Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Mountain Bike Videos on

Mountain Bike Videos on

if you have a fast connection, these are awesome--especailly the helmet cams.

Marginal Revolution: Why did so many Germans support Hitler?

Marginal Revolution: Why did so many Germans support Hitler?

How many times have you asked yourself teh same thing? The view set forth by the Marginal Revolution and German historian von Gotz Aly suggests it was not only fear, but also because Hitler kept people at home well fed and lowered taxes.

Lou Gehrig

The Sports Economist The Sports Economist (and the WSJ) provide a fascinating look at Lou Gehrig. I just ordered the unabridged CD of The Luckiest Man to risten to...He sounds too fascinating to not know more about.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Random topics

I have uploaded quite a few new pictures...I held off uploading pictures of Nermie (19 year old cat who died on Good Friday). It was too soon.

Spring is Much better than winter. Even 40 degrees seems warm.

I am getting zero done today. Not sure why. I really tried this AM. Then computer problems and poor organization cut into things.

I am still ristening to Franklin and Winston. IT is VERY good. I had not expected it to be as good as it is. 102 minutes is next. Yellow Jammer Rammer Hammer was also very good. Defnitely recommended even if it is about Alabama Football.

BTW if you have not used the word ristening in conversation, please do so ! ;)

I have done so poorly in NCAA basketball pools as to be not worth mentioning. I have one of the final four. Oh well.

I hope I do not have too high of expectations for the Mets. My prediction: 88-92 wins.

I wish the Bills had a frist round pick. The off season has been a real dud so far.

Short of expenses and transaction costs, how can someone do very poorly in investing. Markets are pretty efficient, so that means it is as hard to do poorly as it is to do well....Ordered about $400 worth of gardening things yesterday. Mainly trees. Many new apple, pear, and peach trees. Digging holes is next.

Quote of the week: How many things there are which I do not want---Socrates

Texas Screensavers

I had a student ask where I got my screensaver (currently wild flowers) so here you of course...


Saturday, March 26, 2005

The Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster, November 1940

The Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster, November 1940

Growing up our neighbor was Dr. Budzinski who teaches physics. He showed us this footage many times. It still is pretty cool to see. Scary, but interesting. The same principle scared me almost to death as I was coming down a major hill on my bicycle at about 45-50 MPH and the back of the bike started oscillating. Terrifying!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

New pictures

I just uploaded a few new pictures...check out them via this slide show (put the speed up and they are pretty cool!)

Monday, March 14, 2005

Need another reason to take hard classes?

Higher education my benefit brains of elderly, study finds: "More years of education were associated with more active frontal lobes, areas known to be involved in problem solving, memory and judgment, the scientists reported.
Those who treat memory loss and other maladies of the elderly have long been intrigued by evidence that an active life of the mind might 'vaccinate' the brain against Alzheimer's disease and other chronic neural disorders that may appear over time.
Learning, they suspected, might be an effective preventive medicine."

interesting, but the study is far from complete.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Scientists say there's good news on Smokies air quality

I would presume this is also true elsewhere.

Scientists say there's good news on Smokies air quality: "'Since the late 1990's, air quality on all fronts is improving. That's the great news.'
Still, Renfro says the main categories of concern, haze and visibility, obscure distant ridges on hazy summer days for a number of reasons. A big part of it has to do with coal, which creates steam to drive a turbine. That generates electricity at TVA's fossil fuel plants and helps foul the air."

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Unemployed Women At Higher Risk For Cardiovascular Disease

While there may be some cause and effect relationship that is not accounted for in this (their work suffered because of unknown condition), this is more evidence that stress can be harmful to your health.

Unemployed Women At Higher Risk For Cardiovascular Disease: "Researchers found that women who had become involuntarily unemployed experienced more high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease such as heart attack, chest pain and stroke. They also faced a deterioration of mental health such as increases in stress, depression and emotional problems.

'Unemployed women who want to be employed clearly standout from the employed and homemakers as being at high risk for cardiovascular disease and poor mental health,' she said. 'We are surmising that the unemployed women have more social stress in response to being laid off and not being able to locate a job.'"

from ScienceDaily and the American Heart Association.

Imaginary Friendships Could Boost Child Development

Imaginary Friendships Could Boost Child Development

Anna Roby "a post-graduate student from The University of Manchester's School of Psychological Sciences is investigating the theory that children with imaginary companions are quicker to develop language skills and retain knowledge."

"The theory is that by chatting to an imaginary companion a child becomes more practised at using language and constructing conversation, as he or she is carrying out both sides of the interaction. Children aged 4 to 11 both with and without imaginary friends are therefore being studied, to compare their ability to communicate meaning and the complexity of their grammar.

Researchers estimate that up to 25% of children have imaginary companions, particularly only- or first-born children. They are defined as vivid, imagined characters which might be people, animals or objects, which a child believes they are interacting with in an on-going way. The friend may be `invisible' or take the form of a toy animal or doll, and is treated as if it has a personality and consciousness of its own."

I had several imaginary friends. In fact I guess they all worked in my imaginary store. SO in some ways I have been working in stores since I was 3 or 4 years old. ;)

Urban Green Space Linked To Walking, Cycling Levels

Urban Green Space Linked To Walking, Cycling Levels

While this is almost a no brainer (of course people walk more if there are better places to walk (and I would add run ;) ), it is still nice to get proof.

Of course there are costs to building parks, but as far as I see it, green space more than pays for itself in many ways!

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Marginal Revolution: Why don't all chains spread nationally?

I was torn where to put this one (it could also have been on the ParkandShop Blog), but it was so good I had to include it somewhere.

It is from the Marginal Revolution Blog.
Marginal Revolution: Why don't all chains spread nationally?

There is probably no single answer but some of the answers include monitoring, fewer economies of scale than people suppose, and randomness.