- Tell me about yourself. This is always a good introductory question. Ask and then don’t say another thing until they are done. What they actually say is not critical, but how they answer this question is. Do they focus on personal or professional details? How do they see themselves? Does this view fit into the culture of the company.
- Tell me about a time when…Many job candidates can talk in generalities about their skills and accomplishments. However, asking for a specific example is a much more effective why to discover what they have really achieved. For example, when interviewing a sales candidate, ask “Tell me about a time when you won a customer from a competitor.”
- How will you contribute to the company? This will highlight their goals for the specific job and which of their skills would be most beneficial for the company. It also will tell you how they see themselves as part of a team. Remember, their goals should match the company’s. When they deviate, employees leave.
- What is a specific example of the biggest professional challenge you have faced? How a candidate faces adversity is key. Even if a project didn’t go as planned, it’s important to find out how the applicant would reacted and would remedy the problem in the future.
- Test them. In a professional setting, these are typically hypothetical situations or ones that have actually occurred at the company. They should demonstrate job-specific and problem solving skills. Don’t be afraid to ask them to solve problems they would face in the first month of their job at the actual interview.
- Why are you here? Andrew Alexander, President of Red Roof Inn, says it helps reveal what the person’s passion is. The applicant should want to work at the company, not just want a job. Employees that are passionate about the company’s mission excel at their position.
- What is your ideal job? Liz Bingham, Partner at Ernst & Young, says it helps match if the person is suitable for the open job. It reveals what their passions and strengths are.
- What areas of improvement were identified in your last job review? Andrew Shapin, CEO of Long Tall Sally, says it can show self-awareness and weaknesses when people answer this question honestly.
- Where’s your passion? Hilarie Bass, co-president of Greenberg Traurig, says they only hire people who are passionate about that profession. It helps attract committed employees that will make the business successful.
- How do you measure success? This answer will tell you what the candidate values and if it matches the job compensation structure.
Archive for February, 2014
Shortages of drugs, particularly cheap, generic injectable drugs, have escalated since 2005. The scarce drugs include the workhorses of hospitals, outpatient surgery centers and cancer clinics: antibiotics, painkillers, anesthesia and sedatives for surgery, chemotherapy and heart drugs. Recently, there’s a serious shortage of intravenous fluids and nutrients, including simple saline solution, needed for patients too ill to eat or drink.
The Early 1900s
In 1915, Gillette created the first razor specifically for women, the Milady Decolletée. The early 1900s also saw ads for depilatory cream hit the masses. In 1907 an ad for X-Bazin Depilatory Powder began circulating, promising to remove “humiliating growth of hair on the face, neck, and arms.” A decade later, a leading women’s fashion magazine ran an ad featuring a woman with her arms raised and her armpits bare, NOT the first of its kind.
By 1844, Dr. Gouraud had created one of the first depilatory creams called Poudre Subtile. Soon after, in 1880, King Camp Gillette created the first modern day razor for men and thus a revolution was born. However, it would be another three decades before a razor specifically marketed for women would appear.
The Middle Ages
Just like Cleopatra was a trend-setter in her time, so too was Queen Elizabeth I during the Middle Ages. She set the precedence for hair removal among women, who followed her lead by removing it from their faces, but not their bodies. The fashion of this era was to remove eyebrows and hair from the forehead (to make it appear larger), which women did by using walnut oil, or bandages soaked in ammonia (which they got from their feline pets) and vinegar.
The Roman Empire
During the Roman Empire, the lack of body hair was considered a sign of the classes. Wealthy women and men used razors made from flints, tweezers, creams, and stones to remove excess hair.
Pubic hair on women was a source of disease, parasites and considered uncivilized which is why nearly all statues and paintings of Grecian women are properly shown as being hairless.
In the 1800’s The fashion of this era returned to it’s earlier roots with the removal of even more hair now including the hair from the eyebrows and forehead (to make it appear larger), which women did by using walnut oil, or bandages soaked in ammonia (which they got from their feline pets) and vinegar.
The Egyptians may have been the forerunners of many beauty rituals, but they invested the most time into hair removal. Women of ancient Egypt removed all of their body hair, including that on their heads, with tweezers made from seashells, pumice stones, or early beeswax- and sugar-based waxes.
Judges get more money for themselves……. by bleeding men dry.
Get your freedom here…..
No feminista can sit through this talk! Just stuff your girlfriends face in your panties and cover your ears you fema-nazies!
Te definitive expose on stupidity and political correctness. Women are not better than men and men are not better than women. Women and men are different. Innately, biologically, hormonally, sexually, mentally. Can we move the fuck on now.
Supreme Court Justice Kennedy told an Obama administration lawyer that he couldn’t find a “single precedent” that supports the government’s defense of the EPA approach.
Laws are made by the legislative Branch
Enforced by the executive Branch
And deemed just or not by the Judicial branch
In our dreams……
The Fed’s Actions in 2008: What the Transcripts Reveal
Mr. Bernanke: “I think there are a lot of indications that we may soon be in a recession. I think a garden-variety recession is an acceptable risk, but I am also concerned that such a downturn might morph into something more serious.” View Transcript »
Mr. Fisher: “While there are tales of woe, none of the 30 C.E.O.s to whom I talked, outside of housing, see the economy trending into negative territory. They see slower growth. Some of them see much slower growth. None of them at this juncture — the cover of Newsweek notwithstanding, a great contra-indicator, which by the way shows ‘the road to recession’ on the issue that is about to come out — see us going into recession.” View Transcript »
“We’re trying to make sure that it’s a backstop, but not a backstop that’s so attractive that they come, and that’s going to be a very hard line to walk.” View Transcript »
Mr. Mishkin: “We are in a financial crisis, and it is worse than we have experienced in any other episode of financial ‘disruption,’ which is the word I use. I will not use ‘financial crisis’ in public. ‘Financial disruption’ is still a good phrase to use in public, but I really do think that his is a financial crisis. It is surely going to be called that in the next edition of my textbook.”
Participant: “When is it coming out?”
Mr. Mishkin: “Wouldn’t you like to know!” View Transcript »
Mr. Plosser: “Like everyone else, I am very concerned about the developments in the financial markets. I’ve been supportive of the steps we’ve taken to enhance liquidity in the markets through the TAF, the TSLF, the PDCF or whatever.”
Mr. Bernanke: “AEIOU.”
Tim Geithner: “Don’t say IOU.” [Laughter]
Mr. Fisher: “Most distressing to me was Anheuser-Busch, since I am a beer lover. The cost of input of hops and barley has gone up three and a half percent.”
Ms. Yellen: “The Fed’s internal projections represent “one of the most pessimistic economic forecasts; yet I find its recessionary projection quite plausible and see downside risks that could take the economy well below that forecast.” View Transcript »
Ms. Yellen: “Of course, there is considerable uncertainty about assessing the potential size of these effects. But over the next few months as the checks go out and the retail sales reports come in, we should get a pretty quick preliminary read on how things are shaping up.” View Transcript »
Mr. Bernanke: “I think that, in the absence of our facilities, the risks of systemic problems would be much higher. I think it is useful for us to give a time frame, to provide some sense of assurance to market participants that, if conditions remain stressed, there will be these backups.” View Transcript »
Ms. Yellen: “So let me draw a few morals from this shaggy dog tale. First, troubled banks can be downgraded and fail very rapidly. … We deal with hundreds and potentially thousands of banks at the discount window and can’t monitor and make independent judgments on the health of all those institutions on an ongoing basis. We do have to rely on primary supervisors for assessments. If we act on our own hunches, we are substituting our judgment for that of primary supervisors.”
Mr. Lacker: “I think it is outrageous that the O.T.S. downgraded them and didn’t inform the San Francisco Fed. I hope, Mr. Chairman, that the unacceptability of that sort of behavior is communicated at the highest levels to the O.T.S.” View Transcript »
Mr. Lacker: “I don’t want to be sanguine about it, but the silver lining to all the disruption that’s ahead of us is that it will enhance the credibility of any commitment that we make in the future to be willing to let an institution fail and to risk such disruption again.” View Transcript »
Mr. Rosengren: “This is already a historic week, and the week has just begun. The labor market is weak and getting weaker. The unemployment rate has risen 1.1 percentage points since April and is likely to rise further. I am not convinced that the unemployment rate will level off where the Greenbook is assuming currently. The failure of a major investment bank, the forced merger of another, the largest thrift and insurer teetering, and the failure of Freddie and Fannie are likely to have a significant impact on the real economy.” View Transcript »
Mr. Dudley: “The numbers have to be very, very large, or it should be open-ended. I would suggest that open-ended is better because then you really do provide a backstop for the entire market.” View Transcript »
Ms. Yellen: “East Bay plastic surgeons and dentists note that patients are deferring elective procedures.” (Laughter) “Reservations are no longer necessary at many high-end restaurants. And the Silicon Valley Country Club, with a $250,000 entrance fee and seven- to eight-year waiting list, has seen the number of would-be new members shrink to a mere 13.” (Laughter) View Transcript »
Mr. Evans: “Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I’d just like to review by asking a question. The swap lines are very large now. Could we review what could go wrong for our balance sheet in a not-so-pleasant scenario?” View Transcript »
Mr. Dudley: “Obviously, things are breaking, even with all the tools that we’ve rolled out. So I think that just suggests that more force needs to be applied. Clearly, confidence in the markets is extraordinarily poor and fragile, and that’s another reason that an escalation in the authorizations is important — to reassure people that the central banks are prepared to be there, if necessary.” View Transcript »
Mr. Lacker: “So what would it have looked like for them to have taken much solace? I mean, what prices and quantities would change?” View Transcript »
Mr. Dudley: “Well, a fair point is that the Federal Reserve cannot by its actions solve the balance-sheet constraints of the U.S. banking system. The Federal Reserve by its actions cannot create capital for banks, and that’s obviously one of the problems at the core of what is going on in the financial system.” View Transcript »
Mr. Geithner: “Our basic judgment — and I think everybody’s judgment — is that it is going to require capital from the government in some mix of forms for that to happen. I don’t think that any of us believes that the expansion of our balance sheet alone is going to be sufficient to achieve that outcome. That’s why —and I think you all know this — the chairman has been working so closely with the secretary of the Treasury to make sure that the authority that the Congress passes is used in a way that has the maximum possible benefit in things that are about capital so that the probability of default of the financial system goes down and people feel more comfortable lending at term to financials.” View Transcript »
Mr. Bernanke: “So given the fog of war — which has, of course, been intense going back for more than a year — I would defend what we’ve done in terms of the general direction, acknowledging that execution is not always perfect and that communication is not always perfect.” View Transcript »
Mr. Geithner: “But please be very careful, certainly outside this room, about adding to the perception that the actions by this body were a substantial contributor to the erosion in confidence. I think that Don Kohn said it best. The whole framing, which seems to have hardened now, that the world ended with the Lehman bankruptcy is just deeply unfair to the basic truth.” View Transcript »
Ms. Yellen: “We are fighting an uphill battle against falling home prices, an economy in recession and collapsing confidence. It is not clear whether these steps will reopen credit flows to households and businesses, especially those with less than sterling credit.” View Transcript »
Mr. Bernanke: “As you know, we are at a historic juncture — both for the U.S. economy and for the Federal Reserve. The financial and economic crisis is severe despite extraordinary efforts not only by the Federal Reserve but also by other policy makers here and around the world. With respect to monetary policy, we are at this point moving away from the standard interest rate targeting approach and, of necessity, moving toward new approaches.” View Transcript »
Mr. Dudley: “Well, there were certain leveraged utility companies that you could argue were pretty junky.”
Mr. Fisher: “Corporate grade became junk in the Great Depression.”
Mr. Bernanke: “Michael Milken hadn’t been born yet.” [Laughter] View Transcript »
Mr. Bernanke: “I think we all agree that getting the right policies for the U.S. economy is the top priority and, whatever we do, we need to find a way to get the right policies in place. Frankly, I think the best way to achieve that — I am going to talk about some details — is through operating in good faith. If we work together and keep each other apprised of developments and our views, we will be able to make this work. If we take too narrow an approach, too legalistic an approach, I think it will be much more difficult.” View Transcript »
Mr. Bernanke: “Given the state of confidence in the markets and in the economy, I hope whatever disagreements we may have that as much as possible we can keep them within these walls. With respect to the public, we need, as much as possible, to communicate a clear strategy going forward.” View Transcript »
On the morning after Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy in 2008, most Federal Reserve officials still believed that the American economy would keep growing despite the metastasizing financial crisis.
The Fed’s policy-making committee voted unanimously against bolstering the economy by cutting interest rates, and several officials praised what they described as the decision to let Lehman fail, saying it would help to restore a sense of accountability on Wall Street.
James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, urged his colleagues “to wait for some time to assess the impact of the Lehman bankruptcy filing, if any, on the national economy,” according to transcripts of the Fed’s 2008 meetings that it published on Friday.
The hundreds of pages of transcripts, based on recordings made at the time, reveal the ignorance of Fed officials about economic conditions during the climactic months of the financial crisis. Officials repeatedly fretted about overstimulating the economy, only to realize time and again that they needed to redouble efforts to contain the crisis.
The Fed’s chairman at the time, Ben S. Bernanke, was unusually clearsighted in warning of the risk of a severe recession as the nation entered into a presidential election year. But he struggled to persuade his colleagues, and at crucial junctures he did not push forcefully for stronger action.
The Fed’s current chairwoman, Janet L. Yellen, then the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, was even more alarmed by the deterioration of economic conditions. She and Eric Rosengren, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, are the most forceful and persistent advocates for stronger action in the transcripts. But they, too, underestimated the downturn until the final months of 2008.
The transcripts also show, however, that Fed officials responded decisively in those final months, probably preventing an even deeper recession. By the end of 2008, the Fed had reduced short-term interest rates nearly to zero for the first time since the Great Depression, and it had become a primary source of funding not just for the global financial system but for American homeowners and for companies that made food and cars.
Ms. Yellen summed up this new ethos at a Fed meeting six weeks after Lehman’s failure, telling colleagues, “Given the seriousness of the situation, I believe that we should put as much stimulus into the system as we can as soon as we can.”
In normal times, the Fed is a powerful but somnolent institution, charged with keeping a steady hand on the rudder of the economy. It moves interest rates up and down to moderate inflation and minimize unemployment. But beginning in 2007, it was forced to take on a far more challenging role as the central backstop for the global financial system.
The Fed’s understanding of the crisis, however, was clouded by its reliance on indicators that tend to miss sharp changes in conditions. The government initially estimated, for example, that the economy expanded in the first half of 2008 because it basically assumed that some economic trends, like the pace of business creation, had continued apace. The Fed also relied on economic models that assumed the existence of smoothly functioning financial markets, limiting its ability to project the consequences of a breakdown. And the outlook of Fed officials also reflected a deeply ingrained bias to worry more about the risk of inflation than the reality of rising unemployment.
As Fed officials gathered on Sept. 16 at their marble headquarters in Washington for a previously scheduled meeting, stock markets were in free fall. Housing prices had been collapsing for two years, and unemployment was climbing.
Yet most officials did not see clear evidence of a broad crisis. They expected the economy to grow slowly in 2008 and then more quickly in 2009.
The transcript for that meeting contains 129 mentions of “inflation” and five of “recession.”
Mr. Bernanke even told his colleagues that it was clear the economy had entered a downturn but that he still did not favor cutting rates.
“I think that our policy is looking actually pretty good,” he said.
That optimism would not long endure. Just minutes after the end of that first meeting, a smaller group of Fed officials agreed to rescue the faltering insurance giant the American International Group, a company never before subject to Fed supervision that until then was barely on the government’s radar.
In the succeeding weeks, as evidence of a downturn became unmistakable, the Fed would announce a seemingly endless series of programs to buttress the economy, leading Fed officials to joke about the resulting alphabet soup of acronyms.
In early October, a few weeks after the decision to stand pat, the Fed convened an unscheduled meeting to cut interest rates in an action coordinated with other major central banks.
“It’s more than obvious that we have an extraordinary situation,” Mr. Bernanke told colleagues.
“I should say that this comes as a surprise to me,” he said. “I very much expected that we could stay at 2 percent for a long time, and then when the economy began to recover, we could begin to normalize interest rates. But clearly things have gone off in a direction that is quite worrisome.”
He closed on a prescient note, telling the committee that he did not expect that monetary policy could solve the problem, but that the Fed should not be hesitant to use the tools that it had.
By the end of the year, the Fed had cut interest rates nearly to zero and started to buy mortgage bonds in a further effort to stimulate the housing market and the broader economy. More than five years later, it is still pursuing both policies even as the economic recovery remains incomplete.
Some Fed officials have argued that the Fed was blind in 2008 because it relied, like everyone else, on a standard set of economic indicators.
As late as August 2008, “there were no clear signs that many financial firms were about to fail catastrophically,” Mr. Bullard said in a November presentation in Arkansas that the St. Louis Fed recirculated on Friday. “There was a reasonable case that the U.S. could continue to ‘muddle through.’ ”
Within weeks, Mr. Bernanke also began to insist that the failure of Lehman could not have been prevented without changes in federal law. Furthermore, some officials began to argue that the importance of the failure had been overstated because the economy was already falling apart.
“The whole framing, which seems to have hardened now, that the world ended with the Lehman bankruptcy is just deeply unfair to the basic truth,” Timothy F. Geithner, then the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, said at an October meeting. “Independent of whether there was an option available at the time, the erosion in underlying economic conditions and in confidence in the future outlook was powerful and substantial going into August and early September.”
The Fed entered the year on edge. Officials did not know that the economy already was in recession, but Mr. Bernanke and his closest advisers worried that the Fed’s initial response to the financial crisis at the end of 2007 had been insufficient, and that tumbling stock prices were the beginning of a broader pullback.
Mr. Bernanke hoped to delay any action until the first scheduled meeting of 2008 in late January, but over the three-day Martin Luther King weekend, he concluded that the Fed could not wait. He convened a conference call at 6 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 21, and won agreement to cut the Fed’s benchmark interest rate 0.75 percentage point, the largest cut in more than two decades.
“The risk of a severe recession and credit crisis is unacceptably high,” Ms. Yellen said at the meeting.
Dennis Lockhart, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, said this week that the decision was an awakening. “If maybe we were a little slow to recognize what was happening, Martin Luther King weekend in January 2008 was a decisive point in terms of interest rate policy,” he said.
By early March, the Fed was moving to replace investors as a source of funding for Wall Street.
Financial firms, particularly in the mortgage business, were beginning to fail because they could not borrow money. Investors had lost confidence in their ability to predict which loans would be repaid. Countrywide Financial, the nation’s largest mortgage lender, sold itself for a relative pittance to Bank of America. Bear Stearns, one of the largest packagers and sellers of mortgage-backed securities, was teetering toward collapse.
On March 7, the Fed offered companies up to $200 billion in funding. Three days later, Mr. Bernanke secured the Fed policy-making committee’s approval to double that amount to $400 billion, telling his colleagues, “We live in a very special time.”
Finally, on March 16, the Fed effectively removed any limit on Wall Street funding even as it arranged the Bear Stearns rescue.
And then the Fed paused. By the end of April, it had cut short-term rates to 2 percent from 5.25 percent the previous September — one of the fastest falls in Fed history — and officials said they had done enough to shore up the financial system. They predicted that the economy would narrowly avoid a recession.
“I think it is very possible that we will look back and say, particularly after the Bear Stearns episode, that we have turned the corner in terms of the financial disruption that we have just experienced,” Frederic S. Mishkin, a Fed governor, said during a meeting at the end of April.
The summer passed relatively quietly. Officials began to fret about inflation. The transcripts include long conversations about when the Fed should start to raise interest rates.
“We saw growth of about 2 percent in the second quarter, which suggests a campaign slogan for the Republicans, ‘The Economy: It Could Be Worse,” Mr. Bernanke joked in early August.
But it was only the eye of the storm. By the third week of September, it was clear that Mr. Bernanke was right: Things could be worse. The financial crisis had arrived, as Ernest Hemingway once wrote of bankruptcy, “Gradually and then suddenly.”
Every time Janet L. Yellen, the chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, testifies in Congress, she can expect some senators to scoff and representatives to question.
But Washington’s critics pale next to Wall Street’s.
Since the financial crisis, the Fed has engaged in an aggressive stimulus campaign, which has helped lift stock and bond markets, greatly enriching Wall Street in the process. Even so, a surprisingly large number of investors and bankers remain deeply skeptical — and even angry — about what the Fed is doing.
Many of them believe that the central bank’s policies are causing harm — and they are confident that Ms. Yellen, who succeeded Ben S. Bernanke as chief this month and is extending his policies, will fail spectacularly.
“I don’t really like the Fed very much,” said Jeffrey E. Gundlach, chief executive of DoubleLine, an investment firm. “I wish the Fed were not manipulating the market the way it is.”
In many ways, the Fed bashing, which remains widespread and undimmed five years after the crisis, is not surprising. Financiers have always weighed in on the economic policy questions of the day. And it is in character for certain top Wall Street figures to believe they are smarter than the government employees who have the actual job of fighting unemployment.
Yet, to hear the Fed’s critics tell it, their antipathy toward the central bank is not motivated by a reflexive opposition to government intervention, but by a desire to end the big booms and busts that have hurt the economy in recent decades.
Some of them have backed progressive causes, and assert that the Fed’s policies are widening the divide between the rich and poor. “It does seem that in spite of all the rhetoric you hear, it is not stopping the polarization of wealth,” Mr. Gundlach said.
The Fed’s critics have gotten some of their biggest predictions wrong. The central bank’s stimulus did not create inflation or debase the dollar. The Fed’s supporters on Wall Street credit it with taking bold actions after the crisis that, they say, averted a terrible slump that would have made life far harder for people on lower incomes. The Fed itself has acknowledged that its easy money policies have costs as well as benefits. Fed officials have made it clear that they are on the lookout for new dangers like excessive speculation in the markets.
“I believe I am a sensible central banker and these are unusual times,” Ms. Yellen said in Congress this month.
Still, the detractors say that the Fed has learned little, and seems doomed to commit the same mistakes as in the past 30 years.
“My guess is that the Fed will play its usual game till we’re in good old-fashioned bubble territory,” said Jeremy Grantham, co-founder of GMO, an investment firm. He took particular umbrage at Ms. Yellen’s recent arguments in Congress for why the stock market is not particularly overvalued. “Either she is ignorant about the markets,” he said, “or on the other hand she is cynical and she is manipulating the market.”
One theory unites the faultfinders — and it conveniently allows them to keep issuing warnings even as the economy shows signs of strength. The critics contend that the Fed’s near-zero interest rates and its huge bond-buying programs have acted a lot like steroids, creating an artificial recovery that could wane as the Fed removes the stimulus in the coming months.
“This is the drug that masks the symptoms rather than treats the disease,” said Todd Harrison, a former hedge fund manager and the chief executive of Minyanville, an online financial media company.
One reason that low interest rates cannot create a lasting recovery, the critics said, is that cheap borrowing costs do very little when so many people are already heavily indebted. In this climate, according to the Fed’s opponents, it is wrongheaded, and perhaps futile, for the central bank to encourage people to take out more loans.
“Trying to solve an indebtedness problem by getting further into debt only compounds the problems,” said Lacy H. Hunt, chief economist of Hoisington Investment Management. “You have to clear the debt.”
Many of the Fed bashers promote alternative policies that can sound harsh. They argue that the economy would have bounced back more robustly since the financial crisis if the central bank had done less, because, they assert, capitalism works best when it is allowed to purge itself of uneconomic activity. “The economy might have snapped back a lot more strongly,” Mr. Grantham said. By intervening less, he added, the Fed “would have broken the back of moral hazard, just as Volcker did when he broke inflation,” referring to Paul A. Volcker, a former Fed chairman who pursued tough policies in the 1980s.
Though there are many Fed baiters on Wall Street, most of the financial industry has a generally favorable view of the central bank. And the Fed’s supporters shudder when they hear their peers calling on it to do less.
The Fed’s sympathizers say that it would have risked a bigger banking collapse and a depression if it had not opened the floodgates after the crisis. Short of entirely changing the way in which the global banking system operates, which simply wasn’t going to happen, there was not much else the Fed could do to keep things afloat, they say.
“The Fed has been doing what it can to stabilize this inherently unstable system, but we are still left with the system,” Tony Crescenzi, a portfolio manager at Pimco, said. In addition, defenders of the Fed argue that its policies can foster the economic conditions that enable a lightening of the country’s debt load that is not dangerously jarring. Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates, a hedge fund, calls this a “beautiful deleveraging.”
But James S. Chanos, of Kynikos Associates, a hedge fund, asserts that an important measurement of debt is actually higher than it was before the crisis.
“That beautiful deleveraging has not happened,” he said. “We are more leveraged as a society than we were in 2007 at the onset of the financial crisis.”
The longer the Fed fuels borrowing, the worse things are becoming, the critics say. Mark Spitznagel, founder of Universa Investments, a hedge fund that profited during the 2008 crash, argues that by holding down interest rates, the Fed encourages companies to take up unhealthy habits, like borrowing to fund purchases of their own shares. “That’s outrageous behavior,” he said. “The Fed has entirely forced people to do this.”
It has come to the point where the Fed’s detractors wonder whether it has fallen victim to a school of thought that can only resort to easy money policies. “Sometimes you get a groupthink around a base assumption,” David Einhorn, president of Greenlight Capital, a hedge fund, said in a speech in 2012. “We’ve reached that point here with monetary policy.” Mr. Einhorn contends that the extremely low interest rates on savings are actually depriving people of income that could substantially bolster the wider economy.
The Fed’s supporters roll their eyes when Wall Street rushes to the defense of savers. Such remarks, they say, stem from ignorance about how the economy works during periods of adjustment. For instance, Mike Konczal, a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, points out that John Maynard Keynes noted during the Great Depression that financiers expected unrealistically high returns on their capital. Testifying in Congress this month, Ms. Yellen herself said, “The rate of the return savers can expect really depends on the health of the economy.”
Still, many of the critics expect they will be proved right when, as they predict, the Fed’s policies lose their power. When that happens, a big loss of confidence will occur, which will roil the markets and the economy, they forecast. “They’ve gotten themselves boxed into a corner,” Mr. Gundlach said. Mr. Grantham said that he thought the Fed’s largess would drive stocks so high that they will become vulnerable to even the slightest nudge.
“We all feel like old-fashioned gramophone records,” he said. “It is the same old game and we keep saying the same old things.”
At one end where Obama admission is focused on cutting carbon dioxide usage, one Utah state lawmaker has argued that the country should emit more carbon into the atmosphere.
According to the Utah Republican state Rep. Jerry Anderson, there is not enough carbon in the atmosphere and “really could be much higher and give us a lot of benefit for growing plants.”
“We are short of carbon dioxide for the needs of the plants,” Anderson, who’s a retired science teacher, told state lawmakers, according to Daily Caller. “Concentrations reached 600 parts per million at the time of the dinosaurs and they did quite well. I think we could double the carbon dioxide and not have any adverse effects.”
The legislation proposed by Anderson would limit the state’s ability to regulate carbon emissions. The bill also narrows down the definition of the term “air contaminants” by adding “natural components of the atmosphere,” suggesting that carbon and others are not pollutants.
Current carbon concentration levels are at about 400 parts per million (ppm), which scientists have declared as alarming.
“Passing the 400 mark reminds me that we are on an inexorable march to 450 ppm and much higher levels,” said NASA climate scientist Dr. Michael Gunson, according to Daily Caller. “These were the targets for ‘stabilization’ suggested not too long ago. The world is quickening the rate of accumulation of CO2, and has shown no signs of slowing this down. It should be a psychological tripwire for everyone.”
Other “experts” warned that carbon levels of 500 ppm affected ocean by acidifying it.
“We are on a path to double the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere since we started burning fossil fuels. We can all see the chaotic weather that it has already produced,” said Retired University of Utah engineering professor Joe Andrade
“It’s not toxic to you and me below concentrations of 1,000 or 2,000 [parts per million], but it’s toxic to this planet,” Andrade added. “Setting an arbitrary upper limit, that is out of the bounds of anything related to planetary stability, is simply bad government.”
Men Who Vandalized Egyptian Pyramid To Prove Theory Face Charges | KPLU News for Seattle and the NorthwestAuthor: SupremePundit
By Scott Neuman
Domique Goerlitz shown in one of the pyramid’s chambers in this screen grab from their video, which has apparently been removed.
Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 2:41 pm
Two self-styled amateur archeologists from Germany, who filmed themselves scraping off pieces of Egypt’s Great Pyramid in hopes of proving that the ancient wonder was built by people from the legendary city of Atlantis, are now facing possible criminal charges in their home country.
During a trip to Egypt in April 2013, Dominque Goerlitz and Stephan Erdmann, along with a German filmmaker, were granted access to parts of the Great Pyramid at Giza that are normally off-limits to the public. They smuggled their samples back to Germany with plans to produce a documentary.
Ben Radford, writing for Live Science, says:
“The group reportedly took several items from the pyramids, including … samples of a cartouche (identifying inscription) of the pharaoh Khufu, also known as Cheops. Goerlitz and Erdmann, who are not archaeologists but have instead been described as “hobbyists,” allegedly smuggled the artifacts out of the country in violation of strict antiquities laws, according to news reports.”
The Art Newspaper says that in November “a self-posted trailer on YouTube for a documentary detailing and revealing their exploits, drew almost universal condemnation and angered Egyptian authorities. After the controversy broke, the German embassy in Cairo released a statement emphasising that neither Goerlitz nor Erdmann were associated with the embassy or the German Archaeological Institute.”
In addition to the three Germans, six Egyptians are being held in connection with the case, including several guards and inspectors from the Egyptian Antiquities Ministry who allowed the men into the pyramid, Live Science says.
The Art Newspaper writes:
“Most scholars date this mark to the pyramid’s construction in around 2500BC, while alternative theorists, including the two German researchers, have long claimed the cartouche to be a fake, painted by its discoverer, Colonel Howard Vyse in 1837 to help him secure further funding for his explorations. To prove their claims, Goerlitz and Erdmann allegedly smuggled the pigment samples from Egypt to Dresden University for further study; by proving the modernity of the pigment, they hoped to raise the possibility that the Great Pyramid was constructed by a civilization much older than the ancient Egyptians.”
In December, Goerlitz and Erdmann apologize for the vandalism in a letter addressed to Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities, “offering to pay compensation for the damage and stressing that they did not mean harm to the pyramid. Egypt’s head of antiquities, Mohamed Ibrahim, has so far rejected their apology.”
As Radford points out:
“The conspiracy theories that Goerlitz and Erdmann endorse did not appear in a vacuum; instead, they have been widely promoted by best-selling authors such as Erich von [Daniken], who wrote Chariots of the Gods? first published in 1968. Such authors claim the true builders of the pyramids were not ancient Egyptians but instead others, like extraterrestrials or residents of the legendary Atlantis.”
In honor of Valentine’s Day, I have once again updated this – one of my favorite posts – on the poisonous chemistry of chocolate.
The Latin name for the cacao tree – the tropical plant source of all things chocolate – consists of two words packed with candy-loving scientific exuberance. Theobroma cacao. It derives from the Greek words for god (theo) and food (brosi), roughly translating to “food of the gods”.
Well, sure you say. Obviously. This is chocolate, after all. Almost goes without saying. Which is why I won’t. Actually, I’m mostly trying to explain why the most potent chemical compound in chocolate – a plant alkaloid, slightly bitter in taste, surprisingly poisonous in some species – is called theobromine.
And while chocolate, as a whole, has a wonderfully seductive chemistry, this poison-obsessed blog will remain, well, obsessed. Today’s obsession is inspired by the fact that every Valentine’s season, in addition to stories about love and lace, newspapers run cautionary candy tales. The website PetMD sends out reminders about its Chocolate Toxicity Meter. And this year, the Pet Poisoning Hotline was inspired to include a warning rhyme in its Valentine’s Day tips, which goes “Roses are Red/Violets are Blue/Chocolate can be toxic/And lilies are too.”
Except for the lilies, of course, we’re talking about theobromine.
So theobromine is an alkaloid, meaning it’s part of the everyday chemistry of the plant world. Plant alkaloids are nitrogen-based, typically with with flourishes of carbon, hydrogen and occasionally other atoms such as oxygen. The recipe (or as chemists like to say, formula) for theobromine is seven carbon atoms, eight of hydrogen, four of nitrogen and two of oxygen.
And while this may sound like a recipe for the routine, alkaloids are anything but. The first plant alkaloid isolated (in 1804) was morphine from the flowering poppy. Other notable examples include cocaine (1860), nicotine (1828), caffeine (1820), strychnine (1818) and a host of pharmaceuticals including the anticancer drug Vincristine; the blood pressure medication, reserpine; and the antimalarial compound, quinine.
By this standard, theobromine discovered in cacao beans in 1841, might sound to you
like a basic wuss of the alkaloid family. It’s mostly known as a mild stimulant in humans; it contributes (along with caffeine and a few other compounds) to that famed lift that people get from eating chocolate.
There is some evidence that if people get carried away with chocolate consumption, of course, theobromine will make them a little twitchy. According to the National Hazardous Substances Database: “It has been stated that “in large doses” theobromine may cause nausea and anorexia and that daily intake of 50-100 g cocoa (0.8-1.5 g theobromine) by humans has been associated with sweating, trembling and severe headache.” Occasionally, people (mostly the elderly) have needed hospital treatment for a theobromine reaction.
But if one looks at LD50 values, it’s obvious that the alkaloid is far more threatening to other species. LD50 is an oral toxicity measurement; it refers to the dose that will kill 50 percent of a given population and is usually calculated in milligrams of poison per kilograms of body weight. The theobromine LD50 is about 1000 mg/kg in humans. But for cats it’s 200 mg/kg and for dogs it’s 300 mg/kg – in other words, dangerous at a far lower dose.
This varies, of course, by animal size and shape and breed. A few years ago, in fact, National Geographic published a fascinating interactive chart so that pet owners could search out the individual risk. The chart focuses on dogs because they are more likely than cats to eat something sweet. And it notes that theobromine is more concentrated in dark chocolates making them more dangerous than milk or “white” chocolate. The dark chocolate effects are so acute for canines, that the alkaloid has been tested with some success as a means of controlling coyote populations. (Interestingly, rats and mice are much less affected; their theobromine LD50 is much more like that found in humans.) Dogs are so sensitive though that, as the Pet Poison Hotline, notes, they’ve been poisoned by everything from cocoa mulch to cocoa powder.
The different toxicities have to do with the way different species metabolize the alkaloid; humans process it much more efficiently than canines. And in small amounts, theobromine’s effects can make it medically useful. But even here, it shows complexity. It increases heart rate and at the same time it dilates blood vessels, acting to bring down blood pressure. It can also open up airways and is under study as a cough medication. It stimulates urine production and is considered a diuretic. It interacts with the central nervous system, although not as effectively as caffeine.
At toxic levels – in a characteristic dog death, for instance – all of this adds up acute nausea, convulsions, internal bleeding and often lethal over-stimulation of the heart. WebMD tells the story of a couple who fed their poodle a full pound of Valentine’s Day chocolate; the dog was on anti-seizure medications for a full five days afterward. Another column, written by a vet, suggests rather hopefully that an evening walk is far more romantic and less likely to feature pet vomit (which she describes in revoltingly foamy detail).
We had that same foamy experience in our household in December, actually, when our dog discovered our son’s holiday stash. We all survived but the humans in the house are a lot more careful about where they leave their chocolate. And this Valentine’s Day, we’re sticking to champagne. Sure, ethanol is also a poison in its own right. But that’s a different story.
Homepage photo: kev-shine/Flickr
Deborah Blum is a Pulitzer-Prize winning science writer and the author of five books, most recently the best-seller, The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York. She writes for a range of publications including Time, Scientific American, Slate, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times (and even the literary journal, Tin House). She is currently working on a sixth book about poisonous food.
Beekeepers in the United States and Europe have documented massive honeybee losses for several years, but less has been understood about their wild counterpart, the bumblebee, which also appears to be in global decline.
American beekeepers first reported the mysterious death and disappearance of entire colonies of domesticated honeybees in 2006. Since then, apiarists have implicated multiple culprits working in concert, including pesticides, viruses, and exotic pests. It now appears that the same pathogens and pests that have befallen honeybees may also be affecting wild pollinators as well, according to a paper published online by the scientific journal Nature Wednesday.
Fibromyalgia Mystery Finally Solved!
Researchers Find Main Source of Pain in Blood Vessels
Added by Rebecca Savastio on June 20, 2013.
Saved under Health, Rebecca Savastio, U.S.
Fibromyalgia Mystery Finally Solved! Researchers Find Main Source of Pain in Blood Vessels
Researchers have found the main source of pain in Fibromyalgia patients, and contrary to what many believe, it does not stem from the brain. The findings mark the end of a decades-old mystery about the disease, which many doctors believed was conjured in patients’ imaginations. The mystery of Fibromyalgia has left millions of sufferers searching for hope in pain medications. Up until recently, many physicians thought that the disease was “imaginary” or psychological, but scientists have now revealed that the main source of pain stems from a most unlikely place- excess blood vessels in the hand.
The discovery may lead to new treatments and perhaps even a total cure in the future, bringing relief to as many as 5 million Americans thought to have the disease. To solve the Fibromyalgia mystery, researchers zeroed in on the skin from the hand of one patient who had a lack of the sensory nerve fibers, causing a reduced reaction to pain. They then took skin samples from the hands of Fibromyalgia patients and were surprised to find an extremely excessive amount of a particular type of nerve fiber called arteriole-venule (AV) shunts.
Up until this point scientists had thought that these fibers were only responsible for regulating blood flow, and did not play any role in pain sensation, but now they’ve discovered that there is a direct link between these nerves and the widespread body pain that Fibromyalgia sufferers feel.
The breakthrough also could solve the lingering question of why many sufferers have extremely painful hands as well as other “tender points” throughout the body, and why cold weather seems to aggravate the symptoms. In addition to feeling widespread deep tissue pain, many Fibromyalgia patients also suffer from debilitating fatigue.
Neuroscientist Dr. Frank L. Rice explained: “We previously thought that these nerve endings were only involved in regulating blood flow at a subconscious level, yet here we had evidences that the blood vessel endings could also contribute to our conscious sense of touch… and also pain,” Rice said. “This mismanaged blood flow could be the source of muscular pain and achiness, and the sense of fatigue which are thought to be due to a build-up of lactic acid and low levels of inflammation fibromyalgia patients. This, in turn, could contribute to the hyperactivity in the brain.”
Current treatments for the disease have not brought complete relief to the millions of sufferers. Therapies include narcotic pain medicines; anti-seizure drugs, anti-depressants and even simple advice such as “get more sleep and exercise regularly.” Now that the cause of Fibromyalgia has been pinpointed, patients are looking forward to an eventual cure. Other expressed frustration about how much they had suffered already:
“When are they ever going to figure out that things are never “all in your head?” said one commenter. “Whenever something doesn’t fit in their tiny little understanding, they belittle the patient and tell them they are crazy. People have suffered through this since they were invented. Prescribing SSRIs for everything is not the answer any more than a lobotomy or hysterectomy was.”
The announcement has the potential to unlock better future treatments and undoubtedly has patients all over the world rejoicing that the mystery of Fibromyalgia has finally been solved.
RELATED: Fibromyalgia: Proof of Physical Origins Vs. Two Danish Psychiatrists
By: Rebecca Savastio
Those who spend too much time sitting on the couch may be setting themselves up for major health risks later in life. Although recent research has linked sedentary behaviors with a number of different health risks including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality death by any cause, a new study released in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health is the first to link sedentary living with increased risk of disability. The report revealed that the likelihood of developing a life-changing physical disability is far higher for sedentary livers over the age of 60 than for their consistently physically active counterparts.Take two people, both 65 years old, with similar health profiles. The first person, who is inactive for about 12 hours a day, has a 6 percent chance of becoming disabled. The second person, who is inactive for about 13 hours a day, has a 9 percent chance of becoming disabled. Just one hour of extra sitting can increase risk of disability by 50 percent. In fact, researchers found that disability risk increased by 50 percent for every extra hour spent sitting.Interestingly, the research found that even those who participated in moderate or high activity for a small portion of the day were at risk if they participated in long periods of sedentary living. This phenomenon is referred to as the “exercising couch potato” by online health resource Healthy Living How To. The term is used for those who spend an hour or two every day engaged in physical exercise but sit for the majority of the rest of the day. The study conducted by the Journal of Physical Activity and Health is the first of its kind to suggest that sedentary livers are at an increased likelihood for developing some sort of physical disability.So how much time on the couch is too much? “That’s the $64,000 question,” said Pamela Semanik, an assistant professor at Rush College of Nursing. Semanik admits that health experts simply do not know how much sitting is okay and suggests that one way to reduce the harm of sedentary living is to take frequent breaks to move around.According to the LA Times, an estimated 5.3 million deaths are attributed to insufficient activity. As more and more health experts are beginning to believe that “sitting is the new smoking,” they are urging people of every age to get up and move their butts. Experts suggest taking at least one movement break after every hour of sitting, even if it is just for a few minutes. Other suggested anti-sedentary living activities include scheduling movement reminders throughout the day, taking exercise or standing breaks while watching television or working on the computer, and wearing activity trackers like the FitBit to ensure adequate daily movement.Sedentary livers are now being linked to more than just an increased likelihood for disability and other health risks. In late January, the The Journal of Comparative Neurology found that physical inactivity can actually shift the shape of neurons in the brain, leading to ineffective functioning of blood pressure and other internal systems. As more is discovered around the dangers of sedentary living, the message from health experts is pretty clear. Sitting sucks. Take the proper health precautions and, as Semanik put it, “Just get up and move.”By Katie BloomstromSources:
China now has one aircraft carrier, the Soviet-built Liaoning, which was refurbished in Dalian after it was acquired from Ukraine.
HONG KONG (Kyodo) — China has started to build its first domestically produced aircraft carrier in the port city of Dalian in the northeastern province of Liaoning, the Liaoning party chief said Saturday.
The online edition of the Hong Kong daily Ta Kung Pao said Liaoning communist party secretary Wang Min disclosed the project at a meeting of the provincial people’s congress.
This appears to be the first time that a Chinese official has confirmed the existence of a Chinese domestic aircraft carrier building program.
The Chinese media reported last month that China will start building an aircraft carrier in Dalian this year and another in Shanghai. But government authorities have never confirmed plans to build one in Shanghai.
Wang told the provincial people’s congress that it would take six years to finish building the aircraft carrier and the Chinese military plans to have four aircraft carriers in the future.
China currently has one aircraft carrier, the Soviet-built Liaoning, which was refurbished in Dalian after it was acquired from Ukraine.
China says the Liaoning, which was put into service in 2012, will be used for training and research as part of its plans to develop a domestic aircraft carrier building program.
Father who lost his wife and daughter weighs in on ‘affluenza’ sentence
Ethan Couch, the Texas teen who killed four people in a drunk driving crash was just sentenced to probation and rehab. He escaped a prison sentence after his lawyer called an expert witness who argued that Couch never faced any serious consequences for his actions before, and shouldn’t now. He called the condition “affluenza.” Now that same lawyer is blasting the media for the term “affluenza” going viral. Anderson is Keeping Them Honest.
Anderson discussed Ethan Couch’s sentence with Eric Boyles, whose wife and daughter were killed in the crash.
WHAT is going on?! For the second time this week, a mom has shot and killed her two children and taken her own life without so much as a warning. Kyler Ramsdell-Oliva, a 32-year-old mom from Utah, reportedly fatally shot her 13-year-old and 6-year-old daughters before turning the gun on herself in yet another brutal murder-suicide that makes absolutely no sense to most of us. All three appear gorgeous and filled with life in photos posted on Kyler’s Facebook page. According to her friends, who are leaving countless confused messages on her page, she seemed positively fine a few days ago. What would drive a mom to this point?
Kyler was in the process of breaking up with her fiance, according to reports, and her ex was actually moving his possessions out of their shared home when he heard gunshots from outside. Neighbors claim there were frequent domestic disturbances in their home, and cops were actually called to the house just one day before the murders. So it seems this couple had a rough time; it’s very possible Kyler was dealing with the emotional turmoil of her failed relationship when she pulled the trigger.
Just a few days ago, Kyler posted the following on her Facebook page:
There are always 2 sides to every story, the next time you judge someone else’s reality remember that you don’t see through their eyes and you don’t walk in their shoes. I hate people who feel its their right to come in the middle of a relationship and try to fix it or give their opinion. You aren’t in that relationship for a reason so don’t put yourself in between it. Focus on your own life and your own problems. — feeling annoyed.
As in the case of Jennifer Berman, the Florida mom who shot and killed her two teens while dealing with a bad divorce and financial issues, it’s easy to assume Kyler’s actions were the result of feeling incredibly emotional after a bad breakup. But we will never know what actually compelled her to do this. Was she suffering from an untreated mental illness?
Whatever the cause, three people, including two innocent children, have lost their lives and it is a true tragedy. I hope this mom can find some sort of peace, and I really hope we stop hearing these stories about moms committing unthinkable acts of harm to the young people in their lives who trust them most.
Why do you think a mom would kill her children and then herself?
If you or someone you know has considered suicide, please reach out to a suicide hotline. There is ALWAYS someone there who wants to listen and who will take you seriously. You can call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.
Common Infections May Lead to Poor Cognitive Functioning and Slower Memory : Trending News : University HeraldAuthor: SupremePundit
The study found that women who took off their bras for good experienced a 7mm lift in their nipples each year they didn’t wear a bra. Researchers also found that bra-less women developed firmer breasts and saw their stretch marks fade.
Teledermatology has the potential to be as effective as an in-person appointment.
“[The AAD] supports telemedicine as a means of improving access to expertise of Board certified dermatologist and increasing safety, in addition to encouraging professionalism through patient care coordination and communication between other specialties and dermatology,” the American Academy of Dermatology stated in a press release.
Eat the Rich, People taste like pork…..