Wednesday, March 27, 2013

FBI's UFO Memo Seems to Talk about Second Incident not Roswell

Well it seems that the FBI put a UFO smoking gun memo on their site accidentally (or intentionally?) Here is the text of the memo dated March 22, 1950:

An investigator for the Air Force stated that three so-called flying saucers had been recovered in New Mexico," They were described as being circular in shape with raised centers, approximately 50 feet in diameter. Each one was occupied by three bodies of human shape but only 3 feet tall, dressed in metallic cloth of a very fine texture. Each body was bandaged in a manner similar to the blackout suits used by speed fliers and test pilots.

According to Mr. *redacted*  informant, the saucers were found in New Mexico due to the fact that the Government has a very high-powered radar set-up in that area and it is believed the radar interferes with the controlling mechanism of the saucers.

No further evaluation was attempted by SA *redacted* concerning the above.

Roswell was only 1 saucer with 3 dead bodies in it. This describes 3 different saucers each with 3 pilots in each one so it seems to be describing a different incident. It is also interesting that the second paragraph talks about an FBI informant in the Air Force at the time. It seems plausible that this "high-powered radar" also downed the Roswell saucer as well. Now this has me wondering if the aliens that lost 4 saucers had anything to talk to the government about since it seems like they lost 12 pilots in a 3 year period.

Obamacare to Explode the Cost of Individual Insurance according to Actuaries

Well it seems that Obamacare is going to screw some people up who aren't getting insurance from their employers.

The disparities are striking. By 2017, the estimated increase would be 62 percent for California, about 80 percent for Ohio, more than 20 percent for Florida and 67 percent for Maryland. Much of the reason for the higher claims costs is that sicker people are expected to join the pool, the report said.

The White House counters that this report doesn't take into account certain things:

The administration questions the design of the study, saying it focused only on one piece of the puzzle and ignored cost relief strategies in the law such as tax credits to help people afford premiums and special payments to insurers who attract an outsize share of the sick. The study also doesn't take into account the potential price-cutting effect of competition in new state insurance markets that will go live on Oct. 1, administration officials said.

The problem is that the tax credit won't help certain Americans if their income is too high to receive the credits but can't afford the cost of their premiums nearly doubling. In other words the Middle Class. Also since it is a tax credit the amount will be lagged and only show up in their tax refund. So you have a monthly charge go up by 80% but won't receive your credit until tax time. That would seriously impact consumer spending depending on how much this insurance is jacked up.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Support Wanes for Gun Control

Well it seems that America does not much care for the Obama Administration trying to crack down on gun violence by taking away peoples guns.

According to a CBS News poll, less than half the public (47 percent) now supports stricter gun control laws, compared with 57 percent in late December following the mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

Those who say they want less strict gun regulation (10 percent) has hardly wavered in that time period, although those who want current gun laws kept as they are has increased four percentage points, from 30 to 34 percent.

I remember seeing Dem lawmakers all giddy that they had 51% support for stricter gun control. Now they can't even claim that as support.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Judge Strikes Blow Against the Nanny State: NY Sugary Drinks Ban Stopped

Well I guess Bloomberg has to stop New Yorkers from getting fat in some other way.

State Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling in Manhattan ruled the new regulations are "fraught with arbitrary and capricious consequences. The simple reading of the rule leads to the earlier acknowledged uneven enforcement even within a particular city block, much less the city as a whole ... the loopholes in this rule effectively defeat the state purpose of the rule."

I'm still not sure what Starbucks would have had to do to comply with this ban. I guess there would be no Grande or Venti sizes. Also what if you ordered a Grande Latte with a sugary add-in like Mocha or Vanilla? What about Frappicinos? Also if you went to Shake Shack would you be able to order anything to drink? This is one of those checks on governmental overreach the the judiciary branch is made for.

Friday, March 08, 2013

12 Frugal Celebs

I think these people need to be an example to the rest of Hollywood their retched excess. Jimmy Kimmel can talk all the trash he wants about Jay Leno but this is a good attitude to have for a rich person in Hollywood.

The late-night host revealed in a Parade column that he only spends money from comedy routines.

"When I was a kid, I had two jobs," wrote Leno. "I worked at a Ford dealership and at a McDonald’s. I’d spend the money from one job and save the money from the other. That’s still the way I am now. I live on the money I make as a comedian, and I put all the TV money in the bank. I’ve never spent a dime of TV money—ever."

I think when he retired he should start a foundation with the TV money and give back to community. Maybe start a mechanics training school scholarship fund. Lady Gaga is also a saver:

Mother Monster tweeted to her followers in December about her bargain buys: "Why do people look at me like I'm crazy when I use coupons at grocery (stores) or try bargaining at retail, IM FROM NEW YORK WHERE IS THE SALE RACK."

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Old JCPenny CEO Blasts the New Guy

I have to agree with this statement.

Former JC Penney CEO Allen Questrom told CNBC on Wednesday that the company's board of directors is wrong in thinking the struggling retailer can change its fortunes under current boss Ron Johnson.

"The board has to take action. They can't be delusional like Ron Johnson is," Questrom said on "Fast Money Halftime Report."

"This has been going on long enough. You can't say you're going to make your numbers for the year and then drop a billion dollars."

I'm still kind of at a loss to figure out how they lost a billion dollars like that. It seems that Macys and Khols and the other companies in the department store retailer space are making decent money. I mean Kohls made $215 million and Macy's made $145 million last quarter so there is still money to be made in this space.

Distance to Milky Way's Neighbor Galaxy Revealed: Great Idea for Sci-Fi!

Well there is still a margin of error but 2% is pretty good I think.

The achievement could help scientists calibrate other cosmic distances, which are essential for understanding how quickly the universe is expanding and solving the mystery of dark energy. Dark energy is the name given to whatever is tugging the universe apart and causing its expansion to accelerate.

According to the new measurement, the nearby dwarf galaxy called the Large Magellanic Cloud lies 163,000 light-years away. 

That seems fairly close compared to lots of other things in the universe. I have an idea for a sci-fi novel. Set it in a massive ship with like 100,000 people on board that is traveling to the Large Magellanic Cloud. They have technology that allows them near light speed travel but it still takes untold generations to complete the journey.

They would even have genetic diversifiers on the ship to combat the effects of inbreeding. It would be cool to have statements like "I am the product of 25 generations of diagnostic engineers! And I say that this drive cannot stand the stesses you are putting on it!"

It would just be very interesting to see how humans survive on a Star Ark (hey that is the title for the novel) that has been traveling through space for almost the entire recorded history of mankind. There would be ship spanning wars, disasters that kill 1000s, changes in government onboard the ship etc. They of course would have to have a holodeck like in Star Trek so that they could escape the ship in their minds but claustrophobia would be eventually be nonexistant.

Then you can shake things up by having humans on Earth develop faster than light travel and have already traveled to the Large Magellanic Cloud on survey missions and have mapped much of the Milky Way. Maybe you can have them travel psychically or something. Make it so their physical bodies stay on earth while they Astrally travel to distant worlds or something. Then the far advanced humans are debating whether they should contact the Star Ark or leave them in isolation. Should they inform them that technology has made their generation spanning mission obsolete?

The Honeymoon is Over: Obama back to being Disliked

Well that certainly didn't take very long:

A Reuters/Ipsos online poll released on Wednesday showed 43 percent of people approve of Obama's handling of his job, down 7 percentage points from February 19.

Most of that steep drop came in the week to February 26 when it was becoming clear that Washington was going to be unable to put aside partisan differences and agree to halt automatic budget cuts which started last Friday.

I guess scare tactics to avoid "sequestration" and bullying legendary journalists in order to hike taxes is not a winning combination for the White House.  

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Windows 8 Sales Dismal

Well I guess people just don't want to upgrade from Windows 7 (like me) or just don't care enough about touch screen computing to care (also me.)

Four months after being released into the wild, no one seems to care that Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) Windows 8 has been desperately trying to reinvent the desktop PC experience. According to Net Applications, February was a downright awful month for Windows 8; it only gained 0.4% more of the desktop PC market. Since its debut, Windows 8 has only picked up an embarrassingly low 2.67% market share. For those keeping track at home, this pace is so awful that Microsoft Vista actually commanded more of the market after the same amount of time. Yikes.

Also in this article this unfortunately laughable statement:

The $230 Nokia Lumia 620 could become both Microsoft's and Nokia's secret weapon in combating Google Android's stronghold in emerging markets, which has largely gone unchallenged in the sub-$250 emerging-market segment. Investors may be underestimating that the Lumia 620 is priced to sell, offers tremendous value, and could actually give Android a run for its money.

How many people in an emerging market can afford a $230 Nokia Lumia phone? And if they could why wouldn't they just buy a Samsung or a LG phone instead? Anyone rich enough to drop several weeks wages on a smartphone probably has enough money to buy an iPhone or a higher end Samsung and won't waste time with a Nokia Lumia.

I think MSFT needs to understand that Android and iOS has too much of a head start for the Windows 8 phone (which doesn't seem to be selling either.) Again they are years late to the party with a product that is just another me-too. Um, fire Balmer please.

La Santa Muerte (The Saint of Death) Gaining in Popularity

It seems that there is a new Saint in town coming from Mexico.

Clad in a black nun's robe and holding a scythe in one hand, Santa Muerte appeals to people seeking all manner of otherworldly help: from fending off wrongdoing and carrying out vengeance to stopping lovers from cheating and landing better jobs. And others seek her protection for their drug shipments and to ward off law enforcement.

"Her growth in the United States has been extraordinary," said Andrew Chesnut, author of "Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint" and the Bishop Walter F. Sullivan Chair in Catholic Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. "Because you can ask her for anything, she has mass appeal and is now gaining a diverse group of followers throughout the country. She's the ultimate multi-tasker."

She does cut a quite ominous looking figure. The color of Santa Meurtes robes are supposed to symbolize what sort of thing the person prays for. Red means you want her to grant love, white means protection, gold means getting you a job, and black means vengeance.  I guess this one wants revenge on someone or something: