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Thursday, June 30, 2005

Second Application May Be Needed

Well, it seems the Yankee ground crew picked up on our suggestion to apply Gary-B-Gone to the brown spot in rightfield -- on the news today I heard that the Yankees are trying to trade Sheffield. But a second application of the spray may be needed -- Gary is refusing to go. Well, that's understandable -- it takes a whole lot of pacing to create a nice brown spot like that in well-tended outfield grass, and he is clearly reluctant to have to start over in a new ballpark.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Important Lawn Product

TT Tom and I saw the Yankees play the Mets a few days ago. We noticed that in rightfield, and only in right, there is a brown patch about ten feet in diameter. We watched Gary Sheffield, the Yankees rightfielder, pace the area nervously between pitches, and decided that he was responsible. I remarked that the ground crew must wish the team would trade him. Tom said, "What they need to do is to spray the affected area with Gary-B-Gone."

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Small Town Living

I'm back in the US, where I'll be spending the bulk of the summer in Milford, Pennsylvania. Small town living has its nice aspects -- strangers talk to you, cars stop to let you cross the street -- and its downsides. The local paper yesterday published an interview with someone who was accused of doing drugs in his house! Can you imagine a reporter from the NY Times showing up on your doorstep, asking, "We've heard you occasionally smoke pot: Anything to say for yourself?"

Useful for Pond Crossers

Reader Rob Dodson sends in a link to an English-to-American dictionary.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Now We've Got Them Right Where We Want Them

On a day when 10 separate attacks killed 47 people in Iraq, Donald Rumsfeld
declared
that the insurgency -- which, you remember, was to disappear after Saddam was captured, or when sovereignty was turned over, or when the elections were held, or when the new government was formed -- is likely to increase until the constitution referendum and the elections are held in December. He also mentioned that the insurgency may continue for a decade or more. So when Rummy told Fox News Sunday that the insurgency "ebbs and flows", he really meant to say that it "flows and flows".

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Geeks Turn Their Attention to Batman

I refer to Ben Sikma and myself.

Blast from the Past

While doing legitimate research, I came across this hilarious Callahan article. This was when Gene was still really funny and didn't consider himself a serious historian.

I Waited and Waited...

I was in a diner this morning. I went to the loo and after I did my business, I stepped over to the sink. Over it, I saw a sign reading, "Employees must wash hands."

Well, not wanting to break the rules, I waited for an employee to come along to wash mine. But, I admit, I finally got fed up and washed them myself.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

home is where you plant your flag

News flash just in time for Independence Day: You don't really own your house and you possibly won't really own your thread if it is arranged in a certain pattern. Thankfully in most places you can't own decent fireworks, so it won't be that disappointing if you choose to boycott the Fourth. That is, if you are permitted to boycott it. I'm not sure you are always allowed to own your body either.

I'll Be Missed

I think my London flatmate, Jason Song, is really going to miss me. Here he is saying good-bye as I left the UK:

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Scott Horton Interviews Bob Murphy

For foreign readers, be advised that this is not a typical US radio interview. This guy's show is incredibly outside of the mainstream.

The Most Annoying Common Expression in England

You walk up to a shop till or a bar, and the employee behind it says, "Can I help?"

So far, I (barely) have resisted the urge to ask, "Can you help what? Ending world hunger? Halting global warming? Picking up the rubbish in the neighborhood? Driving me from the shop?"

If someone can't be bothered to add the single-syllable word 'you' at the end of that question, I feel less than confident that they are all that interested in 'helping.'

Saturday, June 18, 2005

DC Smoking Ban

Gene Healy smokes the fascists again.

Keep This in Mind

"A wound below the belt contracted when the moon is new is unluckier than one contracted when the moon is full... wounds contracted under Gemini, Virgo, Capricorn are the most unlucky."
-- Paracelcus

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

A Well-Known Fact

In a Google search I just ran across the following:
"As is well-known, the definition of a homotopy between two continuous maps as we know it, for there were predecessors, was introduced by Brouwer in 1912 in his ground breaking work on the degree of a map."

Do any of you out there want to admit you didn't know this? Folks, if you're going to do any intellectual work, don't write like that.

Odd Portions

I noticed that my mult-vitamin and mineral supplement does not offer anywhere near the same RDA of most of the various nutrients it contains. For instance, I'm getting 93% of my iodine requirement but only .13% of my magnesium. Are they out trolling the commodities markets deciding the mix based on the spot price? Probably not, but what is going on?

My Future

One of my flatmates left out a jar of "Olde English Marmalade." Underneath the brand name, it boasted that it was "Rich and Bitter."

"Hey," I thought, "that's just how I plan to spend my old age!"

tweet tweet

First to clarify my visit to vermont, I saw juncos (a bird) and their nest. Also I saw a large black bear (a four legged mammal). Please do not confuse this with visiting junkies and a bar. Meanwhile the junkie chicks have hatched, doh, I meant juncos. And the bear has not been seen since, however all the local bars were repeatedly visited to check and see.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Bollocks to Cancer

There's a UK show with the above title. Of course, the title is a pun on testicles, but it also means something like, "Kiss my ass, cancer."

When I saw it, I thought, "ooh, cancer must be feeling so hurt! I bet it's just going to run away and hide after hearing that."

Bob Unplugged

If you're really bored in your office cubicle, download my interview with Jeff Tucker concerning consumer protection...

Monday, June 13, 2005

Seafood

The Rainbow Kebab is on Stoke Newington High Street near my flat. Its menu is broken down by category. Under "Fish" is listed:

Chicken Nuggets and Chips
Cod and Chips
Meat and Chips
Reg. Chips
Jumbo Chips
Chicken Wings and Chips
Hummus, Falafel and Chips
Scampi and Chips
Chips

In another puzzle, both "Reg. Chips" and "Chips" go for a quid. Are the "Chips" just more irregular than the "Reg. Chips"?

Guess What They've Found!

A miraculous new treatment for heroin addiction.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Who Would Have Imagined!

China has long subsidized water use -- not charging for water at all until 1985, and currently charging 40% below cost. No doubt, this policy has been applauded as an example of "social justice" by many on the left. Now, The Economist reports that "the very 'survival of the Chinese nation'" is threatened by a critical shortage of fresh water.

Gee, can you imagine that? You price a resource way below market, and people use it recklessly! Maybe someone should invent a science that describes that kind of phenomena... Bob?

Yum, Yum

In another restaurant name as apt as "New Jersey Chicken," my new neighborhood has "Kansas Pizza." That's the place I think of when I think of pizza!

And none of that tasty millet, yum, yum.

Is It Maryland, or Leningrad?

Reader Chris Strong sends in an amusing/disturbing photo.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Popperianism Explored

Today I decided to try out Popper's system. Knowing that the fact that, every previous day, when I took the train south from my flat I got to LSE, has no predictive value for what will happen if I take it south today, I made a "bold conjecture" and decided to get to LSE by heading north.

Does anyone know if some place named "Glasgow" is near LSE? I went into a pub to ask, but when I said I didn't know who the Rangers were, I got my head bashed in.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Platonism Vindicated!

I was in a pub yesterday and saw a sign on the wall saying, "Upstairs room available for functions." I walked up there and it was true! All around me were things like 5xy = 7 = z; A = piR2; a2 + b2 = c2; and more.

Our Best Comment Ever

IMHO.

Scientism

See my new essay on the mechanical philosophy and modern economics.

Feisty Irishman Quote

"Lew Rockwell's work is rich, spicy, tough, and brims with confidence. It sends a message: 'Hey fellas, you've been pushing us around a long time; why don't you come outside, and let's get it on?'"

--Pat Buchanan, from back cover of Rockwell's collection The Economics of Liberty

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Trial of the (Canadian) Century

(cross-posted on my blog)

Tomorrow, at 9:45 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, the Supreme Court of Canada will rule in the case of Chaoulli and Zeliotis v. Government of Canada. Amongst possible rulings is that the prohibition on private care in Canada contravenes section 7 Charter guarantees to life, liberty, and security of the person.

That is, if Canadians have to wait so long for care--which they do--then their security of the person is violated. They should be free to pursue a private option within Canada should the government prove to be incapable of providing timely care in gov-run hospitals.

In anticipation of the ruling, I'm posting my conversation with Jacques Chaoulli for the Western Standard cover story entitled "Freedom Fighter." You can listen to it by clicking here (it's a WAV file). I do sound like a bit of an idiot in there at parts, but I guess that's forgivable...

The newsmedia is somewhat silent on this issue the day before the ruling. My Google News Alert provides me with three links:
Medicare Future at Stake (National Post)
Medicare's Future on the line (Alaska Highway News)
The Montreal Economic Institute made its presence to the media known in a press release.

Silence before the storm?

And here, for your background reading, are a few links to keep you busy:

WS: Freedom Fighter (2004/10/11)
NY Times: A challenger to Canada's Health Care (2005/05/22)
CBC: Top court to hear private health-care challenge. (2003/05/08)
SC Press release: Case heard before Supreme Court (2004/06/08)
Margaret Wente: The dangerous ideas of Dr. Jacques Chaoulli. (2004/06/08)

Mises Quote

"If any of the socialist chiefs had tried to earn his living by selling hot dogs, he would have learned something about the sovereignty of the consumers."

--"Liberty and Property," Two Essays by Ludwig von Mises

Gregory on Immigration

Anthony Gregory has a great article on the typical calls to "crack down" on illegal aliens. (I also liked this article because it shows LRC isn't afraid to air nuanced differences of opinion. I.e. I think many people would've thought, "Oh, LRC is against open borders so they wouldn't run a column like this.")

giggles, chortles, cackles and a hardy har har

O'Connor, Rehnquist and Thomas: Our friends-of-the-potheads on the Supreme Court. All of them were appointed by republican presidents. Isn't that funny? Or do you have to be stoned to enjoy the irony?

I would hope that the six justices who sided on the wrong side of the medical marijuana ruling all get very ill from health problems that could be helped by marijuana. Unfortunately, I don't think they will have any problems getting any of this wonderful but illegal medicine so I'll just stick to condemning the six of them to the special part of Hell that awaits them.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

A Little Knapp After Lunch

Coming back to my desk after a (free) lunch from the Mises Institute, I fielded an order for my book from a guy who said he learned of it through this interesting blog. The funny thing is, Knapp says "I can't recommend Bob Murphy's Chaos Theory..." Hmm.

Argumentation

Occasionally
One of our visitors
Will strike a pose
Apposite to
But not embracing
The brio of
His opponent's argument

Nature repose

This last Sunday visiting a friend in vermont and helping with his landscape bed we discovered a nesting pair of slate coloured juncos had a nest with a clutch of four eggs nestled in a shrub. We worked around the plant as the birds were nearby appearing slightly worried. One of the birds would always return if we wandered off or indoors and would flutter off on our return. As afternoon dwindled we postponed work so the birds wouldn't be afraid to return to the nest for the evening. Not but a few minutes later as we were all indoors in repose my friend said "there is a bear in my back yard". My girlfriend looked out an upstairs window exclaiming "OH, My GOD!". The bear took note and wandered slowly off into the wood. The critter we estimated at 400 pounds after a little research. A black bear it was. Huge. Looked real healthy too. Shiny coat etc. Meanwhile we lived to tell the tale and no doubt the bear will eventually be a 1,000 pound grizzly that attacked us and we fended it off with human ingenuity. But for now, we saw a big black bear in the back yard. And, the birds are fine. Update on the chicks as they develop...

Monday, June 06, 2005

Is It Philosophy, or Is It...?

I was in my tutor's office yesterday, and I noticed he had an entire shelf of computer programming books. I asked why. He replied that he programmed all the time in his work, typically using Java to create Java Beans that he then employed in Mathematica.

What frigorific sort of philosohpy is that, making Java Beans to use in Mathematica? Details to follow.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Induction Justified!

As I mentioned, Jan Lester has been attempting to refute my take on induction. Well, I was getting off the tube recently, and what did I see but a poster for a health club offering "Free weekly induction."

Even the owners of health clubs know induction is a perfectly reasonable activity!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

The Forbes Fictional Fifteen

Here's a silly link I ran across while doing serious research (honest!). For dramatic effect, I will link you to the 15th richest fictional character, and then you can click on "previous" to see the next richest, all the way to number 1. Can you guess who it will be?

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

cover your mouth when you yawn (wink)

So W. Mark Felt is Deep Throat.
Is it any wonder DC has been able to keep so boring a secret? Hell's bells, Linda Lovelace--who starred in the porn movie that gave us the pseudonym--had a far more interesting story. But Felt's tale isn't without a chuckle itself. It seems the motivation for Felt to become the famous leak might have been simple revenge for not being promoted to FBI chief in the wake of his hero Hoover's death and/or for the Nixon administration's meddling in FBI affairs. Hardly the noble hero the Left has been fantasizing about for the last three decades. Felt was a pig and a selfish one at that.

Michael Medved vs. Harry Browne

I was reading my Imprimis (I've been getting them ever since I attended Hillsdale) and was annoyed by the following from Michael Medved's talk during the CCA on "War on Film":

On my radio show today, I addressed the topic of military “counter-recruiters.” You know what military recruiters are—the people who go to high schools and colleges and tell young people about their opportunities to serve their country in the military. Well, now there are also “counter-recruiters” who go to these schools and tell young people why they shouldn’t serve their country in the military. I had one of them on my show today and put one of your Hillsdale freshmen on with him, and she asked him the crucial question he couldn’t answer intelligently: “What would the world be like without the American military?” He said that the world would be a “beautiful place.” But of course this would only be true if a world enslaved under Nazism or communism or Islamo-fascism could be called beautiful. Without the U.S. military in the last century, it would be one of these.

Now I've written elsewhere about the trumped up fears of Nazi conquest, and I think the USSR wasn't as hell-bent on world domination as William F. Buckley would have you believe, but fair enough: I can understand a right-wing hawk claiming that the US saved the world from Hitler and Stalin.

But c'mon, now the US is saving the world from "Islamo-fascist" enslavement?? So if US troops hadn't invaded Afghanistan or Iraq, eventually all of Europe would've been taken over by Zarqawi?

A handful of (or even 19) fanatics can certainly cause damage and fear, but they can't conquer another country. No, that takes hundreds of thousands of troops (and smart bombs help too).

BTW, a quick response to Medved's utter dismay that Hollywood has stopped glorifying (Medved's word) the American fighting man can be found in this Harry Browne piece. (Has anyone else noticed that Harry has thrown caution to the winds lately? I guess he decided he's not running for president anymore, and so he's going to keep it real.)