As you know, the Saudis based their budget on $60 oil for calendar year 2016 (that budget would have been set back in 2015). I've run the numbers several times, and the only way we get to $60 oil as an average for the year is getting to $80 by the end of summer and then holding through the rest of the year.
RBN Energy: impact of the current natural gas storage surplus on summer prices.
Schlumberger cuts another 2,000 jobs; full-scale industry meltdown. Link here.
Sears to close another 78 stores. Link here.
Norfolk Southern reports surprise profit. Link here. Norfolk Southern Corp. on Thursday reported a surprise 25% profit jump in the first quarter, less than two weeks after Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. abandoned its nearly $30 billion pursuit of the rail transportation company.
Sun Edison finally files for bankruptcy protection. Reuters is reporting.
The Katie Ledecky Page
Katie Ledecky is the youngest person on the Time 100 list of world's most influential people. Link here at nbcolympics.
Katie Ledecky is the youngest person named to the Time 100 list of most influential people in the world, joining the largest contingent of Olympians since the list's 2004 debut. The other "titans" Ledecky was grouped with include notable names like Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg, Dwayne Johnson and Pope Francis.
"I never thought I would see one person win the 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle in the same World Championships, which is exactly what Katie did last summer," four-time Olympic gold medalist Janet Evans wrote in her piece on Ledecky, referencing what later became known as the "Ledecky slam." "And even more impressive, she did it as an 18-year-old."Note the sponsor in the photo at this link; pretty nice. Katie Ledecky named to Time magazine's "most influential people," where she joins Tim Cook (Apple) for this prestigious honor.
Time divides the 100 into five groups: pioneers (e.g., Caitlyn Jenner); Titans (e.g., Tim Cook and Pope Francis); artists (e.g., Mark Rylance, VEEP); leaders (e.g., Vladimir Putin); and, icons (e.g. Jordan Spieth and Leonardo DiCaprio).
Amazingly, and appropriately, Katie is a TITAN. In Game of Thrones, Titans are at the top. By the way, did you notice that Prince did not make the list of icons -- the list was developed well before his death was announced.
Look at the full list (at the last link) and note the folks who did not make the list, but Katie did. That's what is most impressive. There are very few athletes on the list, including Stephen Curry, Jordan Spieth, and the Rock. DiCaprio made the list but George did not. Cruz made the list but the GOP front runner did not. This will make my wife furious: Lester Holt made the list; David Muir did not -- I agree that Lester Holt is the correct pick. The smartest woman on talk television, Rachel, did not make the cut, nor did many western European leaders (one exception: Hollande).
Most surprisingly, Barack Obama did not make the list. That speaks volumes. Vladimir Putin did.
The Literature Page
Book review in The Wall Street Journal, April 21, 2016, Ghetto by Mitchell Duneier, c. 2016. The review begins:
This year marks the 500th anniversary of the creation of the world’s first ghetto.
In March 1516, Venice’s Christian authorities created a segregated neighborhood where Jews were locked up at night and strictly controlled in their movements by day. The area chosen was a disused metal foundry, called in Italian a getto, which gave its name to one of the modern world’s most notorious urban spaces.
The anniversary provides added poignancy to Mitchell Duneier’s brilliant “Ghetto: The Invention of a Place, the History of an Idea,” which, as its title suggests, traces the history of this most complex and divisive of terms all the way from 16th-century Venice to 20th- and 21st-century urban ghettos in Chicago and Harlem. The ghetto’s story is a largely unedifying history of humanity’s ability to separate and demonize others based on religion and race, and Mr. Duneier recounts it with admirable tact and sensitivity.
He points out that the early ghettos in Italy, especially the first Venetian example, allowed Jewish culture a certain internal autonomy that enabled it to flourish within prescribed limits and also offered a safe haven from the endemic persecution and pogroms that regularly swept late medieval and Renaissance Europe.
As the ghettos began to fall in the 19th-century era of emancipation, the definition of the ghetto began to shift. No longer simply a place of enforced residence, it became a high-density urban neighborhood inhabited voluntarily mainly by Jews in cities like Warsaw and Vienna and by immigrants and African-Americans in emerging U.S. metropolises like New York and Chicago, where it became forever associated with the concept of the “slum.”From page 58 and page 69, Henry Neville and the Shakespeare Code, Brenda James, c. 2008:
Neville was an international trader: this is reflected in The Merchant of Venice and The Comedy of Errors. He e resided on the Continent (1578 - 1583) .... and had overwhelming reasons during those years to visit the Jewish Ghetto in Venice ...
Neville's visit to Venice if of particular interest. At the time, the city contained the world's first Jewish ghetto, and it is the origin of the word "ghetto" which affords a particular pointer to Sir Henry Neville's authorship of the plays. "Ghetto" comes from the Italian 'to throw' or 'to cast,' and it was so called because the area of the city known as the Ghetto was where the old bronze cannons were cast. Eventually, it became the area for making iron cannons, too, so Neville certainly had reason to visit the area. German Jewish workers were imported there because they were already skilled in all kinds of metalwork. In The Merchant of Venice, Shylock actually mentions his German origins.
Neville would not have been allowed to visit the latest Venetian arms' centre. That was the Arsenale, and forbidden to foreigners. So he would have definitely gone to seek out what memories remained of the older works, and this meant visiting the Jewish quarter of Venice. No other authorship contender had reason to do this.And that's just the beginning.
Closing Out The Poll ...
... in which we asked, who among the following, would you have preferred on the $20 bill?
- Abigail Adams: 4%
- Clara Barton: 4%
- Amelia Earhart: 20%
- Helen Keller: 15%
- Eleanor Roosevelt: 9%
- Sacagawea: 49%