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Archive for May, 2012

Taking the adage “If at first you don’t succeed, try try again” swiftly to heart, I am here to attempt once again to create a meme.

Attempt Number One, my homage to the man who coined the word “meme”, can be found here.

This post is Attempt Number Two.

What makes a good meme?

I have no stinking idea.

So instead I have simply created my own character, the BardShark

BardShark take on Hamlet

BardShark sez…

When this meme-character hits it big, where do I go to turn this icon into a T-shirt.

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Over the weekend, I and my two boys were part of the global audience that went to see the Will Smith – Tommy Lee Jones – Josh Brolin movie Men in Black 3.

Considering the amount of decent coverage by critics (as can be seen here), I doubt Barry Sonnenfeld, et.al., need my review, but I wanted to share with you how I knew I enjoyed this movie…which I did.

Before entering the theater, and so as to avoid the exorbitant cost of having to dip into my children’s college fund to buy candy, I brought in (okay, technically, smuggled in) my own favorite brand. That would be Hot Tamales in case you ever feel like sending me a sweet gift.

So how do I know that I thoroughly enjoyed the third installment of the Men in Black franchise?

Because when the end of the movie arrived and the credits rolled, I had not even opened my box of cinnamon delights. That’s how engrossed I was with the time travelling adventures of Will Smith’s Agent J.

So, in the N.Mannski rating scheme of things, Men in Black 3 receives 0 boxes…which is high praise indeed.

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The weekly photo challenge from WordPress is on the theme of summer.

A little background for today’s pictorial offering.

I am originally from Southern California and as such spent many a summer day at the “Happiest Place on Earth”, also known as Disneyland, which was only minutes from my childhood home.

Nearly fourteen years ago, I moved to Virginia, but every summer the family and I travel back to the Golden State to visit my parents and other relatives.

Part of the tradition of our holiday to reconnect with the Mannski Family is our annual trip to Disneyland. My trio of children have a wonderful time spending the day with their grandparents and enjoying all the rides. I have a great time telling my kids stories about what Disneyland used to be like in the 1970s and 1980s and trying to convince them that there is indeed a basketball court atop the Matterhorn.

Sadly, this year, as we are across the Pond, our summer visit to the House of Mouse in Anaheim will not occur.

Summer, to me, is Disneyland and so if I can’t make it there this year, this photo will have to do for me and my summer memories.

Disneyland at dusk

Disneyland at dusk

And, no, before you ask, the facility here will not satisfy me.

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Now, the conclusion of my series regarding the seven deadly sins. The remaining six postings can be found here in the forms of anger, envy, gluttony, greed, lust, and pride.

The last of the sinful septet is sloth. For this final post, I offer the following photo, which I cribbed from another site.

Sloth

Sloth

Why take a photo from another site? Because I’m lazy.

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As the cliché goes, when it rains, it pours. So with that in mind, here is my second consecutive posting about a veridiction (my name for the process of verifying predictions), so here goes.

On the January 20, 2012, edition of the podcast for the radio program Marketplace, one of the guests was Felix Salmon of Reuters.

In that episode, Mr. Salmon made the prediction that “Greece is going to default on March 20…”

The debt-ridden country had a big bill due (about 350 billion euros) and Mr. Salmon was going out on the prediction limb to say that Athens would default. According to Investopedia, the definition of a default as a “…failure on the repayment of a county’s government debts.”

To me, a default means that the person, or country, that owes the debt does not pay the debt back.

So, what happened when the middle of March rolled around?

This article from The Economist has all the details, but suffice it to say that an agreement was hammered out between those that owed the money (i.e., Greece) and those to whom the money was owed to (i.e., bondholders). Long story short, the bondholders agreed (or, more technically, were forced to agree) to turn in their bonds and, in exchange, they received new bonds from Athens.

Technically, Mr. Salmon’s prediction fell short as Greece did not default on the debt. They did fail to pay what they owed because they created a new agreement.

However, there is the “spirit of the law” and the “letter of the law”. While Greece managed to avoid a default on 3/20 by the “letter of the law”, they certainly defied the “spirit” of what a default is as it (in the words of The Economist article) “…invoked a recently enacted law that bound all private bondholders to the bond-swap if more than two-thirds of them consented to it.”

Must be nice to have a legislative body at your side to help you write down the red ink. I wish I could do that when my credit card bill comes due.

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It’s been over a month since I have dug into my circular file labelled “Veridiction” (which is my name for the practice of verifying predictions) and so I feel overdue.

Following on the heels of my posts of last week concerning the social networking phenomenon that is Facebook (see here and here)

On Sunday, Reuters ran a story stating that Barron’s was predicting that shares of Facebook could drop below its initial offering price of $38 per share.

Now, I have had my own issues with media entities covering their crystal balls under the shrouds of lazy words like “could”, “may”, and “perhaps”, but I’ll let those issues slide for this posting.

Barron’s went on a limb saying that QRS could happen so let’s give credit where ’tis due because QRS did indeed happen.

Shares of Facebook changed their status to “Under IPO Value” as the stock did dip below its flotation price and ended Monday at $34.03.

Barron’s makes the prediction over the weekend…and it is verified the next day. Nice job.

But did Barron’s even have a guess about Mark Zuckerberg’s surprise wedding? Now, that would have been a prediction worth posting on one’s Wall.

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WordPress has announced its latest theme for their Weekly Photo Challenge and that theme is “hands“.

I have spoken of my middle child, Jared, before. Examples include when I have compared him to a film industry expert, skateboarder Tony Hawk, and to a pedantic.

While he is many things, he is not photogenic and does not like it when I take photos of him.

Middle Son being shy

Not a High-Five

This attitude of his makes creating holiday photos less than a snap.

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