Less Imports Equal Smaller Deficit in the Current Account

The deficit has narrowed, in part, thanks to a rising surplus in investment income and growth in the traditional surplus in services trade, such as royalties. But the biggest factor has been the deficit in trade in goods, which has shrunk by 2.2% of GDP. In previous expansions the deficit widened as the domestic appetite of households and businesses for foreign-made stuff outpaced exports. This time, though exports and imports both fell during the recession, exports rebounded more strongly, exceeding 9% of GDP in the third quarter (above pre-recession levels), whereas imports have stabilised around their prerecession level, just below 14% of GDP. One is the surge in domestically produced oil and gas from shale-rock formations. Americans produced 70% of the energy they consumed in 2008; that has since risen to 89%. Another factor is demographics. As baby-boomers age they spend less on goods, many of them imported, and more on services, which are mostly produced at home. Mr Woo reckons that medical care, recreation, restaurant meals and hotels now take up almost 27% of household budgets, up from 25% six years ago. Lastly, American manufacturers seem to have stopped losing market share at home. They may even be regaining it.

The proportion of domestic car sales held by cars made in America slid from above 85% in the mid-1990s to around 65% during the recession, but it has since rebounded to 73%. And Mr Woo reckons that the share of durable goods (excluding cars) consumed by American households that is accounted for by imports has flattened since the recession and fallen in real terms. A lower dollar and the rising cost of foreign labour in China and elsewhere have weakened the case for sending American manufacturing offshore. Whirlpool cites higher transport costs and improved American productivity as the reasons for bringing production of various appliances back home from Germany, Mexico and China. Meanwhile the federal government, acting on a complaint by Whirlpool, has imposed anti-dumping duties on washing machines from South Korea and Mexico.

Libertarianliaisons

Super Villains

I am now going to start a section on Super Villains, because what would a Superhero be with out a Super Villain to fight against? I kicked it off with my article on Magneto and will continue to write more articles on the most powerful and evil Super Villains there are. I will explain their origins and their greatest battles with their most powerful rivals. Most people know who certain villains are, but don’t know much or anything about them and that is what I want to change. I want people to know why these villains are the way they are and why they have so much hate towards humanity and the superheroes they fight. Some of the most powerful people are villains and they have very interesting stories that may shock people or even gain them some sympathy. Some of their powers are also much cooler and stronger than any superheroes powers.

In the past I have written a article on Joker, who is probably the most well know comic villains. He is a psycho and does things you wouldn’t imagine a person could do, but that is the thing about villains they are not like anyone you have ever heard of or met. They want control over everything and will do anything that is necessary to achieve their goals. Although villains are almost never achieve anything, they do cause a lot of problems that can lead to extremely bad circumstances. I hope that through these articles I can give you a new understanding on the relationships between super villains and superheroes.

Bangladesh’s Disappearing Coastline

Bangladesh is a small Asian country that borders the Indian Ocean, which is proving to cause several major problems for this county that is prone to severe tropical storms and has low elevation. The problems that are threatening Bangladesh include rising sea levels and tropical storms that can easily destroy a significant portion of the landscape. The greatest problem of all is the fact that Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries to the consequences of climate change, yet it has released a minute amount of emissions compared to other nations.

Scientists hypothesize that sea levels will increase by three feet by 2100 while the temperature will continue to increase as well. And these two occurrences are already affecting Bangladesh. Some of the problems include the destroyed landscape and soil poisoned by salt water, making it very difficult to grow crops.

Scientists note that the burning of fossil fuels is the most evident cause for the disappearing land because the emissions as a result of the fuel burning increases the temperature of the Earth. Rising temperatures lead to the melting of ice caps which contributes to rising sea levels and flooding of coastal regions.

Attention is being focused on Bangladesh because it is one of the developing nations that is suffering from climate change, yet Bangladesh contributes only 0.3 percent of the emissions causing climate change. As a result, Bangladesh is very frustrated with its experiences with climate change and is seeking global justice. Some leaders believe that developed countries should compensate for the damages they cause by allowing the affected people to move to these climate change offenders. This method seems unlikely to occur, but there has not been other proposals on how wealthier nations will repay developing nations.

The geography of Bangladesh is also contributing to the disappearing land. Bangladesh relies on groundwater because their rivers are very polluted. The water needs to be pumped, which causes the land to settle. The sea walls are also poorly constructed. These factors are causing cities to sink and more flooding. Furthermore, if conditions continue to progress this way, 18 million people will be displaced by 2050.

The effects of climate change has never been as evident, but the deteriorating conditions in Bangladesh indicate that climate change is a significant problem. Well developed countries such as the United States may not be experiencing changes as drastic as Bangladesh is, but such countries should not neglect those who are affected.

Twitter Having a Tough Time Gaining Followers

Last post was all about how Twitter was trying to change their ways. I thought Twitter was growing but I recently discovered that the number of people joining is actually stagnant. I was surprised but also not surprised at the same time. I found an article on businessinsider.com that explained the struggles Twitter was facing. The article said that over 1 billion accounts have been made and then the user bailed. So, the problem is definitely serious.

I think a big reason for this is that Twitter can pretty complicated and is very confusing to join. 62% of people that leave Twitter say that this was a problem. I happened to join around three years ago. Back then, it took me a while to figure what everything was and I had to research on the internet to decipher the keys to Twitter. Now, the company has created an even more confusing site for beginners and it can sometimes even be confusing for people like me. I have had several friends attempt to join Twitter but not understand exactly what to do and then just lose interest and stop using the app.

Another reason people have left Twitter is that the sharing of photos and videos is pretty limited. Facebook and Instagram have much better setups for sharing photos and videos with friends. These two posts are the most popular across all social media sites. Nearly two-thirds (66%) of people that left Twitter said this was a contributing factor to their departure.

The biggest reason people leave Twitter is because they said sorting and filtering information on Twitter was very difficult to do. People want a simpler and more user-friendly site that appeals to all ages. I definitely think that Twitter should head this direction because they have implemented some things into the social media site that are hurting them.

I was wrong, Twitter must make changes. I just hope they end up making the right decisions on what to change.

Maybe gaining advertisement on Twitter would help them gain users

“My Husband’s Stupid Record Collection”

I recently read an article on Jezebel about women music writers and women in the music industry in general. The article focused on a blog run by a woman named Sarah O’Holla, called “My Husband’s Stupid Record Collection.” This blog has brought up a great amount of discussion among the music and feminist communities in the past few weeks. Why is it such a point of interest? Well, O’Holla’s blog was born based on the idea of her exploring her husband’s expansive record collection and writing stream-of-consciousness reviews from the point of view of a person not immersed in endless music knowledge. Her reviews are completely devoid of the advanced music terminology that enables your stereotypical Pitchfork music critics to write as they do (pretentiously), which in turn makes hers have an effect that’s honest and refreshing.

However, the flip side to O’Holla’s nuance approach is the perpetuation of the idea that women aren’t as knowledgeable about music as men and must be educated by men in order to become so. Women are consistently shamed in the music world for “acting like they know anything” about music. They are accused of being posers or just wanting to get with the attractive band members. Because women can’t be REAL music fans, right? This is mainly found in male-dominated music genres, such as punk, metal, or various denominations of rock.

O’Holla’s cutesy tone and unassuming approach, however, seem to work just fine for her. This is probably because men don’t feel intimidated by her, as she’s not claiming to possess any actual music knowledge and is a self-proclaimed outsider, whereas professional women music critics in the same vein as men are often called awful names and dismissed as know-nothing groupies. Women who actually know a thing or two about music have to put up with an unbelievable amount of condescension from pretentious male “music buffs.”

However, I don’t see “My Husband’s Stupid Record Collection” as a true threat that perpetuates sexist gender stereotypes. I personally find her approach to album reviews endearing and fun to read. It’s just the fact that a woman writing about music at all still seems to be a novelty that really seems to be the issue here. Let’s see woman music bloggers of all styles, and just more of them in general, without the threat of being harassed and dismissed by the men of the music world. Let’s not tear down women who want to do music writing, and stop assuming that being a female automatically makes you a music novice.

O’Holla’s blog: http://alltherecords.tumblr.com/

The Truth About Your Childhood part 2

hullo dreamers,

I have already did some of these things last entry, but there were just so many truths that I felt that you had to hear.

Enjoy…

Mary, Mary Quite Contrary

Mary Mary quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells
And pretty maids all in a row

This is actually a direct reference to Queen Mary I of England. The garden refers to her growing cemeteries as she filled them with Protestants whom she had ordered dead. The silver bells and cockle shells were both torture devices; the maiden was a device used to behead people.

London Bridge

London Bridge bridge is falling down, down
Falling down down, falling down, down
London Bridge bridge is falling down, down
My fair lady.

This rhyme refers to the rise and fall Ann Boleyn, one of King Henry VIII  wives. She was accused of sleeping around, incest, and ultimately treason. She was ordered to be executed, that’s why the fair lady is falling down…

Three Blind Mice

Three blind mice. Three blind mice.
See how they run. See how they run.
They all ran after the farmer’s wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a sight in your life,
As three blind mice

Again, this is about Bloody Mary who liked to kill Protestants. The three blind mice refers to three Protestant bishops who plotted a plan against her. She found out and burned the three in the stake. The cutting or tails represents the burning…

portrait of Queen Mary I, by a follower of Anthonis Mor, c.1555-58

facts found at http://www.pinkheartstring.com/2013/03/truth-behind-nursery-rhymes.html

I hope you found this insightful and eye opening.

keep dreaming

youngdreamer

The Running Back

Pro Bowl running back DeSean Jackson has been released from the Philadelphia Eagles. Jackson’s release came shortly after a local newspaper published an article stating that Jackson had ties to gangs in Los Angles. Jackson made a statement that he had no such ties and that his release from the team had nothing to do with his actions off of the field. This year Jackson would have been entering his third year of a five year, $51 million contract. Jackson has been heavily relied upon in Philadelphia but this free agency the Eagles have managed to renegotiate contracts with Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin. This puts the Eagles in a better spot with the release of their star.

The Patriots have not been able to hold on to their breakout running back, Legarrette Blount. Blount met with the Steelers friday and he has reportedly sighed a two year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers. This last season for the Patriots Blount ran for a total of 772 yards and 7 touchdowns. He certainly made a name for himself after his impressive 166 yard, 4 touchdown rush game in the Patriots playoff match against the Colts. The Patriots, however, do not have a shortage of running backs. This season the team running backs were dubbed the three headed monster. Blount only came out of the woodwork after Stevan Ridley suffered from what sportscasters called ‘fumbleitis.”

So here is your latest free agency news. Even though the NFL season will not start for months there is still note worthy news coming from the league.

Top 2014 College QB’s

For college football fanatics, like myself, the worst time of the year is after March Madness. Only baseball, hockey, and NBA Basketball are on. All sports that we generally have little to no interest in. So to pass the time, we watch spring practices, evaluate recruits and the upcoming season, and predict what will happen. As i was looking through some college quarterbacks entering the draft, i saw every big name from last year. Manziel, Bortles, Murray, Bridgewater, Carr, McCarron, Mettenberger, and a few more names. All of these quarterbacks were the stars last year, the best of the best. One star, NCAA champion Jameis Winston, remains. Who else will be the mentioned alongside Winston as one of the best this year?

Braxton Miller – The quarterback of the Ohio State Buckeyes will return for his senior season, looking to get Ohio State to the first ever playoffs. The past two years he has been spectacular, but with injury problems and lack of big wins, he has not been the best he can be. Miller, a duel-threat QB, will play a main part in replacing running back Carlos Hyde, who has decided to go pro. The offense is his, and he has the capability of having a heisman like season, but he also could crash and burn the Buckeyes.

Marcus Mariota – Surprisingly enough, Mariota has decided to stay for his junior year with the Oregon Ducks. Arguably better than Winston, Mariota has insane speed and running ability. But he has something that most running quarterbacks struggle with: arm strength. Mariota has a strong, accurate arm and he can throw a laser. Again, the problem for him as been big wins, but he is undoubtitly one of the best in he nation. A win over Stanford would help his cause greatly.

Maty Mauk – This kid played behind a very talented James Franklin at Missouri last season, and when he got to play because of injuries to Franklin, he looked very impressive. Some even thought he gave the Tigers a better chance to win. In four starts, he threw for 1,071 yards and 11 touchdowns, and only two interceptions. He is efficient, electric, and great in the pocket. Look for him to lead Missouri to another SEC championship game, as he has the tools and the leadership to do it.

What Missouri QB Maty Mauk Needs to Work on This Spring

Food Tastes Better on a Stick

Hey Internet,

Today, Friday, March 28th, 2014 is Food on a Stick Day and Black Forrest Cake Day!

Corn dogs, cotton candy, cake pops, beef skewers, popsicles, are all examples of this holiday.  Food on a stick is an easy way to eat great foods with one hand and keep your hands clean. Typically you find food on sticks at fair grounds and food stands when you are on the go. People love to multitask so getting on the go is both efficient and fun when the food is on a stick. This is the reason that food on sticks has become so popular recently.

Cake pops are sold in most Starbucks today. They are balls of cake on a stick. People view these treats as a new and trendy way to celebrate birthdays and weddings.

On this holiday I hope you go visit your local fair grounds, mall, or even make your own food on a stick. Enjoy!

Today is also Black Forrest Cake Day! What type of cake day?

Here’s a recipe to explain.

Filling and Topping

  • 1 pint (2 cups) whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons brandy, if desired
  • 1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds

Directions

  • 1 Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Grease two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans, or spray with baking spray with flour.
  • 2 Make and bake cake as directed on box for 8- or 9-inch rounds. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
  • 3 In medium bowl, beat whipping cream with electric mixer on high speed until slightly thickened. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold in brandy. In another small bowl, mix pie filling and almond extract.
  • 4 On serving plate, place 1 cake layer, rounded side down. Spread with half of the whipped cream, then 1 cup cherry mixture to within 1 inch of edge. Top with second layer, rounded side up. Frost top with remaining whipped cream. Spoon remaining cherry mixture over top. Sprinkle with sliced almonds. Store covered in refrigerator.

Yours Truly,

Halloween Queen

Valero Texas Open

Although last week we had a great world-class field at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, this week will be a little different. This week is the Valero Texas Open, and although it does not feature as good a field as last week, there are still several elite players in the field this week as the PGA Tour heads to TPC San Antonio. Among these notables are Phil Mickelson, who got off to a very rocky start with a first round of 77, and Mat Kuhar, who had a considerably better start with a 70. Zach Johnson is also playing, and he shot a first-round 70 also. Defending champion Martin Laird got off to a -1 start in the first round, but out in front of the field right now is Steven Bowditch of Australia, who, with his second round completed, is currently at -8. Although Bowditch has never won on the PGA Tour, he has won several times on other tours like the Nationwide and Australian tours. This week could be his sixth career win.

Most of the players have not yet finished the second round, as the first round was delayed due to fog. The round was delayed 2.5 hours from the start, as the first group did not even tee off until about 10:00, while some groups that teed off after 4 had play suspended due to darkness, finishing their first rounds up this morning.

Joining Bowditch at the top of the leader board are several players without a lot of experience winning on tour. This group includes Pat Perez, Chad Collins, and Andrew Loupe, who are all currently within two shots of the leader.

Defending Champion Martin Laird

Water Bottle Safety

If you are a common gym rat you probably have a few water bottles laying around your car. Just hard plastic or recyclable bottles you can easily fill up with water at the gym right before you start your workout. But recently, my mom showed me a news article on how dangerous it actually is to leave water bottles in your car and re use them.

On the Ellen show was a girl who was an example of breast cancer being linked to this water bottle phenomenon. When the bottle is left in the sun, the UV rays come in contact with the plastic and leak its chemicals in to the bottle to contaminate the water. Bi phenol A can leech out to harm you and also can be harmful to other animals. So, using reusable plastic water bottles or ones labeled “BPA free” is less of a risk. This does not mean that drinking the water is going to give you cancer, it just means being re occurringly exposed to these chemicals can increase your risk. These chemicals can cause gene mutation which would link to the cancer. Cancer is essentially a gene mutation when we talk about cells dividing more rapidly than we can catch.

Also, in the pacific north west the weather is primarily cold and rainy so this hazard does not strongly apply to us. But it is definitely something to take in to consideration no matter what. One use water bottles or even voss glass water bottles may be a healthier alternative for anyone drinking water often.

march 28

France!

Hello friends,

France is one of the most beautiful counties in the world, and also one of the most modern. Their food is always tasty, their people are beautiful, and the landscape and man-made buildings and features are definitely a sight to be seen. In celebration of this, the next few blogs will be about France!

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT FRANCE:

  • The population is about 65.7 million people!
  • France is the most visited country in the world. In fact, the number of tourists is more than the population of France itself!
  • France produces over 400 types of cheese
  • It is one of the largest wine producers in the world
  • French is the only language that is taught in every country in the world (also along with English)
  • French people have the highest life expectancy in the EU. Why? Whether it is the genes, the food, or just the overall spirit of the country, I am not sure. But either way, traveling to or living in France would be wonderful!
  • The French invented the hot air balloon, parachutes, and submarines
  • The Eiffel Tower is painted every 7 years (hopefully by someone not too fearful of heights)
  • The most visited attraction in Paris is actually not the Eiffel Tower, but Disney World in Paris
  • France is about the same size as Texas, but it has about twice the population of California
  • French toast and french fries are actually not French inventions at all
  • Until 1964, women had to get their husbands permission in order to open a bank account or get a passport

Economical Fashion pt.3

Hello Fashionistas!

Today’s post will be a wonderful Economical Fashion post. Shopping is great, but being a smart shopper is even more important. The best outfit can be comprised of cute and adorable sales or clearance items! Spring time means shopping for new spring clothes, and it is absolutely crucial to be a smart shopper during these times.

So here are some awesome outfit ideas under $100!

1)

A fashion look from March 2014 featuring Dorothy Perkins dresses, Ganni flats and Dolce & Gabbana shoulder bags. Browse and shop related looks.

I finished the outfit only to realize that the cardigan, shoes, and purse exceeds $100! So I will only include the price of the necklace and the dress.

Dorothy Perkins Lilac ottoman dress: $22
Factory half-flower fringe necklace : $50
This lavender dress is absolutely perfect for the spring time! I love the color and it reminds me of pretty spring flowers and easter. The necklace will perfectly accent this outfit, since the dress alone may be a bit simple. Pair this outfit up with your favorite spring purse and flats, boots, or even sandals!

2)

A fashion look from March 2014 featuring Topshop tops and Forever 21 shoulder bags. Browse and shop related looks.
TOPSHOP Black 3/4 Sleeve Crop Top: $20
Light Blue Denim Acid Wash Skater Skirt: $30
Georgia 43 Tan Lace-Up Ankle Boots: $36Forever 21 Everyday Envelope Crossbody Bag: $20

If you take out the crossbody bag, then this outfit (top,skirt, and shoes) adds up to $86! I am usually not a fan of acid wash prints, but I think this could work well with the crop top.
Although it may be a simple outfit, it is perfect for the spring time weather.

3)

A fashion look from March 2014 featuring Tinsel jeans. Browse and shop related looks.
Live by the sun flowy tee: $30
Tinsel Skinny Jeans: $29
Island In the Sunshine Sandal: $ 30
Total: $89

Here is a very simple spring outfit. I love spring colored skinnys with just about anything. It can look great with a more formal top, and casual ones like the one above! To add to the casual look, wear spring/summer sandals like the one above.

Happy Spring Shopping!

-Fashion Femme

Zac Efron got punched on his face!

The Hollywood star, Zac Efron, got punched to the face in March 23 in L.A Skid Row. But what was he doing over there in first place? Zac was mysteriously strolling in a bad part of downtown L.A. called Skid Row just after midnight Sunday. Sadly, he ended up on the wrong side of a sketchy homeless man’s fists as a result.

He didn’t have the best weekend. It’s being reported that the Zac Efron got stuck in the skid row area of Los Angeles and ended up getting punched in the face! Even though it sounds way too unlikely to have actually happened, a certain unfortunate series of events led to a night he will never forget.

Cops that were on patrol under the Harbor Freeway saw Zac and a man the actor identified as his bodyguard. Cops then witnessed Zac and his “bodyguard” in a full-blown melee with at least 3 other people.

According to TMZ, “Zac and his bodyguard told the police they ran out of gas and were sitting in the car waiting for a tow truck when they threw a bottle out of the window. The bottle smashed on the cement near some people who were hanging out, and thinking it was thrown at them on purpose, a fight broke out.”

The bodyguard got attacked by two of the guys and evidently Zac got out of the car to help but just wound up getting smacked in his mouth instead. Since he just recovered from breaking his jaw not too long ago, that’s probably the last area he wanted to be hit in, saying, “It was the hardest I’ve ever been hit in my life.”