Extraordinary things…..

Apple is now valued at $600 BILLION. If I’ve got my zeroes figured correctly, that’s US$600,000,000,000 – though whichever way you say it, that’s a lotta clams.

To top that, Instagram was purchased by Facebook for $1 Billion, which as this article from Australia points out, makes this 17 month-old photo-sharing start-up with just over a dozen employees worth more than the New York Times.

Are these values the tip of an iceberg that is about to pop a gigantic tech bubble right in our nerdy faces? Whilst conditions are somewhat different these days and a burst seems less likely, valuations like these are nothing short of extraordinary.

Interestingly, Microsoft topped $600Bil once in its history and for just a few weeks – right before the tech bubble burst back around the turn of the century.

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The performance of the Koenigsegg Agera is absolutely extraordinary. Whilst I don’t want to take anything away from the astonishing Pagani Zonda, I found it amusing that this film begins by talking about the Zonda as an appreciating classic.

I’m not sure the last 1:20 of the video does anything to help with that assertion, to be honest. It does plenty to pump up the Koenigsegg’s value, though.

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Saab’s photo studio is in a wonderful building in Vanersborg and is apparently valued at a mere SEK800,000 – a sum that I find extraordinarily low.

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I’m in two minds as to whether I should post this, but as tough as it is to watch, it is definitely extraordinary. Parkinsons Disease is such a cruel affliction and I don’t mean to trivialise it in any way by posting this. I don’t want this to be like a circus act.

But the degeneration of Muhammad Ali is extraordinary to see. He is, and always will be, The Champ.

Ironically, there’s been a documentary on TV tonight about the Thrilla in Manila, Ali’s final fight against the late Joe Frazier.

It scared me a little when I saw this documentary scheduled on the TV guide. The last Ali documentary I saw on TV was When We Were Kings, back in 2001. The program featured a news ticker to tell viewers that a plane had accidentally crashed into the World Trade Center. Around 10 minutes later, the program finished prematurely and the next 48 hours were consumed with blanket news feeds from the United States. I still have the videotape.

Thanks to Ted for the right info – it’s Parkinsons, not Alzheimers.

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The men of the Carlton Football Club were extraordinary last Thursday night. I beg you – watch this video and take particular notice of highlight #3.

Catching the ball in the air from a kick (called a “mark”) can be one of the most spectacular things you’ll ever see on a sports field, and something like this happens nearly every week in our game. It’s poetry.

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I hope you all had a wonderful Easter long weekend.

Mine was absolutely……. fantastic.

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7 Comments

  1. I agree with you that we’re on a bit of a tech bubble right now. Sure, there’s a lot of potential in all of the engagement that Instagram has with its users, but $1 Billion with a B is a lot of cash. Can Facebook or anyone really unlock that much potential? Look at all of the potential the earlier dot coms seemed to have, and many are shadows of their former selves, or great, but niche products.

    Nice choice of posting about Koenigsegg right after Instagram. Perhaps the 12 employees will use this as a guide to buying their next car, and we can look forward to a lot of interesting new Agera photos!

    1. Facebook isn’t interested in unleashing any potential from Instagram. According to a news story I heard regarding the transaction Facebook posts 320 million photos per day around the world. Who’s in second place? You guessed it: Instagram. Facebook is simply buying up the competition. Not a bad deal for the Instagram employees, though. They’ll be set for life.

  2. Thanks Swade, for including the clip about Muhamed Ali. You are right: He is a former Champion and for many, the best boxer the world has seen. Period.

    The clip brings to attention what suffering is all about for persons afflicted by Parkinsons. That clip might as well have been my father on any day of the week. Yesterday was World Parkinsons Day and the whole week may be being used to draw attention to the plight of sufferers of the disease. I doubt Ali would have agreed to be present without consultation.
    What makes my blood boil is why this has to become a topic for idle speculation around a sports panel? What gives them the right? Who are they to speculate in a public arena about what his mental state may or may not be and what his/his wife’s motive was for attending this event. Uninformed chatter.
    For the record: Parkinsons is caused by a marked (but not total) loss of production of the neuro-transmitter chemical, Dopamine. Initially this typically results in an alteration to gait or even simply the stiffening of an arm, characterised by noticeable reduced swing when walking. Over time a tremor usually develops which can vary in intensity. All voluntary muscles may be affected gradually, including swallowing and yes, there can be impairment to cognition. This is caused by deposits in brain tissue known as ‘Lewey Bodies’
    Treatment is based on controlling symptoms by replacing Dopamine – but this is complex as it will peak and trough as the mediaction is absorbed and metabolised. Dosing every 3 hours may be required and it is vital that medicine regimes are adhered to. Bombardment with oral Dopamine produces some pretty awful side effects – uncontrollable spurious movements known as ‘Dyskinesias’ being the most obvious outward effect. Worse than this people may experience unwanted delusions and halucinations, as stimulation to the brain by replacement dopamine is not necessarily selective or restricted to areas associated with physical movement.
    Despite medications, physical function can range from being near normal to ‘frozen’ in a matter of minutes – so going out in public, for any one with advanced Parkinsons is quite a brave thing to do.

    Yesterday I heard a radio interview with a Dr. Greg Willis, of the Bronowski Institute, here in Victoria. He is pioneering research into a different approach to treating the disease using a combination of photo-therapy and minute amounts of the accepted drugs – administered through the eye. Apparently with some success.
    http://www.bronowski.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=53&Itemid=53

    While it is likely too late for M. Ali or indeed my Dad, I really hope the likes of Dr Willis and other dedicated professionals will one day overcome this disease.

    Thanks again Swade.

    1. Thanks for your insight, Ian, and for accepting the article in the spirit in which it was written.

      And yes, the panel discussion made me feel uncomfortable, too. It’s part of the reason I hesitated on this.

  3. I watched the Carlton v. Brisbane match Monday night here on MHz and would not be at all surprised if either of Eddie Betts’ marks was chosen as Mark of the Year. I saw the first one coming; because of the long camera shot you just knew he was going to take the mark. I just didn’t know how awesome it was going to be. The second was completely unexpected but just as spectacular and I’m glad he was rewarded with a goal for his efforts. Brisbane hung in there for the first quarter but Carlton just turned on the afterburners and ran away with the match.

    If I remember correctly your Blues will be tackling the Pies from Collingwood this week. That’s a match I would love to see in person at the MCG. Unfortunately, MHz will be showing Richmond v. Melbourne as the match of the week.

    1. Wow. Rich v Melb instead of the big game. You’re getting ripped off on that one.

      Fingers crossed for the Blues this Friday. We haven’t been Collingwood in the last 5 starts, so it’ll be a nice breakthrough if we can get there. I went and saw Collingwood vs Richmond last Saturday at the MCG while I was in Melbourne for Easter. Let’s just say Collingwood didn’t look great so I’m feeling a little more confident, but both teams will be uber-prepared for this one, so there’s no telling who will emerge victorious.

  4. Gosh I watched these catches and while they were good, they are nothing like the catches receivers in American football make on a weekly basis.

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