2008 — 3 October: Friday

Tonight's picture is of Christa in the sunlounge in Old Windsor, some time in the late 1970s:

Christa in the Old Windsor sunlounge, late 1970s

There's an interesting piece here that suggests we should look back, not to the Wall Street crash of 1929, but a bit further back to "the real great depression" of 1873. I don't suppose many people will, though, as the only solid lesson from history is that we learn nothing from history. Snippet:

The echoes of the past in the current problems with residential mortgages trouble me. Loans after about 2001 were issued to first-time homebuyers who signed up for adjustable rate mortgages they could likely never pay off, even in the best of times. Real-estate speculators, hoping to flip properties, overextended themselves, assuming that home prices would keep climbing. Those debts were wrapped in complex securities that mortgage companies and other entrepreneurial banks then sold to other banks; concerned about the stability of those securities, banks then bought a kind of insurance policy called a credit-derivative swap, which risk managers imagined would protect their investments... As in 1873, a complex financial pyramid rested on a pinhead.

Scott Reynolds Nelson in The Chronicle Review

Bob Dylan's latest theme time radio hour is just signing off with "Sam Stone", but not the John Prine version. Powerful stuff. G'night, at 00:01ish!

Science: the Ig Nobel art... dept.

I see we've done well at this year's Ig Nobel prizes. I liked the award for chemistry. Details here. Perhaps our weather forecasters deserve one, too? Where's all that rain we were confidently promised? The sun is still shining away up there at 08:43.

By the way, did you know you can get "Armor (sic) of God" pyjamas? Monitus es! My co-pilot responded by sending me a link to the following very weird place. Thanks, Peter.

The ignoble art of supplies shopping is now beckoning. Breakfast is loaded, but the crockpot is now empty. I have time enough to nip out before Len shows up for lunch, but must (of course) first change out of my Godly jim-jams! It's bright, cold, and windy out there. 10:45 — my, how Time flies. Right, gotta dash.

Friday night...

... is, undeniably, music night. Though how it suddenly became 20:09 is a little mysterious. Shopping was shopped. I couldn't buy my usual single parsnip, so I opted for a mixed veg pack which also contains a swede or a turnip, or maybe a coated tennis ball. We shall see. Lunch was lunched (at the Bridge) — my turn again next time, Len. And Dave H (should you read this) j'accuse you of having my Boston Legal season #2 DVDs. Time they came home to Papa, don't you think? Afternoon tea was tead at Poppies — my turn again next time, Peter. Evening meal was heated and consumed about 30 minutes ago, and there's a cuppa cooling its heels somewhere...