Picture du Jour

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Now for something completely different

Video du Jour

Weekly Links


The optimism spot has been found.

The statistical semiotician debunks The New Republic. (H/T chuck)

American kids are dumber than dirt.

Human beings aren't evolved for security in the modern world.

Coding the right stuff.

25 unexpectedly useful websites.

Remains of a shattered moon found in Saturn's rings.

The North Korean nuclear test confirmed.

Smile when you see your robot.

Better than mind-mapping?

Taking over the visual system for better hearing.

OS X slips past Vista.

Maxwell the poet.

Guide to the new Word.

Neanderthals had red hair, but weren't the ancestors of Vikings, contrary to rumor.

Wolfram debunked.

Gates of Vienna

Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Interesting goings on over there the past few days. Lottsa fascinating posts and commentary.

Picture du Jour

Picture du Jour

Monday, October 29, 2007

Picture du Jour

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Yon oped in the NY Post

Here. If you have been following Yon, it's mostly old material, although the bit about Iraqis sending in e-mail tips with Google Earth maps pointing out the position of the bad guys is a new one to me.

A soldier was blown up and killed about 400 meters away on Thursday evening. LTC Frank told me the other day that his best weapon system is his cell phone. Calls come to him (through his interpreter) every day and into the night, with information from locals about the whereabouts of wanted JAM members. Many local people are clearly fed up with the violence. Some even send e-mails with Google Earth maps showing exactly where suspects are, and they are doing it in real time.

Ain't technology wonderful. It's good to see Michael get a little mainstream exposure.

h/t: Betsy's Page

Sunday Links


Ecce the electronic nose.

Terrorists are using Google Earth to attack Israel.

How to change your thoughts.

Is geothermal power the answer?

The scandal of American foreign policy. (H/T Bruce)

A terabyte in every pocket?

How to tell a liar.

8 ways to think more effectively.

Focus fusion.

Russia blocks Chevron: "the Russian elites have decided the government should own the pipeline."

17 ways to perk up your work passion.

Microsoft buys a pittance of Facebook for a small fortune.

Has Ford invented the future of aviation?

Space telescopes borne by big baloons.

China launches its lunar orbiter.

Ooooops...

Saturday, October 27, 2007
Wait, this can't be just an accident. There must be an underlying cause. Perhaps this tragedy was caused by global warming? Could the Mother Duck's parenting skills have been eroded by liberal college professors? Maybe Mommy Quack was lured across the grate by Blackwater? Say... just what is the agenda of the MSM to cause them to be so silent on this tragedy? Chimpy Bu$Hilter? Elderly giant paper mache head toting hippies? Chicken Hawks or Copperheads?

Such a cacophony we live in.

The New Republic/Scott Beauchamp story has been interesting to watch as it plays out in the blogs. To me Beauchamp was just a foolish young man who didn't consider the price of spinning yarns from a public soapbox, and Franklin Foer, Senior Editor at the New Republic, crashed and burned because he had no idea how to manage the crisis brought on by publishing the shoddy "Shock troops" columns.

Other people, people on the other side of the divide, see it as a tale of the Army, the government, and of folks like me I suppose, ruthlessly intimidating, smearing and squashing Beauchamp and the New Republic to push our nefarious narrative. Threats of Court Martial, monitored phone calls, withholding of evidence -- all signs of liberty eroded to silence an author who was only speaking of our sins.

Of course, to most normal people, if they know of it at all, it is just a tempest in the blogosphere teapot. Like opposing sports fans who tediously barrage each other with differing stats as they argue over who is the best third baseman of all-time, they view us political cranks of both stripes as seeing what we want, and ignoring what is inconvenient. So the ear plugs go in, the world goes on, and soon enough Beauchamp won't even merit a footnote.

Then again, as Asimov said, "When people thought the Earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the Earth was spherical they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the Earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the Earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together."

That is the importance of untangling the "Shock troops" kerfuffle, and all the other political kerfuffles that come down the pike. We have to see where we are walking because if we follow the flat-earthers we're liable to all fall through the grate.

(by the way, no baby ducks were harmed in the making of this post -- the ducks in the picture were rescued)

Picture du Jour

June Links—A Recap


Some of these links are golden oldies worth looking at again, so following Buddy's suggestion I'm going to try to start bringing them all into one place at the end of every month. Since I'm already way behind on this project, let's start with a June recap. Here's your chance to catch up on a few of these you missed the first time through.

There's no absolute freedom of speech in Sweden.

Google is building a lobbying powerhouse in Washington.

This doomed star is approximately 150 times the size of the Sun.

Cheap ethanol from glycerin, from biodiesel, care of bioengineering.

France bans Canadian Blackberries on fear of US spying.

11 cures for procrastination.

New study shows Vista more secure than Linux or Macintosh OSX.

The world's best business sites. (hat tip: Buddy Larsen)

A binary adder made from marbles. (hat tip: Seneca the Younger)

Top cities for young professionals.

Sun delivers its first Blackbox data center to Stanford.

Social trip finder.

We actually belong to the Sagittarius Dwarf galaxy, not to the Milky Way. Who knew?

How to cool your house.

If fire were made of water.

The essential 1,000 films.

Aurora Borealis from space.

Philosophy of History.

Quantum dots might be the key to teleportation.

Giant penguins roaming the tropics.

The UK is the worst for social mobility.

The coming global cooling.

7 secrets of the super-organized.

Chimps can be altruistic.

World's first robot construction worker.

1 in 10 Brits born overseas.

Inside China's factories.

Iranian forces cross into Iraq.

Hot rocks keep North America afloat.

Facebook vs. MySpace.

China is blocking Flickr.

Decorative pencils.

World's cheapest car.

Nitrogen pollution is causing trees to soak up more CO2 from the atmosphere.

The feathered dino explained.

Rome reborn.

Talking jewelry.

23 ways to improve your work life.

Over a thousand parents named their daughters "Unique" during this decade. I guess they aren't.

The seven engineering wonders of the world.

Scramjet hits Mach 10.

Is Google scarier than the FBI?

Venezuela launches the sale of "Bolivarian" linux-based computers for the masses.

How motherboards are made.

The full panoramic view from Everest.

A new particle was discovered at Fermilab, one representing all three families of quarks for the first time.

The SEC just ended an important safeguard in the stock markets. Will this be another example of being condemned to repeat history?

In nature, bacteria emit proteins to sweep up nanoparticles into innocuous clumps.

Totalitarian communist and Gaiaist propaganda compared.

Thousands of pearls found.

Deja vu explained.

Too much sex in the Bible?

The Jefferson Memorial is sinking.

It's now legal for women to be topless in New York.

Space colonization may be hopeless. (hat tip: Luther McLeod)

Why the Soviet Union collapsed.

What people are doing online and which demographic groups participate.

How to give yourself a good life.

Chinese slaves freed.

Calculations with two qubits were successfully performed for the first time.

Floating sand.

Microinjection of materials into a single cell at the nano-level.

Wildlife is returning to Chernobyl.

Honda is discontinuing the hybrid Accord.

A list of the most overpaid CEOs in America.

The world's latest tallest building.

Bullet points kill your presentation.

The Kenyan economics expert James Shikwati says that aid to Africa does more harm than good.

New uses for the Internet.

Normal skin cells can be reprogrammed into becoming stem cells. No need for embryos.

Paper that talks to you.

What the world eats.

The Picture.

A major advance in our understanding of the genetic basis of many diseases.

Everything you ever wanted to know about video codecs.

Were puddles of water discovered on Mars?

Bob Dylan wrote all the pop songs of the last 35 years.

High wages in India are forcing Tata Consultancy Services (one of the largest Indian consultancy firms) to outsource to Mexico.

Why Iran won't compromise.

Why your kids expect to be rich.

25 most popular blogs.

Massive volcano pluming into space.

America's best and worst paying jobs.

The company which Privacy International has called "an endemic threat to privacy", worst on their list.

China continues to build its cyberwarfare units.

China and Russia are vying for uranium in Africa.

The Pentagon is standing up a new high-level command focussed on Africa.

Firefox is up to a 25% market share.

The potentially revolutionary Silverlight was introduced.

A gallery from Microsoft 3D maps.

Google's new street-level view.

Stopping brain cancer with electric fields.

Altruism is built into the species.

Weird clouds over Nebraska.

Computers in the headband.

The Iraqi Airforce (IqAF)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Just a link for those curious about what happening under the MSM radar.

h/t: Mudville Gazette

Friday Links


Why cold weather really does spread the flu.

25 skills every man should know.

Say you're sorry, make more money.

Is this why wild monkeys are not allowed in the Northern Virginia and Maryland woods?

Common repairs made easy.

The story of Baikonur.

Undercover in the Apple Store.

How quantum cryptology works.

Character—not technology—is the solution to crime.

Or did the Clean Air Act lower crime?

The Nigerian child sex trade smashed.

Is OPEC the new Fed?

Picture du Jour

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Sky Is Falling!!

October 16 Homebuilder Outlook Falls to Record Low

October 17 New Home Construction Plummets Again

October 24 Existing Home Sales Tumble 8 Percent

October 25 New Home Sales Rebound in September

Whoops. What's that doing in there? Don't those buyers understand that the end is nigh?

It will take at least three months of flat or very moderate growth before we'll be seeing any 'the worst is behind us' articles and there is a very good chance that September figures just reflect families wanting to get the kids into new schools. Nevertheless - I'll stick with my call that August marked the absolute bottom for housing nationally. Babies continue to be born at a markedly faster rate than oldsters are dying and that will be true until about 2021. Demand pressure should bring the market back to 2003 construction levels by spring of '09.

Barring a recession, of course.

Now, where's my umbrella?

The New New Republic?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wow. Hello to the visitors from Fark , Instapundit and Conservative Grapevine. Glad to have you drop by. This is a group blog that is partly political, and partly whatever pops into our head. Have a look around if you have some time to burn.

Picture du Jour

Weekly Links


The top 50 neuroscience brain teasers.

What the quants have been up to.

How Lord of the Flies really works in practice.

Build your own Sputnik.

Awesome paper art.

Did Yahoo lie to Congress?

More free audio books for learning.

Is there a black hole larger than can be contained in today's philosophy?

Criminals are already using steganography.

Build your own helicopter.

25 useful Greasemonkey scripts.

From fat cell to nerve cell.

31 ways to motivate yourself to exercise.

Mother Russia protects her hackers.

Real progress against AIDS.

Thinner, more colorful e-paper.

How El Niño slows the rotation of the Earth.

Yesterday Is Dead and Gone

Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Michael Barone offered more interesting observations at Real Clear Politics yesterday. His argument concerning the Democrat's inability to gain any traction with their obstruct, obscure and obfuscate policy is particularly trenchant. I might have tossed in the fact that they've managed to drive their approval numbers down to historical lows but some might see that as piling on.

I disagree with Mr. Barone on one point. He states that "George W. Bush seems to have had a similar lack of imagination until the November 2006 elections woke him up.", I believe that the President had made his decisions concerning Secretary Rumsfeld and the change in strategy prior to the elections based upon conditions in Iraq rather than upon US political considerations. He may have waited until the elections were over to make public the decisions taken but that would be a separate issue.

Mr. Barone's column was written prior to Bobby Jindal's victory in Lousiana and without mention of the Democrat's failure to overturn the President's veto of Sen. Clinton's trial run on her stealth plan to enact "No Choice" mandatory health insurance through enlargement of the SCHIP program. I would not presume to declare that a time of sunshine and roses has come for the Republican Party but I certainly agree with Mr. Barone's premise that a focus upon the last election is of little use going forward. I would also add that Saint Ronald did not see fit to enter the fray in his last 18 months in office at anywhere near the level that the President is maintaining. The handwringers on the sidelines might do well to reflect upon that fact for a bit prior to donning their sackcloth and ashes for yet another day's gripe.

Picture du Jour

Picture du Jour

Monday, October 22, 2007

Garry Kasparov Explains the World

Sunday, October 21, 2007
The smarmy anti-American elite Americans don't really get it.

Something new.

Jindal has won in Louisiana. As Redstate notes - How bad is it for the Democrats? Even St. Louis Cemetery's numbers are coming in for Jindal.

Sunday Links


Invisible solar nano-cells to the rescue?

55 must-see movies for 2008.

The most expensive college coach in America.

North Atlantic cod might be on the mend.

The 5 most reliable cars.

Time for "C" to be laid to rest.

Why the Russian computers failed.

Chimps crying "wolf".

7 underground wonders of the world.

Curiosities.

How elephants tell the good guys from the bad.

Predicting the unpredictable.

Picture du Jour

Saturday, October 20, 2007

27-0 U of Iowa

Mark Moyar on University of Iowa & Democrats on National Review Online: "students must realize that the university is not a free market of ideas, but a one-party state that strives to convert the impressionable and unwary by hiding half of the political spectrum."

Picture du Jour

Friday, October 19, 2007

Friday Links


Is space-based solar power the answer?

A simple home away from home with all the amenities.

China's massive internet censorship operation.

101 tips to get your work done faster.

Yet another internet romance.

The windbelt.

The coming robot armies.

Running python on the GPU.

Death of a spammer.

The 10 fastest cars in the world.

Human origins pushed back another 64,000 years.

Does electronic paper have a future?

Picture du Jour

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Way To Go, Junior!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sulzberger finally drove off Morgan Stanley this morning. Or, from a slightly different perspective, Morgan Stanley decided that the NYT offers no prospects for profit within a reasonable time period. Reuters is somewhat circumspect in their reportage (a concordance of thieves?) but The Street takes off at least one glove.

Will Moody's, Standard & Poor and Fitch's step up to the plate on behalf of the dimwits dumb enough to still own the stock? I doubt it. They still need a press shield to protect them from close examination concerning their role in the subprime debacle.

At this point, any fund continuing to hold NYT 'A' shares is open to attack from its own shareholders. All it will take is a good land shark.

Weekly Links



A profile of the Russian Business Network.

Operating systems explained in pictures.

9 scientific errors, legally speaking.

The database of free sounds.

The butt end of the equities bubble?

Human-hybrid genetic experiments might be coming in the UK soon.

Sneezing to avoid brain cancer.

8 simple ways to enjoy life each day.

Microscopic art.

Google's acquisitions sometimes go wrong.

Anti-hacker tools for XP.

Digitize your old tapes with Audacity.

The underground of EDU.

The cars of the future.

Tracking aliens directly.

7 energy sinks and how to avoid them.

Video du Jour

Tuesday, October 16, 2007
The "Gemini" release went live last night. Enjoy some of the new features shown in this video.

Picture du Jour

Picture du Jour

Monday, October 15, 2007

My, Here's a Surprise.

Sunday, October 14, 2007
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm

You're probably in the final stages of a Ph.D. or otherwise finding a way to make your living out of reading. You are one of the literati. Other people's grammatical mistakes make you insane.

Book Snob
Dedicated Reader
Literate Good Citizen
Non-Reader
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

Sunday Links


Evolving to circumvent patents.


The 4 things that make people tick.

The new moon race.

The beginner's guide to earnings calls.

Why are supernovas growing dimmer?

Nokia-Navteq and the future of cellphones.

Is recorded music the new buggy-whip?

Plant-waste electricity.

How to read a painting.

15 useful websites.

PE ratios in bull markets.

Separated at birth?


No, no, not Gore and Stalin! What were you thinking? I meant the artists.

Truth to tell, my first impression on seeing the Gore poster was that it was adapted from an Astounding cover from sometime in the forties or fifties. I swear I have seen that poster before. And it's better than the Stalin one.


h/t: No Pasaran


House to House - a soldier's story

Saturday, October 13, 2007

A few weeks ago, one of the blips in the blogosphere was Hollywood goes to war (thanks Hollywood!). I read the articles but, outside of rolling my eyes, didn't pay much attention to them. Hollywood is predictable after all. However, later in the day I was in a bookstore and, on a table of new books, I saw House to House, by SSG David Bellavia (with John R. Bruning). I plunked down the cost of a couple of movie tickets and bought it.

Bellavia is a former Staff Sargent in the First Infrantry Division who saw action in Iraq. He's received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star (v), and the Conspicuous Service Cross and has been nominated for a Distinguished Service Cross as well as recommended for a Medal of Honor. House to House is his first person account of his experiences in the war. It starts with him in Diyalla province, but quickly moves to the center piece of the book -- the Battle for Fallujah.

It's a very good read. Using salty language, he does an excellent job of setting the scenes and capturing the dedication, tension and black humor of his unit, and himself, as the Battle for Fallujah unfolds. It starts with his company in the jumping-off point for entering Fallujah, where he sketches out most of the main persons of the narrative as they practice the "Hurry up and wait" all veterans will be familiar with. The story then moves into the eerily deserted streets of Fallujah, where they discover many of the buildings booby-trapped with IEDs and encounter bouts of stiff resistance.

The climax of his story is when his unit walked into an ambush in a house wired with propane tanks. They were pinned down under heavy fire, and eventually managed to withdraw. Furious, and with his blood up, Bellavia re-entered the house and killed the six insurgents inside, one with a knife as they desperately struggled with each other on the floor of a room.

Below is an excerpt from the beginning of the ambush (any spelling mistakes are likely from my shoddy typing).


This ambush is the product of study, an enemy who has thoroughly analyzed out strengths and weaknesses. They've created a fighting position that negates our advantages of firepower and mobility. All we can do is fight them at point-blank range with the weapons in our hands.

I thought we were ready for everything. We're not ready for this.

Over in the far corner of the living room, Misa stirs. He pulls out a grenade.

"Frag out. Frag out," he shouts.

This mortifies Fitts. "No," he hisses. Misa freezes. Fitts continues, "They'll bowl that bitch right back at us. You've got no idea where they're at."

Misa is undeterred. He peers around the doorway and reports, "I see them... I see where they're at."

Sergant Hugh Hall sees Ware and Yuri and tells them, "Get behind something, man!"

"Is anybody hit?" Doc Abernathy calls from outside,

"Leme frag out," Misa will not let this go.

Fitts will have none of it. "You don't know how many fucking dudes are in here. Don't frag out. Put it away." Misa abandons the grenade idea.

Another flurry of bullets laces the living room. The tracers cleave the smoky air, sending tendrils spinning off into the darkness and briefly clearing the air in the doorway.

I risk a look into the stairwell room. In the fire's crimson glow, I spot one of the insurgents. He's crouched behind the Jersey barriers holding an AK in each hand. He's grinning like a fiend, and I notice his perfectly straight, white teeth.

How the fuck is that possible? We've got field dentists, a health plan, and all the trappings of modern medicine, and our teeth look like caramel popcorn. Apparently, these cocksuckers don't like Red Man.

Why Global Warming and Peak Oil are Irrelevant

Why Global Warming and Peak Oil are Irrelevant: "Which is why peak oil doesn’t matter. If oil runs out next year, or in the next decade, that will matter less than the rise of competitive sources of energy in the marketplace. Petroleum will go the way of whale oil, which in 1850 was the world’s fifth largest industry, [Amory] Lovins said. That powerful industry lasted precisely until coal-based oils provided a cheaper alternative to the common lighting fuel. You don’t hear much about whale oil anymore."

Saturday morning illusion



h/t : davidthompson

Everything Old is New Again

Friday, October 12, 2007

In a recent speech in the UK at the Hay Festival, Al Gore “promised to devote himself to the task of warning people about the impending ‘planetary emergency’”. He also said that global warming represented “a danger which could bring the end of civilization”. This is surely heady stuff. The subtext, barely disguised, is that our profligate and greedy ways will bring ruin to us. By living it up and consuming, we will be consumed. We will bring down the wrath of the sun. This will cause enormous catastrophes, especially the melting of polar ice caps that will create floods, even large enough to submerge Ground Zero. Hurricanes will unleash their furies and make once grand cities an undersea world. We have the power to forestall this, as long as we forsake our corrupt and luxurious ways. In Al’s story, it is especially the mighty US that must admit its sins and repent.

Is this really new? Well, most are familiar with Noah and the Ark. In that story, at least Noah had the advantage of talking to God. But there are other stories from those who conceive of the masses as only looking at flickers in the cave.

In the Cratylus, Plato suggests that the gods punished the inhabitants of Atlantis for their sins of overreaching and arrogance. They were depicted as being in a state of moral decay. They were decadent. They brought ruin upon their city through their wasteful ways. Yet Plato didn’t really believe this or didn’t exactly believe this. In many respects, this was a Noble (or ignoble) Lie, depending upon one’s perspective.

Plato actually believed that natural disasters happen from time to time and are more powerful than we are. He wanted to shake people up from the childish belief that the world is always as safe place. In essence he believed that nature was the workings of impersonal forces, but he tries to use the beliefs people had in the power of the gods as a means of warning about the dangers of corruption. But he walked into a contradiction that he did not solve. In other words, if the citizens of Atlantis brought ruin upon themselves, why do terrible disasters happen to innocent people (which must happen in the world of Plato’s impersonal forces)? Plato began a speech by Zeus to address this question, but he never finished it. Tantalizing.

The myth of Tantalus (the source of the word tantalize) is an interesting and complex myth. Or rather it is a body of myths, as there are many versions of this myth. Tantalus is punished by being tantalized, i.e., being in a state of desire but having those desires remain unfulfilled. A wealthy and powerful king, Tantalus could have most anything a mortal could want. But he wants a life like the gods, to be immortal and have god-powers. Zeus sentences him to an eternity of a kind of quiet and repetitive agony.

Plato had used Lydian myths as a source for this and other stories. An Athenian businessman and philosopher, named Solon, served as a sort of wikipedia on Lydian myths for Plato. The Lydians had told of an ancient city that had been destroyed and became a legendary sunken kingdom, Tantalis, the city of Tantalus. Solon translated or changed Tantalus into Atlas for aesthetic and historical purposes. Atlas and Tantalus are similar myths in many ways and both derive from the Greek, tlao (suffer, endure). The etymological links in the Tantalus chain are interesting (see below).

Over time the Atlantis myth is told and retold, transformed and altered, as myths are. In the retellings, Atlantis kept moving westward. It became the place that no one could see but of which many stories were told. It moved to the Atlantic Ocean, so far west that no Greeks or Europeans could hope to see it. Of course, we all know what is on the other side of the Atlantic.

The US is seen as the king consumer, and we are invested with the power to save the world, if we are less greedy and immoral. The global warming sages are telling us to just say no to oil. Yet, Plato didn’t really believe that such natural disasters were caused by human greed, although he appears to have had no shame in saying so. Plato didn’t believe in the gods, but he was willing to play god in this case.

Moreover, it is certainly worth pondering that burning of fossil fuels has contributed immeasurably to the scientific, technological, political, and social developments that have transformed modernity from life that is nasty, brutal and short into one of quiet and repetitive agony of many appetites that are stimulated but not truly sated. What happens when the fuel to that engine is off limits?

The drama of humanity always seems to include some unpleasantness, some pain, some misery. Humans are tempted to all sorts of heights. The principles of liberty enable people to achieve and acquire wonderful things when power resides with the individual as much as possible. The new philosopher-kings appear to be on the verge of saying that individuals cannot be trusted; they are too tempted. They are suggesting that solutions should be top-down in nature, that is central planning by those few, knowledgeable and beneficent ones who can decide for us. Have we heard that story before? Well, it is interesting that the latest prophet brings people back into the cave of the movie theatre to show the masses an inconvenient truth via flickers of light on the wall.











Given the events of yesterday, with Big Al winning the Peace Prize and all. I thought it was time to bring this back for a repeat.

The rest of the story



h/t: The Jawa Report

Friday Links


France's secret war in Africa.

Change your DNA.

How to iron a button-down shirt.

The secrets of intangible wealth.

Building a modern computer in 12 easy lessons.

The hottest iPod yet.

Wild crows using tools.

Teach yourself the theory of computation.

Has the cause of type II diabetes been found?

China is blocking RSS feeds.

The new plastic is light, transparent, and strong as steel.

the physics arXiv blog » Blog Archive » To the Moon in millimeters

the physics arXiv blog » Blog Archive » To the Moon in millimeters:

“The Apache Point Observatory Lunar Laser-ranging Operation has achieved one-millimeter range precision to the moon”


Got that? a millimetre. About ->|_|<- this much.

(Depending on your font, of course. If you really want precision, find a ruler.)

Picture du Jour

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Dueling Headlines

September foreclosures fall

Foreclosure filings nearly double

Same data, same (poor) source.

I like this one too:Mortgage meltdown: Vulture investors

Buying low makes you a vulture? Is CNN's financial advice predicated upon "Buy high and make someone else happy!"?

As Giuliani mentioned the other evening, "Getcher head up." Hard to do when you're sitting on it but good advice, nevertheless.

Information Cascades and Tierney's Law

Wednesday, October 10, 2007
How the Low-Fat, Low-Fact Cascade Just Keeps Rolling Along

Read the article, which is eminently worthy of it, but I also want to point out something on the sidebar:

  1. Just because an idea appeals to a lot of people doesn't mean it's wrong.
  2. But that's a good working theory.


I propose this should be known as "Tierney's Law".

Picture du Jour



(You need to click on it to see the whole effect.)

Weekly Links



Separate but equal medical studies?

The 10 commandments of investing.

Threat modeling for software engineers.

Ancient calculus recovered.

The surface below the surface.

What Steve and Bill can teach us about giving presentations.

Well-trained robots make the same mistakes we do.

The world's biggest aquarium screensaver.

The age of feudalism.

The seller's guide to Craigslist.

Is Alzheimer's Disease a form of diabetes?

Wallace and Gromit return to TV.

The 10 most fascinating tombs in the world.

Are durable goods orders a reliable leading indicator for the stock market?

Free college lectures for you on YouTube, courtesy of the University of California.

The 8 body-language mistakes.

Japanese stealth fighters.

Picture du Jour

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Picture du Jour—Skookumchuk Version


I don't know if this one is any more real than the other, but it's still a cool pic.

Dendrochronology for Dummies

Monday, October 08, 2007

The PDF for the page can be found here.

WARNING - THE DATA FROM WHICH THIS POSTER WAS DEVELOPED IS CONSIDERED TO BE RESTRICTED!!!

At least by the warmermonger set.

It may actually be restricted for all I know. I wouldn't think that an IP restriction on the data set would prevent the study in question (and its conclusions) from being at least referenced. While the IP issues are interesting (minimally), the proxies being dropped are even more interesting. I suppose it's all part of strengthening the "consensus". They need to start using backhoes to bury contradictory studies - the shovels just aren't getting 'em deep enough.

The Most Hated Man in Iraq

contentions » archive: "The most hated man in Iraq today is Senator Joseph Biden. Iraqis (except for Kurds) are outraged at the Senate’s adoption of a Biden bill, prescribing “federalism” for Iraq in terms that Iraqis take to mean partition of their country. My explanations—that Biden chose the anodyne word “federalism” because he couldn’t get support for “partition,” that the House was unlikely to pass a similar measure, and that even if passed, this bill was not binding—all fell on deaf ears. Sunni and Shiite politicians outdid each other in their denunciations. And some Iraqi lawmakers spoke of turning the tables by calling for the U.S. to be partitioned into sovereign black, white, and Hispanic nations."

Picture du Jour—Take 2

Help a Poor but Honest Grad Student

My friend Shelley Batts is competing for the 2007 Student Blogger scholarship.



She's beautiful, she's brilliant, she's doing worthy work (you're gonna need new cochlear hair cells one of these days, bucko!) and she's got a parrot.

Picture du Jour

Use the force, Luke

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Sunday Links


40,000 masterworks in the public domain. The site's in German, but it's mostly a list of names, good in any language.

The interactive map of WWI.

Three nonverbal keys to negotiating.

A spinning singularity might become naked.

Is it 1927 in China?

Cover yourself at work through notes.

Was acid the secret behind the double helix?

Inkless printing at less than 2 nanometers.

Ridley Scott speaks.

Have embryonic planets been found?

What it actually costs to found a startup.

The purpose of the appendix.

Picture du Jour

Saturday, October 06, 2007

A Death in the Family

Friday, October 05, 2007
A Death in the Family: Politics & Power: vanityfair.com: "If America can spontaneously produce young men like Mark, and occasions like this one, it has a real homeland security instead of a bureaucratic one. To borrow some words of George Orwell's when he first saw revolutionary Barcelona, 'I recognized it immediately as a state of affairs worth fighting for.'"


Well, don't just sit here reading this: follow the link!

Friday Links


Is Goldman's good fortune a mirage?

How to find free stuff.

What Congress is up to.

Ethanol is a mistake.

Was the mysterious burst the most energetic event ever observed?

The top 350 stocks paying monthly dividends.

The basics of estimating.

The physics of medieval archery.

Yale beats Harvard.

8 signs it's time to quit your job before you get fired laid-off.

The journal of unlikely science.

Picture du Jour

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Picture du Jour

Wednesday, October 03, 2007