Saturday, March 27, 2010

Slightly Spooky

In the past couple of weeks we've begun watching season one of the cable drama "Damages" on DVD. The show stars Glenn Close as both the hero and villain of series; she's a high-powered attorney who is brilliant, manipulative, conniving and caring.

But that's not the spooky part. The spooky part is that while watching an episode, I noticed that one of the characters looked a bit like Tom Cruise. He's a recurring character and has been in several episodes, but in this one scene, the resemblance just struck me. So I said to Bob, "doesn't that guy look a bit like Tom Cruise?" Before he could answer -- in fact, in about ONE SECOND, the character on screen with this guy said: "Has anyone ever told you you look like Tom Cruise?"

Like I said, spooky.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

More Common Sense from Tom

Not Paine. Not me. Friedman. Tom Friedman. In an op-ed piece in today's New York Times, Friedman lays out a few ideas about how to get the "radical center" more involved in politics and perhaps cure some of the negative effects of rabid partisanship that has our system of governance trapped.

Money quote:

"One reason independent, third-party, centrist candidates can’t get elected is because if, in a three-person race, a Democrat votes for an independent, and the independent loses, the Democrat fears his vote will have actually helped the Republican win, or vice versa. Alternative voting allows you to rank the independent candidate your No. 1 choice, and the Democrat or Republican No. 2. Therefore, if the independent does not win, your vote is immediately transferred to your second choice, say, the Democrat. Therefore, you have no fear that in voting for an independent you might help elect your real nightmare — the Republican."

Sunday, March 21, 2010

God and Randomness

In the last few months, my posts here have become less and less regular. This leads me to believe there are fewer and fewer of my readers still out there. (Hi mom!) However, even when I was posting 4-5 times a week, sometimes daily, I was never doing it for anyone but myself.

When I post now, it's for the same reasons: because I have some opinion to get off my chest or some half-baked idea I think might be interesting or some opinion or work of someone else that I think should get a slightly wider reading. Today's post is the latter. It's a brief column from Jonah Lehrer, a science writer for Wired and The New Yorker. He references a study from the University of Waterloo that addresses how people might deal with the random nature of existence by putting greater stock in a controlling hand of G-d. Being a big believer in randomness being responsible for pretty much everything about our existence, I found it interesting. Money quote:

"What this study really reminds me of is the stock market. On the one hand, it's a mostly accepted fact that the stock market is a random walk. (Some smart behavioral economists disagree.) Nevertheless, it's pretty clear that, for the vast majority of investors, it's safe to assume that the market is so efficient that it's effectively random. So how do we react to this information? Do we stop trying to outsmart the S&P 500 and instead sink our savings into a low cost index fund? Do we seek the safety of bonds? Not at all. Instead, we become day traders."

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Just Brilliant

An amazing video that is text only. You have to watch until at least halfway through. That's where the brilliance starts.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Wholly Trinity

Stumbled into this place Saturday night. Viraocha is not just a gallery or a retail store or an art installation -- it's all three in one. And beyond that, it's sort of indescribable. But whatever it is, it's very, very cool.