URLs du Jour


  • Eddy Elfenbein is succinct and damning in his recollection of a four-year-ago-today NYT column by Paul Krugman, simply by quoting him:

    The big rise in the stock market is definitely telling us something. Bulls think it says the economy is about to take off. But I think it's a sign that America is still blowing bubbles — that a three-year bear market and the biggest corporate scandals in history haven't cured investors of irrational exuberance yet. … In short, the current surge in stocks looks like another bubble, one that will eventually burst.

    Mr. Elfenbein appends a graph of the S&P 500 index since that fateful day. I liked that idea so much, I popped over to bigcharts.com and composed one that compares the index with performance of a specific stock over that time period:

    [Big Chart]

    Worth a thousand or so words; that's yer Pun Salad value-added. (Original link via Instapundit.)

  • There's an interview with Hero Genius (and Red Sox employee) Bill James at Opinion Journal. It's entertaining, but those looking for rare nuggets of baseball wisdom have to realize that the Sox are paying for exclusive access to any such nuggets that James may or may not have dug up. So:

    He also refuses to take credit for the Red Sox rise. "Nothing I do leads directly to consequence, and if it did I wouldn't tell you," Mr. James says.

    Heh! Still worth a look if you're a baseball fan. And, by the way, the Red Sox Magic Number is 85 as I type.

  • The American Medical Association recently weighed in on "gaming addiction" as a malady both (a) potentially serious (for the addicts) and (b) possibly profitable (for the medical profession). Lore Sjöberg helps identify a few more computer-related disorders. For example, there's—oh oh—"Narcissistic Blog Disorder":

    This disorder is characterized by the creation of a blog in which the individual consistently denigrates not only the opinions of others, but the very fact that others have opinions, saying things like "nobody cares what some overpaid starlet has to say about global warming" and "nobody cares what some crusty career politician thinks is wrong with society today." Simultaneously, the individual assumes that people do care about what he or she has to say, in spite of the individual's only political or activist experience being watching the movie Dave twice.

    Hey, I can't help it, I'm sick!

  • Arnold Zwicky examines the linguistic history of not knowing your ass from a hole in the ground. <shot expense="cheap">Paul Krugman take note!</shot>

Last Modified 2012-10-19 1:06 PM EDT

Flags of Our Fathers

[Amazon Link] [3.0
stars] [IMDb Link]

I wanted to like this movie a lot more than I did, because Clint Eastwood, who directed, is pretty much a Cinematic God. It's the story of the men who raised the famous flag on Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima in 1945. And here are the lessons the movie drives home with all the subtlety of a brick to the noggin:

  1. War is hell.

  2. Especially so on Iwo Jima.

  3. Being a war hero is no picnic either.

  4. Especially if your government is using you as a bond-sale tool.

  5. And you know that the flag thing was probably the least dangerous thing you did while you were on that damned flyspeck island.

  6. And, in any case, when your usefulness is over, everyone forgets you.

  7. On the other hand, you get to marry Melanie Lynskey.

So, save that final bit, it's pretty bleak and depressing and pointless. Waaaah! Fine for some, not my cup of sake.

One of the flag-raisers, Rene Gagnon, was from Manchester, NH. Janice Brown has an excellent article about Rene at her Cow Hampshire blog.

Last Modified 2012-10-19 12:45 PM EDT

The Most Honest, Open Congress in History

CNN asked all 435 US House members for a list of their "earmark" requests for the upcoming FY2008 budget. The dismal results:

Staffers for only 31 of the 435 members of the House contacted by CNN between Wednesday and Friday of last week supplied a list of their earmark requests for fiscal year 2008, which begins on October 1, or pointed callers to Web sites where those earmark requests were posted.

Of the remainder, 68 declined to provide CNN with a list, and 329 either didn't respond to requests or said they would get back to us, and didn't.

CNN has an easy form with pulldowns so you can find out how your Congresscritter reacted to CNN's query. For example, I can tell you that both New Hampshire's newly-elected House members, Carol Shea-Porter and Paul Hodes, stonewalled on CNN's query, failing to provide a response. Tsk! On the job barely six months, already arrogant and secretive!

How a Unix Geek Parses the Vanity License Plate "MRSED"

"Ooh, Mr. Sed!"


"I guess it's probably Mrs. Ed."