Sunday, August 30, 2009

Is Bernanke Keeping too much Money in the Economy for too Long?

The Fed’s main job is to keep the dollar strong with conservative RGDP growth and to keep inflation down. With this in mind, the Fed injected billions of dollars into the American economy to maintain a certain amount of stability. Nearly everyone and their sister was able to receive help from the Fed when the economy was at its worst - and it did keep damage to a minimum (although it can be argued that future Americans will be paying for it.)

Now that it seems consumer confidence is returning, and the American economy is making somewhat of a rebound, Bernanke should consider taking money back out of the economy now. If he waits until a full recovery, the American dollar will see a great amount of inflation. He did mention that in Q1 2010, he will slowly begin to raise interest rates. So far Bernanke’s track record has been a bit lacking, but now that he has been reinstated for four more years of what will hopefully be a recovering economy, he has the opportunity to recover his image.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

*Frog Domain Update*

Frog Domain is under site maintenance, but should be returning soon. Thank you for your patience!

Other Sites:
Zeus Wallpapers
Witty Folk

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Prostate Cancer Vaccine May Be Very Beneficial

A new vaccine by Dendreon Corporation has shown increased living time for men diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. This would be the first vaccine to specifically help treat the disease that over 186,000 men get each year.

Unlike most vaccines (like MMR or rabies), the prostate cancer vaccine does not prevent disease; it actually trains the immune system to recognize tumor cells and attack them, which is a very useful strategy. To test the vaccine, Dendreon Corp. performed a study using 127 men.

In this study, men with advanced prostate cancer who took the vaccine lived a median of 26 months, or 4.5 months longer than men without it. Even better, 34% of men who got the vaccine were alive 3 years afterward, compared to only 11% of men who didn't get the vaccine. The study was not large enough for FDA approval, but Dendreon Corp. recently ran a study with 512 men involved. The results seen in this study were found to be very similar and should get more attention from the FDA.

This vaccine appears to be a great step forward, but I don't believe the effects are worth the cost for most people. It is a very expensive vaccine because each vaccine is customized for the patients own cells. USA Today predicts that the cost for the vaccine will be around $10,000 per month. Most families will not be able to afford this option, especially with the current recession.

This vaccine is a giant leap forward in the medical field, but until prices become substantially lower, it will be out of reach for most patients. Currently, the best and cheapest way to prevent prostate cancer is to get routine screenings so surgery/chemo can be performed before the disease gets out of hand. This way, advanced prostate cancer medications like the vaccine will not be necessary.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pirate Problems

This pirate problem is getting out of hand. Today it was announced that the American captain that was captured by the Somali pirates was just rescued. Now Pentagon officials are deciding a course of action. With Obama saying that he will “halt the rise of piracy”, what exactly needs to be debated?

These pirates are not the long bearded English drunks with hook hands; they are teenagers on speed boats with guns. They are the mafia of the Indian Ocean. Right now there are about 270 crew members of different ships from around the world that are being held captive by these Somali pirates. One of the fears of letting the navy blast the pirates off the globe is that the shipping lanes will be disrupted - this is a problem. Disrupting the shipping lanes means that all trades that go through the Suez Canal would have to stop until the dispute was resolved. This could happen… or we could approach the issue globally. Yes, shipping would be slowed, but with global help and understanding, the canal could be monitored and watched carefully.

Why does America have to be the only one to address and resolve this issue? This is almost the text book example of why the United Nations was created. The only way these organized teens can be stopped is if we can come together - globally - in understanding of the goal. Then, after the Suez Canal gets cleaned up, these pirates need to be attacked and wiped out at their source: Somalia.  

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The First Lady of Fashion

In these past few days I have been noticing how the media has been portraying Michelle Obama as a fashion icon. I normally do not pick up, and or care, about these types of news stories but after seeing it on the news multiple times, I could not avoid the topic.

I would first off like to announce that I know very little about fashion. “Brown shoes, brown belt; black shoes, black belt” is about the extent of my knowledge. To me, Michelle Obama looks appropriate at each function, but does she have good fashion? I don’t know. Last week during the G20 meetings, her outfits and fashion of each day could have been found on: Yahoo News, CBS News, CNN, The Examiner, Fox News, New York Times, Google News and probably every other news source known to man. Many times, she has also been referred to as the first, First Lady of Fashion. Yes, they are saying that no other first lady in the history of the United States was fashionable. Has the media forgotten about Nancy Reagan, the actress and first lady of Ronald Reagan? Has the media forgotten about Jackie Kennedy?

I am just curious as to why the media is constantly telling me about how great of a choice Michelle’s dress was. What is their motivation? Is there really nothing else to report on about Mrs. Obama? I am very sure that there is much more to Michelle Obama than her wardrobe, and I find it extremely shallow of the media to report only on her fashion. Leave fashion to E! 

iTunes Switches to Tiered Pricing: Walmart and Amazon Follow

iTunes recently modified the cost of songs to $0.69, $0.99, and $1.29 with their new "variable pricing" strategy. At first it may sound like an okay deal, but with 12 of the top 20 downloaded songs priced at $1.29, I would have to disagree. Many new releases and popular songs are at the high price point so iTunes can capitalize on their popularity.

Trying to ignore this annoyance, I looked around to see what songs I could find for $0.69. I couldn't find any... I tried to search on Google to see if anyone had found songs for $0.69, and after several tries I found a few. All of the songs priced at $0.69 appear to be Rhythm and Blues from the 60s, most of which I have never heard of. If you happen to be and R&B fan from the 60s, congratulations! For everyone else, it appears that iTunes will be demanding $1.29 for the current popular songs. This pricing increase is not just happening on iTunes, however.

Walmart and Amazon have just announced that they will be using a platform similar to iTunes. I don't think it is a smart move to instantly increase the price of hits by 30%. iTunes (and Amazon/Walmart for that matter) would have been smarter to increase the price to $1.19, which is a much more modest increase. This 30% hike is just too much, and it will definitely push away many music buyers from purchasing as many songs as before the price increase.