Pseudo Random News and Comment

Welcome in the New Year with an excellent evisceration of the latest dream girl of the investment world – Montier: Strategic Asset Allocation ≠ Static Asset Allocation

Tokyo Almost As Irradiated As Fukushima More holiday cheer. That mercury-fish sandwich is even more dangerous now.

How to negotiate for anything  Good tips for a satisfactory result (via Abnormal Returns).

Induction therapy with autologous mesenchymal stem cells in living-related kidney transplants: a randomized controlled trial.  And: Stem Cells Versus Donor Specific Transfusions for Tolerance Induction in Living Donor Renal Transplantation: A Single-Center Experience.  Starting to get somewhere, at least for new transplants.

How Do You Ticket a Driverless Car?  Why would you need to?  Unless you want to ticket a driver who had a stroke while driving, there’s no reason to do it for a computer crash causing a crash. The most likely cause will probably be hacking anyway.

Is Apple Pulling a Braveheart…and Why I Hate ‘Cheap  But the hate should be selective, based on the reasons behind it.

Is another California housing bubble possible? A repeat bubble this soon can only be driven by a new batch of greater fools, which favors a smaller, shorter version of the original. Though the pool of greater fools often seems limitless, it’s always finite at any point in time.

Government Dependents Outnumber Those With Private Sector Jobs In 11 U.S. States “…there are just 1.67 full-time private sector workers to support each American that is on Social Security.”  The obvious solution is one that’s almost never mentioned: Opening the doors to immigration, legal and otherwise. Illegals are really better since in many cases they pay the taxes but lack the documents or nerve to collect the benefits. When your SSN says you are 73 years old but you’re actually 28, it can present a few administrative problems.

Exercise and the Ever-Smarter Human Brain  An elaboration of the born to run hypothesis. The adaptations that improve running seem to also improve brains. Obviously there are some other issues since other primates are in no way born to run, but still have decent brains anyway.

Does Photographic Memory Exist? Only in men, and only with pornography.

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Pseudo Random News and Comment

Should Buddhist Meditation Make You Happy? More as a byproduct; backing into it without trying.

The Success Indicator Some useful tips on getting somewhere better – even though it probably won’t be where you planned and the future you will often wonder what on earth the present you was thinking.

What is “Rich” in America? Just when you think you’re close it moves further away. Stop chasing. It’s good advice in life as well as in markets.

Judge Rules Woman Is Allowed To Flip Off Neighbors With Xmas Lights For Now Wow, there was one small advance in individual liberty this year.

Need a New Year’s Resolution? Choose to Believe In Free Will! Fate won’t let me. An expanded definition of “you,” including any part of your body, would take care of the neurological arguments against free will. It doesn’t matter that some parts of your brain are directing behavior without letting you know since it’s still part of your brain. A plural you did it. We decided to do that but I don’t know why since they didn’t tell me/us. A choice was still made my some member of the collective.

Ameliorate Anger and Anxiety A couple concrete ways to avoid being stuck with it.

Pseudo Random News and Comment

House in Sakurajyosui / General Design  Giving a cold shoulder to the neighbors with minimalist style.

Washington’s Blog: Facebook Censors Prominent Political Critics This seems very likely to be bogus but it wouldn’t be surprising if true since Fbook often acts like an elitist big brother.

780.6  Fascinating discussion of fevers. 98.2 is the real average – and median.

The Six Biggest Investing Lessons of 2012  ..and every other year, so don’t ignore them in 2013.

Public must accept reforms if NHS is to survive, warns hospitals chief Shocker!! Socialized medicine must ration care via bureaucracy to keep costs from spiraling out of control. It’s always a choice between rationing by price or by edict.

Own the Robots, Bro, Trust Me.To me this means own software companies because the hardware to do any human task is just not that hard to do. Doesn’t mean they won’t be profitable companies, just like auto companies used to be, but the big money will be in the control systems.

Humidity Levels Explain U.S. Flu Winter Peak Which indirectly means temperature.

America’s Cars and Appliances Are Getting Old  But just because stuff is getting old doesn’t mean it has to be replaced any time soon. I still have a Sunbeam toaster from the 1950’s.

To Avoid Controversy, ‘Realtime’ Microblogging In China Now Delayed By 7 Days But “controversial” posts still need to be identified, which is very difficult given the flexibilities of language.

Pseudo Random News and Comment

Chinese Star Of Hollywood Films Accused Of Trying To SLAPP Down American-Based Journalist But apparently Zhang Ziyi isn’t willing to go all the way this time.

Heirs of Mao’s Comrades Rise as New Capitalist Nobility  Part of an excellent series on Bloomberg, certain to get them banned in China again. Still waiting for a series on the US equivalents.

Hijacking Worm Guts to Produce Tiny Semiconductors Quantum dots to be precise.

Naturopathy Embraces the Four Humors It’s enough to give one the vapors.

Curating your financial life K.I.S.S. I’ve even heard there’s more to life than money, but I think that only holds true when you aren’t hungry, cold or sick.

Patent Trolling Carnegie Mellon Wins What Could Be Largest Patent Verdict Ever: $1.2 Billion The other disgusting thing about this is the patent in question seems to cover math.

Your new weight-loss resolution: drive less No elevators either. 100 kcal a day = 10 lbs in a year (very roughly, subject to a host of other variables).

The echo housing bubble across the United States – Rising home prices in the face of stagnant household incomes. How the Fed is manipulating the monthly payment to keep home prices inflated. Something which was also reflected in the Price to Rent chart I linked to yesterday.

Mark Hanna on Why the 200-Day Moving Average Signal is Broken As I wrote very early on (here), quantitative methods work until they don’t. The only reason any method based on the past works is due to the constants of human behavior. Unfortunately that only establishes extraordinarily broad ranges for possible outcomes, and the enormous wiggle room in the middle is the eventual death of every purely quantitative system.

Michael Pettis on China Reforms, Ponzi Schemes in Wealth Management Programs, Rebalancing Implications Too many numbers to be entirely correct but makes many good points.

Lawler: An “Update” to the “Excess” Supply of Housing An attempt to squeeze out some decent housing supply numbers, which is of course a moving target.

A Politician’s Promise An excellent slapdown of the fawning toady mindset.

Modern-Day Typhoid Marys  Interesting look at those who do more than their share in spreading disease.

You Know Things Are Messed Up…

…when you get junk mail claiming to be from Ben Bernanke (who is apparently reachable by an Aol email and an LA phone number):

From: “BEN S, BERNANKE”<info@yahoo.com>
To:
Cc:
Date: Sun, 23 Dec 2012 22:16:05 -0800
Subject: CONTRACT FUNDS – CREDITED FROM THE FEDERAL RESERVE
ATTENTION: BENEFICIARY,

CONTRACT FUNDS – CREDITED FROM THE FEDERAL RESERVE AND WORLD BANK AND IMF BOARD!

We received the instructional letter to credit $18.7 Million to your account or any means of payment of choice you want your  Fund to be remitted to you.
Your response is required to urgently enable  us get this funds to you without any further delay and you are also required to  get back to us with the process how you choose to receive your fund , because we have two way your funds can get down to you(Diplomatic Delivery, And ATM Card ) also confirm your Full Information for us to know if what we have in file is correct and to avoid delivering your fund to wrong address.

CONGRATULATION ON YOUR CONTRACT FUND.

EMAIL : ~~~@aol.com

Please be fast on this matter. Thanks and God bless you.

Regards,

BEN.S. BERNANKE
Chairman Federal Reserve Board New York.
+1213-xxx-xxxx

When the Fed Chairman is so famous that spammers are using his name that isn’t a good sign.

Pseudo Random News and Comment

Garbage Time Except when it’s not. The vertical line is 12-26-2007:not garbage time 12-26-2007

The stem cell scammers Maybe Herbalife should get into this too!

Has breastfeeding been oversold? Some experts take aim at ‘breast is best’ claims In stock market terminology it’s overbought.

Study: Blood transfusion associated with increased risk of death for patients with heart attack Possibly inflammation related.

Share Your Good News, and You Will Be Better Off  Even, or maybe especially, if nobody listens.

Hollywood Studios Caught Pirating Movies on BitTorrent Lights! Camera! Hypocrisy!

Comment on House Prices, Real House Prices, and Price-to-Rent Ratio Price to rent the real problem child.

The Pro-Gun Movement Is Too Often Anti-Liberty  No surprise – in practice communism and fascism are impossible to distinguish.

Why Do People turn to Alternative Medicine Placebo effect and anecdotal evidence are so much easier to identify in others. Plus the brain is wired to give high weight to personal experience, no matter how flawed the statistics.

Monkey Brain Area Keeps Count of Kindnesses Has to be some way to keep the account in balance and tell it doesn’t pay to be nice to that dick head monkey.

It’s Not a Tax or Spending Problem … It’s a Devolution Into Lawlessness When force rather than voluntary exchange determines outcomes civil society disintegrates.  An idea well covered by Ludwig von MIses Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis and Omnipotent Government: The Rise of the Total State and Total War

Senate Drops Effort to Prevent Warrantless Email Monitoring I know, I know, it’s so shocking that amoral crooks whose email is being monitored won’t vote against those doing the monitoring.

“We observed attention and working memory impairment in patients treated with sirolimus or tacrolimus.”  Damn, exactly what I’ve been feeling for the last decade. It may not be my imagination after all.