Sunday, April 05, 2009

Coronal Heating Problem

The temperature at surface of the sun is about 5800K, but the temperature of solar corona is millions of degrees kelvin. Why is the corona so hot? We don't yet know.
a solar coronal loop
The corona is a source for solar storms, in particular coronal mass ejections. The most powerful such storm on record was the solar storm of 1859.
Currently the sun is unusually quiet: Deep Solar Minimum.

Garbage Land

Garbage Land by Elizabeth Royte recounts the author's attempt to track the destiny of her household garbage and sewage.

The Bear Stearns Meltdown

I'm also reading House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street, about the Bear Stearns meltdown.

"when involved in a trade, look around the room and determine who the chump is and if the chump is not clear to you, assume it is YOU."

"So as an example, if a salesman and trader are talking about how they did a trade with a customer and they think there's a significant business opportunity that came of that trade, at Bear Stearns they might say, 'I just ripped that fucker's head off. I'm going to make a lot of money on this trade. That's fucking crazy.' But at Goldman Sachs a salesman and a trader would talk about, 'That's a great opportunity. That was a very attractive and commercial price you purchased those securities at and I think we'll have a very interesting economic opportunity in the near future.'

Whales Battle on the Silver Bank

There was a spectactular battle between two humpback whales on the Silver Bank this year (2009) here are the photographs.

The Baseline Scenario

The Baseline Scenario is a blog about the current global financial crisis, written by Simon Johnson and James Kwak. Here a couple of their other recent articles.
The Radicalization of Ben Bernanke in the Washington Post.
He is throwing trillions of dollars at the financial crisis. What happens if his gambles don't pay off?
The Quiet Coup in the Atlantic.
The crash has laid bare many unpleasant truths about the United States. One of the most alarming, says a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is that the finance industry has effectively captured our government—a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises. If the IMF’s staff could speak freely about the U.S., it would tell us what it tells all countries in this situation: recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform. And if we are to prevent a true depression, we’re running out of time.