Ford

Ford is a good buy right now. Check out this article from Yahoo! Finance to learn why Ford has been able to avoid federal bailout money and turn both its models and image around.
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Relay for Life

Georgetown’s annual Relay for Life, which benefits the American Cancer Society, happens this Friday. Relay’s goal is to raise another $100,000 over the next two days. I’ll be walking with a group of friends and coworkers from GUASFCU. So, even if it’s just $5, please donate to this great cause by clicking this link.
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And...

Check out a classmate’s experience from the speech here. He interestingly notes that both the Jesuit logo and cross located above the stage in Gaston Hall were covered during the speech, assumedly to separate Obama from any perceived religous identification. Interesting...
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Obama Speech

President Obama gave a speech on the state of the economy this morning at Georgetown. Yesterday morning the Georgetown community received an email announcing the last-minute appearance and informing us that seats would be given out based on a lottery system. I immediately entered the lottery, but found out later that night that I wasn’t selected to attend. Would’ve been quite the opportunity, but I’m sure he’ll be back next year some time. I was in class for the speech, but noticed pretty heavy security (no parking around a two block perimeter of the school) and a few protesters protesting Obama’s stance on abortion.

Also, just noticed this on Politico, but Health and Human Services nominee Kathleen Sebelius
amended her tax filings yet again to report that she actually received almost $40,000 in campaign donations from the notorious late-term abortionist Dr. George Tiller, perhaps the most vicious man in the United States, instead of the previously stated value of $12,450. I encourage you to check out http://www.dr-tiller.com to learn more about him. Pro-life or not, I bet you’ll be disgusted.
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Golf

As someone who has personally witnessed the horrors of Alzheimer’s though family members and by working in a nursing home for a summer, this article from today’s Wall Street Journal actually brought a tear to my eye. It’s a touching story about an assisted living facility out in California that discovered that many of its patients deeply affected by Alzheimer’s were able to seemingly snap away from the symptoms of the disease momentarily when brought to a golf course to putt and chip for a few hours. Several studies have shown that some of the memories and functions that hold up best to this debilitative disease are the one’s that either happened earliest in life or one’s that were imprinted through “muscle memory” (think Frank Niles drills at South Shore Baseball Club). For many of these people, golf is that memory. Either they followed their parents around golfing when they were younger or played often themselves with friends and coworkers. Suddenly, patients who are often withdrawn from life and struggle to recall their closest relatives names or even speak coherent sentences are happily working on their swings and commenting on their past.

Many nursing homes attempt to hold activities that might jog the memories of their patients to replace the anxiety associated with the disease with a few moments of peace and happiness. The exercises usually focus on singing, dancing, bowling, etc., which work well for some patients. Indeed, I remember a kind Irish woman from the nursing home in Scituate who used to sing semi-professionally. Sadly, she couldn’t put together an sentence on her own and was constantly frustred by the fact that she couldn’t. It was a heart-wrenching sight. However, when the home played certain Irish tunes she would sing the words like she was the author herself. Unfortunately, though, such activities don’t do it for everyone. Some, like those mentioned in the above article, need something more uniquely tailored to their past. It is my hope that nursing homes will learn a bit more from the article and look for ways to improve the lives of their residents.
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Smoke and Save?

Last week, Democratic congressmen argued in favor of FDA control and regulation of the tobacco industry. Among their strongest talking points was the claim that smokers cost the United States $96 billion per year in health costs and an additional $97 million per year in lost productivity- meaning that the economy loses because a productive worker can no longer work, for example.

Well, this argument seems to have awakened a few sleepy economists. It turns out that since smokers die, on average, ten years earlier than non-smokers, they actually
save the government money in terms of Medicare, Social Security, penions, etc. A Vanderbilt University economist claims, “It looks unpleasant or ghoulish to look at the cost savings as well as the cost increases...but if you’re going to follow this health-cost train all the way, you have to take into account all the effects, not just the ones you like in terms of getting your bill passed”. In fact, his research shows that the country actually nets a cost savings of 32 cents for every cigarette pack smoked.

Now I’m not suggesting that you take one for the team and go pick up a pack of smokes for the sake of the country, but the study certainly provides an interesting angle to the argument.
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Econ4U

So I took a trip on the Washington D.C. Metro with a few friends this weekend to pick up some food from Eastern Market, the outdoor food and flea market (no fleas on the food thankfully). Our first train had an avertisment that said something to the tune of:

For every $100 earned in revenue by big businesses in the U.S., how much is profit? $5? $10? $50? $75? Answer: $5. Contrary to popular opinion, big businesses, on average, make similar profits as small companies. Its just that their revenues are much, much bigger.

We saw a similar ad on the way home, also urging riders to visit Econ4U.org. At first when I saw the ads I chuckled, thinking “Wow, these big businesses must really feel threatened by popular sentiment at the moment to come together and spend on these ads”. But, after checking the website, I’ve learned that they’re sponsored by the Center for Economic and Entrepreneurial Literacy, which seeks to “teach economics and personal finance using interesting, informative, and real examples...and present facts on personal finance, business economics, entrepreneurship, and government spending in unusual venues...”.

I’m still curious to find out who the major donors are for the center, but at first glance it seems well-intentioned.
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On an unrelated note, our train was full of people wearing Red Sox gear. Given the fact that the entire city was packed with tourists for the Cherry Blossom Festival and the seventy degree weather, we were obviously packed into the car like sardines and I couldn’t help but hear two groups talking about their Massachusetts hometowns. So, I jumped into the conversation only to find out that one of the guys was the former Director of Admissions for B.C. High back in the eighties and early nineties and was a member of the class of ’58, the same as my neighbor down the street. Small world!
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Green Death

Alright, so I didn’t realize that this whole Green Death controversy in Scituate was that big of a deal until I just saw a still frame of ESPN talking about it (!).

Apparently the coach of the Scituate Rec 7 year old girls soccer team resigned the other day because of parent uproar over a sarcasm-laden email (click to read) that he sent to the team. The email included phrases like “The kids will run, they will fall, get bumps, bruises, and even bleed a little. Big deal, it’s good for them (but I do hope the other team is the one bleeding)” and “And speaking of meat, I expect the ladies to be put on a diet of fish, undercooked red meat and lots of veggies. No junk food. Protein shakes are encouraged, and while blood doping and HGH use is frowned upon, there is no testing policy”.

Well, appreantly phrases like that hurt the feelings of all these Scituate parents. As the story has spread across the nation, writers and bloggers have torn apart these “PC parents” from “goody two shoes Scituate”.
Barstoolsports.com, a local Boston sports commentary website, is even selling t-shirts with the team motto, Losing is for Losers, printed on them.

I’m going to have to agree with the majority of bloggers. This sounds like a funny, dedicated coach trying to have a little fun with his team who was stopped by a bunch of obnoxious parents.

Here’s the
original Patriot Ledger article. Check out the comments (112 of them at the moment). Some of them are pretty funny.
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