Friday, January 27, 2012

Seeing 'Red' ...From Paris

What is already one of the most drawn-out court cases in high fashion history was protracted further still yesterday when Christian Louboutin appeared in court to appeal Judge Victor Marrero's ruling against his red sole trademark, which occurred last August. He was accompanied in the courtroom by Diane Von Furstenberg, who's a close personal friend of his but also, as president of the CFDA, a major advocate for stronger laws against copyright infringement.

Yesterday's hearing was presided over by three judges, who have yet to decide if Judge Marrero's verdict stands or if it will be reversed. If it is reversed, the lawyers for Yves Saint Laurent and Louboutin would have to return to court to argue their cases all over again. According to WWD's report, it seems the judges were quite skeptical of Marrero's ruling, which is good news for Louboutin. Said Judge Chester Straub of Marrero's verdict:

OK, world: no more stories, puhleeeze, about any of the following

Or, hell, just a weekend break from all the unnecessary drama that these folks generate for no apparent productive reason except for themselves.

Gee, and I just getting ready to give BHO credit for putting the blame game behind him ... oh well


Food Stamps Up 45%; Federal Handouts Up 32%...

Obama: Bush Is Food Stamp President, Not Me...

State of the Union Address: 27% Turned Away After First 5 Minutes...

At last, acceptability of introverts is on the's about time

Aaron Fedor

Don’t Call Introverted Children ‘Shy’

Society rewards extroverts, but quiet types have a hidden strength all their own

Read more:

I guess the math is ... possible

Grandsons of tenth president John Tyler are STILL ALIVE... and were born 140 YEARS after their grandfather

The patriarch: US president John Tyler, who was born in 1790, has two living grandsons

Two of John Tyler's grandsons - Lyon Tyler Jr. and Harrison Ruffin Tyler - are alive today, though their grandfather was born in the 18th century.

Don't get caught on DUI in New Mexico


Stephen Slevin, 58, pictured before, left, and after, right, from New Mexico, was awarded one of the largest federal civil rights settlements in history involving an inmate after accusing Dona Ana County jail of essentially forgetting about him while he was in custody. As well as suffering from PTSD, he was forced to pull out his own tooth while he was in custody after he was refused dental health.

Talk about blending into the woodwork

Now you see her: Often Cecilia Paredes' hair is the only thing that gives her form away in her artworks

At first glance, Cecilia Paredes' artwork just looks like pictures of particularly colourful wallpaper. But look a little closer and the bold, floral images start to take on a human form. The Peruvian artist experiments with her own body by painting designs on herself to blend into various backgrounds.

Apparently, politics was much like today even in Biblical times

The gag that was old when Moses was around: Tablet full of crude gags and riddles about beer is found - dating back to Exodus


Riddles and a hearty disregard for politicians were part of life in ancient Mesopotamia - 3,500 years ago. A newly translated tablet from Iraq shows that even in 1500BC, people liked a puzzle.

One of those rare times when a jury trial is not even needed

honor killing

Jurors in Ontario have been told how Afghan-born Mohammad Shafia, 58, his wife Tooba Yahya, 42, and their son Hamed, 21, were responsible for planning and carrying out the murders. In closing statements to the court in Ontario prosecutors urged the jury to find all three guilty of killing the couple's three teenage daughters - from left Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and Geeti, 13 - and his 'other' wife from a polygamous relationship.

We can get a man safely to and from the moon, but we can't get the equipment to get him there under a bridge

Delta Mariner

This was the scene today after a massive ship called the Delta Mariner tried to go under the Eggner Ferry Bridge on the Tennessee River in southwestern Kentucky and ripped it apart. No one was injured but witness Robert Parker said: 'All of a sudden I see the road's gone and I hit the brakes.' Officials say about 2,800 vehicles travel daily on the bridge

Facebook IPO close

Facebook is poised to file papers as early as next week for an initial public offering that could be one of the biggest in history, creating hundreds if not thousands of instant millionaires, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The highly anticipated IPO will value the world's largest social networking site at between $75 billion and $100 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported on its website. So far the Journal appears to be alone with the report. Facebook declined to comment.

Founded in a Harvard dorm room in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and his friends, Facebook has grown into the world's biggest social network with over 800 million members and revenue of $1.6 billion in the first half of 2011.

The impending IPO -- expected to raise $10 billion -- is a prized trophy for investment banks, setting up a fierce competition on Wall Street, particularly between Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, which are expected to be the two lead underwriters.

The newsfeed here.

Comparing Obama's recovery to Reagan's. Reagan wins. The U.S. won.

...the Obama Recovery stinks. Even if today’s GDP report—for the fourth quarter of 2011—shows 3 percent growth or better, it would be just the fourth time that has happened since the economy began turning up in June 2009: 3.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009, 3.9 percent in the first quarter of 2010, and 3.8 percent in the second quarter of 2010. But no 3 percent-plus quarters since then.

The first nine quarters of the Reagan Recovery, by contrast, looked like this: 5.1 percent, 9.3 percent, 8.1 percent, 8.5 percent, 8.0 percent, 7.1 percent, 3.9 percent, 3.3 percent, 3.8, percent, 3.4 percent. In fact, the Reagan Boom went from the first quarter of 1983 until the second quarter of 1986 without notching a sub-3 percent GDP quarter.

So, while the Reagan Recovery quickly made up for lost years of growth, not so much for the Obama Recovery, as this chart in today’s Wall Street Journal makes clear:

James Pethokoukis's entire article here.

2011 GDP: 1.7%

2.8% for a quarter is tolerable. 1.7% for all of 2011 is pathetic.


Real GDP increased 1.7 percent in 2011 (that is, from the 2010 annual level to the 2011 annual level), compared with an increase of 3.0 percent in 2010.

The increase in real GDP in 2011 primarily reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), exports, and nonresidential fixed investment that were partly offset by negative contributions from state and local government spending, private inventory investment, and federal government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.

Not exactly a barnburner.

Read about the sad numbers here.

President Obama leaves event promoting clean energy in a motorcade of 22 fossil-fueled vehicles

Soviet era troop transport prototype.

The one you see in photos here is the Lun-class Ekranoplan. The most unique aspect of the “part plane, part boat, and part hovercraft” ekranoplan was its propulsion method, which is why it was also called a Ground Effect Vehicle (GEV) or “Sea Skimmer.”

As Business Insider puts the GEV’s aerodynamic feat:

“A GEV takes advantage of an aeronautical effect that allows it to lift off with an immense amount of weight, but limits its flight to 16 feet above the waves. Its altitude can never be greater than the length of the wings. Think of a large seabird, like a pelican, cruising inches from the water and not needing to flap its wings.”

This allowed Ground Effect Vehicles like the ekranoplan to be twice as efficient as regular airplanes. The “wing in ground” effect let the Soviet war-bird swoop low over the water and even get decent fuel economy while maxing out at a weight of around 2 million pounds.

Want to See The Soviet Unions Massive Nuclear Equipped Super Plane?

Go here for the whole story.

Good economic news

The U.S. economy grew at its fastest pace in more than a year and a half in the final three months of 2011, signaling a sturdier recovery took hold despite troubles in other parts of the world.

The nation's gross domestic product -- the value of all goods and services produced -- grew at an annual rate of 2.8% between October and December, the Commerce Department said Friday. That is up from 1.8% growth in the third quarter and 1.3% in the second quarter. It was the fastest pace since the second quarter of 2010.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires expected 3.0% growth.

The WSJ report here.

Amazing solar storm display over Norway this month

'pudding without a theme'

Krauthammer on Obama's State of the Union Address:

...Can’t run on his record. Barely even mentioned Obamacare or the stimulus, his major legislative achievements, on Tuesday night. Too unpopular. His platform is fairness, wrapped around a plethora of little things, one mini-industrial policy after another — the conceit nicely encapsulated by his proclamation that “I will not cede the wind or solar or battery industry to China or to Germany.” As if he can command these industries into existence. As if Washington funding a thousand Solyndras will make solar economically viable.

Soviet central planners mandated quotas for steel production, regardless of demand. Obama’s industrial policy is a bit more subtle. Tax breaks for manufacturing — but double tax breaks for high-tech manufacturing, which for some reason is considered more virtuous, despite the fact that high tech is less likely to create blue-collar jobs. Its main job creation will be for legions of lawyers and linguists testifying before some new adjudicating bureaucracy that the Acme Umbrella Factory meets its exquisitely drawn criteria for “high tech.”

What Obama offered the nation Tuesday night was a pudding without a theme: a jumble of disconnected initiatives, a gaggle of intrusive new agencies and a whole new generation of loopholes to further corrupt a tax code that screams out for reform.

If the Republicans can’t beat that in November, they should try another line of work.

Krauthammer's entire opinion article here.

Romney OVERPAID $44,000 in taxes

A single mistake caused GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney to unnecessarily pay tens of thousands of dollars in additional taxes last year, The New York Times reports.

The trustee for one of Romney's trusts overstated Romney's capital gains income by $300,000, unnecessarily causing the Romneys to overpay by $44,000, an amount approaching the median household income of $51,914.

In another discrepancy, reported by news organizations on Thursday, at least 23 "funds and partnerships" were listed on Romney's 2010 tax return, but not on his most recent financial disclosure form
Source for this news here.