Far West Capital January 2012 Newsletter

Eleven percent of American adults want to live next door to Tim Tebow, according to Tim Newcomb of Time’s NewsFeed. And who wouldn’t want to borrow a cup of sugar from the faithful quarterback who seems to keep on delivering miracle after miracle. In the Denver Broncos’ electrifying game against the Pittsburgh Steelers a few weeks ago, Tebow threw for 316 yards, set an NFL playoff record with 31.6 yards per completion, and gave CBS its highest TV rating (in a wild card game) of 31.6. Coincidence or divine intervention? Either way, people are starting to take notice. GoogleTrends, an online tool detailing Google search volume changes for a particular keyword over time, showed that the next morning’s most popular searches were for the John 3:16 passage, Tebow, and Tim Tebow. The downside to sharing a fence with Tim, neighbors may have to worry about the quarterback’s many fans “tebowing,” all over the front lawn.



“Recently, the debt of the federal government surpassed 100% of GDP for the first time ever.” Courtesy of www.theeconomiccollapseblog.com, the statistics in this post are intense and extreme, but it illustrates the burden of debt on our economy.



Speaking of debt, take a look at this satirical video about how the national debt applies to one family.



If you’re one of our Facebook fans, follow us on Twitter or are connected with us on LinkedIn, you know that we frequently post blog posts and articles with business tips and advice for entrepreneurs and business owners. Once in a while, we post pictures from speaking events. But who would have figured we would have the most comments and “Likes” of approval on a picture we posted of our CEO, Cole Harmonson, laughing it up with Rapper Snoop D-o-double-G. Just another day in the life of a Far West Capital team member.

Speaking of one of our favorite rappers, you might want to file away that piece of information for our new contest coming in a few weeks. You could win a coveted pass to a big conference happening in Austin this March. Follow our blog, Facebook page, Twitter page and LinkedIn profile for your chance to win!



It’s not every day that one of your old math notebooks sells for $388, 375—unless, you’re a rocket scientist, of course. Originally valued at $25,000, the checklist book of astronaut James Lovell was sold by Heritage Auctions in December. Lovell says he had forgotten about the notebook, since most of his other artifacts from the Apollo 13 mission had already been donated to museums and given to his children. After his co-pilot Jack Swigert radioed his famous lines back to NASA headquarters—“Houston, we’ve had a problem,” —Lovell used the book to calculate a safe reentry into earth’s orbit following the explosion of an oxygen tank aboard the ship. The calculations on the checklist made by Lovell are credited for turning NASA’s third expedition to the moon into “a successful failure,” as they allowed the astronauts to travel 200,000 miles back to earth in a lifeboat, of sorts. Looks like brushing up on your arithmetic goes a long, long way.



Good news for all you living south of the Red River—Texas annual job growth will reach about two percent in 2012, marking a three consecutive year increase. The rate of job growth was 2.1 percent last year, nearly double the rate of the U.S. But what do you expect from a state with the second-largest economy in the United States and about the 14th largest in the world? In the coming year, 200,000 new jobs are expected to be added statewide. While the energy, high-tech, and exports industries job growth will likely fall, these loses will be offset by the addition of jobs in areas like construction of private and public buildings. Traditionally, the public sector has been the greatest sources of jobs, with about 15 percent of jobs in Texas tied to local and state governments. So Texans, I guess the question is not what your government can do for you, but rather, which department is hiring?



If your friends or family ever accuse you of rushing into a relationship, just tell them the story of Megan Lawless and Jasper Jasperse. The couple met while playing the popular online game Words With Friends, which allows users to compete against family, friends, or other anonymous players to see who can build the best words. The two began flirting on Jasper’s birthday, and after flying from his home in the Netherlands to meet Megan, they married a year later in July 2011. The holidays may be over, but Hugh Grant was right when he said that love is all actually around us.



MRI, CT scan, CBC, IPS; that last one stands for Ion Proton Sequencer, or simply put, DNA decoding. Life Technologies Corporation has announced the development of a new machine that can identify the exact sequence of a person’s DNA and the countertop machine will only cost $1000. The inexpensive price tag on the machine is expected to make for more practical use of the product, allowing physicians to use it to tailor medical treatments to patients. But before you rush out to your doctor to find out if being late to everything really does run in your family, take note that the machine will only be able to read your DNA’s code, an important function, but it may be a long time before medical practitioners are actually able to tell you what the arrangement of those 3.4 billion nucleotides actually means for your health.



There’s no doubt, the upcoming presidential election will be one to watch. From his messages about tax, spending, foreign policy, military spending and civil liberties, candidate Ron Paul and his policy proposals is resonating with many Americans. Learn why in this article, “Why Ron Paul Matters.



The recent Italian cruise ship disaster has cruise ship companies on high alert and families waiting anxiously. The Costa Concordia ship, owned by Carnival Corporations, had 4,200 people – 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew members – aboard when it was steered too close to the Tuscan coast on January 13 and ran aground an island. At least 11 people are known to have died in the disaster, and 21 are still missing. Amid the accusations of the captain abandoning the ship, confusion about what went wrong and the desperate search for the people still missing, the story about Sandor Feher, a 38-year-old violinist working on the cruise ship, has made headlines. A passionate violin teacher who had worked on the cruise ship for a month, Feher helped put lifejackets on crying children as the ship was sinking. He then headed back to his cabin to pack his violin but was last seen in the lifeboat boarding area. His body was found inside the wreck. Rescue operations are still in progress on the grounded yet shifting ship.



You might have seen an email “from” Warren Buffet about the debt ceiling floating around. In an interview with CNBC, Warren Buffett, had some great thoughts about the debt ceiling, including this one:

“I could end the deficit in 5 minutes,” he told CNBC. “You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election.

To see the full interview, check out this link.



Do you remember in our October 2011 newsletter we brought you information about the social movement Occupy Wall Street and its local sister movement, Occupy Austin? Not to beat a dead horse, but it appears that the protestors are not just occupying Austin City Hall, but police time and money, as well. Since the movement set up camp, the Austin Police Department has placed four to six officers, round-the-clock, to monitor and provide safety in the area. There have also been more than 100 arrests made since the movement began late last year. Now, new data shows that Occupy Austin has cost the Austin Police Department an extra $700,000. We are all in favor of the Constitutional right to assembly, but that is a pretty steep price tag for a protest of, well, we still don’t know for sure. In a city like Austin, there are definitely more productive ways to advocate for “change,” whatever that may mean to you, like contacting your district house member or buying local goods.



The Mattel-manufactured doll Barbie has a lot of fan pages, but none quite like this one. The Facebook page, calling for the doll maker to make a bald Barbie in a show of support to children affected by cancer, was started by Rebecca Sypin and Jane Bingham. Both women have been affected by the disease—Bingham lost her hair while being treated with chemotherapy for lymphoma and Sypin’s daughter lost her hair fighting leukemia—and believe that a bald Barbie would greatly increase awareness for children with cancer. There is no doubt that a bald Barbie would be inspiring for both children and adults, if nothing else, for the fact that she would show that there are many kinds of beautiful. And if Barbie can be a news anchor, lawyer, and astronaut, there’s no reason why she can’t be all these and bald.

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