Posts tagged ‘Pamela Druckerman’

Assorted Links – 2/16/12

  • The German-Style Board Game Revolution – “A Euro-style game fan I spoke to referred to Monopoly, Life, and the like as ‘Amero-trash games.’ Settlers of Catan originated in Germany, as did most of the rest of its ilk; Germans are famously crazy about board games, and mainstream German magazines often review games along with new movies and music releases.”
  • Dictator Valentines – “Leon Trotsky thinks you’re hotsky
  • LAUSD Principal Focuses On Real Miramonte Criminals: The Children – “One of the many privileges of having kids in the Los Angeles Unified School District is the accelerated education they get in official corruption, the stupidity of grownups, union strong-arming and many other topics – any topics other than reading, writing and arithmetic, that is.”
  • Why Italian Moms Are the Best – “Canadians make great moms. So do Ukrainians. Jewish moms can get in a ring with anyone, as can the Norwegians, the Tasmanians and the Kenyans. It all depends on your perspective. … Speaking from my own experience, I would argue that the best mothers are Italian-Americans, in part because they are warm and affectionate, but mostly because of the manicotti.”

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  • Obama’s Budget Proves He Should Not Be Reelected – “The [proposed FY2013] budget is as cynical an affair as last year’s offering, which was defeated 97-0 in the Senate – an act of rare bipartisan cooperation. Before we celebrate that moment of sanity, however, we recollect that the Senate has not passed a budget in more than 1,000 days, though they are required by law to do so. The White House blames this dereliction of duty on intransigent Republicans (a charge most recently leveled by Budget Director Lew over the weekend) but in reality all that is needed is a simple Senate majority to pass a budget, which the Democrats have. All this skirmishing is but B-rated play-acting. Informed citizens should be furious that the real issues clouding our future are not even addressed by our president. The crisis in our country is two-fold: a rising number of people receive ever-increasing assistance from the government. At the same time, fewer Americans are paying taxes. The inevitable outcome is a widening gap between revenues and outlays: the deficit. The recession has accelerated the problem.”
  • iPhone dominates phone depreciation rankings
  • Loopholes Allowed for Long Vegas Vacation – “In recent years, the lawmakers and staffers lucky enough to snag an invite to the annual Consumer Electronics Show were largely forced by House and Senate rules to limit their fun in Las Vegas to one day. But through the clever use of loopholes, this year, about a dozen Members and staffers (and family) were able to convert the convention into a four-day junket, with the Consumer Electronics Association still picking up the bulk of the tab. And it’s all within the rules.”
  • What You Need to Succeed–and How to Find Out If You Have It – “Whether you succeed at work may depend on many factors—intelligence, empathy, self-control, talent and persistence, to name a few. But one determinant may outweigh many of these: how you perceive those around you. New research suggests that your own ability to get things done-not to mention your success in non-work relationships-is highly correlated with how you see others. Are your coworkers capable and kind, or are they, dare I say, incompetent jerks? It turns out that such opinions are tied to a key component of achievement called psychological capital, a mixture of efficacy (self-confidence), resilience (you believe you can bounce back from setbacks), hope (you believe you can achieve your goals) and optimism (you expect good things to happen in the future). As a concept, psychological capital reflects our capacity to overcome obstacles and push ourselves to pursue our ambitions. Not surprisingly, scoring high on this measure is linked to markers of success: being promoted, winning awards, popularity with peers, stability of marriage and even longevity.”
  • Success in 7 Short Steps – “[C]ultivate a positive mindset through rituals and goals, say University of Nebraska management scholars Fred Luthans and Peter Harms. Here’s how: 1. Write a gratitude letter. 2. Seek out the good things in life. … 4. Put problems in perspective. … 6. Do nice things for others. … 7. Spend money on experiences, not objects.”

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  • The Boy Who Played With Fusion – “Shortly after his 14th birthday, Taylor [Wilson] and [Bill] Brinsmead loaded deuterium fuel into the machine, brought up the power, and confirmed the presence of neutrons. With that, Taylor became the 32nd individual on the planet to achieve a nuclear-fusion reaction.”
  • The Admiring Ignorant – “It’s 12 years later now; if things go according to plan, I will soon earn tenure. And I’m wondering now if the 23-year-old master’s-degree student was perhaps uncharitable toward someone who might have known some things he didn’t. In terms of an academic lifetime, I’m still a relative newborn, yet I feel like I know a bit more about the frustration and exhaustion that might cause a college professor to wonder if he had wasted his life. I once received a paper wherein the student claimed that ‘John Lenin’ had used his career in the Beatles as a stepping stone to seize control of Russia; last year, I read a paper that advanced the idea that ‘back in the day’ – by which the writer meant the 1990s – people didn’t commit adultery, and homosexuality didn’t exist.”
  • A failure of imagination put Metro on wrong track – “Believers in central planning should take a look at Washington’s Metro rail transit system. While they will find many things to like, they will also see examples of how central planners-and especially rail transit planners-can get things disastrously and expensively wrong. … The assumption of Metro planners was that jobs would continue to be heavily concentrated in downtown D.C. So there is no station serving Tysons Corner in Northern Virginia, which has become the largest office center between downtown Washington and Atlanta. Joel Garreau, in researching his book ‘Edge City‘ on Tysons and similar clusters, asked Metro planners why they didn’t put a station there. The reply: We never thought there would be any development there. Suburbs are for houses. But Northern Virginia lawyer named Til Hazel, who handled land acquisition cases on the Capital Beltway, figured it out. He bought big parcels in the triangle between the Beltway, Leesburg Pike and Chain Bridge Road, and made millions developing Tysons.” For more on Metro, see Unsuck DC Metro.
  • The Forgotten Man of the Tax Debate – “The skills that make successful businessmen and investors are not spread equally among the population, and they certainly don’t coincide with the ability to win elections. Better to encourage investment by leaving cash in the hands of those who know how to use it. Even if tax rates have no incentive effects (although I’m sure they do), cash in the form of retained earnings is important, and too often overlooked. My family businesses don’t add much to the overall economic prosperity of our nation. They’re small, not terribly profitable, and are hardly giant engines for job creation or on the cutting edge of innovation. They do, however, employ nine family members throughout the year, with another dozen or so employees during the busy season. Without sensible tax rates on both labor and capital, we can’t build the equity we need to expand in good times and survive the bad times. That’s why tax rates matter. Since our situation is multiplied tens of thousands of times across our economy, from family restaurants to small trucking firms to the corner bodega, discussions of fairness, questions of incentives, and the proper rate of taxation should never neglect cash left in the hands of businesspeople. You can be sure that cash money is foremost in the minds of the people who are actually making the economic decisions that drive our economy.”
  • Doll ‘protesters’ present small problem for Russian police – “Russian police don’t take kindly to opposition protesters – even if they’re 5cm high and made of plastic. Police in the Siberian city of Barnaul have asked prosecutors to investigate the legality of a recent protest that saw dozens of small dolls – teddy bears, Lego men, South Park figurines – arranged to mimic a protest, complete with signs reading: ‘I’m for clean elections’ and ‘A thief should sit in jail, not in the Kremlin’.”

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Assorted Links 2/7/12

  • Hide From Google – a how-to from WIRED
  • Corporatism Is Not the Free Market – “Young people coming of age in the Internet’s decentralized and wide-open market of ideas and merchandise can’t be expected to show enthusiasm for a system that protects entrenched corporations from the forces of competition. Moreover ‘the legitimacy of corporatism is eroding along with the fiscal health of governments that have relied on it.’”
  • Property and Disputes Over Property – “For over a century England’s judicial system decided land disputes by ordering disputants’ legal representatives to bludgeon one another before an arena of spectating citizens. The victor won the property right for his principal. The vanquished lost his cause and, if he were unlucky, his life. People called these combats trials by battle.”
  • Non-Citizen Voters in Florida – “The non-citizen voters were discovered because they said to be excused from jury service due to their lack of citizenship. The question now is whether this report is symptomatic of a larger problem in Florida, if not elsewhere, or a relatively isolated problem.”
  • I earn my entire living on Craigslist. Ask Me Almost Anything
  • Sister Feng Hands Out Flyers to Seek a Husband in New York
  • Frequent-Flier Tax Traps,” by Laura Sanders, WSJ, February 4, 2012 – “‘The issues surrounding frequent-flier miles are a perfect example of how complex the income-tax law can be concerning everyday transactions for virtually every American,’ says Michael Graetz, a professor at Columbia University Law School and a former top Treasury official.” (emphasis on understatement added)

  • Free Carlos Miller – “It’s easy enough to claim that he was doing something to “obstruct” the police. Any allegation will do, plus they can always jazz it up with some officer safety references and put on the scared police officer face when they tell the judge about their split second decisions and how they do it for the children. But deleting his images can’t be explained. Seize him. Seize the camera. That’s one thing. Deleting the content of the camera takes the officers allegations into an entirely different arena.”
  • Hammer Time Rewind: Depreciation Kills – “In most cases, car buyers get more bang for their buck (power, features, etc.), lower up-front costs, and lower depreciation costs simply by buying a used example of a less well known/accepted car.”
  • Cheap natural gas jumbles energy markets, stirs fears it could inhibit renewables” – “Can an energy source be all that bad if it scares the two most heavily subsidized sectors of the electric power generation industry?”
  • Bacon Butter … and Coffee – “It was good! I’ll still stick to Coconut Oil in my coffee on most days… due to the many benefits of Coconut Oil.”
  • NYC agent arrested in latest TSA theft allegation – “A Transportation Security Administration agent stole $5,000 in cash from a passenger’s jacket as he was going through security at John F. Kennedy International Airport, authorities said Thursday, the latest in a string of thefts that has embarrassed the agency.”
  • Why French Parents Are Superior,” by Pamela Druckerman, WSJ, February 4, 2012 – “The French, I found, seem to have a whole different framework for raising kids. When I asked French parents how they disciplined their children, it took them a few beats just to understand what I meant. ‘Ah, you mean how do we educate them?’ they asked.” Say what you mean and mean what you say.

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Creative Commons License photo credit: anokarina

  • Sugar May Be Bad, But Is the Alternative Worse?,” by Brandon Keim, WIRED, February 3, 2012 – “Some studies even suggest that fake sugar may cause the same problems as real sugar. … Another study of 6,184 adult Americans linked diet soda consumption with higher rates of metabolic syndrome, the umbrella term for a physiological disruption that leads to heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.” Most people are best served avoiding anything containing wheat or sugar (see next link).
  • Myocardial infraction – “people who follow the basic advice of the Track Your Plaque program to do such simple things as eliminate wheat, don’t indulge in junk carbohydrates, normalize vitamin D status, supplement omega-3 fatty acids, supplement iodine and correct any thyroid dysfunction . . . well, they have no heart attacks.”
  • Did Early Humans Ride the Waves to Australia?” by Matt Ridley, WSJ, February 4, 2012 – “Everybody is African in origin. Barring a smattering of genes from Neanderthals and other archaic Asian forms, all our ancestors lived in the continent of Africa until 150,000 years ago.”
  • Let’s tickle the ivories,” by David Dubal – “There is an old proverb that goes ‘Play the piano daily and stay sane.’ … Playing the piano teaches one much, especially humility.”
  • Programmer 101: Teach Yourself How to Code
  • Seven ideas for learning how to program – Chad Perrin
  • Congressman Hurt To Discover Lobbyist Not Really His Friend

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