9 August 2011

AAA++ would invest again

I’d like to see someone corner one of the S&P weasels on camera and ask: “So, recalling that all those toxic assets that crashed were rated AAA by your company… you’re saying that the US economy is in worse shape than that?”

6 August 2011

Thoughts on political discussion

Or: How to have a political discussion that doesn’t devolve into a screaming match — some rules for all participants to follow. Know the difference between a fact and an opinion. “Corporate profits are higher now than ever before” is a fact that can be demonstrated by referring to data. “Handgun ownership leads to increased crime” is an opinion; trends in data are not consistent, and proving causality is problematic given the number of other factors that vary. ... Read more

3 August 2011

If you want to learn about history, watch Monty Python

One thing that always gets me about Monty Python’s movies is their historical accuracy. No, really. Yes, they are comedy, and yes there are ridiculous situations. But the Python team always played their comedy straight, and part of that was placing everything in a context full of accurate detail. For example, consider medieval combat. The Hollywood version has people running around, leaping onto horses, swords clashing at high speed, and so on. ... Read more

31 July 2011

Trials of parronthood

My mid-morning coffee was just interrupted by an unexpected parakeet-related problem. I went to offer Chestina and Lola a bath, and saw that Chestina’s tail was matted with blood. She shook it, obviously in some discomfort. This isn’t an uncommon situation in birds. Growing feathers have a hollow shaft which carries blood through them. If the shaft cracks, bleeding results. The recommended procedure is to pluck the broken feather from the bird. ... Read more

29 July 2011

Nintendo announces major losses

The news for Nintendo is bleak. Sales are down 50% year-to-year. They posted a first quarter loss of $327 million. They’ve dropped their profit forecast by 82%. And they’ve slashed the price of the 3DS 32% in dollars (even more in yen). As a gamer with a DSi XL and a Wii, none of this particularly surprises me. Nintendo have made a series of disastrous mis-steps. Problem #1 is that they gave up on serious gamers. ... Read more

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