21 July, 2011

Our Ongoing Economic Disaster

* Government intervention is killing job growth, according to Stanford Economist John B. Taylor (Wall Street Journal).

* Job market is weak, and unemployment is about to go above 10%, according to Jeff Reeves (Wall Street Journal Market Watch). 

* As an addendum to the above, Borders Books will officially close in September, sending 10,000 more into the unemployment lines.  Amazon is partially to blame, but poor customer service probably also played a part (Wall Street Journal).

* Alan Greenspan: "No evidence Federal Reserve stimulus worked" (NPR).  So according to the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, we spent trillions of dollars for nothing except to be beholden to the Chinese for the next several generations.  Wonderful.

* 17 reasons why the Gang of Six Debt plan sucks, by Keith Hennessey (Keithhennessey.com).  NOTE: While I agree with many of these points -- especially that the plan doesn't cut nearly enough into the deficit as it should -- I do think we're better off with the plan than not, in order to calm the markets if for no other reason.

* Unsustainable Spending Threatens America's Future, Paul Ryan (Real Clear Politics).

* Home Depot Co-Founder: Obama is Choking Recovery, by John Merline (Investors Business Daily).

* Casino Magnate Steve Wynn Slams Obama, by Shira Ovide (Wall Street Journal).

A Fourth Moon for Pluto

A fourth satellite has been detected orbiting dwarf planet 134340 Pluto (formerly known as just the planet Pluto) by the Hubble Space Telescope.

The object, bearing a temporary designation of just P4, appears to be a ball of ice roughly 8 to 21 miles across.

Yet another target for the New Horizons spacecraft to photograph when it flies through the Plutonian system in 2015.

History With Google Streetview

Gambetta Street, Rheims, France. Early color photograph, taken April 1, 1917, taken from the fantastic website World War I Color Photographs:

Gambetta Street, Rheims, France, from Google Streetview, photograph taken 2011:

Note that the house next to "Pizza Uno" (marked Bar Cafe, Chez Ali Restaurant) in the 2011 photograph is the same house at the same corresponding street corner in the 1917 photograph (note the upper story windows and chimney; they are exactly the same).

Here is a better view of the Chez Ali house and the three buildings to the left of it, as they stand today:

"Pizza Uno" looks to be the same building as the one in the 1917 photograph, but with an extra story added (note what appears to be part of the old roof just below the grayish "addition", at approximately the same height as the roof of the 1917 house).  The building to the left, "Rheims Khabob", does not look much like the building in the same position in the 1917 photograph, and in fact looks much newer.  The fourth house, "Pain Chaud", looks likely to be the same building at foreground left in the 1917 photograph, but since the view of that building is cut off in the older photograph there's no way to say for certain.

Just a little something I like to do whenever I find old photographs of street scenes, namely try to find the exact same view in Google Maps and see what they look like today.

Look for more of these in the future.


20 July, 2011

MSNBC Host Brings a Knife to a Gun Fight

Note to would-be television hosts: when you ask an on-air guest a rhetorical question, be sure you already know the answer.

Matt Lewis at The Daily Caller.

42 Years Ago Today

Tranquility Base, Luna:

While we're on the subject, Rand Simberg at Pajamas Media about why the next phase of space exploration should be driven by private enterprise.

Dawn Reaches Vesta

NASA's Dawn spacecraft has reached the asteroid 4 Vesta and has gone into orbit.  Before going into orbit, it snapped this photograph of the main belt planetoid:

Dawn will continue to orbit Vesta for the next year, then break orbit and proceed to its next target, the dwarf planet 1 Ceres.  A decent rundown of the mission can be found here.

The Return of the Native

Yeah, its been a while.  No excuses about why I stopped blogging, not even going to try to justify it.  Maybe I'll talk about where I've been and what I've been doing these past few months, or maybe not.  I don't even know how long I'll be doing it this time around.  I guess we'll see.