October 2008 Archives

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Jose Fish Market

Last Spring, disembarking at La Guardia airport, I decided to ride the Q33 bus to Jackson Heights before transferring to the subway to Manhattan. I walked around the area to find an interesting place to eat and decided on Jose Fish Market from the looks. This is a Korean-Peruvian fish eatery, I surveyed the offerings and they looked very fresh and well-prepared. So I ordered the fried whiting fish, scallops and shrimps combination with french fries for $5.00. The order came with two wedges of fresh lime. I noticed that every order came with two wedges of fresh lime. This is a very good sign because it is not normal in NY to get two wedges of fresh lime. I sat at the community table and enjoyed my fries, fish, scallops and shrimps. The next best thing was the flat-screen TV showing the Andrea Bocelli concert. I was very impressed with the total package. A very clean place and music to enjoy the meal.

I have been back twice, traveling to Jackson Heights just to eat at Jose Fish Market, wow!

The last time, besides the fried fish platter, I ordered the fish soup and I think that it is very good. Next time, I must order the whole fish and rice for $6.00 and they have a dozen freshly shucked oysters for $10.00. I am going to bring a bottle of Spanish cava and have a good time ... I saw a customer purchase a ripe avocado from the fruit store, next door, and enjoyed the sliced avocado with his fish and fries ... I am going to do the same, next time ...

Definitely worth the detour (as they would say in the Michelin guide) ... every time, the fried fish was very fresh and crunchy, not salty ... a large flow of customers keep the products fresh off the frying oil ... the last time, I ordered the rice instead of the French fries and they are good with onions and squash in the broth, 50 cents extra charge ... and the pint of fish soup ($2.50) is very delicious with the two wedges of lime ... I hesitated to write after the first visit but I am convinced that it is the best fried fish eatery in New York...

From Manhattan, the E or the F subway line will get you there express and catch the Q32 for a free ride back to the City ...

Jose Fish Market, 81-04 Roosevelt Avenue, Flushing, Queens, NY, 718-478-0232‎ ... on the take-out menu "the chef wakes up at 3 am daily to buy the fresh fish..."

This is an AGINY Good Value!

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Posted October 30, 2008 07:27 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  AGINY Good Value , Flushing , Peruvian , Seafood   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Hugo Chavez

On September 18, we released a report in Caracas that shows how President Hugo Chávez has undermined human rights guarantees in Venezuela. That night, we returned to our hotel and found around twenty Venezuelan security agents, some armed and in military uniform, awaiting us outside our rooms. They were accompanied by a man who announced--with no apparent sense of irony--that he was a government "human rights" official and that we were being expelled from the country.
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In the more than twenty years that Human Rights Watch has worked in Latin America, no government has ever expelled our representatives for our work, not even the right-wing dictatorships guilty of far more egregious abuses than those committed by Chávez. Presumably they knew better. After all, Chávez's decision to expel us merely served to confirm the central message of our report and ensure that it received extensive coverage around the globe.

Why did Chávez do it? One Brazilian on the plane on which we were forced to leave Venezuela offered a view that is increasingly widespread throughout Latin America: "Chávez is crazy." But the human rights defenders we work with in Venezuela have drawn a far more sobering conclusion. Chávez, in their view, was sending a deliberate message to his fellow countrymen: he will not allow human rights guarantees to get in his way, no matter what the rest of the world may think.

If their interpretation is right, it does not bode well for the future of Venezuelan democracy.

"Hugo Chavez Versus Human Rights," by Jose Miguel Vivanco, Daniel Wilkinson, The New York Review of Books, November 6, 2008

Of course, the falling price of oil won't help Chavez, either.

Posted October 29, 2008 07:17 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Caught Our Eye   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Furniture Fit for Royalty, Nov. 15-19, 2008, at Christie's

Something free to do in Manhattan, in the Rockefeller Centre area before the Thanksgiving week-end ... free, no tickets required .... beautifully displayed objects of art, most polite and helpfull stuff ... nice tiolets ...

Furniture Fit for Royalty: Important European Furniture, Ceramics, and Carpets, at Christie's, 10 am - 5 pm, November 15-19, 2008

Christie's, 20 Rockefeller Plaza, 212-636-2000

Please note that links to auction items usually stop working within 30 days after the auction concludes ...

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Posted October 28, 2008 04:57 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Auctions and Appraisals   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

When you smile the whole world smiles with you

In June 2008 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, a team of cosmetic surgeons suggested this experiment is making all of us happier. People with Botox may be less vulnerable to the angry emotions of other people because they themselves can’t make angry or unhappy faces as easily. And because people with Botox can’t spread bad feelings to others via their expressions, people without Botox may be happier too. The surgeons grant that this is just speculation for now. Nevertheless, they declare that “we are left with the tantalizing possibility that cosmetic procedures may have beneficial effects that are more than skin deep.”

"Why Darwin Would Have Loved Botox: All those wrinkle-causing winces, smirks, and sneers may have been the product of evolution." By Carl Zimmer, Discover, October 15, 2008

Also see "Warm Hands Warm Your Heart," by Steven Reinberg, The Washington Post, October 23, 2008

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Posted October 27, 2008 07:37 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Caught Our Eye   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

A great exhibition of Impressionist and Modern paintings at Sotheby's

Something nice to do in New York on the first week-end in November ... walk to 72nd Street and York Avenue, free and no tickets required.

A great exhibition of Impressionist and Modern paintings, beautifully displayed, and nice toilets. The space makes me feel that I am in some SOHO or Chelsea art gallery but I am in the Upper East Side

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale, Sotheby's, 10 am - 5 pm, October 29 - November 2, 2008, Sotheby's New York, 1334 York Avenue, at 72nd Street, 212-606-7000

There is a branch of Dean and DeLuca on the 10th floor with a lovely out-door terrace to enjoy a cup of coffee ... or Matsu Sushi, 411 East 70th Street, New York, 212-744-5454. ....the best values are at lunch from their "lunch specials" from 11am - 4 pm ... the sushi rice at Matsu Sushi is a stand-out ... with the correct amount of rice wine blended into the sushi rice to give a nice sour and sweet taste, a very tasty sushi. Also they do not serve a huge piece of fish, just a nice size piece ... and at the right temperature, i.e., luke warm and not ice cold ... very close to Sotheby's, the Tri-Institutional Friday Noon concerts at Rockefeller University  and the numerous hospitals in that area...

Speaking about lunch in this neighborhood, I must recommend the ILLY cafe at the Food Emporium on 69th Street & Third Avenue, very good Italian ILLY coffee, great sandwiches for $6.99, especially the mozzarella and prosciutto, numerous hot soups and $5.99 salad buffet ... moreover, a whole roasted D'Artagnan chicken to go for $10.99, etc...

Posted October 26, 2008 12:17 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Auctions and Appraisals , Notes to a Friend , Upper East Side   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

The Term Paper "Business"

The term paper biz is managed by brokers who take financial risks by accepting credit card payments and psychological risks by actually talking to the clients. Most of the customers just aren't very bright. One of my brokers would even mark assignments with the code words DUMB CLIENT. That meant to use simple English; nothing's worse than a client calling back to ask a broker -- most of whom had no particular academic training -- what certain words in the paper meant. One time a client actually asked to talk to me personally and lamented that he just didn't "know a lot about Plah-toe." Distance learning meant that he'd never heard anyone say the name.

In broad strokes, there are three types of term paper clients. DUMB CLIENTS predominate. They should not be in college. They must buy model papers simply because they do not understand what a term paper is, much less anything going on in their assignments.
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The second type of client is the one-timer. A chemistry major trapped in a poetry class thanks to the vagaries of schedule and distribution requirements, or worse, the poet trapped in a chemistry class.
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The third group is perhaps the most tragic: They are well-educated professionals who simply lack English-language skills.
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There's another reason I never felt too badly about the job, though I am pleased to be done with papers. The students aren't only cheating themselves. They are being cheated by the schools that take tuition and give nothing in exchange.

"The Term Paper Artist: The lucrative industry behind higher ed's failings." By Nick Mamatas, The Smart Set, October 10, 2008

And we wonder why a college degree doesn't mean what it used to....


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Posted October 25, 2008 10:37 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Caught Our Eye   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Necessary market correction

Today people who hold cash equivalents feel comfortable. They shouldn't. They have opted for a terrible long-term asset, one that pays virtually nothing and is certain to depreciate in value. Indeed, the policies that government will follow in its efforts to alleviate the current crisis will probably prove inflationary and therefore accelerate declines in the real value of cash accounts.

"Buy American. I Am," by Warren E. Buffett, The Malaysian Insider, October 23, 2008

My two cents: Inflation might not be a big problem if the prices of real estate, oil, raw materials, metals and share prices drop, drop, drop. I see this is a very realistic and necessary market correction which is very painful ... in this scenario, Warren Buffet is correct ...

Alan Greenspan is the person most responsible for the world-wide financial mess ... the so-called Oracle! He stayed too long in office and felt so invincible. His policy of low interest rates and easy money has caused the downward spiral into the black hole of debt, deficit and destruction...

Finally, the world will be a better place if we can learn from our collective mistakes...

Post by Peter

Posted October 24, 2008 07:57 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Caught Our Eye   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

If you use AVG do NOT accept the update on 10/23/08

If you do you will lose ALL Internet access.

Switch to McAfee.....


Posted October 23, 2008 01:25 PM  ·  Permalink   ·     ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

America's Most Overrated Product

[E]ven those high-school students who are fully qualified to attend college are increasingly unlikely to derive enough benefit to justify the often six-figure cost and four to six years (or more) it takes to graduate. Research suggests that more than 40 percent of freshmen at four-year institutions do not graduate in six years. Colleges trumpet the statistic that, over their lifetimes, college graduates earn more than nongraduates, but that's terribly misleading. You could lock the collegebound in a closet for four years, and they'd still go on to earn more than the pool of non-collegebound -- they're brighter, more motivated, and have better family connections.

Also, the past advantage of college graduates in the job market is eroding. Ever more students attend college at the same time as ever more employers are automating and sending offshore ever more professional jobs, and hiring part-time workers. Many college graduates are forced to take some very nonprofessional positions, such as driving a truck or tending bar.

"America's Most Overrated Product: the Bachelor's Degree," by Marty Nemko, The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 2, 2008


Posted October 23, 2008 09:17 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Caught Our Eye   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)


Study the topic of "taking offense" and you realize people are like tuning forks, ready to vibrate with indignation.

"Well, Excuuuuuse Meee! Why humans are so quick to take offense, and what that means for the presidential campaign." By Emily Yoffe, Slate, October 17, 2008

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Posted October 22, 2008 09:47 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Caught Our Eye   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Unregulated Capitalism? Where?

Communism’s failure involved Stalin’s terror-famine in Ukraine, the Gulag, the deportation of the Kulaks, the Katyn Forest massacre, Mao’s Cultural Revolution, Che Guevara’s executions in Havana, the flight of the boat people from Vietnam, Pol Pot’s mass slaughter -- a total death toll of 94 million people, according to the Black Book of Communism. Prominent American leftists -- from Lillian Hellman and Dalton Trumbo and lots of other writers to Alger Hiss of the State Department and FDR speechwriter Michael Straight, who became the publisher of The New Republic -- were members of the party that did these things. And that party had total control in the countries that it ruled. There were no opposition parties, no filibusters, no election-related maneuverings that prevented the party in power from getting what it wanted.
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And what is the "failure," as [Harold] Meyerson puts it [in the Washington Post], of this semi-deregulated capitalism? Does it involve mass starvation? Does it involve terror-famines? Does it involve millions of deaths? No, so far it involves a sharp decline in the stock market from record levels. Taking 1980 as the starting point for Meyerson’s nightmare vision of "unregulated capitalism," here’s what has happened to the S&P 500. It’s had some dips, but it still reflects vast wealth creation, and vast increases in the assets of our IRAs and 401(k)s.

"Gods That Fail," by David Boaz, Cato @ Liberty, October 15, 2008


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Posted October 19, 2008 07:07 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Caught Our Eye   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Prediction Markets and Manipulation

As many people suspected someone was manipulating Intrade to boost John McCain's stock price
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This is big news but not for the reasons that most people think. Although some manipulation is clearly possible in the short run, the manipulation was already suspected due to differences between Intrade and other prediction markets. As a result,
According to Intrade bulletin boards and market histories, smaller investors swept in to take advantage of what they saw as price discrepancies caused by the market shifts -- quickly returning the Obama and McCain futures prices to their previous value.

This resulted in losses for the investor and profits for the small investors who followed the patterns to take maximum advantage.

This supports Robin Hanson's and Ryan Oprea's finding that manipulation can improve (!) prediction markets - the reason is that manipulation offers informed investors a free lunch.

"Manipulation of Prediction Markets," by Alex Tabarrok, Marginal Revolution, October 18, 2008

After the election, for analysis of what the election means in Congress, see our Capitol Hill Workshop: 2008 Election.


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Posted October 18, 2008 12:37 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Caught Our Eye   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Chickens coming home to roost

This is very interesting, leverage to the maximum .... and California is going bankrupt .... running out of cash to operate ... even Arnold cannot save California ... the USA has been living high on credit for too long ...

See, e.g.:

Posted October 4, 2008 07:27 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Caught Our Eye   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

"wild greed and market failure"

Many believe that wild greed and market failure led us into this sorry mess. According to that narrative, investors in search of higher yields bought novel securities that bundled loans made to high-risk borrowers. Banks issued these loans because they could sell them to hungry investors. It was a giant Ponzi scheme that only worked as long as housing prices were on the rise. But housing prices were the result of a speculative mania. Once the bubble burst, too many borrowers had negative equity, and the system collapsed.

Part of this story is true. The fall in housing prices did lead to a sudden increase in defaults that reduced the value of mortgage-backed securities. What's missing is the role politicians and policy makers played in creating artificially high housing prices, and artificially reducing the danger of extremely risky assets.

"How Government Stoked the Mania: Housing prices would never have risen so high without multiple Washington mistakes." By Russell Roberts, The Wall Street Journal, October 3, 2008

The consensus among economists is now clear, the best strategy for dealing with the financial crisis is to recapitalize the banks that need recapitalization.

"The Economic Consensus v. Politics," by Alex Tabarrok, Marginal Revolution, October 3, 2008

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Posted October 3, 2008 08:07 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Caught Our Eye   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Columbus Circle

Columbus Circle: This whole area has been transformed ... the Mandarin Oriental Hotel has a bar on the 35th floor overlooking the Central Park South ... Columbus Circle is a great place to hang-out and meet friends...and now we get the Museum of Art and Design ... peel-off your cob-webs and head to the Columbus Circle area...

Post by Peter


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Posted October 2, 2008 08:47 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Central Park   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)