But it doesn’t matter, because the EU is doomed…

I confess to some small satisfaction in having been absolutely right about what was happening and would happen since I started posting about the collapse of the EU and the Euro more than a year ago. Of course, my satisfaction is tempered by the fact that we’re facing a world-wide disaster, and the fact that the US will do much better than other nations is of little comfort because in absolute terms we’re going to be hurting badly.

Incidentally, a few minutes ago I came across a very smart woman (obviously, she’s a genius because she agrees completely with me).

The countdown has already begun.

Finally, a solution to the Euro crisis

The Europeans have come up with a solution to the Euro crisis: threaten S&P and Moody’s. After all, if no one is allowed to point out that the emperor has no clothes, who’s going to notice?

Meanwhile, everyone with any sense is dumping Greek and now Portuguese debt as fast as they can. Hint to traders: now is the time to dump all of your Icelandic, Irish, Italian, and Spanish bonds, assuming you can find anyone foolish enough to buy them. Fools are quickly becoming harder to find. If someone offered me that junk at $0.10 on the dollar, I’d flee screaming.

To give you an idea of the scale of the problem, Greece, which is about the size and population of Ohio, is now close to $600 billion in debt. But the situation is actually much worse than those figures indicate. Ohio has a robust economy. Greece has no economy to speak of, and no prospect of developing one. Think of Greece as Ohio with a Soviet-style economy and you won’t be far off the mark. And Portugal, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, and Spain aren’t much better.

People are now talking about “partial default” and “temporary default”. There’s nothing partial or temporary about it. We’re looking at default default. One morning in the not-too-distant future, we’ll awaken to news that the dominoes are toppling and the Euro has gone down the tubes. Count on it.

Young American tennis players

I periodically despair about the state of tennis in the US. For decades, we regularly produced a crop of world-class players, fromĀ  Tilden and Vines and Budge and Kramer to Schroeder and Riggs and Gonzalez and Trabert to Ashe and Smith and Connors and McEnroe and Agassi and Sampras. And that’s just the men.

But for the last ten years or more we haven’t had any truly first-rate players on the pro tour. The best we can come up with are players like Roddick and the Williams sisters, decent players but not true greats. So I’m always glad to see up-and-coming young players like Kiah.

The video is from about a year ago, when she was still 15. She has several other videos posted, showing her serving and so on. Watching her play, I’d guess she’d play about even with most fair-to-middling 15-year-old male tennis players–those good enough to make the tennis team at a large high school–although that’ll change over the next couple of years, as the boys continue to get faster and stronger, while she doesn’t. If I’d played her when I was 15, I certainly wouldn’t have taken the match lightly. I’d probably have beaten her four matches in five, and maybe even five in five, but this girl has enough tools to be dangerous.

I hope there are a whole lot more like her out there.

 

A day in the life

Here’s a wonderful post from Abbie Smith, AKA ERV. You probably need to be a working scientist to appreciate it fully, but Abbie gives a great description of her working day as a grad student down in the pits of bench science, where everything is easy but even the easy things are difficult.

Incidentally, don’t let Abbie’s LOLcat prose turn you off. It’s just how she writes blog entries, with various affectations such as refusing to use apostrophes in contractions. I’m not sure why she does that. When we exchange email, she writes fluent and literate English prose. Perhaps it’s because Abbie likes to be underestimated by creationists and other anti-science folks. When they do that, which they do regularly, they are making a serious mistake. Abbie has a first-rate brain and the heart of a pit bull.

Colin visits his old pack

After dinner last night, Barbara and I loaded Colin up and drove over to see his original family. Their daughter, Ashlynn, had really wanted to see Colin, but at the last minutes she was invited to go to Carowinds with friends, so Colin missed seeing her again. Here’s Colin with Scarlett.

Colin with Scarlett
Colin with Scarlett

And here’s Minnie, Colin’s mom. She’s a smooth-coat, as is Colin, and his markings are very similar to hers. She’s a fast mover, and almost impossible to shoot a good image of, even with the low shutter latency of a DSLR.

Minnie, Colin's mom
Minnie, Colin's mom

Although he did eventually get snout-to-snout with Minnie and two of his remaining siblings, Colin was quite timid and subdued. He didn’t seem sorry when we left. It wasn’t until later that Barbara mentioned he might have been worried that we were going to leave him there. He was carsick (again) on the ride home, but as soon as he got back home he started acting normally again. We promised Colin we’d never leave him anywhere, or if we did that we’d always come back to get him.