July 23, 2016

BRILLIANT but unsound

(Maybe our first Daily Fail link, but too good to omit.)

Bankrupt fraudster jailed for disguising his £1.2million luxury mansion as a farm shed and filling it with antiques and cannabis

  • Alan Yeomans, 61, concealed half of the six-bedroomed Shedley Manor in Derbshire with green cladding
  • After declaring himself bankrupt, he told officials he was living in a shed in his mother's garden
  • But when police raided the property following they discovered an Aladdin's cave in the luxury home
  • The fraudster admitted failing to disclose property when bankrupt and was jailed for six-and-a-half years

July 21, 2016

Nothing much, just Teri Garr in my apartment

All true

In London I reluctantly agreed, to avert civil unrest, to attend Matilda - The Musical.  At the interval I was trying to work out whether to take poison or jab my neck with scissors when a fellow came out and sang this song to the matinee audience, which was composed primarily of rowdy school kids.  They jeered him mercilessly.  It. Was. Awesome.

July 20, 2016

Touching the James Caird, or, When Englishmen were men

It's still there at Dulwich College, Shackleton's alma mater.  We made the pilgrimage a couple of weeks ago, and they have it in a beautiful new space.

This PBS show on Shackleton is slightly marred by reality show theatrics, but completely delivers on the wet, smelly, sickening experience of going to see in that improvised, heroic little boat:

July 19, 2016

Bear cam is back


July 17, 2016

via a colleague in London

June 29, 2016

You are welcome.

For the Other Front. I suspect something close to organ damage.

June 26, 2016

Offline for a few weeks

Off to personally investigate Brexit and the restaurants of Westphalia...re-connecting in mid-July.

More to come

June 25, 2016

Special, as in you idiots can't go to the bathroom without our help

"[W]hile the UK’s relationship with the EU will change, one thing that will not change is the special relationship that exists between our two nations.”


Britain's £1bn warships are losing power in the Persian Gulf because they cannot cope with the warm waters.


June 24, 2016

Uninstalling Windows now


June 23, 2016

Please Apply to a Variety of Situations

I charge ahead.

June 22, 2016

True dat

"So...Livingston WAS Scott Wedman..."

June 20, 2016

Monday commute

June 19, 2016

Words to remember

“For over a thousand years Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of triumph, a tumultuous parade. In the procession came trumpeteers, musicians and strange animals from conquered territories, together with carts laden with treasure and captured armaments. The conqueror rode in a triumphal chariot, the dazed prisoners walking in chains before him. Sometimes his children robed in white stood with him in the chariot or rode the trace horses. A slave stood behind the conqueror holding a golden crown and whispering in his ear a warning: that all glory is fleeting.”

- Steve Kerr

Don't care. Doesn't mean a thing.

I can't believe how lucky they were!

June 18, 2016

Batman - as you know him - begins here

[O]ften overlooked by casual fans, is the fact that modern-day Batman is arguably most influenced by the pivotal voice acting, writing, and directing of Batman: The Animated Series.


Ed. Note:  If you view only one episode, Beware the Gray Ghost is a good choice.


Recent research finds that because of welfare reform, roughly three million American children live in households with incomes of less than $2 per person per day, a global metric of extreme poverty. That’s one American child in 25. They would be counted as extremely poor if they lived in Africa, and they are our neighbors in the most powerful nation in the world.


An interesting moment in the history of economic thought

Waxman:  "You found that your view of the world, your ideology, was not right, it was not working?"

Greenspan: "That's precisely the reason I was shocked because I'd been going for 40 years or so with considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well."

Brad Delong -

Inflation, production, and employment (but not the unemployment rate) have been disappointingly low relative to Federal Reserve expectations for each of the past nine years. These events should have led to substantial rethinking by the Federal Reserve of its model of the economy. And yet the model set forward by Yellen and Fischer (but not Evans and Brainard) appears to be very much the model they held to in the late 1990s, which was the model they believed in in the early 1980s...

Krugman -

There is a near-consensus at the FOMC that rates must eventually move up. But here’s my question: why, exactly? Specifically, which component of aggregate demand do we believe will continue to strengthen in a way that will require monetary tightening to avoid an overheating economy?

...I don’t see an obvious reason to believe that current rates are too low. Yes, they’re near zero — but that in itself doesn’t mean too low.

Like others, notably Larry Summers, I think the Fed is trying to return to a normality that is no longer normal.

St. Louis Fed -

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis is changing its characterization of the U.S. macroeconomic and monetary policy outlook. An older narrative that the Bank has been using since the financial crisis ended has now likely outlived its usefulness, and so it is being replaced by a new narrative. The hallmark of the new narrative is to think of medium- and longer-term macroeconomic outcomes in terms of regimes. The concept of a single, long-run steady state to which the economy is converging is abandoned, and is replaced by a set of possible regimes that the economy may visit. Regimes are generally viewed as persistent, and optimal monetary policy is viewed as regime dependent. 

[And, note well:]  Switches between regimes are viewed as not forecastable...

June 16, 2016

All is not well

Well get to work then

Most digital handcuffs are so easy to break that it's not an issue how to break it, more so an issue of the penalty one might face for actually breaking it. In this case, it is impossible to break unless you have a way to factorize semi-primes with approximately 600 decimal digits in a reasonable time.


Something is clearly wrong with SHIELD, and I hope they get it resolved

June 15, 2016

TVTropes explains the NBA Finals


June 12, 2016

Star power

It was all to be so different this year.  The Cleveland Cavaliers managed to convince themselves that with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love back, they would be competitive against the Golden State Warriors.  Now they had no reason to think that - they couldn't beat the Warriors in the regular season, and both San Antonio and OKC were better overall...

...and now Cleveland has looked as clueless against the Warriors in the Finals as they did in the regular season.  Irving and Love are heavy favorites for enshrinement in the 2016 wing of The Smithsonian Institution Hall of Star Basketball Players Who Don't Win Championships Because They Won't Play Defense (Tripucka Building, Vandeweghe Plaza).

Kevin Love And Kyrie Irving Got Eaten Up Against The Warriors (link)
Cleveland's only win this year came with Love out, and of course they gave the Warriors some trouble in last year's Finals without either Love or Irving.  The reality is that you can't beat Golden State without a focused team effort on defense, and everyone but the Cavaliers seems to understand this.  OKC made the commitment and took Golden State all the way to death's door.  At this point Cleveland's best chance might be to start their best defensive team, with Irving as 6th man and Kevin Love in the David Lee role.  But that won't happen because Kyrie and Kevin are special stars.

It's in the nature of star-mind to blame everyone but oneself, and the Cavs are now working overtime on that:

Remember This (Warriors 108, Cavaliers 97) (link)

Fortunately for the Cavaliers, it looks like help is on the way, and I could not be happier for them:
Carmelo Anthony may be LeBron James’ missing piece (link)

June 11, 2016

The Phantom Menace


June 10, 2016

I think that went well

For the Comedy Textbook

June 09, 2016

I have often thought the same


I blame the media

China’s propaganda department, tasked with controlling the media and arts, has been given a slap on the wrist for not being good enough at shaping public opinion, according to a report on a government website.


That Darn Media!

A big red flag for me is when I read someone's political comments and he refers to the media, with or without a very-not-specific modifier -- the corporate media (if he's a liberal) or the mainstream media (if he's a conservative).

Expressing that signifier is like opening a big bag of potato chips and placing it right next to yourself. Except, instead of potato chips, the bag is full of circular reasoning.

Game 3 blues

June 08, 2016

The hell that is Northern California

San Jose has taken the rare step of publicly opposing the project, saying it would add far too many jobs, exacerbating the region’s housing shortage.