Toyota vs GM: Round 2

Toyota announces plan to sell 9.85M vehicles in 2008 |

Toyota’s public announcement of its plans to go for General Motors’ jugular is bold. Even though it is a safe bet according to consensus, the announcement runs counter to the typically conservative Japanese way of conducting business.  Whatever the outcome, the two facts in this story that ought to raise people’s eyebrows are

  1. the battleground between GM and Toyota is not the United States or Europe. The war is being waged in developing economies.
  2. the Corolla is considered a sub-compact vehicle in the US?

The former proposition follows from the economic woes that have received ample documentation in business pages all over the world. The latter is surprising because it was Toyota models like the Tercel, Echo and Yaris that were traditionally considered the subcompact models. The Corolla was always the compact model. Does mean that the SUV effect has been so dramatic that monstrosities like the Camry are now considered “compact” vehicles? So, the Yaris is a micro-compact? Or could it be that USA Today’s writers are still conspicuously error-prone?

World Clock & Mortal Statistics

World Clock 

What is the perfect accompaniment to a beautifully rendered world clock you may ask? Why, all the statistics about death that you could ever want or desire.

The Economics of Health Care

I Am Not a Health Reform | New York Times

The most bizarre aspect of the current American “debate” on health care reform is the fact that the only people who talk about the economics of health care are the “liberals”. In this opinion piece, two Harvard researchers emphasize the horrific waste that characterizes the current system.

With the exception of Dennis Kucinich, the Democratic presidential hopefuls sidestep an inconvenient truth: only a single-payer system of national health care can save what we estimate is the $350 billion wasted annually on medical bureaucracy and redirect those funds to expanded coverage. Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Edwards and Mr. Obama tout cost savings through computerization and improved care management, but Congressional Budget Office studies have found no evidence for these claims.

The Congressional Budget Office‘s studies and projections over the past 20 years or so have been remarkably accurate. The reasons why “conservatives” who are ostensibly pro-business oppose realistic health care reform that is guaranteed to save ungodly sums of money and even rescue companies like General Motors elude me utterly. Why is Kucinich the pro-business candidate?

Model Spam

Moran Atias | Moran Atias Nude

One of the blogs that I maintain has been inundated with Spam from the site above. According to the site, this woman is a “Palestinian model” and television presenter. I have no idea what either means. I am struck with a tinge of pity, however, that there are models who feel as if they need to resort to spamming in order to achieve the sort of groundswell from the internet underground that lifted Cindy Margolis and several other models whose names are not worth seeking or remembering. 

Alas, even the title of the site is misleading. She’s not nude. Was this out of respect to her Muslim heritage? Is she a traditional Palestinian Christian? Would she reject an Israeli agent or photographer?

Ah, useless questions that hound us in the primordial soup. 

For inexplicable reasons, I did more research. Her Wikipedia entry and her official site (Italian) imply that she is Jewish of Moroccon descent. Her portfolio includes little work that would be recognized in the US. So, these damned spam bots are working overtime on any site that happens to mention Italy.

Is this fortunate or unfortunate for her?