Saturday, January 11, 2014

When You Love the Earth, You Have to Spend Huge Resources to Show It.

My freude just overfloweth with schaden.  A bunch of self-congratulating tree-huggers used up a huge amount of resources to show how much they love the earth and go on a fake "research" tour to see how fast the ice is retreating.  Now, that might be happening in the austral climes, since it's SUMMER there.

(Tree hugging now scientifically validated....)

But it's too cold, there is a BLIZZARD, the ice freezes up, and now a gigantic amount of carbon is going to be put into the atmosphere to rescue them.  And, the cherry on top is that the hated U.S. and all its wasteful technology is the only country that actually CAN rescue them.  Makes me want to go out and drive my BMW at really high speed for no particular reason, just to celebrate. (UPDATE:  The wind shifted, and they got out without the Polar Star.  And now the whole thing is an example of international cooperation, instead of an embarrassment).  You can book a berth on the next voyage, if you want to show how much you care about the Earth!  (See what I did there?  Book a berth, save the Earth).

Friday, January 10, 2014

Oh, Kentucky....

Oh, Kentucky.  A state that exists to make Mississippi feel better about itself.  Guy escapes from prison.  But it's really cold.  So he turns himself in.  The best part?  The high tech system they have for mug shots, so you know the guy's prisoner number.   What font is that?  Some kind of sans-serif...  No.  For your mug shot, they stand you in front of an old sheet, with a hand-written card.

More "Kentucky Pride" here.  A legislator and clown (but I repeat myself) claims that he could "fill the committee room" with people who died from weed.  You could fill several stadiums with the people killed by the war on, and over, weed.  And many of the people he wants to fill his committee room would actually be in my stadium.  Cops would not be killed by guys with AK-47s over weed if it were LEGAL.

Stoned & Starvin'

Chicago Shorts

You've heard of Bermuda Shorts?  Well, that has nothing to do with this (though the thought of Angus wearing Bermuda shorts is going to give me the willies for a while).

Chicago Shorts is an ebook series.  It's pretty cheap ($3.00), and the "shorts" are ...well, not very long.  They are condensations.

The reason I bring this up is that my Duke colleague Bruce Caldwell has a "short" on Hayek's Road to Serfdom.  It's a very nice way to make the "book" available for class, and Bruce's intro is well done.

The problem with the "Shorts" is that they are either epub or prc format, which doesn't work on Kindle.  But it's easy to convert them using calibre or something like that.

I stopped using RtS in my big UG class, because there is just too much there.  This is a nice option.

(If it matters, I was not compensated to write this.  Sometimes people ask.  You might want to get a life...)

The real problem with Obamacare

Tyler linked to this piece yesterday, but he left out the money quote:

The problem with Obamacare is it’s product driven and not market driven. They didn’t ask the customer what they wanted. And I think that’s the fundamental problem with Obamacare. It meets the needs of very poor people because you’re giving them health insurance for free. But it doesn’t really meet the needs of healthy people and middle-class people.

And of course, without enough healthy, middle class people in the system, eventually the system won't work.

Headline Meme

Both the meme and the mystery:  Man Crashes into Conn. Gas Station, Steals Banana.

Good example of the meme because once you have read the headline you are pretty much finished with the story.

EXCEPT for the mystery.  If the guy was high...a banana?  If I needed munchies bad enough to crash my car into a gas station, I'd be going for the Ho-Hos, Snickers, and Doritos.  If he was just really drunk...why stick around, rather than panic?  And if he was a marathon runner, lost on his way to the start...Actually, that explains it, never mind.

Nod to the LMM.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Bias in El Beisbol

The Connection Between Race and Called Strikes and Balls 
 Jeff Hamrick & John Rasp
 Journal of Sports Economics, forthcoming

Abstract: We investigate potential racial bias by Major League Baseball umpires. We do so in the context of the subjective decision as to whether a pitch is called a strike or a ball, using data from the 1989-2010 seasons. We find limited, and sometimes contradictory, evidence that umpires unduly favor or unjustly discriminate against players based on their race. Potential mitigating variables such as attendance, terminal pitch, the absolute score differential, and the presence of monitoring systems do not consistently interact with umpire/pitcher and umpire/hitter racial combinations. Most evidence that would first appear to support racially connected behaviors by umpires appears to vanish in three-way interaction models. Overall, our findings fall well short of convincing evidence for racial bias.


Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Live by the State, Die by the State

Ah yes, Oklahoma, the buckle of the bible belt. Would it surprise any of you to know there is a large-ish "monument" with the 10 commandments written on them on the grounds of the State Capitol (there's also an oil well on the grounds and those two sum up most of our state perfectly)?

Well there is:

Well, as Art Carden Tweeted, "live by the state, die by the state".

Now the Church of the flying Spaghetti Monster, a Hindu group, and a Satanist group all have proposed monuments to their deity (or one of their deities) for the Capitol grounds.

I especially like the proposed 7 foot tall Satan sculpture:

Whatever your religious beliefs are, Christianity is not the official religion of Oklahoma and a state sponsored monument to it, is an open door to state sponsored monuments to any and all religions, no?

One local legislator, Rep. Earl Seals from Bartlesville, shows the spectacular level of imbecility that also can be encountered on the capitol grounds:

"I do not see Satanism as a religion, and they have no place at the state Capitol," said Sears.

Well, Earl my friend here's a couple of things to consider.

1. You are not the arbiter of what is or is not a religion

2. Your implied premise that if you saw it as a religion it would then be OK to be on the Capitol Grounds is actually a bit too sad to be funny

Fox Wash, Donkey Rinse

So, I saw this article, "Wal-Mart Recalls Donkey Meat in China," and I assumed that people were complaining that Wal-Mart was selling donkey meat as if it were pork.  The problem is that Wal-Mart is selling fox meat as if it were donkey meat.  Selling donkey meat is fine. "Damn,  Xiùyīng, this tastes like ass!  Where did you get this?"

"Wal-Mart, isn't it great?"

"It sure is!  Can I have some more?"

And so I had to go to Warren Zevon for a title.  Sometimes it's the only way.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Monday's Child

1.  The parachuting dogs of WWII.

2.  CvD, you gots nothin' on Chuck Norris.  Because, HE's Chuck Norris!  After all, ghosts sit around the campfire and scare their kids with stories of Chuck Norris.  You'd better RECOGNIZE, "Cloud."  Your little split was namby pamby by comparison.

3. Amazon calls in a delivery specialist.

4.  The future is NOW.  Not safe for work, but it will change your life.   And, no, you will NOT find this link on

5.  I'm not sure what to make of this.  Surely there is something in between.