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Showing posts from October, 2008

No good deed goes unpunished

The US Treasury department is readying a $40 billion bill that will help bail homeowners out of mortgages that are way beyond the current value of the houses. This leaves those of us who borrowed responsibly scratching our heads wondering where our free lunch is...

Example A: John Smith buys a house for $800,000 and the resulting mortgage payment is 60% of his income including bonuses. The house is now worth $400,000, but John isn't getting any bonuses, so he has missed a couple payments and is considering walking away from the house. This bailout could lower his mortgage as low as $380,000 so he does not get foreclosed on.

Example B: Mike Jones bought a house for $400,000 and when its worth went to $800,000 at the height of the boom, he refinanced and pulled out $300,000 of equity and bought a couple BMW's and went on a few trips to the Caribbean. Now he owes $700,000 on a house that is worth $250,000, and is having trouble paying because his wife lost her job. This bail…

Couple good books (Deaf-related)

Oliver Sacks is a noted neurologist, and has published some interesting books in the past. One became the basis for the movie "Awakenings" with Robin Williams and Robert DeNiro, and another I have read was "The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat" which is a collection of interesting case studies of various pathologies. I recently became aware that he also has a couple books dealing with the sense of hearing.

"Seeing Voices" dives into quite a bit of Deaf history and lends plenty of credence to ASL as a whole language. It's been a few months since I read this book, but basically he became very interested in the Deaf at some point in his life and decided to learn more and try to tackle some important issues at hand. Also describes a phenomenon likely familiar to many late-deaf people known as "phantasmic voices". An example of this is "hearing" a voice while watching someone speak, even though the voice is not really audible. …