Archive for the ‘News’ category

DC Quarter design rejected.

February 29, 2008
A Quarter
George Washington not only gave the city his name, but he also disliked taxation without representation

Apparently, the U.S. Mint refuses to mint the DC quarter because it included the city’s motto: “Taxation without representation.” And, of course, the mint doesn’t really have to care what the city thinks about that decision, because the city has no representation.

On the other hand, the U.S. Mint is SURROUNDED by D.C. residents, all of whom they just pissed off.

You can express your outrage through a pre-written form letter than will be ignored by (but probably annoying to) the U.S. Mint here:

No representation is made that doing so won’t get you placed on an FBI watch list.



Alabama Teacher’s Union Sues Over New “Double Dipping” Policy

August 25, 2007
The Montgomery Capitol
The Alabama State Capitol

The Alabama Education Association has filed a lawsuit protesting Alabama Board of Education policies banning two-year college employees from serving in the state Legislature.

The policies were a reaction to a slate of scandals involving two-year colleges across the state in which two-year colleges were paying legislators huge consulting fees for little if no work.


Japan’s Latest Export – The British Bullet Train

August 25, 2007
British Bullet Train
An Artist’s Impression of the British Bullet Train

The first train of what will eventually be a new fleet of high-speed trains in the United Kingdom arrived from Japan this morning. The high speed trains, which can travel up to 140 MPH, will eventually link the heart of London to the famous Channel Tunnel in southern England.

The trains will cut the current travel time by more than half, allowing easy access to the London Olympics in 2012.


Riley Reimburses Alabama for Use of Plane

August 24, 2007

The Tuscaloosa News is reporting that, at long last, Alabama Gov. Bob Riley has reimbursed the state for his use of an ADEM plane to go to a fund-raiser more than four months ago. Neverthelss, it is doubtful that the controversy will end here, as many are now questioning the wisdom of a strapped-for-cash Environmental Management department spending the money to operate a plane.


Japanese Prime Minister Receives Severed Pinkie By Mail

August 24, 2007
Shinzo Abe
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has been heavily criticized by Japan’s right-wing extremists for refusing to pray at the controversial Yasukuni Shrine, received a severed pinkie finger in the mail at the Liberal Democratic Party headquarters this week.

Yoshihiro Tanjo, 54, was arrested in suspicion of mailing the severed digit, which arrived at LDP headquarters in an envelope. Also found in the envelope were a letter of protest, and a DVD containing scenes of Tanjo cutting off his finger.


Jewelry Store in Japan Unveils $250,000 Gundam Statue

August 23, 2007
Platinum Gundam Figure
$250,000 Gundam Figure

A jewelry store in Fukuoka, Japan created a platinum Gundam figure with a .15 karat diamond in its head. The statue, reportedly worth around $250,000, was created by the famous Japanese jeweler Ginza Tanaka and toy maker Bandai. It will be on display in the Ginza Tanaka store in Fukuoka until Sunday.


Alabama Dodges Mortgage Woes

August 22, 2007

To this point, and despite having some of the most ruthless foreclosure laws in America, Alabama has managed to dodge the mortgage foreclosure nightmares that have plagued the rest of the country.

Some might say it’s the result of sheer irrelevancy. Unlike many other states, Alabama has not seen its housing prices skyrocket since the late 1990’s. For example, here’s some examples of Housing Price Index charts (via – TheBurstingBubble) for some other states. (Click on the charts for a closer look)

HPI Chart for NY HPI Chart for DC HPI Chart for CA
HPI – New York HPI – Washington, DC HPI – California

Notice how, in each example, there is a brief plateau in the early 1990s where housing prices stayed roughly the same, followed by a huge increase in the late 90s and early 2000s. Admittedly, these are the extreme examples in the country.