Short takes

Good morning bookies! Stand by for news and comment.

*** Birthdays today include Barbara Feldon who is 76. Who could forget Agent 99 from TV’s ‘Get Smart?’ Writer Cal Hiaasen is 56. If you haven’t read his first four books you are missing out on classic Florida crime caper books, they are fabulous. After that his work becomes bitter and spotty.

*** In 1938 Germany invaded and annexed Austria in the Anschluss. This event was a major pre-requisite for World War II. For those not aware, Austria was divided between those who wanted to remain an independent nation, a remnant of the once-great Austro-Hungarian Empire, and those who felt that Austria was and should be part of Germany. Hitler, being Austrian, had worked for years to subvert the Austrian government and incorporate his native land into the German Reich. This came to a head in 1938 when German troops marched into Austria. No one knew if the Austrian Army would fight or welcome the Germans. As it turned out, they welcomed them with open arms, which was smart since they would have lost a war anyway.

*** A shout-out thank you to Bobbi for the description of what John Donohoe has done to ebay. You probably know that he calls it disruptive innovation. The concept, which is such a scam that it’s breath-taking, is to screw everything up, change things and see what works. Sort of a Calvin & Hobbes approach to business which Bobbi has dubbed ‘deceptive innovation.’ Ha! Well done.

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