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Date: Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 12:43

Note that the ad two above is for Norman!

Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Angus)" Tags: "by the old gods and the new, so proud of..."
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Date: Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 09:30
Note:  NSFW, just for sheer weirdness.

Vagina pants?  Would YOU wear them?

And the matching (in theme) bra.  Nice.
Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Mungowitz)" Tags: "underpants gnomes, women"
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Date: Monday, 21 Jul 2014 11:00
1.  They can't keep companies from leaving California, Michigan, and New York.  But they think they can keep companies from leaving the U.S.  That's a pretty terrible idea, since it means that companies won't come to the U.S. in the first place.

2.  Expulsion after graduation?   Not as bad as posthumous execution...

3.  Research shows that people who cycle to work are mostly white and wealthy.  Demonstrating an old truth:  If green living saved money, poor people would do it.  But only rich people do it.  Because the sacrifice makes them feel good about being rich.

4.  On the other hand, maybe poor folk don't cycle because they smoke too much.   "Do you smoke after cycling?"  "I don't know, I've never checked..."

5.  A princess...


6.  An interesting story about the class ring.  But what kind of schmuck steals the bride's purse at a wedding reception?

7.  They stole a bright orange van with a unique logo and customized roofs.  What could possibly go wrong with that plan?  "Do you think they've spotted us!"  "No!  Act normal and keep driving, you fool!"  They should have contracted with this guy, who apparently found a worm-hole in the space-time continuum.

8.  An interesting interview on sex work and feminism.

9.  Possum drop loophole?

10.  I need the LMM to read this.   A thermostat at 75 is a bad thermostat.

11.  Actual mistake?  Or just some droll guy in the warehouse?   One explanation:  the state often requires such nonsense.

12.  Foil.

13. Who put peanut butter on the baby again?

14.  The strike zone as a pdf.

15.  As Adam Sandler said, in The Wedding Singer, "I have a microphone!"  Now you'll have one, too, to yell at the kids in amplified fashion.  Amplification is power.

16.  Eating green.

17.  If, at first, you don't succeed...

18.  Interesting piece by PvD on Uber and surge pricing.

19.  What if you could hear the narrator?  A short (NSFW) movie on the Hawthorne Effect.

20.  Do we need "Certificate of Need" rules

Headline meme:  Once you've read it, you are pretty much done.  But you read on, because you can't help yourself.

Pilot dropped 3,000 pingpong balls redeemable for prizes, but missed crowd and hit interstate

Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Mungowitz)" Tags: "links"
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Date: Friday, 18 Jul 2014 14:54
This story contains a number of jaw-dropping assertions.  I was hoping it was an ironic parody, but the New York Times doesn't really have enough self-confidence to be ironic.  It's just painfully earnest, shading over into earnestly painful.


When city leaders and state legislators agreed last year to fund roughly half the $1 billion cost of a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings, they attached the usual strings for such projects: It had to be architecturally iconic, employ steel made from Minnesota iron ore and offer at least a few cheap seats. 

So... Minnesota has a total population of 5.4 million souls.  Minneapolis has a population of just under 500,000, if you count the surrounding cities like St. Paul.  They need a $1 billion football stadium?  Really?  And taxpayers need to pay for half of it?  That's $2,000 per resident of the Minneapolis metroplex.  For a sports stadium that will be used, at most, 30 times per year, even counting monster truck shows.  The state is going to hit up taxpayers $1,000 per resident of the city to pay for a football stadium.  That's not $1,000 per fan, that's $1,000 per resident, in tax money.

That's the NYTimes' idea of "saving"?  Well, at least they have cheap seats.  Which will be scalped to rich people anyway.  Because the poor folks would prefer to have the money than the cheap/expensive seat.

I guess it's okay, though.  Knowing that they are using locally-mined, free-range artisanal iron gives folks a warm glow.  Because you should make sure and create giant, dirty mines as near as possible to where you live.  Oh, and the bathrooms will all be lit with $25 LED bulbs, too.  So that's something.

I guess Nick Gillespie just isn't a football fan.  Because he doesn't get it.

Seriously, the NYTimes is demonstrating a pretty remarkable support for crony capitalism here.  There is no conceivable "stimulus" justification, and the environmental justification is nonsense.  This is a giant waste of money, a giveaway from taxpayers to highly profitable large corporations.  And a perfect description of the program of the Democratic Party in the U.S.  Also the Republican Party in the U.S.

Nod to MK, who notes:  "I'm in the wrong business.  If a small amount of carbon is worth $500 million, I should set my hair on fire and sell the right to put it out on Ebay!"

Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Mungowitz)" Tags: "crony capitalism is a hell of an ism, sp..."
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Date: Thursday, 17 Jul 2014 10:30
...but it's not as hard as cancelling your cable service.

Here is the story.

Here is the recording.

It's disturbing that the corporate mouthpiece for Comcast just blatantly lied when confronted.  Clearly the employees are trained to harrass and browbeat customers who try to cancel.

I tried for nearly a month to get a customer service rep at Time-Warner here in NC to talk to me about ways to change the service into a bundle, three years ago.  Never could even get anyone to talk to me.

But when I called to cancel, after I gave up and switched to ATT, I was immediately connected to an extremely aggressive and abusive guy who demanded to know what was wrong, and how they could fix it.  At least he did back off when I told him I was a consultant, and would be happy to discuss the many ways that Time-Warner sucked.  All that was required was a signed contract, $175/hour, 4 hour minimum, payable in advance.

In the meantime, though, cancel my service.  That didn't work for the guy above, though.  Amazing.

I should have said that I would be willing to talk to him sometime between 8 am and 2 pm, and I couldn't be more specific than that....
Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Mungowitz)" Tags: "corporations are (evil) people, public s..."
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Date: Wednesday, 16 Jul 2014 15:28
In the fantastic movie "Dodgeball," the announcers on ESPN 8 ("The Ocho!") react to the forfeit by Average Joe's Gym:

Archie comics seems to be heading that same way, toward a bold strategy.  What time is it if the character named "Archie" in a comic series called "Archie" is killed, what time is it?  Time to get a new comic series!

(You may want more Dodgeball...here)

Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Mungowitz)" Tags: "bold strategy"
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Date: Wednesday, 16 Jul 2014 14:47
Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Angus)" Tags: "average is over, hay is for horses, smok..."
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Date: Tuesday, 15 Jul 2014 12:22
When Multiple Creators Are Worse Than One: The Bias Toward Single Authors in the Evaluation of Art

Rosanna Smith & George Newman
Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, forthcoming

Abstract: The present studies investigate whether people perceive the same work of art to be of lower quality if they learn that it was a collaborative work (resulting from the efforts of multiple artists) versus the work of a single artist. Study 1 finds that indeed, as the number of authors increases, the perceived quality of an artwork decreases. Study 2 finds that this effect occurs because people tend to assess quality in terms of the effort put forth by each author, rather than the total amount of effort required to create the work. Study 3 further demonstrates that this bias toward single authors appears to be driven by people’s beliefs, rather than by any inherent differences between individual versus collaborative work. These results broaden our understanding of how perceptions of effort drive evaluative judgments, and are consistent with a more general notion that art is not evaluated as a static entity, but rather as an endpoint in a “creative performance.

Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Mungowitz)" Tags: "articles to read"
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Date: Monday, 14 Jul 2014 09:00
1. If people were held responsible for the content of comments on their web sites...wow.  This kid is suing pretty much everybody because of some comments other people made.  If you fall asleep at a ball game....sorry, you are fair game.  And the commentators didn't even say much, though later the commenters did.  I'd fall back on this, which is informative and useful.  I read it about once every six months, just for the giggles.  Mr. Ken, he's a great American.

2.  Shirley's neighbor, Taylor Swift, has not thought very much about the music industry.

3.  Fish friends lost.

4.  The Duke's heirs sue the heirs of the Dukes.

5.  Against the grain....and back, from Japan.


6.  Scanner/reader, on your finger.

7.  On separation of church and state...more noticed when they aren't separated.

8.  A threat to the Obamacare subsidies?

9.  I have one of these.  But I would not consider trying to get through airport security while carrying one.  What are people thinking?

10.  Feel like getting pregnant?  Just push the button!

11.  3D printing as a delivery system in remote areas?  An internship?

12.  Facts about beer.  Great facts, and beer is great, too.  What's not to like?

13.  It may seem like all crooks must be dumb.  But that's actually because the ones who ARE dumb get into the newspaper.  In this case, in fact, that's how the idiot got caught.

14.  The cool part is that they got away clean...

15.  Example gold:  Elections that ended up tied...

16.  Cheese is solidified science... and curds, of course.  Also curds.

17.  A while ago there was this.  Then, this.  Yeesh.  I guess she really did NOT have to worry.  Maybe she should have worried a little bit.

18.  Wow.  What if this lady got sight of Haus Angus?  There'd be a holocaust then, you betcha. Of course, Raleigh has a growing tradition of hating on freedom and market exchange.

19.  The worst nightmare for birds:  Helicopter cat, FTW.

20.  Chuck Schumer:  Asshat.

21.  There was once injustice, when *I* didn't have stuff.  But now I have stuff, and I want the police to make these filthy people who don't have stuff go away.

22.  What colleges do colleges see as peers?  Interestingly, George Mason U chose U-OK as a peer, but U-OK spurned George Mason.  Well played.

23.  "NC Outlaws Planning!"  But it's not as good as it sounds at first....

24.  What a delightful human being.  Funny name for a towing "service," though.  I'll give him that.

25.  There are elections that end in ties.  I prefer the "draw the high card" solution, though.

26.  We may need a new label category:  "Man kicks horse."

27.  I like the fact that this blockhead expresses surprise: "I can't understand why I'm still single."  Yup, it's a mystery, all right.  Maybe this guy will be attracted to that hair-do.  And in the body suit, it might work out for the blockhead.  I love it when a plan comes together.

28.  Computers make our lives easier.  But government officials with computers make our lives much, much weirder.  

Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Mungowitz)" Tags: "links"
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Date: Friday, 11 Jul 2014 12:56
Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Mungowitz)" Tags: "Fair Trade, Russ Roberts is a deity"
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Date: Thursday, 10 Jul 2014 12:37
It must be tough to be a policeman.  People call you and want you to arrest people who aren't breaking the law.

Of course, sometimes you do just that, because...you can.  The whole child endangerment thing has gotten a little out of hand.  There is a mob mentality among the do-gooders.  The video on this page is pretty amazing.

Thoreau was right:

There is no odor so bad as that which arises from goodness tainted. It is human, it is divine, carrion. If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life, as from that dry and parching wind of the African deserts called the simoom, which fills the mouth and nose and ears and eyes with dust till you are suffocated, for fear that I should get some of his good done to me — some of its virus mingled with my blood. No — in this case I would rather suffer evil the natural way.
Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Mungowitz)" Tags: "children, good intentions only pave one ..."
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Date: Wednesday, 09 Jul 2014 12:35

A note from my friend Jay Larson in Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya.

A very belated THANK YOU to the KPC readers who supported Tunapanda Institute's crowdfunding campaign in early 2013! Thanks to such contributions we have been able to deploy computer hubs in low-income rural and urban slum areas of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. We've also made headway directly training young people and teachers in digital era vocational skills like web design, video editing, computer programming and graphic design. A core focus is always on increasing personal freedom through self-expression.

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation via the Kids Prefer Cheese fundraising page:  Click here now!  All contributions made now will be matched/doubled. We've set an ambitious KPC goal of $4,000 which covers:

1) Computers. 5 computers for our new computer lab + tables/chairs/networking + some server costs.
2) 1 year of study-work stipend + housing for a training facilitator from the slum of Kibera. Among other things, (s)he will be responsible for testing an economics video course based on the book “Common Sense Economics” and then facilitating it's larger rollout in East Africa. That becomes a priority once our web design, film making and computer programming curricula are more stabilized (read: very soon). Of course our economics plans will seek “the nod” by Tunapanda board member Mike Munger aka Mungowitz.
3) Additional KPC contributions will help create a small video recording studio where we'll create freely-licensed video learning content that anyone else in the world can use or modify as they see fit.

This is where the computers will live in Tunapanda's new facility in the outskirts of Kibera. As you can gather from the windows: security is tight.

More Details

A reality that fans of economics will appreciate is that demand for computer-trained employees is rising as East African economies surge forward and large multinationals (like Google, PWC and Cisco) move strongly into the region with regional HQs here in Nairobi. Meanwhile, a teacher vs. technology paradigm was inadvertently set up last year when the Kenyan government announced a decision to buy computers/devices with money that had been allocated to increase teacher salaries. The result was a 3-week nationwide primary and secondary (K-12) teacher strike. Given the increasing demand for computer-literate employees and small teacher salaries, the result is obvious: computer teachers move into the private sector.

Part of Tunapanda's solution is to deploy free video learning content and open source software to increase human capital for our students. Much of our content is delivered using cloud-like computer networks which allow users to have personal digital space and to access resources like Wikipedia, Khan Academy videos and a wide variety of software without needing an internet connection. And without many of the distractions offered by the worldwide web.

Video content and software allows us to develop talent without relying too much on the human capital of our training facilitators. This way when facilitators/teachers move into higher-paying jobs it becomes a victory for Tunapanda rather than a show-stopping pain.

We work with local partners outside of the traditional education system, but also support the study of math and science using software and video content. We've discovered that, when working in very low-income areas, we get much more focus and higher attendance rates when our subject matter directly applies to earning money. Having said that, financial literacy and weak accounting is widely cited a major reason small businesses fail to scale in Sub-Saharan Africa – hopefully the Common Sense Economics curriculum can help.

Here's how you can get involved:
1) Make a donation on the KPC page of our crowdfundingcampaign/ .
2) Spread this blog post. Consider it licensed under a CC-BY-SA license meaning you can re-publish and modify it for your own needs.
3) Sign up for the Tunapanda newsletter [http://www.tunapanda.org/sign-newsletter/].
4) Let me know if anyone wants to help with monitoring and evaluation or would like some data. This might be of interest to Econ grad students or professors who want some data. The “holy grail” for us is showing that taking our courses increases income for people. But we can collect a lot more data – which we'll need to grow even more in the coming years.
5) Email/post comments/questions that I can address in a future post.

That's all until next time. Thanks for reading.

Warm regards from one KPC fan to another,
Jay Larson
Tunapanda Institute co-founder
Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Mungowitz)" Tags: "tunapanda"
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Date: Wednesday, 09 Jul 2014 12:13
A cartoon on the meaning of life, at least for 20 year old men.  (Or 40.  Or 60.  Or...)

Reminds me of a  conversation I had with the LMM, when we were first dating.

She:  "I went to Assumption College, but we would sometimes go over to Holy Cross [also in Worcester] to go the library and check out the guys."

Me:  "Wow, that is one full service library!  Just 2 hour reserve, or could you keep them overnight?"

I know, amazing we ever got married. 
Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Mungowitz)" Tags: "college life, let's go check out that Le..."
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Date: Tuesday, 08 Jul 2014 12:39
It's there.  Why aren't you there?  'Cause it's the place to be.

The Oklahoma Pigeon Museum and Library (And Library?  Really?).

It's in Northeast Oklahoma City.  Excerpt from the story....

Whether a pigeon is for show, racing or sending secret messages, they are all descendants of the Rock Dove, which is "the one that left Noah's hands," said Jim Jenner, a pigeon expert and documentary filmmaker. 

 "They're very beautiful, very intelligent. Sadly, they're the most revered bird and yet the most reviled in many ways," Jenner said. "They've been tagged as being dirty and stupid and all these very inaccurate things and that's very sad because it's made it difficult for people who care about pigeons and believe they are a wonderful pet to have." 

An excellent SNL skit, this would be.  The Noah part is excellent.  Well played, OK!
Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Mungowitz)" Tags: "big bird lives, Okie horn blowing"
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Date: Monday, 07 Jul 2014 09:30
1.  Obama the Spectator.  Money quote, pretty disturbing:  "A perilous and unspoken accord in American politics has grown up while no one was looking, which unites the liberal left and the authoritarian right. They agree in their unquestioning support of a government without checks or oversight; and it is the Obama presidency that has cemented the agreement. The state apparatus which supports wars and the weapons industry for Republicans yields welfare and expanded entitlements for Democrats. "  

2. Ban cash?

3.  Conan The Taxpayer. He's 6'5".  I'd like to see a picture of him standing with frequent reader (and Westerly, RI resident) Shirley.  It would be amusing....

4.  Mormons are fans of property rights.  But this is pretty territorial.

5.  8 things that happy people do.  This may explain why Democrats are so unhappy.  As far as I can tell, Democrats are pretty much 0 for 8 here.


6.  Solar power is highly profitable.  Because of the subsidies.  The actual power...not so much.

7.  Winnie the Pooh, live.

8.  The thrill is gone, baby.  Not sure about the "Bushtalgia," tho.  Ick.  Though, I suppose the very fact that the Bush-Obama comparison is realistic is pretty bad news for Obama.  If your defense of Mussolini is that he was better than Hitler...well, okay, but....

9.  The new "Econtalk" should be out today, over at...Econtalk.  I had hoped to use the phrase "farcical aquatic ceremoney," but was unable to do so.  Still, worth watching the source for that phrase at least once every six months or so.  Delightful.

10.  He missed prison food....

11.  NOT the Onion:  the requirement that workers be able to speak minimal English is "workplace discrimination."  Um....no.  The inability to speak English is not a disabiilty, for which the employer must make reasonable accomodation.  It's a safety and management requirement.   It's remarkable that the Obamanoids think this is something they can get away with.  As far as I can tell, this was not an "English only" rule, but rather a "English at all" rule.

12.  There was a theory that dogs don't "play."  Theories are silly.

13.  3D Printing internship, in Africa.  How interesting.

14.  "They're coming to get my ay-noose."  NSFW:  Canadian UFO sighting, and commentary on same.

15.  I guess I should be flattered, right?  If someone will pay someone, even a schmoe and even a pittance, to write a review of this so some other schmoe can turn it in for a grade....okay, no.

16.   It's always the tax stuff, and the accounting, that's the most difficult.  This may be quite difficult.

17.  Rock Simulator.  No, it's not you pretending to play guitar.  It's about a rock.  You have to supply your own hard place.

18.  He's a pro-government libertarian

19.  First person to send me one of these hats will be my new BFF.  Not clear they are for sale...

20.  Spornosexual update:  Men going shirtless.  Women want to know why THEY can't go shirtlessA subversive compromise.   Of course, in New York, it's perfectly legal.  My own view:  women not wearing tops is an excellent idea.  The interesting thing is that women are supposed to feel uncomfortable about their bodies.  But they have my support for doing without support.  Uplift and don't separate! Equal treatment before the law for all nipples!

21.  I use TOR once a month, just to make sure I get watched.  Being watched makes me feel very special.

22.  Repeal FATCA?

23.  The "Right Kind of Nothing" goes global.  Well, it was already in Germany.  But here is a version of it, in a different context.

24.  Clearly a perfect metaphor for...I have no idea what.  But a perfect metaphor.

25.  Justified mastication.  You get to make your own Mike Tyson/Suarez joke here.  If he had been in this restaurant, it would have gone down differently.

26.  Real women can drive stick.

27.  Lots of ways to go with this...

Other things, harder to classify:

She Looks Like a Pinup, But Bakes Like Tim Burton.

Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Mungowitz)" Tags: "links"
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Date: Sunday, 06 Jul 2014 13:39

  Things cities ban for no clear reason. 

One advantage of the "no weasels" ban in NYCity is that you can prevent outbreaks of feral Krugmans, however.

Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Mungowitz)" Tags: "of mice and manimals, P-Kroog, rules wer..."
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Date: Saturday, 05 Jul 2014 16:41
I'm not sure "Pro-government libertarian" is a sensible concept.

But I do like the idea of "Pro-liberty libertarian."

And there are some circumstances--we'd have to argue about which--where the existence of a state can enhance liberty. 

I'm not really a fan of either (1) the state is never right, or (2) the state is always right.  Both are religious observations, rather than policy prescriptions.
Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Mungowitz)" Tags: "liberty, seeing like a state"
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Date: Saturday, 05 Jul 2014 13:37

Female hurricanes are deadlier than male hurricanes 

Kiju Jung et al. 
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 17 June 2014, Pages 8782–8787 

Abstract: Do people judge hurricane risks in the context of gender-based expectations? We use more than six decades of death rates from US hurricanes to show that feminine-named hurricanes cause significantly more deaths than do masculine-named hurricanes. Laboratory experiments indicate that this is because hurricane names lead to gender-based expectations about severity and this, in turn, guides respondents’ preparedness to take protective action. This finding indicates an unfortunate and unintended consequence of the gendered naming of hurricanes, with important implications for policymakers, media practitioners, and the general public concerning hurricane communication and preparedness.

Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Mungowitz)" Tags: "weather, women"
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Date: Friday, 04 Jul 2014 08:00
And for whom?

Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Mungowitz)"
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Date: Thursday, 03 Jul 2014 12:12
LeBron James famously said he would be taking his talents to South Beach, in that ill-considered press conference.

Now he may be moving his talents again.

It come down to who will take more of his "talents" from him.  If you think of talents as a unit of money, or a weight of precious metals--and given the Biblical knowledge of KPC readers, we KNOW you have been thinking just that--LeBron is indeed a man of many talents.  And states are broadly different in their tax policies.  LeBron won't be able to look just at the salary offer...

If a "talent" is unit of money worth $22,239, then here is a table of how many talents LeBron would have to give up from his salary in each city:

Loss of Talents
(at $20.7 million salary…)
Team Record
This Year
Dallas, TX
With Mavs:  0
Miami, FL
With Heat:  0
With Clippers:  124
Chicago, IL
With Bulls:47
Pheonix, AZ
With Suns:  42
Cleveland, OH
With Cavaliers:  50

This is at a price of silver of $21/ounce, a conversion rate of 35.3 ounces per kilogram, and 30 kilograms per talent. Your results may vary…

Author: "noreply@blogger.com (Mungowitz)" Tags: "arbitrage in a basketball economy, taxat..."
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