Saturday, October 05, 2013

I said, "more cowbell" NOT "more tambourine"

Don't Tase me, Rev!

In Edmund OK last summer, a parishioner was tased for playing the tambourine like Will Ferrell played the cowbell on SNL.

As usual, I am not making this up.

We take our religion very seriously here, so fair warning: conform or be tased.

According to the Oklahoma County Sheriff's department, the tase-ee "was not filled with the Holy Spirit".

Again I must stress that I'm not making this up.

Apparently in Edmund, being low on the Holy Spirit is a pepper-spray and tasing offense!

hat tip to RKG.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Seeking investors for my new business venture

If Ikea thinks they can sell solar panels in England, I can damn well sell ski equipment in Oklahoma! Check out the cool logo that RKG dug up for me:

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Annals of perplexing decisions: Ikea Edition

People, Swedish mega-retailer Ikea is going to start selling solar panel in their stores.......

but only in the UK.


Thats kind of like opening a ski shop in Oklahoma, innit?

All the government subsidies in the world won't help you if the sun never lights up the damn panels.

Maybe from the viewpoint of Sweden, England is a sunny tropical paradise?

A Very Special KPC Event: The Future of Angus

The roadkill gourmet.... Excerpt.

Cats, foxes, badgers, mice or dogs, killed and mangled by tires and left to rot by the side of the road. Most people simply drive past and feel disgust with perhaps a tinge of sorrow. But Arthur Boyt scrapes them up and has them for dinner. 

Roadkill eaters devour whatever they find. Boyt, 74, a retired researcher, collects the furry accident victims and takes them to his remote house in the beautiful county of Cornwall in southwestern England, the AFP reports. Then he gets to work skinning, gutting and, of course, cooking them. Proper preparation is especially important because some of the animals he finds have been dead for a few weeks. You can just pick off the maggots and worms, he says, and still enjoy the meat. 

"I've eaten stuff which is dark green and stinks -- it does appear that if you cook it well, its rottenness does not hinder one's enjoyment of the animal," Boyt told the AFP. "It's not in the taste of the food; it's in the head. It's a threshold you have to step over if you're going to eat this kind of stuff. You say 'OK, this is just meat.'" 

I predict that this will be Angus, after five years in the new house in Santa Fe.  Living off the land (well, the road) and taking advantage of all that gluten-free protein.  Well, not the Labradors.  One has to have SOME scruples. (Nod to WH)

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Compensating College Athletes?

A guest post from a reader, LAG. Please do respond in comments...

A Simple Solution for Compensating College Athletes 
By Leonard A. Giuliano

The question of paying college athletes has long been a favorite area of debate, but recent events have brought the issue into sharper focus. College football and basketball generate enormous sums of revenue and it seems only natural for the athletes to receive some of this windfall as compensation. But closer and informed analysis reveals the issue is not so simple. How much to pay the athletes? Should the fifth string left guard who rarely sees game action be paid the same as the star quarterback? Should swimmers, wrestlers and other athletes competing in non-revenue generating sports also be paid? Does Title IX require all female athletes to be paid if any male players are compensated? 

With the overwhelming number of schools losing money on athletics (only 23 out of 340 Division I athletic departments posted a profit in 2012), from where would the money come to pay the athletes? If only some schools could pay athletes, or could pay more than other schools, how would that affect competitive balance? Finally, with the cost of college education skyrocketing to upwards of $60k per year, is a free ride plus all the perks that come with college athletics not sufficient compensation? A simple solution could address all of these concerns and protect the value individual college athletes have accrued and risk each time they enter the playing field or arena: draft insurance. 


Not Even The Shaker-Down in Chief Can Raise Money?

I wonder if this is really true.  Given all the many corporations--in automobiles, banking, alternative energy, manufacturing, entertainment....-- that are essentially wholly-owned subsidiaries of the DNC, how could the POTUS not be able to use his "Nice factory ya gots dere.  It would be a SHAME if sumpin' was to...yaknowwadImean...HAPPEN to it?  Capisce?" rap?

But the DNC is spending so much money trying to keep its money-hungry satraps in power that it's nearly bankrupt. 

The Can Kicks Back!

Swindled.  The "millenials" should be pissed.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

A 7-Tuba Pile-up

Nod to the NCM

Warm Is as Warm Does

For the LMM who is almost always cold, and insists on putting her icy hands up under my shirt (not that that's so bad, mind you!)

Shared Neural Mechanisms Underlying Social Warmth and Physical Warmth  

Tristen Inagaki & Naomi Eisenberger 
Psychological Science, forthcoming 

Abstract: Many of people’s closest bonds grow out of socially warm exchanges and the warm feelings associated with being socially connected. Indeed, the neurobiological mechanisms underlying thermoregulation may be shared by those that regulate social warmth, the experience of feeling connected to other people. To test this possibility, we placed participants in a functional MRI scanner and asked them to (a) read socially warm and neutral messages from friends and family and (b) hold warm and neutral-temperature objects (a warm pack and a ball, respectively). Findings showed an overlap between physical and social warmth: Participants felt warmer after reading the positive (compared with neutral) messages and more connected after holding the warm pack (compared with the ball). In addition, neural activity during social warmth overlapped with neural activity during physical warmth in the ventral striatum and middle insula, but neural activity did not overlap during another pleasan t task (soft touch). Together, these results suggest that a common neural mechanism underlies physical and social warmth. 


Nod to Kevin Lewis

News vs. Risk Analysis

To sell stuff and get attention, you have to make people afraid.  Like this:  Parents-share-bed-with-babies-despite-risks-survey-says we will all die soon!  News at 11!

The actual data.  Click for an even less frightening image.  The "risk" has fallen, dramatically.

There is actually an AMA "Child Care Providers' Guide to 'Safe Sleep'".  I'm pretty sure I would sleep better if the medical profession would stop trying to make extra money by frightening people with half-truths and made up dangers.

Nod to SdM.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Schooling ain't learning!

Today is the official launch day for Lant Pritchett's new book: The Rebirth of Education: Schooling Ain't Learning.

You can buy the book here.

You can read about it here.

While governments in the developing world have indeed managed to increase school enrollment rates substantially (as they were advised to do by rich country aid agencies and the MDGs), the payoff has been muted at best because of the often low to non-existant level of actual education available in the schools.

Development advice and aid often focuses inappropriately on the inputs at the expense of the outputs (though the RCT nation is changing this), perhaps nowhere more strongly though than in education.

To me it's another example of "cargo cult" development (Lant is much more polite, well, ok a little more polite, and calls it "isomorphic mimicry"). Build a straw airplane and balsawood control tower and wait for the cargo to fall from the sky.

Of course in education policy it can be even worse as the balsawood control tower is frequently staffed by un-accountable, un-dismissable, personnel.

Lant doesn't write in development-speak (the isomorphic mimicry phrase not withstanding). You'll have no trouble figuring out what's on his mind.

Both Mrs. Angus and I plan to use this book in our teaching and we highly recommend it to anyone interested in education policy and development.

(This post also appears at Cherokee Gothic).

Duke in Romania!

Emi Socaciu visited a couple weeks ago, and we had a great time.  And now, his son is dressed the real men dress:

"Eight months ago, Congress ordered the Obama administration to eliminate a stark example of federal government waste: more than $500 million a year in excessive drug payments being sent to dialysis clinics nationwide. But in a demonstration of just how hard it is to curb spending in Washington, more than 100 of the same members of Congress who voted in January to impose the cut are now trying to push the Obama administration to reverse it or water it down." NYTimes article

Nod to Kevin Lewis

Monday's Child

1.  This football story sounds like the premise for a feel-good movie.  But not a very good one.  Better story when it's true, though.

2.  Well, of COURSE they spied on him.  You can't trust those, "tolerance, peaceful protest, nonviolence" types.  They are basically terrorists, right?

3.  Cash for clunkers?  Thai style.

4.  Papa Smurf, the actual man with blue skin, passes away.

5.  Local gotta love local government.  A "bollard?"  And they want to put something over them?  Golly.