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September 21, 2014

"How to Win at Jeopardy! According to the King of Jeopardy!"

Master the rhythm of the buzzer

"27 Of The Most Delicious Things You Can Do To Vegetables"

Everybody should--ugh--eat their vegetables. Maybe these recipes will help

September 20, 2014

"This Is the Williamsburg of Your City: A Map of Hip America"

"Below, you'll find the definitive list of "hip"—or formerly hip and now just rich—neighborhoods in major metropolitan areas in the U.S., Canada, and around the globe."

"In college sports, a top coach like Nick Saban is worth every penny"

If he wins everything, sure. If he doesn't . . . 

September 19, 2014

"What the Hell Happened?"

If there's an actor or actress who you have wondered what happened to, this might be the site for you

"I Am"

By Sick Individuals. (That's their name; I had nothing to do with it.)

Big room house forever!

"Buddhist Extremist Cell Vows To Unleash Tranquility On West"

The Onion, of course.

September 18, 2014

"Why You Should Meditate — And How To Do It"

I find it difficult to believe meditation would have the benefit described, or even if it did, would it be better than a good nap? But given the low cost it might be worth a try. 

"Common Core’s Five Big Half-Truths"

Frederick Hess of AEI whacks common core some.

Syllabus for "Soc 710: Social Theory Through Complaining"


Each week we will focus on something grad students complain about when forced to take theory.

Link via Vox.

"A Man Perfectly Captured What Every Mumford & Sons Song Sounds Like"

"Perfectly" is too strong. But he's pretty good.

September 17, 2014

"'Remember The Titans' Is A Lie, And This Man Still Wants You To Know It"

It doesn't surprise me that Hollywood would take liberties with a true story. It is discouraging, though, that so many people would confuse the fiction and the reality.

And note the difference between our current president's confusion regarding the movie and the similar situation, say, of Ronald Reagan's thinking "Born in the U.S.A." was patriotic. (Though little remarked upon in the latter case is the enormous difference between the lyrics and the music. Springsteen wedded very downbeat, depressing lyrics to some of the most enhilarating music in rock. It's an awful cheat, but entertaining.)

"There Are Now 52 Explanations For The Pause In Global Warming"

60? Do I hear 60?

(Call me crazy, but this reminds me of Ptolmaic epicycles.)

"A Pakistan-Based Developer Is Building A Huge House For His Family After Selling One WordPress Theme"

You gotta love PCs and the Net

"Forget the Mediterranean diet . . . go Nordic!"

The Nordic diet is the new hotness.

More information here

September 16, 2014

"Every Type Of Email College Students Send Their Professors"

Bullseye. A+

“Hey Dr. X, I actually have three other assignments due the same day as your assignment, and your class is the least important to me, so can I just not do it, or do it late or something? Thanks in advance!!!”

“hey professor!!! noticed that im getting a D- in the class, any chance you could make that a B+, otherwise i wont be able to graduate this spring and my entire life will be literally ruined forever. ps i probably won’t be in class tomorrow my hands are kind of cramping up”

Read the whole thing.

Link courtesy of my younger daughter. 

"Sinkhole of bureaucracy"

I would say I didn't believe it, but these days I'd believe almost anything about the federal government.

This is one of the weirdest workplaces in the U.S. government — both for where it is and for what it does.

Here, inside the caverns of an old Pennsylvania limestone mine, there are 600 employees of the Office of Personnel Management. Their task is nothing top-secret. It is to process the retirement papers of the government’s own workers.

But that system has a spectacular flaw. It still must be done entirely by hand, and almost entirely on paper.

Link courtesy of Patrick S.

"5 Feminist Myths That Will Not Die"

Some nice examples of a lesson I tried very hard to teach my students: it's a good idea to check original sources

Much of what we hear about the plight of American women is false. Some faux facts have been repeated so often they are almost beyond the reach of critical analysis. Though they are baseless, these canards have become the foundation of Congressional debates, the inspiration for new legislation and the focus of college programs. Here are five of the most popular myths that should be rejected by all who are genuinely committed to improving the circumstances of women . . . 

"Bond market conundrum redux"

A distiniguished economist, James Hamilton, tries to figure out what's going on with long-term interest rates and equities

One old "joke" about conservatives is now obsolete

There's a joke about conservatives that runs along the line of "A conservative is someone who's desperately afraid that someone, somewhere is having fun."

But now in the very, very liberal UK Guardian we have this: "Brunch is a waste of time, money and drunken pleasure that you don't have".

(Is it satire? No, I don't think so, but make up your own minds.)

September 15, 2014

"21 Actual Analogies Used By High School Students in English Essays."

No doubt riches and fame await some of these kids.

(Link courtesy of M. Mace.)

"Are Republicans smart enough to become the party of the millennials?"

I'd like to think so, but I have my doubts. (Irving Kristol memorably labeled Republicans "The Stupid Party".)

Chamorro-Premuzic notes that millennials are more likely to highly value freedom and independence, and to overestimate their own talents and to underestimate the difficulties inherent in entrepreneurial endeavors.

The key here is millennials hate to be told what to do. They want to do things their way and be creative about it. Getting rich isn't their first priority. . . . 

Regardless why millennials want to be independent, that desire could make them unusually receptive to a political message that emphasizes the importance of encouraging entrepreneurial freedom.

"The Simple Lesson We Should Learn from Global Economics"

Daniel J. Mitchell, senior fellow at Cato:

I very rarely feel sorry for statists. After all, these are the people who think that their feelings of envy and inadequacy justify bigger and more coercive government. . . .

But I nonetheless feel sorry for statists when I see them fumble, stumble, duck, and weave when asked why global evidence contradicts them.

"Illinois Racing Against California for Biggest Pension Disaster"

My money's on Illinois. But it'll be close.

More: Jeffrey Dorfman, "Public Pensions Are Still Marching To Their Death".

If Detroit makes other cities and states face reality and adjust their pension plans to economic reality rather than political agendas, at least Detroit’s poor employees and retired workers will have done something positive for millions of other public sector employees out there. In the meantime, public sector employees and their union leaders need to make a hard choice: settle for realistic, smaller pensions that they are sure to collect or gamble on larger pensions that can only be paid for with well-above average future investment returns or by huge tax increases. Bigger pensions only look attractive until you factor in the risk of collecting nothing.

Still more: "Pension 'spiking' to cost CalPERS nearly $800 million, controller says".

Taxpayers and local governments are on the hook to pay nearly $800 million stemming from "legal" pension spiking over the next two decades, the state controller said Tuesday.

But please remember, pension "spiking" is just "another name for the things we do together".

Sounds like good news

"Why More MBAs Are Becoming Entrepreneurs Straight Out Of Business School".

A decade ago, nearly all b-school grads flocked to traditional corporate jobs in finance and management.

Today, however, a growing number of newly minted MBAs decide to start their own businesses or go to work for Silicon Valley startups

"This Technology Could Have The Biggest Impact On American Jobs Since Offshoring".

But 3D printing, which last fall Credit Suisse forecast could grow up to 30%, has the potential to reshape how America makes stuff, creating new high tech jobs in the U.S. and bringing old ones back from abroad.

Sounds like bad news

"Get Ready for the New England Power Shortage".

In a hell-bent campaign to rid itself of any form of dirty, messy “non-renewable” energy, New England has been closing down coal and oil plants for the last decade. In 2000, 18 percent of New England’s electricity came from coal and 22 percent from oil. Today it’s 3 percent coal and 1 percent oil. Meanwhile, natural gas — the fuel that everybody loves until you have to drill for it — has risen from 15 percent to a starkly vulnerable 52 percent, just behind California.

There’s only one problem. New England doesn’t have the pipelines to bring in the gas.

September 14, 2014

"Up to a Point: A Free Scotland Would Be a Hilarious Disaster"

P. J. O'Rourke, doing what he does.

Scotland’s economy will be the requisite Third World shambles. Scotland’s two dominant political parties are the leftist Scottish National Party and the leftist Scottish Labor Party. These can be counted on to vie in out-lefting each other. Cuba-with-chilblains, here we come!

"What I Learned About The NFL By Watching The Seahawks-Packers Game In 35 Minutes"

"1. On NFL broadcasts, nothing is happening most of the time."

Yep. Between NFL Redzone and the DVR I'm finding it difficult now to watch NFL games in real time.

"Famous pop singers who know economics"

The bros on the Economic Job Market Rumors board have some fun.

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