Sunday, July 26, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Amazon CEO apologizes for deleting Orwell books
Seriously, I just have to sit here and wait for the world to pass by... Can you even make up headlines like this?
A poem by Boris Slutsky, a veteran of WWII (translation mine):
Jews don't plant bread,
Jews peddle in their shops,
Jews go bald early,
Jews steal a lot.
Jews are daring people,
They make poor soldiers:
Ivan fights in the trenches,
Avram trades in the co-op.
I heard this since my childhood,
Soon I will be grey completely,
Yet I can't seem to escape them,
The cries - "The Jews! The Jews!"
Having never peddled,
Having never stolen,
Like a disease inside me,
I carry this damned race.
The bullets all missed me,
So that they could say truthfully,
"Jews never got killed!
They all came back alive!"
Where I scoop the NYT...
...high-frequency specialists clearly have an edge over typical traders, let alone ordinary investors. The Securities and Exchange Commission says it is examining certain aspects of the strategy.
"This is where all the money is getting made," said William H. Donaldson, former chairman and chief executive of the New York Stock Exchange and today an adviser to a big hedge fund. "If an individual investor doesn't have the means to keep up, they're at a huge disadvantage."
This article is really disturbing. Where does it say that all people have a fundamental right to access the market the same way? That has never been the case! This is why brokers are in business... And the market is always been about asymetrical information - this is why you have winners and losers...
This type of talk makes me forget we are supposed to live in a capitalist country...
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Gates' arrest not adding up
Despite the fact that Gates is trying to make it a "racial profiling" case, he didn't get arrested for being caught looking like he was breaking into a house. He got arrested for being combative and verbally abusing the officer. That does not look like a case of "racial profiling". I am guessing that this guy has a major chip on his shoulder (whether deserved or not is a different story). He went off on the cop, refused to produce ID, and was provoking him verbally. And he got arrested.
For a balanced view of this story, here is the Cambridge police point of view...
Wouldn't it be cool...
Obviously, for most of human history we did not understand how our own body worked and so it was a good design. But now, as we learn more and more about how we work, wouldn't it be cool if we could evolve to direct our own bodies for our own benefit?
Could not resist
Honey, I am feeling just awful - I know it is Tisha B'Av, but I need to put on some leather, rub you with sweet smelling oils, and give you a good shtup - I think that will make me feel better. That and a hot shower afterwards...On the 9th of Av, it is prohibited to bathe, anoint, wear leather shoes and have marital relationships…Indeed, there are numerous Talmudic and post Talmudic sources supporting this understanding of the halacha which makes no distinction between any of these four prohibitions: none are permitted unless one is seriously ill and the violation of the prohibition is part of the cure.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Slavoj Zizek tweeting
But part of me wonders if it is not an act; if it is the real deal. I can totally see that. I have stood on the edge of that abyss where you just start reasoning and pretty soon you have demolished everything you hold dear and everything you believe and you wind up staring into nihil.
Monday, July 20, 2009
P-Funk Hydraulic Pump Music Monday
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Down in the pits
This is a picture of a traditional trading environment. For thousands of years, if you wanted to buy or sell something, you went to the market and haggled on price. At its simplest, this is what the stock markets and exchanges have always been about. Up until about ten years ago, the normal way to trade was to go to a physical place and make deals. The closer you were to the action, the better it was for your trading. This is why people paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to be on the trading floors. Only a fixed number of people can fit into a room and if you wanted to be one of them, you'd better pay up.
Then came along electronic trading and the world changed. No longer did you need to be on the floor standing next to another person to make a deal. You can be doing it all on a computer. You don't all have to stand in the same room. The doors were blown wide open.
Enter the trading world of 2009. The hot trend is "low-latency" trading. A veritable arms race to have the fastest computer trading systems. Whoever gets to the market quickest wins. Remarkably, despite all the high tech hype, one factor which influences how fast your systems can be is how far away physically they are from the stock market's computer. A simple concept really - if you are 10 feet away, the electrons will get there faster than if you are 10 miles away.
So guess what - people are now paying premium dollar to rent space for their computers as close as possible to the exchanges' computers, literally several feet away.
Perhaps without even realizing it, they have just reverted to the same thing we have been doing for millenia - except instead of people screaming in each other's faces we have computers...
Friday, July 17, 2009
The dogs of war
Monday, July 13, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
Everything but the Gerbil
I'd like to bring to his attention another type of self inflicted predicament that thankfully I have never had to seek medical attention for. I quote from "Everything but the Gerbil":
The healthy mind naturally struggles to accept the reality of the retained RFO, and the visual evidence accompanying Dr. David W. Munter's e-medicine article, "Foreign Bodies, Rectum" (www.emedicine.com/emerg/topic933.htm), may raise more question than answers. The X-ray reveals a lower torso — the outline of a lower spine, hip and pelvic bones — along with what is best explained by the image's caption: "The patient attempted self-removal [of vibrator] with a pair of salad tongs, which also became lodged, resulting in two rectal foreign bodies. Multiple attempts at self-removal are typical in patients with rectal foreign bodies." The image, stupid as it may be, is immortalized, but could it really be called typical?
In a 1986 Surgery magazine report, Drs. David B. Busch and James R. Starling tabulated the RFO's that had been referenced in scholarly works. They found 182 cases. According to their research, the most popular object to emerge was a bottle, cleaning up with thirty-three entries (one with attached rope). Running a respectable second were vibrators, at twenty-three mentions, followed by the vibrator's cousin, the dildo, with fifteen. The last object to achieve double-digit status was the stick/broom handle, with a perfect ten. The remaining melange included virtually everything except a rodent (the gerbil story, according to the journals, is, in fact, myth): a frozen pig's tail, a kangaroo tumor, pool cue ball, snuff box, and a variety of fruits and vegetables, including a plantain (with condom). Perhaps Mark Twain said it best: "Man is the only animal who blushes. Or needs to."
What the heck is wrong with me?
OK. I got it out.
This really doesn't belong on the blog. It's too bad I hate @Twitter...
Jesus H. Tap Dancing Christ - In Hebrew?
Apparently "Jesus H. Tap Dancing Christ" is translated to the Holy Tongue as בח'' 'שו המרקד
Anyone out there who can tell me exactly what that means?
Monday, July 06, 2009
Funniest Blogpost I've seen in a while - all you iPhone haters...
John got an iPhone last week and our relationship is in deep peril. As is the future of our country.
He keeps forwarding email crap to me and I'm sure that the only reason that he does it is so that the ridiculous legend at the bottom, "sent from my iPhone", can mock me. He knows that I am insanely jealous and yet he seems to be unable to stop himself. I told him to disable it or I'd disable him, but so far he hasn't. Not only that, when I call him, this is how he responds:
"Answered on my iPhone: Hello."
"Fuck you," I say.
"Insult received on my iPhone," he says.
He also told me that his iPhone gave him a handjob, but I totally doubt it.
Music Monday - Amsterdam Klezmer Band - Sadagora Hot Dub
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Found a great new blog
Found a great quote from Umberto Eco on her blog:
When all the archetypes burst in shamelessly, we reach Homeric depths. Two clichés make us laugh. A hundred clichés move us. For we sense dimly that the clichés are talking among themselves, and celebrating a reunion.
I don't know why, but for some reason it reminds me of another quote, by good old Uncle Joe:
One death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.
And Uncle Joe was a very good statistician...
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Yet somehow people who grow up here naturally figure out what commercials are and they seem as natural to them as they were bizarre to me.
It reminded me of an article I read a while back in the New Yorker about some anthropologists who were showing movies to some remote tribe of Indians in South America. The Indians were completely bewildered by what they saw and they had no idea of how to interact with the movie. For example, they would try to talk to the characters in the movie, or walk up to the screen and try to look around a corner of some building in the picture. Yet you can take a three year old to a movie and they seem to easily understand what is going on...