The Greeks are having their parliamentary elections this week and their nativists are now being heard from as well.
Firmly on the fringe of the right since it first appeared 20 years ago, Golden Dawn garnered a meager 0.23 percent in the 2009 elections. Now, it looks set to easily win more than the 3 percent threshold needed to enter Parliament, with recent opinion polls showing support at about 5 percent.
The GD is a rather nasty bunch, with a logo that looks like a misdrawn swastika and a goon squad to match. That's going to make running things that much harder, since GD seems to be one of those toxic parties that mainstream parties of the right can't touch, thus leading to more grand coalitions that are less likely to make hard decisions.
Barnes and Noble is spinning off its digital and college-bookstore arm and Microsoft is buying in for $300M. The dead tree side of the business is almost as dead as the trees and with B&N's Nook reader trailing the Amazon Kindle, a MS tie in should give them a boost-the next version of Windows is slated to come with a Nook reader ap built in.
There may well be a good reason for such a spin-off; what's getting kicked out of the nest would have more cache than the dead-tree side, and might result in the combination of Nook and dead-tree B&N getting a higher market cap than a combined firm.
It's about a week old, but this story on some Google money going into asteroid mining is interesting. James Cameron, fresh off a trip to the bottom of the Marianas Trench is also helping finance and front the project for an industrialization of space-
The inaugural step, to be achieved in the next 18 to 24 months, would be launching the first in a series of private telescopes that would search for asteroid targets rich in resources. The intention will be to open deep-space exploration to private industry.
Within five to 10 years, however, the company expects to progress from selling observation platforms in orbit around Earth to prospecting services. It plans to tap some of the thousands of asteroids that pass relatively close to Earth and extract their raw materials.
Since this story came out near Earth Day, I was reminded of the old sticker-"Earth First... we'll exploit the other planets later." Their day for exploitation (in the good sense of being utilized) seems to be coming faster than you think.
One advantage to asteroid mining is that you have no NIMBY effect to worry about.
Bad news for Sarkozy. Marine Le Pen is abstaining... courteously in the French run-off. The conventional wisdom and the polls have Francois Hollande, a somewhat centrist Socialist (by French standards, since "centrist Socialist" sounds like an oxymoron) leading going into Sunday's vote.