Saturday, November 02, 2013

Lou's gone, but I'm back

Blogging hiatus caused by rotator cuff surgery on my left shoulder (yes, I am left handed). I can type now, so look out!

Like so many people, the Velvet Underground totally transformed my idea of what music could be and what could qualify as "good". While I was more of a John Cale guy than a Lou Reed guy, Reed was a modern music colossus.

Here's a great Reed cover:






And here's a very Velvets inspired band that I love (check the words around the 1:10 mark):






Friday, November 01, 2013

Oh, No! We Are Going to Run out of WINE!

Even by the standards of popular media, this is amazingly dumb.

The article.

If only there were some mechanism to signal wine producers to make MORE wine.  We could call it....I don't know.... price?

I am making a bold prediction:  THere will be no wine shortage.  "Peak wine is peak idiocy.

Schulze Method Voting

Description of Schulze Method

An implementation

Nod to Gordon F.

Tied Elections!

It is rare for an election to be decided by a single vote.

But here are two elections, both tied.  Still a small proportion of the total, but interesting examples to use for class or lectures.

Article.

Nod to Renan.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Philosopher Drinks the Porter?

An interesting theory.  Workaholics have something to do, alcoholics just drink.  But they are the same people.

This paper considers the role of alcohol in agency problems in order to provide an economic rationale for alcoholics and workaholics. In our model, alcohol reduces productivity, but also can make imbibers blurt private information. We show that in the optimal contract, low-productivity workers are compelled to over-indulge in alcohol, while high-productivity workers overproduce output. Thus, workers are made into “alcoholics” and “workaholics” depending on their productivity. We conclude that excessive drinking (working) may be the result, not the cause, of low (high) productivity of workers. 

Nod to Kevin Lewis 

Increasing the Liklihood of Connubial Noodling...

So, an article on what actually makes people, married people who have used up all the degrees of freedom in their years of marriage, more likely to interested in some vigorous cuddling.

TOP TEN 'TURN-ONS' FOR WOMEN
1. Losing weight
2. Fresh bed sheets
 3. Winning a sum of money
 4. Night out with the girls
5. Hot bath
6. Work night out or work Christmas party
7. A new hair do
8. Having makeup applied
9. Workout at the gym
10. Closing a deal or completing a major task at work

TOP TEN 'TURN-ONS' FOR MEN
1. Night out with the boys
2. Fresh bed sheets
3. Hot bath
4. Winning a sum of money
5. Sports team win
6. Losing weight
7. Work out at the gym
8. Driving a sports car
9. Closing a deal or completing a major task at work
10. Cleaning the house

As the NCM notes, interesting that "clean sheets" is high on both lists.  And, for what it is worth, I can say that if the guy needs to lose weight, and does, this can pay back with increased "interest" on the part of the lady.  As long as the sheets are clean.

The NCM suggest, in fact, that you guys should forget the etchings line.  Just tell the woman at the bar that your bathroom is clean, and you just changed your (very high thread count) sheets.  And then get lucky!

Monday, October 28, 2013

"I Quit" LIt

Professors quitting professing

Excerpt:

Academe is a profession full of erudite free-thinkers who feel disillusioned by a toxic labor system in which criticism is not tolerated—so those who leave often relish the newfound ability to say anything they want (talking about “a friend” here). In its insularity and single-mindedness, academe is also very similar to a fundamentalist religion (or, dare I say, cult), and thus those who abdicate often feel compelled to confess. 

That may well describe English, and Literature generally.  The Humanities are much closer to a secular leftist religion than anything else.  No orthodoxies can be questioned.  So don't go into the Humanities.

But as you read the article, you'll note that a lot of those who "quit" didn't jump.  They were pushed. If it makes them feel better to say, "No!  I broke up with YOU!" then fine.

Nod to Anonyman.

Monday's Child

1.  Oh, man, I forgot to rent out the wedding hall.  She's gonna be MAD!  I know!  BOMB THREAT!  That'll save my bacon.  (If you are unmarried, this may seem implausible.  But imagine this:  "Did you remember to get the milk?"  [Husband hangs head, shuffles, mutters]  Wife:  "BOOM!"  So a bomb may not have been entirely out of line, given the answer to "Did you remember to rent out the wedding hall?"]

2.  Scott de Marchi's new favorite school.  Of course, Scott is actually "Wally," so he may not be around much anyway.

3.  The Joker costume was a nice touch. Pretty early for a Halloween party, though.  Are you sure that was a costume?  AAAIIIEEEEE!  The real Joker!  In Maine.

4.  Gravestone kerfuffle.  Sponge-Bob?  I guess the headstone has square pants, but....

5.  At least he was nice enough to shave it.