Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Still Kinda Wishing...

that I hadn't got hit by that car last week.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A New Record

House prices continue to go through the floor:
Home prices tumbled by the steepest annual rate on record in the fourth quarter, two housing indexes showed Tuesday, and the pace of decline continued to gain speed in all but a handful of battered cities.

The farther prices fall, the fewer homeowners may be able to qualify for President Barack Obama's mortgage relief plan. Last week, the president estimated up to 5 million borrowers in good standing who don't owe more than 105 percent of their home's current value would be able to refinance into a lower interest-rate loan.


Diamonds: Not Forever

De Beers is quitting:

Debswana, a joint venture between De Beers, the company founded by Cecil Rhodes, and the government of Botswana, produces a fifth of all the world's diamonds – around half of de Beers' global output – from four open-cast mines in the arid country.

Work will be suspended for the rest of the year at two of them, Damtshaa and Orapa No 2, while Orapa No 1 and Jwaneng, the planet's single most valuable diamond mine, will stop activities until at least mid-April.

Production at the mines had already stopped in December, when the workers went on their Christmas break, and when they returned only care and maintenance was being carried out. Now several thousand of the firm's 5,510 permanent employees will be sent home on extended leave on full pay from Tuesday, while 580 jobs will be slashed at the two mines facing long-term closure.

The shutdowns will be a crushing blow to the economy of Botswana, which has used its diamond wealth as the bedrock of one of sub-Saharan Africa's most successful and stable countries. Diamonds account for 70 per cent of its exports and 30 per cent of government revenues.


Poor Homophobe

He just can't get no justice:
The Supreme Court said Monday that it would not take the case of a Kentucky high school student who wants to sue his school district over a policy that allegedly barred him from expressing opposition to homosexuality.
Truthfully, I don't think people should be stopped from expressing their beliefs. In fact, letting them speak makes it so much easier to identify the idiots and the hateful. But still, I cannot say my heart bleeds for the kid.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Daddy Issues

Ya think?
George W. Bush's presidential library is taking shape in early designs, evolving from separate buildings at Southern Methodist University in Dallas into a single, multistory complex with a policy institute nearly two-thirds bigger than first proposed.

The overall structure has grown to an estimated 207,000 square feet — akin to an average Wal-Mart Super Center — making it more than twice as large as the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum at Texas A&M University in College Station, which is the library for Bush's father.