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May 22, 2009



The answer to the bailout is apparently at hand! Read this and chuckle:

Good news at last for victims of Bernard Madoff’s $65 billion Ponzi scheme, the
Guardian reported. The liquidator winding up Madoff’s investment empire, Irving
Picard, has received a handsome offer for the remnants of Bernard L. Madoff
Investment Securities LLC. The downside is that the offer is for a ludicrous $100
trillion and is from a London-born gentleman of Nigerian descent named Ade
Ogunjobi, whose credibility in such matters is debatable. Ogunjobi proposes to pay
for Madoff Investment Securities using shares in his one-man company, Toks Inc.
The New York Post reports that Picard has been obliged to ask the bankruptcy judge
over seeing the wind-down of Madoff’s empire to dispense with a hearing into the
takeover offer “which would unnecessarily cause the expenditure of additional time
and resources on this matter.” Picard told the court that Ogunjobi’s proposal was
“replete with incredible and unfounded statements”, with no hard facts to back up
his initiative. Back in 2001, Ogunjobi filed paperwork with the SEC proposing that
Toks would take over Time Warner, General Electric, AT&T and Marriott
International for a combined $2 trillion. In early 2002, the SEC obtained a stop order
against Ogunjobi and Toks., finding the paperwork to be false and misleading and
prohibiting Ogunjobi from selling any securities under a registration statement.


Saletan is on very shaky ground here, because his argument could equally apply to the sacred sport of automobile racing, where the technology and engineering is as important as the driver's skill. Slippery slope and all that.

(I've never been a racing fan, and have always wondered why they don't really compare driving skill by just giving all the drivers identical cars.)


Maybe we could apply that American genius to something more significant--like how are we going to keep the Pension Benefit Guaranty operation afloat.

hit and run

That's the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Race_of_Champions>IROC, jimmy. Or was.

Fresh Air

Phelps needs to lay off the Maui-Wowie if he's going to hang another gold-plated medallion from his neck.

Thomas Collins

Is the pole vault going back to bamboo poles?

Charlie (Colorado)

Phelps needs to lay off the Maui-Wowie if he's going to hang another gold-plated medallion from his neck.

Why? He seems to have done okay so far. You don't think that was his very first bong hit.


That's the IROC, jimmy. Or was.

Thanks, I never knew about that (thus supporting my assertion that I'm not a racing fan). Interesting that it failed. I've always suspected a lot of the interest in auto racing (in addition to the crashes, of course) is the technology.

TC, the issue isn't new technology but the level of the playing field. If everyone is using the same pole, then the only way it matters is comparing current vaulters with those from the past.


--That's the IROC, jimmy. Or was.--

NASCAR and the IRL are also going or have already gone to much more standardized cars to trim costs.
Even F1 is imposing a budget cap, which has prompted Ferrari and Renault to threaten to leave F1.

--I've always suspected a lot of the interest in auto racing (in addition to the crashes, of course) is the technology.--

The glory days of all racing was when regulations were minimal and the engineers had free rein, ie:
The hemi powered winged monsters of NASCAR, the insane Porsches, McLarens and Matras etc of Can Am and Lemans, Andy Granitelli's turbines at Indy.
Now the accountants and marketers have free rein.

Jack is Back!

No sport has taken advantage of technology like golf has and now the ruling body (USGA) is rolling back the rules on "grooves" both shape and dimension. To those of you who only know golf as Tiger Woods, let me explain. The reason guys like Tiger, VJ, Phil and their ilk care less about hitting fairways but getting max distance is that no matter where they play their second shot from, no matter how thick the rough, they can still get spin on the ball and be just as accurate to the pin as the Pavins and Funks of the world who are notoriously short but accurate drivers and always in the fairway. Why can they? Because the wedges they use have sharp squared and deep grooves that with their swing speed creates incredible spin that allows the ball to stick like a rock in mud. So, now they have one more year to learn to hit the ball into the fairway because in 2010 its back to the old standard V grooves where the only way to spin the ball will be from the fairway only. Technology giveth and technology taketh.

Old Lurker

Did not know that, Jack is Back. Thanks for giving me a cocktail party tidbit I can put to good use!.

As a father who spent what? years, sitting poolside watching Lurker Daughter #1 swim varsity through college... I remember telling somebody I had just spent $X, traveled X thousands of miles and three days to go see my daughter swim for 32 seconds.

That Speedo suit would have been on her in a heartbeat had it been available then. That would have reduced my viewing to 31.5 seconds!

Seriously though, like so many other sports, the outcome is as much mental as anything else. Some of those swimmers swim faster in those suits because they believe they will swim faster in them.


The easiest way to solve the issue with high-tech costumes is to ban all costumes from swimming events. It would probably make swimming a much more popular spectator sport.

Kevin B

Personally, I can't wait for the Olympics where all the swimmers have their own gills, fins, and dolphin tails.

If biotech is that far advanced, they should be able to do something about my poor old aching knees and the sciatica that makes even sleeping a painful chore.

Sadly, my ticker will probably have ticked it's last before they manage it.

Faster please! (As I read somewhere on the interwebs.)


Interesting to me about the French and swimming, though I think any indignation is misdirected unless it is directed solely at Ben Franklin.

Just finished David Hackett Fischer's "Champlain's Dream", a bio of the Frenchman Samual Champlain's life and efforts in establishing the first permanent French colonies in the New World, especially Quebec.
Fischer says Champlain made 27 voyages across the Atlantic between 1599 and 1635 (which is amazing when you consider the Jamestowner's and Pilgrim's basically did it only once.) But what was interesting to me was that Champlain and virtually none of the rest of these amazing explorers ever learned how to swim. Instead Fischer says they just sort of had a fatalistic "My Fate is in the hands of God attitude", and that if the boat sinks, so be it. One of Champlain's best henchman/disciples needlessly drowns when his canoe tips over during a vital mission in 1634.

Apparently it was once again the amazing Ben Franklin, self taught young Boston skinny-dipping breast-stroker, who wrote books on and tried to educate the English and later, while Ambassador to France , the French, on the healthy and sensible exercise of swimming. He wrote how as a kid he had figured out how to hold a kite while floating and using that to be pulled across the water at very rapid speeds, and also how he had developed paddles for his hands to increase his propulsion through the water while doing the crawl. So while we can't lay the blame on Old Ben for teaching the Frog's how to cheat swimsuit-wise (since he recommended swimming au natural) we can still blame him for teaching them how not to drown.
Swim">http://www.livescience.com/history/060117_ben_franklin.html">Swim Fin's Link.

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