Archive for the ‘Passport’ tag

#  Non-Natural-Borns for President →

July 16th, 2009 at 18:34 // In Worth Knowing 

It’s not that this is an exceptionally well-researched or argued essay, or one that transfers any intellectual heft by a link, it’s just that I agree with it and felt a desire to make that clear.

#  The Economics Beat →

January 12th, 2009 at 19:12 // In Worth Distraction 

In the category of bogus scientific-sounding conclusions, NYU professer Ken Maymin claims that the popularity of Beyonce’s “Put a ring on it” — with its regular beat — indicates coming stock market volitility. Or said psuedoscientifically:

After studying decades of Billboard’s Hot 100 hits, Maymin found that songs with low “beat variance” had an inverse correlation with market turbulence.

(via Passport; Apologies if this post got that infernal song stick in your head. You can take some solace in the fact that it’s presently stuck in mine.)

#  The Coup in Guinea →

December 28th, 2008 at 19:00 // In Worth Reading 

In a further effort to lessen my — and your — ignorance of current events: The Cliff Notes version of the recent Guinean coup.

#  Why America Hates Detroit →

November 26th, 2008 at 11:43 // In Worth Considering 

There’s no doubt in my mind that this doesn’t capture everyone, but this seems like a reasonable explanation of most of the opposition to the auto industry bailout:

Most Americans simply no longer identify with the domestic auto industry (or with the states of Michigan and Ohio). To the Southerners who now make up the core constituency of the Republican Party, it’s a bunch of coddled, unionized workers trying to get handouts that the South’s auto industry (Toyota, Hyundai, Nissan, Mercedes, BMW …) doesn’t need. To the coastal urbanites and suburbanites who now make up the core constituency of the Democratic Party, it’s an industry that makes crappy big cars and fights against higher fuel efficiency standards. And to the business press it’s the worst thing of all: a trio of companies that are neither exciting nor financially successful.

(via Passport)

#  Ethanol Bust →

October 22nd, 2008 at 18:48 // In Worth Knowing 

The Financial Times confirms the good new (assuming of course, that you’re not invested in corn-based ethanol):

Six of the biggest publicly traded US ethanol producers have lost more than $8.7bn in market value since the peak of the boom in mid-2006 and the beginning of this month, according to an analysis by the Financial Times. The boom followed a 2005 law requiring refiners to mix billions of gallons of the biofuel with petrol.

(via Passport)

#  Quite an Exit →

October 18th, 2008 at 11:39 // In Worth Reading 

Blake Hounshell is quite right, this is a gem. An exiting hedge fund manager — who made 866% profit last year — manages to sound like a reasonable but bitter guy until he lapses into two paragraph I’ve heard from every pothead I’ve ever known:

Lastly, while I still have an audience, I would like to bring attention to an alternative food and energy source. You won’t see it included in BP’s, “Feel good. We are working on sustainable solutions,” television commercials, nor is it mentioned in ADM’s similar commercials. But hemp has been used for at least 5,000 years for cloth and food, as well as just about everything that is produced from petroleum products. Hemp is not marijuana and vice versa. …

#  Abolish Presidential Debates →

October 17th, 2008 at 13:56 // In Worth Considering 

After having fallen asleep while watching the last two, I can’t really disagree with Mr. Keating (who wrote this before Wednesday’s debate. Yes, I’m behind.):

The “media elites,” as Sarah Palin would say, are hungry for the candidates to make news at the debates and seem perpetually disappointed when they just hear the same talking points they’ve been reporting for months.

As I wrote near the end of the Democratic primary, the candidate’s positions on nearly every conceivable issue are so well-refined and publicized at this point, that the only way to generate news at a debate is to go the George Stephanapolous route of asking pop quiz questions and emphasizing personal scandal. There’s really no way for Schieffer to win. If he asks good substantive questions, the candidates will recite their talking points and the debate will be boring. If he presses them on “character” issues and personal attacks, he’ll (rightly) be accused of descending into tabloidism.

So why have debates at all? What would we lose without them?

There’s also a follow-up.

#  Political Buzzwords 2008 →

October 13th, 2008 at 17:17 // In Worth Reading 

Elizabeth Dickenson has her list of campaign cliches she could do without. #1 is an ax I’ve been grinding myself.

1)  Wall Street to Main Street. I know the financial crisis affects me and that bashing bankers wins you applause. What I’d rather hear? A solid explanation of how the bailout will work (or won’t), how it will be paid for, and how it will affect government spending in the next administration.

#  Nobel’s Also-Rans →

October 9th, 2008 at 20:03 // In Worth Seeing 

Lloyd points to an interesting slideshow from Scientific American profiling those who should have received (science) Nobel Prizes but didn’t.

On a related note: some analysis of this year’s so-far and likely winners.

#  The Feta Precedent →

October 8th, 2008 at 18:07 // In Worth Knowing 

Lebanon has announced plans to sue Israel over the food copyright for tabouleh, kubbeh, hummus, falafel and fattoush. The suit relies on the absurdly named feta precedent; as David Kenner describes:

Six years ago, Greece was able to win a monopoly on the production of feta cheese from the European Parliament by proving that the cheese and had been produced in Greece under that name for several millennia.