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Date: Friday, 19 Sep 2014 13:18
OK people, here's the story of a "glass half empty" kind of guy. Your mission, as always, is to discern whether he's from Florida or Ohio.

A 60-year-old .... man is charged with calling 911 eight times in two hours to complain that he had food but no refrigerator.

Would a picture help?

Here's the source code.
Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Angus)" Tags: "ain't got no t-bone, I don't fault the p..."
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Date: Thursday, 18 Sep 2014 12:58
I wear a colander on my head because........


Shawna Hammond says she did it to make a statement. Under Oklahoma laws, your driver's license picture cannot have shadows and your face cannot be obscured. The colander met the requirements.
Hammond is an atheist, but she told the department of motor vehicles that she is a "pastafarian." She says she believes no one should be forced into religious beliefs.

"For me the colander represents freedom, our freedom of religion and to whatever religion we prefer or even lack of religion," she said.

More here.

People, if crap like this can happen, why do we even have an official State Religion at all??

Hat tip to E.
Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Angus)" Tags: "get free of the middleman, let freedom r..."
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Date: Wednesday, 17 Sep 2014 15:01
Here's the event:

Police called over Hot Pockets dispute

Your task is to decide in which of the two great states mentioned in the title, this epic adventure occurred (no googling)!

Answer is here.

The article is so unsatisfying to me. What was the nature of the dispute? Was one individual trying to force another to eat a hot pocket? Was it a two girls, one hot pocket situation? Was someone trying to shoplift a hot pocket?

I need more info, please.

Hat tip to DC
Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Angus)" Tags: "Florida or Ohio, pocket pool, pour hot w..."
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Date: Tuesday, 16 Sep 2014 14:16
All over the interwebs, people are up in arms about Scottish independence, including a particularly hot take from LeBron this morning:

I wonder what all these people think of American independence?

Irish independence?

Indian independence?

Here is a good rule of thumb. England is a sphincter country. If you get a chance, run, don't walk, away.
Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Angus)" Tags: "authoritarianism is a hell of an ism, gi..."
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Date: Monday, 15 Sep 2014 09:00
1.  And his dog is named "Dog," I bet.

2.  Either the Millenials are weird, or I am.  Don't think we should rule out "B."

3.  Dread Pirate sunk by CAPTCHA.  Garrrrrrr......

4.  When does body hair become body art?  My answer would have been "Ewww!  Never!"  And as usual, I would have been wrong.

5.  Standardized tests can fix this?  Meaning, this?

6.  "What were you THINKING?....This is EXASPERATING!"

 7.  A guide:  "How to be Bill Murray."

8.  A brush with selfies....

9.  It takes a mentor.  As in, "Hey Mikie, He's so fine, talks to B**** All the Time!"

10.  Painfully cute.  And "you have to be demented to get married, anyway!"

11.  Why would you want a car?  You could have a full-time limo on demand, for $1m.

12.  I'm going to guess:  alcohol was involved.

13.  "Police saw a dreadlock sticking out of the dryer door."

14.  A small class is one that most students are not in.

15.  Sounds like a really, really bad reality show:  Grover Norquist goes to Burning Man.

16.  I am a bad person.  My evidence is that I find this amusing.   Or, at a minimum, interesting.  Is he serious, or trying to build (as he says) an on-line persona?  Case in point:  Is he trying to be clever?  Original?  Or can he really not spell "Cereberus"?  If Cereburus is his unique on-line persona...then here that is.

17.  The single oddest thing I have learned about animals since....since...well, since this. The very last fact is...wow.

18.  So, it is a 100-foot-long brat, or 200?  There is some confusion. Article title says 100.  But the bread is 200.  I want to know, now.

19.  Apparently, being an idiot is exhausting.

20.  Repel borders!

21.  Another year, another remarkably botched hurricane prediction.  No named storms.  The prediction was 8 to 13 named storms.  Unless there are more.  Or fewer.  Makes economists look like good forecasters.

22.  Asian Black Burger.  It may be good.  It does not look good.  Just looks too burnt. Although I have to suggest that if this panda would eat "Black Burgers" instead of bamboo, it might be easier on her teeth.

23.  A lesbian woman and a woman with a freakishly outsized behind conduct a battle to see who knows more words for "bottom" following a video in which a man compares his manly parts to an anaconda.  Not for the faint of heart.  Neither is this.  Ellen does her best to respond.

24.  We kick 'em to the curb unless they look like Mick Jagger.  So I guess this dinosaur-hippo would have made it past the velvet ropes.

25.  The pup would prefer NOT to leave, thank you.

26.  All about that bass.  When I saw this in print, I actually that it was about fishing.   Why is it okay for women to be so obsessed about bottoms, but if *I* look at one it's all bad?

27.  If this can happen, why do we even have a state in the first place?  Indignities piled on top of offenses against nature.

Headline:  Mysterious Men Dropping From Helicopters...

Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Mungowitz)" Tags: "links"
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Date: Thursday, 11 Sep 2014 13:22
People, this is EXACTLY how Mungowitz tends the pin when you golf with him.


Every time.

Sure it seems cute, but believe me, it gets pretty old by the 5th hole.

Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Angus)" Tags: "golf fixes everything, neck beards are t..."
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Date: Wednesday, 10 Sep 2014 13:11
Let me start out by saying I can't imagine how much it would suck to work your butt off, go through grad school, get an advanced degree, and then end up teaching as an adjunct for $2000 / class with no benefits, no job security, and if the situation persists for more than a couple of years, little hope of getting a tenure track position.

But basic economics gives us a reason why the pay is so low and the benefits so miserly:


The real culprits here are indeed universities. Not the ones that hire adjuncts at low pay, rather the ones who continue to recruit students and turn out MAs and PhDs into a market with little demand for them.

Even though universities are seemingly hiring more adjuncts than ever, adjunct wages are not rising because the supply is expanding just as much.

If schools couldn't fill their teaching schedules at these low prices, then they would have to raise the offered wage.

The problem of adjunct abuse will only be resolved by reducing the excess supply of advanced degree holders.

People, if you expect to get an academic job out of grad school, investigate the job placement records of the programs you are considering. When you pick an advisor, investigate the job placement record of that faculty member.

Don't settle for anecdotes. Get the real, full, data. And be realistic. If they "always place their top students" realize that it might not be you (and that the definition of "top student" may simply be the one who got a job).

When you think about how to spend your time during your graduate program, think about what activities will make you more attractive to academic employers (hint, it's probably not your transcript).

In my field of economics, that means get some teaching experience and try to get at least one publication before you hit the job market. The less prestigious your school, the more important this self-certification of quality becomes.
Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Angus)" Tags: "adjunctivitis, higher ed, show me the ca..."
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   New window
Date: Monday, 08 Sep 2014 16:20
I'm sure that you don't have to be an aggressive authoritarian leftist to be Prez at Berkeley.  But apparently it does help.

Ken gives details, and counterarguments.

Ken had me at:

Pardon my incivility, Chancellor Dirks, but I don't give a shit whether you wish to honor an ideal; I care whether you will comply with the law. If you don't, you should be compelled to do so at the point of a lawsuit. You will find litigation rather uncivil.


Nod to Angry Alex...
Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Mungowitz)" Tags: "the rule of law is a mighty thin reed"
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Date: Monday, 08 Sep 2014 12:07
1.  Pole-ing firm.

2.  Predictions from people who don't know much about a phenomenon that no one understands.  My guess is that this is no better than The Farmers' Almanac.  Except for the sea-level rise predictions.  Those are at least objective (except the amount of the rise).

3.  Investors take long position in nuclear.

4.  For the health-conscious tail-gater.  Wait, Jell-O?  Never mind.  For the UNconscious tail-gater.   Jell-O shots!  Whooooooooooooo!

5.  All about speed humps and shaving.  But it's about traffic, not dating.

6.  I bet all 43 of them were unmatched.  So THAT is where the socks go...

7.  This is a terrifying woman.  I actually think her desire to cover her face should be subsidized.  I'd contribute.

8.  In Soviet Russia, Sponge Bob watches YOU!

9.  Folks voted FOR police militarization before they voted against it.  And in fact, they STILL haven't voted against it.

10.  If you have to pay more money than the amount you will make, you are not actually making money.  It's an accounting identity.

11.  An ex-UberX driver, on why he's "ex."

12.  The unicorn state and "Net Neutrality."

13.  The Munger Test, in script form.

14.  These links are often odd.  But this may be the singlest oddest thing I have seen on the internet.

15.  Doctors can fix that.

16.  Art of Manliness:  1948 Back to College Guide.

17.  Walking on water....

18.  Surely this picture was doctored, or the angle is strange, or something.  Cause Neel looks like a Conehead.

19.  That ain't workin'.  That's the way you do it.

20.  This is fantastic, in every sense of that word.  But the best part is that this guy is trying to make profits by selling books.  Wheeeee!

21.  Who says econ is not a predictive science?  John Cochrane successfully predicts the existence of copatient.com....

22.  Oh...we thought you said JACOB Hacker wanted to look at it.  Our bad... 

23.  Football is a game.  A CON game.

24. To Protect and To Serve.  Actually just To Protect.  Really, just forget it and obey my commands.

25.  A prayer, a Thayer, and a player


Radioactive Wild Boar Roaming the Forests of Germany.  There's not much more to the story.
Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Mungowitz)" Tags: "links"
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Meltdown   New window
Date: Saturday, 06 Sep 2014 09:30
So, there's this.  Arctic ice cap recovering rapidly.

But then there's this.  Depends on where you benchmark the "trend."

The author of the second piece, Phil Plait, notes that it really comes down to data, one view of which he provides here.

Unless I'm missing something, it would appear that Mr. Plait's response is pretty devestating.  One would have to ASSUME that 2012 was the low point, and that the fact we are above 2012 means "recovery."  But 2014 is still below the 1980-2010 trend.  And a marginal observation below the average still brings the average DOWN.  You can look it up.
Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Mungowitz)" Tags: "ice ice baby, warming?"
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Date: Friday, 05 Sep 2014 15:31
Fix the Debt Petition!

Sign here.

Herb Stein said "If something cannot go on forever, it will stop."  The debt can go on forever.  Can the debt increase forever?  Yes, as long as the Euro is dripping with Greece.  But people's willingness to hold dollar-denominated U.S. sovereign debt has some limit.  Things could change quickly.
Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Mungowitz)" Tags: "deficits are future taxes"
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Date: Thursday, 04 Sep 2014 18:04

Hat tips to Jacques Derrida and Erika Robb-Larkins

Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Angus)" Tags: "a bad case of graph-itis, cosplay, every..."
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Date: Thursday, 04 Sep 2014 09:00
Just got this email (really):

Dear Colleague/ Researcher, 

    Canadian research publication is inviting you to submit your research article and our publication has 450 categories of journals. Our publication is covering research article, review article, short communication, case report, editorial note, thesis paper, e-book, and etc. 
    Our publication manuscript processing charge is 125 Canadian Dollars 
Thank You 
Alam, Assistant Editor 
Canadian Research Publication 

Really?  When you care so little that you only send the very lamest.  450 categories of journals?  That's not really a "journal," then, is it?
Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Mungowitz)" Tags: "publish that thing"
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Canonical   New window
Date: Tuesday, 02 Sep 2014 12:00
People, as requested by absolutely no one,  here's my list of my favorite contemporary novels, limit one book per author.

I.  All-time greats:

Infinite Jest, Dave Wallace. I have actually read this book twice, loved it even more the second time.

Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell. I was loving this book even before I figured out what was going on with the structure.

The Wind Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami.

Three Farmers on Their way to a Dance, Richard Powers

White Noise, Don DeLillo

In each case, it's really hard to only pick one book per author, you should read their whole oeuvre (with perhaps a couple of exceptions).

II. More Recent Works:

The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break, Steven Sherrill. Immortality is overrated.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz. Excited to see what Diaz will do next.

The Intuitionist, Colson Whitehead. Awesome debut. I worry that poker has ruined Colson though.

The Ectstatic, Victor LaValle. His short story collection, Slap-boxing with Jesus is also not to be missed.

Motherless Brooklyn, Jonathan Lethem. Probably the guy in part II who should be in part I. Everything is great. Try "as she climbed across the table" for a thoroughly post-modern love story.

White Tiger, Aravind Argia. Savage and Brilliant

The God of Small Things, Ahrudhati Roy. She's gone off the rails, but this is a brilliant novel.
Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Angus)" Tags: "books to read, this is the modern world"
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Date: Tuesday, 02 Sep 2014 09:00
An amusing video from David Zetland here.

But more importantly he describes the 20/80 rule:

I use the term "20/80 rule" to separate the 20 percent who want to do the right thing from the 80 percent who don't care, but who WILL pay attention to higher prices
Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Mungowitz)" Tags: "babies and bathwater, prices change ever..."
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Date: Monday, 01 Sep 2014 09:30
1.  Studying whale...parts.

2.  "What did you do today, liebchen?"  Oh, I spent six hours trying to shoo a moose into a container.  "Oh, that's nice."

3.  Several oddities here.  One:  Jewelry stores sell gold nuggets?  Do people melt them down for DIY?

4.  So, what we need is a way to prevent citizens from communicating, and to have that switch in the control of the state?  What could possibly go wrong with that plan?

5.  Cyclists are better people than you are.  And our laws need to reflect that.


6.  Christianity with Chinese characteristics...

7.  This person asks an amazing question:  “What is a church willing to do to support its pastor? And is that willingness conditioned by a consumerist mindset or a robust theology?"  In other words, "Pay me more, you b**ches."  I would have said that if the guy has a "robust theology" he'd be willing to pastor without pay.  That "robust" thing works both ways, in other words.

8.  Fewer students attending football games...

9.  A salute to the LMM, "Destroyer of Paper Products."

10.  To paraphrase Andy Warhol:  In the future, everyone's brand will be stolen for the common good. 

11.  People laugh because folks in Kosovo admire Hillary Clinton's fashion sense?  Okay, that's ridiculous.  But the idiots in Sweden gave Obama a Nobel Peace Prize.  That's far more ridiculous.  Leave Hillary alone.  Thos pastel pant-suits look good on chubby older women.

12.  Taunting?  This was taunting?  Really?

13.  Looks like an incredibly boring movie.  But it's just a tomato fight.Some story of the origin.

14,  Interesting how many women want to "empower" other women by ordering them precisely how to think and act.

15.  Brain-eating amoebas?   I hate brain-eating amoebas.

16.  Pocket change.

17.  Book title?  The Audacity of Taupe.

18.  If you eat your cake, you won't have it.  But if you don't eat it, you can sell it.

19.  Dog goes all Glen Close:  "I won't just be ignored..."

20.  Darwin Award in waiting.  Just a matter of time...  185 on a motorcycle at night, in the mountains.

21.  There are several blonde jokes here, I'm sure...

22.  Grades as a matter of comparison.

23.  Five sentences.  I think this is two too many, but still it's a good start.

24.  Enjoy your trip?

25.  Naming rights, and naming wrongs.

26.  Shovel Ready.

27.  Britain is poor.  Poorer than any U.S. state.  Except Mississippi.

28.  There are some things you might do on a first date.  This, I believe, is what you would do on a last date.  Note the young lady on the dude's immediate right gets soaked.  His claim that "But it was a great catch!" is not going to save this relationship.  But...it WAS a great catch.

29.  No more victims?  There were no victims in the first place.

30.  Janet said, "I thought there's no use getting...into heavy petting.  It only leads to trouble, and.... seat wetting."  But apparently heavy petting can also lead to marriage.  Just not a very good marriage.

31.  A novel defense:  "We could not possibly have conspired.  Because she hates me and we weren't speaking to each other."  Yes, really.

32.  The incredible smallness of being.  And here is the so-called "knee defender."

33.  How will we ever miss them, if they won't go away?

34.  I ran in this.  Briefly.  Before I sprained my ankle so badly I needed a soft cast for a month.

35.  From "loophole" to "mandate."

36.  Cute dog.  And...  Good dog.  And now Lilly has her own web site.  Mmmm... massage dog.

37.  The Democratic Party as an extortion racket.

38.  Mmmmm..... bacon.


Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Mungowitz)" Tags: "links"
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Date: Friday, 29 Aug 2014 16:24
This is a old, but thanks to Emily Skarbek, I just saw it and I love it.

Each of the Euro countries polled think that their own country is the most compassionate in the EU, but 6 out of the 8 can agree on the least compassionate country.

Take a bow Angela, you even edged out France as "most arrogant"!

Also kudos to the Poles for apparently not understanding the first question.
Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Angus)" Tags: "a big slice of awesome, Germany, I'm all..."
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Date: Friday, 29 Aug 2014 13:17
Well he's the president-elect of the American College of Cardiology.

And he's a vegan.

So naturally, "some critics suggested that Dr. Williams and the college were “unduly influenced by industry,”"

Ah yes, he must be in the pocket of the notorious Big Vegan cartel!

Is this a great country or what?
Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Angus)" Tags: "Big Vegan is watching you, politics uber..."
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Date: Thursday, 28 Aug 2014 14:55
We all like to use big words and look cool, but we need to be sure we know what they mean or we can make some serious funny.

Take this doozy from Dan Drezner in the WAPO:

"Most political scientists are prodigious researchers"

Clearly Dan has no idea what at least one of the following three words mean, "most" "prodigious" or "researchers".

Let's help him out by making a more coherent and less inaccurate statement:

__________ political scientists are ___________    ______________ .

Give me your preferred styling in the comments.

By the way Polifacts has already rated Dan's statement as "Pants on Fire".
Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Angus)" Tags: "political theatre, You keep using that w..."
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Date: Wednesday, 27 Aug 2014 12:14

Free will is about choosing: The link between choice and the belief in free will 

Gilad Feldman, Roy Baumeister & Kin Fai Ellick Wong
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, November 2014, Pages 239–245

Abstract: Expert opinions have yielded a wide and controversial assortment of conceptions of free will, but laypersons seem to associate free will more simply with making choices. We found that the more strongly people believed in free will, the more they liked making choices, the higher they rated their ability to make decisions (Study 1), the less difficult they perceived making decisions, and the more satisfied they were with their decisions (Study 2). High free will belief was also associated with more spontaneous associating of choice with freedom, and with the perception of actions as choices. Recalling choices (Study 3) and making choices (Study 4) led to a stronger endorsement of the belief in free will, and an additional effect of the level of choice involved in the choice. These findings suggest that the everyday social reality of beliefs about free will is a matter of how people think and feel about choice.

Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Mungowitz)" Tags: "psychology"
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