log (2008/10/03 to 2008/10/09)

Hello again!

First a piece of weblog-community business: would long-time reader F, whose email address used to (but does no longer) start with "u1", give me your current one in the comment box, or send me mail at dmchess on gmail dot com or chess on davidchess dot com? I don't seem to have a working email address for you, and I feel terrible for having dropped my end of the conversation the other year.

Readers should also see the talking place for some rousing discussion about my gut reactions the other day.

Speaking of which, that $700B bailout sure worked great to calm down the markets, didn't it? Woo-woo!

It's so odd to see these guys making inflammatory predictions of doom and gloom, showing up on teevee to say how awful everything is, and all. Can you imagine Greenspan doing anything remotely like that? In fact, let's:

Where there's smoke

Scenario: someone's forgotten a pan of eggs on the stove, and they've started to smoke.

Alan Greespan: wrinkles his nose slightly. As a result the family looks up from their newspapers with alarm, and go and turn off the stove.

Ben Bernanke: screams "Oh my God, oh my God!", runs into the kitchen and throws a handy bucket of gasoline over the stove, while Hank Paulson shouts "We're all gonna die!" and makes emergency calls to the police, fire, ambulance, coast guard, and army, demands that the Governor declare martial law, and also persuades the family to withdraw the children from college and set fire to the dining room "to create a firebreak". Bernanke waves his arms over his head, hysterically wailing "Calm down, everyone calm down, oh my God!!".

And I apologize for being All Current Events All The Time these days, but while we're here, did everyone catch this imaginary talk show last night?

Casey: But it's not just Obama's positions on abortion and the war; we're overlooking the most important part of Obama's position that bothers people. Jenny, why do you think that, despite everything, Obama is still, to put it bluntly, black?

Lewis: You're absolutely right, Adam. This is one place where he's completely bucking history and the focus groups. History shows: no candidate has ever won the presidental race if he was still black on Election Day.

Upton: So do you think he'll change his position?

Casey: He's shown no sign of it so far.

Lewis: That's right, Adam, he's held the line here. I think he doesn't want to be seen as a flip-flopper.

Casey: The Dreamland factor?

Lewis: Yes, the last public figure to switch positions on blackness was Michael Jackson, and you know Obama doesn't want to put that into people's minds.

Casey: But still...

Upton: He must know it's going to hurt him in November. Don't you think the party's got to be putting on some pressure, behind the scenes?

Casey: So why do you think he's staying there, on the black thing?

Lewis: It could be that, deep down, he feels he's really black.

Upton: So you think it's a matter of principle?

Lewis: Yeah, principle. That and skin-color.

Casey: Okay, that's all we've got time for tonight, thanks alot!

Upton: Thanks, Adam.

Lewis: Always a pleasure

An interesting point.

Bill points out that "Somebody has created a nice markov-model based Palin answer generator".

And finally, buried under all the sturm und drang, rocket ships!

HAWTHORNE, CA -- September 28, 2008 -- Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) announces that Flight 4 of the Falcon 1 launch vehicle has successfully launched and achieved Earth orbit. With this key milestone, Falcon 1 becomes the first privately developed liquid fuel rocket to orbit the Earth.


(Has a privately developed solid fuel rocket orbited the Earth previously?)