Whats another trillion among friends?

I’m no politician. I don’t even do office politics.

Having said that, I’m having a real “WHAT” moment after reading a news article from the hill.com. According to the article, the Senate is going to have to raise the federal debt limit to well beyond $12.1 trillion by October… just about four weeks from now. This is “a move viewed as necessary despite protests about the record levels of red ink”.

But Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said in the article that “failing to raise the cap could lead the nation to default in mid-October, when the debt is expected to exceed its limit.”

To quote a famous movie, “That would be bad. Okay, alright, important safety tip.”

Before I rant on, though, take a moment to click this link to see what a single trillion dollars looks like, starting from a $100 bill.

Did you see it? Double stacked palettes of $100 bills. But that’s just A billion. Imagine 12 stacks of that.

But that’s not the “WHAT” moment.

A math whiz on another website pointed out that the biggest surplus ever was 236 billion, way back in the Clinton/2000 era. No surplus of that magnitude has ever happened before or after. But it did happen once, so you can argue it could happen again.

The thing is, even if the spending stops right now, it would still take over 52 years of $230 billion surpluses to pay off 12.1 trillion.

12.1 trillion divided by 230 billion = 52.6086957.


Yeah. Time for a coffee.

Pair the remote on a Mac

If you have a MacBook or Ibook or any other Apple product that has one of those little white remote control things, you should take a moment to electronically lock the two together.

The reason for doing this is to keep your presentations and Mac under your own control. I’ve heard (in theory of course!) some pranksters carry their own Apple white remote with them into presentations. A few clicks of their own remote will send your Mac’s presentation (or Itunes, or any other application for that matter) into a complete state of chaos.

To lock down your Mac so that it only obeys commands from your Apple remote…

choose GENERAL

From here you do have the option to completely disable any remote control by checking the DISABLE REMOTE CONTROL INFRARED RECEIVER option. However, if you click the PAIR button, the Mac will ask you to hold your Apple white remote a few inches from the computer while pressing the remote’s MENU and NEXT buttons at the same time.

After holding the buttons for a few minutes, a white graphic of the remote will appear on your screen, with two chain links above it. This indicates the paring was successful!

Now only that one remote control will control your mac. Any other remote commands from other remotes will be completely ignored.

If you ever want to un-pair the assigned remote with the computer, just go back to the same preference pane and click on the UNPAIR button. Then the mac will go back to being accessible by any remote.