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November 21, 2014

Often derided but never duplicated: New Jersey

"20 Things You Don't Understand About NJ (Unless You're From There)".

For more Jersey details, see this informative map.

"A good manager leads by example"

Dilbert deconstructs a maxim of management .

"Creeque Alley by The Mamas and The Papas"

More than everything you want to know about a good song.

November 20, 2014

"The six loneliest roads in North America for daring drivers"

They sound like six fine nominees. (Though I saw an article recently about the Trans-Labrador Highway. It deserves at least an Honorable Mention.)

"SF Rent Ordinance: Like a Bomb You Don't Hear Till It Hits"

Ah, Baghdad by the Bay: I'm so glad I turned down a chance to work there.

"The 25 Most Educated Cities In America"

Raleigh NC ranks second. (Second only to the People's Republic of Ann Arbor.)

"Defining Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables: A Nutrient Density Approach"

From the CDC.

Unsurprising but good to have confirmed: romaine is better for you than iceberg lettuce.

But watercress . . . watercress is a power food. 

November 19, 2014

"Fastest car in Britain' is a grey 1967 VOLVO!"

With a custom 788 hp engine installed, it can beat a Ferrari 458.

"Safety Schools, Ranked"

My alma mater, George Washington, is #4. I'm so proud.

Does art belong to the artist or to the audience?

You decide: "The Star Wars George Lucas Doesn't Want You To See".

"7 Things We Wish Dad Would Stop Doing"

Even though I'm a dad and I'm prone to doing some of these things, I still found it funny.

November 18, 2014

"Why Ronald Reagan’s ‘A Time for Choosing’ endures after all this time"

Summary: because he was right.

See also "Ronald Reagan’s ‘A Time For Choosing’ Is 50 Years Old Today: Does It Hold Up?"

"10 Books About Happiness Summarized In One Sentence Each"

I like Business Insider's "one sentence" summaries. They seem to be a time-saver.

"The 10 Easiest Classes for North Carolina Athletes"


History of The Triangle Region 215

Requirements: Students will be required to write a 75-page research term paper on the people, economy and culture of the Triangle Region from the 1600s to modern times. Or, for a C-grade, students may draw a triangle or correctly identify a picture of Phil Jackson.

All are good except for the last one, which is a low blow.

"A Beginner's Guide To Laundering Money"

Mind you I'd definitely not advocating or endorsing these activities. I just find them to be of intellectual interest.

"3 Mistakes That Ran Sears' Business Into The Ground"

It's a pretty common story but no less sad for that.

November 17, 2014

"Marc Andreessen in Conversation"

This is just spectacular. If he's not willing to run for office as a conservative he should at least be willing to contribute a bunch of money. Just one great bit:

The critique of Silicon Valley is also that it isn’t very diverse. At Twitter, for instance, 90 percent of the tech employees are male and more than 50 percent of them are white.

I think these discussions are totally valid. Now, I disagree with many of the specific points.

What’s your take?

Shall we? Let’s launch right into it. I think the critique that Silicon Valley companies are deliberately, systematically discriminatory is incorrect, and there are two reasons to believe that that’s the case. No. 1, these companies are like the United Nations internally. All the diversity studies say that the engineering population is like 70 percent white and Asian. Let’s dig into that for a second. First, apparently Asian doesn’t count as diverse. And then “white”: When you actually go in these companies, what you find is it’s American people, but it’s also Russians, and Eastern Europeans, and French, and German, and British. And then there are the Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Thais, Indonesians, and Vietnamese. All these different countries, all these different cultures. To believe in a systematic pattern of discrimination, you’d have to believe that we’re discriminatory toward certain people without being discriminatory at all toward an extremely broad range of ethnicities and religions. Because of Pakistanis, we’re seeing a higher-than-ever proportion of Muslim employees in a lot of our companies.

No. 2, our companies are desperate for talent. Desperate. Our companies are dying for talent. They’re like lying on the beach gasping because they can’t get enough talented people in for these jobs. The motivation to go find talent wherever it is is unbelievably high.

(On diversity in tech see also the excellent "Cellophane Diversity".)

And here is Mr. Andreessen citing Claudia Goldin. Good on you, sir.

"Washington's Mathematical Mess: America's Looming Entitlement Tsunami"

Yes, indeed. Unless there are some major changes it won't be too long before the federal government does little more than cut entitlement checks

Genius and . . . not genius

Genius. (Via Instapundit.) Ashe Schow, "A Modest Proposal for Closing the Gender Wage Gap":

And so I humbly present my own proposal for closing the gender wage gap, which I hope will not only solve the problem but also satisfy voices on all sides of the argument. As a society, we must begin telling women what subjects they can major in, what colleges they can attend, and what jobs they can take.

Not genius:

When asked about the accreditation review, UNC Provost Jim Dean told ABC11, "The entire university should not be punished for the academic fraud that went on for nearly 20 years."

"During that period of time that the report represents, we had about 97,000 students and about 3,000 of those students were engaged at the most in this activity," said Dean. "So as bad as it was, to say that it represents the whole university is pretty disingenuous."

I eagerly await the next time a Chapel Hill male student is accused of sexual assault for him to declare, "I've been alive for about 158,000 hours. To take what I did for less than one hour and characterize me as a bad person is disingenuous."

A follow-up of my endorsement of Prof. Gruber for president

There has been lots of additional commentary posted since last week. Six of the best pieces I saw:

James Bovard, "The Obamacare deception of ‘stupid’ Americans: How the liberal elites rely on lies to pass their paternalistic agenda". Makes the fine point that the operation of Social Security was, and continues to be, lied about.

Philip Klein, "Gruber's Obamacare comments expose what's wrong with liberalism". I'd substitute "illustrate" for "expose," but that's a nitpick.

Ian Tuttle, "Smarter than Thou: The “stupidity of the American voter” is an article of faith for the Left."

[Dr.] Marc Siegel, "Calling Me Stupid".

My patient with a thyroid problem couldn’t afford the necessary ultrasound and antibody tests to better understand her condition before Obamacare, and she can’t afford them now, either, because of her large deductible. This gap between coverage and actual care is not a surprise to people who have struggled with the limitations of insurance of all kinds their entire lives. Most Americans do not believe in a free lunch these days – and certainly not when the government is pitching it.

Americans have always understood the Obamacare gap between insurance and actual care. 

Ron Fournier[!], "Obamacare's Foundation of Lies".

Liberals should be the angriest. Not only were they personally deceived, but the administration's dishonest approach to health care reform has helped make Obamacare unpopular while undermining the public's faith in an activist government. A double blow to progressives.\

Well, as they say, "Every cloud has a silver lining."

Finally, Patterico, "Lefties Deceive as They Try to Distract from Gruber's Praise of . . . Deceit".

This is who they are and this is what they do. 

"Kochs’ next dastardly deed: Creating good public defenders for low-income accused"

News about Harry Reid's Public Enemies #1 and #1a.

"The Good News About Offshore Oil Rigs"

Jonah Goldberg:

Never let it be said that Mother Nature doesn’t appreciate irony. A new study led by researchers at Occidental College and the University of California at Santa Barbara has found that the oil platforms dotting the California coast are fantastic for sea life.

November 16, 2014

Here's an excellent reason not to trust the reporting of the New York Times

The Grey Lady gets caught, yet again, on the Dvorak keyboard myth, hook, line, and sinker:

How we became stuck with the Qwerty is a matter of debate, but some historians point to a national typing-speed competition in the late 1880s. Unlike the other contestant, the winner had memorized the key positions, in part, the story goes, because they made no sense. The Dvorak Simplified Keyboard, invented in 1932, is objectively superior, so much so that, in the 1940s, the United States Navy determined that it was worth retraining its typists. As the evolutionary biologist and science historian Stephen Jay Gould (whose mother was a typist and father a court stenographer) wrote, 'If every typist in the world stopped using Qwerty tomorrow and began to learn Dvorak, we would all be a winner.'

It's not just that it's a mistake--everybody makes mistakes. It's that the paragraph is so credulous, so uninformed, so amateurish in the worst way. And it conforms, of course, to the Times's long-standing anti-market bias.

Why would you possibly trust what they tell you about global warming? Or anything else important?

(If you haven't heard, there's a large literature on the myth of the Dvorak keyboard. Start with Liebowitz and Margolis, "The Fable of the Keys," Journal of Law and Economics, April 1990.)

"Do You Believe in Miracles?"

Yes! Moments like these are why we watch: "Top 10 Broadcasting Calls".

"After a lemonade-stand heist, a Loudoun community rallies to right a wrong"

A lovely story.

November 15, 2014

"The Coolest Hotel in Every State (and DC)"

Maybe bookmark for next year's vacation.

Right on schedule . . .

The complaints against the new, super-duper, much-better-than-before NCAA football championship system are ramping up: "CFP Reaction: This Nonsense Replaced the BCS?" and, of course, "At this rate, we should bring back the BCS".

November 14, 2014

"PENCILWISE - Equation Analysis Test"


This test does not measure your intelligence, your fluency with words, and certainly not your mathematical ability. It will, however, give you some gauge of your mental flexibility and creativity. Few people can solve more than half of the questions on the first try. Many people who took this test previously reported getting answers long after the test was over - particularly at unexpected moments when their minds were relaxed; and some reported solving all the questions over a period of several days.

"Rough God Goes Riding"

Live in Belfast, 1997, Van the Man.

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