The $2 billion man, and other stories

• Ouch. Jerry Yang, CEO of Yahoo, announces he’s leaving the company and its stock soars as much as 13 percent, putting more than $2 billion back onto its market valuation. (Of course, YHOO has lost half its value since Yang and Co. rebuffed Microsoft’s merger overtures.)

• Speaking of billion-dollar men, Mark Cuban, maverick Mavericks owner, was charged with insider trading by the SEC for allegedly dumping his shares of using non-public information about an impending stock offering. Cuban seems to insinuate that the case is little more than a high-profile hit job. The fact that he’s bankrolling a bailout watchdog site is unrelated, I’m sure.

• Somali pirates have hijacked seven ships in the last 12 days, including the 1,080-foot Saudi supertanker Sirius Star. Just what does a pirate do with a booty of $100 million in crude oil? Also, note the pirates’ poor timing. A few months ago they would’ve had $200 million on their hands.

• Something I learned today: Cushing, Oklahoma, population 8,371, holds between 5 and 10 percent of the United States’ crude oil supply.

• Countdown to The Recount: It starts tomorrow. The magic number is 215. How long will it go on?

• Following up on my previous post, Honda is opening a new factory in Greensburg, Ind. How would you like to be in human resources there?

When Honda announced it was hiring 900 employees, 33,000 people applied.

• On the other hand, a sure sign that we’re in trouble: “big-time” layoffs at NASCAR.

• Google is hosting millions of photos from the LIFE archives going all the way back to the 1860s. Lots of fascinating photos of the evolution of human conflict from the Civil War, to World War I, etc.

• How lonely is this penguin? (And if you haven’t bookmarked The Big Picture, you’re missing out.)