Monday, November 29, 2010 : Kevin Durant Info Page : Kevin Durant Info Page

Is Kevin Durant the new Allen Iverson? A lot of points but poor shooting percentages from the field. I'd rather have Blake Griffin on my squad.

BBC News - Panorama: Three Fifa World Cup officials 'took bribes'

BBC News - Panorama: Three Fifa World Cup officials 'took bribes'

How does one get these jobs? How hard can it be to decide where to hold the world cup. I think I could to both this an work for the Olympic Committee at the same time. Considering the last world cup was in South Africa I think the diamonds work by each of the committee members' mistresses should be investigated.

World’s largest solar boat on view in Miami Beach today – Travel – Sun-Sentinel

Is under 8 miles per hour impressive? Not to me.

(4600 / 26) / 24 = 7.37179487

For a bit of perspective
The current transatlantic sailing record was set on Sunday August 2, 2009, when the trimaran Banque Populaire V made the crossing from New York to Cornwall, UK in 3 days, 15 hours, 25 minutes, 48 seconds. This was a 9 hour gain over the previous record set in 2007.

Not apples to apples, but close enough to see that the current state of solar is sad compared to wind. Maybe we should consider this when looking into alternative energy options?

Obama proposes pay freeze for federal workers | Reuters

Obama proposes pay freeze for federal workers | Reuters

Either Obama is pandering to the political center or this is another only Nixon can go to China policy endeavor. What do you think?

Wikileaks embassy cables: the key points at a glance | World news |

Wikileaks embassy cables: the key points at a glance | World news |

Another big surprise. Other middle eastern countries don't want Iran to have nuclear weapons. Oh, and they want the USA to do their dirty work (bomb reactors) so that they can feign Muslim solidarity.

Imagine if the top secret information leaked that Muslim men like booze, women, and red Italian sports cars. The scandal!

BBC News - Wikileaks: US allies unruffled by embassy cable leaks

BBC News - Wikileaks: US allies unruffled by embassy cable leaks

The most surprising thing about the cables is the absence of any real surprises. It's almost at though the U.S. is pulling a rope-a-dope, by letting people think these are the most top secret transmissions the incentive to find the "real" top secret transmissions is reduced. Are not the most secret communications more encoded and vague so that even if the words are revealed understanding the meaning requires context? If the hot stuff is quotes that Hugo Chavez is crazy or Iran is fascist, then trust me, this load of info is a load of chaff.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Better sports casting

How about the networks allow open season on the sexual exploits of players?  It would give men an alternative means of determining their favorite players.  A down side is that almost all men's self esteem will be irreparably harmed by learning what a "real man" gets.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Tim Duncan washed up?

He is #15 in the league in efficiency per 48 minutes, after eliminating players with under 5 games played. He has nothing to prove individually and as usual is focused not on winning the regular season but on the championship which means playing within the scheme as a team and not hurting himself. Come the playoffs expect to see Tim take control on demand. The regular season is here to allow his team to grow around him, especially the younger guys such as Blair and Splitter who benefit from the minutes Tim is on the bench. Expect Tim's minutes per game to fall further if the Spurs continue winning. He is older meaning he does not recover as fast from nightly pounding, but his game has never depended on jumping higher than his opponent so I think he still has the edge.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cool evolution

The Tuatara, a Still-Evolving Original -

Clearly has some pro-survival adaptations but slow maturity kills it. Reminds me of the O-ring theory of the firm or the idea that an organism is only as strong as its weakest link.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ruler of the social universe controling

Today’s Lesson: Make Facebook Angry, And They’ll Censor You Into Oblivion

Facebookers don't forget Zuck owns your data and will even decide what links you can share with friends. He'll even provide an inaccurate explanation for why the link can not be shared. How much control and freedom will people give up to stay "connected"?

I've never "used" social network beyond having an account temporarily to check it out and see another's page about 4 years ago. Oddly, I don't care to be interrupted by most updates, and I value personal conversations with friends over mass disseminated tweets.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Netflix: Prodigal Sons

Netflix: Prodigal Sons

This is an incredible film that proves reality to be less predictable and more fantastic than fiction. Ostensibly about the experience of a sexual transition (male to female), the story line runs far deeper, enough so that the sex change is at time forgotten.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Irony - Oakland Election System Allows Mayoral Runner-Up to Make a Surprise Win

YouTube - Oakland Election System Allows Mayoral Runner-Up to Make a Surprise Win

How did Oakland, not known for enlightened politics, end up with an impressively thoughtful voting system.

I love the consultant in the video.  It's so clear that he just wants more runoffs so to earn more consulting fees.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Google ads on Ben & Jerry's corporate site

Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream - Search Results

Isn't this a bit tacky.

UWC will a corporation allow a visitor be lured away from their own content for a few cents?

I guess if they do not perceive the readers' purchase decisions as positively related to time spent on their site which could mean they don't think much of their own site, that they think that consumers set in their ways, or that they think consumers typically buy whatever ice cream is closest when they want an ice cream.

I doubt we can all just get along. Family waits to see if mother, accused of blasphemy, will be hanged -

Family waits to see if mother, accused of blasphemy, will be hanged -

I know, this is not new but is always incredible.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Awsome! Brandon Bates - Harvard Economics Graduate Student

Brandon Bates - Harvard Economics Graduate Student

The top paper listed on the link is the coolest econ study I've seen in a long time. Important questions. Creative experiment. Reliable and verifiable data.

Clearly implications spread far beyond financial markets, so his concluding line is overly humble.

Love it!

I'm an Aspergler

At least that's what my girlfriend just called me.  I think she's right, at least according to my self diagnosis I have Asperger Syndrome (AS).  How can I be 39, have most symptoms, and not realized or been diagnosed until this week?  Tyler Cowen, author of Create Your Own Economy, which is largely about the autistic spectrum, was my dissertation advisor.  The book came out a few years ago.  I was aware of the subject matter, but it did not really interest me.  Obviously, it does more now.  I'm full of puns now and I will tend not to stop (another symptom). framework a coincidence giving the concentration of AS in software development?

I'm amazed how so many of my most emotionally trying experiences can be explained by understanding my affliction:
1. Thinking winning at all cost was most important when young.
2. Loosing friends as the result of 1.
3. People saying my name is a long drawn-out plead of annoyance when I was behaving selfishly.
4. Not understanding that I was behaving selfishly.
5. Social problems in general such as not being invited to the "boy/girl" parties that started in 5th grade.
6. Asking a girl to "go" with me in 5th grade despite hardly having had a conversation with her.
7. Speaking out of turn.
8. Offending.
9. Discussing inappropriate topics.  Humorously, I recall more than one occasion late in a dorm room drunk with my friend and a couple of girls ready to do us.  Low and behold I ask about their views on religion and politics.  That's bright.  I did not get laid.
10. If in a bar I feel awkward just being there but am very at home if focused (very focused) on the table.
11. I don't get along with 90 something percent of people.  Those I do get along with I value and they tend to value me.  I think that I learned (though not in a conscious sense) to avoid acquaintances because unless their is mutual trust, because I cannot read them, I am at a disadvantage.  Accordingly, I am fortunate to have several good friends but spend almost no time with people to just hang out.  I play a lot of basketball, but I rarely interact with the other players off of the court.  My athletic ability is my quality most at odds with being AS, though I tend to do best in situations that are least planned (as expected).  I have known for a while that the uglier my shot the more likely it is to go in.  I also excel most in rebounding despite only being 5' 10".
12. Despite understanding the material and impressing professors with my ability to explain it logically, enough so that I was the first Ph.D. student in my year of my program to teach a class, I was utterly unable to lecture successfully to a large class--terrible evaluations.  In one instance, because I had two back to back sessions of the same class and I let students come to either session the latter of the two only had about 10 student in most meetings (the earlier has 150).  My evals for this second session were my highest ever by a wide margin--about 4.3 to about 2.5 average.
13. Women have been attracted to me despite complaining that I am unemotional.  My responses have been: "Horny is an emotion." and "What do you mean I'm not romantic, I'm naked?"  Yes these are are rude and funny.

More posts about my discovery process are likely.  Comments welcome.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Twinkie diet helps nutrition professor lose 27 pounds -

Twinkie diet helps nutrition professor lose 27 pounds -

The simple economics of weight loss. EAT FEWER CALORIES! Exercising more is also likely to help. But the point it fat is like a bank account for calories. If you take out more than you put in the size of the account shrinks. Duh! The amazing part is the millions that have been earned pitching this simple concept and helping people try to adhere to a regimen. I'm reminded of the financial services industry. Most investors would be better off by investing in a 50% global equity market index 50% globlal bond market index portfolio and then going fishing. That's why the persuaders make so much money.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Updated tobacco warnings could feature graphic images

Updated tobacco warnings could feature graphic images

How about putting this on every package? Pun intended.

Obama to Congress: Stop shooting down deficit proposals - The Oval: Tracking the Obama presidency

Obama to Congress: Stop shooting down deficit proposals - The Oval: Tracking the Obama presidency

I think his comments are mostly rhetoric, but imagine the irony if this is the "only Nixon can go to China" result, meaning that the best way for Obama to establish himself as a great president is to curb our spending.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Message that needs to be spread

Lil Wayne Requested Beats Just Before Leaving Prison - Music, Celebrity, Artist News | MTV'

Even the talented work at it to be the best, whether Kobe or Lil Wayne. The areas that blacks excel at are some of the most competitive and require a ton a discipline. Why don't so many youth get it? Lil Wayne is not a looser. He works hard. From his Wikipedia page:

"Carter enrolled in the gifted program of Lafayette Elementary School and in the drama club of Eleanor McMain Secondary School.[2][3]" ..."At Marion Abramson Senior High School, Carter was an honor student but dropped out.[7]"

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

In Quest for a 'Legal High,' Chemists Outfox the Law -

In Quest for a 'Legal High,' Chemists Outfox the Law -

Funny because of the cat and mouse game and the ultimate futility.

Florida stone crabs are back and ready for their close-up�|�Palm Beach Entertainment: Events, movies, restaurants, nightlife & more |

Florida stone crabs are back and ready for their close-up�|�Palm Beach Entertainment: Events, movies, restaurants, nightlife & more | "

What ever happened to small, medium, large? I hate marketing BS language. I still don't know the order of large, tall, vente, or whatever Starbucks calls their drink sizes. I understand that people are tricked by such ploys, but I read into it that a business is willing to take advantage of psychological tricks to pass one over on customers. Do others? Of course every time a price ends in 9 or .99 or a menu contains high priced items by a cheaper version I get suspicious. Someday, I hope to have enough money to not look at prices. Ignorance in many ways is bliss.

“This year, they’re $5 a pound cheaper than they were last year,” says Sclafani, who sells the large claws at $20.95 a pound, the jumbos at $25.95 and colossal at $31.95. “Come Thanksgiving and I’m sure we’ll see prices creep up, but right now they’re more affordable than last year.”"

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Genghis Khan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Genghis Khan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Might this be the first Ponzi scheme?

By 1190, Temüjin, his followers, and their advisors, had united the smaller Mongol confederation only. In his rule and his conquest of rival tribes, Temüjin broke with Mongol tradition in a few crucial ways. He delegated authority based on merit and loyalty, rather than family ties. As an incentive for absolute obedience and following his rule of law, theYassa code, Temüjin promised civilians and soldiers wealth from future possible war spoils. As he defeated rival tribes, he did not drive away enemy soldiers and abandon the rest. Instead, he took the conquered tribe under his protection and integrated its members into his own tribe. He would even have his mother adopt orphans from the conquered tribe, bringing them into his family. These political innovations inspired great loyalty among the conquered people, making Temüjin stronger with each victory.[14]