Friday, October 10, 2008

Silly? Stupid? Or The End Of The World?

I haven't done a news round up in a while and that freakazoid Gizmo is frightening people, so I figured why not?

1. This article is pretty useless, but I always enjoy when AP writers pepper their accounts of financial turmoil with references to The Princess Bride. Yes, I know. "Pit of despair" in the headline could be a fluke. But his second sentence begins, "It almost seems inconceivable…" Clearly not a coincidence. Don't waste your time looking for more though. It's just the two. I like to think the original draft was full of references to the markets being only MOSTLY dead, etc., but they were later slashed by a humorless editor.

By the way, the ban on short selling was lifted yesterday. Had it been lifted sooner, or I dunno, NEVER INSTITUTED AT ALL!, the major indexes would likely be higher because those few brief bounces could've easily turned into short squeezes like they normally do in markets free of micromanagement. But hey, I'm sure those upstanding people at the SEC know what they're doing. Or if not, then surely the bastards heroes at the Treasury. Or maybe the Fed. Right?

UPDATE: You may or may not have noticed the markets opened down today, waaaay down, possibly much of it caused by a rush of short sellers. But as of now (10:20AM) the markets have recovered somewhat (the NASDAQ is positive), probably caused by a rush of short sellers locking in their profits which they can only do by BUYING. There's no guarantee the markets will stay up. They'll probably go right back down. But now people have MADE SOME FRIGGIN MONEY! which they can use to buy stuff. Or lose on the next trade, I guess. But at least they've got a choice.

2. Here's the headline: 12-Foot Burmese Python Found Near Jupiter

Space faring snakes? Amazing! No, not really. Jupiter's a town. But while we're on the subject, here's a related story about the wonderful unintended benefits of living near jerkoffs who are too cool for cats and dogs.

3. As a guy, I hesitate to laugh at this one. But take a look at her mug shot, then read the caption below it. She seems very proud. Or possibly she's still drunk. Either way, it's damned funny. In a way that makes me involuntarily cross my legs.

4. 9-Foot Dolphin Leaps Into Boat And Knocks Woman Unconscious!

Where, oh where do I go with this one? So many possibilities. Let's start with my favorite line from the article:

The chance of a dolphin jumping into a boat is 1 in 3,000,000, Local 6 reported.

Local 6 did not report, however, where they got that number so I have to assume they made it up. But that's irrelevant because the mere act of laying down odds implies randomness. You wouldn't say the chance of an intelligent thinking human being jumping onto the hood of your moving car is 1 in 3,000,000, would you? Of course not.

The best part about this (aside from no one being seriously injured) was watching the local TV news anchors trying to come to grips with this story. You could see the gears grinding in their heads.

Well that's a... a... strange... story.

Yes, Bob, definitely... strange...

Hey, aren't dolphins supposed to be smar--

And here's Dan Ebersol with sports.

The flip side of course is that it wasn't random, but an intentional, calculated move by a super intelligent being. Oddly, I haven't seen that explanation being proffered.


Sarah Laurenson said...

That woman seems very happy about burning her hubby. Maybe the drunkeness accounts for it. Maybe.

And the dolphin is much more intelligent than the idiot humans. The one article I read talked about blood all over the woman it landed on, but they continued their journey until she started talking about not feeling well. Then, and only then, did the men decide they should turn around and get her medical attention. Are we sure it was a dolphin?

Sarah Laurenson said...

Financial Armegeddon?

I think it's the whole politics of fear biting them in the butt. They've been pushing fear for so long - and it's worked so well - that when they most need people to not panic and be afraid, it's not working.

That snowball is nearing the gates of hell.

blogless troll said...

Sarah, ha! That's true. They were near New Smyrna when it happened, which is where Bert Fish Medical Center is--right on the intercoastal where they were. Then they went south by boat to Edgewater and an hour or two later she had to be transported back north to New Smyrna.

blogless troll said...

Oh, and as far as the financial armageddon? Here it comes. The supposed incompetence of those who know better is a useful story.

Natalie said...

Oh man, they look on that woman's face is priceless!

And I like your theory on the dolphins. That makes MUCH more sense.

ChrisEldin said...

Dolphins should be in charge of the Treasury. That's what I getting from your post....

And that woman--was she really that drunk? She had to boil the water first, right? Or did it come from the tap?

blogless troll said...

Natalie, I'm going to interpret that as an enthusiastic "MUCH" completely devoid of sarcasm. Thanks!

Chris, yeah she was drunk and she boiled the water. I'm sure she meant to do it. Dolphins running the Treasury...probably couldn't make it any worse.

pacatrue said...

I keep imagining very serious news shows flipping to the Congressional testimony about the trillion dollar bail-out from Secretary Pflipperson, who is a dolphin simply going eh-eh-eh-eh-eh (those are the typical dolphin sounds) and someone tosses him a fish at the end.

I think it's funnier in my head. Because it's really funny in there.

pjd said...

Wait... wait... people pay for roaches? And someone actually breeds them and gets money for this? This must be the easiest gig in the world. Forget selling apples or pencils on street corners. Roaches, baby. I'm putting my 401(k) (which has now become a 1.99(k) thanks to the market) into roach futures.

And that guy in the Princess Bride article, right at the end. He should have bought 900 shares of Lilly, not Pfizer. Pfizer's big product is Viagra. Lilly sells Prozac. Which do you think is going to get more play in a major economic downturn? Or maybe he's hoping for a big bump from the losing candidate's endorsement, just like Bob Dole in 1996.

Finally, I dispute the 1 in 3,000,000 figure. Are they saying that one time out of every three million that someone gets in a boat, a dolphin jumps on board? It must happen every few months, then. Why would it be such big news now?

And I just have to add that no matter who wins the election, Princess Bride is still one of the best movies ever.

blogless troll said...

Paca, put glasses on Secretary Pflipperson and I'm right there with you.

Pete, at first I thought it was one out every three million times a dolphin jumps in the air it lands in a boat, but I arrived at the same conclusion you did. Unless it's per dolphin. Honestly, I think the dolphins gave them that stat.

writtenwyrdd said...

I am forced to presume that the slight and enigmatic smile on the mouths of dolphins was missing on the dolphin in question. He was likely suicidal.