Saturday, January 31, 2009

Philosophy Comic

This is quite possibly the funniest of all possible comics mocking philosophy.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

NFL Shirts I (Kind of) Wish I Could Buy

ESPN's Page 2 has two of the funniest NFL t-shirt designs I've seen in years.

First:



Second, and funniest:


If you don't get the second shirt, watch Denny Green's (most) infamous post-game press conference as a Cardinals coach, here:

Friday, January 23, 2009

WTF?

I cannot comprehend how this could possibly be effective.

You Are Not Smarter Than The Market

The market is almost always smarter than you:
State Street (STT) remains down about 50% today after warning on earnings and raising concerns about serious damage to its balance sheet. But today aside, let's go back to last November when, seemingly out of nowhere, the stock fell below $30, beforre quickly rebounding to the mid-$40s. At the time, everyone thought the market was crazy. That there was no way there could be anything wrong with State Street -- a boring old investment services company.

Well, turns out, only the talking heads were wrong. The stock market nailed it, only it didn't punish the companyt hard enough, since now State Street is at about $19.

"You keep using that word....

I do not think it means what you think it means." The USDA guidelines on "naturally raised" chickens mean that they:
have been raised entirely without growth promotants, antibiotics (except for ionophores used as coccidiostats for parasite control), and have never been fed animal by-products.
Does that sound like it should qualify to you?

Phil, this one's for you.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Obama: Off to a Good Start

Apparently Obama has been using his first hours in office to do things of which I actually approve. Sweet! Radley Balko has a list of actions Obama took yesterday limiting his own executive power, including:

  • Obama rescinded Bush’s 2001 executive order allowing former presidents, vice presidents, and their heirs to claim executive privilege in determining which of their records get released to the public. Even better, he’s requiring the signature of both his White House counsel and the attorney general before he can classify a document under executive privilege.
  • Issued a memorandum to all executive agencies asking them to come up with a new plan for open government and complying with FOIA requests. He is also instructing three top officials, including the U.S. attorney general, to come up with a new policy on open government. The new policy would replace the existing policy, infamously set by a 2001 memo from John Ashcroft that instructed federal agencies to essentially to take every measure they can to refuse FOIA requests.
  • Put a freeze on the salaries of top White House aides.
  • And this morning he signed an executive order to close Gitmo no later than a year from now. Well done!

    It appears that Obama may actually have been the lesser of the two evils up for election.

    Tuesday, January 20, 2009

    Obama Speechifying, Summarized

    Will Wilkinson liveblogged the inauguration proceedings, and his running summaries of Obama's speech had me laughing my a$$ off. My favorite parts:

    12:14: A new foundation for growth. Restore SCIENCE. Harness the sun and the tides and hamsters. Some question the scale of our ambitions. They simply forget that we can DO ANYTHING. All your objections no longer apply, so don’t try to object cynics.

    ...

    12:18: Basically, all dichotomies are false. Freedom AND security. Free markets AND big government. America is everyone’s friend. Facebook us Kenya!

    Monday, January 19, 2009

    Unintended Consequences

    Coyote on the unintended consequences of building codes designed to protect children from drowning in a backyard pool:
    In short, the code is designed to keep small children from getting out of the house on their own to a pool area. Dead bolts must be 54″ off the ground where they cannot reach them, the doors must have automatic closers (and thereby be difficult for small children to open) and windows cannot open wide enough to allow the kids to pass. This is, of course, nominally for the safety of kids....

    Can anyone see any possible problem with making it impossible for small children to exit the house? Perhaps, say, in a fire? Once I bring my house up to code, because none of the children’s wing of the house has any window or door except to the pool area, the state will have made it absolutely impossible for small children to escape in a fire. Yes, the state has forced me to turn the back of my house into a fire trap for kids.
    (emphasis mine)

    There is a way around this, though:
    That is, of course, unless I reverse all the changes 5 seconds after the inspector leaves my property, which of course I would never, ever do because I am a good American who pledged allegiance to the state every shool day of my childhood.

    Link Roundup

    This is somewhat disturbing.

    This is idiotic.

    This is amusing.

    Dice Wars

    SB7 points me to a great time-waster, Dice Wars. It's great fun.

    Ouch

    One more reason for Detroit's demise:

    In 2007, Toyota sold 9.37 million vehicles.

    In 2007, General Motors sold 9.37 million vehicles.

    In 2007, Toyota made $17.1 billion.

    In 2007, General Motors lost $38.7 billion.

    The Vikings Game That We're Still Bitter About

    It's been ten years since the game that scarred the collective psyche of Vikings fans everywhere: the 1998 season's NFC championship. Brian Murphy writes eloquently about our the psychic damage here.

    How Dumb Do They Think We Are?

    This sounds sketchy. During the event which prompted a trial about the police in question using excessive force:
    In all, nine police cars from Prince George's and Cheverly responded. Although most of the squad cars were equipped with video cameras, police said none of them were working that day, Pavsner said.
    I find that claim hopelessly implausible. Do they seriously think we're idiots? Sheesh.

    (via Radley Balko)

    More Zimbabwe Implosion News

    McMegan speculates convincingly on the cause of the Zimbabwe economic crash: Mugabe's land reforms.

    Friday, January 16, 2009

    Morning Links

    1) A decent case for simplifying the tax code.

    2) Aw crap: U.S. military report warns 'sudden collapse' of Mexico is possible.

    3) The results from a debate on whether major carbon emissions reductions are worth the cost.

    4) Disturbingly, the neo-nazi-named children have been taken from their parents by the NJ government for no apparent (legal) reason.

    5) California truly has a busted unemployment insurance program.

    6) Change? What change?

    Universal Healthcare Links

    Here are two reasons to be skeptical about universal healthcare:

    1) The Massachussetts universal insurance mandate is a debacle.

    2) Coyote ponders the implications of any system separating who chooses care options from who pays for them.

    Funny/Cool links

    1) New in creepy quasi-authoritarian toys!

    2) Great picture, with a 6 month exposure!

    3) Basic Instructions with another great comic. I particularly love the first frame.

    4) "DTV Transition Poised To Beffudle Senior Citizens"

    5) Behold the horror of Microsoft trying to sell a truly stupid product - Songsmith.

    6) This is great if you enjoy Star Wars and hilariously bad animation.

    7) Come laugh along as commenters excoriate the CBS idiots who think that home cooking a meal for $35 constitutes a "shoestring budget."

    Monday, January 12, 2009

    Amusing metaphor.

    This strikes me as a very dumb idea.

    Sunday, January 11, 2009

    Infuriating Links

    These are all articles that raised my blood pressure. Read them (or not) as you see fit.

    1) Massachusetts writes off the rule of law (a particular soapbox topic of mine).

    2) Are we running out of private investment capital as it is increasingly allocated by the government?

    3) The US government's recent approach to the economy and regulation is unsettlingly similar to that presented in Atlas Shrugged.

    4) Why do so many cops go straight from "this dog is coming toward me" to "therefore I must shoot it?" See Radley Balko for many similar instances.

    Homeowner Tips

    The Toolmonger community has recommendations for anyone who is (or is considering becoming) a first-time homeowner.

    Thought-Provoking Links

    These links will make you think:

    1) Coyote ponders the similarities between the (now known to be misplaced) pressure toward home ownership and the still constant pressure on youth to go to college. Very interesting.

    2) What if we applied standard FICO methodology to compute Uncle Sam's credit score? What would it be?

    3) TJIC proposes a constitutional amendment. (Old post)

    4) Rand Simberg wonders about why we have a space program, and how this affects our thinking about the risks involved in human spaceflight.

    Amusing Link Roundup

    A collection of amusing links for your Sunday entertainment:

    1) The Flabbergasted Four

    As a Vikings fan, I am depressed at how amusing this is, but it made me laugh:



    2) Billy Mays Mashups

    The Consumerist posted a series of three Billy Mays remixes, the latter two of which made me laugh so hard I cried. Watch him sell "Suicide Putty" and a toilet that will let you sh*t anywhere!

    3) The Secret

    I guess there is one good reason to read this terrible book, at least according to this review. Hilarious!

    4) Somali Pirates Receive Ransom, Hilarity Ensues

    5) According to Visa, now one can authorize a purchase by singing!