Archive for June, 2009

Who Says Magic Powers Don’t Exist?

June 30, 2009

Wim Hof (born April 20, 1959, Sittard) is a Dutch man, commonly nicknamed Iceman. He holds nine world records including a world record for longest ice bath.

In 2007, he attempted, but failed, to climb Mount Everest wearing nothing but shorts. Hof has been criticized for his stated justifications for this attempt, “Edmund Hillary’s ascent of Mount Everest was a testament to human achievement, my climb of Mount Everest in my shorts will be a monument to the frivolous, decadent nature of modern society.”

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Wim broke his previous world record by staying for 1 hour 13 minutes and 48 seconds immersed in ice at Guinness World Records 2008. The night before, he performed the act on the Today Show.

Dr. Kenneth Kamler monitored the event to explain the effects of using the Tantric practice Tummo to control your body temperature. Tummo has been practiced by Yogi monks in Tibet. Apparently Wim is the only known non-monk to have mastered Tummo.

Wim describes his ability to withstand extreme cold temperatures as being able to turn his own thermostat up by using his brain.

Wim Hof has recently broken the ice endurance record by standing fully immersed in ice for 1 hour and 31 minutes in Lelystad in May 2008.

In February 2009, Wim Hof reached the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in his shorts within 2 days. It took him only another 2 days to climb down.

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His next challenge will be to do a marathon of 50 kilometres above the polar circle filmed by an English from firecrackerfilms, who work for both BBC and National Geographic.

He has four children with his late wife, and one child with his present girlfriend.

Michael Schumacher unveiled as Top Gear’s ‘Stig’

June 22, 2009

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Formula One legend Michael Schumacher was on Sunday unveiled as “the Stig”, the mystery man who test drives cars on British cult motoring show Top Gear.

The identity of the white-clad driver is kept a closely guarded secret, but Schumacher, who was Formula One world drivers’ champion seven times, finally revealed himself in the first of a new series of the show on Sunday night.

Presenter Jeremy Clarkson pretended not to recognise him at first, asking him what he used to do before he became famous as the Stig, but then excitedly shouted to the studio audience: “It’s Michael Schumacher!”

Interesting Book

June 20, 2009

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I have just read The Smartest Investment Book You’ll Ever Read by Daniel Solin. In this book he highlights the case against active investment in the sharemarket and instead advocates investing in passive index funds.

He makes a lot of very interesting points – especially how many active fund managers fail to beat the market and deliver poor returns for their clients.

It reminds me of an article I read many years ago about an Australian fund manager known as Mr. $54 billion – because that was the size of his fund. After he retired he said that for all the work and effort and analysis his fund did it was not worth it. His fund managed to outperform the market by only 0.5%.

The books also has many interesting quotes from Nobel Prize winning economists and other qualified investment professionals, but the one I liked best is from Warren Buffett in his 1996 Shareholder Letter:

Most investors, both individual and institutional, will find the best way to own common stocks is through an index fund that charges minimal fees. Those following this path are sure to beat the net results (after fees and expenses) delivered by the great majority of investment professionals.

Barack writes note to teacher

June 12, 2009

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GREEN BAY, Wis. — Ten-year-old Kennedy Corpus has a rock-solid excuse for missing the last day of school: a personal note to her teacher from President Barack Obama.

Her father, John Corpus of Green Bay, stood to ask Obama about health care during the president’s town hall-style meeting at Southwest High School on Thursday. He told Obama that his daughter was missing school to attend the event and that he hoped she didn’t get in trouble.

“Do you need me to write a note?” Obama asked. The crowd laughed, but the president was serious.

On a piece of paper, he wrote: “To Kennedy’s teacher: Please excuse Kennedy’s absence. She’s with me. Barack Obama.” He stepped off the stage to hand-deliver the note _ to Kennedy’s surprise.

“I thought he was joking until he started walking down,” Kennedy said after the event, showing off the note in front of a bank of television cameras. “It was like the best thing ever.”

The fourth-grader at Aldo Leopold elementary in Green Bay already knew what she was going to do with the note: frame it along with her ticket to the event. She said she’d make a copy for her teacher.

Kennedy said she had never seen Obama before. “He’s really nice,” she said.