Friday, April 3, 2009

Quote of the Week

"A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them." -- John C. Maxwell

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Visual Guide to Inflation and ONE TRILLION DOLLARS

A visual guide to help you understand INFLATION. Please click pic to enlarge.

AND Since we are printing money like crazy right now...

What does one TRILLION dollars look like?

All this talk about "stimulus packages" and "bailouts"...

A billion dollars...

A hundred billion dollars...

Eight hundred billion dollars...

One TRILLION dollars...

Here's a hundred dollars to start. $100

A smackable ten thousand dollars at a 1/2 inch thick. $10,000

One million dollars could fit in a briefcase... $1,000,000

While a measly $1 million looked a little unimpressive, $100 million is a little more respectable. It fits neatly on a standard pallet... $100,000,0000

And $1 BILLION dollars... now we're really getting somewhere...

Next we'll look at ONE TRILLION dollars. What is a trillion dollars? Well, it's a million million. It's a thousand billion. It's a one followed by 12 zeros.

Notice those pallets are double stacked.
...and remember those are $100 bills.

So the next time you hear someone toss around the phrase "trillion dollars"... that's what they're talking about. And we are printing trillions of dollars... So how does that affect inflation?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Water Footprint

We consume enormous amounts of water and we don't know it, or at least we don't know exactly how much we use. Here is a graph of your daily water spending.

I was quite surprised to see how much water coffee uses.
Gotta cut back on BEEF and no more hamburger!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Riots in the Street

I am intrigued that there are no riots in the street protesting the financial frauds that have occurred. Perhaps there aren't enough unemployed people yet. Well, I found a funny picture. At least there's someone, something, out there wreaking havoc in the streets.

Careful out there! Watch out for those anteaters!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

People want things!

I want things! I'm a big fan of consumerism, just not a big fan of dishing out the fist full of yen(or whatever currency you may use). Times are bad now and we need to curb our enthusiasm for buying things we don't need. Everyone wants stuff, but do we really need all the things that we want? I'm hoping out of this down turn in the economy people will start to make things that are good and worthwhile buying. Like this by JVC. I wonder what the battery life is like?

JVC Everio X

Monday, March 2, 2009

Is this the bottom?

A few days ago I received an email after discussing whether we have reached the bottom. As you may know we reached 1997 levels today breaching the 7000 level for the Dow. Is this the bottom? We certainly hope it is, but probably not. "There is no limit to stupidity," my friend claims referring to the market. I respectfully disagree. When we reach 0, it will be the bottom to this stupidity.

So, Is this the bottom? Your answer lies below at the link.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Train Horns

Created by Train Horns

I'm 32 and could hear this sound. I guess I should be happy that I am young at ear...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I love COFFEE!

How about a blend of Hawaiian, Kenyan, Indonesian Coffee?

The Barack O Blend

Can't wait to try it!

Monday, February 16, 2009


Walmart recently disclosed that as many as 15,800 exit signs cannot be accounted for. This wouldn't be big news if these exit signs didn't contain tritium gas, a form of hydrogen which is used for emergency exit signs because of its ability to glow in the dark when the power goes out. What??? How can something with radioactive material be so casually misplaced? Isn't it ironic that when so many are trying to find the exit out of their economic misery in this turbulent of times, exit signs are missing and they are also radioactive. What does this mean? Stay away from the exit?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Optimisim vs Pessimism

I sent an article to a friend and received a quite different reaction than what I expected. I originally sent the article to reflect an opinion that was based on logic. However, it became an exchange of whether the writer is pessimistic or realistic. Although the tone of the overall article is dark, he uses well organized examples to defend his points. I didn't think it was pessimistic but rather a realistic vision of what will happen.

Back to the title. I've always considered myself to be somewhere in the middle, neither optimistic nor pessimistic but realistic. Having a label never fit me either and I like to be objective in how I see things and not have it distorted by opinion. However, having lived in the US for over 15 years I've become immune and sometimes repulsed by the overt optimism that goes around and the constant accusations that I am a pessimist because I say what I see.

If there is a 100ml glass and there is 50ml of water in it, it's still going to be 50ml of water no more no less. What difference does it make that it is half full or half empty. Why is it better to be optimistic than realistic? Having hope is a great thing, but not when it is pushed into people's minds. In essence you are trying to change the way someone thinks to match yours, you are pushing that person out of reality. Being optimistic is a good thing especially in these dire times when we need to focus on how to straighten ourselves out. However being optimistic all the time leads to a false sense of hope and a dislocation from reality.

Why do I mention optimism? Often I read articles or watch a video selling that the market has hit bottom and that now is the time to buy if you want to make money...Well, the same thing was said a few months ago and nothing has really changed much, we are still slipping lower in the markets. Before that? Remember when the fundamentals of the economy were sound? People are starting to sell hope and market to people based on hope. There's a problem with this because it means that the average consumer does not have enough knowledge and base their purchasing on people who are interested in selling and not accurately reflecting what the reality of the situation presents. I'm sure some people reading this blog are thinking that I am pessimistic.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


The Economist is probably my favorite magazine. There was a cover that went around this summer when the markets started tumbling which surprised me. It was an appropriate headline but I thought it was a little too much for circulation. The cover was a spoof but it might as well have been the cover that week, or even the cover of the year. I bring this topic up because some people are starting to get that feeling again.

$819 Billion?

The Stimulus passed yesterday and it apparently disappointed most on Wall St. Did 819 billion dollars not suffice or did the package not include enough handouts for everyone? In any case, the board showed red and there were very few winners:

Dow -381.99 -4.62%
Nasdaq -66.83 -4.20%
S&P -42.73 -4.91%

The numbers are not historical but pretty low nonetheless.

Here is a very nice breakdown of the 819,000,000,000 USD, provided by the Washington Post.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Percent Decline in Payroll Employment from Peak Month

Here is another graph following yesterday's Stimulus now or jobs later blog.
Green(July '74), Blue(March'80) and Red(July'81) look like nice V-shaped recoveries and the current Stimulus hopes to emulate this V-shaped recovery. However, the March '80 recovery, as quick as it was, another downturn started only 4 months after returning to peak employment and lasted twice as long as the first one, another 27 months. By most economists' projections, the current Stimulus is not enough for a full recovery. If these economists are correct, we'll recover, hopefully to peak employment, and then start shedding jobs again as the economy will not be stimulated enough. When this money runs out, we'll repeat the W-shaped recovery much like the '80 '81 recession, with the second leg of the W lasting twice as long.

But here's another graph that interests me.

This is the Unemployment data from Bureau of Labor Statistics going back ten years. Looking at this makes me wonder if we really recovered from the Feb '01 recovery? The Feb'01 recession may have reached its previous peak employment, but doesn't look like it accounted for the increase in population as unemployment fails to reach below 4%. What does this mean? I'm not sure, but only time will tell. Perhaps we can look back when our teeths are falling out and talk about the good old times.

Did I mention I love Math?

Conserve your money, by conserving food.

I usually try to finish all the food that is on my plate, or at least that's served to me. Lately, I can't seem to shed the pounds, or kilos, especially around my waist so I've started to leave a bit behind. It bothers me that I'm not the only one that leaves food to go to waste.
I'm sure most know there is a food crisis going on in the world. Prices going up, export restrictions, GM(genetically modified) crops, lack of rain or too much rain and suspect the general quality of food out there. The worry of our food supply makes me want to go and start a farm...on my balcony first maybe. I wonder how much land is needed to feed a family of four??? I lose confidence that I am even capable of farming my own food. Can you? All I can do is not waste...for now.

American wallets and fridges are emptying out. They say that Americans waste about a quarter of their food that we eat. Here's what it would look like in a month. Imagine not wasting and actually eating all of this stuff a month? Oh, wait...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Stimulus now or jobs later?

Many Americans are waiting for the stimulus package to be passed by the senate this week as job losses are starting to show a kind of growth that the economy hopes to gain. In this time of crisis, one would expect a sense of patriotism to reflect the unity to get through the hurdles, or rather the brick walls, that have been laid down. However, the fog is clear now and we can see who is laying those bricks. By no means is this stimulus perfect but we all agree there needs to be one. Most economists will add that the current dollar amount is not nearly enough and more needs to be added. So, it bewilders me that Republicans are interested in denying the passage of the stimulus on account of two percent of the package. When listening to the arguments laid down by these people, it makes you realize the sad state of GOP and their politics...

One senator ridiculed the stimulus by stating that the stacked hundred dollars bills would be 689miles high...or that if we tied the bills end to end, they would go around the earth 39 times...What is this guy selling?
I don't mean to be a smartass but wonder if that's around the equator or around the north/south poles?

Another senator reflected about the stimulus in a manner only a Republican can. Actually I like this one as it is quite prophetic. If you spent a million dollars everyday since the birth of Jesus, we would still have change left...
I would like to counter that with the fact that the bailout passed this summer is about the same amount as the stimulus.

Going back to jobs and the graph on top, we are looking for a prolonged period of job losses the longer we wait. The first blue line dip reflects the 1990 recession when 1.5 millions jobs were lost at trough and it took 32 months to recover. The second red line dip is the 2001 recession which lost over 2.5 million jobs while taking 48 months to return to peak employment. If these two dips are a clue to how long it will take the economy to start gaining jobs on top of the losses we have amassed, we needed a stimulus a long time ago.

Americans have endured and experienced 8 years of stupid and its economy cannot afford anymore Idiocracy. It's time we start selling smart and stop selling stupid. And no, there are no electrolytes in this stimulus!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Quote du jour

"It's a question of discipline," the little prince told me later on. "When you've finished washing and dressing each morning, you must tend your planet."

~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince, 1943, translated from French by Richard Howard

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Globalization at its worst

Something from a fellow blogger -- do you know what happens to your recycling?

The rush to recycling

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Stars in the sky of Tokyo

The other day I happen to look up into the sky. I saw stars. Not the kind on tv, but actual stars that shine in the sky. Seeing the twinkles above me actually bewildered me because as long as I could remember you could hardly see anything but the moon when you looked up in Tokyo. It's probably been about three months since the economy in Japan has been really tanking but that was my first thought. Could the industrial output be so low that pollution is actually down? When I say pollution I don't mean light pollution either. Or could it be that the high gas prices drove drivers away from the road and onto trains or bicycles? In any case, it is a welcome sight to see the sky full of stars.

Seeing the stars also made me think about a book I read a while ago, J-Curve by Ian Bremmer. I was intrigued by the author's analysis and use of his J curve, but did not find the overall book to be very intriguing. Although the curve applies to terrorist states and states that failed, I constantly applied his logic and reasoning to the US while I read the book, then it became fascinating. Anyway, the author mocks N. Korea in one of his chapters and points out a satellite picture of N. Korea at night and how it takes up an empty space in between S. Korea and China/Russia, whose cities lighten up the map.

It was an interesting point that N. Korea lags behind in infrastructure and consumption/use of electricity. I am by no means a supporter of N. Korea, I guess I have to point out now that I am Korean-American, but you can look at this satellite picture in another...should I say light? Because it has such poor infrastructure and doesn't use that much electricity, it is probably one of the greenest countries in Asia... Is that a good point? I bet you could see the stars really nicely from there, not that I would like to see it from there.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Why Violent Sunrise?

Every morning I open my eyes feeling the pains in my life from yesterday, only to find they are still there and new ones have built over some of the old. Does my neck hurt more or does my back feel stiffer. Are we still at war in the world? Did someone magically turn the economy around?

It's been two mornings since the US got a new president but nothing has changed, only an increase in optimism. I am one of those optimistic that hopes that things will change with this new president. It is an upward battle for sure, but I am optimistic. Now let's bring reality and open my eyes. I don't want a Neo experience from the Matrix, but the reality is no matter how good or optimistic one can be, there is only so much one can do in 100 days. Let's face it, this has been 8 years coming, we need 8 years to "fix it" or reach a balance.

People make peace, not weapons or war. If we prepare for war, we will only get war. We have to prepare for peace if we want peace. I hope to wake up one day and wonder where I am when everything is quiet, when war is gone and people are helping each other out striving to better themselves together and not alone.

Ensuring the Future of Food

Having seen a quality lapse in the food chain, I wondered what life would be like eating nothing but fast food or even just junk food.

The Ministy of Agriculture, Forestries and Fisheries(MAFF) has released a pretty interesting video. I've been thinking that people of different ethic backgrounds have different needs in their diet. Yet we most of us eat prioritizing price, taste and what is fashionable.

Violent Sunrise

I wanted start a blog like a diary and keep track of all things that go on in my life. I spend a lot of time online doing work, reading articles and looking for interesting stuff, but did not have a personal blog. I hope you enjoy my blog as I coordinate and organize my thoughts, sometimes coherently and sometimes not.