Pseudo Random News and Comment

Mental-health parity can cut costs Any group that comes up with a statistic that each year 1 in 4 adults suffers from a mental disorder is only showing that they are protecting their own interests. Throwing money at people never cuts costs, but it certainly promotes cashectomies for poorly defined “disorders.”

Study shows how dark chocolate may be good for our health—particularly if you are male I really didn’t need another excuse, but it’s the holidays and the stuff is everywhere.

Average voter is unable to accurately assess politicians, new research shows Looking at election results yields a similar conclusion.

Quick and Easy Ways to Quiet Your Mind Daydream walks are one of my favorites.

FDA warns doctors of counterfeit Botox You mean people might not be able to trade that wrinkle for an eerily corpse-like smile?

1000x Systemic Leverage: $600 Trillion In Gross Derivatives “Backed” By $600 Billion In Collateral How else are you going to get a ginormous bonus (and then a bailout)?

ENTER THE FINANCIAL BLOGOSPHERE And the winners are…. Not me. Geez, I guess you have to write about finance more than a few times a year.

New Form of Quantum Computation Promises Showdown With Ordinary Computers This really seems more interesting than finance, though it may eventually facilitate a systemic blowup at unprecedented speed.

Ron Paul: Government Security Is Just Another Kind Of Violence  But I thought someone else telling you it’s ok to kill someone made it OK. Hmmm.

Calling a Plan a Map / ON design partners Distributed living.

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Happy Non-Denominational Holidays!

Best wishes to everyone as you reflect on the presence or absence of whatever deity or deities you deem necessary, in whatever way you see fit, however, barring all acts that are harmful to others, whether they are, including but not limited to, godless heathens, infidels, blasphemers, the unclean, abortion doctors, believers in one of those other obviously ridiculous religions, someone who has sex in ways you find disgusting, a speaker of some other language, a foreigner, or even female.

Remember…

Pseudo Random News and Comment

 

Amazon Changes its Review Policy (but not enough) Solving the problem is difficult since any technology evolved to detect crap reviews can equally effectively be used to avoid detection.

Norovirus kills six in Japanese hospital: officials …and we already know the dishwasher isn’t going to save you.

Is more government the answer? Only if you want to create more problems. The insurance idea is better than most, but requiring insurance is just another way of saying more government since they would almost certainly be the enforcers.

Modern Portfolio Theory is for Nitiots  Does a nice job of pointing out how it helps Wall St recruit more sheep too.

US west coast may be within North Korean missile range, says Seoul Are we planning a war with North Korea? This smells like the beginning of the propaganda build up.

Is There a Right to Bear Machine Guns? That strikes me as a stretch, given that the second amendment was conceived in a time when there was no such thing as a gun that could shoot more than one bullet without reloading.” But when the Second Amendment was written citizens were allowed to own weapons every bit as powerful as what the government had, which was really the whole point. Hunting and self-defense with guns was a given.

Struck off MMR doctor handed award for ‘lifetime achievement in quackery’ Autism-vaccine quack wins a well deserved award.

Pseudo Random News and Comment

Banking: thousands of customers switch their accounts out of the big five Numbers may be fluffed by the source but it’s a trend that needs to strengthen until these zombies can’t come back. Move your accounts now. Don’t stop until the job is done.

The Fastest Growing States in America (And Why They’re Booming) Warm weather and low taxes are attractive. It takes time but consciously or not people eventual respond to incentives in a rational way (much to the dismay of central planners).

A Powerful Article on the Gun Problem We Don’t Talk About In fact it’s a drug prohibition problem, not a gun problem. For some reason that was obvious to most people with alcohol prohibition violence but eludes many when it comes to the modern equivalent.

Kraftwerk’s 12-Year Lawsuit Over A 2-Second Sample Comes To A Bizarre End Amazing example of WTF jurisprudence, with reasoning roughly equivalent to a 3-year-old kid ruling on the technical merits of a sex act.

In a similarly illogical vein: More Guns Have Not Produced More Killings, But We Still Need Gun Control

On The Morality Of The Fed Good reflection on the evil beneath every central planning action. All necessarily involve harm to someone, and in many cases someone completely undeserving.

Chart of the Day: S&P vs Durable Goods Maybe I’m just being a prude, but I find the recent dangly bit on the chart a little disturbing.

NCBI ROFL: Finally, science weighs in: should you give it up on the first date? Probably not.

Let’s admit it… Steve Jobs was lucky Good analysis of the importance of luck vs skill. Outsized success is almost always luck, and I only put “almost” because over the course of human history it’s possible there was an exception.

This Week’s Overreactions As I mentioned the other day, gun violence should be far down your list of concerns based on the statistics. Watch out for ladders and bathrooms though.

Chain-L Chain Lube Review

Chain-L

Generous sample size

My previous favorite bicycle chain lube was Slick Willy Slush Armor, which was the only lube I’d found that kept the chain quiet after eight hours in the rain. But since it was hard to find, even without the irrelevant search results the name generates, I decided to give Chain-L a shot.

It’s not impressive at first glance – it looks like a thick motor oil homebrew – and it feels sticky to the touch so it seems like it would be a real dirt magnet. But in use it’s been great. I put it on my chain a month ago (~35 hours ride time), haven’t reapplied it since, and the chain is still quiet despite three soggy rides in the last week. There are a few steps required when applying it to avoid a messy chain, but for once I risked the associated testicular shrinkage and read the directions. In this case it was worth it since to my surprise my chain actually looks cleaner than ever and any dirt wipes off easily with a paper towel every other ride or so.

It’s somewhat smelly if you park your bike in the kitchen but otherwise I’ve had zero complaints. I’ve put Chain-L on all our bikes now and I highly recommend it if you demand your bike be seen and not heard.

Pseudo Random News and Comment

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In the nick of time: NCBI ROFL: Investigation of the best suture pattern to close a stuffed Christmas turkey.

Longform’s Best Sex Stories of 2012 There has been a regrettable lack of sex links recently. I hope this helps.

Volatility During Crises Excellent summary of prior levels and associated events. It’s very hard to recognize something if you’ve never seen it before so it’s well worth a look..

Is the Dow Close to Breaking from this Multi-Decade Pattern? Twelve years and counting to get back to the lower end of the channel. On average it takes 17 years before the next bull starts so the next 5 years will have to be very ugly to get back on schedule. Gosh, I wonder if massive intervention is merely delaying the inevitable?

Norovirus Survives Restaurant Dishwashing Protocols Makes me glad I don’t eat out very often.

Amazon Replacement-Order Scam Humans are always screwing up the best laid security plans. But I’m not sure I want that totally fixed because sometimes human hacking is the only way to get something fixed when trapped by a deadly combination of rules, regulations and imbecility.

The Do Plan, or Why We Know But Don’t Do  There is more than fear to blame for inaction – conflicts, behaviors filling a need for which you haven’t found a substitute, etc. – but the distinction between doing and planning is critical.

Dengue, aka “Breakbone Fever,” Is Back and looking more successful this time.

Hawaiian Islands are dissolving, study says Surprisingly, it’s more from ground water than rainfall driven erosion. But still another 1.5 million years of growth. Another reason for realtors to say it’s time to buy.

Fever Phobia  Good piece on one of my pet peeves.

AV House / BAK Architects A peaceful place in the woods.

Pseudo Random News and Comment

Just in time for forecasting season, a hilariously factual disemboweling: Buy-and-Forget Portfolio: 10 Stocks To Last The Decade

Here’s a similarly prudent forecast: Hyperinflation Started On The 25th Of July 2012 !

Scandal Alert: Congress Is Quietly Abandoning the 5th Amendment The author says it’s fear of terrorism or being seen as soft of terrorism driving it. They probably also believe the Berlin Wall was to keep the West from getting in.

Marijuana Laws Enforced, Poor Hit Hardest Other users get to be President (for at least 2 decades now).

Is Orangutan Culture Made of Ideas? Probably.

A Modular Mind? A Test Using Individual Data from Seven Primate Species Some vindication for Marvin Minsky’s The Society of Mind

Hollywood Actors Really Are That Short I guess I chose the wrong profession. I could have been big.

Bullish Sentiment Rises to its Second Highest Level of the Year  If you’re a herd-follower this means you’re missing out!