Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Brett Favre’s Flames, Steve Jobs and Bankruptcies….

It is Tuesday, the very first one of 2011 and the last time you will have written 1/4/11 unless you are postdating something. Some stuff happened, so we will take a moment to reflect on the day that was and what shall come…

First, the techie nerd in me is ‘totally stoked’ for the Consumers Electrics Show which runs this week in Vegas. As is the custom, Apple and Steve Jobs will not attend the event, leaving a gaping hole in the show’s intrigue for some. But to others, it offers a great look at the stuff others have made, usually as imitations of iThings. The biggest area is tablets, namely, fake iPads. Competitors to the iPad, like the Samsung Galaxy, are capitalizing on a massive market that Apple essentially created. Over 126,000 retailers will attend the show looking for alternative to Apple products, and most specifically for the tablets being released by electronics heavy weights like Sony, Motorola and Vizio. For the Bohunk, the most attractive tablet to emerge will be the Windows 7 mobile edition being unveiled by Top Banana Steve Ballmer. A tablet with a working and mobile version of Media Center, iTunes and even Microsoft Office could be absolutely brilliant, especially with the Cloud external storage system gaining popularity. An external software system means you don’t have to worry about overloading the storage on the device, and means manufacturers can keep prices a bit lower. To note, the tablet this year accounted for roughly $300 million and this before all the powerhouses of the electronics companies joined battle…

Fear the Turtle-Necked Behemoth: Steve Jobs throwing around an iPad.

There will be some terribly depressing numbers popping up over the next few weeks as financial reports finish up detailing the dismal economic year that was 2010. For instance, we bring to the fore this cheery little tale: Over 1.5 million Americans filed for bankruptcy this past orbit, with this past December being one of the worst financial months in history. November was close to the worst in history, and then bankruptcy filings went up another 3%. And experts expect filings to continue to rise over the coming months as well…

When the Bohunk finishes an especially good book, like A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson, I cannot help but be obliged to let you all, dear readers, of my experience. Bill Bryson, if you have not read him, is, flatly, an amazing writer. In infromative texts, you will not find a better author who can easily bounce from genetics to astronomy, anthropology to geology, evolution and physics. And as you are reading, you are hardly aware that you have made these same transitions, so seamless is his book’s construction. You cover, as the title indicts, just a bit of everything, but together, you see how we know what little we really do. And that, I point out, is a fact I share with you three or four times a week. For example, as Bryson points out near the end of the 450 page leisure read, if your family is from Europe over the past 2,000 years, you share the same genes as 95% of the world. And all of those people are descended from some 10,000 Africans who ventured north to Europe just 25,000 years ago. Amazing stuff. (Note: 25,000 years is not even a blink, another point Bryson drives home. In a world 4.2 billion nears old, and a universe a few dozen billion years older, you must remember that man has lived but 0.0001% of the life of this earth) You can pick up the read here at Barnes and Noble. 

Google is unveiling a virtual newsstand to compete with Apple’s news application for iPad. Google is shopping around for content providers such as Time Warner in preparations for creating an Android-only application to provide up-to-the-minute news, eerily similar and obviously in direct competition with Apple. Other devices, like the nook for Barnes and Noble and the Kindle for Amazon, offer electronic versions of copy like The New York Times and USA Today. This is an unabashed tech-version of the Update, so save this or ask a question should you have one.

Brett Favre, though done for the season, is again in the headlines. After sitting out and watching the Hyperboreans lose to the Lions (the Lions being 4-0 in 4 weeks, mind you) two women have filed sexual harassment charges against Favre, this just a week after the NFL fined him $50,000 for the Jenn Sterger incident of 2008. Christina Scavo and Shannon O’Toole say that Favre treated them “like slabs of meat” (Scavo’s words) and asked them to engage in three-way sex with him. They claim he repeatedly texted them while with the Jets, say he was lonely and he had “bad intentions.” For fans, these types of charges cannot come as a surprise after the Jenn Sterger incident and this past season’s allegations of taunting and harassment by Jets players toward Mexican TV reporter Ines Sainz. Both Scavo and O’Toole were let go from from the Jets organization shortly after this time period, with both women claiming that Favre had a role in the decision.

Obviously, ‘hostesses’ like Jenn Sterger are integral parts of an organization,
and reflect the professional environment that they work in. Come on, Jets,
you’re going to lose these types of arguments.

Over 500 homes have been evacuated in northern Australian as flood waters there spread. Heavy rains over the course of several days have given way to flooding in 20 towns in the Queensland area, submerging 20 or so towns under varying depths of water. Ten people have been killed with over 200,000 people very much affected. And in a very Australian turn, rescue and emergency teams are warning residents of another factor with which they must contend: wild-life. Exotic snakes, alligators and other misplaced, starving and panicked creatures are especially dangerous in these situations. The waters may not recede for some weeks, and may take decades in some areas to return to normal. Chin up, my under water readers…

On a personal note, the Bohunk recently journeyed deep into nature on snowshoes. Northern Michigan is a year-round, perpetually beautiful place. The woods of Interlochen, are, if you will allow me to wax poetic, hold snow softly like the hand of a beautiful maiden, branches sagging in the weight of soft pillows of virgin powder. Below are some pictures of my adventure, including one of an abandoned pontoon that drifted south in the wind and wedged itself on the shore next to the mouth of a small creek. Sort of like an eerie, ghost ship except for the cup holders.

ChristmasTime2010 012
Derelict Pontoon….

Thanks for reading the Update, come on back tomorrow for more cool things that will distract you from Facebook for 2-4 minutes…Have a terrific afternoon as well.

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