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Sunday,  03/12/23  06:03 PM

Hi all, checking in from the middle of watching the Oscars ... which strangely, we are enjoying!  A minimum of politically correct crap this year, just a fun show with lots of stars and all about the movies.  Jimmy Kimmel is funny without being controversial.  How weird is that?

Earlier today had the great privilege of attending South Coast Corinthian Yacht Club's "Opening Day" - the declaration was, "the harbor is free of ice, we are open!" - which event featured this beautiful wooden Snipe, from 1923, the year in which SCCYC was founded (oldest yacht club in LA).  Supercool.

And a bit later had the great fun of participating in Westlake Yacht Club's "Shamrock Regatta", despite an iffy forecast the weather was beautiful, and I was able to sail in shorts and no shirt, and feel that maybe - maybe! - winter was over and we were back to a SoCal spring.  About time, we've had nothing but cold and rain since December.  For those to the North and East, yeah, I know :)

The big news over the weekend was the failure of Silicon Valley Bank, amid speculation of what the Federal Government might do about it.  As I understand the bank invested deposits in long-term bonds which could only be liquidated at a discount to face value, due to the rise of interest rates, and hence didn't have enough reserves to cover "a run".  Given that most of its depositors were startups, and most of them have VC backers, and most of them are sheep, everyone decided all at once to withdraw their money, and this happened.  Yikes.  Of course other banks could have the same problem, and that is the real problem.  Staying tuned... 

Financial Times two weeks ago: Silicon Valley Bank profit squeeze in tech downturn attracts short sellers.

[Update: Annnd ... it's a bailout.  The prevailing sentiment seems to be it was wiser to step in now than to let things fail.  I'm so conflicted about this ... opposed to government intervention in markets, but maybe bank safety is the exception?]

The previous big news was the release of footage from the January 6 "insurrection"; Elon Musk comments: free Jacob Chansley.  I'm not sure about this; in no way was "invading the Capital" justified, but also, in no way does the behavior you see in the video seem like an invasion, and certainly not a riot.  Perhaps we can agree either way it was misrepresented by the Jan 6 commission, 

Powerline ask: Are Americans getting dumber?  Sadly, the answer appears to be: yes.  Although like many, this confuses education with intelligence.  Perhaps the real question is "Are Americans getting more poorly educated?", and the answer to that is certainly (and sadly): yes. 

More big news: SpaceX's Crew-5 Mission is returning to Earth after undocking from the ISS.  Wow.  On any other day this would have been the lead story.  But even today it is supercool. 

Meanwhile: Relativity Space aborts second launch attempt of its 3D-printed rocket.  Hopefully they'll keep trying; it took SpaceX a long time to reach the reliability they have today. 

Seth Godin: revisiting stamps for email.  I get it, charging to receive email would filter some degree of spam.  But OTOH we get a great deal of junk paper mail, and it does cost money.  So I'm not sure this is the solution; maybe there is no solution.  At least [email] spam filters have improved!  (Wish there was such a thing for paper mail...) 

Huh: When you could buy a monkey from Sears.  An interesting slice from a different time.  Is it possible to buy a monkey online today? 

Miguel de Icaza: the thread you didn't know you needed about product design.  About Apple Music's Classical app.  It turns out classical music is pretty different from other genres, and hence this makes sense.  The larger point is the difference between a specific solution for a specific market, and a general solution which doesn't quite meet the market need. 

Onward ... to watch the rest of the Oscars ... doing everything everywhere all at once :)