Friday, June 29, 2012


Is There a Gollum in the House?

My prediction for the aftermath of ObamaCareTax is that Romney wins the Presidency and the Republicans win the Senate but ObamaCareTax is not repealed. Like Frodo taking the ring to Mount Doom the Republicans in their current state cannot resist the power of big government and thus cannot repeal it just as Frodo could not throw the ring into the fire to destroy it.

The sinister Gollum ultimately saved Frodo and life as they knew it but not with noble intent. Something like that wont happen here, it's up to Frodo. I don't think the Tea Party is strong enough within the Republican party to force the right decision. There will probably be bigger changes to follow because of this.


Dream Theater - Sugar Mice (Live in Seoul 2008)

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Thursday, June 28, 2012


Portman Says Romney ‘Willing to Risk Being a One-Term President’

I have been wondering what course of action Mitt Romney would take to resolving the housing crisis.  The best way to deal with an oversupply of something is to allow the market to work and prices to fall to a market clearing level.  This would mean a lot of pain in the short term but it would end the foreclosure crisis.  In the video above this is what Romney says is the solution but he doesn't quite say that is what he would do.

Now Rob Portman gives us another hint at how a Romney administration will act.  He is saying the band-aid will be pulled off rather quickly.

 The Ohio Republican, who many consider to be on Mitt Romney’s short list of Vice Presidential candidates, said the kind of leadership he anticipated from Romney, if elected president, might cost him a second term.
“This is something I have never said publicly, I’ve told my wife this, but I think he’d be willing to risk being a one-term president in order to make the tough decisions that are going to be required,” Portman told the Reuters Washington Summit.Portman was quick to point out he believed the American people would “reward” Romney with a second term for bold leadership on financial issues and job growth.  [Emphasis added.]

The bold thing to do would be to force the banks to liquidate the houses they are currently sitting on.  This would mean a pretty bad economy in 2013-14, at least.  The alternative is to continue to prop up the economy with federal spending.  (IOW, do what Japan has done for the past 20 years.)  I am now sure that Romney is going to act boldly.  We will see a really horrible economy in 2013.  

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012


The Future of Market Makers

Are market makers necessary in mature markets?  I am not sure.
Many futures exchanges have functioned well for decades without designated
market makers. On the other hand, if an exchange would like to be assured
of the continuous availability of buyers and sellers, it should have
registered market makers with serious affirmative obligations.  But if you want
them to assume those obligations you must give them something in return,
preferably something that will not cost you any money, such as modest
preferential access.

Although it doesn't seem to be part of the official explanation of the flash crash of 2010, I am convinced that part of the problem was that the some of the market making computers were turned off; i.e., liquidity disappeared.  And that could happen because high frequency trading firms have driven market making individuals out of the equity market.

Are high frequency traders fair competition?  That depends if you think co-location and the ability to act on orders before they hit serves the purposes of the market.  Markets seem to be functioning well.  There is very little dispute that customers are getting a decent service most of the time.  It is times like the flash crash which call into question the wisdom of having only a few dozen market makers all using algorithms.  If there is another flash crash and its effects last longer than minutes then we will have to make that judgment.  I think it is only a matter on time.

Apparently the SEC is worried, also.

Earlier this month, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced new circuit breakers designed to prevent the kind of extreme market volatility that led to the 2010 “flash crash.”
The proposals, which are to be implemented for a one-year trial period on Feb. 4, 2013, include a “limit-up/limit-down” mechanism and new market-wide circuit breakers. Both initiatives lower the thresholds that trigger circuit breakers and shorten the length of trading halts. They also measure market decline using the S&P 500 Index, rather than the Dow Jones Industrial Average.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Obama Child

I took this off of Facebook.  A friend of a friend's child voicing her reasons for supporting Obama.  I so much wanted to ask if the reason was because she was young and did not understand economics or history.  I cannot blame parents for teaching their children their values.  In the mid to late 70s I was a precocious supporter of Ronald Reagan- disappointed in '76 and elated in '80.

Kids are good parrots and I don't doubt that Emma made her parents proud.  It is much harder to be a conservative child.  Explaining supply side tax cuts is much more difficult than saying you just want to help poor people.  That is why we tend to get more conservative as we get older.  Conservatism is about thinking not feeling.

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Monday, June 25, 2012


First impressions of Samsung's new Galaxy S III smartphone

Nice gadget, still very unlikely that we will get one.  I don't like contracts or expensive things I can drop.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Adam Carolla explains the OWS Generation


Friday, June 22, 2012


BOY - Little Numbers


Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Physics Community Afire With Rumors of Higgs Boson Discovery

One of the biggest debuts in the science world could happen in a matter of weeks: The Higgs boson may finally, really have been discovered. Ever since tantalizing hints of the Higgs turned up in December at the Large Hadron Collider, scientists there have been busily analyzing the results of their energetic particle collisions to further refine their search. “The bottom line though is now clear: There’s something there which looks like a Higgs is supposed to look,” wrote mathematician Peter Woit on his blog, Not Even Wrong. According to Woit, there are rumors of new data that would be the most compelling evidence yet for the long-sought Higgs. The possible news has a number of physics bloggers speculating that LHC scientists will announce the discovery of the Higgs during the International Conference on High Energy Physics, which takes place in Melbourne, Australia, July 4 to 11.

Friday, June 15, 2012


Сектор Газа- Воставший из Ада (Зловещие мертвецы)


Thursday, June 14, 2012


Why our food is making us fat

The food industry had its eyes on the creation of a new genre of food, something they knew the public would embrace with huge enthusiasm, believing it to be better for their health – "low fat". It promised an immense business opportunity forged from the potential disaster of heart disease. But, says Lustig, there was a problem. "When you take the fat out of a recipe, food tastes like cardboard, and you need to replace it with something – that something being sugar." Overnight, new products arrived on the shelves that seemed too good to be true. Low-fat yoghurts, spreads, even desserts and biscuits. All with the fat taken out, and replaced with sugar. Britain was one of the most enthusiastic adopters of what food writer Gary Taubes, author of Why We Get Fat, calls "the low-fat dogma", with sales rocketing. By the mid-80s, health experts such as Professor Philip James, a world-renowned British scientist who was one of the first to identify obesity as an issue, were noticing that people were getting fatter and no one could explain why. The food industry was keen to point out that individuals must be responsible for their own calorie consumption, but even those who exercised and ate low-fat products were gaining weight. In 1966 the proportion of people with a BMI of over 30 (classified as obese) was just 1.2% for men and 1.8% for women. By 1989 the figures had risen to 10.6% for men and 14.0% for women. And no one was joining the dots between HFCS and fat.  [Emphasis added.]

This is what happened to me in the 90s.  I exercised at least 3 times/week, I ate low fat.  I cannot tell you how many lean cuisine meals I ate, low fat yogurt, lots of apples and oranges.  But every year I kept putting on weight even though I gave up drinking alcohol for a while that did not help me to lose weight.  The only success I had was starving myself but that was only temporary.  (Try spending a couple of months eating 1500-2000 calories/day and then gain it all back on a weeks vacation.)

The only success I have had is eating low carb.  Although that stopped working after I turned 40 probably due to low testosterone.  Now I am losing weight, a lot of weight thanks to HCG, low carb, and testosterone replacement.

Read the whole thing.


Mag II video game gun

I am a big fan of first person shooters and I am a little surprised that the choice of guns you can use with them are so feeble.  There is a arcade shooter at one of my son's favorite bouncy places with a full size rifle with rumble feature and very good targeting based on the Terminator movies.  This gun is not that good but it is a step in the right direction


Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Fire explained

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Green chalk can taste like hippies

O Fortuna- Omen theme

Monday, June 11, 2012


Watch Dog

This is just a beautiful video game.  Also, it is nice that it seems to be set in Chicago.  Not that I get to do much video gaming besides Angry Birds in the reading room.  (TMI?)  But I might have to pick this up, looks like an interesting game.  I like the premise that you are using a wired city to hack information and to control the environment.

Friday, June 08, 2012


David McCullough Jr.- You Are Not Special Commencement Speech from Wellesley High School

Somehow the world is getting better.


Garbage - Blood For Poppies


Friday, June 01, 2012


AWOLNATION - Not Your Fault


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