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  • December 2009
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links for 2009-12-30

links for 2009-12-29

links for 2009-12-28

  • Quote:"Chinese archaeologists have found what could be the tomb of Cao Cao, a skilful general and ruler in the third century who was later depicted in popular folklore as the archetypal cunning politician.
    Archaeological officials say Cao's 8,000 sq ft tomb complex, with a 130ft passage leading to an underground chamber, was found in Xigaoxue, a village near the ancient capital of Anyang in central Henan province.
    Historians say Cao Cao's outstanding military and political talents enabled him to build the strongest and most prosperous state in northern China during the Three Kingdoms period in 208 to 280 AD, when China had three separate rulers."

    // Awesome

links for 2009-12-27

  • Quote:"7. I’ve seen some horrible things done to people's food: steaks dropped on the floor, butter dipped in the dishwater.
    —Waiter at a casual restaurant in the Chicago area"

    Hey, if it's not busy and the conversation is flowing, I'm staying. Keep serving refills and I'll drop a tip worth the trouble. I can't go back to my house, it's a mess and I have no drinks. In fact, the only reason I went out and paid so much for a burger I could make for a buck at home was because your restaurant is nicer than my place or my friend's.

  • Popular collection of jokes from 1739.
  • The first collection of jokes
  • Outline and history of humor
    (tags: history humor)
  • History of the joke, including the most important joke hoarder ever: Poggio, an notable secretary to several Pontiffs.
  • (tags: career jobs)
  • The List: 1. Bahrain

    2. Canada

    3. Australia

    4. Thailand

    5. Maylasia

    // America comes in a respectable tenth.

  • Quote:"Most economists say it could take at least until 2015 for the unemployment rate to drop down to a historically more normal 5.5 percent. And with the job market likely to stay weak, some also foresee another decade of wage stagnation.

    Even though the economy will likely keep growing, the pace is expected to be plodding. That will make employers reluctant to hire. Further contributing to high unemployment is the likelihood of more people competing for jobs, baby boomers delaying retirement and interest rates edging higher.

    All this would come after a decade that created relatively few jobs: a net total of just 464,000. By contrast, 21.7 million new jobs were generated between 1989 and 1999."

    // Thank you baby boomers.

    (tags: economics)
  • Quote:"1. Aibo

    About the size of a Chihuahua but a lot less annoying, Sony's robotic dog was much beloved by some, but not enough. Sony filled the pets with personality through software that also gave owners the joy of raising a dog from puppyhood, sans the messy newspapers. The company continued to add features during the dog's seven-year life span. Late models could sing, recognize faces and voices, and speak 1,000 words. The dog could even blog by posting photos from its built-in camera. But the price of about $2,000 discouraged a mass market for the herky-jerky pets. Sony discontinued Aibo in 2006 amid aggressive belt-tightening."

    // I want an Aibo. Also on the list: Windows Vista (which I am proud to say I will never, and have never, used)

From the Notebook

The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected.
–GK Chesterton

Though the debate is over, in the Healthcare debate, liberals used the flaws in the current system to promote a system empirically shown in other nations to promote even more flaws (mainly overconsumption, leading to government rationing).

Conservatives get stuck defending the flawed system and blamed for not having any solutions. The democratic farce continues. Needless to say, I am a skeptic of Obamacare to do anything more than cost a lot.

-I am still in search of some liberal blogs to read. Requirements: intellectual honesty, love of ideas, search for truth, aversion to fallacy, limited snark (and well-timed when present), honest sense of humor. Can anyone find me a few that match? just give me three.

language is such a pain. Recently I got caught using Gregorian instead of gregarious and photogenic instead of picturesque. Annoying. All that schooling wasted on business statistics instead of important things like how not to look like a fool in front of erudite friends. Overly erudite friends.

-I can’t wait to see if Mitch Berg declares this blog dead or undead.

Finished up a bunch of books this month:

-Reading through a “One Year” Bible the long way, by taking more than a year. It’s the New Living Translation (NLT), popular with some Evangelical friends. Books read so far are: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, First and Second Samuel, First and Second Kings, Psalms, Tobit, Sirach, Mathew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts. If nothing else, I’ve read enough to have an opinion on the translation. For the dense histories in the Old Testament, the translation is fine. However, the work in any of the literary areas of the Bible take away any literary quality. And the parts where literal is really important, the NLT is not literal. The work isn’t quite a summary, but I would only use the NLT to get familiar with a text, not for any serious study.

-Read Aeschylus’ “Agamemnon” using a 19th century translation that was basically unreadable. This was part of the Great Books of the Western World 10 year reading program. The wikipedia article on the topic filled in the gaps. At least I now know the penalties for sinful pride.

-Also read “Wittgenstein; Lectures and Conversations on Aesthetics, Psychology and Religious Belief” edited by C. Barrett. These are basically just notes taken by a few students of Wittgenstein in the 30′s and 40′s. In a way, little books like this provide insight into the man of Wittgenstein better than plunging through his actual writings. Wittgenstein had interesting views on subjects I care about. He attempted to separate Aesthetics from psychology by asking if a pill could reproduce the effects of a beautiful thing, does that mean there isn’t really a beautiful thing there? Of course not was his answer. He tries to create a way to declare something objectively good looking, I’m not sure he came close. On Psychology, he pokes fun at the post hoc analyses of Freud. On Religious Belief, it’s clear he’s a skeptic. But he says “I’m not so sure” and doesn’t outright say “there is no diety” because he can’t be sure. (He was buried as a Roman Catholic). I don’t see any real value in this book for any but a small group of people, but I like anyway.

-Got Levitt and Dubner’s “SuperFreakonomics” for Christmas. Finished it the next day. It’s a remarkable book, better than the first for sure. The political leanings are a little worse though than in the first book. overall, I would recommend picking this up and giving it a read. For one thing, it solves the whole Global Warming problem for about 100 million bucks a year.

-Picked up in “A” in “Strategic Management’, the last real class in the MBA program. Now I have to do the Thesis thing. If all things go right, I’ll be done sometime mid-summer.

-Any opinions on those links being posted up everyday? They are downloaded from My Delicious page automatically. It’s easy content but not aesthetically pleasing. It also feels like cheating. Then again, it’s just a blog.

-Sony Reader: Good so far.

-I’m never updating IE again. I went several years without updating, and now that I did I regret it. And no, no Mozilla Firefox for me, thanks.

links for 2009-12-26

  • Quote:"SAN DIEGO, Calif. (CBS 8) – Nothing says New Year's like fireworks, but there will be no show over San Diego Bay next week.

    The Port of San Diego and Port Tenants Association sponsor the annual display. They way they have to cancel the show after an environmental group threatened to sue over pollution concerns.

    Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation says it doesn't want to shut down the fireworks display, and it just wants the port to get the permits so the fireworks shows are legal and safe for the environment.

    The port argues there's not enough time to file the permits before New Year's Eve.

    CERF argues it notified the port 50 days ago and the port took no action to file the permits."

    // Via a commenter on CaptCap.

links for 2009-12-25

  • Quote:"­But it turns out that "Xmas"­ isn't a modern convention at all. It was used commonly in 16th-century Europe, when many people began using the term "Christos," the Greek translation for Christ, to refer to Jesus. The letter chi in the Greek alphabet is symbolized by an X and translates to "ch." So along with the Greek letter rho for "r", the term Xmas was used to refer to the birth of Jesus as an informed abbreviation, not an offensive one. Xmas was a way for Christian scholars to refer to Jesus respectfully in an ancient language — not to disrespect his name with a harsh symbol. In fact, variations of "Xmas" date back to 1021 . "
  • Quote:" 1) Fill a shallow bowl with raisins, (or currants, if you want to make the game more difficult). Put in two or three raisins for each guest.

    2) Warm some brandy in a pan on the stove, then pour it into the bowl, about a half inch deep.

    3) Place the bowl in the middle of a table or on some other surface which can be protected from drips. We've always done this on a kitchen counter but the floor around gets pretty messy. I wouldn't want to try it over a wood floor or a pretty linen tablecloth.

    4) Turn off as many lights as possible.

    5) Light the brandy on fire. The brandy will flicker with an eerie blue flame.
    Now try to snatch the raisins out of the burning brandy and pop them into your mouth. Presumably the person who eats the most, wins — it would probably be a good way to choose the Twelfth Night King or Queen, since who ever is bold enough to succeed at this game is bound to have pretty interesting ideas for further merriment."

  • Quote:"Early readings from Toys R Us, Sears Holdings Corp. and several mall operators show packed stores on Christmas Eve following a busy week fueled by shoppers who delayed buying, waiting for bigger discounts that never came or slowed by last weekend's big East Coast snowstorm."

    // Noticed the same thing working at the shop. Was mega busy.

Felix Dies Nativitatis

links for 2009-12-24

links for 2009-12-23

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