Fine-Constant Friday, Snow to Go

Valentines Day, snowed in?  Looking for hot economic news?  Other than our discussion of bitcoin being in the crapper in the Coping section this morning, about the most exciting them to anticipate will be Miller time, today. And then whatever you have lined up following that. 

This is one of the few days of the year ugly people can celebrate…think of all the money they’re saving by not having plans and spendy relationships.  Singlehood is cheap, except on the rent side.

One other seasonal note:  My friends who don’t have kids have present net worths about $1-million more than my friends with kids…who by comparison are mostly destitute.  Thank healthcare and college. Facts is fact, though: vet bills are cheaper than healthcare bills. And I haven’t seen a dog yet that goes through orthodontia.

”So Mr. Cheerful, what else you got for the cornflake review, you being the flake and dishing out corn like this?” you’re wondering.

Other the Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization numbers, check the Fed stats page around 9:20 Eastern if you care, there’s snow falling in the northeast and it’s still winter.  Like that’s a shocker. 

And Global Warming is going to take another hit with all those volcanoes down in Indonesia spouting off.  Doubt it will stop the rumored plan to dump poison into the atmosphere at 80-thousand feet from a balloon…the geoengineering people are gonna kill us all to save us all seems to be the thinking.  Ma Nature will beat ‘em, it looks like.

Terrorism Alert/Left Field Watching

So what was with the Heads Up on the Nostracodeus website all about, then?

Oh…that… well, seeing as you asked…

Remember the Westgate Mall attack in Nigeria back on September 21, 2013?  Wikipedia summary:

On 21 September 2013, unidentified gunmen attacked the upmarket Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya. The attack, which lasted until 24 September, resulted in at least 72 deaths, including 61 civilians, 6 Kenyan soldiers, and 5 attackers. Over 200 people were reportedly wounded in the mass shooting, with all of the gunmen reported killed. However, an investigation on the incident conducted by the NYPD suggested that the attack had been carried out by only four perpetrators, all of whom had likely escaped.

Well, as I’ve told you, we’re in a kind of “high danger window” since there are certain patterns that pop out of word frequency analysis of news on the internet, one of which is a very soft tendency of data to come around in a cyclical manner that seems somehow related to the fine-structure constant.

“The what?”

Keep up… Wiki it

In physics, the fine-structure constant, commonly denoted ?, is a fundamental physical constant, namely the coupling constant characterizing the strength of the electromagnetic interaction. Being a dimensionless quantity, it has the same numerical value in all systems of units. Arnold Sommerfeld introduced the fine-structure constant in 1916.

The currently accepted value of ? is 7.29735257×10?3.[1]

And one of the “harmonics” if you will, seems to be that 145-147 day periodicity of events in the news.  Remember our discussions about the murder cycle back in September?

Well, when we take the date range for the Nigerian (Westgate) Mall attack as 21 September to 24 September, that gives us a window that opened up yesterday and which will be open through the weekend.  Toss in noise and it might run through into the following week.

So in terms of major terrorism kinds of things, yes, we are in a window where our very soft research says there may be ever so slightly an elevated risk.  More interesting to me and chief project guru Grady that the umpteenth snow is falling rewrite going around.  Here’s a good article on news automation, a/k/a/ story spinning.

You get people aware of news, and then automate replication until (like crack headed monkeys) each person reaches their burnout level.  That’s why when forward looking sites (like UrbanSurvival, Nostracodeus, or Peoplenomics) mention something (California drought is a recent example) it rolls into the mainstream a week later, then a week after that, here it comes again…and again, and then it fades.

Then the forward press pick up change, and the story comes around mainstream in a week.  More on the drought in a minute.

Curiously, though, this is one of the more quiet news Fridays in a long time.  There’s about bupkis going on.  And so it would be about the LEAST surprising thing to see a major terrorist attack over the next several days, just because there’s this 146 day period of news events.

Now, about a million footnotes follow:  Some news events have different cycles to them.  From market peaks to crash periods, for example, seem to run around 55 days.  that’s not the FNC, by the way, that’s just how things have penciled out in past market history. 

On this one, the Dow peaked (intraday) at 16,588 on December 31, 2013.  So by this cycle length, 55-calendar days, we could have a bit more rally in the market over coming days, but by the period around February 24th. 

All of which means the markets are effectively snowed in this morning, with the Dow futures being up 11.  And with options expiration coming up next week, a modest beginning of a decline should lead into options expiration (third Friday of the month, eh?) and from there we could get into a window where things would get interesting.

This is not to go out on a limb  and make an alarmist of doom-porn outlook; it’s just one way the future could tie together.  We might have something like the terror cycle (off the FNC) extend a week so, something happens weekend after this, and then a super hard down for US markets on Monday the 24th in reaction.

So yes, there’s a definite kind of heads up here…and of course security types are all watching Sochi Games like a hawk, but that gets to the problem of trying to anticipate what might be out there and we figure that people who blow themselves – and others – up, don’t run the same kind of operating systems as the rest of us.

Related:

Something nasty is going on in background, we think.  New words like threads, PID, track, and theme appearing…more on the Nosty site…

So yeah, until the 26th, or, we’re watching with baited breath.  Even  though I floss and brush obsessively…..

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About Drought

As along as we’re discussing how population control by media, conscious, or otherwise, works out, we can see pretty clearly that our Peoplenomics coverage was spot on and we’re starting to see the follow-ups roll past us in headlines.

After what seemed like an unstoppable flow of headlines about water restrictions, we have now moved on to stories about how the leading edge of the drought unemployment is starting to come into view with reports like “California drought.

It threatens 50% Farm Town Unemployment.”

If the drought picture doesn’t improve, I’d remind you that if the impact is as large as the Okies experienced in the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s, then we could ultimately see 4-million people, or more, blowing out of California for moister parts of the country.

No, they won’t all start putting their homes on the market tomorrow – and remember, the trend can die on the vine with 10-inches of rain (which would bring flood stores) but until there’s a turn around, the trend is on.

And as further evidence, the morning headlines bring reports that president Obama will be going out for a tour of the drought impacted areas.  Look for him to pitch the $1-billion climate fund.

The California Drought experience ought to be a dandy study of behavioral economics:  The trend is clear, it has been in place for several years, and  without a reversal, the trend is going to result in major damage.  So we can sit back, watch the news wires, and almost plot the recognition curve as people wake up and start making decisions about where to live.

But, not without going through a “denial period” that all investors understand.  It’s like when you pick a stock (just like people pick a place to live) and the price starts to go down.  And then some of the fundamentals that drove the purchase in the first place begin to deteriorate.  And THEN people become afraid and sell out (no surprise here) right around the bottom.

So yes, from an economic and psychological standpoint, there’s a fine correlation between droughts, markets and.,..oh….bitcoins.

Cheaper Money Merger Deals, II

Yesterday, the big story was about the Comcast deal.  this morning, it’s Jos A. Banks buying the Eddie Bauer brands for $825-million.

Drones On the Range

The FAA has grounded a Valentines Day flower delivery drone.

As any pilot knows, the FAA’s main concern is things falling out of the sky and hurting people.  And with no maintenance performance requirements on drones they could fall, eventually.

Typical aircraft engines like our  0-320 E2D on the UrbanSurvival Beechcrate get a total rebuild at 2,000 hours of use (about 260,000 miles) ….which is why more planes don’t fall out of the sky.  Drones will likely face similar reliability regulations in the future.

Oh, did I mention?  Those compliance issues aren’t cheap…

Gay Marriage Note

Virginia’s ban on same sex marriage has been found unconstitutional

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