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Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.

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8:30 AM EST, Friday, June 15: Another day. Another perpetual motion machine. It's seriously exciting. With the price of oil so high, everybody and their uncle are figuring alternative energy inventions. The problem remains alternatives so far are expensive and need government subsidies (fickle at best) to get the technology anywhere near making sense to the average consumer. This applies to everything from ethanol to biodiesel, from photovoltaic to windmills. But the curve is shifting, albeit slowly. In its latest issue, Popular Science magazine weighed in with a big piece on biodiesel, calling it "The Fuel Cell" and making three points:

1. Fats in algae can be made into biodiesel, a renewable substitute for diesel fuel.

2. Researchers could grow enough algae to power the entire U.S. transportation fleet in any barren area a little bigger than New Mexico.

3. Algae farms set up next to power plants could absorb carbon dioxide and covert it to oxygen (thus inhibiting global warming).

Something more real: A bank. Western Alliance Corp. (WAL). It's come down:

But my cluey friends in San Diego are very positive on WAL because of Robert Saver, its chairman, president and CEO.

Robert G. Sarver has been the President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Western Alliance Bancorporation, since December 2002. He has served as Chief Executive Officer of Bank of Nevada since July 2006 and as Chairman of the Company's Torrey Pines Bank subsidiary since May 2003. He also served as the Chief Executive Officer of Torrey Pines Bank from May 2003 until June 2006. Mr. Sarver organized and founded National Bank of Arizona in 1984 and served as President at the time of the sale of that bank in 1994 to Zions Bancorporation. Mr. Sarver was the lead investor and Chief Executive Officer of GB Bancorporation, the former parent company of Grossmont Bank, from 1995 to 1997. Mr. Sarver served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of California Bank and Trust and as an Executive Vice President with Zions Bancorporation from June 1998 to March 2001 and had oversight for Vectra Bank, Colorado during such time. He served as a director and credit committee member of Zions Bancorporation from 1995 to 2001. Mr. Sarver is a director and audit committee member of Skywest Airlines and a director of Meritage Homes Corporation. He is also the Managing Partner of the Phoenix Suns NBA basketball team and a member of the board of directors of the Sarver Heart Center at the University of Arizona.

WAL runs a bunch of banks in Nevada, Arizona and California. It's well-run. I don't know the best timing on this one. But I feel it's getting close.

Verizon broadband access card shines:
This is the absolute best travel companion. Using it, I was high-speed receiving and sending emails, surfing the Internet, downloading files, while I was in taxis, buses, hotels, restaurants, private homes.... all over San Diego.

Pop into a hotel coffee shop. Open my laptop. Turn on the Verizon card. I'm on. Neat sense of freedom with not having to deal with WiFi and its irascibility.

"I left my BlackBerry charger here last week." I didn't. I left it at home. But I couldn't find a local wireless store. My friend said ask any hotel or any airline. I asked American's Admirals club. They brought me a box boxes of left chargers. "Help yourself," they said. They didn't have a BlackBerry charger but they had plenty for Motorola and other phones.

Throw out your antiperspirants. Deodorants come in two flavors. First, deodorant/antiperspirant. Second, just deodorant. The antiperspirant variety contains aluminum, which you don't want.

Aluminum is toxic to your body. Google the subject. You'll learn there is concern of it causing breast cancer. You'll also find this choice statement:

An increased amount of Aluminum is also present in the brains of many Alzheimer's patients, although it is not yet known if this link is causal.

My thinking is simple: The risks of putting aluminum into my body are too great versus the benefits. For now, it's easier to shower twice a day.

Golf quotes for the weekend:

"Give me the fresh air, a beautiful partner, and a nice round of golf and you can keep the fresh air and the round of golf." -- Jack Benny

"You can make a lot of money in this game. Just ask my ex -wives. Both of them are so rich that neither of their husbands works." -- Lee Trevino

"It took me seventeen years to get 3,000 hits in baseball. I did it in one afternoon on the golf course." -- Babe Ruth

"Golf and sex are about the only things you can enjoy without being good at." -- Jimmy Demaret

"If you think it's hard to meet new people, try picking up the wrong golf ball." -- Jack Lemmon

"Fifty years ago, 100 white men chasing one black man across a field was called the Ku Klux Klan. Today it's called the PGA Tour." -- Unknown

"The people who gave us golf and called it a game are the same people who gave us bagpipes and called it music." -- Unknown

"I would like to deny all allegations by Bob Hope that during my last game of golf, I hit an eagle, a birdie, an elk and a moose." -- Gerald Ford

"The first time I played the Masters, I was so nervous I drank a bottle of rum before I teed off. I shot the happiest 83 of my life." -- Chi Chi Rodriguez

Back in New York: My San Diego-New York plane was five hours late. So American re-routed me through Los Angeles and put me on an antique, jammed plane that only added four hours to my total travel time. Traveling remains irksome.

This column is about my personal search for the perfect investment. I don't give investment advice. For that you have to be registered with regulatory authorities, which I am not. I am a reporter and an investor. I make my daily column -- Monday through Friday -- freely available for three reasons: Writing is good for sorting things out in my brain. Second, the column is research for a book I'm writing called "In Search of the Perfect Investment." Third, I encourage my readers to send me their ideas, concerns and experiences. That way we can all learn together. My email address is . You can't click on my email address. You have to re-type it . This protects me from software scanning the Internet for email addresses to spam. I have no role in choosing the Google ads. Thus I cannot endorse any, though some look mighty interesting. If you click on a link, Google may send me money. Please note I'm not suggesting you do. That money, if there is any, may help pay Claire's law school tuition. Read more about Google AdSense, click here and here.
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