Monthly Archives: December 2013

According to The Atlantic, they used to be different:

This year, most Americans will resolve forthwith to do some permutation of “getting fit” or “losing weight.”

But New Year’s resolutions predate our modern-day weight concerns by centuries.

So, what did people resolve before we had the scourge of cellulite and the temptation of McRib to stir us to action?

The answer: just to be a better person, apparently. Resolutions from the early 20th century ranged from swearing less, to having a more cheerful disposition, to recommitting to God.

I consider most of these to be better than the “lose weight” one. Of course, if I had a new years resolution, it would be… to lose some of the previously lost weight that has been creeping back on.

I’d also like to be more vigilant with Hit Coffee.

What, if any, new year resolutions did you make?

Category: Coffeehouse

FastCompany argues that the economic impact of robocars will blow our minds.

When I think about the things that excite me about the prospect of robocars, not having to pay attention during transit is relatively low on my list. The more exciting aspects have to do with system-wide improvements. The above article focuses on the money saved from car accidents. That’s just the tip of the iceburg, though. The biggest thing, especially once these things can drive themselves without occupants, is that car ownership itself will become obsolete. The line between private car ownership and public transportation will become blurred in a way that everyone will benefit from.

It’s also pretty cool if it ends up in our revising our notions of “speed limits.”

Category: Road

It’s good to know that it’s okay to buy yourself gifts, no matter where you happen to live.

Category: Theater

Here’s a 20-day old husky puppy learning to howl:

Here are more:

Category: Theater

speed-bumps-aheadI’ve long considered Richard Florida’s “Creative Class” was basically a scam to justify cities spending money on the preferences of its financially comfortable. Richey Piiperinen thinks it might have been something more nefarious.

We’re along way from Ted Turner’s colorization of old movies. Some of these pictures look pretty realistic.

The media has focused quite a bit on the upheavel caused by the energy boom in North Dakota. David Blackmon explains what its own oil boom means to West Texas and the Texas economy.

How the Big Sort happened.

Our best weapon against heroin addiction is being stigmatized.

Spain is preventing a vote on Catalonian independence.

Madison prides itself on its progressivity, but there are some unpleasant statistics on race under the hood. Which probably tell you more about the statitics, and the many things than influence them, than anything about racism in Madison.

It’s not for me, since I have my hair care needs taken care of at chains without so much as the twirling barber post out front, but given that my grandfather was a barber, I’ll always have an attachment to the idea of barbershops.

The French are learning English on train rides. One of my great regrets is that I never took advantage of my long commutes to get a hold on Spanish.

Jathan Sadowski argues that pushing people to code will only increase the gap between the wealthy and the poor. I personally think that we should push more people into taking programming classes not because of the coding part but because the process teaches you a lot about logic paths. But the article is probably right that for some people it might be more worthwhile that they learn more pedestrian material.

Yes! You can be fat and healthy! No, you can’t!

Meanwhile, mice may change the conversation on obesity, and a weight loss chip may obviate it.

How to have sex in communal living spaces.

David Golumbia argues that the left’s embrace of the “digital freedom” movement is a betrayal of lefty ideals.


Richard Florida has discovered that suburbs are the new swing states! Actually, they’ve always been. Even so, and despite being written by Florida, it points out some interesting things on the economic factors of suburban politics.

Category: Newsroom

Alex Dykes thinks so:

Smart FourTwo – At $13,270 the Smart sounds like a great idea. Until you look at the price and discover a Nissan Versa sedan is 10% cheaper, seats 150% more people, carries more stuff, gets better fuel economy and has a transmission that doesn’t shift like a drunk 14 year old learning to drive a stick. If you really must own a 3-cylinder conveyance in America, get a 3-cylinder Fiesta or a Mitsubishi Mirage.

So does that make a Smart a purchase for conspicuity? Perhaps. About the only big selling point remaining on the Smart, if price and mileage are out of the way, is a genuine preference for a microcar. I remember when I was in Zaulem Sound, one of the selling points of Smarts was that they would be easier for parking and – presumably – traffic navigation.

It’s worth noting that the Versa’s increased mileage is a more recent development. Back when I was looking at economy cars in Zaulem, the Versa had among the worst mileage in the class and no non-hybrid really competed with the Smart. So… is this indicative that CAFE standards are working? It seems that the non-hybrid, non-microcars have been improving within the last couple of years.

Category: Road


Children have an innate fear of plants.

The Star Trek economy.

A movable city! I’m not sure of the practical utility, but pretty awesome all the same.

Romania is building a new kind of nuclear reactor while Austria is worried about regulation and restrictions with its wind power industry.

Dallas Cowboys owner uses a flipphone. Money is getting tight in the Himmelreich-Truman household and I’ve been considering going back to a regular phone and using the smartphone on WiFi.

Ezra Klein explains the importance of full employment.

As per usual, reading this list of things that workers at chain restaurants refuse to eat makes me hungry. Great point about the Big Mac, though. This, on the other hand, makes me never want to eat the food discussed.

Smart street lights may save energy. Imagine, of course, what robocars will do.

The anti-communist propaganda posters of the 20th century were pretty awesome.

I can totally buy the notion that Seattle is becoming the next tech capital. It already has lots of jobs and its economy is rocking. The fact that we can attribute this to affordability, though, is kind of problematic. Because it’s not, really, except by the standards we choose our elite cities in such a way that we can easily price out large numbers of people.

The Pacific Standard has a really good piece on the rise and fall of Intrade, and its CEO.

MSG has long been denigrated as unsafe and all that, perhaps unfairly so. Interestingly, MSG shares significant commonality with umami, one of the latest “in” foods.

“Despite the recent growth of big city downtowns, there is no widespread shift toward dense, urban living. Instead, the long term suburbanization of America continues.”

Something I didn’t know: Slovak was once a hotbed of libertarianism. Dalibor Rohac explains how that came to be, and how Slovak lost its libertarian streak.

Nameberry presents some of the top names from 1962 that are due for a comeback. I’ll be honest: There are some pretty good names in there.

The decline of oil.

Category: Newsroom

Facebook recommended to me someone who attended a school called “Georgian Technical University”

Which I kind of thought was a bogus school. Possibly a for-profit school trying to rip off the stature of the Georgia Institute of Technology, also known as Georgia Tech. Possibly an out-right degree-mill that awards degrees based on “life experience.” I mean, if an employer saw “Georgia Technical University” they might not even know that’s not Georgia Tech’s real name!

I didn’t see that there was an “n” on there. Of course, maybe that’s what they were counting on!

Come to find out, not only is it a real school, it’s a premier university in Georgia. Georgia as in the nation, of course, not the state.

Category: School

We were, to no great surprise, a little late arriving to the airport. I cycled around the airport a couple of times to try to find the economy lot, but it was simply nowhere to be found. I ended up parking at the daily lot, which was very convenient though will be more expensive.

The car parked next to me had glasses sitting on the roof. I felt bad about that because somebody is going to miss them and they’re likely not going to be there whenever somebody gets back.

As per usual, I dropped Clancy off prior to parking. So I arrived independent of her and was checking in by myself. She had texted me, but I hadn’t looked. The kiosk informed me that I was within an hour of takeoff time and notified me that if I wanted to, I could pay a little extra to speed through some lines. I declined. Afterwards, it informed me that my flight time was delayed by 90 minutes or so and that my new flight time was roughly 7:15 instead of 5:45. I can only imagine how I would have felt if I’d paid extra to speed through lines only to wait at the gate for a delayed flight.

The reason for the delay were some weather difficulties preventing the arrival from the plane from Colosse to Queen City (to go back from QC to Colosse on our flight).

Owing, perhaps, to the delay and the havoc wrook on the runway scheduling, we were barely out of the gate before the next round of delays started. We were probably waiting there on the runway for another hour. It was hot and uncomfortable. Lain was unhappy, as was every other baby on the flight. Clancy, bless her, was taking care of the little one. I, meanwhile, was able to watch my TV show on my tablet during the entire wait, throughout the entire flight, and during landing. Thanks Obama.

Category: Road

growthchartA man is selling his testical for $35,000.

College degrees in Britain are losing their premium.

The link beween sports concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy may be overstated.

Mexican drug cartels are exporting… ore?

Mapping redheads, across Europe and the United States.

One of my favorite games when I was younger was Bard’s Tale. So even though I’m not much into cyberpunk, this has my interest.

Trust is an issue.

What’s wrong with the Millenials? According to Brooke Donatone, it’s not entitlement but parental overinvolvement.

In 1959, 60% of Americans believed that handguns should be banned.

Plausible alien scenarios! Well, I don’t know about plausible, but more plausible than a lot of scenarios.

In emerging markets, finding and keeping top managers is tough.

Michael Totten laments the once great city of Havana.

Michael Strain has some ideas on how conservatives can attack the problem of long-term unemployment.

Category: Newsroom