Friday, 10 January 2014

Friday Morning Ramble: The “It’s Colder Than a Ticket-Taker’s Smile” Edition


I’m not saying it’s cold in the U.S. right now …. but Niagara Falls is freezing over.


I’m not saying it’s cold in the U.S. right now …. but frigid temperatures forced an esacped prisoner to turn himself in.

I’m not saying it’s cold in the U.S. right now …. but Hell is freezing over too.

I’m not saying it’s cold in the U.S. right now …. but don't try pissing outside.

I’m not saying it’s cold in the U.S. right now …. but water from fire hoses turns to ice as it hits burning buildings.

I’m not saying it’s cold in the U.S. right now …. but Lake Michigan is turning into ice balls

I’m not saying it’s cold in the U.S. right now …. but it’s not every day a Frank Zappa song becomes a safety warning.

And let’s just remember to pay tribute to NASA warmist James Hansen, who warned in 1986 we would face warming of up to 5 degrees F by 2010 … and senior British research warmist at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) East Anglia, who in the year 200 warned “within a few years winter snowfall will become ‘a very rare and exciting event.’ ‘Children just aren't going to know what snow is,’ he said.”

More links on the Polar Vortex here, and from 1974 (when it was global cooling wot done it).

Q: What do the Taleban and Maori tikanga have in common? A: A stone-age attitude towards women.
How people in Muslim countries prefer women to dress in public – PEW RESEARCH
Maori protocol warning – STUFF
Youth Parliament: Gender Segregated Powhiri "wrong" – SCOOP

NZ’s Productivity Commission is talking about NZ and Australian productivity. Unfortunately, bloggers don’t understand them.
What are we asking with productivity in NZ? – Matt Nolan, TVHE

I’ve heard the words “suicide” and “Sea Shepherd” in the same sentence before, but not with this spin.
Support grows for the Paretian Cetacean solution – Eric Crampton, OFFSETTING BEHAVIOUR

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) from an American perspective.
Everything you need to know about the Trans Pacific Partnership – WONK BLOG

“There is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than
the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.”

- Ayn Rand

A look back at the biggest media story of 2013 - Edward Snowden and the NSA surveillance programme.
The Snowden saga: Spies, secrets and security – AL JAZEERA

“The Washington Post is running a terrific article in which former NSA contractor Edward Snowden explains why he revealed how far the NSA and other federal agencies had gone toward constructing a national security surveillance state.”
Washington Post Interview: Edward Snowden Defends the Constitution Against Clapper, Alexander, Feinstein, Rogers, and Obama – Ronald Bailey, HIT & RUN

Snowden story-breaker Glenn Greenwald “wipes the floor” with career statist Ruth Marcus on the argument over clemency.

Number One: “Politicians believe there are no consequences for destroying our liberty…”
”"Four Key Lessons From 2013 – Simon Black, ECONOMIC POLICY JOURNAL

Robert Tracinski looks back at the big (American) stories of 2013, and forward to “The Year of ‘We Told You So.’”
Top Stories of the Year – THE TRACINSKI LETTER

It’s not everyday you find a partnership as odd as this.
Dear Dennis Rodman, Your Friendship With A North Korean Dictator Is Not Funny – THE FOUNDRY

“Always keep an eye on the quiet ones. Robert Gates, a Washington veteran who served as George W. Bush’s final defence secretary and stayed on as Barack Obama’s first, has written an incendiary memoir that belies his reputation as an inscrutable, unflappable team player…”
Everything was political – THE ECONOMIST

“Examples of the failures of government, large and small, are pretty easy to come by… But in terms of both wasted money and human suffering, it’s hard to find a more egregious government failure than the War on Poverty.”
A New War on Poverty – Michael D. Tanner, CATO

How to ensure there will always be an underclass to justify the demand for a War on Poverty.
The War on Poverty kept poor people poor – Stephen Horwitz, MARKET WATCH

Poverty, poverty, poverty. So what’s the greatest achievement of the last century that you never hear about? It turns out that between 1970 and 2010 the worst poverty in the world – actual poverty, not poverty redefined – people who live on one dollar a day or less – people involved in commerce instead of government poverty programmes – has decreased by 80 percent (see chart below and story here). You never hear about that. Certainly not from John Minto.


The minimum wage sets two wage rates: Zero, and a minimum mandated by law. Low-skilled workers know this already; it’s economists and politicians who don’t. Everywhere.
The Minimum Wage Forces Low-Skill Workers to Compete with Higher-Skill Workers – GEORGE REISMAN’S BLOG
Why raising the minimum wage is not the best way to help Britain's poorest – Lee Shackleton, IEA
Minimum Wage: This Time It May Be Different – Roger Garrison, CAFE HAYEK

“While there have been all too many lies told in politics, most have some little tiny fraction of truth in them, to make them seem plausible. But the ‘trickle-down’ lie is 100 percent lie.”
The 'Trickle'Down' Economics Bogeyman – Thomas Sowell, CAPITALISM MAGAZINE

Students everywhere …
The Ignorance Of Today’s College Students Shouldn’t Surprise Us – BURTON FOLSOM

Did laissez-faire cause the Irish Potato Famine? Did over-population?
Malarkey – Don Boudreaux, CAFE HAYEK 
Blarney – Don Boudreaux, CAFE HAYEK

It may have never happened.
Easter Island "Collapse" May be a Modern Myth – ARCHAEOLOGY

No, Black Adder wasn’t the last word on the war that started one-hundred years ago this year.
British government minister blasts 'Blackadder myths' about the First World War spread by television sit-coms and left-wing academics – John Ray, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH

"The central banks are running out of tricks," says David Stockman on the Tom Woods Show.

Most scientific fraudsters keep their jobs …
Weekend reads: Most scientific fraudsters keep their jobs, random acts of academic kindness, and more – RETRACTION WATCH

Meanwhile, there is a gloomy market for academic economists.
Say’s law and academic malemployment – CATALLAXY FILES

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make
you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

- Ralph WaldoEmerson

Vinay Kolhatkar at Romanticism Watch recommended the recent blockbuster film Agora –and he was right to. Through the microcosm of the ancient world’s greatest and most intellectual city, and history’s most famous woman philosopher, Hypatia, it illustrates how the collapse of thought preceded the collapse of the ancient world, bringing with it a millennia of darkness and religious oppression – and how the coming of Christianity did for the ancient world what the Taleban did for Afghanistan.
Super-Atheist Gorgeous Epic Film: Agora (2009) – COMMON SENSE ATHEISM (Warning: contains spoilers in the second half)

The relative distribution of the world's wealth in 1500 and 2002. (The bigger the country, the wealthier it is—relatively speaking.)

The moment before the most famous album cover ever was photographed. (Go on, take a look.)

Reasons to love Scotland.
25 Reasons why we love Scotland – IMGUR

“Despite cost overruns and leaky roofs, Santiago Calatrava’s buildings have the power to inspire.”
Give Calatrava a Chance – Fred Bernstein, ARCHITECTURAL RECORD

D’you think it will happen?

Embedded image permalink

Here it is people. The lowdown on how to make money from Facebook.
How to make money from Facebook – DAILY BLOG

I hope you did.
Why it's OK to drink a lot this Christmas – PETE BROWN

Who drinks the most in Europe?
Who Drinks The Most Alcohol? – ZERO HEDGE

Should a man unwilling to be a father have to pay child support? It’s a fair question.

Supplements produce more than just expensive urine.
Vitamins Lack Clear Health Benefits, May Pose Risks – FORBES

Come on people. Eat real burgers.

Jane McGonigal reckons you should play more games.

So here’s one in which architecture is made the central character.

Another Public Health Warning: Don’t strike up a conversation with David Bowie in a bar.

This is fun. Especially after too many involuntary meetings with grey ones.

Yes, Virginia, Joe Strummer did have another band after he killed The Clash.

Could still be my favourite piece of modern blues.

[Hat tips Bosch Fawstin, Paul McKeever, Paul Litterick, History Pictured, The Stateless Man, Jesselyn Radack, David Burge, Richard Tol, Glenn Greenwald, Rob Abiera, The Anti Al Gore, Philosophy Muse, Slate, Noodle Food, 3 Quarks Daily, Barbara Clarihew, Archinect]

Thanks for reading.
Have a great weekend.
And if you’re still on holiday, keep that elbow exercised!

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