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Archive for the ‘Size: Grande’ Category

The rabbit, the egg, and Christ…and another god

In Interesting, Size: Grande on April 12, 2009 at 5:36 pm

From Huffington Post comes What Do a Rabbit, Colored Eggs, and Candy Have to Do With Jesus? The History of Easter Revealed by Kari Henley:

It turns out the celebrations of modern Easter’s egg-toting-rabbit evolves from a mythic German goddess named Ostara, (Oestre / Eastre) who was the Germanic Goddess of Springtime. According to the Encycolopedia Mythica:

“In ancient Anglo-Saxon myth, Ostara is the personification of the rising sun. In that capacity she is associated with the spring and is considered to be a fertility goddess. She is the friend of all children and to amuse then she changed her pet bird into a rabbit. This rabbit brought forth brightly colored eggs, which the goddess gave to the children as gifts. From her name and rites the festival of Easter is derived.”

All other European words for “Easter” derive from the Hebrew word “pasah,” to pass over, thus reflecting the Christian holiday’s Biblical connection with the Jewish Passover. I find it ironic the holiest day in the Christian faith, dedicated to celebrating the Son of God, is named after a goddess.
According to http://www.godchecker.com: Ostara was very popular with the Anglo-Saxon people, who worshiped her under the name Eostre.

At least now I have a bit of a better understanding of this whole Easter-Risen Christ-bunny-egg hunt connection.  The writer was right; at times, I wondered about the whole connection but never really bothered to find the connection.

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Earth Hour 2009

In Interesting, Size: Grande on April 1, 2009 at 2:21 am

Found something interesting about the Earth Hour on March 28th, observed in hundreds of cities around the world.  This event began in 2007 in Sydney, Australia as a way to vote against global warming.  Turning off the lights for an hour could serve as one’s vote, whether a tourist spot or simply a household, for the earth.  Further info from the official website:

Earth Hour began in Sydney in 2007, when 2.2 million homes and businesses switched off their lights for one hour. In 2008 the message had grown into a global sustainability movement, with 50 million people switching off their lights. Global landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Rome’s Colosseum, the Sydney Opera House and the Coca Cola billboard in Times Square all stood in darkness.

In 2009, Earth Hour is being taken to the next level, with the goal of 1 billion people switching off their lights as part of a global vote. Unlike any election in history, it is not about what country you’re from, but instead, what planet you’re from. VOTE EARTH is a global call to action for every individual, every business, and every community. A call to stand up and take control over the future of our planet. Over 74 countries and territories have pledged their support to VOTE EARTH during Earth Hour 2009, and this number is growing everyday.

See the many cities that observed Earth Hour: H-E-R-E. Click the photos and have javascript enabled to see the effects.

A bigger bite of Apple

In Interesting, Size: Grande on March 12, 2009 at 6:42 am

Presenting the latest addition to the iPod family- the latest, and smallest, iPod shuffle and MP3 player.

shuffle

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Watchmen: B+/A-

In Flicks, Size: Grande on March 6, 2009 at 6:45 pm

I went to the 12mn showing of Watchmen last night.  And I was happy with my decision to not read the last chapter of the novel because the ending of the film made up a big part of the reason why I loved the movie.

watchmen2

I shall return to the book to finish reading later but for now, here’s my review: Read the rest of this entry »

3/2 News Roundup

In Headlines, Size: Grande on March 3, 2009 at 9:23 am

Yesterday, AIG reported the biggest loss in America’s corporate history (just a few days after RBS similarly reported the UK’s biggest corporate history- a staggering, but nevertheless still smaller £24.1bn).  With a loss of $61bn, the insurance firm again ran to the government to seek for more aid, which they got in the amount of $30bn in exchange of majority ownership in two of their money-makers: American Insurance Association (AIA), its business in Asia and American Life Insurance Corporation (ALICO).  Remember that the firm entered this pit after they decided to issue billions of dollars worth of credit default swaps, the instrument which had it share of the spotlight after other firms, notably Lehmann Brothers, fell victim to the failure to manage risks associated with CDS. The trouble of the firm is further compounded by the news that former CEO Hank Greenberg will be filing a lawsuit against the company for allegedly being misled to buy inflated prices of the AIG stock.  As the firm’s biggest shareholder, Greenberg’s wealth is without a doubt wiped out by what has happened.

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VCB: B+/A-

In Flicks, Size: Grande on March 3, 2009 at 3:16 am

Meet Vicky…

600full-vicky-cristina-barcelona-screenshot

…and Cristina

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…in the romantic city of Barcelona. Read the rest of this entry »

Oil Break-Evens

In Interesting, Size: Grande on November 6, 2008 at 12:10 am

Going back to more than 3 months ago, in July, the price of oil peaked at $147 per barrel. While some analysts predicted oil going up even as high as $200 per barrel, many others saw this as nothing but a bubble that soon will burst and undergo price correction. The past couple of weeks, oil has been hovering under $70 a barrel bringing down majority of the prices in gas pumps to less than $3 a gallon. Today, the oil settled at $65.25 pb; it dipped to as low as under 64 just several days ago.

The big spike in oil price months back certainly boosted revenues of major oil producing countries, whose windfall profits helped fatten some of the existing sovereign wealth funds. It is therefore no surprise that Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Qatar and Libya find themselves on the list of the biggest funds. Despite that, it would still be good and interesting to know that not all these states earn, let alone big amounts. Even at $80 or $90, some of these states might still be losing money.

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Two Men, Two Speeches

In Headlines, Size: Grande on November 5, 2008 at 11:09 pm

Two senators: a Democrat, a Republican.

One a victor, another a fighter.

After two years of campaigning, a day of voting and hours of waiting, one finally wins as the new president.

—–

John McCain’s speech last night, as he conceded the presidency to Barack Obama (D-Il.), was no doubt the best he has given since eternity. Despite the occasional boos from the crowd, there was nothing but nobility, sincerity, and elegance in his speech. Coming to the election, most expected an Obama victory, and quite appropriately so. McCain’s defeat, or the GOP’s for that matter, may be attributed to a lot of different factors that worked to Obama’s advantage. The economy, the much loathed Iraq war, and more importantly, the way the campaign was run. Even I got sick of his Joe the Plumber tactic… and Palin, boy oh boy. Yes, she is charming, articulate, and even hot. But there was just so much about her actions that completely killed those complements. It might be better not to list them down.

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Flattening It Out

In Life Matters, Size: Grande on October 26, 2008 at 8:57 pm

Everyday, an email gets sent to my inbox from RealAge containing health tips and whatnot. What grabbed my attention two nights ago was a link called “Eat more in front of TV”, which is what I do every single night. With so much eating, and not so much exercise, yes, it’s all building up in the belly. And I need some solutions (outside of having to go to the gym and work out). Here’s what I found from the website:

You can eat up to 6 cups of certain low-fat microwave brands for about the same number of calories you’d get from just 7 or 8 chips. Plus, the popcorn also counts as two servings of whole grains.

A survey of 15,000 people found that popcorn eaters get far more whole grains than people who go popcorn-free. And that’s great news for the waistline, because high-fiber whole grains help you feel more satisfied… And whole grains may help flatten your belly, too

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Swaps and Spreads 101

In Interesting, Size: Grande on October 26, 2008 at 8:55 pm

When you watch the news, one that always goes with figures relating to T-bills are swap spreads. I had a slight notion of what it was but a news article from the Financial Times (Oct 24, 2008) made it clear to me. Take note of the very interesting event that happened yesterday, one that many perceived to be a “mathematical impossibility”. Bolds below are mine.

Turmoil takes its toll on swap markets as spreads turn negative

By Michael Mackenzie in New York

The turmoil in the financial markets has taken hold of the trade in long-term interest rate derivatives, pushing rates to levels once thought to be a “mathematical impossibility”.

Interest rate swaps are the most widely traded over-the-counter derivative.

Long-term swaps are particularly important for insurers and pension funds that need to fund liabilities decades into the future.

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