Saturday, August 04, 2012

LeBron speak with forked video on macro

I've never seen anything like this before.  LeBron dishes on different macro-economic theories.

The thing is, the video is itself hyperlinked.  So, you can click WITHIN the video to go to any of the four embedded videos, and then return to the top.

Plus, the explanations are really good.  I just can't get over how much Tyler sounds like John F. Kennedy in inflection and accent, though.

Seattle Food Quick Hits

Several nice meals in Seattle.  A quick review of four of them.  This is pretty long, so I'll continue below the fold.  In the meantime, here is the YYM at Safeco.  Mariners have overcome their sadness at losing Ichiro by playing their best ball of the year.  Pretty fun, beautiful place.

Food reviews below...

Suppose 2001 Were a "Summer Blockbuster"

If 2001 were advertised now, as a "summer blockbuster," would you go see it?

Funny part is the comments.  They don't seem to get the fact that this is a MOCKERY of current ads, not a celebration of them.

With a nod to my guy John O.

Expressions entirely relevant for these trying times

"The trend is your friend till the bend at the end" (hat tip to Noah S.)

 "It's not the fall that kills you, it's the sudden stop at the end"

 "Bulls make money, bears make money, hogs get slaughtered"

 "Both teams played hard my man" (Rasheeeeeeeeed!!)

 Give me more in the comments!!

Friday, August 03, 2012

le deluge

Wow.  This totally sucks.  Really, really sucks.

Three sigmas.  We don't like three sigmas.

I killed the party again

Here's a tremendous video for one of my favorite Jens Lekman songs, "Black Cab". Jen's is on tour this fall; I'll catch him either in DC or Dallas!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Wow!! Doug Hibbs basically calls the election for Mittens!

Here is the money quote:

"according  to  the  Bread  and  Peace  model  per  capita  real   income  growth  rates  must  average out  at  nearly  6  percent  after  2012:q2  for  Obama  to  have  a   decent  chance  of  re-­‐election."

You can get to the whole paper from here (and obviously a hat tip goes to Brendan).

Beyond this bombshell, the paper is well worth reading as Hibbs excoriates his competitors for using ad-hoc and ex-post dummy variables as well as endogenous approval ratings as explanatory variables in their vote-share equations.

The Koreas at the Olympics

In response to my Grantland Olympic piece with LeBron, a few people have asked why we didn't specifically discuss  the Koreas. Maybe I'm missing the question, but the basic economic model seems to explain them very well.

From the 2000 games to date (including what has happened in London), North Korea has won 20 total Summer Olympic medals, while South Korea has pocketed 101.

South Korea has almost twice the population of the North (48.5 million to 22.6 million) and a per-capita income that is more than 15 times greater ($31,700 to $1,800).

Of North Koreas 20 medals, 15 have come in weightlifting and judo. These are examples of the "easy-pickings" sports we discussed in the piece. South Korea is also strong in tae-kwon-do and archery.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Olympic fever

If you like NBC's tape-delayed coverage, you'll love this.

Here's me and LeBron's Olympics "preview" piece for

Private education for the poor?

Mrs. Angus and I greatly enjoyed "The Beautiful Tree" by James Tooley and have become very interested in the potential making private education available for the poor especially in areas where the public school system has failed them.

So I was happy to see that the Oxfam Blog "From Poverty to Power", was hosting a debate on the merits of private schooling for the poor.

Arguing in favor is Justin Sandefur from the Center for Global Development.

Arguing against is Kevin Watkins from Brookings.

Public education is a real problem in many parts of many poor countries. While enrollment rates are rising, as called for by the Millennium Development Goals, achievement (i.e. actual learning) is often quite poor. Even Watkins concedes this point.

your aging rap star round up

1. Dr. Dre is in dutch with Jacque Rogge and the IOC for giving away free headphones to Olympic athletes without giving the IOC a taste.

2. Snoop Dogg is banned from Norway for two years! For possession of weed! Really! Unlike his ban from the UK, which he fought and got reversed, He will not be filing an appeal, "his lawyer said. "[Snoop] can live with the decision."" Actually Snoop got hassled in Norway last year for bringing in "too much money". I don't get it, if he can't bring money to buy weed and he can't bring weed, what the hell is he supposed to do?

3. Gore Vidal is dead.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

"you didn't write that"

I want to highlight the two best pieces I've read on the Obama "you didn't build that" - gate.

The first  comes from Josh Barro over at Forbes.

The second comes from Carolina's own Kindred Winecoff.

Both are highly recommended.

People, what do you think about this issue?

Is it an out of context molehill made into a mountain, or a disturbing peek behind the curtain?

You know where to let me know.

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Gorge

Visited the Columbia Gorge with my sister Kathy.  Here is a view of Multnomah Falls....a short movie.

Kathy and I got to see some pretty impressive parts of the gorge.  This slot canyon was completely blocked with a log jam.  Looked like something from Lord of the Rings.

Kathy in front of one of the smaller falls.  Really great hiking.

Cobra Juicy

Black Moth Super Rainbow, one of my favorite weird bands is running a Kickstarter to finance the release of their new album and it's going really well.

I have to confess that I don't understand Kickstarter very well, but hey, it's getting me new BMSR!

Here's a link to a song from the new album.

Here's the video for one of my favorite BMSR songs, "Sun Lips"  from "Dandelion Gum":

She swallowed the spider to catch the fly

and by "she" I mean Hugo Chavez.

People, gasoline in the oil-rich Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela sells for $0.11 cents per gallon. In neighboring Colombia, it costs over $4.00.

So it's no wonder that those Bolivarian citizens often undertake a fair amount of illegal cross-border arbitrage.

But, nowadays, Venezuela actually has to import a fair amount of gasoline (they can't refine enough for the local market) at market prices.

In other words, they are at the margin, taking a big loss on imported gas that their citizens then "export" to Colombia! The Chavez government is leaking a lot of money to subsidize (a) domestic criminals and (b) Colombian motorists.

Anyway, Chavez has gotten tired of this mess and imposed quantity rationing on people in two states that border Colombia and lean toward the opposition.

Not surprisingly, the locals are extremely upset about this violation of their inalienable right to rip off their government, even though the allowed quantity of gas is 11 gallons, PER DAY (40 for busses).

Wouldn't it just be simpler, fairer, and more environmentally sound to just end or drastically reduce the massive subsidy for gasoline?

How does giving away gasoline make any real sense ( I know people like free gas, but you could just give them cash and drastically reduce the negative environmental externality)?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The war on Al-gebra*

What an amazing piece of horse hockey on the front page of the NY Times opinion section (and no I'm not talking about Tom Friedman's piece).

*huge hat tip to RKG for this title.