Daily Archives: March 13, 2013

On the 700 billion dollar blank check

That’s more or less what the Congress gave the Secretary of the Treasury (Paulson, under President Bush), in order to save the economy when it was threatening to crash and burn in the fall of 2008. Here’s the Text of Draft Proposal for Bailout Plan (NYTimes.com).

Basically it gives Paulson the ability to buy any mortgate-related asset from anyone for any amount up to $700B. It’s a remarkable document. Read it just to see how much leeway Paulson had. It’s astounding.

How to: in 1 shopping trip, buying just 10 ingredients, make 5 meals (by Mark Bittman, no less)

I think this article should be printed and referred to by anyone who needs to simplify their lives but still needs to grocery shop and prepare meals for the week. And just what are these ingredients?

Chicken breasts (4 boneless)
Bacon (1/2 pound)
Shrimp (1 pound)
Spinach (1 pound)
Tomatoes (6)
Asparagus (2 pounds)
Button mushrooms (1 pound)
Loaf of good country bread

Sound good? Go to The 10-Ingredient Shopping Trip – NYTimes.com and get the details.

The next pope will be Archibishop Angelo Scola

How do I know this? Easy! I went to Data Paradigms – Data, data, data! and looked at this chart.

And yes, it is hard to read: you will need to go to that site or here (Next Pope) to play around with the prediction tool. Let’s see. It says the top five candidates are Scola (Italy), Ouellet (Canada), Scherer (Brazil), Turkson (Ghana) and Bertone (Italy).  I will be surprised if it isn’t one of those.

Data Centres – a peak inside (for those of you who like that sorta thing)

For those who like looking into data centres, there’s this: Search Me – The New York Times > Magazine > Slide Show. I think data centres are mysterious things for many people, which accounts for the fascination with them. Once you’ve been in as many as I have, though, they seem pretty straightforward, despite the visual complexity.

Of all the photos in that spread, this is my favorite:

You may think this is far fetched, but you’d be surprised how people will randomly hit buttons in data centres.