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July 24, 2014

"How Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System Works"

So effective that people go on "Iron Dome dates??" Geez.

"Broccoli Loves Us"

I don't know about "love," but everybody seems to agree that it's amazingly good for us.

"How To Blow $9 Billion: The Fallen Stroh Family"

Sad tale, but rather common

Yet today the Strohs, as a family business or even a collective financial entity, have ceased to exist. The company has been sold for parts. The trust funds have doled out their last pennies to shareholders. While there was enough cash flowing for enough years that the fifth generation Strohs still seem pretty comfortable, the family looks destined to go shirtsleeves-to-shirtsleeves in six.

"Serial Killers: The 6 Worst Hard Drive Destroyers"

#6--Human error--is, I'm guessing, the biggest threat

July 23, 2014

"Python bumps off Java as top learning language"

"Python has surpassed Java as the top language used to introduce U.S. students to programming and computer science, according to a recent survey posted by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)."

It's what Nobel Laureate economist Thomas Sargent is teaching these days.

"18 Words That Have A Totally Different Meaning In North Carolina"

I take exception to #10 but most of the rest made me smile or laugh.

9. NASCAR

What it means everywhere else: A bunch of cars going around in a circle for hours on end.

What it means in North Carolina: It’s a sport. It’s a religion. It’s a tradition.

"Why Are Israelis Rooting for Germany in the World Cup?"

Compare to the habits of most of Israel's enemies

"The 12 Most Popular Free Online Courses For Professionals"

For the online-interested autodidacts among you.

July 22, 2014

"The Worldview that Makes the Underclass"

By Anthony Daniels aka Theodore Dalrymple. Excerpt:

By the time they are 15 or 16, twice as many children in Britain have a television as have a biological father living at home. The child may be father to the man, but the television is father to the child. Few homes were without televisions with screens as large as a cinema—sometimes more than one—and they were never turned off, so that I often felt I was examining someone in a cinema rather than in a house. But what was curious was that these homes often had no means of cooking a meal, or any evidence of a meal ever having been cooked beyond the use of a microwave, and no place at which a meal could have been eaten in a family fashion. The pattern of eating in such households was a kind of foraging in the refrigerator, as and when the mood took, with the food to be consumed sitting in front of one of the giant television screens. Not surprisingly, the members of such households were often enormously fat. 

"Scientists Pave The Way For Possible Alzheimer's Blood Test"

Let's hope that this works out and real soon.

"Peggy the Moocher Gets Wise to Obama"

"Fair enough. What’s the media’s excuse?"

UPDATED: link included now. Thanks to commenters.

"With Corporate Welfare, There's No 'Trickle Down'"

Excellent brief exposition of an important difference between crony capitalism and true capitalism.

"Flaccid American Universities"

Imprecisely titled--the author means not the universities per se, but the students--but still interesting. And sad because the students in question attend my alma mater.

(And, come to think of it, "flaccid" is also a poor choice. Better would be a reference to Edward James Olmos in Stand and Deliver: "It's not that they're stupid, it's just they don't know anything.")

July 21, 2014

"Confession of an Ivy League teaching assistant: Here’s why I inflated grades"

"I just didn’t want to deal with all the complaining." I can definitely relate, but it is what you're getting paid for.

See also "Give Me a Better Grade--I Deserve It." I got one of these last year. A student objected to my suggesting she write more concisely. "That's not how I was taught to write," she said. "I should just get a higher grade."

It was one more indication it was time for me to retire. 

"The real reason only rich people can afford to live in Silicon Valley"

Timothy B. Lee, Vox:

Badger blames rising demand for the high cost of living in these cities. But the real culprit is strict regulations that make it almost impossible to expand the housing stock in most parts of these cities. . . . 

It doesn't have to be this way. The Bay Area has plenty of room for more housing. San Francisco is less than half as dense of Brooklyn. Surrounding communities are a lot less dense than that. If housing regulations were relaxed, developers would make room for millions of new residents, creating thousands of construction jobs in the process. That would alleviate the severe housing shortage currently plaguing the city. And it would create opportunities for millions of non-wealthy people to live near the opportunities and amenities of America's high-tech capital.

"MBAs are totally misguided about how much they’re worth"

Just the personal experience of one Montreal headhunter, but for MBAs it's probably worth considering.

"Liberals go to the barricades to defend crony capitalism"

Heh. Elizabeth Warren, call your office

There's nothing like a good fight over corporate welfare to bring out the Left's love of Big Business.

"Why High Thread Count Sheets Are Usually A Waste Of Money"

I don't know how general the author's findings are, of course, but he argues that anything over a 500 thread count is probably not cost-effective.

"Obama's Wrong; The Economy Is Improving Because Of Congressional Deadlock"

Yes, indeed: a day the Congress is not passing new laws is generally a good day for business.

"7 language habits that reveal your age"

Works for me.

1. Fun as adjective

Old school: "That would be a lot of fun."

New school: "That would be very fun."

July 20, 2014

"Detroit Lions' Calvin Johnson transforming lives of young men with foundation, family at side"

Lovely story about Megatron paying back

Johnson has run the slide projector and has helped his mother moderate the session. But she is gone now, and it is just Johnson and the five boys. Johnson has been standing behind a lectern during the session, but as soon as his mother leaves, he and the young men instinctively huddle. Johnson might be an NFL megastar, but at 28 he’s only a decade older than the boys. . . .

Johnson has never been comfortable speaking publicly to large groups. But here, in a conference room the size of a living room, tucked inside this skyscraper, the NFL’s best receiver is at his best in a small setting, talking casually and revealing more about himself than he ever has.

"16 Celebrities Who Are Definitely Time Lords"

For most of these the resemblance is quite impressive.

July 19, 2014

"Neymar's cultural significance to Brazil transcends soccer, World Cup"

Why an entire country of 200 million people is nuts over Neymar even though he hasn't done all that much yet. 

"Nip/Tuck Nations: 7 Countries With Most Cosmetic Surgery"

I'd never have guessed the top two.

July 18, 2014

"The most popular baby names of 2014 so far are . . ."

Imogen and Asher. Silas, Jasper, and Milo have all risen into the top 10 for boys. 

"The Q Ultimate Music Collection"

As many "top" music lists as you'll ever need

"Why Classic Rock Isn’t What It Used To Be"

Interesting discussion of the intertemporal and cross-sectional differences in how "classic rock" is defined. (For example, in LA it's more Pearl Jam while in Boston it's more Allman Brothers. Boston wins.)

July 17, 2014

"Economist: LeBron James Worth Almost $500 Million to Cleveland"

Unusual for articles of this type, the work is shown.

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