Monday, July 5, 2010

Holiday Weekend News & Notes

July 4 holiday weekend, just some news and notes for this getaway weekend:

Claremont, CA - Rink Rats spotted some friends participating in the Claremont 5K run to celebrate the 4th; congratulations to Sula, Linda, and Carrie for participating and posting excellent times.

Debuting This Week: , the administration's “new consumer website that provides unprecedented transparency into the health care marketplace … individuals will have more control over their health care as informed and empowered consumers.”

Telsa Motors: Telsa Motors shares shot nearly 41% higher on Tuesday in their first day of trade, an enthusiastic reception for the Silicon Valley electric car maker in sharp contrast to steep declines elsewhere in the equities market this week. Telsa is the first American car maker to go public in a half of century. The maker of the Roadster sports car (based in Southern California) raised $260 million from the sale of 13.3 million shares of stock. Telsa is a dog with fleas; it has lost $300 million since inception, and does not expect to make a profit until 2012 (if then). Why are investors in this economy still suckers???

Cupa Mondial - Rink Rats World Cup picks of an Argentina vs. Portugal final is history. But viewing the games has been intriguing to say the least.

Rink Rats Latest Fad Update: Silly Bandz - THE BIGGEST TWEEN FAD SINCE SWATCH WATCHES -- Silly Bandz gets a pic at the top of USA Today front page, with story on the cover of the Money section, “Silly Bandz mania takes shape”: “Silly Bandz are basically rubber bands that hold shapes such as a cat, fairy princess or - coming soon - SpongeBob. Annual sales of the Silly Bandz brand alone are north of $100 million … vs. $10,000 just two years ago. … Some college bookstores are stocking them for back-to-school. … Sarah Jessica Parker and Mary-Kate Olsen have been seen in them (and, no, they weren't paid to be). … Silly Bandz have been banned at some schools, summer camps and pools. But that only adds to their cachet with kids, who don't really give a hoot if the bands occasionally distract them from lessons, challenge blood circulation or clog pool filters. … One year ago, the company had 20 U.S. employees. Today, it has 400 in the USA and 3,000 in China, where Silly Bandz are made. One year ago, it was selling 100 packs of Silly Bandz a week. Today, it's selling 1 million. … Quiznos has a Silly Bandz kids meal on tap. Toys R Us has a big Silly Bandz back-to-school promo in the works. Marvel Comics and Nickelodeon recently signed licensing deals. … The company's never bought an ad. All Silly Bandz marketing has been word-of-mouth and viral via Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. … Toys R Us is … selling 'tens of thousands' of packs daily … And 7-Eleven, which sells several rival brands, figures it's sold 1.2 million packs in fewer than five months, and they aren't even in half its stores yet.'”

For those who are interested where their tax dollars go - The White House posts a searchable 2010 salary list for 469 employees. Annual pay for senior staff tops at $172, 200.

Hangover Remedies - For our Rink Rats followers who indulge in a bit too much of the spirits this holiday weekend, what to do with a hangover the morning after? Web MD tells us take two aspirin before bed and in the morning and drink plenty of water and more water. Alcohol dehydrates the body and water brings it back to normal. Personally, I find the “hair of the dog” remedy is the best: Kettle One Vodka and Red Bull will do the trick.

Top Finance Story - “Dems in a jam as jobs bill falls short,” by David Rogers: “Congress is poised to go home for the July 4th recess, leaving millions of jobless workers in the lurch because of a continued Senate impasse over financing unemployment benefits. Democrats fell one vote shy of the 60 needed in the Senate Wednesday night to end debate, and by the time lawmakers return July 12, the government estimates that as many as 2 million workers will be without assistance. The death of Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) this week and defection of Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), a fiscal conservative from a low-unemployment state, helped to seal the fate. But more than any other one issue, the impasse over jobless benefits has come to dramatize the Republicans' almost single-minded focus on deficit reduction as an economic-and campaign-theme this election year. Just two Republicans, Maine Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins (St. Lawrence University ’74), joined in support of an estimated $34 billion bill to extend benefits through November. Early hopes of getting help from Sen. Scott Brown were dashed Wednesday when the Massachusetts Republican went to the Senate floor with his own alternative - heavily reliant on cutting unspent funds from last year's giant recovery act.”

Before You Eat the Left Overs – Adult obesity rates increased in 28 states in the past year, with the No. 1 ranking going to Mississippi, where 33.8% of adults are obese. 38 states have adult obesity rates above 25%. No state had an obesity rate above 20% in 1991. Colorado has the lowest rate of any state, 19.1%, California is 41st at 24.4%. 10 of 11 states with the highest obesity rates are in the South.

Finally, Cool Software - If you have not tried Skype communication software do so. I spoke to Sweden this past week to an online Finance student for fifteen minutes at no cost, amazing.

Next week: More summer time news and notes.

Until next Monday, Arrivederci.

Claremont, CA
July 5, 2010

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