Archive for December, 2008

Recommended reading

December 10, 2008

From Joseph Stiglitz’s “Capitalist Fools” piece in Vanity Fair:

“Commercial banks are not supposed to be high-risk ventures; they are supposed to manage other people’s money very conservatively. It is with this understanding that the government agrees to pick up the tab should they fail.”


The Saudi Arabia of Negabarrels

December 9, 2008

Is Amory Lovins the smartest man in America?

Lovins said in a recent speech that, from 1977 to 1985, “When we last paid attention, the economy grew 27 percent, oil use fell 17 percent, oil imports fell 50 percent, oil imports from the Persian Gulf fell 87 percent and would have been gone if we’d kept at it for just one more year.”

“We are the Saudi Arabia of negabarrels.”


Protectionism, er, bailout

December 8, 2008

From David Sanger’s piece in today’s New York Times :

“If Japan was doing this, we’d be threatening billions of dollars in retaliation,” said Jeffrey Garten, a professor at the Yale School of Management. “In fact, when they did something a lot more subtle, we threatened exactly that…I don’t know that we’ve seen anything like this since the government told the automakers what kind of tanks to make during World War II.”

More Garten: “We’re at this moment in history, in which the Chinese are touting that their system is better than ours…And our response, it looks like, is to begin replicating what they’ve been doing.”

Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee


More music I recently downloaded

December 8, 2008

War Elephant, Deer Tick

Twangy Americana



Experimental Krautrock


Cipher,  Josh Abrams

Experimental jazz


The Magic City, Sun Ra

More experimental jazz


“Mommy, what’s a Funkadelic?,” Funkadelic

What indeed


Thermus aquaticus

December 6, 2008

Thermus aquaticus thrives in Yellowstone’s 160 degree F plumbing. Scientists found one of its enzymes to be very useful in DNA fingerprinting.


Weekend pic

December 5, 2008

Calexico Sunset


Praise Boognish

December 4, 2008

That is all.

Tree of Life

December 3, 2008

I like the Tree of Life website, an online clearinghouse of taxonomic information and pictures and descriptions of living things, like the platypus.


Random page on TOL link

Midweek picture

December 3, 2008

Randomly selected from the vaults:

Below Scotty’s Castle, Death Valley NP, CA


Recommended reading

December 2, 2008

Matt Taibbi rocks.

From his recent “Requiem for a Maverick” in Rolling Stone:

“The whole scene captures the essence of the McCain run perfectly: Instead of a plan, they had an endless succession of dumb ideas scrapped at the 11th hour in favor of even dumber ones.”