Saturday, October 10, 2009
And there the magazine is now, staring at you, simply; mocking you as you wait on the checkout line, because if you need a magazine to tell you how to live simply, you’re too far gone.
It is not just a Gift to be Simple. It is now a necessity.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Actually, he can't handle a lot below the surface.) For women, the ceiling then wasn't glass for women-it was concrete and only a few could break through. [Some did break through, though, in real life, most notably perhaps Mary Wells Lawrence. She was the first international advertising superstar and highest paid female executive. Take a look at her bio in Ad Age http://adage.com/century/people019.html and another article in USA Today http://www.usatoday.com/money/covers/2002-05-03-wells-lawrence.htm (The Alka-Seltzer mention in Mad-Men--she is the one who came up with the slogan for it.) ] You can see the nascent emergence of the late beatnik/early hippie movements and their avant-garde ideas. But it is clear that the advertising world, like the real planet, had to start changing, and the series reflects that. The Volkswagen ad was one of the first, if not the first, ironic ads. The ad business started to evolve --some shops more slowly than others---with the changing attitudes. There probably will be some soap tricks in the second season, like Campbell wanting to finding the son he had with Peggy-and doesn't know about yet-because let's see, he and his wife will find they either cannot have children or they will lose a baby. Or something. And odds are that Joan gets her consciouness raised.
In any case, the series manages to entertain while giving a glossy glimpse into 1960's business attitudes and habits.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
What exactly is not clear about making health care accessible to people who need it? The system definitely is broken and most assuredly needs to be fixed. Sure, anything government gets its hands on often comes out looking like it was designed by a committee of seagulls in the middle of a hurricane. But we need a start. We really do.
Let’s hope Congress remembers long term care for the disabled—remember them? They are among us and usually end up getting pushed out of the health care roulette wheel just when more time and care might help them improve their lives. And it’s one thing to have the system; it is another to get doctors, etc, to accept it.
We think that one of the reasons that health care reform is being pressed so urgently at this time is that some of us can see the pandemic H1N1 flu barreling right for us in the fall. Doesn’t matter that it has started slowly and without too much drama. This virus is an unknown for the most part and a lot of people are going to be affected in some way. Having a comprehensive health care system in place is going to be a necessity.
Make sure your representatives know how you feel. And Make sure you know how you feel and why.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
It does seem that way. Certainly no one wants to make the mistakes of a previous administration, from uttering the cringing C word to meddling in another country’s politics. But when does a religiously political (politically religious?) decree become a human rights violation? Even with news coverage blackouts, how different this is from 1979, when the pendulum swung the other way. Even tough it is hard to really know what is going on images are getting through.
Waiting to comment early on was the smart thing to do. But now, not commenting might appear to be condoning. It really is time to step up.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Reality television shows. Whose reality? Sure, producers and networks love 'em because they are cheaper than creations that use writers and actors and an actual thought process (usually).
Be obnoxiously inconsiderate of your circle of humanity and you are rewarded with 15 minutes of speculation about having your own reality show. And often, with a show.
There is something unreal about Reality T.V. . It is a type of pornography.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
The Internet, of course, is what makes this recession (if that’s what this depressing state of affairs is) different from the others. We learn about possibilities, scenarios—worst-case, best-case, disaster, etc—as soon as the theories leap from someone’s keyboard or mouth. There is a race to see who can get what information that has even a remote possibility of being something new—out there the quickest. Then wait a nanosecond for a reaction and then go on to the next exclusive. Now, this is how news gets publicized, and that’s the way it works, of course. But when it comes to markets and investors, each nuance can have an echo effect, or even an aftershock, that can actually cause what has been predicted. At least, that’s what we heard the past few months. And it is a bit unsettling.
Internet use has, obviously, been growing. Leading up to and during the 1990-1992 recession, the Internet didn’t play an important a role in the dissemination of information, misinformation and rumor, as it does today. According to Pew Internet and American Life, in mid 1995 about 14% of people in the U.S. were online. During the recession of 2001-2003, which was the result of the dotcom bubble burst, about 60% of people in the U.S. used the Internet. That 60% pretty much was a plateau of sorts during the period from Aug-Sept 2001 thru Feb 2004, with only a slight increase, followed by a small dip and then a rise to around 75% by the end of 2007.) http://www.pewinternet.org/trends/Internet_Adoption_3.18.08.pdf And here we are today drenched in as much information we can get.
And how to know if we really are a recession? It used to be that we had to wait for the official word from the National Bureau of Economic Research to tell us. They are still the official arbiters but now, we have almost as much information as they do. Whether that is good or bad, depends on what we do with it, I guess.
[Thank you to Aaron Smith, Research Specialist with the Pew Internet and American Life Project based in Washington, D.C. for providing us with the Internet use data.]
Monday, February 9, 2009
An effortless way to find out what the closing price was for a security on any given day is to go to http://bigcharts.marketwatch.com/ or http://www.marketwatch.com/ . There you can enter the symbol for the security, the day it was purchased and then find the closing price on that date.
This is helpful information you’ll need when it comes to filling out those Schedule D forms.