Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sunday Papers #6

Sundays are for realizing you haven't written a single blog post since last week's Sunday Papers. Oops... But that's OK because there is delectable tea to imbibe and much to read. Here's a promise, right from the start, that only a little of this is about the election. Right now, I just want to nothing the election...

  • I mean, I'm tired of hearing about the midterm elections. Aren't you? All the conservative pundits have been strutting around like cracked out barbie dolls, flush with their over-exaggerated win. Meanwhile, the liberal pundits are tripping over themselves to underplay the results. So, I'm not going to post anything except this about the election. That there is Nate Silver discussing which polls were most biased this cycle.
  • More generally in politics, Ezra Klein points out that Sarah Palin has relatively few twitter followers.
  • This NY Times article on the retirement age in different countries is interesting mostly for the graphic that's included alongside it.
  • Actually, the retirement age thing relates nicely to the most important social security chart ever. What that chart shows is that Social Security is actually a fairly simple fiscal problem to handle, particularly compared to medicare. It still wouldn't hurt to index the retirement age to life expectancy though, provided you did that in a smart way...
  • The slow motion train wreck that is the foreclosure crisis continues to creak along. Here's James Surowieki's take on it.
  • Given their usual stance (The poor? What poor?), I was surprised to see the WSJ cover this. So kudos to them. Not a bad metric of how partial the economic recovery has been.
  • But really, why so serious? Enough real news for now. I feel like this week has been nothing but "real" news. Time to move on to some lighter fare. Beginning with, the bizarre. The CIA used modern art as a weapon in the cold war. Seriously, you can't make this stuff up.
  • Also, boa constrictors can have babies without mating.
  • Also, also. A French baby miraculously survived a seven story fall after bouncing off a cafe awning and into the hands of a passer-by. That's like something straight out of a cartoon.
  • Jeffrey Goldberg usually writes serious articles about serious things for that serious magazine, The Atlantic. But I guess the continued brilliance of the TSA has brought out the cynical humor inside him. Incidentally, I've seen rumors that the TSA is now planning to ban printer cartridges from planes after the most recent terrorist attempts. Good to see that they continue their practice of wasting resources on the last attack, while doing precious little to protect against the next one.
  • It's perhaps a function of where I currently am in life, but I find it interesting reading about the random events that put people on their career paths. Here's Andrew Gelman, Columbia statistician, on himself.
  • Some clever little troll has written a program that argues with climate skeptics on twitter. I think we may be looking at the future of trolling here...
  • Also, how would Nobel prize winning physicist Richard Feynman handle those annoying "creative thinking" questions that job interviewers sometimes ask? He'd melt the interviewer's brain.
  • I didn't plan it this way, but I'm going to end on a kind of sad note. First, this interview with Michael Caine is excellent. But there was something sad about the whole thing too and I just can't put my finger on it.
  • And finally, Mount Everest gets wifi internet access. Which just feels like a particularly banal desecration.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I saw that bit on cell phone connections on Mt. Everest. I suppose there will be a waterproof headset soon. Maybe he could call from one of his dives to someone on Everest .hat would be something!!! Stay well.