Saturday, April 21, 2007

Darned Sun....

Increased irradiance of the sun contributes to global warming?

Since ice caps on Mars are melting too....maybe.

And....hurricanes perhaps will be weaker, not stronger, on average? The reason being a large increase in wind shear....Of course, super-strong hurricanes would still be MORE likely if the ocean grows warmer; it is just that there is no necessary change in MEAN intensity. The right tail of the distribution of intensity frequency would get fatter. Leptokurtosis, actually, since both tails might get fatter.

The source for both of these tidbits? That right-wing rag, National Geographic. The problem with science is that it relies on evidence, instead of just people who hate human freedom as a matter of religious zeal.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Boys and Dogs

My sons, and Hobo. Note the long hair. On my younger son, I mean.

LGM on Ted Nugent

Large Guns Man is conflicted:

Usually Ted Nugent comes off as a nut job but I can't help but agree with
this article.

I am licensed by the state to carry a concealed weapon. I am not permitted
to bring a gun onto campus because according to state law its a gun-free
zone. I am not sure that allowing licensed individuals to carry guns on
campus is the best idea but it sure beats hiding behind a desk waiting to
get shot. The VT shooting shouldn't be trivialized or really even used for
political gain but I can't help thinking things might have turned out
differently if a few Professors, Students, and Staff members had been able
to shoot back.

I am conflicted. The idea of bringing a gun to campus seems quite wrong
but I prefer it to being helplessly gunned down by someone who will find
the gun free zone has exactly zero enforcement.

For the record I rarely carry a gun, the world isn't that dangerous.

Yep, it is easy to say dumb things right now. I am conflicted, too. LGM is not saying we should all go about armed. But if we have some capacity to defend ourselves, maybe some duty to do so...I am conflicted. So, LGM is right, as usual.

Hobo, King of Dogs

In response to a request for more dog pix: Hobo, King of Dogs.

Exhausted from running with a bone, he lies spent.....

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

My Favorite Tree

There is this great oak in our front yard. It appears it was two trees, and they grew together. Can't say if it is codependence or support, but it sure is a great tree.

And the front of our house, same tree from different angle. Spring sure is nice in NC....

Hobo and Tanzie are certainly pleased....

Sunday, April 15, 2007

So, We Need To Outsource Gordon Gekko!

An interesting paper....

Todd Mitton
Journal of Financial Economics, September 2006, Pages 625-647

I use firm-specific measures of openness to foreign investors to study the
impact of stock market liberalization on firm-level operating performance.
In a sample of over 1,100 firms from 28 countries, firms with stocks that
are open to foreign investors experience higher growth, greater investment,
greater profitability, greater efficiency, and lower leverage. Strategies to
address potential endogeneity suggest that the observed relation reflects,
at least in part, a causal effect of openness on operating performance.

So, openness and a market for managers does discipline firms, at least by comparison. But I bet average growth increases also come with an increase in variance.....

(Nod to KL, who would outsource the other gecko, too, and maybe even the cavemen.)

Props, and an Apology

Props to Radley Balko. A fine counterpoint, and well presented.

And a sincere apology, on behalf of a jusice system that can't control itself, to James Giles. (NOTE: The link I present is from the GUARDIAN, in the UK. You likely didn't hear of this in the U.S. media. I know I didn't.)

Gideon needs a louder trumpet. And public defenders need more resources.

Now, as I have said before, it is important to recognize that these young men at Duke were not prosecuted IN SPITE of their station in life. They were prosecuted, by the city and by the media, BECAUSE of it. So Radley's comparison is not perfect.

Still, he is absolutely right to ask, "Where is the outrage?" for the treatment of innocent people like Mr. Giles. It doesn't have to be the same outrage, but the balance of coverage is striking.

We are sorry, James Giles. I hope you are okay. Much is owed you. If nothing else, we should all know your name.

Fire Nancy Grace, Puppy Rapist

Fine, Imus deserved it. He's a race-baiting jerk, always has been. No argument here.

But where is the national outcry for the firing of Nancy Grace?

If you want the indictment spelled out, I have to give credit to John Stewart, here. (WHOOPS! They change the videos in the loop. HERE you go.) The Nazi Germany line, in particular, should be enough to get her fired. Remember, she used that on an analyst who had examined the evidence, in detail, and had concluded that there was just no case for going ahead with the prosecution. Nancy did NOT say, "Wait, you have ignored ...." No, her answer was to claim that allowing defense attorneys to defend clients, and to confront the evidence against them, meant we were in Nazi Germany.

I'm not sure what logical process would lead one to go from A to B there. But I do think that if Imus deserved to be fired (and he did), then Nancy Grace deserves to be fired, with prejudice.

(This thought, like most of my thoughts, is hardly original. For a selective sample, see here, and here, and of course here, though GR doesn't need links from me.)

(Nod to DiW...)