Saturday, January 19, 2013

Saturday Morning

Quite cold in Boston area; bright sunny day, no precipitation; almost no snow on ground, and what there is dirty and left over from earlier snowfall.

WSJ Links

Section D (Off Duty): later

Section C (Review): 
Book review, The Fall of the House of Dixie, Bruce Levine -- uprooting the plantations. This would have been of little interest to me except our older granddaughter is reading several books on the Civil War and this would be "right up her alley," as we used to say.

Section B (Business & Finance):

"Cosmopolitan readers can get their first year's subscription to the print magazine for $10. But if they want the digital edition on their iPads, they will have to fork over $19.99." The WSJ writer seems surprised. Not surprising at all. One would think a business reporter would get it. Perhaps that's just the lede to get your attention. I will finish the article later.

US oil sector notches historic annual gusher.
U.S. oil production grew more in 2012 than in any year in the history of the domestic industry, which began in 1859, and is set to surge even more in 2013. 
Daily crude output averaged 6.4 million barrels a day last year, up a record 779,000 barrels a day from 2011 and hitting a 15-year high, according to the American Petroleum Institute, a trade group. 
It is the biggest annual jump in production since Edwin Drake drilled the first commercial oil well in Titusville, PA, two years before the Civil War began. 
The U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts 2013 will be an even bigger year, with average daily production expected to jump by 900,000 barrels a day.
And folks said the Bakken was hyped. A lot of opportunities were missed by some who thought that.

Disney's Igor's pay to >$40 million; I believe the JP Morgan CEO pay was cut in half, to around $11 million (from memory; could be way wrong).

Cattle prices decline on Cargill move.
Live-cattle prices fell to a two-month low, extending a selloff after Cargill Inc. unveiled plans on Thursday to close a major beef-processing plant amid tight supplies.
Cargill's decision to shut its Plainview, Texas, facility is a sign of weakened demand for cattle in the face of record prices stemming from drought in the central U.S.
Claiming the home-office deduction just got a whole simpler: $5.00/square foot. 

Intel's spending may not compute. It will be interesting to look back a year or so from now, and see whether the decline in PC sales was temporary or a new trend.

Section A:
The all-important page 3: Another example of ObamaCare defining the new US standard for a workweek: health law pinches colleges; some schools cut hours of hard -pressed adjuncts to avoid rules on insurance. The official work week in the US: 29 hours. Next: more articles on outsourcing. From the linked article:
The federal health-care overhaul is prompting some colleges and universities to cut the hours of adjunct professors, renewing a debate about the pay and benefits of these freelance instructors who handle a significant share of teaching at U.S. higher-education institutions.
The Affordable Care Act requires large employers to offer a minimum level of health insurance to employees who work 30 hours a week or more starting in 2014, or face a penalty. The mandate is a particular challenge for colleges and universities, which increasingly rely on adjuncts to help keep costs down as states have scaled back funding for higher education. 
Most of these folks, I'm sure, were Obama supporters and ObamaCare supporters.

Cue up Connie Francis.

Backlog of gun checks stalls Colorado buyers.

Bones of contention over final resting place of Richard III.

Boeing's flying laptop needs a reboot.
An Aviation Week blogger said it most precisely: The Federal Aviation Administration is requiring fixes to be made to the Dreamliner's battery system before Boeing's state-of-the-art jet will be allowed to fly again. The only problem is that neither the FAA nor Boeing has identified a problem or a way of fixing it.
I remember when their reports of some Toyota models having problems with unexplained acceleration: "everyone" finally agreed to accept the "poorly designed floor mat" as the problem. Maybe Boeing and the FAA will find something analogous with the Dreamliner. But at least we're still all turning off our electrical devices when taking off/landing on a commercial airliner.

The sports page: yet another article on Lance Armstrong. Considering all the "good" news out there and all the uplifting sports stories out there, this seems trivial. Huge photo of Armstrong on bike. Most interesting: one has to give credit to the phlebotomists and other medical personnel over the years who administered to Lance Armstrong and the other bikers. They wear very little clothing (unlike football players, NASCAR drivers) and it's pretty much impossible to hide bruising in the antecubital fossae and other places on the body where they would be accessing veins. I don't recall any band aids or bandages over any of their extremities when the races began. I suppose some of the doping was done well in advance to allow the bruising time to go away, but still, with all the photographers 24/7 one would think that someone would have caught something. So, lots of credit to the medical personnel for their skill in minimizing bruises when administering the drugs.

1 comment:

  1. "Edwin Drake drilled the first commercial oil well in Titusville, PA, two years before the Civil War began.

    IIRAC, I recently read this elsewhere.

    A neighbor of Drake dug a gas well. 100 feet. Then he dropped in dynamite to frac it.

    The first frac job.

    anon 1

    It might even be true.