29 September 2008

Stampede! A travesty, again and again

I don't know why this catches my attention, but I've blogged about human stampedes twice in the past (on my old tribe.net blog here and here), and unfortunately, some new episodes have occured with atrocious numbers of deaths.

2008: 35 die in Indian temple stampede (includes references to other recent events)

2007: 7 die in Chinese superstore stampede

2005: 1,000 die in Baghdad bridge stampede

2005: 5 hurt in London IKEA stampede

2004:  3 die in Saudi shop stampede

Whenever I'm in the middle of a huge crowd, I'm always wary of which way to escape in case of stampede.

Dancing with the DOW

After cooking up some tasty dinner for my wife and myself, we end up watching Dancing with the Stars.  Frankly, I don't have much interest in the show.  But, after watching Brooke Burke dance, the show had my attention.  Unfortunately, after watching Kim Kardashian dance, the show utterly lost my attention.

It's been quite a day with the big bailout bill going down in defeat in the House of Representatives, dragging the stock market down the toilet with it.  Like many people, I took a significant hit in my portfolio today, but I believe I'm still young enough to just ride it out, so I didn't sell anything.  In fact, I picked up some stocks, including one component of the Dow, hoping today's startling bad news and the abrupt reaction in the stock market represented a buying opportunity, with hopes that the market will climb back up at some point in the coming weeks or months.

Sarah Palin is most certainly taking some heat in the media and I think it will drive more Americans to watch this Thursday evening's vice presidential debate than last Friday evening's first presidential debate.  I doubt either Palin or Biden will let slip any devastating gaffes, but I think people do want to see how Palin handles the gargantuan pressure that will be on her shoulders.  Biden has the lower bar to jump as he is known for gaffes.  Palin has the much higher bar to get over, given her awful interview with Katie Couric last week and now a new bewildering interview with Couric, with McCain himself sitting next to Palin, like her chaperoning father.

I suspect the financial market will get much worse before it gets better, but ultimately, I am optimistic that Americans will find a way to survive and even thrive in a down economy.  I tend to agree with how interdependent the economy is between banks and the various supply chains and jobs and such, and I do think there is risk for a fast moving domino effect.  However, Americans won't just sit still and take the hit without a response.  Corporations and vertical markets and regional markets will innovate and adjust.

The supposedly ancient Chinese proverb and curse (Wikipedia indicates it may be an early 20th century British invention or misinterpretation), "May you live in interesting times" comes to mind.  

I think we are so fatigued from hurricanes, political campaigns, stock market crashes, suicide bombings, superhero movies, prematurely melting glaciers, reality TV, tiger/bear/shark attacks, forest fires, and Howie Mandel, that a gigantic asteroid could knock the moon out of orbit in a spectacular sky shimmering explosion and no one would blink an eye.

Let's hope for the bet.

28 September 2008

A Good Long Nap

Today reminded me how much a good long nap can be so beneficial.  Earlier today, I wasn't thinking I was all that tired and I had no intentions of taking a nap.  After a short morning walk, a slightly late lunch and some afternoon web surfing, I put my head down on the pillow for just a moment and then found myself sleeping for a good five-plus hours.

The mid-afternoon temperature outside was slightly warm and I had the bedroom door to the outside open and the fan gently blowing in the fresh air.  As the evening approached, the temperature nicely dipped to a cooler range and the crickets on the nearby hillside began their chorus of chirping in unison.

I probably would have slept longer except for my wife waking me up, pointing out how I was drooling all over my pillow.  Yeah, the sign of a good long nap.

I feel refreshed, at a lowered state of stress, and calm.  This overall physical and psychological sensation reminded me of when I used to take long naps in college.  Between intense study sessions and occasional socializing and partying, I often would take long naps to mitigate the pressures of college life.  Come to think of it, I also took naps when I used to ride my mountain bike a lot.

It's hard to believe I started college 20 years ago.  Where has all the time gone?  I've certainly  accomplished a lot in those 20 years, lived in many places, lived with many great people, and traveled to fascinating destinations around the world.  Yet, for right now, for this moment, I'm most proud and most comfortable with my good long nap today.

25 September 2008

Replay of Usain Bolt's 100m Dash Early Celebration

Jamaica's Usain Bolt was absolutely amazing at the Beijing Olympics, winning gold at both the 100 meter dash and the 200 meter dash.  Many questioned his early celebration before crossing the finish line for the 100 meter run.  Here's a closer look at that episode with some special footage.

24 September 2008

Sarah Palin's Witch Hunting Pastor

Really weird, wacko stuff! Palin recently expressed admiration for a witch hunting pastor. No wonder McCain's campaign won't let Palin take questions from reporters.

Letterman pissed about McCain flaking