I keep a weblog like it's still the 90s. For commentary and dissent please visit jontaylor.ca, or various other purveyors of thought online.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Al Gore, Ignoramus

Power Line - Al Gore, Ignoramus: "It is a remarkable fact that Al Gore has had a significant influence on public policy relating to science when he is, in fact, utterly uneducated in scientific matters and is of very limited intelligence.

On the other hand, he's gotten rich, so I guess the joke is on us."

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hockey night in Liberia: NHL jerseys everywhere in war-torn nation

Hockey night in Liberia: NHL jerseys everywhere in war-torn nation: "Under the shade of a lush green palm tree, a hefty Liberian man sells pineapples and tries to escape the muggy tropical heat. All the while, he proudly sports a long-sleeved heavy-knit Toronto Maple Leafs hockey sweater."

Friday, March 26, 2010

Marginal Revolution: Equality Shoes

Marginal Revolution: Equality Shoes: "At 6'2', I prefer this to equality limb shortening!"

Thursday, March 25, 2010

QOTW

SteynOnline - Steynposts: "The quality of your argument is only important if you want to win by persuasion."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Some Truckee Residents Not Cool With Penis Snow Sculpture

Some Truckee Residents Not Cool With Penis Snow Sculpture - KTXL

They rejected my headline of "Truckee Residents Choked at MTV's Behaviour"

S. Weasel

S. Weasel: "So let’s point out the utterly fucking obvious, shall we? There is no relationship between blogs and trees. Nobody is waiting around for a pingback before they go stick a spruce in the ground."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The case against the hockey stick

The case against the hockey stick - Prospect Magazine: "Andrew Montford’s The Hockey Stick Illusion is one of the best science books in years. It exposes in delicious detail, datum by datum, how a great scientific mistake of immense political weight was perpetrated, defended and camouflaged by a scientific establishment that should now be red with shame. It is a book about principal components, data mining and confidence intervals—subjects that have never before been made thrilling. It is the biography of a graph."

Theodore H. Frank: I am not afraid of my Toyota Prius

Theodore H. Frank: I am not afraid of my Toyota Prius | Washington Examiner: "In the 24 cases where driver age was reported or readily inferred, the drivers included those of the ages 60, 61, 63, 66, 68, 71, 72, 72, 77, 79, 83, 85, 89—and I’m leaving out the son whose age wasn’t identified, but whose 94-year-old father died as a passenger.

These “electronic defects” apparently discriminate against the elderly, just as the sudden acceleration of Audis and GM autos did before them. (If computers are going to discriminate against anyone, they should be picking on the young, who are more likely to take up arms against the rise of the machines and future Terminators)."

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

American lawmakers look to pull out of NAFTA

American lawmakers look to pull out of NAFTA: "Forget about the trouble Canada had with the Buy America policy, there is a new game in Washington; it’s called Block Canada. A group of congressmen have given their backing to a bill that if passed, would see President Barack Obama give six-months notice that the United States was withdrawing from the North American Free Trade Agreement."

American lawmakers look to give up supply of freshwater, oil, lumber, gold, diamonds, tourism, good faith and zinc.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Mirror, Mirror

Mirror, Mirror - WSJ.com: "Krugman scoffs: 'To me, that's a bizarre point of view--but then, I don't live in Mr. Kyl's universe.'

What does textbook economics have to say about this question? Here is a passage from a textbook called 'Macroeconomics':

Public policy designed to help workers who lose their jobs can lead to structural unemployment as an unintended side effect. . . . In other countries, particularly in Europe, benefits are more generous and last longer. The drawback to this generosity is that it reduces a worker's incentive to quickly find a new job. Generous unemployment benefits in some European countries are widely believed to be one of the main causes of 'Eurosclerosis,' the persistent high unemployment that affects a number of European countries.

So it turns out that what Krugman calls Sen. Kyl's 'bizarre point of view' is, in fact, textbook economics. The authors of that textbook are Paul Krugman and Robin Wells. Miss Wells is also known as Mrs. Paul Krugman."

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial | Ten Geekiest Best Picture Nominees | Power Grid | Geekosystem: "The makers of M&Ms, as well, found E.T. himself so ugly that they passed up the use of their candy in the film, a place that Reese's Pieces was glad to fill."

Lol at the autobiography joke.

Friday, March 5, 2010

U.S. Economy Grinds To Halt As Nation Realizes Money Just A Symbolic, Mutually Shared Illusion

U.S. Economy Grinds To Halt As Nation Realizes Money Just A Symbolic, Mutually Shared Illusion | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

Waiting to hear 'we're sorry'

Waiting to hear 'we're sorry': "How can reporters assigned to write about the IPCC's credibility problem fail to Google 'IPCC hockey stick'? It's called 'research.' For that matter, why did journalists tell us the IPCC was an 'international panel of climate scientists' (New York Times editorial board) when that organization's own website says it's 'comprised of government delegations'?"

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The global warming guerrillas

The global warming guerrillas | The Spectator

He's entirely right about the failure of the investigative reporters.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Danny Williams going to U.S. for heart surgery

CBC News - Nfld. & Labrador - Danny Williams going to U.S. for heart surgery: "Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams is set to undergo heart surgery this week in the United States."

It'll shorten wait times in Goose Bay.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Osama bin Laden enters global warming debate

Osama bin Laden enters global warming debate - Telegraph

Something comes to mind about lying with dogs and fleas.... and then it passes... strange.

California: Not Dysfunctional Enough!

small dead animals: California: Not Dysfunctional Enough!: "Now is the time at SDA when we juxtapose

BBC - California 'protects' Apollo 11 landing site on Moon

Mercury News - California controller: State will run out of cash before April"

Thursday, January 28, 2010

J. D. Salinger, Enigmatic Author of ‘The Catcher in the Rye,’ Dies at 91

J. D. Salinger, Enigmatic Author of ‘The Catcher in the Rye,’ Dies at 91 - Obituary (Obit) - NYTimes.com: "(Mr. Salinger, who used italics almost as a form of musical notation, was a master not of literary speech but of speech as people actually spoke it)"

The “FDIC lotto” reason banks aren’t lending

The “FDIC lotto” reason banks aren’t lending | Analysis & Opinion | Reuters: "The problem here is that healthy banks end up competing with each other to have the largest capital surplus and therefore the greatest chance of being anointed in this manner by the FDIC. If everybody was lending, the FDIC would still have to place failed banks’ assets and deposits with someone. But instead we get the opposite corner solution, where nobody is lending — except, presumably, for banks which are close to failure and need all the interest income they can get. I wonder whether the FDIC has anybody thinking about how to counteract this syndrome."

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Public's Priorities for 2010: Economy, Jobs, Terrorism: Summary of Findings

Public's Priorities for 2010: Economy, Jobs, Terrorism: Summary of Findings - Pew Research Center for the People & the Press

Paying Zero for Public Services

Paying Zero for Public Services | Exploring the interactions among public opinion, governance, and the public sphere: "In Doha last month, CommGAP learned about the work of 5th Pillar, which has a unique initiative to mobilize citizens to fight corruption. In India, petty corruption is pervasive – people often face situations where they are asked to pay bribes for public services that should be provided free. 5th Pillar distributes zero rupee notes in the hopes that ordinary Indians can use these notes as a means to protest demands for bribes by public officials. I recently spoke with Vijay Anand, 5th Pillar’s president, to learn more about this fascinating initiative."

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Does the United States own any pandas or are they all on a lease?

Does the United States own any pandas or are they all on a lease? | Answerbag: "THE UNITED STATES DO NOT OWN ANY OF THE PANDAS.. THEY BELONG TO CHINA AND ARE ON LOAN FOR 12 YEARS. THEY ARE TO BE RETURNED WHEN AND IF THE EPIDEMIC THAT THREATENS TO WIPE THEM OUT IS EVER GONE. ALL THE BABIES BORN TO THE PANDAS ARE ALSO TO BE RETURNED TO CHINA AND DO NOT BELONG TO THE UNITED SATES.. THEY BELONG TO CHINA. ANY AND ALL PANDAS AND BABIES"

Fooling Yourself

Fooling Yourself � Cheap Talk: "I once tried setting my watch ahead a few minutes to help me make it to appointments on time. At first it worked, but not because I was fooled. I would glance at the watch, get worried that I was late, then remember that the watch is fast. But that brief flash acted as a sort of preview of how it feels to be late. And the feeling is a better motivator than the thought in the abstract."

Not From The Onion

Marginal Revolution: Not From The Onion: "The 9,000-student K-8 district this week pulled all copies of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary after an Oak Meadows Elementary School parent complained about a child stumbling across definitions for 'oral sex.'

The decision was made without consultation with the district's school board and has raised concerns among First Amendment experts and some parents.

Other parents and Menifee residents, though, have praised the district's decision, saying a collegiate-level dictionary is inappropriate for younger children.

Words fail me and now apparently also the students in Menifee."

The economics of child soldiering

The economics of child soldiering – Chris Blattman

Friday, January 22, 2010

There's no reason for Rod Stewart's Soulbook to be taking up space in the world

There's no reason for Rod Stewart's Soulbook to be taking up space in the world | Vancouver, Canada | Straight.com

The psychology of power: Absolutely

The psychology of power: Absolutely | The Economist: "These results, then, suggest that the powerful do indeed behave hypocritically, condemning the transgressions of others more than they condemn their own."

Popeye Admits To Spinach Use

BREAKING: Popeye Admits To Spinach Use | The Awl

Biblical citations found on Forces’ gunsights

Biblical citations found on Forces’ gunsights

I'm pretty sure our enemy would care more about the bullets than the vague inscription.

Covering Haiti: When the Media Is the Disaster

Guernica / A Magazine of Art & Politics: "I’m talking, of course, about those members of the mass media whose misrepresentation of what goes on in disaster often abets and justifies a second wave of disaster. I’m talking about the treatment of sufferers as criminals, both on the ground and in the news, and the endorsement of a shift of resources from rescue to property patrol. They still have blood on their hands from Hurricane Katrina, and they are staining themselves anew in Haiti."

Improving Access to Research -- Courant et al. 327 (5964): 393 -- Science

Improving Access to Research -- Courant et al. 327 (5964): 393 -- Science

The sweet irony is that this Improving Access article is behind a firewall.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Canadian misunderstanding: Just history

A Canadian misunderstanding: Just history | The Economist: "This is known online as the Scunthorpe problem, after the town in Britain whose residents were initially unable to register with AOL because its name contained an obscenity."

Who will lead Haiti's security?

Who will lead Haiti's security? | Al Jazeera Blogs: "There appear to be some rising tensions between countries leading the relief efforts in Haiti. We know the US is sending in upwards of 10,000 troops to the country. But since 2004, Brazil’s military has been the commanding force leading the Haiti UN peacekeeping mission, technically referred to as MINUSTAH. Brazil has about 1,700 soldiers in Haiti and commands about another 5,300 UN forces in Haiti."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Color Me A Dinosaur

Color Me A Dinosaur - Weather Sealed: "Ever industrious, Velo also calculated the average growth rate: 2.56% annually. For maximum understandability, he reformulated it as “Crayola’s Law,” which states:

The number of colors doubles every 28 years!"

FloDesign high efficiency Wind Turbine based on Jet engine technology

YouTube - FloDesign high efficiency Wind Turbine based on Jet engine technology

Monday, January 18, 2010

Beyond boundaries

Beyond boundaries - The National Newspaper: "India is one of the world’s oldest civilisations; but as a nation-state it is relatively very new, and its nationalism can still appear weak and unresolved, as became freshly clear in August, when the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party expelled its veteran leader Jaswant Singh. Singh had dared to praise, in a new book about the partition of India, the founder of Pakistan, Mohammed Ali Jinnah. Indian nationalists, of both the hardline Hindu and soft-secular kind, see Jinnah as the Muslim fanatic primarily responsible for the vivisection of their “Mother India” in 1947. But Singh chose to blame the partition on allegedly power-hungry Hindu freedom fighters, rather than Jinnah, who he claimed had stood for a united India."

Moscow’s stray dogs

FT.com / Reportage - Moscow’s stray dogs: "There is one special sub-group of strays that stands apart from the rest: Moscow’s metro dogs. “The metro dog appeared for the simple reason that it was permitted to enter,” says Andrei Neuronov, an author and specialist in animal behaviour and psychology, who has worked with Vladimir Putin’s black female Labrador retriever, Connie (“a very nice pup”). “This began in the late 1980s during perestroika,” he says. “When more food appeared, people began to live better and feed strays.” The dogs started by riding on overground trams and buses, where supervisors were becoming increasingly thin on the ground."

Friday, January 15, 2010

Auto-appendectomy in the Antarctic: case report -- Rogozov and Bermel 339: b4965 -- BMJ

Auto-appendectomy in the Antarctic: case report -- Rogozov and Bermel 339: b4965 -- BMJ: "'I did not sleep at all last night. It hurts like the devil! A snowstorm whipping through my soul, wailing like a hundred jackals. Still no obvious symptoms that perforation is imminent, but an oppressive feeling of foreboding hangs over me . . . This is it . . . I have to think through the only possible way out: to operate on myself . . . It’s almost impossible . . . but I can’t just fold my arms and give up."

The Joe Kennedy Irony

The Joe Kennedy Irony - Real Clear Politics – TIME.com

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Ghosts of Port-au-Prince

The Ghosts of Port-au-Prince - By Daniel P. Erikson | Foreign Policy: "Few would dispute that Haiti is one of the most troubled countries in the world, but the precise causes of its seemingly never-ending political and economic turmoil defy easy classification. Haiti is not at war with its neighbors, nor does it face a violent insurgency from within. The Haitian military, once among the most noxious armed forces in the Western Hemisphere, has been disbanded and replaced by a police force that is corrupt and incompetent, but hardly a major force for state repression."

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Under the Jungle

Under the Jungle: News Desk : The New Yorker: "The gradual devastation of the Amazon—the felling of thousands of square miles of forest, the clear-cutting of the jungle—has produced, paradoxically, one of the greatest archeological discoveries: a vast and complex ancient civilization."

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Zakaria: Don't Overreact to Terrorism

Zakaria: Don't Overreact to Terrorism - Fareed Zakaria - Newsweek.com: "Terrorism is an unusual military tactic in that it depends on the response of the onlookers. If we are not terrorized, then the attack didn't work. Alas, this one worked very well."

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Bloggers Left and Right Agree to Hate Health Care Reform

Bloggers Left and Right Agree to Hate Health Care Reform - TIME: "The denizens of the left blogosphere consider themselves the Democratic Party's base. But they are not. For Democrats, as opposed to Republicans, the wing is not the base; the legions of loyal African Americans, union members, Jews, women and Latinos are. In the end, the sillier left-village practitioners are stoking the same populist exaggeration — the idea that Washington is controlled by crooks and sellouts — that conservative strategists like Bill Kristol believe will bring the Republicans back to power. The perversity of this is beyond comprehension."

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

R.O.I. on Cancer Spending: Better Than We Think?

R.O.I. on Cancer Spending: Better Than We Think? - Freakonomics Blog - NYTimes.com: "Believe it or not, this flat mortality rate actually hides some good news. Over the same period, age-adjusted mortality from cardiovascular disease has plummeted, from nearly 600 people per 100,000 to well below 300. What does this mean? Many people who in previous generations would have died from heart disease are now living long enough to die from cancer instead."

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Science of Success | David Dobbs

The Atlantic Online | December 2009 | The Science of Success | David Dobbs: "Recently, however, an alternate hypothesis has emerged from this one and is turning it inside out. This new model suggests that it’s a mistake to understand these “risk” genes only as liabilities. Yes, this new thinking goes, these bad genes can create dysfunction in unfavorable contexts—but they can also enhance function in favorable contexts. The genetic sensitivities to negative experience that the vulnerability hypothesis has identified, it follows, are just the downside of a bigger phenomenon: a heightened genetic sensitivity to all experience."

Monday, January 4, 2010

Dementia surge to cost $153B by 2038: report

CBC News - British Columbia - Dementia surge to cost $153B by 2038: report: "The Alzheimer Society of Canada commissioned the report, entitled Rising Tide: The Impact of Dementia on Canadian Society, which projects that the number of cases will more than double to 1.25 million by 2038 as society ages."

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Greatest Story Rarely Told - Check out the comments

The Greatest Story Rarely Told:
"People are tired of being conned by journalists who have no real world background that have no way of knowing what they are reporting, pushing a computer model down our throats and wrapping themselves in a green cloak!
In fact journalists are rapidly losing their relevance to modern society due to a lack of skills and experience, not writting skills, but real world skills. So those of us who live in the real world of manufacturing, mining, real energy production, small business, mid-sized business, non-union business, see journalists for what they are, a bunch of idealistic kids."

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