Saturday, September 06, 2014


So, there's this.  Arctic ice cap recovering rapidly.

But then there's this.  Depends on where you benchmark the "trend."

The author of the second piece, Phil Plait, notes that it really comes down to data, one view of which he provides here.

Unless I'm missing something, it would appear that Mr. Plait's response is pretty devestating.  One would have to ASSUME that 2012 was the low point, and that the fact we are above 2012 means "recovery."  But 2014 is still below the 1980-2010 trend.  And a marginal observation below the average still brings the average DOWN.  You can look it up.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Fix the Debt

Fix the Debt Petition!

Sign here.

Herb Stein said "If something cannot go on forever, it will stop."  The debt can go on forever.  Can the debt increase forever?  Yes, as long as the Euro is dripping with Greece.  But people's willingness to hold dollar-denominated U.S. sovereign debt has some limit.  Things could change quickly.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Post-structuralism explained in one easy chart!

Hat tips to Jacques Derrida and Erika Robb-Larkins

When Vanity Yawns

Just got this email (really):

Dear Colleague/ Researcher, 

    Canadian research publication is inviting you to submit your research article and our publication has 450 categories of journals. Our publication is covering research article, review article, short communication, case report, editorial note, thesis paper, e-book, and etc. 
    Our publication manuscript processing charge is 125 Canadian Dollars 
Thank You 
Alam, Assistant Editor 
Canadian Research Publication

Really?  When you care so little that you only send the very lamest.  450 categories of journals?  That's not really a "journal," then, is it?

Tuesday, September 02, 2014


People, as requested by absolutely no one,  here's my list of my favorite contemporary novels, limit one book per author.

I.  All-time greats:

Infinite Jest, Dave Wallace. I have actually read this book twice, loved it even more the second time.

Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell. I was loving this book even before I figured out what was going on with the structure.

The Wind Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami.

Three Farmers on Their way to a Dance, Richard Powers

White Noise, Don DeLillo

In each case, it's really hard to only pick one book per author, you should read their whole oeuvre (with perhaps a couple of exceptions).

II. More Recent Works:

The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break, Steven Sherrill. Immortality is overrated.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz. Excited to see what Diaz will do next.

The Intuitionist, Colson Whitehead. Awesome debut. I worry that poker has ruined Colson though.

The Ectstatic, Victor LaValle. His short story collection, Slap-boxing with Jesus is also not to be missed.

Motherless Brooklyn, Jonathan Lethem. Probably the guy in part II who should be in part I. Everything is great. Try "as she climbed across the table" for a thoroughly post-modern love story.

White Tiger, Aravind Argia. Savage and Brilliant

The God of Small Things, Ahrudhati Roy. She's gone off the rails, but this is a brilliant novel.

David Zetland and the 20/80 Rule

An amusing video from David Zetland here.

But more importantly he describes the 20/80 rule:

I use the term "20/80 rule" to separate the 20 percent who want to do the right thing from the 80 percent who don't care, but who WILL pay attention to higher prices

Monday, September 01, 2014

Monday's Child

1.  Studying

2.  "What did you do today, liebchen?"  Oh, I spent six hours trying to shoo a moose into a container.  "Oh, that's nice."

3.  Several oddities here.  One:  Jewelry stores sell gold nuggets?  Do people melt them down for DIY?

4.  So, what we need is a way to prevent citizens from communicating, and to have that switch in the control of the state?  What could possibly go wrong with that plan?

5.  Cyclists are better people than you are.  And our laws need to reflect that.