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Wealth gaps rise to record highs between whites, blacks and Hispanics

By Rakesh Kochhar, Richard Fry and Paul Taylor

The median wealth of white households is 20 times that of black households and 18 times that of Hispanic households, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of newly available government data from 2009.

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These lopsided wealth ratios are the largest since the government began publishing such data a quarter century ago and roughly twice the size of the ratios that had prevailed between these three groups for the two decades prior to the Great Recession that ended in 2009.

The Pew Research Center analysis finds that, in percentage terms, the bursting of the housing market bubble in 2006 and the recession that followed from late 2007 to mid-2009 took a far greater toll on the wealth of minorities than whites. From 2005 to 2009, inflation-adjusted median wealth fell by 66% among Hispanic households and 53% among black households, compared with just 16% among white households.

As a result of these declines, the typical black household had just $5,677 in wealth (assets minus debts) in 2009, the typical Hispanic household had $6,325 in wealth and the typical white household had $113,149.

Moreover, about a third of black (35%) and Hispanic (31%) households had zero or negative net worth in 2009, compared with 15% of white households. In 2005, the comparable shares had been 29% for blacks, 23% for Hispanics and 11% for whites.

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These findings are based on the Pew Research Center's analysis of data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), an economic questionnaire distributed periodically to tens of thousands of households by the U.S. Census Bureau. It is considered the most comprehensive source of data about household wealth in the United States by race and ethnicity. The two most recent administrations of SIPP that focused on household wealth were in 2005 and 2009. Data from the 2009 survey were only recently made available to researchers.1

Plummeting house values were the principal cause of the recent erosion in household wealth among all groups, with Hispanics hit hardest by the meltdown in the housing market.

From 2005 to 2009, the median level of home equity held by Hispanic homeowners declined by half - from $99,983 to $49,145 - while the homeownership rate among Hispanics was also falling, from 51% to 47%. A geographic analysis suggests the reason: A disproportionate share of Hispanics live in California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona, which were in the vanguard of the housing real estate market bubble of the 1990s and early 2000s but that have since been among the states experiencing the steepest declines in housing values.

White and black homeowners also saw the median value of their home equity decline during this period, but not by as much as Hispanics. Among white homeowners, the decline was from $115,364 in 2005 to $95,000 in 2009. Among black homeowners, it was from $76,910 in 2005 to $59,000 in 2009. There was little or no change during this period in the homeownership rate for whites and blacks; it fell from 47% to 46% among blacks and was unchanged at 74% among whites.2

Household wealth is the accumulated sum of assets (houses, cars, savings and checking accounts, stocks and mutual funds, retirement accounts, etc.) minus the sum of debt (mortgages, auto loans, credit card debt, etc.). It is different from household income, which measures the annual inflow of wages, interest, profits and other sources of earning. Wealth gaps between whites, blacks and Hispanics have always been much greater than income gaps.

The 2005 to 2009 time frame allows for a before-and-after look at the impact of the Great Recession. However, those dates do not align perfectly with the downturn, which ran from December 2007 to June 2009, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.

In 2005, both the stock and housing markets were still rising. Thus, had the base year for these measurements of wealth been closer to the top of these markets in 2006 or 2007, the recorded declines are likely to have been even steeper.

Moreover, since the official end of the recession in mid-2009, the housing market in the U.S. has remained in a slump while the stock market has recaptured much of the value it lost from 2007 to 2009. Given that a much higher share of whites than blacks or Hispanics own stocks - as well as mutual funds and 401(k) or individual retirement accounts (IRAs) - the stock market rebound since 2009 is likely to have benefited white households more than minority households.

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2011-wealth-gaps-22.png

Wealth Ratios: A 25-Year History

The chart to the right shows the Pew Research Center’s estimates of the wealth ratios for 2009 and those published by the Census Bureau for 1984 to 2004. As the chart demonstrates, the white-to-black and white-to-Hispanic wealth ratios were much higher in 2009 than they had been at any time since 1984, the first year for which the Census Bureau published wealth estimates by race and ethnicity based on SIPP data.

Note that the ratios shown in the chart for 2009 differ slightly from the 2009 estimates used in the rest of this report: 19-to-1 for the white-to-black ratio, compared with 20-to-1 elsewhere in the report, and 15-to-1 for the white-to-Hispanic ratio, compared with 18-to-1 elsewhere in the report. That is because, in order to make the estimates in the chart consistent over time, the 2009 figures were adjusted to allow the racial groups “white” and “black” to include Hispanic members of these groups, consistent with methods used by the Census Bureau from 1984 to 2004. In the rest of this report, the white, black (and Asian) racial groups include only the non-Hispanic components of these populations. (Changes in racial identification methods and a redesign of SIPP in 1996 may also have had an impact on the comparability of the wealth ratios over time).

White and black homeowners also saw the median value of their home equity decline during this period, but not by as much as Hispanics. Among white homeowners, the decline was from $115,364 in 2005 to $95,000 in 2009. Among black homeowners, it was from $76,910 in 2005 to $59,000 in 2009. There was little or no change during this period in the homeownership rate for whites and blacks; it fell from 47% to 46% among blacks and was unchanged at 74% among whites.2

2011-wealth-gaps-21.png

Household wealth is the accumulated sum of assets (houses, cars, savings and checking accounts, stocks and mutual funds, retirement accounts, etc.) minus the sum of debt (mortgages, auto loans, credit card debt, etc.). It is different from household income, which measures the annual inflow of wages, interest, profits and other sources of earning. Wealth gaps between whites, blacks and Hispanics have always been much greater than income gaps.

The 2005 to 2009 time frame allows for a before-and-after look at the impact of the Great Recession. However, those dates do not align perfectly with the downturn, which ran from December 2007 to June 2009, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.

In 2005, both the stock and housing markets were still rising. Thus, had the base year for these measurements of wealth been closer to the top of these markets in 2006 or 2007, the recorded declines are likely to have been even steeper.

Moreover, since the official end of the recession in mid-2009, the housing market in the U.S. has remained in a slump while the stock market has recaptured much of the value it lost from 2007 to 2009. Given that a much higher share of whites than blacks or Hispanics own stocks— as well as mutual funds and 401(k) or individual retirement accounts (IRAs)—the stock market rebound since 2009 is likely to have benefited white households more than minority households.

Other key findings from the report:

Hispanics:

The net worth of Hispanic households decreased from $18,359 in 2005 to $6,325 in 2009. The percentage drop—66%—was the largest among all groups. Hispanics derived nearly two-thirds of their net worth in 2005 from home equity and are more likely to reside in areas where the housing meltdown was concentrated. Thus, the housing downturn had a deep impact on them. Their net worth also diminished because of a 42% rise in median levels of debt they carried in the form of unsecured liabilities (credit card debt, education loans, etc.).

Blacks:

The net worth of black households fell from $12,124 in 2005 to $5,677 in 2009, a decline of 53%. Like Hispanics, black households drew a large share (59%) of their net worth from home equity in 2005. Thus, the housing downturn had a strong impact on their net worth. Blacks also took on more unsecured debt during the economic downturn, with the median level rising by 27%.

Whites:

The drop in the wealth of white households was modest in comparison, falling 16% from $134,992 in 2005 to $113,149 in 2009. White households were also affected by the housing crisis. But home equity accounts for relatively less of their total net worth (44% in 2005), and that served to lessen the impact of the housing bust. Median levels of unsecured debt among whites rose by 32%.

Asians:

In 2005 median Asian household wealth had been greater than the median for white households, but by 2009 Asians lost their place at the top of the wealth hierarchy. Their net worth fell from $168,103 in 2005 to $78,066 in 2009, a drop of 54%. Like Hispanics, they are geographically concentrated in places such as California that were hit hard by the housing market meltdown. The arrival of new Asian immigrants since 2004 also contributed significantly to the estimated decline in the overall wealth of this racial group. Absent the immigrants who arrived during this period, the median wealth of Asian households is estimated to have dropped 31% from 2005 to 2009. Asians account for about 5% of the U.S. population.

No Assets:

About a quarter of all Hispanic (24%) and black (24%) households in 2009 had no assets other than a vehicle, compared with just 6% of white households. These percentages are little changed from 2005.

Medians and Means:

Just as the gap in median household wealth among racial and ethnic groups rose from 2005 to 2009, so too did the gap in mean household wealth. However, the mean differences are not as dramatic as the median differences. (A median is the midpoint that separates the upper half from the lower half of a given group; a mean is an average, and, in this case, the average is driven upward by households with high net worth). In 2005, mean white household wealth was 2.3 times that of Hispanics and 3 times that of blacks. By 2009, it was 3.7 times that of both Hispanics and blacks.

Wealth Disparities within Racial and Ethnic Groups:

During the period under study, wealth disparities increased not only between racial and ethnic groups, they also rose within each group. Even though the wealthiest 10% of households within each group suffered a loss in wealth from 2005 to 2009, their share of their group’s overall wealth rose during this period. The increase was the greatest among Hispanics, with the top 10% boosting their share of all Hispanic household wealth from 56% in 2005 to 72% in 2009. Among whites, the share of wealth owned by the top 10% rose from 46% in 2005 to 51% in 2009. These trends indicate that those in the top 10% of the wealth ladder were relatively less impacted by the economic downturn than those in the remaining 90%.

Read the full report including the report methodology at http://www.pewsocialtrends.org

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I can only imagine how worse it is in the UK for black folk.

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Essay by David Foster Wallace.

There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, "Morning, boys, how's the water?" And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, "What the hell is water?"

If you're worried that I plan to present myself here as the wise old fish explaining what water is, please don't be. I am not the wise old fish. The immediate point of the fish story is that the most obvious, ubiquitous, important realities are often the ones that are the hardest to see and talk about. Stated as an English sentence, of course, this is just a banal platitude - but the fact is that, in the day-to-day trenches of adult existence, banal platitudes can have life-or-death importance. That may sound like hyperbole, or abstract nonsense. So let's get concrete ...

A huge percentage of the stuff that I tend to be automatically certain of is, it turns out, totally wrong and deluded. Here's one example of the utter wrongness of something I tend to be automatically sure of: everything in my own immediate experience supports my deep belief that I am the absolute centre of the universe, the realest, most vivid and important person in existence. We rarely talk about this sort of natural, basic self-centredness, because it's so socially repulsive, but it's pretty much the same for all of us, deep down. It is our default setting, hard-wired into our boards at birth. Think about it: there is no experience you've had that you were not at the absolute centre of. The world as you experience it is right there in front of you, or behind you, to the left or right of you, on your TV, or your monitor, or whatever. Other people's thoughts and feelings have to be communicated to you somehow, but your own are so immediate, urgent, real - you get the idea. But please don't worry that I'm getting ready to preach to you about compassion or other-directedness or the so-called "virtues". This is not a matter of virtue - it's a matter of my choosing to do the work of somehow altering or getting free of my natural, hard-wired default setting, which is to be deeply and literally self-centred, and to see and interpret everything through this lens of self.

By way of example, let's say it's an average day, and you get up in the morning, go to your challenging job, and you work hard for nine or ten hours, and at the end of the day you're tired, and you're stressed out, and all you want is to go home and have a good supper and maybe unwind for a couple of hours and then hit the rack early because you have to get up the next day and do it all again. But then you remember there's no food at home - you haven't had time to shop this week, because of your challenging job - and so now, after work, you have to get in your car and drive to the supermarket. It's the end of the workday, and the traffic's very bad, so getting to the store takes way longer than it should, and when you finally get there the supermarket is very crowded, because of course it's the time of day when all the other people with jobs also try to squeeze in some grocery shopping, and the store's hideously, fluorescently lit, and infused with soul-killing Muzak or corporate pop, and it's pretty much the last place you want to be, but you can't just get in and quickly out: you have to wander all over the huge, overlit store's crowded aisles to find the stuff you want, and you have to manoeuvre your junky cart through all these other tired, hurried people with carts, and of course there are also the glacially slow old people and the spacey people and the kids who all block the aisle and you have to grit your teeth and try to be polite as you ask them to let you by, and eventually, finally, you get all your supper supplies, except now it turns out there aren't enough checkout lanes open even though it's the end-of-the-day rush, so the checkout line is incredibly long, which is stupid and infuriating, but you can't take your fury out on the frantic lady working the register.

Anyway, you finally get to the checkout line's front, and pay for your food, and wait to get your cheque or card authenticated by a machine, and then get told to "Have a nice day" in a voice that is the absolute voice of death, and then you have to take your creepy flimsy plastic bags of groceries in your cart through the crowded, bumpy, littery parking lot, and try to load the bags in your car in such a way that everything doesn't fall out of the bags and roll around in the trunk on the way home, and then you have to drive all the way home through slow, heavy, SUV-intensive rush-hour traffic, etc, etc.

The point is that petty, frustrating crap like this is exactly where the work of choosing comes in. Because the traffic jams and crowded aisles and long checkout lines give me time to think, and if I don't make a conscious decision about how to think and what to pay attention to, I'm going to be pissed and miserable every time I have to food-shop, because my natural default setting is the certainty that situations like this are really all about me, about my hungriness and my fatigue and my desire to just get home, and it's going to seem, for all the world, like everybody else is just in my way, and who are all these people in my way? And look at how repulsive most of them are and how stupid and cow-like and dead-eyed and nonhuman they seem here in the checkout line, or at how annoying and rude it is that people are talking loudly on cell phones in the middle of the line, and look at how deeply unfair this is: I've worked really hard all day and I'm starved and tired and I can't even get home to eat and unwind because of all these stupid goddamn people.

Or if I'm in a more socially conscious form of my default setting, I can spend time in the end-of-the-day traffic jam being angry and disgusted at all the huge, stupid, lane-blocking SUVs and Hummers and V12 pickup trucks burning their wasteful, selfish, 40-gallon tanks of gas, and I can dwell on the fact that the patriotic or religious bumper stickers always seem to be on the biggest, most disgustingly selfish vehicles driven by the ugliest, most inconsiderate and aggressive drivers, who are usually talking on cell phones as they cut people off in order to get just 20 stupid feet ahead in a traffic jam, and I can think about how our children's children will despise us for wasting all the future's fuel and probably screwing up the climate, and how spoiled and stupid and disgusting we all are, and how it all just sucks ...

If I choose to think this way, fine, lots of us do - except that thinking this way tends to be so easy and automatic it doesn't have to be a choice. Thinking this way is my natural default setting. It's the automatic, unconscious way that I experience the boring, frustrating, crowded parts of adult life when I'm operating on the automatic, unconscious belief that I am the centre of the world and that my immediate needs and feelings are what should determine the world's priorities. The thing is that there are obviously different ways to think about these kinds of situations. In this traffic, all these vehicles stuck and idling in my way: it's not impossible that some of these people in SUVs have been in horrible car accidents in the past and now find driving so traumatic that their therapist has all but ordered them to get a huge, heavy SUV so they can feel safe enough to drive; or that the Hummer that just cut me off is maybe being driven by a father whose little child is hurt or sick in the seat next to him, and he's trying to rush to the hospital, and he's in a much bigger, more legitimate hurry than I am - it is actually I who am in his way.

Again, please don't think that I'm giving you moral advice, or that I'm saying you're "supposed to" think this way, or that anyone expects you to just automatically do it, because it's hard, it takes will and mental effort, and if you're like me, some days you won't be able to do it, or you just flat-out won't want to. But most days, if you're aware enough to give yourself a choice, you can choose to look differently at this fat, dead-eyed, over-made-up lady who just screamed at her little child in the checkout line - maybe she's not usually like this; maybe she's been up three straight nights holding the hand of her husband who's dying of bone cancer, or maybe this very lady is the low-wage clerk at the Motor Vehicles Dept who just yesterday helped your spouse resolve a nightmarish red-tape problem through some small act of bureaucratic kindness. Of course, none of this is likely, but it's also not impossible - it just depends on what you want to consider. If you're automatically sure that you know what reality is and who and what is really important - if you want to operate on your default setting - then you, like me, will not consider possibilities that aren't pointless and annoying. But if you've really learned how to think, how to pay attention, then you will know you have other options. It will be within your power to experience a crowded, loud, slow, consumer-hell-type situation as not only meaningful but sacred, on fire with the same force that lit the stars - compassion, love, the sub-surface unity of all things. Not that that mystical stuff's necessarily true: the only thing that's capital-T True is that you get to decide how you're going to try to see it. You get to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn't. You get to decide what to worship.

Because here's something else that's true. In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And an outstanding reason for choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship - be it JC or Allah, be it Yahweh or the Wiccan mother-goddess or the Four Noble Truths or some infrangible set of ethical principles - is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things - if they are where you tap real meaning in life - then you will never have enough. Never feel you have enough. It's the truth. Worship your own body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly, and when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally plant you. On one level, we all know this stuff already - it's been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, bromides, epigrams, parables: the skeleton of every great story. The trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness. Worship power - you will feel weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to keep the fear at bay. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart - you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out.

The insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they're evil or sinful; it is that they are unconscious. They are default settings. They're the kind of worship you just gradually slip into, day after day, getting more and more selective about what you see and how you measure value without ever being fully aware that that's what you're doing. And the world will not discourage you from operating on your default settings, because the world of men and money and power hums along quite nicely on the fuel of fear and contempt and frustration and craving and the worship of self. Our own present culture has harnessed these forces in ways that have yielded extraordinary wealth and comfort and personal freedom. The freedom to be lords of our own tiny skull-sized kingdoms, alone at the centre of all creation. This kind of freedom has much to recommend it. But there are all different kinds of freedom, and the kind that is most precious you will not hear much talked about in the great outside world of winning and achieving and displaying. The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day. That is real freedom. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the "rat race" - the constant gnawing sense of having had and lost some infinite thing.

I know that this stuff probably doesn't sound fun and breezy or grandly inspirational. What it is, so far as I can see, is the truth with a whole lot of rhetorical bullshit pared away. Obviously, you can think of it whatever you wish. But please don't dismiss it as some finger-wagging Dr Laura sermon. None of this is about morality, or religion, or dogma, or big fancy questions of life after death. The capital-T Truth is about life before death. It is about making it to 30, or maybe 50, without wanting to shoot yourself in the head. It is about simple awareness - awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, that we have to keep reminding ourselves, over and over: "This is water, this is water."

· Adapted from the commencement speech the author gave to a graduating class at Kenyon College, Ohio

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That was a good read Trilliam especially the bits about 'automatic thinking' i.e what Tommy & Curtis Warren just displayed :lol:

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http://www.nupemag.com/the-rise-flaws-of-an-icon-amy-winehouse

</h3>

<h3 class="title">The Rise & Flaws of an Icon – Amy Winehouse

In: Featured Music FeaturesBy: Jordan Philips | July 28, 2011

amy_winehouse02-558x558.jpg

Arguably the most talented main stream artist Britain have produced in the last decade, the bereavement of Amy Winehouse has shattered the realm of music as we know it. The destructive patterns which had flawlessly stalked the emotionally disturbed singer, too often plagued the true brilliance of her craft.

Coming into the industry as a rugged edged twenty year old in 2003, Amy proliferated the prevailing aesthetic of the time with fresh dynamism on the geriatric Jazz genre. Our introduction to Amy was through her debut album ‘Frank’, encompassing an eclectic blend of ‘RnB, Hip-Hop & Jazz’ which repugnantly details the discrepancies of her anterior love interests and also providing commentary on frivolous social topics; i.e. W.A.G’s. It’s in this introspective framework that her subsequent work would not only blossom but be confined to, as her musical format was a regurgitation of conflicting experiences which would ultimately mould her into an icon.

click link to read the rest

real good write from my boi

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Sapphire PURE BLACK X58 Socket 1366 GB LAN 8 Channel Audio ATX Motherboard

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Designed to appeal to the enthusiast the SAPPHIRE Pure Black X58 supports the Intel core i7 series of processors. In addition to the established and highly regarded X58 chipset, the board incorporates many state of the art features such as on-board USB3.0, SATA III as well as SATA II ports, Six dual channel DDR3 memory slots and 3 Gen2 (x16/x8/x8) and one Gen1 (x4) PCI-Express expansion slots as well as a host of peripheral connections and on-board 8-channel audio. The SAPPHIRE Pure Black X58 has many features to support ‘overclocking’. The power sections are highly stable, featuring solid capacitors and SAPPHIRE Diamond Black chokes. BIOS options help optimize settings and SAPPHIRE TriXX gives easy access to performance tuning and status monitoring.

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24 GB Max.

Expansion Slots

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Storage

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Form Factor

ATX, Size 12" x 9.6"

OS support

Windows Vista (32/64) bit

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Cannons was a huge mansion in Edgware, built by quite possibly the richest man in the world early 18th century (The Duke of Chandos).

At todays value it would have cost £27 Million to have built, the famed composer Handel stayed there between 1717-19, my school was less than 3 miles from where it stood and we were told nothing of this place in History classes.

The colonnades which were at the front of the mansion now stand infront of the National Gallery, to give you an idea of the size.

The famous writer Daniel Defoe writes an account of his visit there in 1727.

Near this town, and which is the reason for naming it, the present Duke of Chandos has built a most magnificent palace or mansion house, I might say, the most magnificent in England: It is erected where formerly stood an old seat belonging to Sir Lancelot Lake, whose son and successor struggled hard to be chosen representative for the county, but lost it, and had a great interest and estate hereabouts.

This palace is so beautiful in its situation, so lofty, so majestick the appearance of it, that a pen can but ill describe it, the pencil not much better; 'tis only fit to be talk'd of upon the very spot, when the building is under view, to be consider'd in all its parts. The fronts are all of freestone, the columns and pilasters are lofty and beautiful, the windows very high, with all possible ornaments: The pilasters running flush up to the cornish and architrave, their capitals seems as so many supporters to the fine statues which stand on the top, and crown the whole; in a word, the whole structure is built with such a profusion of expence, and all finish'd with such a brightness of fancy, goodness of judgment; that I can assure you, we see many palaces of sovereign princes abroad, which do not equal it, which yet pass for very fine too either within or without. And as it is a noble and well contriv'd building; so it is as well set out, and no ornament is wanting to make it the finest house in England. The plaistering and guilding is done by the famous Pargotti an Italian, said to be the finest artist in those particular works now in England. The great salon or hall is painted by Paolucci, for the duke spared no cost to have every thing as rich as possible. The pillars supporting the building are all of marble: The great staircass is the finest by far of any in England; and the steps are all of marble, every step being of one whole piece, about 22 foot in length.

Nor is the splendor which the present duke lives in at this place, at all beneath what such a building calls for, and yet, so far is the duke from having exhausted himself by this prodigy of a building; that we see him since that laying out a scheme, and storing up materials for building another house for his city convenience, on the north side of the new square, call'd Oxford or Cavendish Square, near Maribone; and if that is discontinued it seems to be so, only because the duke found an opportunity to purchase another much more to his advantage; namely, the Duke of Ormond's house in St. James's Square.

It is in vain to attempt to describe the beauties of this building at Cannons; the whole is a beauty, and as the firmament is a glorious mantle filled with, or as it were made up of a concurrence of lesser glories the stars; so every part of this building adds to the beauty of the whole. The avenue is spacious and majestick, and as it gives you the view of two fronts, join'd as it were in one, the distance not admitting you to see the angle, which is in the centre; so you are agreeably drawn in, to think the front of the house almost twice as large as it really is. And yet when you come nearer you are again surprized, by seeing the winding passage opening as it were a new front to the eye, of near 120 feet wide, which you had not seen before, so that you are lost a while in looking near hand for what you so evidently saw a great way off. Tho' many of the palaces in Italy are very large fine buildings, yet I venture to say, not Italy it self can show such a building rais'd from the common surface, by one private hand, and in so little a time as this; For Cannons as I was inform'd, was not three years a building and bringing the gardens and all, to the most finish'd beauty we now see it in.

The great palaces in Italy, are either the work of sovereign princes, or have been ages in their building; one family laying the design, and ten succeeding ages and families being taken up, in carrying on the building: But Cannons had not been three years in the duke's possession, before we saw this prodigy rise out of the ground, as if he had been resolv'd to merit that motto which the French king assum'd, He saw, and it was made. The building is very lofty, and magnificent, and the gardens are so well designed, and have so vast a variety, and the canals are so large, that they are not to be out done in England; possibly the Lord Castlemains at Wanstead, may be said to equal but can not exceed them.

The inside of this house is as glorious, as the outside is fine; the lodgings are indeed most exquisitely finish'd, and if I may call it so, royally furnish'd; the chapel is a singularity, not only in its building, and the beauty of its workmanship, but in this also, that the duke maintains there a full choir, and has the worship perform'd there with the best musick, after the manner of the chappel royal, which is not done in any other noble man's chappel in Britain; no not the Prince of Wales's, though heir apparent to the crown.

Nor is the chapel only furnish'd with such excellent musick, but the duke has a set of them to entertain him every day at dinner. The avenues and vista's to this house are extreamly magnificent, the great walk or chief avenue is near a mile in length, planted with two double rows of trees, and the middle walk broad enough for a troop of horse to march in front; in the middle way there is a large basin or fountain of water, and the coaches drive round it on either side; there are three other avenues exceeding fine, but not so very large; the beauty of them all will double, with time, when the trees may be grown, like those of New-Hall, in Essex.

Two things extreamly add to the beauty of this house, namely, the chapel, and the library; but I cannot enlarge, having taken up so much room in the view of this house, as must oblige me to abate in others, to whom I am willing to do what justice I can. In his gardens and out-houses the duke keeps a constant night-guard, who take care of the whole place, duly walk the rounds, and constantly give the hour to the family at set appointed places and times; so that the house has some waking eyes about it, to keep out thieves and spoilers night and day. In a word, no nobleman in England, and very few in Europe, lives in greater splendour, or maintains a grandeur and magnificence, equal to the Duke of Chandos.

Here are continually maintained, and that in the dearest part of England, as to house expences, not less than one hundred and twenty in family, and yet a face of plenty appears in every part of it; nothing needful is with-held, nothing pleasant is restrained; every servant in the house is made easy, and his life comfortable; and they have the felicity that it is their lord's desire and delight that it should be so.

But I am not writing panegyrick. I left Cannons with regret, the family all gay, and in raptures on the marriage of the Marquiss of Caernarvon, the dukes eldest son, just then celebrated with the Lady Katharine Talmash daughter of the Earl of Dysert which marriage adds to the honour and estate also, of the family of Chandos.

Particularly poignant is the last paragraph, the dukes eldest son died that same year.

The title Duke of Chandos went to the 2nd son and he destroyed the building and sold it off in parts 20 years later.

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I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (NIV)

Then I saw thrones, and sitting on them were those to whom authority to act as judges and to pass sentence was entrusted. Also I saw the souls of those who had been slain with axes [beheaded] for their witnessing to Jesus and [for preaching and testifying] for the Word of God, and who had refused to pay homage to the beast or his statue and had not accepted his mark or permitted it to be stamped on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived again and ruled with Christ (the Messiah) a thousand years. [Dan. 7:9, 22, 27.] (AMP)

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (KJV)

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Forget Intel's Thunderbolt, Wireless USB is the game-changer

Last week Intel made a big deal about the official launch of its Light Peak technology — now called Thunderbolt — which enables much faster data transfers (10Gbps) and the ability to consolidate accessories and video connections into one cable with a connector that is half the size of a USB plug.

While those are useful features, the arrival of Thunderbolt had me scratching my head and asking two big questions:

What happened to USB 3.0?

Where’s Wireless USB?

Both of those technologies have been in development for years, but somehow Light Peak/Thunderbolt was able to leapfrog them, at least in terms of getting the green light from Intel and its partners.

Some of that certainly has to do with Apple getting on board with Thunderbolt. Apple’s new line of MacBook Pro laptops are the first computers to include Thunderbolt. Also, while Thunderbolt was originally expected to use the same type of connector as USB (a confict with USB-IF apparently prevented that), when Thunderbolt was unveiled last week it was surprisingly announced that it will use a Mini DisplayPort connector — a technology developed by Apple and licensed without a fee.

One of the big advantages of Thunderbolt is that it’s capable enough to handle LCD monitors and other displays so it can replace the need for VGA, DVI, or HDMI ports on laptops and desktops. That means users only need to worry about one type of cable for all of their accessories. However, USB 3.0 (also called “SuperSpeed USB”) has been developing the same thing. A number of display manufacturers have mentioned to me in recent years that USB 3.0 will eliminate the need for those other video connectors in computers and allow users to connect their monitors to a USB port. Will display makers dump the work they’ve been doing preparing for USB 3.0 and switch to Thunderbolt? I doubt it, at least not right away.

Also, keep in mind that USB 3.0 is backward compatible with the millions of existing USB peripherals as well, while Thunderbolt will require adapters to work with them. The only drawbacks to USB 3.0 versus Thunderbolt are 1.) it’s half as fast (5Gbps for USB 3.0 vs. 10Gbps for Thunderbolt) and 2.) the USB 3.0 connector is a little larger.

However, the real missed opportunity here is Wireless USB. That’s the technology that I would love to see Intel pushing instead of Thunderbolt. Sure, Thunderbolt will deliver faster file transfers and consolidate cables, but Wireless USB is a much bigger game-changer. It can reduce accessory cables altogether and has the potential to introduce a universal wireless docking solution that could turn the computing industry on its head. In fact, the latter is probably why Intel isn’t pushing it — that type of radical change isn’t in their self-interest. More on that in a moment.

First, let’s talk about the elimination of accessory cables. This is long overdue. At the same time Wi-Fi first came on the scene a decade ago and launched the concept of the WLAN (that’s wireless local area network), there was another hot new term at the time called PAN (personal area network). The idea was that not only would computers connect wirelessly to corporate networks and the Internet, but that there would also be mini wireless networks centered a desktop or laptop machine itself, in order to connect mice, keyboards, monitors, printers, scanners, headphones, PDAs (now smartphones), etc. The hope back then was that Bluetooth would be the enabler of the PAN, but that hasn’t happened because Bluetooth is flaky, slow, and difficult to set up. To make the PAN happen, we need something more robust like Wireless USB.

Building on that concept of the PAN is the idea of the wireless docking solution — this is the killer feature of Wireless USB. Accessory makers have been chomping at the bit for a couple years to get this because it would make it infinitely easier for mobile users to dock a laptop to a full monitor, keyboard, and mouse (using a Wireless USB connection a laptop could simply connect to a dock that has legacy peripherals plugged in).

In fact, it would not only be easy, it would turn Wireless USB into a universal docking solution instead of the current situation where each laptop maker has its own proprietary docking connectors and then badly overcharges for the docks. A universal wireless docking solution would have two big effects for mobile users — it would make docks a lot cheaper and it would likely spawn a lot more places to dock. For example, offices and other institutions could set up public work areas where people could dock to work no matter what platform they are running (Windows, Mac, Linux, iPad, etc), as long as it has Wireless USB. I can even imagine Internet cafes offering docking areas.

However, once we take this idea one step further, then we start to see why Intel may not be so enthusiastic about it. Think about the Motorola Atrix. This is a dual core Android smartphone with 1GB of RAM and Motorola’s “Webtop” software, which allows it to look and act like a full PC when loaded into the desktop dock (with monitor, keyboard, and mouse) and the laptop dock.

Now imagine if the Atrix and other dual core smartphones could perform the same feat, but without having to dock at all by simply using Wireless USB — which offers plenty to speed to accomplish this with 480Mbps at 3 meters and 110Mbps at 10 meters. Suddenly, a lot of smartphones would become potential PC replacements. Same goes for tablets. They could wirelessly dock and become full desktop computers when people needed to do more serious work. Since virtually all smartphones and tablets are powered by mobile ARM chips rather than Intel chips (and Intel has repeatedly been unable to break into the mobile market), this scenario could be apocalyptic for Intel because it would enable people to replace (Intel-powered) laptops and desktops with (ARM-powered) smartphones and tablets.

However, this scenario would be fantastic for consumers and business professionals. But, without Intel to push Wireless USB, who will step up and lead the charge? I’m looking at you, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, Motorola, and Samsung.

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/forget-intels-thunderbolt-wireless-usb-is-the-game-changer/45670

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Brilliant article on the Greek financial crisis, one of the most bizzarre stories you're likely to read.

http://www.vanityfair.com/business/features/2010/10/greeks-bearing-bonds-201010

Just finished reading this. I'd known the basics before like the corruption/fraud/brazen tax evasion etc but the reality described in that article is beyond MADNESS!!!

The Greeks are ACTUALLY f*ckED!!!!

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