, usually short and light information gems, mostly in frivolity, like those chocolate creams.

Clint Walker of Cheyenne fame is 87.  Keir Dullea, that youngish space pioneer of "2001:  A Space Odyssey," is 78.

Heard of Yeni Sleidl, the 23-year-old Weed Fairy from Seattle?  She passed out 50 fliers in her neighborhood over the Memorial Day weekend, each with a nugget of marijuana, but might not be aware that in the State of Washington:

You can have this marijuana on your person, but can’t open it, display it, or use it in public.

Unlike in Colorado, Washington has not yet started selling the stuff.  Where did she get this weed?  Perhaps she had delivered to her a sample ($70-$90 per quarter ounce--either she's quite affluent, or those nuggets must have been micro-sized), which, apparently, is not illegal, but will become so when the state gets around to licensing retail outlets.  In case you haven't been keeping up with this topic, you can probably make 15 joints out of a quarter ounce.  Stay tuned for Yeni's dalliance into the world of civil infraction.  Further, the first legal business license was issued in March to begin cultivating Mary Jane.  There were 22,200 retail applications, and 334 pot shops will eventually be approved.  The first could well open next month.

There is a local matter of selecting the next University of Hawaii president.  I  have served on various searches for deans and higher academic officers.  They were all flawed in some way, yes the candidates plus the committees, but more so, the process.  It is too complex to detail this here.  It is very difficult to find the right person for any leading position.  President of a university might be the most onerous of them all, for that individual needs to deal with an impossible range of constituencies.  Let's face it, the current search has failed.  To end up with David Lassner (right), who is the current acting-president, when on first appointment it was at least hinted that he wouldn't be considered for the full role, and Army General Frank Wiercinski, who has never ever been associated with any academic institution, as the best the world has to offer, is embarrassing at best.  There is only one solution today:  start over and name Lassner as the continuing interim-president.  Why?  The latest news today indicates that the Board of Regent will not give the selectee a defined contract, at a mediocre salary and no vote of confidence.  Ridiculous!!!

China is continuing to loosen up on their one-child policy.  Click on that for details, but this shift will mean 2 million extra babies per year (a lot more than the total population of Hawaii at 1.4 million), where 2013 saw 18.5 million births.

The reason for this relaxation is that the country is getting too old.  Can you imagine China with fewer people than the U.S. (314 million)?  Here is the difference between one child and two (note:  depending on the country, it could take more than 3 births per female to attain stability--the replacement rate is probably around 2.2 for China, thus the decline to less than a billion in 2100 even if every female delivers 2 children):


The column to the right, of course, is in billions.  In my incursions into China I noticed what should have become a motivational problem.  As there is only one, this child is over loved, catered to, spoiled and more.  I wonder how productive they have become?  Here are the fertility rates for the World:


For that one person who made it this far, notice that red dot in the midst of aqua and green?  Of all the countries, that is Afghanistan at 6.16 births/women.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit another all-time high today at 16,717.  Why?  Don't know.

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