Friday, February 25, 2011

 

FEBRUARY CLEARANCE

Alas, the end of another winter's month; time to clear-out the bottom of the drawer before the onset of the cold season's final four weeks.

MICKEY'S YOUNGEST FANS: Statistics are clear. In President Obama's America less than half of the next generation is white. The prestigious Brookings Institute has analyzed the data from last spring's American census and whites are now the "minority" amongst the very young in at least eight states - Arizona, California, Florida, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and the District of Columbia. Though some might conclude that could be a problem...Without skipping a beat, the Disney Corporation sees it as an opportunity. Late in January Mickey's representatives began pressing the corporation's newest priority: "Disney Baby" in 580 maternity hospitals across the United States. A multilingual representative visits the new mother and offers a free Disney Cuddly Bodysuit and asks the new parents to sign-up for DisneyBaby.com. Disney expects to give away more than 200,000 baby bodysuits by the end of May.

IT TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE: A visiting scholar from the Sloan School of Management at the prestigious M.I.T. has warned Canadians that our own household debt may likely spark a "Made in Canada" recession. Post Christmas statistics have confirmed the Bank of Canada's fears that total household debt is now $1.5 Trillion, (or in simple terms) more than 3-times the National debt. It seems that politicians may have been a tad too cocksure in convincing Canadians that the 2008 recession was a mere blip on everyone else's radar. So we've borrowed ourselves to the eyeballs into debt. The result: Every family in Canada now owes more than $100,000 in personal debt.

EVERYWHERE A GRAM, GRAM: No one seemingly knows exactly why, but the international prototype of the "kilogram" appears to weigh less than it did when it was manufactured in 1889. No small mystery: In Sevres, France "THE" kilogram - the universal standard against which all others are measured - resides in controlled conditions in an underground vault than can be opened only with three different keys possessed by three different people. But, this pampered hulk of platinum and iridium somehow, someway has fallen down on the job and seems to have mysteriously shed about 50 micrograms over its near century and a quarter of existence. That signals, scientists claim, that it's time to find a new way to calculate the kilogram. They point-out that its cousin, the international prototype of the "meter" was retired from duty in 1960. Before you ask; What's a meter now? "The length of the path travelled by light in a vacuum during a time interval of 1/299,792,458 of a second."

NO FRET ABOUT THE TRAIN RUNNING LATE: Florida's new "tea party" backed Republican Governor, Rick Scott, has nixed the cornerstone of President Obama's signature high-speed bullet train proposal for the state. The President travelled to Tampa about a year ago to announce (with great fanfare) America's pitch for high-speed rail travel. Its showcase project was to be built in Florida with others to follow in Ohio and Wisconsin. Those three states elected tea party favored Republican governors in November, and each project has now been derailed. One of Governor Scott's ideas to replace the roughly 10-thousand jobs created by the bullet train plan is to open-up Florida to casino gambling. Las Vegas developers are chomping at the bit to bring casino gambling to South Beach (Miami) and Tampa Bay. Opposition from the state's parimutuel industry and (most especially) the Orlando based "family oriented" tourism attractions is expected to be intense. Perhaps one rare exception when the Mouse will roar louder than the President.

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