Water Protection and 2008 in Pictures

Well, here it is the first Monday in 2009, and judging by my inbox, which suddenly jumped to life, it is definitely time to get back to this poor site update. I was ready to dive in, anyhow, since the holidays are finally past, and my son returns to school tomorrow. (Yay!) Besides, tomorrow is Chaotic Utopia’s birthday--my first blog post was January 6, 2006. So, as a present to my blog, I’ll be giving it that much needed facelift. (I’ll admit, I was stymied by a few design choices, but I’ve finally moved past that and know what I want to do.)

In the meantime, check out this series of photographs compiled by the Boston Globe. The entire collection of 120 pictures is incredible. Some are amazing, others shocking, but all are excellent works of photography. This one was my favorite:


In this photo by Irfan Khan (AP), workers are releasing the first of four million black balls into Ivanhoe Reservoir, in order to prevent a chemical reaction between chlorine from water treatment, natural bromide, and good old California sunshine. Thus, they are hoping it will protect the Los Angeles water supply from the carcinogenic product: bromate. It reminds me of a giant plastic pool covering, separated into individual bubbles.

You can find many more great photos in these three articles.

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Ãsterreich Krise

Ãsterreichs Ruf als Schuldner steht auf dem Prüfstand. Die Alpenrepublik will in dieser Woche ihre bis 2014 laufende und 2 Milliarden Euro schwere Staatsanleihe um eine halbe Milliarde Euro aufstocken. Dieser Betrag sollte leicht auf dem Anleihemarkt einzusammeln sein. Allerdings ist Ãsterreich ins Gerede gekommen. Das liegt an der tiefen Rezession in weiten Teilen Osteuropas. Dort haben österreichische Banken Forderungen von 280 Milliarden Dollar - eine Zahl, die dem österreichischen Bruttoinlandsprodukts nahekommt. Wegen der wachsenden Schwierigkeiten osteuropäischer Schuldner, ihre Kredite zurückzuzahlen, sind die Bedenken der Anleger mit Blick auf die Kreditwürdigkeit Ãsterreichs und seiner Banken in den vergangenen Tagen gewachsen.

Ein Indiz für die Skepsis ist die Renditedifferenz zwischen österreichischen Staatsanleihen und deutschen Bundesanleihen. Noch nie war sie so groà wie derzeit. Für zehnjährige Laufzeiten zum Beispiel beträgt die Differenz fast 1,4 Prozentpunkte. Bundesanleihen rentieren mit 2,9 Prozent, österreichische mit immerhin 4,3 Prozent. Auf dem zu Ãbertreibungen neigenden Markt für Kreditausfallversicherungen (CDS) ist die Diskrepanz zwischen Ãsterreich und Deutschland sogar noch gröÃer. Die Aufstockung der österreichischen Staatsanleihe ist daher keinesfalls Routine.

By arnold stein (not verified) on 08 Mar 2009 #permalink

Thanks for the comment Steve. I actually wrote in a comment here a few weeks ago asking what was happening with this blog after the announcement that O'Reilly was dropping the Digital Media division. It's really refreshing to get an honest comment on what's happening. I really hope the blog picks up again.