Pseudo Random News and Comment

The Main Driver of GDP Growth: A Strong Rule of Law  Must read. The prognosis isn’t good at the moment.

This Is What 670 Million People Without Power Look Like: Pictures From A Blacked Out India  Exposing a possible flaw in government-run economies. Anyone tried to call support today?

Unnatural Selection: Muscles, Genes and Genetic Cheats Gene doping in athletes. Needing muscle biopsy to have any chance of detecting some forms means effective testing is never going to happen.

High Trans-Fat Diet Predicts Aggression  I thought alcohol intake was the best predictor.

Fake Irises Fool Scanners  Just like in the movies!

Blind Mice Temporarily Regain Vision After Chemical Injection   Very interesting sidestepping of cellular problems with a liquid substitute.

You want that? Well I want it, too! The neuroscience of mimetic desire Food is also subject to this, as THE Woman and I often show.

NCBI ROFL: Having kids makes men see themselves in random children. Evolution takes a statistics course and prevents disinvestment, just in case.

HPV test beats pap long-term: study  HPV status a better long-run predictor.

China hits back at ‘biased’ critics of Ye Shiwen’s Olympic triumph  Pretty amusing. The suspicious word choices of dopers are the same in translated Chinese.

Sirolimus Induced Phosphaturia is Not Caused by Inhibition of Renal Apical Sodium Phosphate Cotransporters  I guess that explains why my phosphorus is always low.

A Systematic Review of Comparative Efficacy of Treatments and Controls for Depression  Doesn’t really matter what you do, as long as you do something. Hardly an argument for expensive drugs with plentiful side effects.

Who Is That Masked Man? Google adds important feature to to liven up business video conferencing.

“Greyjing”? Air Pollution Fouls Beijing’s Name  Could be an incredible place. Instead it’s often like a scene from a dystopian sci-fi horror flick.

Human papilloma virus with Epstein Barr virus: Two-virus link to prostate cancer  Don’t recall any reports of dual virus cancer, but there are bound to be others. Some are so common it may be difficult to find a link due to lack of adequate controls.

Lua’alaea Falls

We were too tired to spend much time trying to find waterfalls #6 and #7 in Manoa (see here), so we took advantage of some light rain to go back to Lua’alaea Falls.

Some unusually low clouds at the back of the valley:

The trail crosses the stream a number of times

Lower section of the main falls

Zoom of the top of the main falls

Every time I go to this falls I think it should be possible to get to the top of the falls by backtracking a little and heading up the side of the ridge. I’m definitely not going to try it with 20/60-100 vision, but when that’s fixed who knows…

Pseudo Random News and Comment

Your Body Influences Your Preferences  Good summary of subtle influences on decision-making. Left handed people are odd for a reason.

You Are (Probably) Wrong About You  The difficulty of getting good feedback about you from yourself. Unfortunately, a very unreliable source.

Ye Shiwen’s world record Olympic swim ‘disturbing’, says top US coach  Just because she was the second fastest man in history.

A better judge of character with oxytocin nasal spray?  So many effects, perhaps best explained as a consequence of the state of mind induced.

The perils and pitfalls of “patient-driven” clinical research  The only good answer is increased knowledge, which will eventually make the use of statistical approaches unnecessary.

College makes you believe in marriage! But belief isn’t always reflected in actions.  My explanation is divorce is expensive and the well-to-do have more to lose.

Tagging and Tracking Espionage Botnets  Your tax dollars at work, spying on you. Interesting interview.

Real GDP Per Capita: Another Perspective on the Economy I always want to see the private sector contribution only. At any rate, as long as this isn’t going up, any recovery is going to be largely illusory.

Weekend edition: Car Dealers A piece on everyone’s least respected profession. I hate dealing with them so I don’t buy cars more than once a decade, and even then only as a last resort.

The Non-Linearity of Leadership Competence The cutoff given for competent management seems about right to me. Once in a while you can find one in a company with 250-300 employees but they are soon driven away.

Another reversal of cause and effect in human emotions. Grin and bear it — smiling facilitates stress recovery

Charting The Diminishing Multiple Expansion Benefits Of Fed Action  Economics is ultimately a function of human nature, so while you shouldn’t fight the Fed, they can’t fight human nature for long either.

Why We Fight: 21st Century Edition

The US spends an incredible amount of money on defense and security to protect the US way of life, as well as promote liberty and democracy around the world. This brief list contrasts US vs Them, dramatically highlighting why this continuing effort is so vital:

China: China to tighten security ahead of Party congress
US: DHS gears up for civil unrest prior to presidential elections

China: China’s Great Firewall Tests Mysterious Scans On Encrypted Connections
US: Uncle Sam Admits Monitoring You For These 377 Words

China: China: Secret “Black Jails” Hide Severe Rights Abuses
US: U.S. Secret Prison Ships Hold Untold Number of Detainees …

Crazed Gunman: Aurora, Colorado, shooting leaves 12 dead at ‘Dark Knight
US: 168 children killed in drone strikes in Pakistan since start of campaign

It’s something worth considering the next time someone starts the crazy talk about cuts to the military or security budgets. Our freedom isn’t free.

Pseudo Random News and Comment

When will the Case-Shiller house price index turn positive Year-over-year?  Don’t worry, the National Association of Realtors will let you know. They’d love to trumpet some data that actually supports what they’ve been saying since 2007.

Smell the potassium: Surprising find in study of sex- and aggression-triggering vomeronasal organ Possibly the last presumed vestigial organ in humans, since whether it does anything in humans has yet to be proven. I’m voting yes, based on private experimentation.

Former NSA Official Disputes Claims by NSA Chief  They lie. It’s their nature, and lying to you little people doesn’t count anyway.

What If the Next iPhone Is A Miss? A Deep Dive Into Apple’s Hire-Wire Act  It’s obvious – they’ll file another batch of patent suits against Samsung.

Wash, rinse, repeat? Almost any time frame from 12 years on down is going nowhere fast, so it’s little wonder the market is lacking direction. But that always ends sooner or later.

Chinese speculators pile in to London housing bubble (via Sinocism) The Chinese are demonstrating a more Japanese sense of market timing all the time.

Pseudo Random News and Comment

Strong Partnerships Fuel Curiosity  Curiosity can be dangerous. Some measure of security makes it safer and easier.

What if the Sell in May Crowd is Coming Back?  It’s got to go up to blow up. It’s not uncommon for breadth to make lower highs and lower lows, then make a higher high before the market exhausts and rolls over. It’s my best guess at the moment, consistent with the 2007 Summer-early fall rally scenario. Psychology is also similar since markets are similarly ignoring the obvious.

The Basics of Owning Bonds Good overview. If too many people get interested in bonds I’m going to have to conclude the bear market in stocks is almost over.

Hallucinating body flowers  One way to keep the golden years more interesting.

Even Usain Bolt can’t beat greyhounds, cheetahs… or pronghorn antelope Hummingbirds do 200 watts/kg. Makes even a fully juiced Lance look pathetic.

NSA Chief Tells Hackers His Agency Doesn’t Create Dossiers on All Americans Interesting use of language, not at all inconsistent with the natural urge of even pathological liars to avoid outright lies, and the nature of the agency.

Alex Day Sells Half A Million Songs By Breaking All The ‘Rules’ More proof record companies are dead and don’t yet know it.

How Does the Stock Market Work?  Most concise explanation yet. I guess I’ll skip writing that book.

Vino’ wins the Olympic Gold in road cycling. Preliminary, pending dope control results, and endless appeals, of course.

Pseudo Random News and Comment

LC loan chartEconomists Idea Bag Seems Empty I have an extremely low opinion of most economists and mainstream ones in particular, but the intense cranial vacuum required to produce these answers is astonishing. “But this one goes to 11″ sounds brilliant in comparison.

Going out with a bang: Aging worker termites explode themselves in suicide missions

Higher Highs, Higher Lows  Good point, but not the perfect example since low #3 is lower than #2. Also depends on which index you look at. But that’s the fun of chart reading. It’s like a Rorschach test. I always see something about sex.

Some disheartening charts about student loans: Mortgaging your way to a college education  People keep trying to say education is a good investment but it depends on the major, and to a lesser extent, the school. From a chart on, the worst performing category of loan is learning and training. If it’s an investment, it should definitely not be on margin:

The seat of meta-consciousness in the brain  Lucid dreaming used to find the centers of self-awareness.

This Cute Chat Site Could Save Your Life and Help Overthrow Your Government  Completely disgusting tactics by the US. Nice implementation, but as long as it’s tied to a single URL it’s easily blocked. P2P is needed, with onions or other seasoning.

Science of Eyewitness Memory Enters Courtroom  It’s about time, because the science says eyewitness accuracy totally sucks. Oh, and cops routinely lie under oath….and there’s has never been any validation of using fingerprints. Thank goodness for DNA or a lot more innocent people would be executed.

Gorilla accidentally hangs himself at Prague zoo  How do they know it was accidental? Suicide is not that unusual for a child star, and he actually lived in prison his whole life. If they can conclude having snares in the hood isn’t safe and go around dismantling them, it’s not that much of a stretch that they could also decide to call it quits.

Pseudo Random News and Comment

Latest Visa Fraud  This is so close to the usual card fraud department script it’s hard to tell the difference. The best way to deal with it is always assume the worst, say I’m busy, I’ll call you back, and then call the number on your card.

‘What?’ Confused 911 caller outs NYPD spying in NJ  I believe someone is supposed to say “if you aren’t doing something wrong you have nothing to worry about”, predicated on the belief that any powers granted would never be exceeded. WRONG.

If you passed your boards with a D+, and can sign your name, you possess all the credentials required for this job  Things are obviously looking up for recent law grads.

Truth In Erroring: IETF Proposal Includes New 451 Censorship Error Code  Good idea. Doing otherwise is fraudulent. Bound to be resistance to the idea because if people know what’s going on they might get upset.

Pop music has become louder, less original: study finds  Bring back the 60’s.

Immunosuppressant switch cuts skin cancer post-transplant  Sirolimus continues to show good results.

Untreated heartburn may raise risk for esophageal cancer, study says

How the FBI sees the psychopath  Doesn’t inspire much confidence, and I didn’t have much to start with.

In Battle For Your Files, Google Drive Gets a Jump on Dropbox  Dropbox could be another Facebook if they really hurry.

The US Is Not Japan Or Your Average Stagnation: It Is Much Worse One of the uglier charts I’ve seen, though I think much of the Japanese advantage comes from counting bridges to nowhere as productivity in GDP and they’ve done more of that sort of waste per capita than the US, so far.

Bullish Sentiment Increases From Multi-Year Lows  Interesting chart, could be interpreted as supporting either bulls or bears.

Bo Xilai’s wife charged with Neil Heywood murder  It’s official now. Their son, Bo Guagua, seems to also be implicated in business dealings with Heywood and got a name change in the official media, which I think means he shouldn’t come home any time soon.

Toddlers object when people break the rules  Obviously wears off for many in adulthood.

Zoledronate Inhibits Ischemia-Induced Neovascularization by Impairing the Mobilization and Function of Endothelial Progenitor Cells  Another reason to avoid bisphosphanates if possible.

What if the RMB were to fall?  It’s seeming more likely all the time and politicians would be in a bind since they would then have to reverse course and advocate what they previously condemned. On second thought, for politicians that’s no problem whatsoever.

I always like unusual indicators that have some rational basis. This one is pretty good: Chart: “Rubbish” indicator points to sharp slowdown in US economic activities

Hunter-Gatherer Energetics and Human Obesity  Way cool. Sort of a metabolic set point. Also explains why I can do 10 hour bike rides but then become inert for a couple of days.

Your Fetus Is an Alien Nice summary of the battle between mother and fetus. So many responses and counter-responses it’s pretty amazing a truce has ever been reached.

Having numbers helps. 10% chance of stroke short-term after TIA or other warning event. Stroke prevention – the simple truth

Greek deposits outflow continued to be elevated in June  Looks like toast to me.

Skin Bacteria Are Your Friends I was waiting for this. Anti-bacterial soap is bad not just because of breeding resistant strains.

Abnormal Returns: Winning Strategies From the Frontlines of the Investment Blogosphere

After reading thousands of books on investing I concluded years ago that, absent a severe toilet paper shortage, most aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. As a result, I’ve read only a handful in the last decade, but I made a recent exception for Abnormal Returns and found it well worth my time.

I cringe every time I hear the phrase “risk-free rate of return” so any book whose first chapter is “Risk” and first section is “There Is No Such Thing as a Risk-Free Asset” is bound to quickly get in my good graces. The rest of the book succeeds in maintaining that view. A consistent theme is that given the nature or markets, and of investors themselves, simple and cheap is a far more certain path to investment success than complex or expensive. Robust mediocrity proves more valuable and survivable for the majority of investors – and the rest may simply be lucky.

Abnormal Returns covers a remarkable amount of ground in just under 200 pages, yet achieves its brevity without being overly shallow or simplistic. It’s primarily geared for newer investors, and in that regard is an excellent introduction to the basics of investing, covering all the major issues and asset classes. But for experienced investors there is also enough meat to make it a welcome reminder of the many decisions and assumptions that went into developing their current approach to the markets, and a prod to reevaluate those in light of present circumstances. In fact, after finishing the book I realized I should bump my long-ignored TAA project up to the top of my to do list since it fits better with my current desire to spend as little time as possible on trading.

It’s well-written, easy to read, and the hardcover version also smells pretty good. I will be pushing the kids to read it next, and I recommend you read it too if you know what’s good for you.



By buying from Amazon through this link I get a small percentage at no cost to you. You get the book and my appreciation. Amazon gets lower margins. Two out of three ain’t bad. Abnormal Returns: Winning Strategies from the Frontlines of the Investment Blogosphere

A Better Angel

A friend of mine wrote this recently, and gave permission to post it here. The news, especially recently, often makes the world appear far more dangerous and dreary than it really is, so it’s good to be reminded that humanity still has its redeeming qualities.

Last night I was blessed in being able to take a very nice lady to dinner.  Her name is Ms X, owner of a local restaurant XXXXXXXXXX.  On July 26, 2003 she was at the restaurant doing some gardening (with a screw driver of all things), when she heard gun shots. She got up and ran toward the gun fire.  As she rounded the corner, she saw someone stagger and fall into the street.  With no regard for her own safety she kept running toward him, though she had no idea if the shooting was over.  She said, “All I could think was I did not want that poor man to die alone.”  Thankfully, the blue car “with a home paint job” drove off.  Ms X dropped to her knees and didn’t know what to do. As she looked up, the street that just minutes before had been filled with pedestrians was now a ghost town, “like in the old westerns”.  She looked up at a nearby window where people were yelling instructions, “Get away!”, “Don’t let him get up!”, “He’s bleeding!”, but none came out to help. She looked down at her blue, blood-soaked overalls and knew she had to do something.  She thought of a bowling ball (no reference to his bald head), and put her finger in the bullet hole in his back to slow the bleeding. She held him down until the police finally deemed the area safe and the ambulance was allowed to enter.  The actions of one woman, not wanting a stranger to die alone, saved a father, brother, son, nephew, partner, and friend.  A thank you card didn’t quite seem adequate….

Pseudo Random News and Comment

Fed strives to replenish depleted toolkit  This puts me very close to tears with the sheer stubborn stupidity it reflects. Economists make a very useful distinction between real and nominal numbers, but then completely ignore it when making their policy prescriptions. If nominal numbers were a measure of wealth Zimbabwe would be the richest nation in the world. It obviously isn’t, yet the illusion of higher nominal numbers is the only one ever offered.

Similar sentiments using a fabulous analogy: The Bernanke Cargo Cult: Bankrupt Policy for a Bankrupt Generation

Our Brains See Men as Whole and Women as Parts  I thought it was the other way around: Women are holes, men are just a part. Whatever, since it’s our brains’ fault it’s A-OK and nothing can be done about it anyway.

Rapamycin effective in mouse model of inherited heart disease and muscular dystrophies  If these stories keep up, I’m going to have to watch my inventory to make sure THE Woman isn’t dipping into it for her own use.

Concentrated Interest  A good rebuttal to the Obama confusion about parasites and hosts.

Researchers study vaccine as potential weapon against aggressive brain tumors  I’m guessing it will turn out better than most simply because the study design doesn’t involve use of chemotherapy during the study. Too many immunotherapy studies blast the bone marrow with chemo and then unsurprisingly find the vaccine in question doesn’t work very well.

Primate Status Battles “Surely, once you’ve taken the blue pill you can’t go back, but it’s not obvious to me that many unhappy humans would have had a better life as a happy pig.”  Viewed with sufficient detachment I’d say many already are living that life, since little in their lives gives evidence of advanced consciousness.

Housing Data “Surprises” to Downside (Permits, Starts & Completions)  Other than the smell I think those are very much dead cats bouncing.

Nine Financiers  The perils of speculation, uncertainty, and maybe psychological instability.

Researchers find a clue to how life turned left  Left-moleculed but mostly right-handed. Got it half right at least.

In Vitro Expanded Stem Cells from the Developing Retina Fail to Generate Photoreceptors but Differentiate into Myelinating Oligodendrocytes  Good thing there are no restrictions on stem cell research. Oh, wait, maybe there are.

Pseudo Random News and Comment

Analysing Humanly Generated Random Number Sequences: A Pattern-Based Approach  Very cool human hacking. Applicable to fraud detection, password cracking, and probably negotiations or auctions.  Also uses a measure that’s similar to a path efficiency indicator I use in the stock market.

Bortezomib ups response, survival in multiple myeloma  Still only around 30% but even that is a big improvement.

NCBI ROFL: Why you should choose a clean-shaven surgeon. I thought everyone knew you can’t trust people with facial hair anyway.

Humans Blamed for Neanderthal Extinction  One way or another it had to be.

How Many People Use Twitter’s Own Apps?  Not that many apparently. Bad news for geeks.

Bespoke’s Global ETF Cheat Sheet  Very handy list.

Smelling the Rain  Wonderful piece on the science of that rain smell. Amazing how quickly it arises given the sources.

Mindfulness meditation reduces loneliness in older adults: study  Who needs friends when you are one with the universe?

Radar Logic: “Housing Still a Short”  Counter balance to all the bullish stories this year.

ATM Skimmers Get Wafer Thin Scary tech. Makes me very glad I never got addicted to ATMs or carrying cash.

Identifying Novel Drug Indications through Automated Reasoning  With drug pipelines running low and the easy stuff long gone this could be very helpful.

Middle-aged hit by surge of potentially fatal skin cancer  Malignant melanoma on the rise.

Skype No Longer Willing To Claim That Its Calls Are Untappable By Law Enforcement For everyone worried about the post-takeover Skype, it’s time to say “I told you so.”

IL-6 Indirectly Modulates the Induction of Glyceroneogenic Enzymes in Adipose Tissue during Exercise  Another link between exercise and immunity too.

Liars: It Takes One to Know One  Dunning-Kruger effect in lying. If you’re no good at it, you can’t ID someone who is.

What’s Driving China’s Real Estate Rally? Part 2

Pseudo Random News and Comment

Some Quant Screwed Up  Nothing better than a greater fool to take the other side of your trade. Someday algos will improve to the point they’re dangerous but they aren’t there yet. If you think HFT or algos are making you unprofitable, you’re doing something wrong.

Most helpful airports for global contagion. Salad course version: New model of disease contagion ranks U.S. airports in terms of their spreading influence  Meat and potatoes version: A Metric of Influential Spreading during Contagion Dynamics through the Air Transportation Network

Rethinking Labels Boosts Creativity  Only partial article due to paywall but enough to get the gist of it. Generic thinking is a boon. It could also suggest that being a stupid racist is even more damaging than it might appear.

Glass House for Diver / naf architect & design  Interesting place.

Is mental health a smoke screen for society’s ills? I think so in many cases. Interesting read and link to in-depth article on the political nature of mental health.

Human Ancestors Were Nearly All Vegetarians  And, perhaps not coincidentally, all are extinct. Meat may not be great for longevity but it evidently kicks some serious ass in reproductive success.

Chinese students living in fear in the USA  Very interesting look at the cultural divide. The venom of the writers from China is pretty astonishing for a country where one would have to assume the authorities are watching.

What’s Driving China’s Real Estate Rally? Part 1  Good dissection of the housing market. I think the most likely answer, as with most questions about markets, is all of the above.

Gorillas filmed performing amazing feat of intellectual ability Disabling snares after an infant gorilla died of injuries from one.

Who Are You Really Mad At?  Nice reminder of one of the most common emotional responses.

China’s demographic perfect storm: the ultimate growth killer  A look at the real death star for China’s economic growth. Population growth can cover massive inefficiencies, but when that growth stops, increasing productivity is the only solution and the current SOE banditry isn’t going to work.

The 10 Best, and Worst, Times in History to Invest  Recent history pretty much sucks. The good news is if that’s all you’ve ever known you may live long enough to get to the next good spot.

Wave of business owners running away re-emerges in Yangtze river delta  When even the loan sharks won’t loan you money, you have a serious problem. People skipping town also says a lot about the collection methods of the underground loan market.

Does Shiller PE Work in Foreign Markets?  Good news for some TAA models.

Aging heart cells rejuvenated by modified stem cells  Have to wonder about long-term cancer rates but in an older population it may not matter very much.

Pseudo Random News and Comment

The China Syndrome  “SOEs, however, are the primary borrowers and thus the beneficiaries of depressed deposit rates. In their paper “A Real Picture of State-Owned Enterprises,” researchers at the Unirule Institute of Economics in Beijing showed that SOEs paid, on average, a real interest rate of 1.6 percent from 2001 to 2009, while the average market rate was 4.7 percent. The paper also showed that if interest rate and other subsidies SOEs received from the government were taken out, they would have earned a negative return on capital; in other words, they would have lost a lot of money.”

Is a Great Grey Exodus from America Starting?  I don’t think it will ever get very large. Too many foreigners in those other countries for the average American.

Cities To Use Eminent Domain To Seize Mortgage Loans?  It’s already abused in its traditional role, so imagine what could be seized if the floodgates were opened with this idea. Not getting enough campaign contributions from the latest multi-billion tech startup? Seize it.

Witness Response at Acute Onset of Stroke: A Qualitative Theory-Guided Study  If in doubt, check it out. Symptoms are not necessarily as expected, as I discovered when I had mine.

Lights, Camera, Reaction: When Did Eye-witnesses to Horror Become So Disturbingly Articulate?  It’s no surprise people don’t care about drones killing children when they don’t seem moved by it happening at their elbow. The detachment from reality is disturbing.

Skin has an internal clock: study Perhaps a way to control the appearance of aging by tinkering with the clock.

The Search Box Will Never Die, Let’s Stop Trying to Kill It I’ve been on a few sites that make it hard to find things. I don’t go back.

Ka’au Crater

Climbing up waterfalls will be off the menu until I have some eye surgery and regain depth perception, so we took the ridge trail to Ka’au Crater this time. I last did this trail over twenty years ago with my father, when he was in his mid-60’s. I have newfound respect for him after doing it again with a few years under my belt. I realize now how much he was trying to impress me on that hike.

When we were kids he took the family on a hike and tried a shortcut that went totally wrong. He kept telling us, “it’s only another quarter-mile” for almost 6 miles. Years later, on the way back from Ka’au crater that day I finally got my revenge. I told him the same thing countless times as he struggled down the mountain with a painful knee, using a walking stick I’d cut from a guava tree.

The trail isn’t that well-known, but there are certainly many more people on the trail now than there were 20 years ago. Due to a number of houses built over that time, access to the trail is now next to some mailboxes on the left side at the end of Waiomao Road. As usual, located by the obligatory no trespassing sign.

View of the crater.

It was a little muddy.

Pseudo Random News and Comment

Resolution Introduced To Make Public Domain Congressional Research Finally Accessible To The Public Since we paid for it we should be able to read it.

Cousin marriage can reduce I.Q. a lot  Terrible news for WV, TN, KY

Chinese Yuan dropped to the low end of the trading band Probably start a new round of political lip flapping but it says more about the economy than the political intent..

I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar. Here’s Why. But just think what the unemployment rate would be if everyone did this.

Do You Live in a Bubble? A Quiz  (via @pkedrosky) Such an elitist, stereotyped view of American culture. Cigs, booze, bad TV and ignorance. It has no relevance to income levels or even to current culture. Cultural isolation was far greater 200 years ago, when many people never left a few square mile radius for their entire lives, let alone had global media at their fingertips. Maybe Murray is just worried that nobody seems to like him.

A double-header on the latest shootings:

A Former Marine’s Plea for Common Sense on Gun Control “First I would ask what in the world you are doing to merit interest from the FBI, ATF, or whomever.”  Umm, you mean besides using Twitter, Facebook or any one of 300 words online?

When you are suddenly surrounded by violence and killing, it’s too late to train.

Combination Treatment of Rosuvastatin or Atorvastatin, with Regular Exercise Improves Arterial Wall Stiffness in Patients with Coronary Artery Disease  Another slap to the sedentary

Extending Body Space in Immersive Virtual Reality: A Very Long Arm Illusion  If you are male and like me, the first thought is wondering what it would feel like to have a ginormous penis. Just need a huge dildo and a similar experimental design. Let me know how it works out. I don’t see any logical reason it wouldn’t work the same as for an arm.

Anxiety disorders in poor moms likely to result from poverty, not mental illness  In which case it’s also not a freaking anxiety disorder, but totally normal. No drugs or treatment required. I’ll go way out on a limb and suggest in any dire or stressful situation, anxiety is completely normal – and helpful. If things suck you should be motivated and worried about how to improve your situation. It’s a feature, not a bug.

the Game  Reaching the same conclusion I did, by different means.

[Maybe] Explaining Wage Stagnation.

Pseudo Random News and Comment

This implicit learning approach has some issues but is still very interesting. Neuroscience joins cryptography  Using it might improve your intuition too.

The Financial Crisis Was Foreseeable … Thousands of Years Ago  I think some of the dates go back much further but it shows one of the reasons why history rhymes so well.

A Metric of Influential Spreading during Contagion Dynamics through the Air Transportation Network  Soldiers returning home from WWI were a big factor in the spread of the Spanish Flu. Air travel and the continuous blender of modern society will spread a killer much faster now, and shorter travel times will promote more lethal strains, so better prediction tools are essential.

Study questions safety and effectiveness of common kidney disease drugs  Phosphate binders getting another look.

Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater On The “Self Re-Inforcing Global Decline”  Always worth a read.

Market-Top Economics  Though velocity of money is a fudge factor to make a flawed theory work, it’s still an interesting chart. Plus anything that mentions massive erections is probably worth checking out.

Pseudo Random News and Comment

Stupid hippies #1 Study finds ‘caffeinated’ Oregon coast waters

Stupid hippies #2  Study reveals harmful effects of compact fluorescent light bulbs to skin All emit UVA and UVB…and there’s that mercury thing too.

Oral immunotherapy shows promise as treatment for children with egg allergy  Adults may be SOL

Justice Department Sues Telecom for Challenging National Security Letter  Kafka couldn’t write it any better than this.

The Bitter Truth about Morality: Virtue, Not Vice, Makes a Bland Beverage Taste Nice  More on the reversible directionality of emotions.

Patent Office Releases Rules To Let Third Parties Provide Documents To Help Reject Patent Applications Shocker – a real attempt at damage mitigation. We can’t expect them to voluntarily close up shop but this is a decent move in the right direction. Maybe I will devote all my free time to killing off patents.

Stimulating the brain through touch  A vote for DIY in learning.

Viruses’ copying mechanism demystified, opening the door to new vaccine strategies  If it really is a unique copying method it’s great news. Should be fairly hard to evolve around too.

Words of Wisdom by the late Barton Biggs

Actions of the ruling elite in a nutshell: Power and Moral Hypocrisy

China’s big 4 banks doubled lending in first half of July  No doubt due to a sudden, dramatic surge in credit-worthy projects so it’s guaranteed to end well.

Blood condition is highly predictive of graft failure in pediatric kidney transplant  Low albumin, even for a short period of time.

“China Rebalancing Has Begun”; What are the Global Implications? Michael Pettis on China Rebalancing, Chinese Price Deflation, and Spain Exit from Euro; Target 2 Revisited

Existing Home Sales “Unexpectedly” Fall  Only so many buyers, so a better Spring generally means a worse Summer.

A View To Die For

From the Manoa Chinese Cemetery, established in 1851. The location of the header photo of this site, and home of near daily afternoon rainbows.

View toward the ocean, near sunset. Very much a sub par day, but still a pretty good resting place.

Pseudo Random News and Comment

China’s house prices stabilise in June  Update on the housing scene in China. No real evidence one way or the other.

Private sector is not the saviour of the Chinese economy Having looted the SOEs to the limits of their ability, to me it’s more likely the efforts to attract foreign capital are just an attempt to lure more sheep to be fleeced. Particularly when combined with efforts to increase financial opacity. A swindler’s wet dream.

FDA Spies On Whistleblowers’ Personal Information … then Uses It to Smear Whistleblowers of Faulty Medical Devices  The nail that sticks up gets pounded down. Most people take that into account and don’t say anything, so the true scope of the problem is undoubtedly far bigger than it appears. Unfortunately, societies tend to oscillate between conditions that are conducive to trust and those that aren’t, and we’re on the wrong end of that teeter totter for the time being. Carve out your own small area of trust within the rampant criminality around you.

Are Big Banks Criminal Enterprises? Makes quite an astonishing resume when applying for la cosa nostra openings.

Moss Sperm Smells Sweet Enough for Sex  Smells like flowers. Should I be jealous?  Moss walks into a florist shop, “Hey, it smells like sex in here.”

AIA: Architecture Billings Index shows “drop in design activity” in June  It’s still not a stock I’d want to own.

Employment-Population Ratio and Stocks Over the Intermediate Term As usual, another one bites the dust.

Which are the laziest countries on earth?  US isn’t even best in the world at doing nothing. I hardly thought that possible.

If you aren’t yet convinced to start exercising here’s more reason - Regular physical activity may help ward off dementia years later   …but there may be a small out Does Thinking Really Hard Burn More Calories?

Do dolphins use nonlinear mathematics?  Evolution accomplishes so many amazing things. Maybe I should pray to it.

Experimental evidence for the mantle plume hypothesis: X-rays used to illuminate the origin of volcanic hotspots  The Hawaii hotspot has meandered over time too, so this seems like a pretty good theory.

The New Public Ivies  So many ramifications of this trend and no sign anyone is addressing any of them.

Pseudo Random News and Comment

More bad news for the out of shape: Endurance training cuts lipid-induced insulin resistance, Exercise can shield the aging brain, studies show and one I’ve long suspected – Prevalence of gout increases with increasing BMI

First snow leopards collared in Afghanistan  But if the drone pilots don’t get the feed the leopards will quickly be killed in drone strikes and labeled enemy combatants.

Darwin awards are no joke. Mostly the Big-Brained Survive

What the hell is going on at HSBC?  Same thing as at every other big bank. WF/Wachovia for example. As some banking experts said, drug money kept the banking system afloat as virtually the only source of deposits during the 2008 crisis. I have no doubt it’s still the case. They are great bank customers – used to paying very high fees for laundering so big banks probably seem charitable in comparison.

Mind-blowing numbers on how much effort is going into destroying the free flow of information. Google Builds Largest Database of Links to Pirated Media

China’s off-balance sheet lending explosion  US remains leading exporter of foolish financial innovation. I’m so old I remember when ‘off balance sheet’ was called fraud.

Faster, Deeper, Better: The Impact of Sniffing Modulation on Bulbar Olfactory Processing  When scientists display a South Park sense of humor I just have to link to it. Also useful if you’re trying to figure out where that smell is coming from.

Mothers who give birth to large infants at increased risk for breast cancer Not much you can do about it other than enhanced screening. Maybe send the kids a bill for it too.

Memantine drug shown to improve memory in those with Down syndrome Interesting connection.

Why does the week before your vacation seem longer when you’re going far away? Another way to manipulate decision-making. If you worry too much about your upcoming dental appointment, imagine it’s on Venus.

Kapow! The Net Gets a Bat Signal for Fighting Government and Hollywood Bad Guys  Maybe injecting some goofiness will help turn the tide.

Concerted Perturbation Observed in a Hub Network in Alzheimer’s Disease  Interesting but I’m not sure how useful it is other than diagnostic potential.

So painfully true -

Simplify.  Some good advice. Getting outside is often overlooked and very effective in improving your outlook.

For the trading version see here.

Pseudo Random News and Comment

Waiting for direction  Nicely sums up the current market conditions. I have no feel at all for the moment, except that something fairly big is likely to happen by early next year. I’m taking a trip in September so that would be a good time.

How do the 1% Win in a Democracy?  Interesting theory for apparently irrational voting patterns.

Spy Software Aims to Corral Money Mules  Management headaches are the same even in illegal businesses. Also highlights the power of markets regardless of context.

Study reveals true picture of preventable deaths in hospitals  I would love to see a random sample of these charts to see if I agree on what is preventable. Somehow I doubt what makes it into the chart is telling the whole story. That most of the preventable ones were in patients who weren’t expected to live more than six months is evidence of neglect and being unconsciously written off. At least I hope it’s unconscious.

Tracking apps might not help recover stolen devices  Nice Samsung PR.

A new target in acute myeloid leukemia  Someday these new targets will add up to something. Hopefully very soon.

S&P 500 Index at Inflection Points  Long term chart of the 70’s rerun.

Helper T cells, not killer T cells, might be responsible for clearing hepatitis A infection  Seems like everything in the body is multitasking.

Humphrey Hawkins  Summer 2007 analogue is still looking good, or bad – depending on your time frame and directional bias.

Poor sleep may age your brain  I’ve been saying I need to get more sleep for almost a year. I may actually do it now.

First Insight into the Kinome of Human Regulatory T Cells Potentially very useful in transplantation where functional tolerance remains the holy grail.

Why on Earth Did Marissa Mayer Say Yes to Yahoo?  I have no idea. But they’ve had 5 CEOs in 5 years so worst case in one year you get a golden parachute. I’m not even sure you need to show up for that job in order to come out pretty well. Nobody would be surprised if it goes down the toilet regardless, so it’s not like it’s a résumé killer either.

Scientists discover dendritic cells key to activating human immune responses The red-headed step child of the immune system strikes again.

When you run fast, your brain runs faster Maybe just imagining running fast can do the same thing….hmm, my initial trial seems promising.

Self-Compassion Fosters Mental Health  So beating yourself up over mistakes isn’t going to help.

It’s Useful to Actually Plan  Reading this, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

How a Self-Taught 12-Year-Old Turned Spartz Media Into a Viral Media Titan  Though clearly an exceptional case, I can’t help wondering how much damage traditional schooling really does.

Pseudo Random News and Comment

How to Fight For Personal Liberty Don’t. It’s true of almost everything. If you think of something as a battle or fight, it will be.

Holy Sh*t, Homebuilders!  But don’t forget the Soros advice about knowing when to jump off a delusional trend either.

President Obama: “If You’ve Got A Business – You Didn’t Build That. Somebody Else Made That Happen”  Inciting Marxist class warfare. Must be election time! A complete ignorance of both entrepreneurship and history.

GMO in sport: Genetically Modified Olympians?  It’s coming. One quibble is that this says athletes are running out of drugs that can’t be detected, which is not at all true. The number of variables impacting athletic performance is huge and all can be targeted for intervention. Worse yet, they will all be naturally occurring so simple detection cannot be considered a positive dope test, and establishing the normal ranges for thousands of physiologic compounds will take decades and isn’t likely to be a funding priority.

New gene mutations linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and nerve cell growth dysfunction Since none of the current theories about the cause have yielded any useful therapies, something has obviously been missed. Maybe this will help.

Scientists identify critical cell in fighting E. coli infection  Cool, where’s my cheese burger?

Pseudo Random News and Comment

Tall, dark and stable  Wobbly furniture leads to a desire for emotional stability.  Along with many other studies showing seemingly insignificant environmental details impact your thinking and feeling, this provides even more evidence of the importance of looking at every aspect of your daily environment to help maintain the best attitude and results.

Energy Metabolism during Repeated Sets of Leg Press Exercise Leading to Failure or Not  No fuel, no go? Someday they may figure out fatigue but not yet.

Minocycline Modulates Human Social Decision-Making: Possible Impact of Microglia on Personality-Oriented Social Behaviors I can’t wait to find out all the things glial cells do. Their promotion from mere scaffolding continues its progress.

A Mind-Reading Helmet to Catch Criminals and Enemies! Or Not  Despite the lack of science behind these things they seem to always get a lot of funding from various agencies. But I suppose it’s still a step up from ESP.

There’s nothing new about uncertainty  I’m guessing the Black Death induced some uncertainty too.

Study suggests changes in rotator cuff surgery rehabilitation needed  Though I’m generally in favor of getting moving as soon as possible this does make me wonder how much science was really behind the get moving and get out of the hospital shift, and how much was the advent of DRG-based reimbursement which made rapid discharge the only way to make money.

Google Charts You Can Trust  Interesting stuff even if it’s already been rendered useless.

How Google Street View is inspiring new photography  Art debates always crack me up. Art is all in how you look at it, whatever it may be.

Indifferent cats in amateur porn  Google Reader put this on my recommended item list. Assuming the list is based on the habits of the blogs I read I can only assume The Reformed Broker is somehow responsible.