Thursday, May 27, 2010

Luxury Cars and Boats at June 3, 2010 U.S. Treasury Auction in Broward County Convention Center, Greater Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Get yourself a luxury car or boat at the June 3, 2010 U.S. Treasury Auction in Broward County Convention Center, Greater Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Being auctioned off are inter alia
  • 2006 Ferrari F430 Spyder
  • 2010 Lamborghini Murcielago LP670-4 Super Veloce
  • 2009 Maserati Gran Turismo (GT) Coupe
  • 2008 Bugatti Veyron EB16.4
  • 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Convertible
  • 2007 Rolls-Royce Phantom EWB
  • 2008 Ferrari F430 Spyder Convertible
  • 2009 Bentley Continental GTC
  • 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible
  • 2007 Ford Expedition Limousine
  • 2008 Cadillac Escalade
  • 2007 Warren S87 Motor Yacht
  • 2009 Yamaha Waverunner Personal Watercraft
  • 2005 Riva Aquariva Super Vessel
  • 1998 Searay Sundancer 540 Express Cruiser Vessel
  • 2006 Nor-Tech Supercat Vessel
Hat tip to Robb Report.

It's just a matter of money.

U.S. Senate Passes the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 which still needs House Approval : Paul Weiss issues Detailed Alert

The New York headquartered law firm Paul Weiss et al. ("Paul Weiss"), the alma mater law firm of the LawPundit, just issued (May 26, 2010) a detailed client alert titled Senate Passes Comprehensive Financial Reform Bill.

The Paul Weiss alert covers "the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 (the “Bill”)", which was passed by the U.S. Senate 59 to 39 on May 20, 2010, and "which is aimed at strengthening the U.S. financial system and preventing future crises."

As written in that alert by Paul Weiss:
"The Bill is comprehensive in scope, proposing significant changes to the structure of federal financial regulation and new substantive provisions that apply to a broad range of market participants, including public companies that are not financial institutions. Among other elements, the Bill includes proposals for executive compensation and corporate governance reform, hedge fund adviser registration, heightened regulation of over-the-counter derivatives and asset-backed securities and new rules for credit rating agencies. The Bill also proposes significant changes to the authority of the Federal Reserve Board and the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as enhanced oversight of large bank and non-bank financial institutions.

This memorandum summarizes the key provisions of the Bill, based on available sources. Prior to being signed into law, the Bill must be reconciled with a parallel bill passed by the House of Representatives last December. This process is expected to be completed in the coming weeks. The final bill is expected to more closely resemble the Senate Bill with some potentially significant changes.
These are very important matters for the future regulation of the U.S. and world economy, so one is well-advised to read the whole summary (.pdf) to be optimally informed of developments.

Former SCOTUS Justice O'Connor Supports Kagan but Warns of Nomination Process : O'Connor Now at iCivics - Where Students Can Run Their Own Virtual Law Firm

Suzanne Clark in her ABC News exclusive in which former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor Cautions Elena Kagan on 'Dreadful' Nomination Process, informs us that O'Connor is currently working on her "vision", iCivics, an education project for middle school students, which among other things has a game called "Do I Have a Right" in which students can "run [their own] firm of lawyers who specialize in constitutional law".

The entire website looks like something that many Congressional representatives should have to absolve as a condition of taking their office, and especially the Senators on the Judiciary Committee not having law degrees -- before they start their assessment of Kagan's Supreme Court nomination -- so that they know a little bit about the matter for which they are responsible.

O'Connor's emphasis on "Civics" goes back to the No Child Left Behind Act, the implementation of which for the sake of math and science led half the U.S. States to drop civics and government from their required course studies. Is it a wonder then that Europeans marvel at American ignorance of world affairs when the U.S. educational system does not even teach their OWN government system Stateside to their own people? Can "democracy" rightly mean that political elections are then nothing more than popularity contests held for the ignorant masses?

Clark writes about the reality of the American scene:
According to a 2007 Annenberg Public Policy Center study, two out of three Americans can name a judge on "American Idol ," the hit reality TV singing competition, but only 1 in 7 can name the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. O'Connor said that was "scary." "
Scarier still are some of the people who are being voted into Congress by those very same uninformed citizens.

IAM Magazine - IAM Blog - German Supreme Court software patent decision "not a landmark ruling", says expert

IAM Magazine - IAM Blog - German Supreme Court software patent decision "not a landmark ruling", says expert

View from the Bleachers : Brutal Humor in a Humorless World

Brutal humor, if destruction can such be named. Take a look at

View from the Bleachers by Tim Jones, who informs us that:
"I am on a quest to find the meaning of life. I am on a personal search for signs of intelligent life in the universe, beginning with my neighborhood. So far, the evidence is scant (in my neighborhood, that is)."
I mention this site because I found it by chance and laughed, which is good.
Maybe you will too, but, be careful, you can not have a thin skin because the butt of the joke can be you.

Latvian hacker exposes fat cats: News24: Sci-Tech: News

Latvian hacker exposes fat cats: News24: Sci-Tech: News

Ancient Inventions: Patentable? From Teosinte to Maize : The Single Domestication of Corn in the Balsas Valley of Southern Mexico 9000 Years Ago

Corn is such an important modern crop that we thought we would include this posting about the ancient "invention" of maize. Patentable?

Tracking the Ancestry of Corn Back 9,000 Years -

This is a delightful article by Sean B. Carroll tracing the history of maize as it developed out of a single domestication of teosinte in ca. 7000 B.C. in the Balsas Valley of southern Mexico.

For the scientific article at the root of the story, see A single domestication for maize shown by multilocus microsatellite genotyping by Yoshihiro Matsuoka, Yves Vigouroux, Major M. Goodman, Jesus Sanchez G., Edward Buckler, and John Doebley, where the Abstract reads:
"There exists extraordinary morphological and genetic diversity among the maize landraces that have been developed by pre-Columbian cultivators. To explain this high level of diversity in maize, several authors have proposed that maize landraces were the products of multiple independent domestications from their wild relative (teosinte). We present phylogenetic analyses based on 264 individual plants, each genotyped at 99 microsatellites, that challenge the multiple-origins hypothesis. Instead, our results indicate that all maize arose from a single domestication in southern Mexico about 9,000 years ago. Our analyses also indicate that the oldest surviving maize types are those of the Mexican highlands with maize spreading from this region over the Americas along two major paths. Our phylogenetic work is consistent with a model based on the archaeological record suggesting that maize diversified in the highlands of Mexico before spreading to the lowlands. We also found only modest evidence for postdomestication gene flow from teosinte into maize. "
See also Rio Balsas most likely region for maize domestication by Christine A. Hastorf who writes, inter alia:
"It is curious that with so much interest in the topic of plant domestication in archaeology, geography, and botany, it took until 2005 to include this region of Mexico in our search for the roots of domestication. This investigatory blind spot is most probably because visible early plant evidence was uncovered in dry conditions. Following the data, scholars pursued domestication where they could easily find the evidence, ignoring the regions where the interactions were more likely to occur."
In other words, without the genetic evidence, mainstream archaeology would still be looking for evidence of domestication in the WRONG places because that is where "drilling" for the truth was the easiest.

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