A few days ago someone sent me what purports to be from a recent article in the St. Petersburg, FL Times Newspaper. According to this email, the Business Section asked readers for ideas on "How Would You Fix the Economy?" And the following is supposed to be a real-world response.
The thing is, irrespective of whether this really was a real reader's suggestion...it sort of makes sense to me. Am I missing something here? See for yourself... here's the supposed article in the form of a letter to the President:
Dear Mr. President,
Please find below my suggestion for fixing America's economy:
Instead of giving billions of dollars to companies that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan. You can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan.
There are about 40 million people over 50 in the work force. Pay them $1 million apiece severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:
- They MUST retire. Forty million job openings.
--- Unemployment Fixed! ---
- They MUST buy a new American CAR. Forty million cars ordered.
--- Auto Industry Fixed! ---
- They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage.
--- Housing Crisis fixed! ---
It can't get any easier than that!
If more money is needed, have all members of Congress and their constituents pay their taxes...
Hey... I'm over 50... I'm certainly prepared to do my part and give this a try!
Sad to relate I don't have a lot of time, because I'm working on something so exciting that ... if I were to tell you about it ... would cause you to squeal with delight, so let me quickly tempt you with a few interesting articles and websites that have tickled my fancy over the last couple of days...
First of all we have a couple of good reads from the "How Things Work" group on Yahoo:
- Who Built the Pyramids? Apparently it wasn't slaves. In this article, Archaeologist Mark Lehner discovers a city of privileged workers.
- Walking on the Moon: Imagine being one of the early astronauts, on the moon one day, having a barbeque in your neighbor's back door a few days later, knowing you've already done the most noteworthy thing you'll ever do, and wondering what to do with the rest of your life...
- Full of Wonder: Over ten days, Hubble took a series of photographs of the same exact patch of "blank sky with nothing in it". They then added up the light from all of these images. The result? Well, let's just say that if you only watch one astronomy video this year, make it this one...
- Heat-Treated Stone-Age Artifacts: Sometimes you have to heat-treat a material to make it harder or stronger. Early tool makers knew this also ... but "how early"? Archaeological research from South Africa pushes back the date of the earliest use of heat treatment to more than 70,000 years ago!
And, of course, as you might expect by now, our old chum Jay Dowling has been doing his usual fantastic job of detracting me from what I'm supposed to be doing:
- Ten Websites from Ten Years Ago: Even though it's been only 10 years, some of these sites look like they were created by your grandmother. Also the comments on this article are rather interesting, and they led me to Another Site that will keep me busy for some time to come.
- Show Me Do: This rather cool website is jam-packed with screen-casts that walk you through how to use popular programming languages (Java, Python, Ruby...), Open Source applications (Vim, Blender...), and handy tips, tricks, and techniques like how to install the "AdblockPlus" plugin for Firefox and how to change the password to a KeePass database.
- Super-Soaker Waterboard: This rather funny video from the College Humor website shows something called a "Super-Soaker Waterboard". It's only a spoof, but I know a lot of kids (like me) who would love playing with this sort of thing. (Also check out the "Sleep Deprivation for Kids" snippet right at the end).
- Web Side Story: With regard to the previous link... once I'd been introduced to the College Humor website I started to root around. I quickly ran across this "Web Site Story" music video which I thought was really well done.
- You Go First! When you first watch this video of a man hurling himself down a waterslide and then being catapulted across the countryside to land in a small inflatable pool ... it takes your breath away. Sad to relate it's a fake (part of a German advert for a Microsoft campaign), but it's still rather clever all the same.
- Learning to Ride a Bike in the 21st Century: This is a jolly clever idea. It's a gyroscopic stabilizer that can be attached to a kid's bike, thereby letting them ride without needing the old fashioned "stick-out-the-sides" stabilizers. Imagine taking something like this back to the 1950s ... or 1940s... or 1930s. We truly do live in interesting times.
And there are so many more... but you'll just have to wait until my next blog, because I must away to spend more time bouncing around that College Humor website :-)
2009 New Year Resolution (Goal: Walk 1000 miles at ~3 miles a day)
[A=Actual, C=Current, P=Plan-to-Date, R=Remaining, T=Total]
|Days:|| T=365, C=231, R=134|
|Miles:|| T=1000, P=693.00, A=601.29, Δ=–91.71, R=398.71|
|Note:|| Less than 400 miles to go!|
Questions? Comments? Feel free to email me – Clive "Max" Maxfield – at firstname.lastname@example.org).