money


US State Quarters

D.C. Gets 25 Cents’ Worth of Respect – washingtonpost.com

The District has no vote in Congress, its laws can be trampled by federal legislators and even its streets can be closed by the feds on a moment’s notice.

But after nearly 10 years of fighting, the city finally won a new mark of respect this week.

It will have its very own quarter. The measure, tucked into a giant federal spending bill, puts the District on the same level as the 50 states, at least when it comes to the popular coins showcasing home-state icons such as mountains, birds, race cars and fiddles. The D.C. quarter is due in 2009, with a design yet to be determined.

“Can you believe it? How many years have I tried to get that?” exulted the city’s congressional delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), who has repeatedly introduced bills to get the District a place on the quarter’s flip side.

Despite Norton’s vigorous lobbying and arm-twisting, it was not the District’s quest for equality that ultimately carried the day.

It was Puerto Rico’s.

Yes, the District doesn’t get any respect. People in and outside of the region belittle it everyday. I don’t think that most Americans know that it’s a city without true representation that must endure indignities no state would tolerate.

So what should be on the DC Quarter? Evidently, portraits and flags are not allowed or else I would say Frederick Douglas. I’m certain they will pick something safe like the Capitol, the Washington Monument or some cherry blossom trees. I think it should be simple: “Taxation Without Representation”.

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Anita Roddick, the green queen who inspired millions, dies – Times Online

I’ve taken to reading the London Times online lately. I like the different point-of-view from across the pond. I was very sorry to read that Dame Anita Roddick died this week. The Body Shop is one of my favorite places and one of the few cosmetic lines that I can wear (I’m allergic to many) and that I can support morally.

Dame Anita, who once said she did not want to die rich, also immersed herself in international issues such as Third World debt and human rights. With this commercialism led by conscience, she brought “eco-friendly” products to the British public.

Amnesty International UK director Kate Allen last night described her as a “true champion of the oppressed and persecuted” who had “shared her brilliance and energy with us to marvellous effect”. She added: “Fundamentally she was an activist, someone who always understood the importance of people standing up for human rights.”

I does surprise me that she sold the company to L’Oreal last year. I hope The Body Shop will continue it’s tradition of fair trade and environmental responsibility.

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Wired News – AP News – System Relies on Ice to Chill Buildings

It also cuts down on pollution. An ice-cooling system in the Credit Suisse offices at the historic Metropolitan Life tower in Manhattan is as good for the environment as taking 223 cars off the streets or planting 1.9 million acres of trees to absorb the carbon dioxide caused by electrical usage for one year.

Such a reduction in pollution is valuable in a city where the majority of emissions come from the operation of buildings. State officials say there are at least 3,000 ice-cooling systems worldwide.

“It is worth it to do in New York City,” said William Beck, the head of critical engineering systems for Credit Suisse. “If you take the time to look, you can find innovative ways to be energy efficient, be environmental and sustainable.”

Because electricity is needed to make the ice, water is frozen in large silver tanks at night when power demands are low. The cool air emanating from the ice blocks is then piped throughout the building more or less like traditional air conditioning. At night the water is frozen again and the cycle repeats.

Ice storage can be used as the sole cooling system, or it can be combined with traditional systems to help ease the power demands during peak hours. At Credit  Suisse, for example, the company must cool 1.9 million square feet of office space at the Met Life tower, a historic building that was New York’s tallest in the days before the Empire State Building.

Read the entire article for all the info. It’s fascinating.

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Last Friday, just after the first iPhones were sold, thousands of listings showed up on eBay and Craigslist, with prices of $1,000 for the 8-gigabyte phone, a $400 markup. Some bold sellers were asking $2,000. But as it became clear that supply was meeting demand, they found themselves stuck. Few of the phones have sold for more than $700, which after sales tax, is not a remarkable profit margin.

IPhone Futures Prove to Be a Bad Investment – New York Times

Serves these morons right to get stuck. Why on earth would anyone pay $1000 for an iPhone that retails for $499? Most people can wait for the new stock to arrive and get it for retail price.

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The D.C. administrative law judge who sued his neighborhood dry
cleaners for $54 million over a pair of lost pants found out yesterday
what he’s going to get.Nothing.

Court Rules for Cleaners In $54 Million Pants Suit – washingtonpost.com

“Bartnoff ordered Pearson to pay the Chungs’ court costs — likely to be a few thousand dollars — to cover fees for filings, transcripts and similar expenses. But even bigger troubles loom. She said she will consider making Pearson also pay the couple’s attorneys’ fees arising from the two-year legal battle. With the legal costs likely to exceed$100,000, however, the Chungs aren’t counting on Pearson being able to pay, Manning said.”

“And with good reason. Up for reappointment this year, Pearson could have a hard time keeping his $96,000-a-year job if Bartnoff finds himat fault for his pursuit of the case. While awaiting a decision on his reappointment, Pearson is not hearing cases. He did not respond to e-mails seeking comment yesterday.”

How is that a judge can be so stupid? Oh yeah – he’s a lawyer, too.

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An Ocean City Icon Faces Turn in Economic Tide – washingtonpost.com

Although I haven’t been there in years, our family used to go to Ocean City every summer when we visited my grandmother in Laurel, Delaware. I wasn’t up for the rides but I loved the arcade, skee ball especially. I didn’t realize that Ocean City has the oldest continuously owned amusement park in the United States. I’d hate to see yet another park be turned over to developers for more condos and hotels. What’s next – legalized gambling like Atlantic City?

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