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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 Thursday, March 30, 2006: I think it's time we all had enough Tamiflu to cover our families. Go to your doctor. Convince him to write sufficient prescriptions. Buy the Tamiflu and put it in your refrigerator. That will extend its shelf life.

One dose of Tamiflu only lasts six weeks. A flu pandemic may last six months. You'll want to consider multiple doses. You'll also want to go into semi-quarantine (avoid traveling) and follow extra cleanliness -- masks, gloves, germicidal wipes, etc. This means you should stock your home up now with extra food and water.

I am not impressed with our country's preparedness. I do not trust my life to the same people who ignored New Orleans. Item:

On November 1, 2005,
Dr. Rajeev Venkayya, Special Assistant to the President for Biological Defense Policy, held a press briefing on the Avian Flu. This excerpt came from the White House's web site:

Question: Can you give some details of what the incentives are going to be for vaccine makers, and can you give us a few more details on what the cell culture preparation is going to be, what exactly you're talking about -- buy the vats, or what?

DR. VENKAYYA: Well, I think that I need to defer that question because I think that needs to be figured out. The bottom line is that we can't have all that detail until we actually sit down with the manufacturers and have discussions about what can be done and how to do that.

Elsewhere in the briefing, Dr. Venkayya talks about the government's hoped-for stockpile of anti-virals (like Tamiflu).

... the goal now is 44 million courses in the stockpile, plus an additional 6 million. ... The remainder, then, 31 million courses we would look to the states to purchase with a federal government subsidy, and that would take us up to a total of 81 million courses.

Question: Is that roughly a quarter of the population?

DR. VENKAYYA: That's right, that's roughly a quarter of the population.

Meantime, the birds get closer. Read more of Dr. Venkayya's political nonsense. Click here. The last mention of Avian Flu on the White House's web site was January 16, 2006. That's 2 1/2 months ago.

In sharp contrast, my little lucky country in the South Pacific, with a population of 20 million, is taking the idea of protecting its citizens very seriously:

In a later interview, Abbott, says Australia, on a per capita basis, has just about the largest stockpile in the world, far in excess of the United States’ stockpile, far in excess of the United Kingdom’s stockpile.

Question: What’s your advice to people out there, you know, especially young people, old people? Should they be stocking up on Tamiflu themselves?

Abbott: One of the problems with the use of antivirals in anticipation of something like this is that there is a risk that resistance will be developed to them. If people want to buy Tamiflu, they’re perfectly entitled to do so. I should warn them though that it is highly unlikely that they will be able to secure enough Tamiflu to protect them and their loved ones for the estimated three months duration of the first wave of a pandemic. And, in any event, at this stage we don’t believe that it is safe to use Tamiflu for more than six weeks at any one period of time.

More on avian flu from the Australians -- The threat of an avian influenza (bird flu) pandemic: key issues and resources -- click here.

Currently there are two antiviral drugs available which diminish the severity of bird flu symptoms. They are oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza). Tamiflu is currently first choice drug in the treatment of bird flu. It would be wise to get 2-3 courses of these drugs for each family member and learn when and how to adminster them. A protective mask may protect you from getting infected. Make sure that the mask you buy is a biofilter mask that will block the H5N1 bird flu virus effectively and kill it. For any mask to work properly it must fit snug on your face leaving no gaps around the edge. 3M is the major maker of these masks. It is currently receiving orders for millions of them.

Once the first cases are reported in your area, avoid travel and moving around. Stay at home. Wear protective masks, gloves and clothing when going outdoors. Avoid contact with infected or suspect persons at any cost.

For a $129 Virus Protection Kit, which is, incidentally, "flying off the shelves" click here.

Meantime, Dan Luskin's Pandemic Flu Portfolio (which I've written about before) continues to gain (and will undoubtedly go higher):

For more on the assumptions behind this portfolio, click here and here.

Sometimes Washington surprises nicely: The Bush administration for the first time ordered the biggest light-truck vehicles (i.e. SUVs) on the road, including Hummers, Chevrolet Suburbans and vans weighing more than 8,500 pounds, to conform to new gasoline mileage standards. Including those behemoths, all vehicles classed as light trucks must have average mileage of at least 24 miles per gallon by model year 2011, according to the administration's final Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency rules. That average mileage matches the standard first proposed by the White House last year in preliminary CAFE rules, despite a subsequent rise in oil and gasoline prices. But including the biggest SUVs and vans in the standards could force auto manufacturers to further boost the mileage of their other light trucks. The administration said the new rules would save 10.7 billion gallons of fuel, compared with nine billion under the rules proposed last year, which did not include the biggest vehicles.

Nasdaq 100 Tennis from Miami TV Schedule
  Start (EST) End (EST)    
30-Mar-06 13:00 17:00 Men's Quarter-Final
 Women's Semi-Final 1-Live
30-Mar-06 19:00 23:00 Women's Semi-Final 2-Live ESPN2
31-Mar-06 15:00 17:00 Men's Semi-Final 1-Live ESPN2
31-Mar-06 19:00 21:00 Men's Semi-Final 2-Live ESPN2
Saturday, Aprl 1 12.00 14.00 Women's Final -- Live CBS
Sunday, Apr 2 12.00 16.00 Men's Final -- Live CBS

25 Signs you have grown up (sadly)
1. Your houseplants are alive, and you can't smoke any of them.
2. Having sex in a twin bed is out of the question.
3. You keep more food than beer in the fridge.
4. 6:00 a.m. is when you get up, not when you go to bed.
5. You hear your favorite song in an elevator.
6. You watch the Weather Channel.
7. Your friends marry and divorce instead of "hook up" and "break up."
8. You go from 130 days of vacation time to 14.
9. Jeans and a sweater no longer qualify as "dressed up."
10. You're the one calling the police because those %&@# kids next door won't turn down the stereo.
11. Older relatives feel comfortable telling sex jokes around you.
12. You don't know what time Taco Bell closes anymore.
13. Your car insurance goes down and your car payments go up.
14. You feed your dog Science Diet instead of McDonald's leftovers.
15. Sleeping on the couch makes your back hurt.
16. You take naps.
17. Dinner and a movie is the whole date instead of the beginning of one.
18. Eating a basket of chicken wings at 3 AM would severely upset, rather than settle, your stomach.
19. You go to the drug store for ibuprofen and antacid, not condoms and pregnancy tests.
20. A $4.00 bottle of wine is no longer "pretty good shit."
21. You actually eat breakfast at breakfast time.
22. "I just can't drink the way I used to" replaces "I'm never going to drink that much again."
23. 90% of the time you spend in front of a computer is for real work.
24. You drink at home to save money before going to a bar.
25. When you find out your friend is pregnant. You congratulate her, instead of asking "Oh, God, what happened?"

Harry Newton

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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