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Random Thoughts/Good Reads

Discussion in 'Philosophical Musings' started by jimotis4heisman, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. i read half a dozen "interesting" articles a day that dont really have a place to post/share. we can use this for semi serious articles, discussions, random stuff, cool stats, photos, etc in a randomish manner.

    The Infomercial Comes to Life in India's Remotest Villages -
    this article on global rural salesman was interesting to me. guess it makes sense, my grandfather always talked about the wandering sales peddlers.
  2. Steve19

    Steve19 Watching. Always watching. Staff Member

    Tadpoles fall from sky in Japan

    Tokyo - Meteorologists in Japan say the rainy season has just started in Tokyo, but residents in a small coastal town have reported a different phenomenon - tadpoles dropping out of the sky.

    An office clerk in Nanao said he first noticed the anomaly when he heard a dull thud in a parking lot last week, news reports said. Looking around, he saw about 100 dead amphibians splattered on car windshields and the ground.

  3. Buckeye513

    Buckeye513 Stable Genius

    Ancient mass grave found on Olympics site | Oddly Enough | Reuters
  4. Taosman

    Taosman Flatten the Curve

    Robert Reich Blog.
    The Best Way to Move the Economy
    Robert B. Reich
    Most economists agree that government spending has a bigger stimulative bang than do tax cuts. According to calculations by Mark Zandy of, each dollar of spending generates about a dollar and a half of stimulus, while a dollar of tax cuts generates far less.
    There are three reasons. First, most people who receive a tax cut don't spend all of it. They use part of it to pay down their debts or they save it. Most of us did one or the other last spring with that tax rebate. Now from the standpoint of any particular individual, paying down debts or saving may be smart behavior -- even commendable.
    But what's intelligent for an individual does not necessarily translate into what's good for the economy as a whole. The only way to create or preserve jobs is through additional spending. And unlike tax cuts used to pay down personal debt or add to savings, every dollar of government spending flows directly into the economy and adds to overall demand.
    The Best Way to Move the Economy
  5. Not an article per se, but Academic Earth is a fascinating site full of lectures from Ivy League schools. I've only watched the first one on "Death" so far, but it's certainly interesting.
  6. MightbeaBuck

    MightbeaBuck with hat in hand

    And just what kind of sales did they peddle anyway? :biggrin:

    Just wandering, er, I mean wondering.
  7. MightbeaBuck

    MightbeaBuck with hat in hand

    While I haven't read it, I agree with what you posted by Robert Reich and Mark Zandy, but:
    The government spending a dollar will only generate a dollar and a half of economic stimulation. So if the government then takes in about 20 cents on each dollar they thus "created" - about 30 cents on the dollar and a half - they lose 70 cents on each dollar. In other words, if they would spend say one billion dollars from the government coffers on stimulus, they would get back only three hundred million dollars to restock the coffers. We as a country are going broke too fast as it is, but trying to justify it with this Ponzi scheme is lunacy. This would mean they would then have to print even more money to make up for it, driving us further into debt / inflation. It would be a lose - lose situation.
    jimotis4heisman likes this.
  8. eightpointbuck

    eightpointbuck Go Bucks!

    Pets in Prehistory

    Found this fascinating.

    Ancient Pet Tortoise Discovered In Britain - Science News - redOrbit

    We often don't think about why humans around the world have pets. Companionship, protection, emergency food supply, etc. I've excavated prehistoric dog burials before in NA, which demonstrates a high degree of affection and care. To think as late as the 1800's in Britain, pets were considered sinister and unholy just blows my mind. That's really late in the time line compared to the rest of the world. It does provide a demarcation line for the declining significance of religion over there.
  9. utgrad73

    utgrad73 Reloaded

    Jay Leno's 3D Printer Replaces Rusty Old Parts - Articles - Jay Leno's Garage

    This one will interest all the old car guys out there. Jay Leno just fires up the replecator and creates dupliciates of hard to find parts. Star Trek had their's, George Jetson could order a steak on his, now you can order a feedwater heater for your 1907 White Steamer. There's not much philosophical content to this, but a good read for those with automotive interests. Jay's Garage is loaded...
  10. eightpointbuck

    eightpointbuck Go Bucks!

    East Saint Louis

    This is a partial list of notable American citizens hailing from the city of East St. Louis (from Wikipedia entry on East St. Louis).

    • Josephine Baker
    • Hank Bauer, seven time World Series winning Yankee
    • Jimmy Connors, tennis legend
    • Jerry Costello, member of the U.S. House of Representatives
    • Miles Davis, jazz legend
    • Katherine Dunham, dancer, choreographer, anthropologist and author
    • Richard Durbin, senior U.S. Senator of Illinois
    • Russell Gunn, composer, arranger, recording artist, Grammy nominated jazz musician

    • Terry Hanson, former Atlanta Braves TV executive producer, PGA Tour executive, NBA TV executive producer

    • Jackie Joyner-Kersee, ranked among the all-time greatest athletes in the women's heptathlon and long jump
    • Al Joyner, track gold medalist, brother of Jackie Joyner-Kersee, born and raised in East St. Louis
    • Donald McHenry, United States Ambassador to UN
    • Eugene B. Redmond academic and city Poet Laureate
    • Shelley Winters, was born Shelly Schrift in East St. Louis (1922), film, stage, and television actress
    • Robert Wrigley, poet
    • Not to mention the mom from Leave it to Beaver.

    Recent news from the city

    "...on Friday at a raucous special City Council meeting at which East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks announced that the city will layoff 37 employees, including 19 of its 62 police officers, 11 firefighters, four public works employees, and three administrators."

    Layoffs to gut East St. Louis police force

    Anyone who has visited knows this is not a garden spot. A 30% reduction in law enforcement is a bad, bad idea. What are the odds that another Josephine Baker or June Cleaver survives and is nurtured to share their talent with the world?

    Where would we be without this genius?
    [ame=""]YouTube - Barbara Billingsley: "Stewardess, I Speak Jive"[/ame]
    [ame=""]YouTube - Tribute to Josephine Baker[/ame]
  11. Taosman

    Taosman Flatten the Curve

    Today is a good day to read John Hersey's "Hiroshima".
    As the bomb fell over Hiroshima and exploded, we saw an entire city disappear. I wrote in my log the words: "My God, what have we done?"[​IMG] Capt Robert Lewis quotes

    An article called "Hiroshima" written by John Hersey was published in The New Yorker magazine in August 1946, a year after World War II ended. The article was based on interviews with atomic bomb survivors and tells their experiences the morning of the blast and for the next few days and weeks. It was a calm and accurate account of survival in the first city to be destroyed by a single weapon.
    There were many remarkable things about the "Hiroshoma" article. Just a few:

    • "Hiroshima" took over the entire issue of the The New Yorker, there were no articles or cartoons.
    • The issue caused a tremendous effect, and sold out within hours.
    • Many magazines and newspapers commented on the article.
    • The full text was read on the radio in the U.S. and other countries.
    • The Book-of-the-Month club sent a free copy in book form to all its members.
    "Hiroshima" was quickly published as a book, and remains in print today.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2010
  12. Steve19

    Steve19 Watching. Always watching. Staff Member

    This new book is a report of the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress. That may sound dry but, in the language of the Fisher College of Business, "you can't manage what you can't measure--and if you measure the wrong things, you'll manage the wrong things."

    Don't let Sarkozy's influence on the genesis of the commission to put you off. This book is a very important attempt to focus attention on the disrupted link between measures of economic well-being and actual well-being of societies and takes us toward new measures that make sense. It's not pretentious. They avoid 13 letter words, claims to have all the answers, and attempts to bash anyone. You don't have to be an economist or even college educated to understand it.

    The Commission finds that we're getting it wrong and talking past each other because of weaknesses in the way we measure economic performance and social and individual well-being. They present page after page of examples showing that weaknesses in the way we measure things affects the way that we think and our conversations about world problems today.

    The commission includes an all-star cast of leading economists and economic psychologists, including Nobel Prize winners and other notables such as Kahneman (Princeton) and Putnam (Harvard). They discuss many viewpoints and concepts, such as sustainability, without any of the psychobabble, anti-business, or social pretentiousness of the "socks and sandals brigade".

    If everyone understood the issues raised in this book, we'd be having conversations about fixing things that were much more efficient and effective.


    Product Description ([ame=""]link[/ame])

    In February of 2008, amid the looming global financial crisis, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France asked Nobel Prize?winning economists Joseph Stiglitz and Amartya Sen, along with the distinguished French economist Jean Paul Fitoussi, to establish a commission of leading economists to study whether Gross Domestic Product (GDP)?the most widely used measure of economic activity?is a reliable indicator of economic and social progress. The Commission was given the further task of laying out an agenda for developing better measures.

    Mismeasuring Our Lives is the result of this major intellectual effort, one with pressing relevance for anyone engaged in assessing how and whether our economy is serving the needs of our society. The authors offer a sweeping assessment of the limits of GDP as a measurement of the well-being of societies?considering, for example, how GDP overlooks economic inequality (with the result that most people can be worse off even though average income is increasing); and does not factor environmental impacts into economic decisions.

    In place of GDP, Mismeasuring Our Lives introduces a bold new array of concepts, from sustainable measures of economic welfare, to measures of savings and wealth, to a ?green GDP.? At a time when policymakers worldwide are grappling with unprecedented global financial and environmental issues, here is an essential guide to measuring the things that matter.

    About the Author

    Joseph Stiglitz is a professor of Economics at Columbia University and the recipient of the John Bates Clark Medal and a Nobel Prize. He is also the former Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank. His books include Globalization and Its Discontents, The Three Trillion Dollar War, and Making Globalization Work. He lives in New York City.

    Amartya Sen is Lamont University Professor, and Professor of Economics and Philosophy, at Harvard University. The author of numerous books, including Identity and Violence, Rationality and Freedom, and Development as Freedom, he is also the recipient of a Nobel Prize in Economics. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

    Jean Paul Fitoussi is a professor of economics at Sciences-po and the president of OFCE (Sciences-po Center for Economic Research, Paris). He lives in Paris.

    Product Details

    • Paperback: 176 pages
    • Publisher: New Press, The (May 18, 2010)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1595585192
    • ISBN-13: 978-1595585196
  13. ORD_Buckeye

    ORD_Buckeye Wrong glass, Sir.

  14. eightpointbuck

    eightpointbuck Go Bucks!

    My next door neighbors house just burned to the ground today. Lightning strike at 3:30 PM. Four years ago, the neighbor located in back and to the left of us suffered an identical fate. How do I live in Ohio for 31 years, never see one house hit by lightning. Move to the deep south and it seems like Jeebus is sending me a message.

    Walked around the house for an hour with several stiff drinks in hand to soothe the nerves tonight. Realized:

    A) Thank God the family is safe. Sent them to stay with my parents.

    B) There is nothing I own that can't be replaced with enough $$$.

    C) I need to move the @#$% out of here and back to Ohio where @#$% doesn't constantly burn to the ground.:oh:

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