A breakup letter from an economist. It's the utility-maximizing thing to do.
I want you to know that this decision isn’t just for me--it's for you, too. I've done the calculations. There are plenty of eligible bachelors out there who are probably able to more vigorously, consistently, and knowledgeably have sexual intercourse with you. While the thought of you being with someone else causes me a substantial negative utility that makes me feel as though I am going to vomit, I know that in the aggregate everyone is better off, and therefore it is the right decision for us to make.
There's no need to try to persuade me otherwise, Susan. We just can't let our feelings get in the way of the math.
Lindsay Lohan has apparently bagged herself a gen-u-wyine boyband rockstar-ish boyfriend (how'd that happen?) whose name is Max George, of the British band The Wanted. On Friday night, she partied (what else? did you think they sat around and discussed Kierkegaard motifs in the fiscal cliff?) -- Kiri Blakeley, The Stir
A fellow fan of Professor Mankiw's blog writes and distributes shows for school plays and musicals. He has adpted "It's a Wonderful Life" to the Panic of '08 and you can listen to the tunes on the gomusicals.com website:
Potter (a female in our version) and Sam Wainwright reflect on the economy. Inspired by a Rogoff article [Mankiw] linked to: "Game We Play"
Asleep at his desk, George has a Schumpeterian dream: "Steve Jobs"
Violet reflects on opportunity costs: "Live for Today"
Hat-tip: John Derbyshire Good thing this was "Math Corner" this month," I did not finish last month's math problem yet. (Careful, the link is to the solution, quit reading before the text turns red if you're in the mood.)
"We apologize to customers for causing them undue concern."
That is a British Airways spokesperson responding to an alarm and a "this plane is about to crash into the sea" recorded message that was mistakenly played twice at three am [insert bonus Sec. Hillary Clinton joke here...]
Hat-tip: @jamestaranto UPDATE: Now that's a pretty good riposte:
He may be on vacation, but you can't stop a writer from Tweeting. James suggests "The dangers of refined carbohydrates http://t.co/XxTxO2nk"
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) -- Chile's Supreme Court has ordered a newspaper to pay $125,000 to 13 people who suffered burns while trying out a published recipe for churros, a popular Latin American snack of dough fried in hot oil.
I guess. This article claims 70% of women "still prefer to take husband's last name."
My serviceable, monosyllabic, Austrian surname was eschewed by my lovely bride specifically to preserve the individual identity discussed in the article. I had no strong opinions either way but have been surprised for 28 years now to see how strongly it affects some people.
The article Insty links is maddeningly a "lifestyle" article and contains no particulars on the study, questions, participants, or even exact percentages. It's long on human interest, of course.
I certainly agree that the "feminist agitation" reason has faded considerably and that it is now more popular among those who have established a career or brand. At the same time, I have come to value self-sovereignty, individual identity, and ownership of our persons more highly. And it has come to seem more natural. Yet, in the 80's it felt like the leading edge of a trend which has not materialized.
A good excuse for a few minutes of prurience -- "it was linked by a Law Professor!"
I try not to be judgmental. I try to let others live their own lives with the Hayekian idea of distributed knowledge and all. People disapprove of some things I do and I shouldn't be too quick to criticize lifestyle choices, and...
All of which is well and good, but I think this girl is, perhaps, something of a slut.
UPDATE: Blog friend Sugarchuck shares a link: Iowahawk upgrades his funny tweet to a story.
"Usually these guys are armed with Mexican Strats and Squires, Epiphones, small caliber stuff like that," said Pedro Ochoa, 36, an eye witness to the sonic melee. "This time they were packing the heavy firepower."
The steady barrage of power chords and piercing solo attacks attracted the attention of nearby U.S. Border Patrol agents, who arrived at the scene just as Los Zetas broke into Led Zeppelin's 'Immigrant Song.' By the time the dust had cleared, U.S. Border Patrol Agent Oscar Jimenez was found in a catatonic state of headbanging. He was later flown to University of Arizona Hospitals, where his condition is listed as seriously rawked.
Mises.org reprises a Paul Cantor column from 1998:
It all began in the late Triassic Period, when the government decided to come to the aid of cold-blooded creatures everywhere. Federal authorities were deeply disturbed by the appearance of the first warm-blooded animals, who seemed to have an unfair advantage over their cold-blooded brethren -- they moved faster, were more alert, and generally seemed to get a lot more done, particularly during the winter months.
Concerned by the possibility that warm-blooded animals might end up displacing cold-blooded animals entirely, the government passed the Body Temperature Stabilization Act. Subsidizing cold-blooded animals at the expense of warm-blooded, this bill eliminated all federal taxes on the former and doubled them on the latter. The bill also tried to outlaw winter, but this move was declared unconstitutional by the courts.
Sixty-six and two-thirds percent of the people I recommended "The Future and its Enemies" to liked it very much. I once forced my Software Development team to read "The Substance of Style," and while they thought I was weird, I think they all liked it. And I have forwarded her "Why Buffy Kicks Ass" column to innumerable conversion prospects.
This strategy not only told Stephanie what to do but what she had to stop doing. Selling more prepared meals meant taking space away from the munchies for her many student customers. To focus labor expenses on the peak times for her professional customers, she closed earlier, meaning no sales from late-night study breaks. "Strategy is scarcity's child and to have a strategy, rather than vague aspirations, is to choose one path and eschew others," writes [Richard P.] Rumelt.
No doubt the advertisers will say they don't care if you hate it, as long as you remember it, but that seems a bit short-sighted. Yes, I remember it, and will ever thus associate you with coprophagic child-molesters. Well, great! Mission accomplished.
I think Mr. Lileks is a little grouchy on this one. A one-off, or the product of prolonged exposure to talk-radio?
Predictable, really. But Death Star PR takes them to account:
In your article of June 17, you listed Darth Vader as the third worst "fictional" father. The Galactic Empire takes these kinds of accusations very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that similar accusations from other planets normally end with a rebuttal of the giant laser from space variety. However, in his infinite wisdom, Darth Vader has ordered the PR Department to respond with the second most devastating weapon known to mankind: a sternly worded letter of complaint. So prepare yourself, TIME Magazine, but know in advance that your shields can't repel refutation of this magnitude.
I'm thankfully many years sweetly removed from this torture, but I think I'd take my dating advice from Dr. Helen:
If any male reader out there has gotten a date by walking up to a woman and saying “You look very elegant and sophisticated” (#18), while sporting hand lotion, a manicure, and a non-interrupting style while she talks (#3), let us know. Perhaps I’m missing something here.
When Jan Van Dusen appeared before a U.S. Tax Court judge and a team of Internal Revenue Service lawyers more than a year ago, there was more at stake than her tax deduction for taking care of 70 stray cats.
The Tax Court allowed her to take a charitable deduction for expenses she incurred while taking care of the cats in her home for an IRS-approved charity, Fix Our Ferals. Among the $12,068 in expenses she deducted: food, veterinarian bills, litter, a portion of utility bills, and other items such as paper towels and garbage bags.
The decision, in Van Dusen v. Commissioner, paves the way for volunteers of animal-rescue groups like the ASPCA and Humane Society of the U.S. to deduct unreimbursed expenses that further the groups' missions, such as fostering stray animals.
The Shakespearian Big Lebowski is close, but this might be it. The Death of Obi-Wan Kenobi. As Jonathan Last says "Everything about [the post] is letter-perfect--the tone, the length, the funny. It's so dead on that it works as both Start Wars parody and NYT parody."
Obi-Wan Kenobi 's demise is a defining moment in the stormtrooper-led fight against terrorism, a symbolic stroke affirming the relentlessness of the pursuit of those who turned against the Empire at the end of the Clone Wars. What remains to be seen, however, is whether it galvanizes Kenobi's followers by turning him into a martyr or serves as a turning of the page in the war against the Rebel Alliance and gives further impetus to Emperor Palpatine to step up Stormtrooper recruitment.
In an earlier statement issued to the press, Kenobi boasted that striking him down could make him "more powerful than you could possibly imagine."
How much his death will affect the rebel alliance itself remains unclear. For years, as they failed to find him, Imperial leaders have said that he was more symbolically important than operationally significant because he was on the run and hindered in any meaningful leadership role. Yet he remained the most potent face of terrorism in the Empire, and some of those who played down his role in recent years nonetheless celebrated his death.
The comments, the other stories, the SPAM...Brilliant!
Y'all may know my Cousin Syd from his superb coffeehouse performances. He sends a different kind of video today, to celebrate the completion of a small project he's been working on for a couple of months.
I hope everyone affected will forgive my nonstop chainsaw noise since the weekend of Feb 23rd. Cleaning up has been my primary “recreation” since that day. To make the chore interesting, I set up my camera to snap a picture every minute as I chopped up the 150(?) year-old Elm that fell in our backyard. The below video let’s you watch me cut up a 90′ Rock Elm in about 2 minutes from the comfort of your arm-chair. It is best viewed by clicking on the 4-arrows at the bottom right to make it full size. Be sure and watch for guest appearances from friends and neighbors. A huge thanks to everyone who offered to help! I needed the exercise and was having fun with the video.
Speaking for myself, I love honest toil and could watch it all day!
Even if I had known about YouTube when I was a kid. And e-mail. And "sending a link." I don't think I would have ever expected my friend Sugarchuck's sending me a YouTube link to the Lawrence Welk show.
One of America's greatest mandolin players, Kenneth "Jethro" Burns, is saluted on the anniversary of his birth in 1920. "The thinking man's hillbilly" even appears in a Kellogg's Ad celerating productivity and division of labor!
[Joselph] Moron is described by police as a 5-foot, 9-inch white man, weighing about 205 pounds with brown eyes and brown hair. They say he's known to frequent the area of Buckley Road and Iliff Avenue in Aurora.
If anyone has seen Moron, they're asked to call Aurora Police at 303-627-3152.
George dies and goes to hell. He notices one sign that says "Socialist Hell," and another that says "Capitalist Hell." There's a long line waiting for socialist hell, but no one waiting to get into capitalist hell. George asks the guard, "What do they do to you in socialist hell?"
They boil you in oil, whip you, and then put you on the rack," replies the guard.
"And, what do they do to you in capitalist hell?", George asks.
"Same thing," says the guard."
"So then," asks George, "why is everybody in line for socialist hell?"
"Because in socialist hell," the guard explains, "they're always out of oil, whips and racks."
Doug Ross publishes "15 Pictures You Won't See" of the OneNation Rally: the SEIU setup, pro-Socialism signs and the devastating wake of trash on the National Mall as they left (a jobs program of sorts, he points out).
Blog friend Terri refuses to interrupt her vacation to bring us Friday Calf blogging. I felt I had to step into the breach.
A friend of a relative participates in a community farm, and mama goat (pardon me if get too technical) could not care for these kids, so he brought them home. I understand they walk on leashes through his suburban neighborhood and cause quite a stir. I can only imagine.
I fought the urge to link for well over a minute. But a) I think that is "Our Mrs. Reynolds" pictured in the black dress, and b) as I closed the window, I saw the headline for this Sydney Morning Herald article on the trend toward larger bust sizes in young women.
The man who can sell Rep Paul Ryan's economics to Babs must be an interesting man. Thankfully, the Internet Segue Machine is running at top speed this week.
Notorious gamer, superjournalist and my Buffy-sire, Jonathan V Last, says he'd "give just about anything to sit across the board from Niall Ferguson"
Prof. Ferguson, author of "The War of the World," says that he spent a lot of time playing World War II games over the years. But he often found these games lacking.
"What drove me crazy was the way economic resources were so arbitrarily allocated to countries," he explains. "Rather in the same way that Monopoly is economically unrealistic (there ought to be a central bank with the power to vary short-term interest rates) all these early strategy games would greatly exaggerate the resources of countries like Japan and Italy, and underestimate the vast wealth of the U.S. so one had a completely false impression of the odds against the Axis."
So Mr. Ferguson worked with the developers at Muzzy Lane to realistically map material resources and economic frameworks. As such, Making History II may be the apogee of a breed which has been quietly beloved of boys and men for half a century: the war-strategy game. While computers have added a level of mathematical sophistication to the genre, the older, hands-on war-strategy games retain an elegant charm.
Depressing, but fantastic. So exciting. Wonderful, Mind-blowing.
UPDATE: Mercy! Being a snob is fun and all, but I have rejected 80% of the music that fueled my youth (and most of my music career). But, damn, "Exiles" is a fine record. The remastering really puts a little air around it. And several of the extra tracks and alternate takes are very strong. I'm on my third run through and give it five stars! Warning, the iTunes package is $20, but if you had a passing taste for Exiles I think you'll be happy with it. I’m fifteen again.
Mondo heh. Brother TG sends a link to a funny response to my friend’s collectivist Facebook paean:
This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock, powered by energy generated solely by Southern California Edison and manufactured by the Sony Corporation.
I then took a shower in my house constructed by Centex Homes, sold to me by a Century 21 real estate agent, and mortgaged by Citibank.
After that, I turned on my Panasonic television which I purchased with a Washington Mutual credit card to a local NBC Corporation affiliate to see what their team of hired meteorologists forecasted the weather to be using their weather radar system.
While watching this, I ate my breakfast of eggs and bacon, both produced by a local farm and sold to me by my local grocery store, and took my prescribed medication manufactured by Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Astra-Zeneca, and Novartis.
When my Motorola-manufactured Cable Set Top Box showed the appropriate time, I got into my Toyota-manufactured Prius vehicle and set out to my graphic design workplace and stopped to purchase some gasoline refined by the Royal Dutch Shell company, using my debit card issued to me by Bank of the West. On the way to my workplace, I dropped off a package at the local UPS store for delivery, and dropped my children off at a local private school.
Then, after spending another day not being maimed or killed at work thanks to the company-mandated standards enforced at my workplace, I drive back to my house which had not burned down in my absence because of the high manufacturing quality of the products inside and of the company which built my house, and which has not been plundered of all its valuables thanks to the alarm services provided by Brinks Home Security. I was able to rest easy knowing that even had this happened, I would have an Allstate insurance policy which would cover any damage to my home and anything that was stolen.
I then logged onto the internet, financed and ran in part by various different private corporations such as Google, Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon, and posted on the Huffington Post and Daily Kos about how capitalism is the source of all evil in this country.
UPDATE: Double Heh. A good friend of this blog says the clip put him in mind of this month's Rolling Stone cover featuring Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton. "Our towering heroes of days gone by look like little old lesbians."
How Congress Can Create More Jobs: Mandate the National League Enact the Designated Hitter
At first, this would create 16 new jobs (number of N.L. teams). But think of all the other jobs. There will likely need to be more balls and bats produced because a D.H. is more likely to break a bat or foul a ball off during a plate appearance than a pitcher batting. This will increase the demand for wood and forestry products. Think of all those jobs. We may even need another bat boy. Pitchers will wear out faster, thereby compounding this issue. And pitchers will probably be more likely to be hurt during the season due to more wear and tear (every 9th batter won't be essentially a free pass). Therefore, more replacement pitchers will be needed. Plus, this wear and tear will create more jobs for medical trainers.
When a man in the UK was asked to be the best man at his friend's wedding, he was touched. So touched, that he promised not to pull any pranks before or during the wedding. After the wedding though, that's another story.
This man, who is choosing to stay anonymous, has set up this Twitter account for the sole purpose of automatically tweeting when the newlyweds are having sex. I'm not kidding.
From my brother, via email. I think he may actually be a birther, I 'm not sure. He sends me a lot of jokes like this.
UPDATE: Interestiing press fallout from this and the role of the WH social secretary Desiree Rogers.
Ryan claimed that there have been whispers around Washington insinuating that Rogers had overstepped the traditional role of her title at the event to become the "belle of the ball," thus "overshadowing the first lady." Frustrated by Ryan's tabloid-y line of questioning, Gibbs instructed her to "calm down" and to take a deep breath," adding "I do this with my son and that's what happens."
ThreeSources has been a sacred and quiet bastion from celebrity death news. But we who love the free market cannot not offer a loud REQUIESCAT IN PACE!!!! to the King Of Pitch, Mister Billy Mays.
Popular Mechanics has five of his infomercials posted and they are really quite compelling. Ed McMahon was proudest of his abilities as a pitchman as well. Goodbye to both -- it's great to see something done well.
On topic, this jazz snob has to actually spin off a few nice words about Michael Jackson as well. Looking at his productive years over the tabloid years, I offer a one glove salute to a performer who was known for working hard. I know a lot of players who rest on their abilities and I know a lot who work hard. Jackson was that rare breed who did both. He used to rehearse those dance chops pretty severely and was known to be pretty demanding at the quality of his recordings and videos.
Sorry to break our perfect record in non-Jackson coverage, but I don't hear anybody else saying that. If you're gonna be a pop star or a pitchman, do it right. And a few guys who did died last week. We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.
The fact that multiple musical instruments turned up in the same area, not far from other artistic artifacts, strengthens the argument that Paleolithic humans developed a relatively rich culture, the researchers say.
With Harvard having lost so much of its endowment lately, the university has asked me to stop providing this blog free of charge. Going forward, therefore, this blog will be available only to Harvard students and alumni and to others who subscribe via the new Harvard-bloggers program. All revenue from this program will be split between building the new Allston campus and providing students hot fudge sundaes on alternate Thursdays and every day during exam periods.
UPDATE: In the spirit -- don't miss Perry's from 2006
I meant to mark the Maestro's birthday today, but I did not have a hook until now. Pillage Idiot marks the occasion to link to an older post: Starting with Nothing
What makes Beethoven great? [Claude] Frank asked. Well, he said, it's his melodies, right? And he sang the opening of the theme of the slow movement of the Seventh Symphony: C, C-C, B, B, B, B-B, C, C.
Well, it's his rhythms, right? And he sang the theme: Long, short-short, long, long, long, short-short, long, long.
All right, well, maybe it's his harmonies. And he sang: Tonic, tonic-tonic, dominant, dominant, dominant, dominant-dominant, tonic, tonic.
And he had made his point -- that Beethoven was able to create the most sublime music out of the most rudimentary materials.
Many more keen insights if you follow the link. This stupid blues and jazz boy won't offer musical insight, but I will recommend Edmund Morris's excellent biography from the Eminent Lives series of short (256 itty bitty pages) biographies.
This was the first of a coincidental string of four biographies (Beethoven, Adam Smith, Tocqueville, Chief Justice Roger B Taney) of great people who accomplished much in spite of poor health. I've stopped playing guitar because MS has taken my edge away. Ludwig wrote symphonies after going deaf. Taney thought his life almost over at 46 and celebrated the modest successes of being a successful lawyer and AG of Maryland. He didn't realize he would be USAG, Sec of the Treasury, Chief Justice -- and start the Civil War. Surely there is some trouble out there for all of us. The deafness is famous but Beethoven was in poor health most of his life.
Giants walked the Earth. Happy birthday, Maestro.
UPDATE: Attila writes that he has updated the post with a YouTube link of the movement discussed. Nice.
Who will save us from the flying inflatable dog turds? I think I will mail this to James Taranto for his "everything is spinning out of control" section. Blog friend Perry Eidlebus brings us the art news from Switzerland
GENEVA (AFP) — A giant inflatable dog turd by American artist Paul McCarthy blew away from an exhibition in the garden of a Swiss museum, bringing down a power line and breaking a greenhouse window before it landed again, the museum said Monday.
The art work, titled "Complex S(expletive..)", is the size of a house. The wind carried it 200 metres (yards) from the Paul Klee Centre in Berne before it fell back to Earth in the grounds of a children's home, said museum director Juri Steiner.
The inflatable turd broke the window at the children's home when it blew away on the night of July 31, Steiner said. The art work has a safety system which normally makes it deflate when there is a storm, but this did not work when it blew away.
Steiner said McCarthy had not yet been contacted and the museum was not sure if the piece would be put back on display.
UPDATE: Didn't make BOTW. Everything Seemingly Is Spinning Out of Control...
According to the sobering report, the disproportionate distribution of soda-can wealth is greater than ever before, and has become one of the worst instances of economic inequality in the nation's history. Data showed that over-salvaging of cans by a small and elite group of can-horders has created a steadily growing and possibly unbridgeable gap between the rich and the mega-poor.
Hat-tip: Don Luskin, who wonders "Where's Paul Krugman When We Need Him?"
Every time I try to watch "The Daily Show," I am quickly turned off or enraged by Jon Stewart's pomposity and smugness. But I frequently see some extremely funny clips on the Internet. "Hillary's 3AM Call of Duty" Video Game with "John McCain's Virtual Fireplace" was hilarious. This takedown of Code Pink is perfect.
Okay, a serious comment on l’Affaire Spitz: The GOP is overreaching one more time. They can't help it. Rep Peter King was fulminating on Kudlow Last night, and a Yahoo/AP Headline (since changed) was "Republicans Push for Spitzer Impeachment."
Folks, just look grave and mouth about how serious this is and how the Governor will have to make up his mind. Let his own party push him out or allow him to stay damaged for a while. There is no good that can come from Republicans pushing this, and plenty of bad from appearing to capitalize.
UPDATE: And one more, unserious, comment. Don Luskin points out "There's one advantage of having Spitzer replaced by his legally blind lieutenant governor: the new guv can make do with less expensive hookers." I really wish I were too good to post that. That's not what ThreeSources is about. Maybe tomorrow.
This site has semantic analysis on all the SOTU speeches (not yet counting last night's). Each is analyzed for length and grade level required for comprehension. Each has a "word cloud" visualization of important words in the speech, and a mouseover shows the number of times they appear.
Jonathan V. Last is a great blogger at Galley Slaves, a superb journalist from the Weekly Standard, and is technically my "sire," as I started watching Buffy mostly on his recommendation.
I was stunned to read his "Casual" column in last week's Weekly Standard (paid link). The casual column is a short piece that runs right after the Masthead and gives writers a chance to cover a light topic or personal reflection. They're frequently fun and a few have stuck with me.
Last's is the first one that has angered me: I think he is at least a few years younger than me, but he thought it was time for a curmudgeonly old fart column:
As if that weren't dispiriting enough, my friend Phillip Longman tells me that progress is actually slowing down. Between 1910 and 1960, indoor plumbing, electricity, and automobiles became common. Jet airplanes were invented, and a space program was begun that in a few short years would put a man on the moon. Nuclear power, plastics, lasers, and computers--the stuff of science fiction in 1910--all had been developed by 1960.
But from 1960 to 2007, little changed. With the exception of the Internet, on which the jury is still out, most of the advances of the last 50 years are merely improvements on existing technology. Previous generations conquered disease, went into space, and split the atom. We came up with the iPhone.
Okay, the Internet crack is a joke. Last is a professional journalist and is uneasy with the blogger/"Army of Davids" culture. Fine.
Galley Slaves has three political writers who do no politics. They discuss Philadelphia sports, pop culture, video games, &c. Last, David Skinner, and Victorino Matus are modern young men and his disregarding the advances of the last 47 years is out of character. To be fair, he is complaining that the futurist visions of his youth have not panned out. There's certainly truth to that.” Where once they dreamed of advanced food pills, we're shopping for heirloom tomatoes at farmers' markets."
To claim the computer was created in 1960 and that his xBox is just derivative achievement is incomprehensible. That a professional journalist doesn't see the value of Google® or cell phones or that the sports fan doesn't mention satellite or HiDef Plasma televisions is dishonest.
Laugh at the iPhone all you want, but take it back to 1965 and show it to a kid who has a black, rotary phone in his home and a color TV in the family room if he is very lucky. I think he'd be pretty impressed. Take the back off and show it to his engineer Dad.
Heirloom tomatoes? That's a sign of wealth.
In the end, that's what gets me. He can make fun of the Internet or the iPhone if he wants, but his derision carries him down the Paul Krugman path of denying that our freedom and innovation have created wealth, better lives, and a foundation for even more incredible achievement.
UPDATE: Ah yes, one advance is the search engine, where anyone you call "a grouch" on the Internet can find you. I received a kind email from JVL, who stands by his point and hopes I am enyoing the Season 8 comic books.
I did not grow up with the five second rule. I think I was at least 30 before I knew it by name, though I think some Jungian cultural memory of it guided my actions in my younger days. I watched as the five second rule was explained to a distraught young boy at the bagel shop this weekend. (Dad overruled the customer and the bagel was replaced).
Terri at ithinlthereforeierr, links to a WaPo article where the five second rule was tested by researches at Clemson. Obviously, it has no scientific basis (I hope we didn't pony up too much Federal jack for that). But the real clarifications come from kids:
Following the rule requires understanding its intricacies. "I would never eat a pickle," says Anaiah Grissom, 9, "not even after one second." She also would not eat a hot dog, a burger or a piece of broccoli, because those get dirty really fast. A Chips Ahoy, according to Anaiah, can last up to 15 seconds, and Pop-Tarts, like, never get dirty.
Indoor floors are better than outdoors, but grass is better than carpet.
Doc Mankiw links to an amusing parody of a Paul Wolfowitz memo to World Bank staff, ordering them to abjure playing his resignation contracts on TradeSports:
I hope you understand that any attempt by World Bank Staff to buy or sell these contracts will be considered insider trading in clear violation of my anti-corruption guidelines. Your knowledge of normal World Bank personnel procedures gives you a clear information advantage in predicting whether I will be forced to resign. You must not abuse it. Please note: the Bank’s prohibition on insider trading applies not only to immediate family but also to significant others (e.g., girlfriends).
Some of you have already queried my office about whether it would still be insider trading if, when you buy “Paul Wolfowitz resignation” contracts (betting that I will leave before 2008), you also sell short “Alberto Gonzalez resignation” contracts. (This is a bet that my friend, the U.S. Attorney General, will hang on through end 2007.) My emphatic answer is no! Long Wolfowitz, short Gonzalez is only a “relative value play” that hedges out the value of loyalty to President Bush. You would still be guilty of insider trading on your Bank-specific knowledge. (And who says I don’t know enough about finance for this job!)
I think Wolfowitz is 100% innocent and wish the rest of the piece did not credit his opponents. But it's funny.
I've just discovered a very bad time sink at the exact wrong time in my life, but have y'all see TEDTalks?
I found this one on Classical Values (H/T Insty) and it is awesome. Here's the description:
Steven Levitt is an economics professor at the University of Chicago and the best-selling author of Freakonomics. In this talk, filmed at TED2004, he goes inside an inner-city gang to examine economic principles at work in the real world. (Recorded February 2004 in Monterey, CA. Duration: 22:00)
The series is sponsored by BMW, and I went a Googling (actually, I’m a Yahoo guy still) for TED and TEDTalks.
The editorial slant looks distinctly left of center, but they advertise a talk by Bjorn Lomborg that we're worrying about the wrong thing with Global Warming, and they have a couple talks by his VicePresidentness himself, Mr. Albert Gore, Jr.
I prefer blogs to podcasts and most video because I find it easy to read a column while I wait for a machine to reboot or a program to compile. Double-digit minutes of devoted attention are productivity sappers. But there are a pile of these TEDTalks I have to see.
I wanted to post about this one and not the series, because it speaks to something that was very important to me before 9/11. I took some of the same ideas Levitt takes from the research from the novel "Clockers" by Richard Price. The problem is the lure of money in illegal drug sales as recruitment for gang membership.
Levitt points out that it's "the worst job in the world" but also that the idea of rising in the organization to a senior level is pretty alluring against other inner city opportunities. The drug war is government intrusion into economics as surely as ethanol subsidies. Levitt points out how the economics changed with the introduction of crack cocaine.
Whether you agree with my libertarian view of the drug war or not, this is a fascinating, entertaining, and smart piece on application of economic principles. At the end, you even enjoy economic principles translated into gangspeak.
There are currently organizations around the world in the business of amassing collections of things, and their collections number into and above the trillions. In many cases these collections, or databases, consist of items we use every day.
Really. I had it so wrong. AlexC emails a link to Cuba: making poverty history that celebrates the economic achievements as well as the unparalleled freedom, human rights and self-direction available the island nation.
The only thing resembling a gulag in Cuba is in the US’s illegally-held enclave at Guantanamo Bay where the Bush administration has built its notorious concentration camp.
Contrary to the impression given by the Western media, Cuba does have competitive elections. Much is made of the fact that there is only one party, the Cuban Communist Party (PCC). The PCC does not, in fact, endorse candidates in elections. While party members can, and do, run in elections, so can non-members. In any given electorate there may be one, or more than one, PCC member standing or there may be only non-members as candidates.
I was packing my bags to emmigrate, but then I saw this:
The Wreck of the Patrick Fitzgerald from The American Spectator. Mea culpa to young readers who do not get the allusion to Gordon Lightfoot's lugubrious '70s ballad; mea maxima culpa to those who will be reminded...
The legend lives on from main Justice on down
Of the thrill of the big prosecution
The "kill," it is said, gives a rush to one's head
When the perp for his sins makes ablutions.
And with yellowcake tales and reporters in jail,
Well, then, Patrick Fitzgerald sensed vict'ry.
But Fitz, the fed man, soon would get his hide tanned
When Bob Woodward did clear up the myst'ry.
White devils on ice. Whirling dervishes on skates. White athletes propelled and assisted by physics to speeds they can not reach on land. The ice. The last refuge and hiding place of the white athlete.
Relegated to minority status in most team sports, the white athlete has retreated to frozen water as a means of preserving his one "major" remaining sports league. Knowing full well the Negro athlete has a traditional distaste for performing on or in water. After all, it was across a great body of water the Negro was shanghaied and stolen.
I would have nothing kind to say about Sartre, except that he inspired Joss Whedon to create my favorite TV villain of all time. Jubal Early, the existentialist bounty hunter in the Firefly episode "Objects in Space" comes from Whedon's love of the Sartre book "Nausea." I think that's one of two that I have read. Sadly, it inspired nothing so grandiose.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A giant black hole displaying horrifying table manners has been caught in the act of guzzling a star in a galaxy 4 billion light-years away, scientists using an orbiting NASA telescope said on Tuesday.
I know some folks are depressed about the elections, but a Democratic 110th is still better than being swallowed by a black hole. I guess we'll see.
More than a mile below the Earth's surface, South African police are waging a battle against a new breed of pirate: wildcat gold miners who live underground for months at a time in unused mine shafts, smuggling out ore worth millions and defending their turf with homemade grenades and booby traps.
In the past six months, in response to pleas from outgunned private mine-security squads, South African police have created a task force to ambush the thieves. The force has arrested 60 of the pirates in six perilous underground raids.
"It's very, very dangerous," said Mike Fryer, an assistant police commissioner who helped create the new mine unit for the South African Police Service. Police teams, equipped with explosives experts and Special Task Force officers, have dodged shotgun-wielding miners, defused bombs and managed to wrestle out the invaders so far without any loss of life, Fryer said.
Naturally, the cops are afraid to fire guns in the mines, a problem the illegal miners don't seem to have. But they did allude to some "alternative weapons" that they don't want to reveal.
Last year, Sen. Michael Enzi, R-Wyo., and Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., introduced similar bills that would require online and catalog merchants (or at least bigger ones) to collect sales taxes for any states that met standards set by the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA). The Enzi-Dorgan proposal stood no chance with taxophobic Republicans in control of the House.
Next year, with Democrats in charge? "The stars are lined up better," says Harley Duncan, executive director of the Federation of Tax Administrators, which represents state tax officials.
It's not just the change in partisan control that has raised the states' hopes. They also believe they can make a stronger case for new collection authority now that the SSUTA, which is designed to harmonize and simplify sales tax laws, is finally operating. As of Jan. 1, 15 states will be full participants in SSUTA, meaning they've adopted the required changes to their own laws. State officials spent years haggling over such issues as whether bakery bagels should be considered groceries, which few states tax, or prepared food, which is widely taxed. (The conclusion: If a bakery provides a utensil with your bagel or heats it for you, it counts as prepared food.)
I clicked on blog ad link somewhere last week, and signed up for a free account on BackPack. Working from home on many different machines, I am finding this site pretty handy.
For nothin', you get a few web pages that function as to do lists, virtual whiteboards, even collaborative work areas. You can email a page to have an item appear and you can also schedule reminders to be sent to your email or cell phone.
Paid accounts get you a calendar, storage, more pages, yadda. I'm not sure their pricing points are right, but the free service is priced right and does some cool things.
When they were all coming for NATALEE HOLLOWAY PICTURES, I feared they all went away disgruntled and empty-handed. Folks coming for CHOCOLATE BUNNY CARTOONS, however, are at least sighting their quarry.
Attila at Pillage Idiot notes all the favorable press that the Ford Taurus has received as production of the popular vehicle ends.
Speaking as a Taurus owner for 13 years, and as someone who actually had an emotional attachment to the car, I can only say: GOOD RIDDANCE! GOOD FREAKIN' RIDDANCE!
Fact is, the car sucked eggs. Major eggs. My 1993 Taurus LX had less than 75,000 miles on it, but I have a thick file with all the repairs I had to have done on it. Just by way of example, I went through 5 or 6 starters and starter relays. The water pump and various other parts of the cooling system failed on me. And my all-time favorite (cue scary music): the head gasket. The head gasket failure, which Tauruses were extremely prone to suffering, cost about $3000 to fix and took a week or more at the dealer. Ford agreed to pay for the repair for some owners, but limited that offer to certain model years, thus stiffing a large number of us whose head gaskets survived a few months too long.
If anyone from Ford happens to stumble on this post, I just want to say that I bought a new car this year. It was a Toyota. Feel free to send me your apology by email: pillageidiot -at- hotmail -dot- com. I still won't buy another Ford, but at least an apology will make me feel the company is not malevolent but simply incompetent. Oh, and enjoy your evening.
Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies, The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
- C.S. Lewis
From Samizdata, who also provide a link to these beauties. See if you can spot which are from Sweden, and which are from the UK.
The battle for cheesesteak supremacy -- usually fought with beef, onions and cheese -- has moved out of the kitchen and into the courthouse.
Pat's King of Steaks, a South Philadelphia institution since the 1930s, is suing Rick's Steaks for trademark infringement.
The two eateries involved, located less than two miles apart, each are owned by a grandson of Pat Olivieri, purported inventor of Philly's favorite sandwich.
Scott Pollack, the lawyer for Pat's, said Wednesday that the businesses are not connected in any way -- even if the owners are. Pat's owner Frank Olivieri never gave permission for cousin Rick Olivieri to use the trademarks in his advertising and signage, Pollack said.
''Obviously, Pat's Steaks is very, very famous. It's known all over the country and the world,'' said Pollack.
The lawsuit filed Monday by Pat's claims that Rick's has been illegally trading on Pat's name, its crown logo and trademarked phrases, including ''Pat's King of Steaks Originators of the Steak Sandwich.'' It seeks unspecified damages and an order preventing Rick's from using the material.
Name a song that has been recorded by all the following: the Beach Boys; Conway Twitty; the Sex Pistols; Tom Jones; Bill Haley; AC/DC; John Denver; Jerry Lee Lewis; Elton John. No, it wasn't "White Christmas." Or "Stardust."
Also Chubby Checker and Elvis and Jimi Hendrix and the Dead.
Give up? "Johnny B. Goode." The presumed model for the title character, the pianist Johnnie Johnson, died last year at the age of 80. And now the composer of the song has hit that mark. Charles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry is 80 today.
Sugarchuck and I have played that tune once. Or Twice. Hail, hail.
The White Sox will start weeknight home games at 7:11 p.m. as part of a sponsorship deal with the 7-Eleven convenience store chain.
I know this stuff drives people crazy (my guess is that Josh is pretty tongue-in-cheek here) but I am nonplussed. If my beloved Rockies could get a new revenue source (to spend on relief pitching) or could lower ticket prices, why not?
Venezuelan collectivist Higo Chavez made headlines at the U.N. for calling President Bush "el Diablo." That's noteworthy, but caused people to miss his message.
At the start of his talk Wednesday, during which Chavez referred to President Bush as "the devil," Chavez held up a jazz CD by Berkeley Square "A Nightingale Sang" and recommended it to everyone in the General Assembly, as well as to the American people.
"The people of the United States should listen to this ... instead of the watching Superman movies," Chavez later told reporters.
Have you been in a movie based on a book?
Yes. 9th grade (again). Homer's Odyssey. (It was a contemporary adaptation) Once And Future King... we did the might makes right scene. Did it for a slam-dunk extra credit points. It was done so well we didn't get any extra-credit for our effort. ...and a book about Theseus and the Minotaur whose name escapes me. Nothing quite says 9th grade dork English project like standing around in the woods with your friends taping a movie. Those degenerated into impromptu bonfires in the woods. Except for the Odyssey. Because we taped it at the house of a "cool" girl, and setting something on fire there would have been uncool.
Ever posed nude for a photo?
No. But sometimes I wonder if hotel showers have cameras.
My soul weighs heavy because of many things.
Your best nonguilty pleasure, then?
Reading "classic" good books.
What are you allergic to?
Freshly cut grass. I can't even think about it without watery eyes. It makes mowing the lawn a nightmare.
Worst pickup line you've heard?
"I just vomited, can you kiss me to see if I still have the taste in my mouth?"
I heard it senior year in High School. Yes, it worked. No, it wasn't me.
Were you bar mitzvahed?
No. But I've played "coke & pepsi" a number of times.
Have you ever cried during a TV interview?
Not to my recollection. Reagan's funeral was the last thing on TV I cried to.
If they made a movie of your life, who would play you?
It'd be a pretty boring movie. I'd be more interested in who'd actually watch it.
People on cell phones in cars. Cell phones in general. Crackberry close second.
If you weren't doing what you do, what job would you like to have?
Political consultant. I've been digging around some campaign finance reports. It pays nicely.
Place you will never be found?
Like a dog marking his territory, I'm going to add a question. Why did you participate in this tagging?
The peer pressure was staggering.
"Liberals have got a big 'baby problem,' and it risks being the death of them," contends Arthur Brooks, professor at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Public Affairs. He reckons that unless something gives, Democratic politicians in the future may not have many babies to kiss.
"When secular-minded Americans decide to have few, or no, children, they unwittingly give a strong evolutionary advantage to the other side of the culture divide," writes Phillip Longman, senior fellow at the New America Foundation. "If 'Metros' don't start having more children, America's future is 'Retro.' "
James Taranto calls part of it "the Roe effect"... Democrats are slowly aborting themselves to smaller numbers, but also factored in are other considerations. Urban liberals vs suburban/rural conservatives and the cost of space.
Religion also makes an appearance as well as this..
Liberal women are statistically more likely to delay childbirth into later years than are conservative women, and they may also be more open to abortion, although the data is unclear. Gays and lesbians, who vote Democratic by a roughly 4-1 ratio, are much less likely to have children than heterosexuals.
No! How much less likely?
Finally, there's this.... and it sounds like natural selection at work.
some on the left advocate fewer children as "socially responsible" to lessen the toll on the planet's finite resources.
Darwin would be proud.
Perhaps Marc Steyn is right. Demographics is destiny.... and the Democrats demographics are on the downturn.
I dislike most TV, most modern music, and most movies, but love the big messy hot throbbing blob of Western pop culture, partly because I connect with part of it like a dog biting on a live wire, and partly because the loud rude crass mess spells freedom, and that is the root word at the heart of the American experiment. We can always learn ! from others, but they’ve much to learn from us. Unless they have a 200+ year track record of expanding rights and unimaginable prosperity as well.
So young James enumerates the contradictions that would make an all-political site under his direction bad. Sorry, I am not convinced!
I consider myself a courteous driver. I let people in, keep my composure in almost every situation, and try not to be an ass****.
Yet, like much of life, there are times when attempts at kindness have unintended consequences. I have long felt that one of these was "left lane closed in 2000 feet." The nice guy thing to do is to merge right, the ahem thing to do is to wait until the lane ends, then force yourself into the stream of good decent folk who merged early.
My question is: Assume you have to comply with all traffic laws. You're on a highway with four lanes in each direction, and traffic is fairly heavy. You see a sign telling you that the two left lanes will be closed in 2000 feet. What's your best strategy to minimize the time you will be delayed? (Using the shoulder isn't a legal answer, because the traffic laws don't permit it.)
Let's call the four lanes 1, 2, 3, and 4, from left to right, where 1 and 2 are the left lanes that are going to be closed, and 3 and 4 are the two right lanes. Which lane or lanes do you drive in?
In spite of doing some time in Mathematics and the AI industry, my game theory is weak. My economics is slightly less weak.
The lane is a scarce resource, by merging early, you are increasing the scarcity -- why not use all 2000 feet? More significant still, all that early merging creates 2000 feet of stoppage. At the end of the lane, there is a natural merge point where everyone can choose the same spot.
Attila claims empirical evidence that it works best for the driver (he uses the nicer work jerk). I claim it's fairer and ultimately faster for everyone.
That's the earthshaking conclusion of an influential international committee, which on Wednesday will recommend a new definition of what qualifies as a planet.
The change is necessary, experts say, because of discoveries in the past decade that have revealed a glut of Pluto-sized bodies beyond the orbit of Pluto - until now considered the furthest planet from the sun.
Fear that you hate the right for the same reason you hate your dad because you know that he is right and that you are a loser and you will always be a loser and that you are sabotaging your life and those of everyone around you because that makes you that angry.
It's a good mix of seriousness and levity... but they're mostly serious. Like the above example.
Author Linda Hirshman is calling stay-at-home mothers a "brain drain." She is even calling for a reproductive strike until men agree to take on more work at home. Hirshman said she believes it is time for a revolution.
"It is time. After 25 years of hearing from nothing but the stay-at-home moms and why it's so wonderful to stay at home, it is time for another message," Hirshman said.
Hirshman said women could only lead flourishing lives if they have a career outside the home.
"My most important message is that women are bearing the full burden of housekeeping as well as childbearing, and that combination makes it very difficult for them to work in the public or larger world," Hirshman said.
Hirshman said she thinks women who stay at home, especially highly educated ones, are not using their capacities fully. She said they should stay on the job and push for change in society.
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Linda Hershman is pro-choice. Except when it comes to raising kids.
For the record, my wife is one of those "highly educated" stay at home moms. She wouldn't have it any other way.
I don’t what to make of this, but I was out picking up lunch from a small middle eastern restaurant near the university when three men, their faces partially obscured by green and yellow bandanas, launched an orchestrated strike on me using heavy falafel balls and what I think must have been shanklish.
I wasn’t seriously injured—one of the falafel balls grazed my shoulder, while the shanklish overshot me and landed on a table to my flank, causing a bit of shawarma to lodge in a toddler’s ear and some tabbouleh juice to blind his mother momentarily—but unfortunately, in the ensuing chaos the three attackers were able to flee the scene on a pair of old, dirt-crusted Vespas.
But the really strange part of all this was that I hadn’t even begun to wipe the fried chick pea detritus off my Fubu madras before a nattily dressed gentleman claiming to be from the State Department slipped me his card and told me that, should I wish to respond to the attack, I’d have roughly ten days to do so.
After that, he said, I would either have to go back to being a Zionist oppressor hated by the vast majority of the world, or else “come up with some of that really funny Jew stuff like Larry David does.”
I've been there. I think it's the first MidEastern restaurant in the Denver area. More importantly, I salute Jeff's right to self-defense. If there's a march or a scotch tasting on his behalf, I'm there.
One of my favorite radio talk show hosts, Michael Medved, is a thief.
But he's changed his ways. Thanks to market based innovations.
After a lifetime of taking hotel soaps and shampoos, a bath product dispenser has changed his life.
Meanwhile, I’m so struck by the sensible, ingenious nature of the bottle-on-the-wall scheme that I think I’m finally ready to give up my embarrassingly extensive soap and shampoo collection. If anyone wants to buy it in return for a worthy contribution to an institution promoting free-market economics (Heritage Foundation, say, or American Enterprise Institute, or even Cato Institute), I’m ready to sell (on the free market) and to provide you with an exotic, aging, and occasionally elegant collection of personally-sized bathroom supplies. Any takers?
SUFFOLK [Virginia] — A naked man clutching a pigeon was arrested over the weekend after beating the bird against a car.
Attila at Pillage Idiot notes a story with all the key elements: "a naked man, a stolen bird, flailing, and the police."
Sometimes you have to come to terms with what you accomplish in life. Some people devote their lives to changing the world for the better. Some people start businesses to create products that alter the way in which people live. And then, some people post idiotic stories about naked people.
Matsushita, the world's largest consumer electronics maker, has said it aims to sell 5,000 units of the 103-inch plasma panels per year worldwide, with TV demand counting for a little less than 20 percent of that figure.
Measuring 2.4 metres by 1.4 metres and weighing 215 kg, the 103-inch panel is bigger than a double-sized mattress and almost as heavy as an upright piano.
It would probably through the floor into my basement, but it would be awesome.
Establishment media? Traditional media? Corporate media? Mainstream media? Top-down media? Something else? Which term do you think best describes the national media in America that is not overtly partisan, but has been sucked into the vortex of the right-wing noise machine? For example, what term best describes CNN and the Washington Post (ostensibly neutral), but not Fox News and the Washington Times (overtly right-wing partisan).
Whew... if the media is right wing, where does that put me?
The Energy Department just announced that crude oil supplies rose 1.4 million barrels to 347.1 million for the week ended June 16. Analysts had been expecting a drawdown, so this news caught them by surprise. More, crude oil supplies in the U.S. are now at their highest levels since May 1998, when oil was trading around $15 a barrel. Add in the fact that Canadian oil inventories are fully stocked, and the more imminent reality is of a sizable oil-price decrease -- not a huge increase.
Recently I interviewed four oil-tanker executives who control a combined 85 percent of the oil coming into the United States. They confirmed market rumors that the amount of oil being stored on large carriers on the high seas is abnormally high. One of the CEOs even predicted the possibility of $40 to $50 oil in the next 6 to 12 months. In another interview, Chevron CEO David O'Reilly suggested that gasoline and energy demands have flattened in the U.S., and may be showing signs of decline.
Mike Dougherty and Dan Harris, the two credited screenwriters for 'Superman Returns' have changed Superman’s famous motto, "Truth, Justice and the American way", to "Truth Justice and ... all that stuff". Seriously. No, really.
Dan: "I don't think 'the American way' means what it meant in 1945." Mike: "He's not just for Metropolis and not just for America." Dan: "He's an alien, from Krypton; he has come to Earth to be kind of a savior for this world, not our country . . . And he has no papers." Mike: "What would happen with the immigration laws we have now?" Dan: "I'd like to see someone kick him out!"
Yes, yes, good for you two jackasses. Aren't you just so clever. I bet Stalin and Kim Jung-il couldn't be prouder.
As another Tapped commenter stated, "I'm no believer in astrology, or in virgin births, transubsantiation, or any number of very mainstream religious beliefs..." And, indeed, belief in astrology is quite mainstream. In 2003, 31% of the population, including 27% of Christians were believers (down from 37% in 1998 with 37% of Christians believing). I'm not entirely sure how to classify astrology, but presumably it falls under the general umbrella of religious/spiritual beliefs.
For an agnostic/atheist like myself lots of religious beliefs sound pretty nutty to me, but as Amy Sullivan keeps telling us we keep losing elections because people like me aren't sufficiently respectful of religious beliefs even though, you know, we generally are. And, now, from left to right, from Tap to TNR to the wingnutosphere, people are falling all over themselves to mock someone who had a perfectly mainstream belief apparently shared by millions and millions of Americans.
President Bush's approval rating rebounded from its lowest point a month ago and now stands at 38 percent. That is five points higher than it was in May, though still weak enough to cause Republicans to worry about their electoral chances in November.
38% is right in line with 1998's definition of mainstream and way better than contemporary definitions of mainstream.
It's so good to be back in the mainstream again. Despite my disagreement with federal spending lately (really for a while), the line-item veto stuff has brought me back. Let's hope it passes.
Sources have confirmed to CBS4 News that conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh has been detained at Palm Beach International Airport for the possible possession of illegal prescription drugs Monday evening.
Limbaugh was returning on a flight from the Dominican Republic when officials found the drugs, among them Viagra.
Not sure what Viagra has anything to do with it. Other than a cheapshot.
Maybe he's got a prescription.
It would be odd for him to fly somewhere for the price break.
While going through routine Customs inspection of luggage at Palm Beach International Airport upon his return from an international trip, Rush Limbaugh was detained by customs agents after they noticed a non-narcotic prescription drug, which had been prescribed by Mr. Limbaugh's treating physician but labeled as being issued to the physician rather than Mr. Limbaugh for privacy purposes. After a brief interview, Mr. Limbaugh was permitted to continue on his journey.
"The revelation of the CIA's financial spying program is another example of the Bush administration's abuse of power. The invasion of our personal financial information, without notification or judicial review, is contrary to the fundamental American value of privacy and must be stopped now. It seems the administration feels entitled to flip through all of our checkbooks. How many other secret spying programs has the Bush administration enacted without Congress, the courts or the public knowing? We need a full accounting of what information has been demanded by the U.S. government, how they have used it, with whom it was shared, and how they intend to repair this grave breech of trust. This program is a glaring example of how this government thinks nothing of widespread abuse of power.
Blonde Sagacity links to the story of a beagle who dialed 911 and saved its owner. ALa asks Would a Cat Do This...?
The dog was trained to detect potential diabetic attacks by licking and sniffing Mr. Weaver's nose to check his blood sugar levels and pawing him. Belle resorted to dialing for help when Mr. Weaver fell unconscious.
The dog used her teeth to press the number nine key, which the phone was programmed to interpret as a "911" call to emergency services. Ambulance workers answered the phone and, hearing nothing but barking at the end of the line, rushed to the caller's house in the city of Ocoee in Florida state.
It is now beyond clear that the dying New Republic is mortally wounded and cornered, desperate for relevance. It has lost half its circulation since the blogs arrived on the scene and they no longer (thank heavens!) have a monopoly on progressive punditry. We have hit their bottom line, we are hitting their patron saint hard (Joe Lieberman) and this is how they respond. By going after the entire movement.
Sad, perhaps. But this is apparently the price one pays for crashing the gate.
Unlike the progressive netroots, which is primarily a network of independently owned and operated websites and email lists, The New Republic is owned by wealthy right-wingers. One quit the DLC in 1996 because he thought Bill Clinton was too liberal (seriously). The other is the chairman of a right-wing think tank. I can only imagine that because those two men probably know every rich Republican in the country, that everything The New Republic writes should be considered Astroturf from now on.
That's interesting in light of the second outing of the Townhouse group. Which sets the course of the left wing blogs.
Of course, Jonathan Chait of The New Republic is forced to respond.
Kos announces in his headline, "TNR's defection to the Right is now complete." If this sounds vaguely familiar, it's because it is. More than two years ago, Kos launched what he called his "anti-TNR campaign," in which he declared us to be enemies of the people. Wait, sorry, wrong jargon--I meant, enemies of the people-powered movement. Some examples of the anti-TNR campaign can be found here, here, and here.
He has refused to link to our stories--except of course the minority that attack the left, all the better to display our enemy status--and declared us irrelevant and buried in the dustbin of history. Except now, two years after having unleashed his most terrible weapons, he has to bury us all over again. And so, he urges his readers, "If you still hold a subscription to that magazine, it really is time to call it quits." This is like the Catholic Church digging up the heretic it had already burned at the stake so it can excommunicate the corpse a second time.
I know JK subscribes to the New Republic, because he is a sensitive New Age guy. I'm tempted now to do so.
Here's an excerpt of an email sent by Markos Moulistas to the Townhouse, an email list of elite liberal bloggers.
My request to you guys is that you ignore this for now. It would make my life easier if we can confine the story. Then, once Jerome can speak and defend himself, then I'll go on the offensive (which is when I would file any lawsuits) and anyone can pile on. If any of us blog on this right now, we fuel the story. Let's starve it of oxygen. And without the "he said, she said" element to the story, you know political journalists are paralyzed into inaction.
"A lot of pandering started going on, and you'd see soldiers and the American flag in every video. It became a sickening display of ultra-patriotism."
"The entire country may disagree with me, but I don't understand the necessity for patriotism," Maines resumes, through gritted teeth. "Why do you have to be a patriot? About what? This land is our land? Why? You can like where you live and like your life, but as for loving the whole country… I don't see why people care about patriotism."
But you know, you really shouldn't question their patriotism, while they question yours.
"We won't find anywhere as nice as Earth unless we go to another star system," added Hawking, who arrived to a rock star's welcome Monday. Tickets for his lecture planned for Wednesday were sold out.
He added that if humans can avoid killing themselves in the next 100 years, they should have space settlements that can continue without support from Earth.
"It is important for the human race to spread out into space for the survival of the species," Hawking said. "Life on Earth is at the ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster, such as sudden global warming, nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus or other dangers we have not yet thought of."
I guess asteroids raining down on us or alien invasion didn't make the list.
The Rev. Alex Kendrick, who directed and stars in "Facing the Giants," said it was produced for only $100,000 by using members of his Georgia church for both cast and crew.
Kendrick said when he sought permission to use a song by the Christian band "Third Day," their record label's parent company, Sony Pictures, asked to see the film and agreed to release it in 400 theaters in late September.
But after the Motion Picture Association of America rated the film, Kendrick said he was told that it got the 'Parental Guidance' rating for being so openly religious. Kendrick said he's never heard of that criteria before and suggests it shows how much times have changed.
The Passion was rated R for it's violence (the scourging scenes were especially graphic). I can't recall any other openly religious movies lately. Perhaps VP Al Gore's An Inconvienent Truth.
Authorities are investigating whether two Philadelphia police officers got nearly $10,000 worth of free plane tickets by consistently buying refundable tickets on sold-out flights.
Lt. Michael Lista and Officer Joseph Chicano, both of whom have retired in the last two months, deny doing anything wrong. They patrolled Philadelphia International Airport for more than five years each.
The police department and the district attorney's office were investigating whether the officers received free vouchers for flights by volunteering to be "bumped" and cashing in refundable tickets that they never intended to use.
A US state is to enlist web users in its fight against illegal immigration by offering live surveillance footage of the Mexican border on the internet.
The plan will allow web users worldwide to watch Texas' border with Mexico and phone the authorities if they spot any apparently illegal crossings.
Texas Governor Rick Perry said the cameras would focus on "hot-spots and common routes" used to enter the US.
This is a clever idea, except for the one tragic downfall.
The toll-free call in number. How long before it's rendered useless by crank calls?
"Nothing in any of the manuals ever described anything like this," the 62-year-old Cross Lanes resident said. But the advice given 25 years earlier from his flight instructor immediately came to mind: "No matter what happens, fly the plane."
An attempt to swat the snake only resulted in it falling to Coles' feet under the rudder pedals. It then darted to the other side of the cockpit.
While maintaining control of the single-engine plane with one hand, Coles grabbed the reptile behind its head with his other.
"There was no way I was letting that thing go. It coiled all around my arm, and its tail grabbed hold of a lever on the floor and started pulling," Coles said.
Part of the magic of minor league baseball are the extra-curricular activities at the ballpark. Sure, the players play hungrier, but the combination of cheap hot dogs, cheap beer, cheap seats and intra-inning horseplay makes it a great time.
Inspired by a Los Angeles Angels fan who filed a lawsuit against the club because he did not receive a red nylon tote bag as part of the major league club's Mother’s Day promotion last May, the Altoona Curve have announced that they will be holding Salute to Frivolous Lawsuit Night as part of their Sunday, July 2nd game at Blair County Ballpark.
The giveaways are pretty standard ballpark fare, except of course the lukewarm coffee.
“We realize that these giveaways as part of our Salute to Frivolous Lawsuit Night are fairly stupid and serve no real purpose,” said Curve General Manager Todd Parnell. “But if our fans don’t like them, then they can sue us!”
Ireland will play host to the world's biggest ever strip poker contest if bookmaker Paddy Power gets its way.
The idea was originally floated as an April Fool's joke but generated so much interest that Dublin-based Paddy Power has decided to look seriously at organising a contest it hopes will find a place in the Guinness Book of Records.
"We got almost 100 requests to take part," the company's spokesman, also called Paddy Power, said. "We're trying to investigate whether it's possible or whether we'll get put in prison for it."
I'm thinking that as long as it's all women, and not the regular pro-poker cadre, late night cable TV just got a whole lot better.
Senator John Kerry gives a speech where he says this...
Dismissing dissent is not only wrong, but dangerous when America’s leadership is unwilling to admit mistakes, unwilling to engage in honest discussion, and unwilling to hold itself accountable for the consequences of decisions made without genuine disclosure, or genuine debate. As Thomas Jefferson said, “dissent is the highest form of patriotism."
How many different problems exist in two sentences?
What blew me away was the tennis comparison. I thought that was a picture of a real tennis match.
One of my three year old's toys is a cordless phone that my wife had back in they day. Everyonce in a while, I'll pick it up and say, "Rachael, it's for you. The 80's want their phone back." Gosh, that thing's a beast.
Mexican President Vicente Fox will sign a bill that would legalize the use of nearly every drug and narcotic sold by the same Mexican cartels he's vowed to fight during his five years in office, a spokesman said Tuesday.
The list of illegal drugs approved for personal consumption by Mexico's Congress last week is enough to make one dizzy — or worse.
The U.S. population may be aging, but the number of Americans who died in 2004 represents the biggest one-year decline since World War II, according to preliminary government data released Wednesday.
Nearly 50,000 fewer Americans died in 2004 than in 2003, according to data based on about 90% of U.S. death certificates. The preliminary number of U.S. deaths in 2004 was 2,398,343, compared with 2,448,288 in 2003.
Color me shocked. What could be the cause?
It's not clear why there was such a big drop in 2004, he says. Minino says he and his colleagues suspect a mild flu season might be one of many converging factors. Better treatments and improved access to health care are among the possible contributors to the decline, he says.
Whoa there. I thought we had a health care crisis.
Like the "jobless recovery" and the "but what kind of jobs are they" we'll be hearing, "but yeah, living in in an Iron lung for thirty years, you might as well be DEAD!"
I enjoyed Glenn Reynolds's' "An Army of Davids," mostly because of its implications in my fealty to Hayekian systems. The forward looking chapters on dramatically increased longevity, nanotech, and "the Singularity" intrigued me but did not necessarily win me over.
I'm no Luddite, but there are problems which do not lend themselves to technical solutions. A good friend who understood analog electronics far better than I, once showed my some amplifier schematics, in Leo Fender's own hand. I thought the schematics were cool, but Alan gave me a tour: " Look! He's biased the wiper of the tone pot against the hot side of the pre-amp tube!!!" Maybe he said "the flay rod has gone askew on treddle!" But the point remains that a textbook amplifier design sounds like crap when you plug a guitar into it. Leo's wacky bias scheme, conversely, created the sound of an electric guitar for half a century.
I've recorded with "The Pod," which uses DSP (Digital Signal Processing) to capture the tone of popular amp designs and speaker cabinets. It's pretty good and is hard to beat for recording. But in a live scenario, all the kings chips have yet to put Leo's sound together again.
Kenneth Silber, in TCS, sounds the same concerns about the Strad, or Stradivarius violin, but you can make similar suggestions about "The Strat."
Perhaps someday advanced technology will outstrip the Strad, producing violins widely regarded as superior. If so, it still will have taken a considerably long time for high tech to outdo the work of a craftsman who lived before the industrial revolution. In any event, there will be an element of subjectivity to any evaluation of which violins are best. It seems likely that the best future violins will be regarded as notably different from Strads, and not readily amenable to a direct comparison. One consideration is that Strads, in the view of many experts, already are at their peak and perhaps moving beyond it. It also remains to be seen what new qualities and subtleties current violins will take on with age.
There is, I believe, a broader lesson to be taken from the Stradivarius about the future of technology. Some futurists and technologists, such as Vernon Vinge and Ray Kurzweil, have argued that the world is approaching a transformation known as the "Singularity", marked by the advent of some form of superhuman intelligence. In this picture, technologies such as artificial intelligence and genetic engineering soar up a curve of rapid and inexorable change. In some versions, the Singularity is given a specific timeframe, occurring sometime around the year 2030.
Both the amplifier and the violin seek a subjective tonal quality and there is something intrinsically unfair in holding them up. Yet both have successfully resisted huge amounts of technology.