Katherine's Blog

Obsessions: Thin films, writing, small business, and random web flotsam

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January 4, 2002

11 pages, and my main character found a mentor in a thoroughly unexpected place. Sort of kicked over my plans in the process, but that's okay.
posted 23:46 |
Any rich photography buffs out there? Polaroid's photography archive is for sale. All of it. Sixty years, in the neighborhood of 24,000 images. I hope the Boston MFA ends up with it, so I can go look.

(Link by way of Metafilter.)
posted 21:51 |

January 3, 2002

Latest article for SEMI is done and shipped. Which is how I spent today and why there are no other updates. Yay!

Once the article (about advanced transistors) is published, I'll link to it from the Publications page.
posted 22:54 |

Testing BlogBuddy to see if it works again. Also gloating because I got ten good pages written, and it's about an hour earlier than I thought it would be.

....Okay, BlogBuddy sort of works, but is still too stupid to ask for my FTP password. So I guess it's offline for the time being. Oh well.
posted 00:19 |

January 1, 2002

Very strange. Blogger seems to randomly dump my entire archives for no reason every so often. Not good. I was planning to transfer 2001 to local control anyway. I guess I need to move that up the priority list a bit.
posted 12:58 |
Tis the season for end-of-year surveys. Among others, Semiconductor Business News presents its list of the top 10 stories of 2001. Not surprisingly, five of the ten relate to the 2001 downturn and its impact.
posted 09:52 |

December 31, 2001

Goodbye, 2001. Don't let the door hit you on the way out... It's been a pretty crummy year in a lot of ways. Personally and professionally, though, I've got no complaints. I'm ending the year doing exactly what I want (this), for exactly the boss I wanted (me). I feel a little guilty, even, because it's been such a lousy year for so many people. Here's hoping 2002 is better yet, for all of us.
posted 16:49 |
Argentina's financial crisis took another turn for the worse, with the resignation of interim President Adolfo Rodriguez Saa just one week after he took office. For those who haven't been following the crisis, the current phase began in early December with a depositor's panic sparked by worries that Argentina would default on its foreign debt. (Which it did.) The root cause seems to be that maintaining the peso's peg to the US dollar severely restricts the government's financial policy options while at the same time making the country's economic difficulties worse.

All of this is especially relevant in light of the imminent introduction of Euros in continental Europe. A common currency demands unified fiscal policy, yet the individual countries within Europe still control their own budgets and answer to their own voters. The value of the Euro has dropped from US$1.17 at its introduction in 1999 to only US$0.88 now. Explanations for the currency's weakness vary, but investors tend to view the European Central Bank as ineffective and unresponsive, particularly compared to the US Federal Reserve. Europe's economy and financial systems are unquestionably more robust than Argentina's. Still, the Argentine collapse dramatically illustrates the risks of making fiscal policy an end in itself, rather than a means.

(Thanks to The Blogical Suspect for links and food for thought.)
posted 11:05 |

December 30, 2001

An Egyptian mining company thinks they've found the pharonic gold mines, thereby transforming Egypt into one of the world's top gold producers. It isn't oil, but the find could still give a big boost to Egypt's economy.
posted 13:12 |
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