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February, 2009:

Victorian Bush Fires

News of the Victorian Bush Fires seems to be getting good coverage around the world now. 

Whole towns have been lost to fire, with hundreds of thousands of hectacres burnt.  The death toll so far has exceeded that of the Ash Wednesday fires in 1983, with the toll expected to rise further as the emergency services begin to get into affected areas.  This make this Victoria’s worst bush fire so far.

The CannibalRabbit family have not been directly affected by the fires.  Mrs CannibalRabbit’s parents are in country Victoria, and like us are surrounded by nothing more than smoke at the moment.  We have had some fires around 25 kilometres away from us at Yarra Glen, but other than the smell of smoke on the air and the loss of our view, we have nothing to worry about here in suburbia.

There are a number of reliable sources for news:

In response to requests by the CFA and the DSE that web-traffic too their sites be kept to a minimum, Google have created a flash-based map for people not threatened by the fires. The Victoria Fires Map [^] is based on live data received from the official sites.

Out thoughts go out to those affected by the fires, and our thanks to everyone involved in fighting the fires and those that are supporting them.

Surprise Flower

I’m not sure what sort of flower this is, but it was a lovely surprise to see this bloom appear in our back garden. This is one of the benefits of having a new house and an old garden, surprise plant and unexpected bulbs.

Surprise Flower

Surprise Flower

Melting Bunny

Just from the still you know that this isn’t going to end well for the poor rabbit. After the run of weather that we have just had, I know how the poor little guys feel! [^], with Melbourne recording three consecutive days over 43°C!

Bunny meet Iron, Iron meet Bunny

Bunny meet Iron, Iron meet Bunny

Click on the photo to see the video.  The video was a commission piece for the Dutch KRO Television station called “Three ways of melting a chocolate hare” and was made by Lernert Engelberts and Sander Plug.

Commonsense Investment Advice

Warren Buffett has just been interviewed for the PBS’s “Nightly Business Report” in the US. The interview reveals some of the investment philosophies that Mr Buffett uses. These include

“My approach to investing I learned in 1949 or ‘50 from a book by Ben Graham and it’s never changed … I see different ways to apply it from time to time but that is the framework.”

“I look at how much I am getting for my money, how good the management is, how the competitive position of that business compares to others, how durable it is and just fundamental questions. Any stock I buy, I will be happy owning it if they close the stock market for five years tomorrow.”
“You’re going to buy groceries the rest of your life; you want grocery prices to go up or down? You want them to go down. And if they go down you don’t think gee I got all those groceries sitting in my cabinet at home and I’ve lost money on those. You think I am buying my groceries cheaper, I am going to keep buying groceries. Now if you’re a seller, obviously prices are higher. But most people listening to this program, certainly I, myself, and Berkshire Hathaway, we’re going to be buying businesses over time. We like the idea of businesses getting cheaper.”

No get rich schemes, no tax avoidance (sorry minimisation); just solid wealth creating in fundamentally strong businesses. Free advice from the world’s richest man, the man that said three years ago that he is going to give it all away.

Via: Get Rich Slowly Blog

Warren Buffett - Giving It Away - Fortune Magazine Cover

Warren Buffett – Giving It Away – Fortune Magazine Cover