Saturday, December 31, 2011


Barack Obama is so eloquent.

Happy New Years, Tokelau!

The nation of Samoa, and the US dependency Tokelau, are now west of the International Date Line rather than east. This means that they are now the first to see the new year, instead of the last. According to theWashington Post:

The date line dance came 119 years after U.S. traders persuaded local Samoans to align their islands’ time with nearby U.S.-controlled American Samoa and the U.S. to assist their trading with California.

But the time zone put Samoa and Tokelau nearly a full day behind neighboring Australia and New Zealand, which are increasingly important trading partners.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

Kim Jong-il dead at 69

I doubt that Santa was bringing him anything nice.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Quote of the day

All other things being equal, we would not expect a 2% resurrection rate.
- Bill Ricker, commenting on the breast cancer survival curves produced by Edward Tufte.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The end of days

If the above image doesn't convince you that the apocalypse is just around the corner, try looking at this. Grim times. (And if this isn't a sign of the antichrist, then I'm not sure what would be. H/t

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Aren't kids cute?

The stop of defendant’s car was with reasonable suspicion that it was involved in a bank robbery. After the stop, defendant’s three year old daugther was found in the car, and she was asked where they were coming from, and she pointed toward the bank. Asked if they were at the bank, she said yes. The registration of the car was expired, and its impoundment was valid. United States v. Brumfield, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137834 (N.D. Ga. February 17, 2011).

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Um, Congratulations

It seems that Greg Skidmore and two of his colleagues won a $254,000,000 lottery jackpot.

I was Greg's mathematics professor in college. Since the lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math, I have mixed feelings: my position is roughly the same as that of a Sunday School teacher who finds out that one of his former pupils has won critical acclaim in the pornographic film industry.

Still, he was one of my favorite students, hardworking and honest. So I guess I'm happy about the whole thing.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

U.S. National Debt reaches 100% of GDP

Did anyone throw a party?

Bohemian Rhapsody ...

... performed by Queen:

... and by the Muppets:

... just in case you've stumbled on my blog and don't want to think about Wall Street or Washington.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Open Letter to Herman Cain

Dude, I love you and I hope to vote for you. But unless you are John the Baptist or Arthur son of Uther Pendragon, musing about your conception isn't uber-cool. Maybe I'll feel differently when I'm 45, though.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Historic picture from East Norwalk: 1961-2011

Here's a picture that Bob Shriver took this afternoon of Karen Cooke and Floyd Powers at the Community Advent Christian Church in East Norwalk. Karen is the current choir director, and Floyd directed the choir in 1961.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Look for the union label,

... when buying a coat, dress, or blouse. Or T-shirt.

T-shirt war!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Rivers after the Hurricane

Two days after hurricane Irene, the Norwalk and Silvermine rivers are still pretty high. Here's a picture of the Silvermine River, looking south from the James Street bridge:

Here's the Norwalk River, looking north from Merrit 7:

and here's the Norwalk River looking towards Glover St. and the old Perkin Elmer building:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Visiting the Supreme Court

A Russian translation of the booklet that tourists get when they visit the Supreme Court.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Oh, what a surprise

The two guys who hassled and assaulted (60-year old) law professor Ann Althouse on Friday turn out to be union rent-a-thugs. (There are videos on her blog.)

Monday, August 01, 2011

Fender-bender last week

The Daily Mail reports that there was a little fender-bender last week in Monte Carlo, at the Place du Casino. It seems that a woman driving a Bentley hit a Mercedes and then, obeying the cruel but firm law of conservation of momentum, went on to hit a Ferrari, a Porsche, and an Aston-Martin Rapide.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Friday, June 17, 2011

Pearl Harbor, Shmerl Harbor

The TSA is trying to fire 36 Honolulu screeners because they allegedly neglected to screen certain flights properly for explosives, for several months in 2010.

20 of them have asked their union to appeal their termination. No word yet on what their defense will be; maybe their lawyers can make an ADA argument?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

"Please don't Taser the cow"

Everyone was kinda yelling, ‘Please don’t taser the cow, it’s only going to make it worse.'
Happened in Pelham, NH. 'nuff said. (H/t Simple Justice)

Monday, June 06, 2011

Worker's "rights" vs. citizens' rights

John Gage, president of the union that wants to represent TSA agents, complains that the Republicans are being mean to his workers.

Frankly, my heart completely fails to bleed for them.

Economics tutorials

Blood banks and cupcakes and fiat currency. Oh my.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Thursday, May 05, 2011

One of the great things about living in Norwalk

One of the great things about living in Norwalk is that you never have to leave notes on your windshield like this one:
Dear Officer,

I have temp plates because someone keeps stealing my front plate. NOT because I'm a drug dealer, but thanks for telling my little brother you suspect me of being one. Also, my FACTORY tints are legal and all 7 tickets you've written me for them have been dismissed. Please find another vehicle to harrass.

Thank you, Corrine.

P.S. If I were a drug dealer, I
could afford a garage!
A picture of the note is at Soignorant. I wonder if Corrine lives in Westport?

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Shuffling out of Buffalo

Per the Buffalo News: Buffalo police are apparently still looking for John Caesar,a 58-year-old man who escaped from custody last week:

Downtown police are looking for a man who is handcuffed to a chair.

The man escaped shortly after 4 p.m. today from the Central District station at Tupper and Main Streets.

A robbery suspect, he apparently fled out of a back door onto Washington Street, according to police radio transmissions.

Described as tall and muscular, he was dressed in black clothing and wearing a white hat.

Police think he still has the chair with him because it is missing from the station.

They handcuffed him to a chair? They should have handcuffed him to a toy poodle; then at least they could have found him by following the dog's yapping.

h/t Lowering the Bar, who shamelessly copied from Fail Blog.

Thursday, April 21, 2011 down this morning

Injustice Everywhere's links don't work this morning. In fact, no links are working this morning. The master DNS servers for .ly domains are located in ... Libya. Is this "Colonel" Gadhafi's idea of a subtle counterstroke? Strange world, strange world.

Update: has a profoundly uninformative service message on its website: "We'll be back in action shortly -- in the meantime go outside and flap your arms around, you may find that flying ain't very easy."

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Quote of the day

Chessplayers have been setting down rules ever since they discovered it was easier than following them.
- Andrew Soltis, Karl Marx Plays Chess

Monday, April 11, 2011

Thanks, guys

The first sentence of Lonely Planet's description of Medical Services for tourists in Cuba:
Cubans famously enjoy far better free health care than their far-wealthier US neighbors, and continue to set high standards for developing nations with excellent hospitals and doctors throughout the country.

The last sentence of Lonely Planet's description of Medical Services for tourists in Cuba:
The free health care in normal Cuban hospitals should only be used when there are no private clinics available.
Funny how the "far better" health care in these socialist paradises always seems to disappear when it's time to actually use it. Before the Berlin wall fell, we always heard that health care was free and better in communist eastern Europe, but the reality turned out to be much grimmer. Even two decades later Europe is burdened by two generations of bad environmental and health policies there.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Three things that I really didn't want to know this morning

Three things that I really didn't want to know this morning ... but found out anyway.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A very Tennessee story

If he's guilty, Deputy John Edwards has to be the stupidest crook ever. He's accused of taking stealing stuff from his wife and giving them to his girlfriend, and stealing stuff from his girlfriend and giving them to his wife.

You may need to read the following sentence a few times to get the drift of this story. It seems that Officer Edward's wife was giving his girlfriend a tour of their house, and the girlfriend noticed that some of the his wife's things had previously been stolen from her (the girlfriend.) That's no doubt also when his wife realized that John had a girlfriend.

Deputy Edwards was arrested shortly thereafter for a "domestic incident" with his wife. He was later charged with theft of goods over $10,000.00 in value.

I wonder two things about this story. (1) If the allegations are true it is reasonable to assume that the wife attacked the husband when he got home. So why was the husband arrested for the "domestic incident"? And (2) why do alleged creeps like this get two girlfriends when nice guys like me are single? Deep waters, deep waters.

Mark Smith cartoons

William Jacobson likes Mark Smith's cartoons. He has good taste.

Oddly, Smith's political cartoons seem funnier than his non-political cartoons. Maybe that's a sign that we live in absurd times.

Monday, March 21, 2011

All the men are in Benghazi

An old woman, in her late 70s at least, I'm told, entered the bank to collect her 500 Libyan dollars ($410; £253) in state aid announced a couple of weeks ago.

There were two long queues - one for men and one for women. She stood in the men's queue.

The men urged her to move to the women's section. "Why?" she challenged.

A man told her: "Ya haja [a term of respect for an elderly woman] this line is for men, women is the other one".

She loudly replied: "No. All the men are in Benghazi."

The room is said to have been stunned into silence and she remained in her place until her turn came and she walked out with her money.

Friday, March 04, 2011

With friends like this ...

Ariel Melendez has a problem. Up until a few weeks ago he was a New Haven Assistant Police Chief, but then he resigned shortly after being accused of tampering with evidence, among other things.

One of the men questioned afterwards was his recent colleague Sgt. David Guliuzza. David sound like a very loyal guy, and he offered the police the following absolutely wonderful defense of his ex-boss:
Mr. Luna's cell phone was an Iphone and is a complicated piece of equipment. Sgt. Guliuzza believed that if someone did not own that type of phone, then you would not be able to operate it. A.C. Melendez has a Blackberry cell phone. Sgt. Guliuzza does not think that A.C. Melendez has the knowledge to work an Iphone, let alone erase data from it.

That's right, he believes his pal is innocent because committing a crime involves using an Apple product, and Apple products are too complicated for the accused to use.

(The whole police report is on Scribd.)

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Quote of the day

By the way, what is "hands-on, interdisciplinary study"? Do we get to fondle a sociologist?
- Wisconsin law Professor Ann Althouse, commenting on a speech by Erwin Chemerinksy.

Friday, January 28, 2011

University of Manitoba turning into a "diploma mill"?

Earlier this month Gabor Lukacs received two letters from University of Manitoba president David Barnard. One invited the assistant professor of mathematics to a dinner in acknowledgement of his teaching excellence award. The other informed him that he was being suspended without pay. (Macleans)
Prof. Lukacs' crime was to publicly dissent from Manitoba's awarding of a PhD to a mentally disabled Mathematics student who failed his comps twice and didn't finish his coursework. The Faculty Association is aghast, but the Graduate Student's Association supports the administration. Eighty-five mathematicians, including Michael Barr, wrote a letter supporting Prof. Lucacs.

There are more details here.