Prague’s Franz Kafka International Airport

March 24th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink


Prague’s Franz Kafka International Named World’s Most Alienating Airport

What can I say? Sometimes there is nothing to add to The Onion. Knowing I can’t top this one, I humbly entreat you to click on the embedded video and go to full screen.

The devil is in the details.

Red Mars

March 22nd, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink


Have you read Red Mars?


(Illustration by Don Dixon)

“So it’s democracy verses capitalism at this point, friends, and we out on this frontier outpost of the human world are perhaps better positioned than anyone else to see this and to fight this global battle…

So says John Boone, the first man to visit Mars, to a convention of settlers on the summit lip of Olympus Mons sometime in the late 21st century.  Democracy verses Capitalism – oh yes…

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Krugman’s take on the Geithner Plan

March 21st, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink


Here’s what Paul Krugman has to say about the Geithner plan. Unfortunately, it rings true to me. I fear Barack Obama and America are in great hazard here.  From Krugman:

The Obama administration is now completely wedded to the idea that there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with the financial system — that what we’re facing is the equivalent of a run on an essentially sound bank. As Tim Duy put it, there are no bad assets, only misunderstood assets. And if we get investors to understand that toxic waste is really, truly worth much more than anyone is willing to pay for it, all our problems will be solved.

A Thought

March 18th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink


Driving along yesterday the thought occurred to me that derivatives traders, string theorists, and serial composers may well have some ineffable commonality.

It’s possible to get a good deal of mileage out of complicated graphics and a hearty dose of hand waiving…

Bucket Shops

March 16th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink


I really hope this stuff I’m dealing with here tonight – Derivatives – Bucket Shops – and their role in our still melting financial fiasco –  is not totally boring to you, my readers.  It just seems to me that regular non-economist people like you and I have got to start understanding what has happened to our system of money and exchange.  I’ve not yet formed a totally coherent gestalt, but the most powerful and explanatory metaphor I have run across so far is that of “Casino Capitalism”.

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Preparing for the Apocolypse

March 14th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

From The Onion:

Pot Pie Recall

March 12th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink


From The Onion via Daily Kos:

The God Spot

March 12th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink


Where is religion processed in the human brain?  From the Daily Mail via Huffington Post:


First, volunteers were asked to think about statements about whether God intervenes in the world, such as ‘God’s will guide my acts’.

This activated the lateral frontal lobe regions of the brain, used by humans to empathise with eachother.

Then they were asked to dwell on God’s emotional state. When it came to statements such as ‘God is wrathful’, the areas that lit up were the medial temporal and frontal gyri, which helps us to judge emotions of others.

Finally the participants were asked to contemplate abstract statements such as ‘a resurrection will occur’. This time they tapped into the right inferior temporal gyrus, which we use to understand metaphorical meaning.


March 10th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink


The things we find at YouTube…this is worth a look.

Friendly Ghosts

March 9th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink


The other morning I attended a 4th Grade Recorder concert (you know, the hooty little flutelike wind instruments) at my daughter’s elementary school.  It was much as you might imagine.  Several tunes were played by the whole 4th grade, but there were also several solos, which lead me to tonight’s topic…

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