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Thursday Open Thread

by afew Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 11:53:28 AM EST

The birds are singing


Display:
Let's have a cheep out of you.

Here but also here.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 11:54:59 AM EST
Last weekend installed a songbird house on the back wall outside, filled with the half peanuts they love, and loandbehold they come singing their thanks a few times a day.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 12:45:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We've already passed the point where the birds come over every day to say thinks like "hi, how ya doin' ?" and "got any bread?". They only do that in winter and early spring.

They don't need us now. Too much food "Oh no really I couldn't. A wafer thin mint ? No, not today I'm full of seeds, try me tomorrow"

Sigh. See yer in the autumn, feathered friends

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 01:19:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Zoe Williams tries to explain the bleedin' obvious to Conservatives and on the way realizes there are deeper problems

Guardian - Zoe Williams - Markets can't magic up good teachers. Nor can bonuses

The flaw here is that it doesn't follow that good teaching is engendered by specific financial rewards. It's quite possible that teachers entered the field in the first place because they weren't that interested in competing for money.

In the US, they've been experimenting with payment-by-result systems for years. And mainly the outcomes are poor; occasionally, a state might throw up a programme that works (Texas's system seems to work in a modest way). But my main reservation is that America is a stupid country to be looking to in the first place, when it has the worst results for state-educated pupils, which correlates neatly with its status as one of the most unequal countries in the OECD. It is absolutely nonsensical to be trying to pick apart the US system to find the bits that work slightly better than all the bits that don't work at all.

Why can't we take as our starting point a nation whose 15 year-olds have maths and literacy scores we'd actually want to emulate? Countries where inequality is very high tend to be the same as the ones who think that everything will get better once you put a price on it. Then when things don't improve, they think the problem is their bonuses weren't sufficiently well designed. It never seems to occur to them that there are mines deeper than silver and gold.



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 12:52:16 PM EST
Terry Prachett - wise man - deconstructed Expectancy Theory in his book Going Postal:

(Paraphrased)

... and the company doesn't care about you.  They instituted an Employee of the Month program.  That's how much they don't care.


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 01:18:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
fyi the part about American experiments with teacher pay is BS. The "experiments" are to take a school's total payroll budget and put a fraction of it towards special rewards for higher performing teachers. The determination of "higher performing" is arbitrary, and all that happens is you get a few of the principal's favorites getting a couple of thousand extra bucks and everybody else pissed off.

A real experiment would be to say "gee, when we want our f*ucking football team to win, we pay the manager $10,000,000 bucks, we draft the best players we possibly can, and pay them $10,000,000 also, and we bend over backwards to provide the best possible infrastructure." And then to apply that to the teaching world.

Obviously high pay alone doesn't select for good teachers, but lousy pay de-selects almost the entire population of possibly good teachers. Teacher starting pay is around $30,000 a year here, and yet people in the IT world start at twice that and can easily make $90,000 even without a college degree. So you have teachers with tons of experience, master's degrees in their subject matter, and willing to work 60 hours a week, earning half of what a technician in a computer company makes.

If teacher pay were made competitive with ANY OTHER JOB, you would be able to pull from a much, much larger pool. The whole system is so ridiculous it makes your head spin, and this sort of "oh, we already tried paying them more" sort of crap is just awful.

by asdf on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 01:55:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A real experiment would be to say "gee, when we want our f*ucking football team to win, we pay the manager $10,000,000 bucks, we draft the best players we possibly can, and pay them $10,000,000 also, and we bend over backwards to provide the best possible infrastructure." And then to apply that to the teaching world.

They don't think that way about football.  The people who refuse to see that regarding teachers are the same ones who were all about busting the players unions during the NFL and NBA lockouts.

I've pointed out to people here the difference between education in Florida and Virginia.  When my wife was teaching up in Fairfax County, the pay was quite respectable.  They'd start at about $40-50k if it was a full-time position.  Which is more than federal workers.

To what should be the shock of no one, Fairfax is one of the best school districts in the country (or at least was last I'd looked).

On the other hand, my sister-in-law, who teaches in Palm Beach County at a pretty rough school, makes less than that after a decade on the job.  That's with very good performance from her students.

And, of course, PBC schools are consequently terrible.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 06:14:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not wage rates that are the issue, although low wages are always a deterrent to quality. No, it's payment by results that damages. It distorts the system by ensuring that the best teachers migrate towards nice wealthy areas with "good" schools full of motivated pupils with pushy parents. You'd have to be a really bad teacher to fail there.

Equally, other teachers are left with the rump of disaffected & problem schools.

It becomes part of the process of entrenching a wealth gap.

I have always argued that lower quality schools in deprived areas should be able to pay a premium, with high quality schools paying the least as training posts. It may "seem" unfair, but cross a population it would have an improving affect

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri May 4th, 2012 at 03:25:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I disagree.  The pay-for-results schemes are all attempts to compensate -- or give the illusion of compensation -- for shitty wages.  They're a symptom, not the disease.  And I think many schemes already attempt to adjust for the relative difficulty of schools.  It still hasn't worked.

This, however:

I have always argued that lower quality schools in deprived areas should be able to pay a premium, with high quality schools paying the least as training posts. It may "seem" unfair, but cross a population it would have an improving affect

...has some merit to me, but from a different angle.  I've experienced something similar through school integration, and in my experience it did seem to result in some good things -- better opportunity for poor and minority kids, and better race relations.  Not perfect by any stretch, but it did some real good IMO.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri May 4th, 2012 at 06:36:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I could barely keep reading past the part where they semi-praised the TX system.  Apparently haven't been there.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 01:58:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That comes under "damned with faint praise"

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 02:04:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are success stories in American K-12 schools.  I don't know why anybody would look to Texas for them.  All Texas did was encourage the unsuccessful kids to get out, as I recall.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri May 4th, 2012 at 06:39:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for posting this.

It's a very good piece, but the fact that it needed writing basically spun me into a very down state.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 02:30:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Got to pay your dues if you want to sing the blues ...

We decided to settle here because of the beautiful views, and ended up deciding to stay because of the nice neighbors. There used to be a forest across the street in front of the house, and a forest behind the house. Now, however, the property across the street has been sold and tree cutting commenced yesterday (we're talking about huge, tall pine and birch trees). A part of my heart leaves every time a tree is felled. I've been on the verge of tears, and worse. Trees help the environment and are much lovelier look at than some dumb house IMO, but I'm not the decider here. Actually, what makes matters worse is that I could have been the decider. I knew the property was on the block and I thought about buying it (and deeding it back to the village when I leave, so it could always remain open space, the pulse of the neighborhood, the village park ... it's in the dead center). So I have no one but myself to blame. How could I have been so stupid?

by sgr2 on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 12:58:20 PM EST
Bummer.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 01:11:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
very sad...
by ElaineinNM on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 05:34:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well thanks to all who offered sympathy.

In retrospect it always makes me feel somewhat guilty, this feeling sorry for myself over such trivial matters. I mean in the whole scheme of things and related to the really bad stuff that lots of others have to contend with, this is really no big deal. I don't know why I make it so. Except to say that it's hard to move the "self" part of me from the situation. So it's probably time to go mediate on death. (No, that wasn't meant to be morbid.) And then work in the garden.

by sgr2 on Fri May 4th, 2012 at 08:23:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
jonimitchell.com - Lyrics: Big Yellow Taxi
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot


Now where are we going and what's with the handbasket?
by budr on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 01:29:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We live in the edge of an urban forest. The 60 acres north and north west of us was an old farm that has gone wild. We tried to buy two acres of land adjoining ours from the family that jointly owns it, but they wanted to keep the property intact for fear they might risk selling the entire property. It sold to a developer in 2008 or '09, but with the economy as it is there seem to be no plans to develop on offer. Whew! Might still try to get enough to form a buffer. My neighbor to the south owns a 1 acre lot between our houses that he keeps wooded.


As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 01:48:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't there a way to put it into a trust and get the state to pay you for it? That's the scam the rich folks here use to make money off their useless desert land...
by asdf on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 01:58:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My neighbor to the East is selling an ecological easement on his farm near Flint Michigan. It will remain his property, but most of the land will be returned to wetland, on which he can hunt and fish, and he will get an income - not that he needs it. Unfortunately, he is convinced that windmills make your land uninhabitable and opposed a proposal to create a wind farm in his area.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 02:06:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sooooooooooo sorry. My spirit crashes down with the trees, too.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 02:01:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and i also know from experience how this feels. very sorry.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 02:12:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Peter Oborne, normally a Tory loyalist, does his corporate masters' bidding

Telegraph - Peter Oborne - The Murdoch and News Corporation scandal wasn't about Conservative Party sleaze - but it is now


It is now just over 20 years since the newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell fell off his yacht near the Canary Islands and drowned. After the obligatory period of mourning, Conservative Central Office launched a brilliant and merciless campaign to link Mr Maxwell to Neil Kinnock's Labour Party. With a general election looming, very few stones were left unturned. Any doddery Labour-voting peer who had served, however briefly, on the board of a Maxwell company would suffice to demonstrate the depravity of the link between the dead tycoon and the unfortunate Mr Kinnock, whose dealings with Maxwell had in reality been a model of propriety from start to finish.

Happily, Rupert Murdoch remains in excellent health, but some uncomfortable parallels are nevertheless beginning to emerge between the partial collapse of his newspaper empire and the Maxwell demise. Both are politically dangerous, if not lethal. The fall of Maxwell did enormous damage to Labour, helping Mr Kinnock to lose the 1992 general election. The Murdoch scandals are turning into a first-class disaster for David Cameron and his party, while so far leaving Labour intact.
[....]
Yet none of this (evidence of Labour's obescience) has stuck - and the cause is not hard to find. For some reason, Mr Cameron and his close circle have emerged as the main public champions of News International. They are bravely - some would say wilfully - refusing to accept that the Murdoch system, as it flourished under Blair, Brown and early Cameron, is finished.
 



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 01:03:46 PM EST
The main points of the article are summarized here;-

Liberal conpiracy - Sunny Hundal - Five key points Peter Oborne makes today

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 01:05:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Gove thing, that he doesn't detail, Gove before he got into government used to recieve about £5,000 per month as a columnist for one of the Times stable, now he's  a minister that has stopped, but he has instead  recieved a contract to write a book for Harper Collins (another Murdoch company) Now I saw a figure saying that contract is for £240,000 (but have been unable to find it again whilst looking. perhaps it was in Private Eye)If that figure is correct it is conveniently the same as four years of columnist wages.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 07:57:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For those who, like me, can't see Dail Show extracts

Liberal Conspiracy - Jon Stewart on OBL's death anniversary

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 01:09:37 PM EST
Ballzheimers... heh.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 02:09:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Clearly Obama should have gone for the Solomonian solution and hacked the body in two. This way both sides could have held their traditional "dance naked around a corpse in celebration of human rights" parties.

Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter
by generic on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 04:38:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not on youtube yet, but you can see Romney's new commercial to attract Hispanic voters here.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 01:19:13 PM EST
ha, classy

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 01:23:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Romney and his campaign are so clueless that they do not realize that Cubans do not want to be classified with Mexicans. They feel above the stereotypes that Paco the Parrot represents. Further, most Mexican-Americans will be put off by the advert for the same reason. It shows that Romney's views of Mexican Americans are based on 50 year old stereotypes.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 02:00:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Romney doesn't care about the Cuban-Americans, because they are all rabid Republicans anyway. He's trying to get to the Latino population in California and Texas, which is mostly made up of Mexican immigrants.
by asdf on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 02:10:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You almost had me, but the NFW was screaming too loud in my head and I saw what I needed to see. It speaks to the absurdity of the Republican primaries, though, that it took me that long to catch on.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 02:18:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Doing anything for Cinco de mayo?

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 02:26:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I''ll be in Prague in the morning, going on to Ostrava. Are there any events commemorating the uprising that I should look for?
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 02:34:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cinco de Mayo:

...is celebrated nationwide in the United States and regionally in Mexico, primarily in the state of Puebla, where the holiday is called El Dia de la Batalla de Puebla (English: The Day of the Battle of Puebla). The date is observed in the United States as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride ...

For gringos the celebration is mostly a chance to sit around eating Tex/Mex and drinking Mexican beer:



Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 02:59:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the Czech Republic,
At about 1:00 am on May 5, 1945, armed Czech resistance fighters overwhelmed the Waffen-SS defending the radio buildings. The radio announcer broadcast a call to the Czech nation to rise up and asked the people in the streets of Prague to build barricades. Elsewhere, Czech resistance fighters occupied the Gestapo and Sipo Headquarters.

In the afternoon of May 5, the Prague mayor formally switched allegiance to the National Committee in the City Hall. The Czechs in the streets tore down the German road traffic signs and store inscriptions. The insurgents attacked any Germans within sight and seized their weapons. The Germans defended themselves as best as they could by shooting at the insurgents.

Sound like they should be commemorating it.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 03:02:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't know that.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 03:11:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But not with mexican bier and limes.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 03:13:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's what I call cultural diversity. In the UK if we want to celebrate, we drink something nice, in Mexico they choose something else

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 03:14:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How often have you spent much time in tropical, i.e. hot humid climates?

There's a reason they drink bier that way. and the most delicious German biers might not fit as well.

Same reason they make the most exquisite tequilas in the world.

I've got a recipe book of Frida Kahlo's magic dinners, and i'll bet a bier with lime would fit right in. (Not that she and her guests didn't imbibe classically as well.)

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 03:33:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it's true I've not spent much time in tropical climates, but I have drunk Nigerian Guinness, which I believe comes from a hot place, and it's pretty damn flavoursome (if a little rough). And nobody in their right mind puts lime in that.

I know we've been round this ring before, but I still think that the only reason people end up adulterating their beers is because it, ie practically any mass produced pils made outside the czech republic, wasn't very good in the first place; flavourless at best and downright nasty otherwise. The adulteration then becomes fashionable and spreads to other beers, such as german wheat beers, which don't deserve it. That said, I know that even some beer writers disagree. I just happen to think they're wrong.

Mexican beers are wet. Beyond that....

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 04:20:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think a big part of mass production of beer is the effort needed to maintain consistency. Whether person A likes it or not, at least you can predict with certainty what a Guiness or a Coors or whatever is going to taste like. The "craft" breweries--at least the ones over here--don't do nearly as good a job, and something you thought was pretty good one time might be complete crap in the next month's batch.
by asdf on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 05:26:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You can mass produce consistent good beers just as easily as crap ones, it's just always cheaper to make crap. I have already written an essay for my beer site showing that craft brewers can brew bad beers just as often if they get their priorities wrong

Cut down on the malt content, use cheaper malts, bulk it up with rice or corn, add sugar (a UK favourite). All these things can be done to bring down overheads, they don't affect consistency but they all reduce quality

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri May 4th, 2012 at 02:55:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
While you guys are talking up the merits of central European beer, let me just note that most "Mexican" beer is about as Mexican as Taco Bell, and the big brands were all invented by...Germans, Austrians and Czechs.

The same groups from whom the American beer industry has been trying to recover for 35 years now.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 06:32:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nothing wrong with the german, or czech brewing industry per se. but you have to remember that you had a completely different industry in 1920 from that which emerged from the insanity of prohibition in the mid 30s

the pre-20s industry was run by germans and czechs and even the American brewers association discussed and published its findings in german, not the most popular thing to be doing while the country was at war with germany.

The post prohibition industry was American and run by accountants. Budweiser may be a czech name, but they'd abandoned all pretense towards quality when they started addding rice and promoting refridgeration. Cost saving measures you see, american accountants like that

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri May 4th, 2012 at 03:11:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But the Germans certainly played their part in Mexican beers. If you google "German brewers in Mexico" you can find (Wikipedia alert) that


The industry truly began to develop in the latter half of the 19th century, due to an influx of German immigrants to Mexico and the short-lived Second Mexican Empire headed by emperor Maximilian I of Mexico of the House of Habsburg, an Austro-Germanic ruling family. The emperor had his own brewer, who produced Vienna-style dark beers. This influence can be seen in two popular brands of Negra Modelo and Dos Equis Ambar.[3][5]


'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 04:36:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We knew that. We also know they have no German Purity Law.

The Mayans had their own version which fit the climate better. It was probably related to the Chicha i drank in Peru... there's nothing like mouth-germinated, fermented corn bier... a perfect match when chewing coca leaves while sucking on a small limestone in your cheek to dissolve the plant's wonders.

Though it took me five minutes to get up the courage to drink from the communal bowl that was passed around, what with the spitting back into the bowl and all. Was thankful for the limes.

I passed on the guinea pig.

(We should have a discussion of the wonders of truly great, tendency towards psychedelic tequila.) But now back to the wonders of a day game in Frisco, where first pitch was 21:47 here.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 04:59:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Backing up my point below: Every beer in the picture?  German.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 06:37:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll cook some Tex-Mex. And miss the Austin fests.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 04:30:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dreaming now ...
A nice Cinco de Mayo celebration would include:

A lick of Himalayan rock salt from the wrist
A shot of Cabo Wabo
A bite of lime
Repeat

Followed by una más cerveza por favor senor.

by sgr2 on Fri May 4th, 2012 at 08:46:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 02:13:34 PM EST
Let's hope the questioner understands things like blenders and under-sink garbage disposals.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 02:23:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There was a joke that the LAMPF linear accelerator was pointed straight at Washington, DC. Which it might have been from a compass bearing viewpoint, but not from the elevation viewpoint...
by asdf on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 05:32:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  1.  Trying to get some tricky programming done while ...

  2.  Waiting for an important email and ...

  3.  Wondering why we thought buying this place was a Good Idea.


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 02:22:41 PM EST
How to Save a Sinking Ship?   by The Institute for New Economic Thinking on May 03, 2012

That was the question at the "Future of Europe" panel at INET Berlin. German International Broadcaster Deustsche Welle offers a look behind the scenes at INET's recent Berlin conference. The video segment - titled "Economists Planning a Revolution" - asks, "What will the new solution be for Europe?"

Professor of economic theory at the University of Athens Yanis Varoufakis points to the heart of the problem: a need for a revolution in economic theory. "We economists are firstly useless at predicting what's going on in the economy. But it's worse than that," Varoufakis said. "Behind every toxic policy there lies an economic theory, so we are partly responsible for the debacle."

Professor of economics and economic history at Berlin's Free University Moritz Shularick agrees. "An old paradigm has been lost," Shularick said. "And now we have a phase of disorientation." But Shularick sees reason for hope - INET's Berlin conference brought together impassioned new and established economic thinkers - including several Nobel prize winners - all of whom were focused on creating an economics that is more relevant and addresses real-world problems. "It's encouraging to see a group of Nobel prize winners struggling with the same problems as everyone else," Shularick said.

Gathering over 300 of the world's top economic thinkers as well as over 300 graduate students and young scholars in Berlin, Germany - right at the center of the Euro crisis - the conference was able to "shake the foundations of economic theory." With the paradigm lost, INET Berlin helped show the way forward for an economics profession in dire need of the kind of new thinking that was on display.



I am heartened to see this program on German mainstream media. Has it made real impact on the discussion about the 'Euro crisis' in Germany?

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 02:24:07 PM EST
Some small fraction of Economists may have lost a pair of dimes, most still think they still have them in their pocket.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 02:29:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Deutsche Welle is a small segment of German media, primarily aimed at export only, at least from my perspective. I don't follow german media very much, except on the net, but i don't find it has much influence.

Der Spiegel, OTOH, just had a brilliant example of propaganda two days ago which basically laced an article about how Merkel might be hurt by a Hollande victory, with enough TINA to gag me with a spoon. Or throw up.

I've made it a point in conversations hier to categorically state that Bundesbank policies, in support of the global banking establishment, are the reasons Yurp is being destroyed. I often receive raised eyebrows.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 03:42:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it's come out that monti and one of his new hatchet-men, bondi, with an ubervillain face straight out of a caligari era b/w flick, complete with heidelberg duel scars. he was paid 15 million to downsize (rmoney-style) parmalat which was E15 billion in debt. a french company then snapped it up. both were employed by bundesbank in the past...

nice.

70 widows of austerity-suicided citizens met today to protest in bologna, in front of the tax offices. the leader's deceased husband set himself on fire there and died a few days later in hospital.

italy feels like it's wobbling on the edge of an social/existential crisis. this can't stay stable for long.

i am totally disillusioned with monti, especially with his new choices for hitmen (and to disembowel state TV RAI). another of them was hip deep in the craxi wipeout scamfest decades ago. i realise whatever positive reactions i had initially were entirely due to gratitude at seeing the demise of bunga man.

their charming trick is to call these new made men 'super'-technocrats, aka even more remote and inhuman economy-gutting techniques.

out of the woodwork they crawl...

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri May 4th, 2012 at 05:08:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Put your finger on a serious problem with electoral democracy: 98% of the time the person winning the election should be prohibited from holding the office.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Fri May 4th, 2012 at 05:16:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Someone recently suggested I post a diary on a non-science subject but I don't do that because

  1. I'm not the history sort

  2. I'm a crappy typist

  3. My bad back limits my amount of typing time.

BUT

what about science (chemistry/biochemistry/physics) video diaries here at ET? Would this be doable? Or desirable? A science section at ET?

My laptop has a built-in camera.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 02:41:30 PM EST
Interest in videos decreases exponentially to length. Much longer than 4 minutes and it'd better be something special

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 02:59:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Typically, tho', those diaries don't generate a lot of comments and discussion.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 03:04:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do it, always good to have diaries on peoples interests

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 07:44:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As the one who proposed to Wife of Bath that she try Hendrick's for her G & Ts, do we now have a verdict?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 03:35:28 PM EST
Sadly, I only supplied Gordons Export Strength. So I think the jury is still out

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 04:22:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
However, I used to know someone who was an expert in G&T, well she drank a lot of it anyway, and she was pretty keen on Hendricks

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 04:24:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll run down some Hendricks one way or another and give you a first-hand report in October. Helen's Gordon's slid down strong and lively, though, I can tell you.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 04:41:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Widely available hier, at least in cocktail bars. I can probably order it, but then so can you. Not unknown at all hier.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 05:01:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Asked some gin drinking friends and they give Henricks very high marks, so looking forward to the results of your taste test. ;-)
by sgr2 on Fri May 4th, 2012 at 08:05:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Running IE on win7 and every now and again I seem to do something and all the text gets big.

I can't seem to work out what I did so's I can undo it.

It lasts a day or so and then undoes. It's most disconcerting

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 04:51:20 PM EST
Increase Text Size and Fonts in Internet Explorer.

To use the Internet Explorer zoom feature press "Ctrl" and "+" to increase the zoom level and "Ctrl" "-" to decrease the level of zoom.

At the link there's a way to change the default text size which is too long to blockquote w/o violating Teh Rulez.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 06:15:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ctrl and the mouse wheel is the usual way this happens (trying to doo too many things at once with tribext is my usual cause of doing this)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 07:42:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is the more likely explanation. When I mentioned some time back you could zoom in and out with ctrl + mouse wheel, not everybody seemed to know that.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri May 4th, 2012 at 01:16:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]


"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 07:19:33 PM EST
New Star Ascending into the Heavens???



"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri May 4th, 2012 at 03:16:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, they are definitely some of the best stuff going on right now

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri May 4th, 2012 at 11:40:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Had never heard of them before, and she can sing.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri May 4th, 2012 at 11:53:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And to distract from Tonights Tory Carnage at the polls (and Lib dem destruction)

https:/twitter.com#!/hendopolis/status/198179849901318144/photo/1

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 08:07:41 PM EST
tbh, the Express front pages have become a study in surrealism all by themselves. Some mad scare story about europe or hailing some new (fictional) medical miracle with just occasionally some other story peeing in. They've either found Madelaine McCann or it's some footballer in gay wag sex romp.

totally bonkers. I can't imagine who reads it.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri May 4th, 2012 at 02:50:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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