Monday, July 31, 2006

Postage



post card usa .24
post card overseas .75
letter usa .39
letter overseas .84

Paris beach ban rules thongs to be beyond the pale


If there are any young lovelies out there who would like to sunbathe, this blogger will happily cover the 38 euro fine!

link

By Colin Randall in Paris

(Filed: 31/07/2006)

A threat to impose spot fines on women who sunbathe topless or in thongs on Paris Plage, a summer beach on the banks of the Seine, has left the city's mayor struggling to maintain his carefully nurtured image as a modern civic chief.

The penalty for going nude, topless or in a thong is 38 euros (£26). No fines have yet been imposed

In a country where going topless on real beaches is almost de rigueur, incredulity has greeted news that city hall officials and police have been moving among sunbathers, warning them of the ban on "indecent" dress.

What is especially embarrassing for Bertrand Delanoë, Paris's openly homosexual mayor, is that Paris Plage, now in its fifth year, is intended to reproduce the ambience of a Mediterranean beach.

"Sand, sunbeds, parasols," sighed the tabloid daily Le Parisien. "On the beach along the Seine, Bertrand Delanoë has deployed the full panoply of the perfect seaside postcard.

"But beware, it is a beach only in name and those who want sun-bronzed bottoms are unwelcome."

The major proudly describes Paris Plage as an attraction not only for tourists but for Parisians too poor to join the summer exodus to the coast.

The riverside highway is closed to traffic and covered by 2,000 tons of fine sand. The beach stretches for more than two miles and is dotted with palm trees and cafes.

But the order forbidding the exposure of flesh declares: "Behaviour must conform to good morals, tranquillity, safety and public order."

The penalty for going nude, topless or in a thong is 38 euros (£26). No fines have yet been imposed but the beach does not close until Aug 20.

City officials insist that the rule dates from Paris Plage's origins in 2002.

But one assistant mayor, Pascal Cherki, was ridiculed by Le Parisien for suggesting that inappropriate clothing worn so close to a river "could provoke dangerous temptations and behaviour".

Mr Delanoë was already under fire for launching an operation to remove tramps' tents, ostensibly for health reasons but widely seen as an attempt to sweep away signs of poverty and squalor from the chic riverside.

The Mouths of Babes


link
Mother dearest

We've all had moments of mortification caused by our mothers. But what if your mother is one of the most famous women in the world - with a tendency to cavort naked with a riding crop?

It's no surprise to hear that Madonna's nine-year-old daughter, Lourdes, was recently appalled by her mother's day job. "After seeing my video, Hung Up, she remarked: 'Yuk, that's disgusting. Why are you behaving like that?' " says the Queen Mummy of Pop. "She's even asked me if I am gay. She'd seen me kiss Britney Spears [at the MTV awards] and I tried to explain, saying: 'No darling, I kissed her to give her my energy'."

But Lourdes's perceptive reaction showed a maturity beyond her years: "Don't make me laugh," she scoffed.

Five Feet Under


Now you can't cuddle a conger

By Richard Alleyne

(Filed: 29/07/2006)

A charity game in which people try to knock each other over with a 5ft conger eel has been banned after animal rights activists complained that it was "disrespectful" to the dead fish.

Conger cuddling has been staged annually for more than 30 years at the harbour in Lyme Regis, Dorset, as a fund-raising event for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

Teams stand on 6in high wooden blocks and others take it in turns to swing a 25lb eel at them. The team with the most people left standing at the end wins.

However, animal activists threatened to film the event and use the footage to start a national campaign against it.

Rob Michael, the chairman of the Lyme Lifeboat Guild, said: "We have been advised by the RNLI headquarters at Poole to abandon the conger cuddling event following a local complaint from animal rights activists.

"The RNLI is not prepared to be involved in an event that may be seen by some to be a barbaric throwback due to its use of a dead animal."

A rubber buoy may be now used instead of an eel.

Ken Whetlor, the mayor of Lyme Regis, said: "The writer of that letter is a gutless troublemaker with nothing better to do than stop people enjoying an innocent event that helps to raise money to save lives. I cannot see how using a dead conger eel landed by a local fisherman is unethical."

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Foreign Exchange


You know, as ANTONIS A. DEMOS and CHARLES A. E. GOODHART always like to say:
There is an empirical relationship between volatility, average spread, and number of quotations in the foreign exchange spot market. The estimation procedure involves two steps. In the Þrst one the optimal functional form between these variables is determined through a maximization procedure of the unrestricted VAR, involving the BoxÐCox transformation. The second step uses the two-stage least squares method to estimate the transformed variables in a simultaneous equation system framework. The results indicate that the number of quotations successfully approximates activity in the spot market. Furthermore, the number of quotations and temporal dummies reduce signiÞcantly the conditional heteroskedasticity e¤ect. We also discuss information aspects of the model as well as its implications for Þnancial informational theories. Inter- and intra-day patterns of the three variables are also revealed.


It's true. Who knew?

Friday, July 28, 2006

Selling Keywords for Ads an Infringement


link to the opinion
Oh boy! This has got to be trouble!

Volume 72 Number 1779
Friday, July 28, 2006 Page 348
ISSN 1522-4325
News

Trademarks/Infringement
Search Engine's Sale of Trademark Terms
As Keywords Ruled Commercial Use of Mark


Selling paid-search listings triggered to appear whenever a user queries the plaintiff's trademark is a "use in commerce" of the mark that may be infringing, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey ruled July 17 (800-JR Cigar Inc. v. GoTo.com Inc., D.N.J., No. 00-3179, 7/17/06).
The court adopted the reasoning of Government Employees Insurance Co. v. Google Inc., 330 F. Supp. 2d 700, 73 USPQ2d 1212 (E.D. Va. 2004) (69 PTCJ 186, 12/24/04 ), for the proposition that keyword-based advertising amounts to a use in commerce of a trademark where the mark serves as an invisible trigger to display a competitor's ad. . . .


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Sunday, July 23, 2006

A STOCK MARKET CRASH IN 2006?


Four Investment Safe Havens for the Ailing Market
by Dr. Mark Skousen
Chairman, Investment U
June 15, 2006
Originally published June 7, 2006

link
Watch out below! We could well be headed for a Ben Bernanke crash...

This coming crash could hit all sorts of financial assets - stocks, gold, commodities and real estate. In fact, it's already happening... And my recommendation last month to move to "cash" (earning 5%) and prime rate funds (8%) has proven good advice.

The summer of 2006 is eerily similar to 1987, Alan Greenspan's first year as Fed chairman. What happened in October 1987? The stock market fell 23% in a single day. I remember it well, October 19, 1987, my 40th birthday. Fortunately, I warned investors six weeks before to "sell everything," but few followed my advice.

The stock market collapsed in 1987 because the new chairman talked tough about inflation and raised interest rates. The Treasury secretary also said he supported a weaker dollar. It was not what the markets wanted to hear.

Once again, a new chairman has taken over, and on Monday, he gave a speech warning that his new Fed policy-makers would not tolerate current inflationary pressures. "We will be vigilant," he said. . . .

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Subject: RESULTS - Newspaper advertisements?



Some recommended sources are:
NewsStand (very cool, and quite affordable)
https://www.newsstand.com/

Library PressDisplay (NewspaperDirect) via ProQuest


Google Image Search
(example result)

I was able to find the Friday-Sunday issues of 2005 of one newspaper I'm looking for in NewsStand, which is sure better than nothing. And $2.75 is a small price to save my eyes from the microfilm reader!

Thanks again to everyone who responded!
Emily
Emily G. Cunningham
Research Specialist

Friday, July 14, 2006

The Option Strategist Weekly Updater



July 14, 2006

To receive the complete commentary plus reccomendations visit here:
http://www.optionstrategist.com/offers/strategist.htm

Stock Market
The bulls had every opportunity to move the market higher over the past couple of weeks, but they were unable to do so. Even before today's global problems surfaced, the bulls were woefully lacking in ability to counteract the bearish trends. As a result, $SPX slipped back below support (1255) and NASDAQ made new lows. It now appears that the bears are in charge again, and it would take a whole new setup of buy signals to generate another rally. Perhaps $SPX will find support near 1240 again, as it did in the second half of June, but it's more likely that it will try to retest the June lows near 1220. We had expected such a retest to take place, although we thought it might be later this year. When a retest takes place, we look for divergences: are the technical indicators in better or worse shape than the first time the averages visited this level? That will be important, and it's something that we'll definitely be keeping an eye on. For example, from Figures 2 & 3, we can see where the put-call ratios were when $SPX bottomed out in June. Will they be higher if $SPX trades down there again? If they are, that's bearish, but if they're lower, that would be a bullish divergence.

Speaking of the equity-only put-call ratios, they have been on buy signals for 2-3 weeks, but they were mostly alone in that stance and hence nothing much ever got going on the upside. They may roll over and start moving higher again. If that happens, they would revert to sell signals. It's possible.

Market breadth has been poor all along, and nothing has occurred to change that. Breadth indicators are bearish at the current time.

Finally, the volatility indices ($VIX and $VXO) had been taking a rather benign view of this decline when it first started about a week ago. However, they are now moving sharply higher, which is bearish while it's ongoing. Eventually another spike peak in $VIX would be bullish, but it's too early to call for that yet.

In summary, $SPX is going to try to find support at 1240 and then 1220. If both give way, this could get very nasty. In the meantime, we will take a somewhat bearish outlook unless new buy signals set up something that doesn't necessarily happen overnight.

.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Option Strategist Weekly Updater


June 30, 2006

To receive the complete commentary plus reccomendations visit here:

Note: Use the following link to view this week's charts:

We have been waiting for the market to break out over resistance -- to show that price action could be as bullish as some of the technical indicators were becoming. That has now occurred, in the wake of the Fed's announcement. I'm not completely in agreement with the super- bullish interpretation of the Fed statement (and I think some of the buying was due to end-of-quarter window dressing), but the reasons don't really matter. An upside breakout has occurred and thus we expect the major indices to trade higher at least for the short term.

$SPX had struggled with the 1260 area. Two rallies were turned back there, and the 200-day moving average (one which is often followed by institutional traders) had been holding back progress as well. In addition, the declining 20-day moving average was overhanging the averages as well. Today's rally blew through all of those, turning the technical picture bullish -- at least as long as it doesn't slip back below 1255, say.

The equity-only put-call ratios had already turned bullish (Figures 2 and 3) and were just waiting for confirmation from price action and the other technical indicators -- confirmation which is now verified.

Market breadth has been poor all year, and it was deeply oversold for most of the past month. With today's action, both breadth oscillators have given buy signals. A truly long-lasting rally would be led by
extremely oversold breadth readings in the coming days and weeks. Failure to achieve that may give us some indication of just how strong and long-lasting this rally can be.

Volatility indices ($VIX and $VXO) plunged today. That is a bit strange, because a new era of higher volatility has almost certainly been issued in. Even if the Fed has temporarily stopped raising rates, the market is going to live in fear that they might start again. That, coupled with the aftermath of a very nasty decline in April and May is certainly going to keep volatility high, in our opinion. Yes, we understand that $VIX dropped because put sellers were hammering $SPX and $OEX puts with abandon today, but that doesn't necessarily mean the market won't be volatile.

This short-term breakout should carry the averages up to at least the early June highs -- about 1290 on $SPX. The jury is still out on what happens after that. It is possible that an intermediate-term rally will take place, but we are not jumping on that bandwagon yet. The June lows are eventually going to be retested, we're sure, even if it takes several months to do so. This could develop into the kind of bottom we saw in August-October 1998 or July-October 2002. But, for now, enjoy the rally while it lasts.


To receive the complete commentary plus reccomendations visit here:

Forex references



post 6/30/2006 7:37:07 PM

Here are some resources on FOREX for those who might be interested. The download links are located at the bottom.
_______________________
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1st Forex Trading Academy - Introduction to Forex
Forex - Online Manual for Successful Trading
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Study Book for Successful Foreign Exchange Dealing
The Forex Market Phenomena
Trading for a Living in the Forex Market

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Forex Trading - Avoiding Mistakes
FX Power Trading Course
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Currency Strategy - A Practitioner's Guide To Currency Investing, Hedging & Forecasting
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Forex - Trade Book
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Forex Report - Predicting Price Action
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Forex Systems Research - Practical Fibonacci Methods For Forex Trading 2005
Forex Trading - Power Trading Course (2003)
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Introduction to Forex

Forex Trading Course

Forex Trading System