Pseudo Random News and Comment

HPV improves survival for African-Americans with throat cancer  The blind watchmaker strikes again.

Cunnilingus Apparently Increases Duration of Copulation in the Indian Flying Fox  I’m thinking there may be a general principle in here somewhere.

Should short boys take growth hormone  Probably not, but girls that want to be able to dunk clearly have to do it.

Did Tencent just build a way around the Great Firewall of China?  It will be very interesting to see how this plays out.

Middle-class folk need to stop spending like they are rich—and start saving instead  Sucking the government tit has about run it’s course as a retirement strategy. Everything they take from you is a tax; just ignore the sales pitch that it represents some future benefit.

We’re all Active Investors  A change in mindset makes the difference between winning and losing.

Dumb Policy: Store Charges $5 Just To Look At Goods  Since they’ve actually named the store I guess this may actually be true. You’ll never go broke betting on stupidity.

Most Large Acquisitions Are Errors  So true. Ego is deadly in investing.

Anatomy of the Bank Run  The Cliff notes from Rothbard. With bank runs it’s far better to be early than late.

Some Thoughts on the Future of Home Prices  The good news is prices closely track incomes. The bad news is prices closely track incomes.

Too much choice leads to riskier decisions, new study finds  Thus explaining the sexual dalliances of the rich and famous.

Bernanke: Central Banker policies are not “beggar-thy-neighbor”  And you wondered why I call him BB brain…

How to Get Beyoncé Out of Your Head: The Scientific Solution  Playing games with yourself.

Google Reader being shuttered for privacy-compliance concerns, report says  Makes much more sense than the lame low traffic excuse, since it kicks the ass of Google+ in that regard.

MRI shows brain abnormalities in migraine patients  This sort of headline really bugs me. If the brain was normal, by definition they wouldn’t be having migraines.

China’s attempt to rein in the housing sector is causing a frenzy of home sales  Wait a minute, I thought Chinese buyers were supposed to all pay cash.

Taiwan Supreme Court Says Porn Not Covered By Copyright  Even courts can agree it’s hard to be truly original when it comes to sex, though the decision isn’t based on anything so rational.

Brazilian doctor investigated over 300 hospital deaths  So I’m guessing there’s a problem with quality assurance in Brazilian hospitals?

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Pseudo Random News and Comment

Chinese Web Users Marvel at Detroit, Where a Home Is ‘as Cheap as a Pair of Shoes’ The thing they’re forgetting is it’s easy to buy stuff cheap. The hard part is buying cheap stuff that can be sold at a profit. The real estate agent in this piece is a prime candidate for bankruptcy. Other than being cheap I can’t come up with a single reason to buy in Detroit until it gets so cheap it can be farmed profitably (with legal crops).

Even a little pot use ups college dropout risk  But it obviously can’t raise it much or nobody would graduate.

Construction of China’s Tallest Building On Hold Due to Concrete Scandal THE  Woman was making fun of me for being nervous in some buildings in Beijing. Hah!

Acting out dreams linked to development of dementia, study finds  Does this apply to entrepreneurs too?

In Spain, The Bitcoin Run Has Started  Bitcoin is again looking very bubblicious. Last time there was a sudden surge in bitcoin fraud and theft and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if someone again tried to sabotage the competition.

What Happens when Risk Parity Divorces the Long Bond?  Hint: It’s not pretty. I think there are other responses besides equal weighting, but it really is a  high hurdle to overcome. Imagine being thrown 500 years into the future, with no knowledge of culture or current affairs. What investing method would you choose? Though nobody likes to admit it, that’s exactly the situation you’re in trying to predict what will be working well in 5 or 10 years. Moving averages are a very robust tool in that context, though far from optimal and singularly unimpressive to a grail-seeker. But I think most often the biggest edge you can have is doing what you set out to do rather than using any particular method.

Want to Be Happier? Stop Doing These 10 Things Right Now  When I get very tired and worn down, like I am now, this almost looks like my to do list.

How to Change Your Life: A User’s Guide  Bite-sized chunks work best.

Identify Market Tops and Bottoms by Doing this, Guaranteed!  Almost. Good overview of the art.

Saxo Bank Explains How Massive Stock Market Rallies End  A bit of a tortured comparison since I’m hard pressed to come up with a major top that didn’t also have badly lagging breadth. That’s the element that’s missing at the moment. Nasdaq breadth has been lagging for a while but even that has reversed a bit of late.

Where the Nation’s Highest Earners Live  A disturbing clustering around Washington DC.

IsoHunt Still Guilty Of Contributory Infringement  Fabulously tortured reasoning.

I See Red  More science of online dating.

Increasing Maternal Age Is Associated with Taller Stature and Reduced Abdominal Fat in Their Children.  I guess that explains the attraction to cougars, though reduced abdominal fat was probably a negative in the good old days of subsistence and famine.

Bernanke Fails to Answer Concerns about a Cyprus-Style Seizure of American Bank Deposits. It can be taxed at any rate, at any time, for any purpose, and they also control what you can do with what they let you keep. If someone else controls every aspect of the disposition of an asset, it’s theirs, not yours, so why be shocked that they decide to take it back?

Pseudo Random News and Comment

100K Year Old Human Skull Fossil Reveals Signs of Inbreeding Not much to choose from so you have to make do.

Adults who experience stroke before age 50 have higher risk of death over long-term  Though I didn’t make it to 50, I did pick the right type of stroke: “In patients who survived the first 30 days after an ICH, mortality gradually coincided with that expected.”

Fat and Bone Mass are Genetically Linked, Scientists Say Not sure they’ve proven what this claims since bone density and weight aren’t independent variables.

FinSpy You can tell a lot about a country by the company it keeps.

Supreme Court Gets It Right In Kirtsaeng: You Can Resell Things You Bought Abroad Without Infringing I’m surprised any time they get one right. One victory for the idea of owning what you buy.

Deus ex Cicada: Are Predatory Bird Populations Influenced by Cicadas Odd Life Cycles?  They seem to be over-thinking the casual links. Boom and bust cycles don’t just flip from one state to the next. Lifespans also make a difference, like with pandas and bamboo.

House in Nada / Fujiwarramuro Architects The slats to allow light between floors are a nice idea but what happens when you drop something?

Wolf Richter: Housing Bubble II – But This Time It’s Different Interesting numbers on rents, and the perils of being an early vulture.

Is This Bull Market Fundamentally Driven? A Look at PE Expansion PE expansion works wonders.

How Your Language Affects Your Wealth and Health Make your decisions about saving in Mandarin.

When your actions contradict your beliefs Dissonance theory (and long books).

Vitamin D linked to mitochondrial oxidative function Another reason sunshine makes you feel fine.

‘Brazilians’ and other types of pubic hair removal may boost viral infection risk Bad news and some hilarious speculations by the researchers about the reasons for the popularity. I think most people just don’t like hair in their food.

Lies, damned lies, and Apple’s new marketing strategy You know the cult is cracking when people start pointing this stuff out.

Researchers restore light sensitivity to retina using polymer-based optoelectronic interface A long way from practical application since it’s just a retina in a dish but it still worked.

Pseudo Random News and Comment

US organ transplant patient dies of rabies With enough donors it’s bound to happen at some point, but certainly not a risk I ever considered.

Rabies: hundreds checked after transplant death

What should the next RSS reader look like? A good list for aspiring developers. Look, here’s one now: Digg to build a Google Reader replacement with same API, new features

House in Sayo / Fujiwarramuro Architects Another parking lot house in Japan. Very cool.

Shocker: Court Says National Security Letters Are Unconstitutional, Bans Them …and is likely to be the subject of dozens of them as a result.

Mila Kunis Likes Stocks Potential followup to the Giselle’s curse of the Euro.

CPI Increases 0.7% In February Beginning of the end for BB brain and company? Who knows, but I’m not running out to buy bedpans yet.

Viruses Might Be Actual Living Creatures, Capable of Stealing Still not quite enough to get that promotion.

How WordPress Thrives with a 100% Remote Workforce 30 years later the wave of the future has finally arrived (but not at Yahoo). Is the fully paperless office soon to be a widespread reality too? Nah.

Stem cells transplantation technique has high potential as a novel therapeutic strategy for ED Hey doc, while you’re at it with this stem cell thing can you make it prehensile too?

Soldiers more likely to be convicted of violent offences, report reveals No way! Trained, desensitized, killers are more violent?

The Market Is Very Dangerous Here And You Should Feel Uncomfortable If you don’t feel uneasy, try reading this: JPMorgan: MF Global-like Segregation of Client Funds

Ancient Chinese coin found on Kenyan island by Field Museum expedition Shove your decoupling where the sun don’t shine. The world was pretty well coupled 600 years ago and I think Al Gore hadn’t even invented the internet then.

Trade Like A Pawn Shop A good way of bringing some objectivity to the process of trading. It’s all just buying and selling.

Pseudo Random News and Comment

Unintended Consequences Of Google Reader Shutdown: Losing Key Tool To Get Around Censored Internet In Iran & China But it’s only unintended evil.

Can’t say the same for JPM and other banksters. JPMorgan’s Internal Control Problems, or HSBC’s Got Nothing On Us!

I Need Your Help Replacing Google Reader Me too. Maybe it’s easier to go on an information fast.

Should Attractive Males Sneak: The Trade-Off between Current and Future Offspring Results pretty much as expected. If you can get away with it, go for it.

Men Who Idealize Large Breasts Are More Likely Hostile Toward Women Also not much surprise.

Spy Agencies to Get Access to U.S. Bank Transactions Database I think “officially” get access is a better way to put it. Sniffing every packet on the internet, phone lines and satellites pretty much covers it all and they’ve had that for years. The only thing missing is the ability to use all the data.

“Good patients” cover their emotional cracks More on doctors’ discomfort with emotional situations.

Lifelong exercise holds key to cognitive well-being The weekly reminder. Use it or lose it, including your mind.

The Truth About Market Timing I think in specific sets of circumstances bottoms, and to a much lesser degree tops, can be predicted with profitable accuracy. BUT you still need some way to make money the rest of the time, which is in fact the majority of the time.

Chart of the Day: Post-Massive Bear Market Rallies Some interesting tea leaves.

Study reveals 10 factors in wrongful conviction cases Not what I expected, though some could be surrogates for more intuitively appealing factors.

Definitely, maybe: Evidence grows for positive ID of Higgs boson Look for waves, you find waves. Look for particles, you find particles. Look for Higgs bosons, you find Higgs bosons. Too much of physics seems to be viewing reality through different filters and confusing that output with reality.

Pseudo Random News and Comment

Is Tampa Pension Fund Manager the Real Deal? Probably not, while everything I’ve ever achieved was completely the result of skill because that’s what it felt like to me.

JPMorgan Chase: Out of Control Yeah, I can’t believe it either. Who’d have ever guessed?

Cheney Admits that He Lied about 9/11  Another stunner.

FDIC Hides “Scores” of Bank Settlements Since 2007 But don’t worry, everything was and is great!

Jim the Realtor: Here is what it looks like at an open house Truly astounding herding behavior. A great demonstration of why value investing works over the long haul.

Angry Judge Tears Prenda Copyright Trolls Apart Couldn’t happen to a more deserving group (of scumbags).

How Your Moral Decisions are Shaped by a Bad Mood Perhaps Prenda should have read this before pissing off the judge. In a convoluted way it also implies contrarian investors are frequently in bad moods.

Havoc in biology’s most-used human cell line: Genome of HeLa cells sequenced for the first time Ooops! GIGO strikes again.

Psychiatrists, Instead of Being Embarrassed by Placebo Effect, Should Embrace It, Author Says That sort of honest self appraisal isn’t likely.

Yes, Facebook probably knows you’re gay—but it doesn’t have to Except they seem to intentionally and perpetually reconfigure privacy settings to make it difficult to stay private.

Top 10 Ways You Can Waste Money Without Realizing It Decent list.

Rapamycin Reverses Status Epilepticus-Induced Memory Deficits and Dendritic Damage I’ve been reading a lot about the downsides of mTOR inhibition so this is a small antidote to that downer.

The Cancer from Fukushima (and Hiroshima)  Dig into that seafood! It’s not as dangerous as you thought.

Less sleep leads to more eating, more weight gain, research says

Difficult But Not Impossible Ends up seeming more the latter than the former.

Even if China reverses its one-child policy it’s too late to make a difference But maybe some fertilizer can speed things up. Do dead pigs enhance fertility?

Relationships among Musical Aptitude, Digit Ratio and Testosterone in Men and Women I’m just a fan of digit ratios since they figured prominently in my mate selection process.

Harvard Kids ♥ Dalio I was going to write a separate post about this but I’m too tired. Creating an intellectual monoculture is the path to ruin no matter how good your principles or your intellect. Encouraging questioning makes no difference if everyone comes from the same background, has the same approach and assumptions, and consequently asks the same, expected, questions. A slow drift is often the most deadly disease in investing. It’s rather like aging; Every day you look in the mirror and think nothing has changed, then one morning you get up and are shocked to see that old fart in the mirror. Inbred recruiting is a symptom of creating an increasingly insular world which easily detaches from reality. It would be better to hire a few idiots, whose completely off the wall, unfounded questions would be more likely to lead to a eureka moment.

Pseudo Random News and Comment

Live Your Life As If Everyone Else Was Going to Die Today Best advice I’ve read in ages. Approaching from the opposite direction will find a solution in many situations.

The unlimited power pseudo debate, and insecurity in the name of security:

Attorney General Holder: Prez Can Assassinate Americans On U.S. Soil

Why It Matters That Rand Paul Got His Answer  But “in combat” is just another subterfuge. It’s already been established the US is in a perpetual war against terrorism and if you are declared a terrorist you are by definition an enemy combatant. Therefore you can still be killed without any due process, anywhere in the world. It’s like asking god what rules he’s required to follow. The real answer is none.

A Devastating 26-Word Challenge to President Obama’s Leadership  Wyden stays the course, at least on one issue.

How the FBI Intercepts Cell Phone Data

Police officer ‘used criminal intelligence system as dating agency’

Google Reveals Some Data About National Security Letters, May Have Exposed DOJ Duplicity

Google Says the FBI Is Secretly Spying on Some of Its Customers

9th Circuit Appeals Court: 4th Amendment Applies At The Border; Also: Password Protected Files Shouldn’t Arouse Suspicion It’s not all bad news.

10 Things I Wish I Had Known Before Becoming a Parent Your genes will find a way to convince you it’s a good idea to have kids, even though it is in no way shape or form in your own best interest (in a modern non-agrarian society). Prepare yourself to resist with this handy guide to just a few of the downsides.

How Many Billions Of Drug-Laundered Money Does It Take To Shut Down A Bank? Since it’s never happened the answer is unknowable.

Ross Anderson’s Security Engineering Online Free! A classic that’s surprisingly entertaining reading too.

Oh, the irony: Business ethics journal paper retracted for plagiarism

Putting Tests to the Test: Many Medical Procedures Prove Unnecessary and Risky A few surprises on the list.

Effects of Diet Composition on Postprandial Energy Availability during Weight Loss Maintenance Cut out too much fat and you overeat. Where’s that bag of chips?

Salt Linked to Autoimmune Diseases Seems more an accelerant than a match but interesting theory.

Short bouts of exercise boost self control This is probably overstating its importance as a causal factor but I think it can certainly boost what you already have.

Target Date Fund Follies The average person doesn’t exist so an approach geared to that person can never be ideal either.

Richard Bernstein: 3 Signs to Watch for the Next Bear Market Rare that I read something about the market that changes how I look at it.

Sexting Habits of Teens It sucks to be old.

Petroleum jelly tied to vaginal infection risk in study  Not too surprising given it’s chemical nature and the ecological balance needed. As the old joke goes, it should be called “jam” instead of jelly because that’s what it’s used for.

Why doctors don’t attend their patients’ funerals Excellent piece on doctors’ greatest fears.

The Fed Balance Sheet: What is Uncle Sam’s Largest Asset? I guess the good news is the debt can’t be discharged by bankruptcy, otherwise this is completely [painfully] laughable.