morbius glass

Reviews – Comics, DVD’s, Books. Finance – FX markets, Stocks, Economics. Culture

Archive for January, 2007

Urban decay and Art

Posted by Adrian on January 31, 2007

img_0038.JPG

Posted in Melbourne City Urban Visuals. Mixed images | Leave a Comment »

Melbourne City Lanes and unique shops.- Barry Lane, WunderKammer Chamber Of Wonders

Posted by Adrian on January 31, 2007

Melbourne City has some of the most interesting laneways, alleyways in the one city. Unique to an Australian city. Ghostrider (US) Marvel comic character was filmed in some of these back-end lanes around the central business district.

One shop to look out for with is just off Barry Lane, located on Lonsdale street is WunderKammer. Barry Lane at the best of times is a creepy little laneway, it’s got odd angles. Hardly anyone walks down it. To find the lane, walk up little Burke St, cross over Queen St, keep walking up and the Little Burke, the lane is to your right. It’s a dingy run down lane. Walk down lane and you’ll get to Lonsdale St (main) – WunderKammer is on the corner. WunderKammer is a shop of antique medical equipment, fossils, alchemy, skulls, spiders, flesh-eating plants and other cool stuff. Expensive, but I am definitely hooking up some of their stuff. Great shop. Check it out, website here
img_0039.JPG

img_0044.JPG

Wunderkammer Shop Window

img_0042.JPG

WunderKammer Shop Window – end of Barry Lane

barrylane1.jpg

Barry Lane – Looking down towards Lonsdale street. Wunderkammer shop on the end off laneway.

Posted in Melbourne City Urban Visuals. Mixed images | 1 Comment »

Nouriel Roubini on the US economy, speaks to Tom Keene (Bloomberg) from World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland

Posted by Adrian on January 30, 2007

Nouriel Roubini professor of economics at Stern School of Business – NYU discuss with Tom Keene of Bloomberg the “hard landing” of the US economy. Roubini reiterates the problems with a slowing (recession) US housing sector which hasn’t bottomed out as yet. The interconnection and reliance with China as far as reliance on growth. The integration problems of emerging economies like China, India and Brazil with other with established economies. The integration is based on the millions of skilled and unskilled workers – and how they will adjust to democratised business systems. The”credit crunch” of developed countries and the potential collapse “house of cards” (note analogy used recently too by contrarian economist Dr Marc Faber). The geopolitical risks of potential ‘energy’ based conflicts, how they can send a shock into markets – that may cause a spiralling economic problem worldwide. Also touches on the new credit/debt and equity leverage and how it’s has been unprecedented in history of financial markets.

Please go here, this is in mp3 format

Posted in Finance and Economics. Strategy and Society | Leave a Comment »

Comic reviews January 2007 – Welcome To Tranquility #2 (Wildstorm)

Posted by Adrian on January 29, 2007

6688_400×600.jpg

WELCOME TO TRANQUILITY #2

Gail Simone carries her creative and original story from Welcome to Tranquility #1. Tranquility is the town where retired superheroes end up, in all shapes and sizes, with their ‘old age’ aliments in tow (has that ever been done before in a comic?). Retired superhero Mr Articulate has been murdered. Simone has written in little excerpts (in comic form) from the heroes heyday and weaved into into Tranquility story – like a flashback. The introduction with a younger Mr Articulate displays his prowess as a savvy detective, as he uncovers the murderer at a dinner. Simone users the over the top pompous dialogue as a reference to English murder stories, and ‘murder most foul’ theme -ala Agatha Christie. It’s a nice little intro. Which is a prelude to the current mystery of Mr Articulate’s death. It also seems the running theme and question (according to the tabloids following the case) . Was Mr Articulate gay? Even though the excerpt intro shows the younger savvy Mr Articulate, reassuring his side kick, that ‘yes’, he will end up in the “sack” with the buxom woman of the story.

Enter the present day, after Mr Articulate’s murder at the Chik N Go Diner, Detective Lindo (the comics heroine) goes ahead an interviews the suspects, one being the thug kid Emo. Lindo knows that the suspect is one of the retired super hero’s, not one of the kids from the brawl at the Chik n Go diner. Lindo is great character, emotional, yet strong. There is a lot of sexual overtones in Tranquility. One confronting the assumption of a persons sexuality, the other dealing with female sexuality, wants, desires etc. As one reviewer mentioned in their review of Welcome To Tranquility. Gail writes Lindo’s sexual needs not as tramp, but a lot more honest and real. In one scene Lindo breaks down in front of one of the superhero memorial statues in the town centre, her sister comforts her. Her sister saying that it’s not like he seduced you, she informs her sister it was her that seduced him, “I did him, until I couldn’t breath”. Lindo sexual advances to Mr Articulate were due to her own desire towards someone that was kind to her, cared for her when she was ill. It’s a really nice touch on the heroines (Lindo) desire towards Mr Articulate (obviously purely sexual and nothing else, but with respect). We also learn that Mr Articulate was riddled with cancer and he didn’t have long to live.

We see Zeke enter the story as the zombie funeral attendant, and presumably the funeral home director. Another great character, with his snake (animal) hanging out of his lower abdomen. The older characters have an endearing quality about them, the older Tranquility version of The Flash; ‘Zig Zag’ running at superhuman speed to inform Lindo that there is a ruckus at the local bar. But in doing so is out of breath and has a walking frame.

Again, there is a lot of sexual innuendos, and general sexuality explored in Tranquility. But that is normal for a Simone comic, you have to respect that. Because of Simone’s masterful skills as a writer, she is able to craft and meld all the themes of sexuality into the one story, and this story being a murder mystery.

Great panel, with Mr Articulate’s older friends having a drink (at a local bar, just before another brawl takes place) in tribute to there deceased Friend, with a women on a swing, singing, how she ‘doesn’t want your guy, she barley wants hers’.

It’s a flawless comic, no doubt there. It’s also a comic that building it’s story, gradually. Gail Simone is one of the most talented writers of comics today, Welcome to Tranquility is a gem.

Posted in Books, Comic Reviews | Leave a Comment »

Coming comic reviews for Jan 2007

Posted by Adrian on January 25, 2007

Reviews coming soon:

Welcome to Tranquility #2 – Wildstorm comics
The Other Side #4 (OF 5) – Vertigo comics

Please RSS this. I hope to have the reviews up in the next few days.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Australian Inflation rate, RBA next meeting, Rental Crisis in Australian cities

Posted by Adrian on January 25, 2007

On February the 6th (Tuesday) the Reserve Bank of Australia will meet to consider lifting interests rates beyond the cash rate of 6.25%, or pausing. After CPI (Consumer price index) figures were released Tuesday 23rd. They showed a drop in the 0.1% in the December quarter 2006 down from an increase of 0.9% in the September quarter 2006. Of course Core inflation is higher than the RBA target range of 3%. Most economists now believe that the RBA will pause rate rise in February. This will of course be an error, as underlying core inflation will continue to rise. Rents and food are still high and business costs and services are high, so is this offset with higher wages? Most likely not, like the US Federal Reserve, the RBA may lapse it’s commitment in keeping prices in check compared with wage growth.

The issue is of course the cooling property market in Australia, which hasn’t at all gone into a recession like the US market. The Australian housing market hasn’t declined in any sharp manner, so there is still a reasonably active housing sector. Although there has been a sharp rise in rental, which in all reports is due to scarcity and demand for rental accommodation. I will make an observation here, and say that rental increase that has contributed to a high core inflation, have been initiated by speculators (real estate agents and investors) to see how high they can adjust rental beyond the value and the spending power of the renter. There has been talk by the Real Estate institutes in Australia that regulating a bidding process for rents may be applicable (as it is going on, apparently unsupervised and regulated) . Further to my observation on the rental hikes, is that although a scarce rental market, which would indicate that their are more owner occupies paying a mortgage, then renters. So therefore there are less renters than the Real Estate Institute assumes. They estimate that hundreds of people are viewing single properties (one report on a news channel mention how 100+ potential renters were taken through one house!) is unfounded and geared towards manipulating and/or causing fear in the market.

There reasons why these reports are untrue, are:

From a sociological and financial perspective, a single person will not pay $200+ for an apartment. We can assume that a bulk of the renters fall between the ages of 20 y.o and 30 y.o, who are working and earning basic wages. Since the housing boom is not completely over. Parents would offer to help their children save for a deposit, rather than pay higher rents. They (Parents) would much rather their children pay off a mortgage (even if it was for a unit), then drop over half their wage into an investors pocket.

Couples will not live in flats/and units. It’s not the most feasible place to maintain a relationship. I doubt many can achieve that, possible out of necessity due to high rents. But risky and unlikely on a large scale.

According to Census (Article found here) more young women are living alone. If there was a competitive aspect in the rental market, it may be with women going into higher rental properties. Young men don’t generally live alone.

Sharing would be an option (mostly women sharing with other women), this would be renting houses that are now sitting in the $400+ range a week. I imagine with a the property market still in existence and no major sell off as yet (from defaults and a recession), there wouldn’t be a lot of houses on the market.

Therefore units flats, even some townhouses will be left for the very few looking. It would be advisable to watch the rental market and offer lower rents, rather than higher rents. The equation for the Australian rental market would be, scarcity in rental property + scarcity in people looking to rent = it equals it’s self out. No excuse for a higher yield in rent.

If the RBA do not increase interest rates on February the 6th, as seen now, the purchasing power of the Aussie Dollar has declined on speculation that the RBA will pause. Investors don’t see it has a strong currency, as cash is still loose, and the asset markets haven’t tightened. The AUD will fall Against all the main currencies. So if you are into the FX markets, you can see this as an advantage and hedge against the AUD. I suspect the Aussie will further decline prior to the RBA meeting, possible down to the 77- 76 range against the USD.

Stocks will rally as the All Ordinaries has climbed on speculation that the RBA may not consider increasing interest rates on Feb 6 2007.

*AUSTRALIAN INFLATION UPDATE AS OF OCTOBER 2007*

 

Posted in Finance and Economics. Strategy and Society | Leave a Comment »

SOMA Magazine

Posted by Adrian on January 24, 2007

cover.jpg

Very cool mag from the States, picked up some early issues in early 2000. Check it out

Posted in Popular Culture/Culture | Leave a Comment »

Clive Barker Bess Cutler Gallery Prints

Posted by Adrian on January 24, 2007

img_0023.JPG

I was able to pick mine up a few years back. Now, according to their website, they are retailing at $75USD. I paid far less than that with the AUD.

I have always been a big fan of Clive Barkers art and story telling. The Hellraiser series is still one of the most poignant horror classics of the 20 Century, namely the first Hellraiser.

Check out the Bess Cutler Gallery prints here.

One day I will pick up an original Clive Barker work.

Posted in Popular Culture/Culture | Leave a Comment »

Comic reviews January 2007 – She Hulk #14 (Marvel Comics)

Posted by Adrian on January 24, 2007

shehulk_14.jpg

SHE-HULK #14

How did I miss this one! I always thought She Hulk came across as a character for kids . This is definitely not the case. Very adult in some ways. Being of the popular culture theme (media) of the ‘single female lawyer’ Jennifer Walters (She Hulk is a Lawyer), her relationships with various men, superpowered or not superpowered. Unlike her cousin The Hulk who has absolutely no control over himself when he becomes The Hulk, Walters can become She Hulk and her personality remains intact. We learn that She Hulk is now married. She is now a wife to the character called StarGod, or Man-Wolf. In this issue she wants an annulment from Man Wolf (she also shares his surname Jameson).

The main theme with this issue is the love sick android Awesome Andy, a multi-adaptive character that can emulate the powers and attributes of any life form. We also learn his origins, that he was created by the Mad Thinker (Villain). It’s actually quite a sad issue. Andy works at Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzberg & Holliway where Walters (She Hullk) works. He is an enduring character, who communicates with a display board that is activities by WiFi from his CPU. Awesome Andy has fallen in love with co worker Mallory Book. Andy develops feelings of love after absorbing them from the character Starfox (who has pheromone type ability). Book does not share Andy’s love, thus he feels rejected. So the issue is him going over the past, his creator The Mad Thinker and how Andy can cope with feelings of love and rejection. You got to feel for this character. He daydreams that Book will fall in love with him, but it doesn’t eventuate, instead she falls in love with the Two Gun Kid. Dan Slott writes She Hulk as an offbeat and quirky comic, but it’s very original. His writing reminds me of Gail Simone’s (Secret Six, Tranquility), humour, tragedy and of course various liaisons (sex). So, like Simone’s style, you can relate to these characters in some way or another.

Walters (She Hulk) returns to find Andy has left Goodman, Lieber Kurtzberg & Holliway, she also learns that she has been conscripted into S.H.E.I.L.D part of the Civil War tie in, her new base will be on the S.H.E.I.L.D heli-carrier.

Meanwhile, Andy decides to end it all, or does he? He ends up jumping off the Empire State Building, only to fall onto some flying seagulls. In which he absorbs their flying ability, and we see Andy flying off into the horizon. To find the “answers”. Very melancholy.

she_hulk_7_cover.jpg

Posted in Books, Comic Reviews | Leave a Comment »

Nanodot and Data Storage

Posted by Adrian on January 23, 2007

Article regrading using Nanodots for data storage. Article found here

Posted in Finance and Economics. Strategy and Society | Leave a Comment »