Perry Mason in Jail: Perry Mason always won. Well, I think once he lost. Of course I’m referring to the lawyer character played by Raymond Burr in the TV series Perry Mason. So, there’s this guy in Houston. His name is Perry Mason. Apparently he’s been nabbed for practicing law. Trouble is this Perry Mason doesn’t have a law license. There’s not much out on the story yet, but one thing is for certain…this guy doesn’t look like Raymond Burr. Here’s what little there is from the Houston Chronicle.
On This Date in History: Amadeo Peter Giannini isn’t a household name, but perhaps it should be and perhaps the company that he founded needs to go back to his philosephy. You see, he didn’t see money as the worlds greatest resource. Instead, he saw people as the greatest commodity on the globe. While it was not his objective, his humble attitude resulted in his founding one of the nation’s most powerful financial institutions.
He worked in San Francisco for his stepfather in a produce market and by the age of 19, he became a full partner. He invested his money wisely in real estate and at the tender age of 31, he was wealthy enough to retire. But, his version of wealth was different than others as he was able to earn $250 a month from his investments, which was fine by him. Philosphically, he said, “I don’t want to be rich. No man actually owns a fortune; it owns him.” I guess he must have gotten bored though because his retirement lasted all but a year.
In 1902 a small bank in the Italian section of the Golden Gate City made him its director. He was interested in banking but he detested the practices, which he felt ignored the common man. So, two years later, he started his own bank and called it the Bank of Italy…even though he was in San Francisco. His investors were small shareholders but the practices that he used would alter banking practices in America…until perhaps the late 20th and early 21st centuries. One thing he did that is still common today was that Giannini solicited business. This was unheard of in 1904. Through advertising and he own personal persuasion he convinced people it was safer to have their funds in his bank than hidden in a shoe box or under their mattress. He put the money back into the community by giving small loans to local individuals with only their wages as collateral. He then thought that banks could better distribute capital so he pioneered branch banking. Then, disaster struck.
On this date in 1906, the city of San Francisco was almost destroyed by a massive earthquake and a following fire that burned for several days. The firestorm only was halted when sections of the city were dynamited to form a fire break. The earthquake was estimated to be 7.8 on the richter scale. Death toll estimates vary but it is generally assumed about 3000 lost their lives. Giannini acted quickly and removed all of the money from his bank and put it in a secret hiding place. The very next day, his bank was the only financial institution in the city to be open for business. He set up shop on a wooden plank and began dispensing loans. By 1907 with rebuilding going crazy, a wave of untempered financial speculation took hold and many banks were left in ruins. (sound familiar?) But, Giannini had speculated that a
crash was coming and he had spent his time hoarding gold. He stacked the gold in teller windows so everyone could see it. Customers saw the glittering substance and it gave them confidence that their money was safe with him. By the time he really retired in 1934, his bank was the world’s largest commercial bank with about $5 billion in assets. Yet, the humble Giannini never sold out. He didn’t give himself or a golden parachute. His bank was to serve the public not its officers. When Amadeo Peter Giannini died in 1949, his estate was estimated to be the same as it had in 1904 when he started his own bank.
The bank he started, the Bank of Italy became part of Transamerica in the 1920’s. In 1934, the bank was merged with another financial institution and the new bank was called the Bank of America.
By the way…on this date in 2008, Louisville felt the effects of an earthquake. My cats, Nit and Wit, went crazy but I thought that they were fighting. So I rolled over and went back to sleep. Here are a few facts that I found after I got out of bed…most likely about the crack of noon…
The initial quake was 5.2 on the Richter Scale located about 5 miles NNE of Belmot, Illinois or about 125 miles west of Louisville. It’s depth was 11.6 kilometers or about 7 miles. That is relatively shallow and is probably why it was felt with such force at such a distance. It was apparently felt in Chicago and Atlanta. According the the USGS, it was at 5:38 AM EDT.
There were 4 aftershocks. The last was the strongest at 11:14 AM EDT and registered at 4.6.
The initial quake was considered moderate. There is typically little or no damage associated with such quakes. There are about 800 moderate quakes world wide on an annualized basis.
The force of a quake is not linear, its logrhythmic. Hence, a quake that is a 2 is not twice as much as one that registers one. In the two examples cited, the 7.8 quake of San Francisco would release the equivalent of about a half a billion tons of TNT. Last year’s quake near Belmot, IL of 5.2 released approximately the same energy as 50,000 tons of TNT. The yield of the Hiroshima atomic bomb was about 20,000 tons of TNT.
The energy release of the Dec. 16, 1811 New Madrid 8.1 earthquake was approximately 1 billion tons of TNT. The Mississippi River flowed north for a time after the quake. Gueysers of sand and water shot skyward in many locations around New Madrid. It is said that the shaking was felt as far away as Boston, where the vibrations were sufficient to ring the churchbells.
Apparently, the the quake of last year was not on the New Madrid fault but instead initial analysis suggests it was on the smaller Wabash fault.
Weather Bottom Line: As expected, Friday was great. Snow White, Lilliputian and I went to the Zoo to help run herd on the 1st graders from Spring Hill Elementary in Clarksville. The giraffes were fabulous, though I think the baby is still being cared for. It was a cool start but warmed up quickly and I’m sure there are many kids with pink faces. We went to the river and saw some practicing for Thunder Over Louisville. The F-22 Raptor was cool and did some things that defy the laws of physics. We also had a B-52 land right over the top of us. The weather will be great for flying on Saturday though there will probably be some friendly white puffies floating about. It may be a little more breezy with the wind shifting out of the South. Keep that in mind for the fireworks. At Spring Hill Elementary it will probably be pretty smokey by the time its all said and done with but it shouldn’t rain. So don’t be alarmed if you see clouds increasing in the evening. The rain will hold off until early Sunday morning.
Now, Sunday we will have thunderstorms in all liklihood. The question will be the ferocity. As of Friday, the SPC had decided to put a slight risk south of our area. However, the GFS, as usual, is advertising some fairly rambunctious activity. The NAM is calling for some good thunderstorms but has zero shear which discounts tornadoes. However, the European and Canadian models both have a track of the low similar to the GFS, which is almost on top of us. I would not be surprised to see the SPC revise the risk area into the Ohio Valley. The 18Z NAM does not go out into early Wednesday but, the GFS, Euro and Canadian all show a secondary strong short wave rotating around the low and through the jetstream flow from the northwest moving right over the top of us on Wednesday morning. The NAM has that feature and if I were to interpolate it would be easy to hypothesize the same solution for the NAM. So, we could see another round of t’storms on Wednesday morning but the time of day and other elements may not be sufficient to be too exciting. However, it should be noted that the GFS is…again…getting a little ambitious on the vertical profile prog. What this all means is expect wet weather of some kind for the Sunday through early Wednesday and then mild conditions for the latter part of the week.
DAY 3 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0229 AM CDT FRI APR 17 2009
VALID 191200Z – 201200Z
…THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS SUN ACROSS PARTS OF THE
TENNESSEE VALLEY/CENTRAL AND EASTERN GULF STATES….
MODELS SUGGEST THAT AMPLIFICATION WILL OCCUR WITHIN THE MAIN BELT OF
POLAR WESTERLIES DURING THIS FORECAST PERIOD…WITH A VIGOROUS SHORT
WAVE TROUGH DIGGING ACROSS THE CENTRAL CANADIAN PROVINCES AND NORTH
CENTRAL U.S…AS A STRONG MID/UPPER JET STREAK ROUNDS THE CREST OF
AN AMPLIFYING RIDGE ACROSS THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST AND CANADIAN
ROCKIES. IN RESPONSE TO THESE DEVELOPMENTS…A REMNANT SOUTHERN
STREAM CIRCULATION IS PROGGED TO ACCELERATE MORE RAPIDLY
EASTWARD…FROM THE SOUTH CENTRAL PLAINS THROUGH PORTIONS OF THE
LOWER OHIO AND TENNESSEE VALLEYS BY LATE SUNDAY NIGHT/EARLY MONDAY.
DISCREPANCIES EXIST AMONG THE SHORT TO MEDIUM RANGE FORECAST
GUIDANCE…INCLUDING INCREASING SPREAD AMONG NCEP SREF
MEMBERS…CONCERNING THE SPEED AT WHICH THIS OCCURS…AND DETAILS OF
THE LARGE-SCALE PATTERN EVOLUTION. BUT…IT APPEARS PROBABLE THAT
THE SOUTHERN IMPULSE WILL SUPPORT A DEVELOPING SURFACE LOW ACROSS
UPPER PORTIONS OF THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI VALLEY THROUGH THE LOWER
OHIO VALLEY. THIS IS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE MAINTENANCE OF
AT LEAST A MODEST SOUTHERLY 850 MB JET /ON THE ORDER OF 30-35 KT/ IN
THE WARM SECTOR TO ITS SOUTH AND EAST… BENEATH A MODERATELY STRONG
WEST SOUTHWESTERLY 500 MB JET /ON THE ORDER OF 50+ KT/.
…LWR HALF OF MS VALLEY THRU CNTRL/SRN APPALACHIANS…
HODOGRAPHS CHARACTERIZED BY SIZABLE LOW-LEVEL CLOCKWISE CURVATURE
AND STRONG DEEP LAYER SHEAR OVER A FAIRLY BROAD AREA OF THE MID
SOUTH AND CENTRAL/EASTERN GULF STATES PROVIDE SOME CONCERN FOR A
MORE SIGNIFICANT SEVERE WEATHER THREAT THAN CURRENTLY INDICATED.
GULF MOISTURE RETURN CHARACTERIZED BY 60F+ SURFACE DEW POINTS AND
PRECIPITABLE WATER OF 1.25-1.5 INCHES SHOULD BE SUFFICIENT…BUT
CONSIDERABLE UNCERTAINTY EXISTS CONCERNING THE POSSIBLE STABILIZING
INFLUENCE OF A STORM CLUSTER ALONG CENTRAL/EAST GULF COASTAL
AREAS…LEFT OVER FROM THE DAY 2 FORECAST PERIOD.
IF THIS SYSTEM WEAKENS BY OR SHORTLY AFTER 12Z SUNDAY…AND
ASSOCIATED MID/HIGH LEVEL CLOUD COVER AND SURFACE COLD POOL DO NOT
BECOME TOO PROMINENT…IT APPEARS A WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY MAY
DEVELOP FOR A FAIRLY SUBSTANTIAL SEVERE THREAT. SOUTH OF A BAND OF
WARM FRONTAL CONVECTION SPREADING THROUGH THE LOWER OHIO VALLEY AND
SOUTHERN APPALACHIANS…THERE ARE INDICATIONS THAT A PRE-FRONTAL DRY
LINE TYPE STRUCTURE COULD PROVIDE THE FOCUS FOR DISCRETE STORM
DEVELOPMENT IN AN ENVIRONMENT FAVORABLE FOR SUPERCELLS. THIS
APPEARS MOST PROBABLE FROM PARTS OF CENTRAL MISSISSIPPI THROUGH
WESTERN TENNESSEE BY MID DAY SUNDAY…BEFORE DEVELOPING EASTWARD
ACROSS MIDDLE TENNESSEE AND NORTHERN/CENTRAL ALABAMA SUNDAY
AFTERNOON…WHERE LARGE HAIL/LOCALIZED DAMAGING WIND GUSTS AND
TORNADOES WILL ALL BE POSSIBLE.