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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Berlusconi Rides Again

In world news, the headline reads Berlusconi Rides Again: "Only in Italy could Silvio Berlusconi, the country's richest and occasionally most outlandish man, be elected Prime Minister. Three times! Spry and combative as ever, the 71-year-old media mogul on Monday rolled to a clear-cut election victory just two years after Romano Prodi had ousted him from the job by a whisker's margin." Longtime readers of my blog might recall that we followed Berlusconi in the prior election when he made a no sex campaign promise to a religious leader, stating he would abstain until after the election. What an odd campaign promise, eh? Berlusconi lost that prior election, and yet one might suggest that the headline "Bersconi Rides Again" might well have applied both to this election and the prior, albeit with slightly different meanings.

In (loosely) related news....

High Testosterone Means High Profits: "You can almost hear Gordon Gekko cheer. Financial traders are widely seen as filthy rich, brash, and, well, ballsy. Now it turns out that there's cash in those cojones. According to new research from the University of Cambridge, a male trader's daily testosterone level is higher on days when he makes more than he would in an average day. What's more, the higher a trader's morning testosterone level, the more money he'll likely have netted before the close of business that day. Testosterone, in other words, can be good for business...." However, it's not all good times, as it were: "The effects triggered by chronically elevated levels of testosterone can eventually have the opposite effect. Animals observed in this same situation by scientists start to pick fights they ought to avoid, or to patrol a wider, more hazardous patch of territory. Perception of risk becomes blurred. For a trader on a roll in the midst of a bubble, for instance, that suggests 'several rounds of winning means testosterone so high they start taking stupid risks,' says John Coates, a former Wall Street trader turned senior research fellow at Cambridge, and lead author of the study. Amid today's volatile markets, chronically high levels of cortisol, which can conjure up feelings of anxiety and negative thoughts, are believed likely to squeeze a trader's stomach for risk, potentially perpetuating a market's fall still further."

Lastly, don't forget to join the bass fishing fantasy league. It makes following bass fishing so much more intriguing, even more fascinating than it already is. Now you can compete against other bass fishing enthusiasts and test your knowledge. But will fantasy bass fishing leagues spoil the purity of the sport? Bass fishing should be about a man, his rod, and the water. Has corporate America tainted the beauty and simplicity of following bass fishing?


Emily said...

Now, does this testosterone study leave out the female population, or does it apply to us, too? Maybe I shouldn't ask.

Matt said...

Actually I think it does. Except in Hilary's case. That it just pure evil in her veins. Hahaha

I can never figure out why the majority of the country (any country) votes for people who are so obviously shady. Or is it not obvious? Guy (gal) with lots of money now wants lots of power. Hmmmm are they really being honest about having my best intentions in mind?

Emily said...

I don't know about others, but my family agrees she's evil. But if (a big if) we were democrats, we would prefer her to Obama. They're both big gov and all that fun stuff, but Obama goes even further to the side of Socialism. So its a matter of idealogy and not necessarily nice/evil for some.

ktismatics said...

ROME (AP) - Even before he starts his third stint as premier, Silvio Berlusconi was trying Wednesday to defuse his latest gaffe — a suggestion that Spain has too many women in government. Berlusconi told an Italian radio show that he had jokingly scolded Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero for forming "a government that in my opinion is too pink." Zapatero's new Cabinet has nine women and eight men.

Jonathan Erdman said...

I wonder how hard the Italians will be on Silvio. In the States, a statement like that would be nearly the equivalent of political suicide. A president or even a prominent congressman would get creamed for something like that. The cable media, etc. would absolutely rip the guy to shreds.

Emily said...

In the testosterone article:
The winner thus gets a persistent boost in confidence and appetite for risk, which increases the same competitor's chance of winning again.

This reminds of something I was thinking about today. Let's say I have a really good day at work... I focus, use my time well, and get a fair amount done. On a day like this, I'm more likely to use my time well when I get home. If I have homework, I won't mope around before eventually getting to it; I'll actually look forward (albeit slightly) to doing it, so I can have another feeling of accomplishment. One success in one area of life tends to spill over into other areas, too.

Picture a cheap tupperware knockoff that is supposed to keep the contents of its different compartments separate from each other. It fails to do its job, w/ the creamed corn leaking into the meatloaf and the mixed fruit juice just getting everywhere.

Another thought: no matter how much we see different aspects of life as completely distinct and separate, they do bleed into each other. At least a little bit. (I think this has been mentioned before, but I'm thinking about it today.)

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