The View From The Golden Dome

Views on the week's events plus some of mine.

Les Berman Weekly 4-20 Kal-El. Coelacanth. Clean Oceans. Giant African stuff.. and more.

It’s been 75 years since Kal-El, and his parents Jor-El and Lara Lor-Van appeared on the scene. Now, you may be more familiar with his Americanized name, Clark Kent, or as the star reporter from the Metropolis Daily Planet named him… Superman. I do remember that my grandfather and my dad were both avid readers of Superman comics, as was I.

The history of Superman ownership and copyrights is as interesting as the stories. A comprehensive article is on Wikipedia, and it makes entertaining reading.


So we can move from fantasy (I think) to fact. Researchers have decoded the genome of the coelacanth. This is a fish, sort of, that is very similar to the fossilized remains of its ancestors from 400 million years ago. So the researchers are able to figure out how this fish was the first to walk on land. This fish was thought to have been extinct for 70 million years, until one appeared in a South African fish market in 1938. The article I read was very technical but it can be summarized easily. It’s a really ugly fish and because it is endangered, no one is known to have eaten one – ever. Bottom line – eat trout or salmon. And the best way to cook trout is in butter in a frying pan over a camp fire. Just sayin…


While we’re in the ocean, a 19 year old student did a science project which has turned out to be a device that can clean the world’s oceans of plastic debris. You know… the stuff you throw out of your car window that eventually ends up polluting the ocean. His name is Boyan Slat, and I think he’s Dutch. You can google him, check out his website and project and contribute to his non-profit if you want. It’s an ambitious goal to clean 7.25 million tons of garbage from the world’s oceans. Perhaps the world’s fisheries would start to recover.


And then the fish could be fed that hard to eradicate bedbug. I was reading in the New York Times that someone had revived an old folk remedy for eradication – and it’s all natural. The simple answer is to put the leaves of bean plants in the areas where bedbugs are, and the bugs are attracted to them like metal to a magnet. The article goes into some detail about how it traps the bedbugs, and about how the scientific community’s efforts to duplicate the effect is not yet succeeding. Why do we need an ersatz solution? Just grow more beans and lay out the leaves. Ooops – did I just solve a scientific problem and become eligible for the Nobel Bug Prize?

Of course, there are many people who would think that it’s so much easier to spray a bug killer and contribute to our already clean air. If I ever encounter those beasts, I’m going to look for bean leaves first, and then an AK47 if the leaves don’t work the way they should.


And Florida has yet another invasion of foreign species. They have Burmese pythons in the Everglades, and other such fun things as citrus canker, Cuban tree frogs, fire ants, Asian swamp eel, blue tilapia, and speckled caiman. Those are all pretty bad, and Florida spends about $100 Million annually to combat these invasions. But the one that was really gross and slimy is called the giant African land snail. They can grow as big as a rat, and one of their favorite foods is stucco because they need the calcium for their shells.

They are catching 1000 of these weekly in Miami-Dade and about 120,000 since their discovery in 2011. Can you imagine what happens if they are caught by a lawnmower? Projectile slime. The last snail invasion to Florida was in the late 1960’s when it took 10 years to eradicate them. Those things are huge ! I wonder if the French chef would tackle them as a delicacy (?). I think I had  escargot once. It must have been before I moved to California and saw the regular size in my garden, on my house, and everywhere else. But the giant African land snail – not a chance! And I don’t care how much butter and garlic is used. !!


Next week, my baby girl, makes her walk down the aisle. I’m very excited for her. She and her fiance researched, planned and put this wedding together themselves. So it may happen that you will miss me next week. We’ll see!


And remember me for your real estate financing needs. Residential, commercial and interim financing. Call 818.305.4695 and Ask the question . Remember what your parents told you – if you don’t ask, you don’t get. So ASK – 818.305.4695

Have a better week !



Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

In the 60’s, people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal.

How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?

Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, ‘I think I’ll squeeze these dangly things and drink whatever comes out’? Hmmmmm, How about eggs ? . . .



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 Les Berman CMC
Real Estate Loan Specialist
NMLS ID 227675
Voice: 818.305.4695

April 20, 2013 - Posted by | business, general interest, real estate, whimsy | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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