For many people, this blog is the primary source of information about the world, and therefore it is reasonable to mention a couple of events that occured during the last hours:
- The weather is very cold in Massachusetts. The record cold temperature 26 Fahrenheit from 1992 was improved to 25 Fahrenheit in 2004. (We have had record cold temperatures last year, too.) Note that the cold weather supports the scientific theory about global warming, much like warm weather, hurricanes, absence of any winds, big fluctuations, as well as small fluctuations of the weather - all of these things are disastrous consequences of our production of CO2. The global warming theory is absolutely robust (permanently safe, as Glashow would say if it were string theory) because whatever happens supports this theory (except the future possible first signs of rational thinking of the GW proponents, which would not be the best tool to support the conjectured mechanisms).
- Microsoft will launch its new search engine tomorrow. This new search engine will have twice as good technology compared to Google's. Bill Gates admitted that "Google kicked our butts". However, Microsoft did not give up. Microsoft will catch up and surpass the competitor, and its profit will be twice as big, too, Ballmer explained. Also, Microsoft has solved all the disputes in the USA by having paid Novell half a billion USD. (Well, Novell is probably not the only party that would become satisfied with such a gift.)
- However, some bureaucrats in Europe continue to be obnoxious. Some of these eurobureaucrats insist that the Windows Media Player must be removed from Windows. It's just outrageous! It's a way to add problems to the customers as well as Microsoft. One can imagine how devastating could be the actions of the eurobureaucrats against a regular European person or company if they don't hesitate to present these absurd demands from a powerful American company. Who voted for these people in Brussels? I certainly did not.
- Yasser Arafat's health has deteriorated again. He has suffered from brain hemorrhage, liver dysfunction, and so on, and different people (wife, advisors, other Palestinian politicians) propose different theories about Arafat's life or death in a sequence of events that can be called Propaganda war about Arafat's health. Arafat will officially die tonight, Eastern time.
- Various crazy guys equipped with rather primitive weapons try to fight against the US military in Fajullah, Iraq. The Americans control 70 percent of the city. Every time the Iraqis throw an anti-tank grenade, they're immediately detected from the air and eliminated. It's not quite clear whether these - often young - guys realize that they are commiting suicide. Well, no doubt, they're brave guys, but by offering their lives, they undoubtedly increase the average intelligence of the humankind.
- Related gunmen have kidnapped at least two members of the family of Iyad Allawi. They want the USA to surrender in Fajullah in the next 48 hours, otherwise they plan to kill the relatives.
- The euro has broken the psychological barrier of USD 1.30 for the first time. However, the September US trade deficit shrank to 51.6 GUSD (lower than predicted 54 GUSD) and the US jobless claims in the last week were lower than expected, too (333 kilopeople), and therefore the euro quickly returned to USD 1.295 or so. Note that the sustainable market value of 1 euro - necessary to avoid recession in Europe - is roughly USD 1.05. Last week, the marvelous figure of 337 new kilojobs created in October shocked the forecasters who had predicted one half of that amount. Also, the inflation expert Alan G. (not Guth, however) is expected to raise the rates in the USA from 1.75 to 2.00 percent today which would make the rates in USA and Europe equal (recall that the UK have roughly 4.75 percent!). Note added later: indeed, he raised the rate to 2.00.
- Also, the oil is getting cheaper (47 dollars, lower than the record 55 dollars last month).