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 Lendingclub.com, 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.