Saturday, September 14, 2013

Genuinely Strange Stealth Chipotle "Ad" for Scarecrow App

Kasparov on Syria & Putin

People, I love Twitter. Feast your eyes:


You no doubt know of the famous "dancing horses," the Lipizzaners.

Well, every morning, the amazing Skippy Squirrelbane does a dance, too.  He stands straight up, and moves his front paws up and down, and then jumps straight up, all the time staying on his hind legs.  (This is his, "OMG!  Dog food, again!  YAY!" dance).


(Tanzi is not impressed, though she does say "jalo!" to Paco and Plutie.)

Mar-Cats in everything...

Only a matter of time:  Econ LOL Cats.

From @cconko , via LeBron.

This one is a beauty: 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Seriously? We Have Been Doing This?

I'm astonished the government has been operating this clandestine program.

No, not NSA spying.  That is not surprising. 

I mean the subsidies from NASA to billionaire owners of corporate jets.  You didn't know?  See what I mean?

The lagniappe?  After sucking down all that heavily discounted jet fuel, now Google is encrypting, so the NSA can't spy on them any more!  It's a beautiful thing.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

I'll take "Things that are not compliments" for $800 Alex....

From a Non-Putin Portion of the NYT:

 Jill Demling, entertainment editor of Vogue,...has pronounced Mr. Westbrook the “Kate Moss of the N.B.A.” 

Um..... Because he's promiscuous?

Or because he has an eating disorder?

Perhaps a coke habit?

 Jeez Jill, don't throw my boy under the bus like that!

Or did Kate Moss wear lensless glasses, make commercials with JVG, and not pass to KD enough?

Hat tip to LeBron.

Unhedged economists are vulnerable economists

People the econ job market is pretty good. So it seems surprising that the University of Florida is defunding, and thus effectively killing, their PhD program in Econ as reported here.

But, it is perhaps not so mysterious when you consider the unhedged financial position of that department. As the article points out, it generates a lot of credit hours and tuition money from its classes, but most of those hours come in the Arts and Sciences College. Meanwhile, the Econ department is in the business school.

So its revenues accrue to one accounting unit while its costs are borne by another. No wonder the department has shrunk from 38 to 11 and there are plans to shrink it further still to 6!**

This is a classic case of unhedged risk, the academic equivalent of a firm who earns its revenues in Pesos but pays its costs in Dollars.

Note that the department was offered the option of moving to Arts & Sciences, "where, deans say, the Ph.D. program might have survived. The faculty voted not to move because, they say, the liberal-arts college has its own financial problems, and they were concerned about salaries, research budgets, and teaching loads."

My department at OU was in the B-school back in the day and faced a similar situation. They decided to move (or got kicked out, depending on who is telling the story) to A&S and our program lives to this day!

**Mrs. Angus says that if she was one of the 11, she'd be very careful about accepting a drink or any food from the B-school dean!

Hat tips to PrisonRodeo and RKG

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

There is no great stagnation: speed eating edition

Bakers bake bread, scientists write crap

Phone call for Dr. de Marchi:  correlations exist, and can be used to publish "science."

Dr. Allison said that the true relationship between eating breakfast and body weight, if there is one, was still an open question. But observational studies that tout an association between the two are churned out “just about every week,” despite doing nothing to actually test or prove the claim.

“At some point, this becomes absurd,” he said. “We’re doing studies that have little or no value. We’re wasting time, intellect and resources, and we’re convincing people of things without actually generating evidence.”

As for why the subject has created something of an echo chamber of observational research, Dr. Allison said that unlike randomized controlled trials, which are expensive and difficult to carry out, sifting through large sets of observational data to find tantalizing associations is fairly low cost and easy to do. “Just like bakers bake bread, scientists write papers,” he said, “and we get rewarded for writing and publishing papers.” 

Nod to Anonyman

Monday, September 09, 2013

Entropy is Everywhere

"O Lord, help me not to despise or oppose what I do not understand."

"Truth often suffers more by the heat of its defenders than the arguments of its opposers."

William Penn circa 1700

"They are cheap. They don't want to pay taxes because they have already raped this country and gotten everything out of it they possibly could," 

 "I'm a college professor. If I find out you're a closet racist, I'm coming after you. OK. This country still is full of closet racists."  

"I absolutely don't mean to offend you.  Even if you are a Republican, I don't mean to offend you in this class." 

William Penn circa 2013

Monday's Child

1.  The state "markets," but private firms "advertise."  The difference?  Advertising is bad, and needs to be regulated, or outlawed.  The state just provides information.  Really.  That's what they say.

2.  In the German election:  Fiat money!

3.  Rush has a new children's book.  And it's #1....before it is released.

4.  The President made a mistake when he said "red line."  Perhaps "we" (whatever that means) should have protested then.  But it would take 75k troops to achieve the objective of securing the chemical weapons in Syria.  If we aren't going to do that (and I hope we are not), what exactly are we doing?

5.  I'm not sure this is true, by any means.  But if it's  "NSA works with tech companies to insert intentional security weaknesses into software."  Phone call for Tom Schaller:  You must be very proud of your President, bud.

All Hail Serena

Congrats on her 17th major championship. Only 1 away from Chrissy and Martina! After she served for the match twice in the second set and was broken each time, I thought she was doomed, but she crushed the Shrieker in the third set.