- Robert Sherman
International Trade- Because the iPhone is assembled in China, every device sold in the US officially adds $229 to the US/China deficit. In 2011, this added almost $7 billion to the trade deficit. However, research by the Asian Development Bank Institute notes that only 3.6% of the iPhone's wholesale price comes from China. The bottom line? I have no idea. Just keep buying AAPL. The stock is never going down again.
Michael Vick- After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July 2008 on debt of close to $20 million, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick is now less than $400,000 away from being back in the black. Of course, signing a six-year, $100 million contract to run fast and throw far can solve a lot of problems. Nonetheless, considering he was sitting in a maximum-security prison cell four years ago with no cash and no prospects, Vick may have pulled off the greatest financial comeback since Donald Trump started taking himself seriously.
Just Plain Marginal
West Coast Basketball- For only the second time in the history of the NCAA Tournament, and the first time since 1985, not a single team west of the Rockies is among the Sweet 16. That's why God invented water polo.
Views From the Cheap Seats
Robert Sherman was one half of a fraternal songwriting team that composed musical scores for such memorable Disney movies as "Mary Poppins," "The Jungle Book," "Winnie the Pooh," and "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang." The brother's won Oscars and Grammys and everything else in-between. They even wrote "It's a Small World (After All)," one of the most translated and performed songs on the planet (and for a Disneyland employee, the most annoying).
What's amazing to me, however, is how Robert was able to write such perky and cheery tunes after surviving the horrors of World War II.
In 1943, Robert, then a 17-year-old student at Beverly Hills High School, talked his parents into letting him join the Army. Less than one year later, he was crawling along the sand at Omaha Beach during the early waves of D-Day. In early April 1945, he led a half squad of men into the Dachau concentration camp, the first Allied troops to enter the camp after it had been evacuated by the Germans. Days later, Robert had his knee practically shot off, resulting in months of rehabilitation and a life-long reliance on a cane.
He barely survived the return trip home. Crossing the Atlantic on a hospital ship, Robert and a group of fellow soldiers decided to celebrate their good fortune by throwing themselves a going home party. In short supply of alcohol, the thirsty crew created cocktails by pouring half a bottle of after shave lotion into half a bottle of Coke. Not a good idea on a bobbing and weaving ship. It took these wild and crazy guys eight days in the hospital ward to recover from their "road trip."
When he finally arrived back home in Los Angeles, his father showed him a telegram the family had received in April of 1945. It read:
"You son, PFC Robert Sherman…was killed in action in Germany on April 12, 1945…"
"I wanted to die, too," said his father. Fortunately, a corrected telegram was sent three days later. Robert learned a valuable lesson that day; life was short. That may explain why he proposed to his wife of 47 years…on their very first date.
Robert Sherman died on March 5, 2012 at the age of 86. In an interview, his son Jeffrey Sherman said, "My father had a lot of weight on him when he came back from the war. All he wanted to do with his life was make people happy, and I think he did that."
Yes he did.