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links for 2010-01-30

  • // Interesting article. But very one-sided. The underlying assumption that Keynesian economics is gospel and that government wealth redistribution is the path to prosperity is not supported by many economists. There are plenty of statistics showing free markets produce more wealth for more people than any other system. The article is another "I robbed from Peter to help Paul, why isn't Paul more supportive?" polemic. But ask a person if you want their permission to rob and plunder on their behalf, they will often say no. But, the article's explanations on the psychology of voters is interesting and should be understood by politicos trying to win elections and push policy.
  • Quote:"survey of 3,000 people tried to determine what tempts people to spend their money, how they react to temptation and how far they would go when tempted.

    Sex was a main temptation for 50% of men, while for 56% of women food topped the list. The sexes also differed in their approach to straying. 1/2 of men thought it harmless to lust after someone other than their partner, compared to 33% of women.

    "Our survey also revealed that one in four women (20 percent) and, shockingly, almost half of the men (43 percent) surveyed have been tempted to hook up with their friend's significant other," according to the survey.

    The sluggish economy and high unemployment also increased competition and temptation in the workplace. 48% of people admitted they sneaked a look at a co-worker's pay slip. 15% of men and 10% of woman said they had sabotaged a colleague.


    An equal number of men and 8% of women admitted to taking credit for someone else's work."



I’ve given the delicious.com blogging app an experimental run, and it’s time for feedback. The posts look terrible, and at least one person has suggested these posts have made the blog unreadable. I liked the app because it creates content with no added work from me as I’ve been using delicious.com for years now.

I’ve been hoping to continue to use the app until I finish up grad school and have more time to get back to “real blogging.” Then again, “real blogging” might be dead. So let me know whether it’s time to shut down the “links” posts.

links for 2010-01-26

  • Quote:"WASHINGTON – Little girls may learn to fear math from the women who are their earliest teachers. Despite gains in recent years, women still trail men in some areas of math achievement, and the question of why has provoked controversy. Now, a study of first- and second-graders suggests what may be part of the answer: Female elementary school teachers who are concerned about their own math skills could be passing that along to the little girls they teach.

    Young students tend to model themselves after adults of the same sex, and having a female teacher who is anxious about math may reinforce the stereotype that boys are better at math than girls, explained Sian L. Beilock, an associate professor in psychology at the University of Chicago."

    // So, the best way for women to learn math is from a teacher confident in their math skills…and this took a study to prove?

  • Quote:"After the the U.S. presidential election, neuroscientists at Duke University found male voters for Barack Obama, the winner, had stable levels of testosterone; the hormone's levels rapidly dropped in males who cast ballots for John McCain or Robert Barr, the losers. In a questionnaire, the McCain and Barr voters reported feeling significantly more controlled, submissive, unhappy and unpleasant after the loss than the Obama backers.

    The researchers monitored testosterone levels from 163 college-age volunteers in North Carolina and Michigan. The male participants would normally have shown a slight nighttime drop in testosterone levels anyway, because the body doesn't need it during sleep, but on election night, they departed dramatically from this routine: Obama voters' levels did not fall, whereas McCain and Barr backers dropped more than expected.

    No significant effects in the 106 women volunteers."

    // Be more manly, vote for the guy likely to win.

links for 2010-01-25

  • Quote:"DENVER – The Republican Party is seeking input and money from GOP voters — seemingly under the guise of the U.S. Census Bureau.

    "Strengthening our Party for the 2010 elections is going to take a massive grassroots effort all across America. That is why I have authorized a Census to be conducted of every Congressional District in the country," GOP Chairman Michael Steele says in a letter mailed nationwide.

    The letter was sent in plain white envelopes marked "Do Not Destroy, Official Document." Labeled "2010 Congressional District Census," the letter uses a capital "C," the same as the Census Bureau. It also includes a "Census Tracking Code."

    The letter makes a plea for money and accompanies a form asking voters to identify their political leanings and issues important to them. There are no disclaimers that participation in the GOP effort is voluntary"

    // Stupid.

  • Quote:"In the 1970s, nearly 600 Canadian weather stations fed surface temperature readings into a global database assembled by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Today, NOAA only collects data from 35 stations across Canada.

    Worse, only one station — at Eureka on Ellesmere Island — is now used by NOAA as a temperature gauge for all Canadian territory above the Arctic Circle.

    The Canadian government, meanwhile, operates 1,400 surface weather stations across the country, and more than 100 above the Arctic Circle, according to Environment Canada."

  • Quote:"In the 1970s, nearly 600 Canadian weather stations fed surface temperature readings into a global database assembled by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Today, NOAA only collects data from 35 stations across Canada.

    Worse, only one station — at Eureka on Ellesmere Island — is now used by NOAA as a temperature gauge for all Canadian territory above the Arctic Circle.

    The Canadian government, meanwhile, operates 1,400 surface weather stations across the country, and more than 100 above the Arctic Circle, according to Environment Canada."

    // The weather stations in question were politically incorrect and had to be eliminated for the betterment the people.

links for 2010-01-24

  • Quote:"VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI has a new commandment for priests struggling to get their message across: Go forth and blog.

    The pope, whose own presence on the Web has heavily grown in recent years, urged priests on Saturday to use all multimedia tools at their disposal to preach the Gospel and engage in dialogue with people of other religions and cultures.

    And just using e-mail or surfing the Web is often not enough: Priests should use cutting-edge technologies to express themselves and lead their communities, Benedict said in a message released by the Vatican.

    "The spread of multimedia communications and its rich 'menu of options' might make us think it sufficient simply to be present on the Web," but priests are "challenged to proclaim the Gospel by employing the latest generation of audiovisual resources," he said."

links for 2010-01-23

  • Quote:"For 2005 through 2009, the 30 cards that make up the Sports Card Industrial Average, an index put together for The Wall Street Journal by sports-memorabilia company Beckett Media, had an average return on investment of 12.4%. Over that span, the return on the 30 companies that now make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average was an average 7.9%."

    // Originally found through beckett.com. If you want to find some of the stupidest investing commentary ever, read the comments left in the original beckett.com posting of this article. As for investing in cards, I say avoid. Unless you can actually afford one of these 30 high-end cards.

links for 2010-01-22

  • Quote:"Bone-bending rickets can now be added to the list of ills linked to children spending uncounted hours before a computer screen, British researchers said Friday.
    Youngsters with rickets, caused primarily by a chronic lack of vitamin D, develop painful and deformed bow-legs that do not grow properly.

    The condition is linked mainly with extreme poverty and the 19th-century Victorian England of Charles Dickens, and can be easily avoided through a balanced diet and exposure to sunlight. "

    // You cannot be serious.

  • Quote:"Jay said he was aware of the studies that showed that 70 percent of lottery winners go bankrupt within five years and said he didn't want to become a statistic. He was careful to limit his spending and thought he was safe investing the bulk of his winnings in the stock market.

    "The one sour note to this is I invested four months before the big downturn, so I made a little bit of money, then lost a bunch of money," he said.

    The $500,000 he originally invested is rapidly disappearing.

    "I have $330,000, or something like that," Jay told Cavanaugh."

    // He's a lot better off than a lot of people I know in the stock market. Including me. If only I had been a crazy survivalist and put my "investment" money into things like ammunition and gold coins, instead of into the market. Then I might actually have something left.

  • // 123456 won't get you into my blogs admin. Maybe my etrade account, but not my blog.

links for 2010-01-21

  • Quote:"The top court struck down the part of the federal law that restricted broadcast advertisements for or against political candidates right before elections that are paid for by corporations, labor unions and advocacy groups.

    The 2002 campaign finance law at issue was named after Senator John McCain, the unsuccessful Republican presidential nominee in 2008, and Democratic Senator Russell Feingold.

    The justices appeared at a special Thursday session to summarize the ruling and issued a total of five separate opinions exceeding 175 pages.

    The decision was a victory for a conservative advocacy group's challenge to the campaign finance law as part of its efforts to broadcast and promote a 2008 movie critical of…candidate Hillary Clinton"

    // SCOTUS simply found a right for people to make movies during campaign season. Well, so it's a bit more broad than that. Campaign Finance laws haven't worked. But this news might still be better for dems than republicans.

  • Quote:"We all know how easy it is to find scrapbooking materials for feminine pages. "Pretty" papers and embellishments abound in any scrapbooking store. You can even find little boy products fairly easily, frogs and baseball caps galore. But what do you do when you want to create a page about your husband, father or teenage son? If the men in your family are anything like the ones in mine, it's hard enough getting them to sit still for a photo and finding ways to scrapbook that photo can seem equally daunting."

    // Yeah, somehow I think women have plenty of negotiating power over men for stuff like this. No need to find special "masculine" pages. If you have the power to get a man to hand over his paycheck to you (the key to a good marriage in my humble, bachelor, opinion), you have the power to get him to pretend to like scrapbooking with you. And in my defense, I found this article because I researching some victorian era scrapbooks I found on ebay.

  • // I spent a lot of time on the road when I was working for the Leadership Institute. This involved many lonesome meals in diners and restaurants. I used reading material most of the time. Never were there any spontaneous conversations with strangers. That sounds sad, and it kinda was. Now, of course, there are enough distractions with all our little gadgets that we'll never be forced to have an awkward moment with strangers.
  • Quote:"Mr. Hall died of congestive heart failure, his wife, Linda Texter Hall, said, adding that no one should think her husband had not loved the O.S.S. or had not thought it valuable and important. In fact, she said, because it gave its agents so much independence, it saved him from what he could not abide, Army protocol as carried out by people not as bright as he was.

    “He used to say that if the O.S.S. hadn’t existed, he’d have been shot by a firing squad on his own side,” Ms. Texter said. In the O.S.S., Mr. Hall trained in England as a paratrooper (one of his colleagues was William Colby, the future C.I.A. director), and his assignment was to land behind enemy lines in France and help coordinate resistance operations. (He was prepared, he wrote in his memoir, with a booklet called “How to Get Along With the French.”) "

    // Wish I had seen this obit when it was timely. God Speed Roger Hall.

  • Quote:"Hall's 1957 bestseller was based on his time in the Office of
    Strategic Services, the wartime precursor to the CIA. The appeal was
    in Hall's narrative as a man of nerve battling the enemy and his
    pompous superiors.

    Hayden Peake, a former Army intelligence and CIA agent and an
    authority on the literature of intelligence, called the book "one of
    the best OSS memoirs," saying it was written by "someone who could
    perform [dangerous work] but was a kind of a free spirit."

    Critic Charles Poore, writing in the New York Times in 1957, called
    the memoir "the funniest (unofficial, that is) record of rugged
    adventure in the OSS.""

    // Great book.

    (tags: books obits)

The Grace Period is Over

I purposefully avoided talking about Obama or delving deep into political topics over the last year. Sure, I did write a few things and hit on some political topics (especially on Twitter and Facebook). But now I’m lifting the self-imposed blackout. I gave Barack Obama a full year to act without comment and gave him the benefit of the doubt. No longer.

Game on.

Continue reading

links for 2010-01-20