Friday, January 28, 2011

Joe Lieberman: please please please just make this guy and his imbecilic ideas go away.

The Trashing of Owens Lake (designobserver)
Everything you know about fitness is a lie. (Mens Journal)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

An excellent NYTimes piece on that newspaper's dealings with Julian Assange during the period when WikiLeaks disclosed battlefield dispatches and subsequently released diplomatic cables to the Times and the Guardian.
If you've been following this saga on either side of the privacy divide, this is a worthwhile read.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Rise of the New Global Elite (the Atlantic)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Why Can't We Walk Straight? (vimeo)

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Honda needs a tune-up
A guy does a really comprehensive mathematical analysis of what went wrong with a Honda commercial where they failed to properly calculate groove intervals in a 'rumble strip' song.  Don't mess with math geeks, Honda!  You'll get found out.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Q: Do luxury and privilege change people for the worse?
A: Yes.

According to Chua, their research found that "people who were made to think about luxury prior to a decision-making task have a higher tendency to endorse self-interested decisions that might potentially harm others." (Harvard)
3D-printed flute
The definition on these new-generation 3D printers is amazing.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

2 Girls undermine the entire US-Mexico border strategy in 15 seconds.

Hey, as long as the well-connected government contractors got paid in full, that's all that counts, right?

Monday, January 03, 2011

Inside the Battle to Define Mental Illness (Wired)
“We made mistakes that had terrible consequences,” he says. Diagnoses of autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and bipolar disorder skyrocketed, and Frances thinks his manual inadvertently facilitated these epidemics—and, in the bargain, fostered an increasing tendency to chalk up life’s difficulties to mental illness and then treat them with psychiatric drugs.
Photo essay of the Paris Metro (sleepycity)
So our old pals at Goldman invest in Facebook and give it a private value of $50BN (nytimes).  This effectively lets them resell ownership creating an unregulated Facebook-only hedge fund, as described here

"...The capital injection that so duly empowers Facebook is basically an uncapitalized bonus pool for Goldman Sachs. You see, it is highly unlikely that Goldman is actually materially investing in Facebook, particularly at these valuations (is facebook really worth more than Time Warner and eBay, after the private market liquidity discount?). What Goldman is doing is employing its financial engineers to allow its HNW investors to sidestep and circumvent the laws of the land as feebly enforced by the SEC."

Remember back when a company would have to do an IPO before a market was made?  Why should Goldman have to deal with the swarthy, common 'P' in IPO, not to mention the already lax and over-permissive SEC and their trifling rules, when a mint can be made with a private, unregulated market?  We'll see what happens when and if the $50BN valuation turns up to be a bubble in disguise, and the repercussions hit so far and wide that Goldman's private dealings start to affect the overall market - AGAIN.  Just goes to show that Goldman can do whatever it wants, whenever it wants, with no benefit to anyone else, as long as they're lining their own pockets.  When the house of cards falls, you and I will pay for their games out of our own 401Ks. 

Nothing changes on Wall Street.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Every episode (2006-2009) of Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour, available for download.