Welcome To Doha Timelapse

It’s best to view this fill screen. (From Vimeo):

“Welcome To Doha,” takes us on a spectacular journey through the remarkable city of Doha, Qatar. Located on the coast of the Arabian Gulf, Doha entices our curiosity and excites the imagination. We behold some of the most magnificent architectonics in the world, while by contrast peer into an infinite desert terrain and a thriving Middle Eastern nation.
With the ever-growing cityscape, Doha continues to be one of the most unique settings to experience. “Welcome To Doha,” illustrates the persistent blooming of this marvelous metropolis, the evolution of it’s history from the old and new world, and the quintessence of the countries culture; all of this captured through the art form of Timelapse photography.

Paul Krugman and “Equivalences”

In light of the Supreme Court ruling that people with lots of money can spend as much as they want to get the people they want elected, Paul Krugman takes a look at “Equivalencies”:

There are definitely times when it seems that our winner-take-all society is also a whiner-take-all society; it’s really amazing how quick billionaires are to portray themselves as victims because some people say nasty things about them.

One remarkable aspect of this whining is that the nasty things aren’t really all that nasty. Saying that the Koch brothers are using their wealth to promote a political agenda that will make them even wealthier is a substantive claim, not character assassination; it’s not at all the same as, say, suggesting that Hillary Clinton is a murderer. Yet the Kochs and Perkinses act as if this kind of thing were utterly vile, an attack on their liberty.

The other remarkable thing is the instant escalation of hurt feelings into a Godwin’s Law violation. You see, liberals criticize the Kochs; that makes them just like Hitler and Stalin, who murdered their opponents.

But wait, there’s more. What I’ve been hearing from Koch defenders is that people like me have no standing to ridicule billionaires. You see, I sometimes say sarcastic things about the arguments of people who disagree with me, and even question their motives when they say things I consider obviously wrong. And that’s just like comparing such people to Hitler.

The thing is, I don’t think the crybaby thing is an act, put on for strategic purposes. I think it’s real. Billionaires really are feeling vulnerable despite their wealth and power, or perhaps because of it. And the apparatchiks serving the .01 percent are deeply insecure, culturally and intellectually, so that ridicule cuts deep.

It’s kind of sad, really – but also more than a bit scary: When great power goes along with fragile egos, seriously bad things can happen.

Remember when Miley Cyrus was wholesome?

Once upon a time, there was a teenage singer who captured the hearts of the folks in the heartland:

At some point she realized that being wholesome could land you a comfortable gig and moderate success doing covers of country songs at Dollywood, but being slutty would make you a global phenom:

I give the kid credit. She knew where one image would lead her, so instead she chose super stardom. That’s an extremely smart business decision, and she’ll be a success for a very long time.

The Democrats’ war on capitalism

The next time your crazy, Tea Bagging Uncle Muggs bloviates on how that Kenyan, socialist usurper in the White House and every pinko commie Democrat president (and he will say “Democrat” instead of “Democratic” because that’s the way Tea Baggers speak) are giving away the hard-earned cash of America’s job creators to the moocher class, pull out this chart (via Bloomberg):

2_bloomberg_stocksA couple of things to point out.

1) The “job creators” put their money in the stock market because they have so much of it. There’s no where else to put it. The “moocher class” doesn’t put money in the stock market, because, hey, ya gotta eat. So, really, who do you think is suffering when a president actually talks about raising a minimum wage? That guy with the top hat and the monocle on the Monopoly board?

2) The premise of this chart is flawed, because anyone who knows anything about investing in the stock market will say you don’t pull all your money out of it when there’s a president of a different party in office. Surely, you can’t believe that the minute Bill Clinton and Barack Obama walked in the White House, the billionaires funding the Tea Party called their stock brokers and said “Sell everything. We’ve got to get out of this commie market!” They left their cash where it was, and the billions flowed in.

On the other hand, your crazy, Tea Bagging Uncle Muggs is the kind of guy who did sell all of his stocks and buried his cash in his backyard bomb shelter when the hated Democrats took power.

That might explain why he’s so pissed off that his retirement fund that “hasn’t done Jack” since he built his portfolio when Dick Nixon took office. (I would have said “began his 401(k),” but those didn’t exist until Jimmy Carter’s administration, and Uncle Muggs would never put his money in anything that was created when that peanut farmer was president.)

Yeah, that chart proves the Democrats hate capitalism. After all, it grows like weeds when they’re in office.

Lego builds a movie franchise

I went to see “The Lego Movie” under ideal conditions. A Thursday matinee in Louisville in a modern theater containing only three people. It’s usually fun to watch a kids’ movie with kids around, but it have to be your kid, and mine is now in his 20s and had to work that day.

So, anyway, I got to see the movie and hear all the jokes without the distraction of 5-year-olds kicking the back of my seat and asking their moms to buy them a Batman Lego set when the movie was over.

This was a pretty good marketing move for the Danish company. (What? You thought Lego was American? Think Lincoln Logs instead — which actually started in Japan). Lego is a multibillion dollar (euro? krone?) enterprise going through massive growth. Here’s a chart that shows how well it’s doing:

in_legos_large

That’s a lot of building blocks.

A lot of these franchises are represented in the movie (and the voices of C-3PO and Lando are really the voices of C-3PO and Lando). And since it is, as they say, “Fun for the whole family,” expect a lot more currency to end up in Lego’s coffers. And since it comes from Fox studios, there goes more dollars into Rupert’s pockets.

Anyway, here are the (scripted) outtakes:

As you can tell, the movie’s a lot of fun. Even when there are a lot of kids around.

What does your nation’s leader drive?

What’s interesting in the following chart is:

1) The queen of England got ripped off.

2) South American leaders drive cheaply (look at Chile and Uruguay).

3) The premise that you can determine a country’s level of corruption by the cost of a head of state’s car is really stretching it.

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