Friday, May 28, 2010

 

Rick Wakeman Plays Some Beatles


Thursday, May 20, 2010

 

What Men Think When They Watch a "Sex and the City 2" trailer

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

 

Rand Paul Rocks!

Hopefully he can rock through November:
Rand Paul arrived at his victory party on Tuesday night to the booming lyrics of the Rush song he often quoted on the campaign trail: “Glittering prizes and endless compromises/shatter the illusion of integrity.”

Mr. Paul, who won the Republican Senate nomination in Kentucky, likes to equate the prizes and compromises to earmarks and backroom deals in Washington, which he says have to end.

Paul has some good taste in music and that song in particular, though it relates to the music industry, can be applied elsewhere and if done with government we will all be better for it.

Excerpt from The Spirit of Radio by Rush:

All this machinery making modern music
can still be open-hearted, not so coldly charted
it's really just a question of your honesty.

One likes to believe in the freedom of music
but glittering prizes and endless compromises
shatter the illusion of integrity.

Monday, May 17, 2010

 

50" inch OLED printed in 2 minutes

Dupont has created this wonder which raises the questions how much and when do they started mass production?

Organic light emitting diode, or OLED, displays seem to have it all: energy efficiency and a beautiful, crisp picture that refreshes rapidly. But it's difficult to make them on a large scale, so OLED televisions remain very expensive. Last week, DuPont Displays announced the development of a manufacturing process that the company says can be used to print large, high-performance OLED televisions at volumes that should bring down costs. Using a custom-made printer from Japanese manufacturer Dainippon Screen, DuPont says it can print a 50 inch-television in under two minutes, and testing of the displays shows their performance is reliable--the displays should last 15 years.

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An Old Classic

Philadelphia 21

Chicago 9
4th

If you are thinking Eagles and Bears you would be wrong. That was the Phillies and Cubs 31 years ago today. The Phillies had leads of 7-0, 15-6 and 21-9 but the Cubs tied it at 22 and then lost it in the 10th by a final score of 23-22. Eleven home runs were hit, three by Dave Kingman. If you think Harry Caray must have been going nuts with such a disappointing loss that day, you would be wrong. The White Sox beat the A's 5-1.

Friday, May 14, 2010

 

So Much For Gravity


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

 

The Crash of 2010: What caused it?

On Thursday, May 6th at approximately 1:40 p.m. Chicago time, the stock market completely fell apart and dropped about 5% over the next 5 minutes. The reason this happened is pretty simple. Many of you might remember the advent of the day trader in the late 90s. A lot of those guys managed to stick around and were still trading stocks up at least until a couple of years ago. But if they survived the fire of learning to trade there is a good chance they have been burned by the computer algorithms that have become the primary market makers on stocks controlled by about 20 trading companies and banks. My evidence is anecdotal, I am not a stock trader but I do know enough people who trade them and the big problem they have with computer driven high frequency trading is that human beings are incapable of moving as quickly as computers. Listen to this guy because he explains it better than I do:



In a nutshell, a small group of companies have replaced thousands perhaps tens of thousands of small traders. When the hand full of companies that control the computers decide to turn them off then there is no market because the little guys have been driven out of business.

Over the past two decades, stock trading has gone from a relatively transparent network of human "market makers" executing buy and sell orders at a handful of exchanges to an almost entirely computer-driven system fragmented among dozens of players. And regulators don't have the ability to directly monitor many of these new players.


I hope I don't need to tell you why it is better to have thousands of the little guys making markets versus a small group of companies that rely on computer algorithms. What happened last Thursday is a warning- at some point those computers will get turned off again in the middle of a market panic because all of those computers are doing the same thing.

When the stock market is in panic mode, ultra-fast computer systems can't help keep prices fair, and they have fewer incentives to stand in the way of a falling market.


Ironically, human traders are flawed so they make bad decisions and that actually is better for providing liquidity than algorithms that quickly flash bids and offers and just as quickly can be shut off leaving the market with no liquidity.

All markets need humans making markets in order to provide liquidity. Without liquidity there is no market and 5% plunges in less than 5 minutes can happen. I am not saying that crashes won't happen with humans making the trading decisions but they will likely happen less gradually. That is the lesson the last time the big investment banks let computer algorithms make buy and sell decisions.

Computerized Program-Trading Should Be Banned.



More later.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

 

The Great Purge Insurrection

Erick Erickson over at Red State does a great job of explaining what is happening inside the GOP. Conservatives are flexing their muscles against moderates and establishment elites who have taken the party away from the right particularly on spending.

Conservatives had had enough. Bob Bennett was easy pickings. Long thought of as conservative just because of his state of origin and his votes on judicial nominees, Bennett had in fact bent over backward time and again in favor of big government and pork, all at the expense of Utah’s values. As one of Mitch McConnell’s “wise old men,” Bennett is one of the people largely responsible for the bastardization of conservatism.

Now, the great disentangling of conservatism has begun. Conservatives have had enough of being just a token of a Republican Party that never actually opts for smaller government and never actually believes in the limited powers of a federal government.

Bob Bennett, for example, voted that the individual mandate is unconstitutional, but he refused to take it out of his own health care alternative because notwithstanding its unconstitutionality, he thought it was needed. He also famously declared the constitution “an outmoded document of an agrarian society”.

If you want a nutshell explanation of Utah, it is this: Bob Bennett decided he was smarter than all the folks back home and the folks back home decided he needed to be humbled.


I view the 2006-08 elections as conservatives walking away from the party because of the pork and capitulation to big government policies. What is happening in 2010 is conservatives are challenging Republicans who have strayed in the primaries and the establishment is starting to take notice that we are serious. How else do you explain this hilarious ad?

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Monday, May 10, 2010

 

The most unintentionally funny political ad I have ever seen



Via Hot Air.

Does John McVain have no shame?

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Saturday, May 08, 2010

 

Too bad life doesn't have replays


Friday, May 07, 2010

 

Time

Tonight: someone born in the 1990's hit a homerun and a triple in a MLB game. Meanwhile someone who threw a 2 hit shutout in 1986 in an MLB game did it again. Congratulations to 20 year old Starlin Castro and 47 year old Jamie Moyer

 

Baseball Weather

The Minnesota Twins had a home game rained out today for the first time since 1980 (they played in a dome from 1981 - 2009). With the MLB scheduling the playoffs to accommodate the TV networks, some World Series games are now being played in November. The last time the Twins hosted a game 7 of the World Series was in 1991. This years game 7 would be played on Thursday, November 4th. The temperature on November 4, 1991 in Minneapolis was -3 F.

If the White Sox are not in contention, I'm hoping for a Twins/Rockies World Series.

 

Avenged Sevenfold - Critical Acclaim



Not since Stuck Mojo's Open Season have I heard a song which so surprised me and made me want to pump my fist in the air. (Via TigerHawk.)

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Wednesday, May 05, 2010

 

The Taser Field

Tigerhawk has a post (with video and a poll) regarding the young man who ran on to the field during a Cardinals/Phillies game in Philadelphia. After eluding capture for a while he got hit with the taser fired by a cop who had joined in the chase. I'm not sure just how bad getting tased is and I don't want to find out but this might not be a bad precedent to set. If it is thought that running on to the field during a sporting event will likely result in a shock from the taser then it might put the thought to rest in the mind of those considering such a stunt.

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