Thursday, December 13, 2007

good, bad, and fun news

Good news:
The Koreas appear to be making real steps towards peace, with border crossing discussions. My personal theory is that Kim Jung Il is getting old enough that he is thinking about his legacy and has decided he would rather be remember as a belated peacemaker rather than lifetime dictator. Either that, or he sees the new wealth of Asia and wants his people to benefit from it.

Bad news:
We are all going to become more familiar with the term "Commercial Backed Securities" in the near future. These are the same thing as Mortgage Backed Securities of recent infamy but on commercial properties rather than residential. Many condo projects were funded through these mechanisms. They are the other shoe.

Also, the same reserve banks that keep saying that things are really fine, nothing to worry about, get along and do your shopping or your family won't love you anymore. Those banks have banded together to create an emergency fund to reduce liquidity problems. In Russia, this sort of news inspires people to buy furniture and jewelry because it presages inflation.

Fun news:
I'm going to make an LED grow lamp so we can have a small indoor herb garden. Plants mostly only use two frequencies of light: 400-500 nm and 600-700 nm. LEDs produce these frequencies very efficiently. I think it'll be a fun little project. You can buy them online starting at $200. I plan on spending about $40 for 150 "super bright" red and blue LEDs hoping to get the same or brighter results, in what i hope will be a more attractive configuration.

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