Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Who Sings on the Acura ILX Commercial

In this ad,an office worker gets up from his desk at the end of the day and heads through the office out to the parking garage.He drives off in his Acura ILX,the fun part of his life after a day of responsibility.The snappy song in the background is "Hit Me Down Sonny" by the English duo The Ting Tings.The Ting Tings hail from Salford,Greater Manchester.They formed in 2007.The song is from their second album,"Sounds From Nowheresville."(C)2011 Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited.
The Ting Tings are comprised of Jules de Martino,about 43,and vocalist Katie White,about 29.Katie grew up on a farm.The Ting Tings are named after her former shop colleague.They won Best UK Video for "Shut Up and Let Me Go"at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2008.As well,they were nominated for Best New Artist at the 2010 Grammy Awards.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Asia This Day:Australian Fund Exec Urges Spending Restraint

Ripple effects from the slowdown of growth in China and Europe will be felt in the Australian mining sector.The CEO of Australian Foundation Investment Company,Ross Barker,urged mining companies to curb their spending on infrastructure projects while commodity prices fall in the difficult global environment.That is obviously something we would encourage,because we don't want to spend large amounts of money and not get good returns,Mr.Barker told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.There is much more economic growth to feed through China and other emerging economies,but on the other hand,the period of huge cash flows from very high commodity prices will be coming to an end.There are still an enormously large number of mining projects in train.The big question for intermediate to long term investors is,how many of them will actually get up,the Australian fund executive asked.
AFI has a market capitalisation of some 4.7 billion dollars Australian,or 4.5 billion American.It owns shares of big miners BHP Billiton and RioTinto.
Asian shares rose in early Monday trading on renewed confidence in the resolution of Europe's debt crisis,and Australian shares were no exception.Japan's falling industrial production number was brushed aside by investors.
At the London Olympics,China led the medals count with 12 total and 6 gold.The U.S. was second with 11 total and 3 gold,while Italy was third with 7 total and 2 gold.
Australian Foundation Investment Company,Ltd.(ASX:AFI)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Good News:Mabel Pantaleon Found

Mabel Pantaleon,the New York actress whose disappearance five days ago was splashed all over the media,has been found at JFK airport.Ms.Pantaleon,who turns 31 in October,was picked up by Port Authority Police when she attempted to buy a plane ticket and her name popped up on a watch list.
She was unharmed and taken to the psychiatric emergency room at Jamaica Hospital at 9:20 pm.
Her mother,Sylvia,said everything is over,thank God.She's O.K. and she is in the hospital.Thank God for everything.
Ms.Pantaleon,a former beauty pageant contestant and nursing student,suffers from manic depression and reportedly had been angry with her family when she left their apartment Sunday morning.Her mother thought she had gone off her medication.
The whole city and country was worried about her-even the whole world.We're so glad that she's back.

Missing Person:New York Actress Mabel Pantaleon

Mabel Pantaleon,30,an actress who has appeared on "Dexter" and "Mystery ER," has gone missing since Sunday morning.Ms.Pantaleon is 5 foot 7 and weighs 157 pounds.She has brown eyes and black hair.Last seen at her Harlem apartment on W.157th St. in Upper Manhattan,she was wearing a red shirt with the word "Drake" on the front,police said.She may be driving a silver 2004 Toyota Camry.
Described as being in good physical condition,the former nursing student at New York City College of Technology has a history of mental illness in the form of  manic depression.Anyone who knows where she is is asked to call NYPD Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS.
About 5.7 million Americans are thought to suffer from manic depression,or bipolar disorder,which is characterized by alternating high and low moods,mania and clinical depression.Patients may exhibit disturbed thinking,with distorted perception and social impairment.A number of medications are prescribed to stabilize the moods and relieve the depression.The illness has genetic underpinnings.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Shop Talk:Jake Gittlen Memorial Golf Tournament 2012

Dear Readers,
Many of you are looking for news about this tournament.I understand it will be held the third weekend in August this year.The tournament will be held at its customary location,the Hershey Country Club.As always,it will benefit the Jake Gittlen Cancer Research Foundation at the Penn State Hershey College of Medicine.There are no plans to abandon this Central Pennsylvania tradition.
Brixton Albert won last year's tournament.
Andrew Taylor

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Scrutinising Microsoft:Is The Future Promising

In its recent report to shareholders,Microsoft beat on the earnings estimate,but missed on revenue.The company will begin a new product cycle in October with the release of Windows 8.Brendan Barnacle of Pacific Crest Securities said we are a little concerned about the hype around Windows 8,so we might take a little off the table.
Microsoft experienced a net loss of 492 million dollars-the first in its 26 year history as a public corporation.That was mainly from a writedown it took in connection with its 2007 acquisition of online display ad company aQuantive,however.Excluding that,earnings were 0.73,versus the estimate of 0.62 a share.Microsoft's 2012 fiscal year revenue,or sales,was a record 743 billion dollars.
On 10-26,Microsoft will release its first tablet computer,the Surface.PC users on Windows 7,Vista or Windows XP will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 for the price of 40.00 until the end of January 2013.
The online services division,including the Bing search engine,lost about 472 million on the quarter.Revenue for the Windows PC division was down 58 million versus the year ago quarter.
The company's enterprise segment was up 7% as businesses placed multiyear orders for Office 15 and database software.This enterprise business helped make up for consumers deferring purchases until Windows 8 comes out or buying competitors' products.The deferred revenue number was pretty good,said Mr.Barnacle of Pacific Crest Securities.This number gives you an indication of future growth,so that's encouraging.He rates Microsoft as "sector perform."Given all that we know about the weakness in PCs,it's not surprising that the sales numbers came in a little light,particularly on the Windows side.
The company's revenue in Entertainment and Devices,including the Xbox gaming console,rose an outstanding 20% to 1.78 billion dollars.Sales and marketing costs were cut 3.5% to 3.78 billion.
All in all,the company has a good deal to look forward to as it gears up for the Windows 8 release and the Surface tablet,continuing to serve its enterprise customers and Xbox denizens in the meantime.It's doing a reasonable job for a mature corporation navigating the highly competitive environment it finds itself in.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Asia This Day:China's Biggest Brokerage Gets Even Bigger

Citic Securities,China's largest brokerage firm,is buying Credit Agricole's CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets unit for a total of 1.25 billion dollars.CLSA is considered a jewel of an asset with its strong balance sheet.Describing itself as Asia's leading independent brokerage and investment group,it advises on stock sales and mergers and has a private equity arm,CLSA Capital Partners.Citic already owns 19.9% of CLSA.
An advisor to the People's Bank of China,Song Guoqing,said the country could see even weaker growth in Q3 than had been forecast.It may come in at 7.4%,rather than the close to 8% consensus estimate because of exports being crimped by the European crisis.This statement,along with a Der Spiegel article saying the IMF may withhold further aid for Greece,causing its insolvency by September,and German Vice Chancellor Phillip Roesler saying there can be no further payments to Greece if conditions are not met,and that a Greek exit from the Euro-zone no longer inspires terror,caused the MSCI Asia Pacific index to fall 1.47% in early Monday trading.
Tropical Storm Vicente is approaching Hong Kong.Warnings were issued about the storm,which is expected to hit China as a typhoon on July 24.
Meanwhile,Apple and Samsung have gone to trial in Sydney.They filed suits against each other for patent infringement.
iShares MSCI All Country Asia ex Japan Index Fund(AAXJ)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Cleanliness From Sweden:Molnycke Health Care Profile

Molnycke Health Care AB is a Swedish firm that makes wound care and infection prevention supplies,as well as operating room products.Based in Gothenburg,it has about 7,000 workers.The company has sales offices in 30 countries,as well as factories and distribution centers in 9 countries globally.It is expanding from its big European presence into North America and the Asia-Pacific Region.
One of Molnycke's most popular products is its anti-bacterial skin cleanser Hibiclens.It is used by patients and OR staff as a pre-surgical wash.The product is also useful for infection prevention at home.It is effective against dangerous staphylococcus bacteria found on the skin.Hibiclens is available at CVS and Rite Aid pharmacies in the U.S. in 15-packs.
Molnycke Health Care is privately held.
CVS Caremark(CVS),Rite Aid Corporation(RAD)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Farm Facts:Fear in the Grocery Aisles As Drought Deepens

Another heat wave is scorching farms from the Midwest to the East,prolonging a devastating and historic drought.Sentiment is cracking out there,said Ann Duignan,analyst at JP Morgan Chase.Only 40% of crops are in good condition.Farmers will probably take big losses and not spend.You can't switch crops this late.We are in a very,very serious situation as far as grain is concerned.We are likely to continue to see food prices increase.
Farming practices themselves have changed.Farms are becoming larger and adding technology like GPS and auto-steer.Now four people are running a 3,000 acre farm.
Soybeans are also in a squeeze.China's consumption of soybeans is way up.It's the urbanisation of their diet.Chinese consumers want more protein.
Forty percent of our corn crop goes into ethanol for a gasoline additive now.Ethanol drives all crop prices up because farmers planting the corn it is made from means less acreage for other crops,resulting in another scarcity factor.
Food prices are expected to rise markedly by autumn.The worst harvest since 1973 is projected.Cattle feed,ethanol and corn syrup may become more expensive from the drought.One third of the corn crop is in trouble.Corn prices impact 75% of the items in a grocery store.
Cattle is already being sold early because forage is scarce and farmers can't afford to buy feed.Corn and soybean prices were sharply up on Monday.
Archer Daniels Midland(ADM),Safeway(SWY)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Law Enforcement Jobs:University Police

The University of Maryland in Baltimore,the Founding Campus,is recruiting for University Police Officers I,II.Deliver quality crime control services that support the University's mission of education,research,and service.Join a department of 43 sworn officers and 69 security officers,along with administrative staff.All UM Police Officers are fully commissioned and certified by the Maryland Police Training Commission.
Level I requires HS diploma or GED
Level II requires HS diploma or GED+MD Police Training Commission
Excellent benefits are offered.Interested candidates may visit their website and apply online at www.hr.umaryland.edu/careers

Friday, July 13, 2012

Health Uncle:What Are Moles-and when they should be evaluated

Moles are concentrations of melanocytes,the cells that give your skin its color.They may be flat or raised.Normal moles are evenly shaped and colored.A mole with irregular borders;a size greater than a pencil eraser;an uneven shape;or more than one color or shade is atypical.Any mole that has changed,looks weird or suddenly appeared if you are over 40,should  be examined by a health professional as soon as possible.In rare cases,moles can be precancerous or cancerous.
Cancerous moles are called malignant melanomas.They are a kind of tumor of the skin.Some melanomas metastasize slowly;but others can spread rapidly to other organs,often with fatal consequences.Young people can get and die from malignant melanomas.
Melanomas are diagnosed by biopsy.The suspicious mole is normally removed in a doctor's office.Mole removal is one of the most common surgeries.It only takes about ten minutes and is done under local anesthesia.The tissue will be sent to a lab for analysis.If the mole is cancerous,it must be staged,or assessed to see if it has spread.If it is superficial,no further treatment is required.If it has spread,an oncologist,or cancer specialist,will draw up a treatment plan following tests to definitively stage the cancer.Treatment of these more advanced melanomas may involve more surgery,radiation and chemotherapy of various types,depending on the patient's situation.
Exposure to ultraviolet radiation and heredity are significant factors that predispose to developing malignant melanomas.If any moles are worrying you,don't hesitate to have them examined.Remember,they don't have to be grotesque to be dangerous.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Is Apple Making A Big Mistake

Apple is planning to introduce a small,cheap tablet with a 7" screen and selling for around 200 dollars.Is this the wrong move for the consumer electronics titan?They are planning to go after a small market,said Todd Schoenberger,Managing Principal at The BlackBay Group.This is gonna squeeze them down the road.It means thin margins.This will cut into the iPad's 37% profit margins.
Apple is a category-killer.Reversing course,going after another market that they don't need right now is disturbing to a shareholder and investor.The profit margins are gonna be squeezed.Apple's challenge going forward is to break into new markets,emerging markets.You don't want to overlap product development.This happens with car companies,and it doesn't work.
The BlackBay Group is an asset management firm.The Payson,Illinois company says it will organize and simplify your financial affairs and help you make the informed decisions needed to achieve your financial goals.
Apple co-founder the late Steve Jobs explicitly rejected the idea of a small tablet.On the other hand,it is inevitable that new CEO Tim Cook will want to leave his own mark and take his own risks.He won't just  be following the party line.Whatever changes he makes will be viewed critically by some.
Apple Computer(AAPL)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Asia This Day:Chinese Economy Still Under Pressure,Premier Says

Japan's machinery orders dropped 14.8%,which is seven times worse than estimates.As well,the current account balance fell about 63%,reflecting a drop in chemical and aerospace orders,and increased imports of liquefied natural gas.The Kansai Electric Ohi nuclear reactor number 3 is now running at full capacity,having been restarted last week,but it only supplies 2% of the country's electricity.A lot of LNG imports will still be needed until other reactors come back into service.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said China will continue to intensify pre-emptive fine-tuning of policy.There are still relatively large downward pressures on the economy.Real estate market controls will continue,as speculation must be stopped.Don't expect such controls to be eased anytime soon.China's inflation declined for the fifth consecutive month below Mr.Wen's 4% target rate,settling at 2.2 %,below the 2.3% estimate.
Shares of Australian miners Iluka Resources and BHP Billiton dropped on fears of a Chinese hard landing and worsening global demand generally.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was down 0.82% in early Monday trading,while India's Nifty Fifty futures index declined on the Chinese inflation numbers and U.S. jobs stagnation.The Chinese low inflation figures are being seen by analysts as a confirmation of continued weakness.
On a lighter note,South Korean golfer Na Yeon Choi,24,won the Women's U.S. Open at Black Wolf Run in Wisconsin.She survived some harrowing mistakes on the back nine with cool-headed recovery shots,earning her first major victory and her sixth total win on the LPGA Tour.Her countrywoman Amy Yang was second on the leaderboard.
BHP Billiton,Ltd.(BHP),Iluka Resources,Ltd.(ASE:ILU)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

USC Norris Doctors Advance Cancer Research

A number of physician researchers from the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles were collaborators on more than 70 research projects presented at the 2012 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.About 30,000 oncologists from around the world attend the meeting to review the latest developments in their field.Advances in the treatment of cancer and patient care were set forth in more than 4500 abstracts presented or published at the gathering.Topics of the papers included targeted therapy;clinical trial results for a wide rage of cancers;and patient quality of life.The meeting took place at McCormick Place in Chicago from June 1-5.
One of the more promising studies presented was collaborated on by Heinz-Josef Lenz,associate director for clinical research and co-leader of the gastrointestinal cancers program at the USC Norris CCC.It was an international phase III trial of regorafenib,a candidate drug that has been found to significantly improve overall survival in metastatic colorectal cancer patients who are unresponsive to other approved therapies.It is believed that the drug,pending FDA approval,will raise the standard of care for these patients.
Regorafenib is an oral drug developed by Bayer AG.Its stock trades on the OTC pink sheets in the U.S. under the ticker symbol BAYRY.The company is well known as the maker of Bayer aspirin products.Indeed,Bayer AG was the first producer of aspirin tablets.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Who Narrates The Pure Michigan Commercials

You may think it must be Cliff Robertson's voice in the "Pure Michigan" travel commercials.Think again;it's actually Michigan-raised and educated Tim Allen,59,star of the popular sitcom "Home Improvement."Yes,that's also Allen narrating the Chevrolet commercials.Denver-born Allen moved to Michigan as a child,eventually graduating from Western Michigan University with a BS in Communications and concentrations in radio and television production.
The comic actor's life had some missteps that were anything but funny.In 1978,25 year-old Allen landed in federal prison after pleading guilty to drug trafficking.He served two years and four months there,having been arrested with cocaine in his possession.In  1997,Allen was arrested for DUI.He was sentenced to one year of probation plus substance abuse counseling.He recovered from these wayward acts and has sustained a high level of success in his career,recieving five Golden Globes and an Emmy award for his work,as well as a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.Allen starred  in "The Santa Clause" film series and did voiceover work in the "Toy Story" films.He is currently starring in the ABC sitcom "Last Man Standing."
The commercials are the product of the McCann-Erickson subsidary of McCann Worldgroup,a leading marketing communications firm with offices in New York,Italy, Brazil,India and Singapore.The company pledges to transform its clients' brands and grow their businesses.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Asia This Day:Japan Restarts Nuclear Plant;Confidence Up

Despite loud protests,Japan has restarted its Fukui Prefecture Ohi nuclear power plant,saying the quality of life was being hurt by the recent switch to more expensive fossil fuels.The country had placed a moratorium on nuclear power a few months ago for safety checks in the wake of last year's meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant.
The Tankan survey of Japanese large companies showed a greater than expected increase in business confidence.Australian home prices rebounded the most in two years on rate cuts,while manufacturing contracted at a slower pace in June than in May.
The HSBC China Purchasing Managers Index fell to 48.2 in June from 48.4 in May.It has shown contraction for the past eight months.Manufacturing orders and export demand are down on the Euro-zone debt crisis.The Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.42% in early Monday trading on the news.
Hong Kong's stock market is closed today following the inauguration of the territory's new chief executive,C.Y. Leung,on Sunday morning.Chinese Premier Hu Jintao attended the ceremony.Tens of thousands of protesters marched through the streets,denouncing Mr.Leung,a former real estate executive,as a Beijing figurehead.A big fireworks display was nontheless held to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong to China by the U.K.
India's Nifty Fifty stock futures index rose on optimism about a Euro-zone agreement on how to resolve the debt problem.
iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund(EWJ)