Tuesday, August 30, 2011

CELEBRITIES who look alike historical figures. Awesome. (The post is in Spanish but it's the pictures that count)


THE ULTIMATE IN DISFUNCTIONAL COUPLES: at Cornell university they put two chatbots, a male and a female, to talk to each other. Hilarity ensues...


Monday, August 29, 2011

IF GLOBAL COAL CONSUMPTION has risen 50% over the last ten years, temperatures should have skyrocketed accordingly, right?

Wrong. They have dropped. Slightly, but dropped. Some scientific consensus, eh?

BIRTHDAYS, 1.0 vs 2.0.

YOU'LL SEE how people won't accuse Obama about making up the WMD threat:

In 2008, a secret State Department cable warned of a growing chemical weapons threat from a Middle Eastern country whose autocratic leader had a long history of stirring up trouble in the region. The leader, noted for his “support for terrorist organizations,” was attempting to buy technology from other countries to upgrade an already fearsome stockpile of deadly poisons, the department warned.

The Middle Eastern state with the dangerous chemicals was not Libya, whose modest stockpile was thrust into the spotlight last week because of fighting there. It was Syria, another violence-torn Arab state whose advanced weapons are drawing new concern as the country drifts toward an uncertain future.

A sudden collapse of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could mean a breakdown in controls over the country’s weapons, U.S. officials and weapons experts said in interviews. But while Libya’s chemical arsenal consists of unwieldy canisters filled mostly with mustard gas, the World War I-era blistering agent, Syria possesses some of the deadliest chemicals ever to be weaponized, dispersed in thousands of artillery shells and warheads that are easy to transport.

Keep reading.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

HOW 'TOP GUN' made America love war.

RICHARD DAWKINS vs. feminists.

A DROP IN THE OCEAN: Warren Buffett’s “Super Rich” Tax Would Cover Seven Days Of Federal Spending.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

WAS WARREN BUFFETT RIGHT? Do workers pay a higher tax rate than their bosses? In a word, no.

QUOTE OF THE DAY, by Steve Jobs: "Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart." (Stanford commencement speech, June 2005)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

CHINA DERANGEMENT SYNDROME: "Once again, an economic yellow peril is exaggerated."

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

HOW IS Warren Buffett like the Pope:
The terrible economic news from both Europe and the United States has led to much soul-searching on both sides of the Atlantic. How did we get here, and how can we get out of this jam? In my past columns for Hoover’s Defining Ideas, I have insisted that both economies will be able to extricate themselves from their deep slumps only by promptly reversing those policies that have brought them to the brink. A successful and sustainable political order requires stable legal and economic policies that reward innovation, spur growth, and maximize the ability of rich and poor alike to enter into voluntary arrangements. Limited government, low rates of taxation, and strong property rights are the guiding principles.

Unfortunately, many spiritual and economic leaders are working overtime to push social policy in the exact opposite direction. At the top of the list are two prominent figures: Pope Benedict XVI and financier Warren Buffett.

THE INCREDIBLE THINGS NASA DID to train Apollo astronauts.


WHEN YOU BUMP into a story about the amazing solar energy breakthrough by a 13-year-old (you will, sooner or later), just read this.

WORK HOURS AROUND THE WORLD: an interesting chart with data some of which may surprise you.

YOU WON'T FIND ME there doing pushups on the floor, not after reading this: "Turns Out That DSK's Swanky Hotel Suite Was Stained With The Semen Of Four Other Guys" (insert your own joke about French hygiene here).

Now this is gross...

Monday, August 22, 2011

LARRY KING, DETHRONED: "Scientists Discover Earth's Oldest Fossil"

WHEN I GROW UP I wanna be a banker: "Wall Street Aristocracy Got $1.2 Trillion in Secret Fed Loans".

WHY has America's serious crime rate plummeted to levels unseen for several decades?

Friday, August 19, 2011

WHY, YOU ASK? Well, because it's Friday... and it's pure genius:

The Muppets: Bohemian Rhapsody

A troubled nation wonders: How did we get mired in 9.1 percent unemployment, 0.9 percent growth and an economic outlook so bad that the Federal Reserve pledges to keep interest rates at zero through mid-2013 — an admission that it sees little hope on the horizon?

Bad luck, explains our president. Out of nowhere came Japan and its supply-chain disruptions, Europe and its debt problems, the Arab Spring and those oil spikes. Kicked off, presumably, by various acts of God (should He not be held accountable too?): earthquake and tsunami. (Tomorrow: pestilence and famine. Maybe frogs.)

Well, yes, but what leader is not subject to external events? Were the minor disruptions of the current Arab Spring remotely as damaging as the Arab oil embargo of 1973-74? Were the supply disruptions of Japan 2011 anything like the Asian financial collapse of 1997-98? Events happen. Leaders are elected to lead (from the front, incidentally). That means dealing with events, not plaintively claiming to be their victim.

Moreover, luck is the residue of design, as Branch Rickey immortally observed. And Obama’s design for the economy was a near-$1 trillion stimulus that left not a trace, the heavy hand of Obamacare and a flurry of regulatory zeal that seeks to stifle everything from domestic energy production to Boeing’s manufacturing expansion into South Carolina.

He sowed, he reaps.
Keep reading.

VIOLENCE AND POLITICS IN VENEZUELA: the latest report by the International Crisis Group.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

SHORT-SELLING BANS: virtually useless. Except for allowing politicians to pretend they're doing stuff, you know.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

TANNING CAN CAUSE CANCER, but not tanning could cause a lot worse: a very clear explanation of the importance of vitamin D -which is produced when skin is exposer to sunlight- for our health, and the damage cause by anti-UV hysterics. Don't missing.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

HOW CAFFEINE fights cancer: "Epidemiological studies have shown that drinking caffeinated beverages reduces one’s chances of developing some types of cancer, including UV-associated skin cancer. Now, researchers propose a possible mechanism for this observation—the inhibition of a DNA repair pathway that sensitizes cells to death after sun exposure."

LARRY PAGE, Google's CEO, explains the rationale of the Motorola purchase.

Monday, August 15, 2011

WHOA! Google buys Motorola. Whoa.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

HEH: photoshopped images of the London lootings.


IN THE MAIL (actually, make that "in a UPS truck"): Ataturk: Lessons in Leadership from the Greatest General of the Ottoman Empire (World Generals), Austin Bay's biography of the father of modern Turkey that goes out on sale next Tuesday.

WHERE'S THE SCANDAL? The EFF is jumping on the bandwagon of an investigation by Mexican newspaper El Milenio showing a U.S. plan to monitor public online sources. Er, guys, that's why it's called public...

YES HE CAN -- or maybe not:
A majority Americans believe President Obama doesn’t deserve to win reelection in 2012, according to a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll.

Fifty-one percent of voters surveyed said they don’t think Obama should have a second term at the White House, while 47 percent signaled that he deserves four more years.
The good news? American's opinions on lawmakers is even worse: "Only 24 percent of those polled think a majority of lawmakers on Capitol Hill deserve re-election."

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

AUSTERITY might not work for Spain, Italy:
ONCE again Europe’s leadership has been forced to put up billions in cash to halt the spread of contagion to the Continent’s weaker economies, this time in the form of a potentially vast purchase of Italian and Spanish government bonds by the European Central Bank. And once again the condition for rescue is more austerity.

But this time there is a difference. Unlike Greece, Portugal and Ireland — the patients previously forced into the austerity cure — Italy and Spain have already made their own substantial strides toward cutting their deficits.

OPPOSITION, analysts skeptical on fresh Spain cuts:
Economists and Spain's main opposition party cast doubt on Monday on government pledges to come up with new measures to reduce the budget deficit this month as the country heads for November elections.

Under pressure to take more steps to cut a deficit that has put Spain at the heart of Europe's debt crisis, Economy Minister Elena Salgado on Sunday said the government would use an August 19 cabinet meeting to outline further savings.

Salgado did not give details except to say that 2.5 billion euros of savings could be made through changes to the methodology for large companies' tax payments.

That change -- together with a plan to save an estimated 2.4 billion euros in drugs costs for regional governments through a new bill on generic medicines -- add up to a deficit reduction of half a percent of GDP.

THE LONDON RIOTS in amazing pictures.

Monday, August 08, 2011

A CHART for those who say that the current U.S. deficit is not due to higher spending but to lower government income because of the financial crisis (via Xavier Sala-i-Martin; click to enlarge):

WHY the ECB's monetization is doomed in one simple chart.

Leaders of Spain’s Popular party (PP), the rightwing opposition, cannot hide their impatience to run the country again after what they see as the disaster of seven years under José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the Socialist prime minister.

But the eurozone sovereign debt crisis has now pushed the Spanish economy into such a tight corner that Mariano Rajoy, the PP leader, knows that even if he wins the November 20 election as expected, he will probably have to enforce much of the same unpopular policies as those implemented by Mr Zapatero.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

THE ESSENTIAL Spotify tools.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "The idea that a capitalist economy can support a socialist welfare state is collapsing before our eyes." -- Janet Daley, Daily Telegraph

Saturday, August 06, 2011

TEN WAYS to improve your iPad's battery life.

Friday, August 05, 2011

VIRTUALLY LIMITLESS ENERGY almost around the corner?
Terrapower, a startup funded in part by Nathan Myhrvold and Bill Gates, is moving closer to building a new type of nuclear reactor called a traveling wave reactor that runs on an abundant form of uranium. The company sees it as a possible alternative to fusion reactors, which are also valued for their potential to produce power from a nearly inexhaustible source of fuel.

HOW Los Angeles lost its mojo.

IF CLASSIC FILMS were B-movies.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

DO THESE GUYS ever keep their clothes on?
 New Jersey politician Louis Magazzu (D) announced his resignation "after nude pictures he sent to a woman he had been corresponding with were posted on a Republican activist's website," the New York Daily News reports.

THE EUROZONE moves to prop up a rescue fund: "In an about-face, the leaders of the 17 eurozone governments decided at a summit meeting last month to grant sweeping new powers to the fund, known as the European financial stability facility, in order to prevent the crisis from spreading beyond Greece and other peripheral economies."

THE STRATEGIZING behind Zapatero's decision to call early election. Not sure how much it'll work, though. At most it'll minimize losses.

WORRIES MOUNT over Spain and Italy.