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September 30, 2008

Most repulsive TV commercial of the year

And that's saying something.

There are some where I just mute the TV, others that force me to close my eyes as well and then there's this one, which makes me wish I'd never been born.

Ugh.

Does any man really decide to buy Old Spice Double Impact Body Wash after watching it?

Hard to believe.

September 30, 2008 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Skeleton Bones Halloween Socks

Hjijijoij

From the website:

    Skeleton Bones White Halloween Socks

    Go skinless with this amusing design and learn the real names for your big toe, shin bone and more.

    The bones in your lower leg and foot are shown on knee-length socks, and soles show reflex points.

    70% acrylic/25% cotton/5% elastic.

    Adult-sized.

....................

$19.95.

[via Milena]

September 30, 2008 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Post-Romantic — by James Richardson

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Now that it's over
between me and Nature
I like her better.
We've given up
senseless fear,
useless hope.
She's got herself together.

Just hanging on, but trim,
surprising, capable,
she shows, toward evening,
some of the old flashes.
If her solitudes,
amazed and kind,
can't be mine,
or her gaze of waters
stirs others,
no harm done.
She's on her own.

And don't misunderstand:
it's not yearning,
but the old courtesy
of life for life,
when sometimes, often,
out for nothing,
I stop for a minute
to hear our songs
high up, crossing.
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September 30, 2008 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

World's lightest — and most expensive — bicycle wheel

Jjij

Pictured above, it's the Lew Racing Pro VT-1 eight-spoke carbon-fiber front wheel (most super-lightweight wheels have 16 spokes).

Not recommended for use by people weighing over 165 pounds.

$5,000 (custom-order only).

[via the New York Times]

September 30, 2008 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

'42% of teenagers claim they can text blindfolded'

You could look it up.

No wonder I feel old: I can barely do it with my eyes open.

Pete Gustin, the guy texting in the video up top, is legally blind.

I love how some of his commenters scoff and tell him he's faking.

Huh.

I know who some of those people are 'cause they stop by to hate on me from time to time.

I guess that's the price of doing business online, what?

September 30, 2008 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Hanna Montana Lip Gloss Compact

Kopopkp

From the website:

    Hannah Montana Lip Gloss Compact

    Hannah Montana Lip Gloss Compact is a crowd pleaser.

    The guitar-shaped case holds bubblegum-flavored gloss in two shades of delicious pink.

    The star’s fans will love this set that also includes an applicator brush tucked into its own tube of glittered finishing gloss, a guitar pick and an official Hannah Montana pin.

    4-¾” long.

....................

Batteries not included.

Wait a minute....

$8.98.

September 30, 2008 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Gretchen Morgenson talks — is anyone listening?

Ggyg

Ms. Morgenson, assistant business and financial editor and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist at the New York Times is, in my opinion, one of the very best writers on business and finance in the English-speaking world.

As such, I was thrilled to see the Times give her article on the sudden implosion of Lehman Brothers and A.I.G. pride of place as the lead story on the front page of this past Sunday's paper. (It appeared online the previous day.)

And it was full of juice, so much so that I expected yesterday's papers to be full of references to the astonishing facts she brought to light.

Imagine my surprise, then, when a close reading of my usual load of pressed dead trees yielded nary a mention of what she revealed that had been, up to then, pretty much out of general view and hidden under various rocks.

    From the Times article:

    Two weeks ago, the nation’s most powerful regulators and bankers huddled in the Lower Manhattan fortress that is the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, desperately trying to stave off disaster.

    As the group, led by Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr., pondered the collapse of one of America’s oldest investment banks, Lehman Brothers, a more dangerous threat emerged: American International Group, the world’s largest insurer, was teetering. A.I.G. needed billions of dollars to right itself and had suddenly begged for help.

    The only Wall Street chief executive participating in the meeting was Lloyd C. Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, Mr. Paulson’s former firm. Mr. Blankfein had particular reason for concern.

    Although it was not widely known, Goldman, a Wall Street stalwart that had seemed immune to its rivals’ woes, was A.I.G.’s largest trading partner, according to six people close to the insurer who requested anonymity because of confidentiality agreements. A collapse of the insurer threatened to leave a hole of as much as $20 billion in Goldman’s side, several of these people said.

    Days later, federal officials, who had let Lehman die and initially balked at tossing a lifeline to A.I.G., ended up bailing out the insurer for $85 billion.

    Their message was simple: Lehman was expendable. But if A.I.G. unspooled, so could some of the mightiest enterprises in the world.

    A Goldman spokesman said in an interview that the firm was never imperiled by A.I.G.’s troubles and that Mr. Blankfein participated in the Fed discussions to safeguard the entire financial system, not his firm’s own interests.

    Goldman Sachs was a member of A.I.G.’s derivatives club, according to people familiar with the operation. It was a customer of A.I.G.’s credit insurance and also acted as an intermediary for trades between A.I.G. and its other clients.

    Few knew of Goldman’s exposure to A.I.G. When the insurer’s flameout became public, David A. Viniar, Goldman’s chief financial officer, assured analysts on Sept. 16 that his firm’s exposure was “immaterial,” a view that the company reiterated in an interview.

    Later that same day, the government announced its two-year, $85 billion loan to A.I.G., offering it a chance to sell its assets in an orderly fashion and theoretically repay taxpayers for their trouble. The plan saved the insurer’s trading partners but decimated its shareholders.

    Lucas van Praag, a Goldman spokesman, declined to detail how badly hurt his firm might have been had A.I.G. collapsed two weeks ago. He disputed the calculation that Goldman had $20 billion worth of risk tied to A.I.G., saying the figure failed to account for collateral and hedges that Goldman deployed to reduce its risk.

    Regarding Mr. Blankfein’s presence at the Fed during talks about an A.I.G. bailout, he said: “I think it would be a mistake to read into it that he was there because of our own interests. We were engaged because of the implications to the entire system.”

    Mr. van Praag declined to comment on what communications, if any, took place between Mr. Blankfein and the Treasury secretary, Mr. Paulson, during the bailout discussions.

    A Treasury spokeswoman declined to comment about the A.I.G. rescue and Goldman’s role. The government recently allowed Goldman to change its regulatory status to help bolster its finances amid the market turmoil.

...................

In case you missed it:

"The only Wall Street chief executive participating in the meeting was Lloyd C. Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, Mr. Paulson’s former firm."

"A Goldman spokesman said in an interview ... that Mr. Blankfein participated in the Fed discussions to safeguard the entire financial system, not his firm’s own interests."

"The government recently allowed Goldman to change its regulatory status to help bolster its finances amid the market turmoil."

I guess they must think we really are stupid to simply accept whatever we're told.

But surprise — Congress yesterday refused to drink the Paulson/Goldman Kool-Aid ... maybe, just maybe, those who voted against it had as much trouble swallowing as I did.

FunFact: Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. joined Goldman Sachs in 1974, rising to become CEO from 1994 to 1998 and adding the chairmanship in 1999, leaving in 2006 to take over the Treasury Department.

FunFact #2: Robert Rubin, Treasury Secretary under President Bill Clinton and intimately involved in the current bailout effort, worked at Goldman Sachs for 26 years, ultimately rising to Co-Chairman.
....................

Stop Press

This just in at 1:03 p.m. today:

"Mr. Gingrich then capped his tepid endorsement with a call for Mr. Paulson's resignation, saying that 'having a former chairman of Goldman Sachs preside over disbursing hundreds of billions of dollars to Wall Street is a terrible concept and inevitably will lead to crony capitalism and the appearance of — if not the actual existence of — corruption.'"

You could look it up.

September 30, 2008 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

World's first sangria pitcher with integrated ice pocket

Kpkpjkpoikjk_2

Clever.

From the website:

    Hand-Blown Glass Pitcher with Ice Pocket

    Designed by artisans in Mexico, this unique pitcher features an innovative ice pocket designed to keep drinks cool without watering them down.

    Handcrafted from blown glass and accented with a cobalt blue rim.

    Perfect for sangria, lemonade or iced coffee.

    6.25"Ø x 10.5"H.

    60 oz. capacity.

$49.95.

September 30, 2008 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

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