Another pic from my 2010 vacation in Haiti. It is sometimes hard to remember that Haiti is a mountainous country. It’s highest peak tops out at around 8,500 feet. Still no skiing, though.
1) 9/11/2011 Terrorist attack: Following the 9/11 attack, the government lowered federal lending rates. This made getting a loan really cheap.
2) Sub-Prime and Creative Lending: In the past, home-loans (mortgage) were given with a fixed interest rate. (Hypothetically 7% for 30 years), required a 20% down payment and also required the borrower have a loan to income ratio of about 40%. To buy a $500K house one needed a $100k down payment and an income of $6652/mo to cover $2661/monthly payment.
But greedy and creative lenders…
See how this gripping drama ends and check out my latest crib note: Housing Crisis – How to Create a Recession in 6 Easy Steps.
History may never record a civilian benefit of military technology greater than the TacoCopter. Just place your order on your smartphone and this unmanned aerial robot will whiz high above the traffic to deliver your meal fast, fresh and hot. A Silicone Valley start-up hopes to have the first TacoCopter in service in the near future.
Suddenly, the $3.2 billion annual budget for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) seems like money well spent. The company has recently submitted a proposal to DARPA requesting another $14.6 million in order to evaluate and adapt this UAV technology for the delivery of pizza as well.
And whose heart isn’t warmed by the sight of cows out frolicking in the field?
This post is dedicated to Todd for his photograph “Funky Dunk” that won honorable mention in the West Bend, Wisconsin’s Museum of Wisconsin Art in 1976. A (belated) congratulations goes out to him from the entire staff here at Frivolous Disorder.
This is the famous “Daisy” ad… the first modern TV attack ad. It was put out by the LBJ campaign against Barry Goldwater in 1964.
This is the “Willie Horton” ad taken out by the National Security PAC (on behalf of the Bush/Quayle campaign) that did tremendous damage to Michael Dukakis in 1988. See my article “Do you think this flag makes my dogma look fat? Reagan’s Legacy” for a sense of the times for why this ad was particularly effective.
And who can forget this hit on Obama by the Clinton campaign in the 2008 primaries.
The Santorum campaign just released this new ad “Obamaville” in which there is a flash frame of Obama sandwiched in between images of Ahmadinejad while the narrator speaks the words “sworn American enemy.” Watch for it at about the 40 second mark.
We have been seeing pretty ugly ads ever since LBJ’s “Daisy” ad of 1964 but this conflation of a sitting president as a “sworn enemy” is a reprehensible new low.
If you are looking for something other than the standard glazed tiles that are out there, go for wood. Everitt & Schilling Co. produces a line of wood tiles that are made from reclaimed wood and can be used in most places that a conventional tile could be used. The skinny horizontal tiles above caught my eye, as well as the end block cut, that is reminiscent of end-grain floor tiles.
Fox news has since stepped it up but as of just a few days ago, they had little interest in the Trayvon Martin tragedy. As noted by Think Progress, all of the major news outlets covered the Trayvon Martin story except Fox News.
Geraldo Rivera, however, stepped up in his usual fine form by suggesting that Martin was to blame because he wore a hoodie.
… I believe that George Zimmerman, the overzealous neighborhood watch captain should be investigated to the fullest extent of the law and if he is criminally liable, he should be prosecuted. But I am urging the parents of black and Latino youngsters particularly to not let their children go out wearing hoodies. I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was.
You can read the full context of the interview at Geraldo Rivera: Hoodie | Media Matters.
Apparently, Santorum wishes he could shake off his own comments. He said that reelecting Obama would be BETTER than electing Romney.The offending statement:
“If you’re going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk with what may be the Etch-A-Sketch candidate of the future,” he said.
Of course, even is even blaming Romney for his own misspoken words. According to a quote in MSNBC First Read, Santorum explains:
This is just another attempt by the Romney Campaign to distort and distract the media and voters from the unshakeable fact that many of Romney’s policies mirror Barack Obama’s.
Who doesn’t love tree houses? Here are a collection that range from nest-like to contemporary and a couple that are just plain terrifying.
This is what I found after just one day and you know it will only get worse. This is the gaffe that will keep on giving.
Jeb Bush endorsed Mitt Romney today, dashing GOP dreams of an eleventh-hour entry third candidate to rescue their hopes for a stronger candidate. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney inches closer to the nomination by defeating Rick Santorum in the Illinois primary.
Santorum presses on despite no realistic chance of winning the nomination. So how long will he last and what’s in it for him anyway? I have no way of knowing what is driving this man. Higher speaking fees? Leverage for 2016? Voices from God?
For many, it is hard to imagine a cigarette commercial on TV. If you are of a certain age, it is hard to forget those idiotic jingles. With today’s awareness, this 1949 TV ad is just plain inconceivable.
The health concerns of cigarettes grew during the first half of the 20th century, however, the Surgeon General did not establish a formal opinion until 1957 when they determined that cigarettes can indeed cause bronchitis and lung cancer. Cigarette advertising on radio and television was banned in 1970.
I love bridges and will be posting a particularly nice one from time to time. I also like all things mechanical. If it has some gears and grease, chances are it’ll catch my eye. So what happens when you have a uniquely mechanical bridge. Awesome! This was conceived by British designer Thomas Heatherwick,designed by SKM Anthony Hunt with Packman Lucas. The pictures speak for themselves:
In an article that appears in Slate Magazine, David Weigel says that yes, there really are stupid voters out there but that they really don’t change the elections.
And there is. When I’ve dug in with voters who are convinced that Barack Obama is a Muslim, they respond in one of two ways. They might know that an Indonesian school form listed his religion as Muslim. (True, just not something you’d use to extrapolate the next 40 years of his life.) More often, they offer evidence of him doing something that they think a Muslim would do, like scolding Israel, or pulling out of Afghanistan too quickly. If we climb a little deeper, we inevitably get to a discussion of how, at heart, Obama hates America and wants to destroy it.
It’s not healthy for voters to think those things. It’s just not new, either. Most voter ignorance, if it was cured by logic and reason and long sessions of NPR, would be replaced by the same voter preferences, justified in different ways. There are Mississippi Republicans who hate Obama because they think he’s a Muslim. Take that away, and they’ll hate him because they’re conservatives and he isn’t. Only 11 percent of Mississippi whites voted for Barack Obama, but only 14 percent voted for John Kerry. These aren’t people who’ll change their minds if they fully grokked the president’s bio.
Full article here: Stupid Voters Are People, Too – Slate Magazine.
In his own words:
“Movement, change, light, growth and decay are the lifeblood of nature, the energies that I I try to tap through my work. I need the shock of touch, the resistance of place, materials and weather, the earth as my source. Nature is in a state of change and that change is the key to understanding. I want my art to be sensitive and alert to changes in material, season and weather. Each work grows, stays, decays. Process and decay are implicit. Transience in my work reflects what I find in nature.”
“The underlying tension of a lot of my art is to try and look through the surface appearance of things. Inevitably, one way of getting beneath the surface is to introduce a hole, a window into what lies below.”
Tyler Cowen (Marginal Revolution) challenges a recent article that appeared in Wired, Greed Isn’t Good: Wealth Could Make People Unethical. The Wired article summarized research that supports a common belief, that upper class wealth puts you at risk of being more unethical than the rest of us.
As an individual’s wealth and status rise, so does their tendency to be unethical, concludes a new study of the relationship between socioeconomics and ethics.
The study included seven different experiments that spanned real-world and laboratory settings, from rude San Francisco drivers to test subjects given a chance to take candy from children.
Tyler Cowen argues that we need to be cautious in how we interpret the studies. He does concede the following initially:
Of the seven tests, two of them showed that people driving more expensive cars are more in a hurry and more likely to cut off others or not yield. That’s not praiseworthy, but hardly a major moral condemnation.
But he also highlight the potential flaws in the remaining study. These studies are not, in fact, on upper class individuals. Rather it is on the projected feelings of people toward upper class individuals and that is a huge distinction.
Several of the tests involved people being asked to imagine they were high class, not actual “high class” people themselves. To that extent we are testing the lower class view of the upper classes, noting that I would not use those terms as given. One of the tests showed that social class did not matter once we adjust for a person’s attitude toward greed. A positive attitude toward greed is positively correlated with social class, but it was also easy enough to “prime” the lower class individuals to feel the same way, suggesting that extreme context dependence will hold here.
He offers up alternative conclusions including, “…that high-status people cheat more at games and less at many other activities, including those of real life. (They are also in more of a hurry on the road.)”
aka. Laffer Curve, Trickle-Down, or Reaganomics: This is the heart and soul of every conservative argument for lowering taxes and is a debate that will rage for years.
The supply side economic theory states that if taxes are lower, then there is more money left in the economy to keep the economy going. (More money to spend improves business). A key feature is that wealthier individuals will have enough money to invest in businesses. “You need capital (money) for capitalism.”
Key Argument: Although the taxes are lower, the resulting increase in jobs and business growth creates more tax payers and a larger tax base, thus, total tax revenue is actually higher.
Why Do You Care?
Find out in thrilling new Crib Note addition: Supply Side Economics | Frivolous Disorder.
An article posted in The Science Daily says that chimpanzee groups have members who basically act like police.
Anthropologists now reveal that chimpanzees mediate conflicts between other group members, not for their own direct benefit, but rather to preserve the peace within the group. Their impartial intervention in a conflict — so-called “policing” — can be regarded as an early evolutionary form of moral behavior.
It is probably still a bad idea to call a cop a “hairy ape” then next time you get pulled over, though.
According to a study in The Journal of Psychopharmacology LSD appears to improve alcohol abuse patients chances for recovery.
…repeated doses of LSD – for example, weekly or monthly – might elicit more sustained effects on alcohol misuse than a single dose of LSD.
Maybe Ken Kesey didn’t tell us everything.
The preceding post made me dig up a classic from Monty Python’s movie, The Meaning of Life.
“The Universe is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly hugely mindbogglingly big it all is. You may think it’s a long way down the road to the corner-store chemist, but compared to space, that’s peanuts.” – Douglas Adams, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
If you have a joint laying around now would be a good time to light it.
Some astronomer thought that it would be cool to aim the Hubble telescope at an empty patch of space (of no particular interest) and produced the Hubble Ultra Deep Field photographs.
About this image:
Okay. Maybe not yet but I am willing to put it down for the record that Mittens will win the nomination. Even if he doesn’t win enough delegates, the unpledged super-delegates will step in to put him over the top.
The media is still calling this primary as if it is not done deal because, technically, it isn’t. Besides, where is the drama in that?
A cautionary note to self:
I love Haiti.
Five years ago, if I mentioned Haiti, people often responded, “Yes, I’ve always wanted to go to the South Pacific.” Haiti found a way to grab global headlines, but only with a typically tragic cost.
Since the earthquake, money and attention has been flowing to the country and I would encourage everyone to keep this up. It is taking time but very gradually, it is helping. But there are other ways to help.
Go there on vacation.
This is the Haiti you don’t see on CNN. We were staying in a house on the beach when the guy in this picture paddled up and sold to us for lunch the lobsters he had just caught. We paid him six bucks each and for that he also grill them on the beach and served them to us for lunch. In short, not everything about Haiti sucks.