June 22nd, 2009

Drunken President

Think Our Banks Are Messed Up?

MosNews.com — A financial company in Latvia is offering residents loans secured by nothing but their immortal soul. Riga-based firm, named Kontora, does not require credit history record or proof of employment. It grants loans of 50 to 500 Latvian lats ($100 to $1,000) to any adult after he or she signs the a very short agreement. According to the agreement, the only security required of the borrower is their immortal soul, which they are asked to confirm as their previously unmortgaged property. The loan is subject to one percent per day in interest until full repayment. The period of full repayment is 90 days, and in case the borrower fails to return the money, the creditor gets full possession of his soul.

I guess that's a good deal if you're an atheist; just walk in, sign the paper, take the money, and never look back. Then again, that depends a lot upon how the contract is worded – do they assume possession of your soul upon your death, or do they get to attempt an extraction of it immediately upon default? (I'm picturing a variation of the "Live Organ Donors" scene from "Monty Python's The Meaning of Life" here.) If they want to take immediate possession of your soul (after all, if you're still alive, then you're still using it) you may not survive the process.

Only $100 to $1,000? I'm sure the soul of, say, James Brown would be worth more than that. The man is the freaking Godfather of Soul, after all.

Last scenario: "Oops, due to a typo, we now own Seoul, Korea."

Grrr... Arrgh...

Kodachrome

Rochester, NY (AP) — Sorry, Paul Simon, Kodak is taking your Kodachrome away. The Eastman Kodak Co. announced Monday it's retiring its most senior film because of declining customer demand in an increasingly digital age. The world's first commercially successful color film, immortalized in song by Simon, spent 74 years in Kodak's portfolio. It enjoyed its heyday in the 1950s and '60s but in recent years has nudged closer to obscurity: Sales of Kodachrome are now just a fraction of 1 percent of the company's total sales of still-picture films, and only one commercial lab in the world still processes it. Those numbers and the unique materials needed to make it convinced Kodak to call its most recent manufacturing run the last, said Mary Jane Hellyar, the outgoing president of Kodak's Film, Photofinishing and Entertainment Group. "Kodachrome is particularly difficult (to retire) because it really has become kind of an icon," Hellyar said. …

So if you go to the Kodachrome Basin State Park on vacation, bring a digital camera.