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I have "delusions of adequacy."
Interests: economics, policy, theatre, music, hiking, geocaching
Recent Activity
In Canada we have a health care system with devastatingly long wait times for many services. At a zero price, the quantity demanded greatly exceeds the quantity supplied. The standard supply and demand graph illustrating the problem: Excess quantity demand at a zero price means the scarce goods and services must be allocated using some other mechanism. As often happens,... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at EclectEcon
Once many years ago I read the hypothesis that methane from dinosaur farts caused climate change. Here's a link suggesting the same thing. Now recent research tells us that the growing population of beavers in marshes is also contributing to greenhouse gases [via Jack]: “It has long been known the release of methane from beaver ponds is more intense than... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at EclectEcon
The Arts Project will be hosting a solo exhibition of my photographic art February 23 - March 7, 2015. It is a HUGE exhibition gallery, and I have been given access to the entire space. I have tentatively titled the exhibition, "It's Only the Beginning..." after the title piece that I'll be showing: The "slightly pretentious" artist's statement: The theme... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at EclectEcon
Over the past few days, I have been reading The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. I should have checked before I started it because based on the title, I was expecting a book about some Brit female detectives. Was I ever wrong. It is a very touching novel about the life of a woman in Botswana who opened her own... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at EclectEcon
It seems I am not the only person to think "Socks are the new neckties". [Also see this]. Apparently the sales of socks are going through the roof this Christmas season. From the NatPost [ht Brian Ferguson], Unwrapping a pair of socks is no longer met with suspiciously overwrought squeals of excitement and half-hearted thank yous. The stigma is gone:... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2014 at EclectEcon
With the price of oil having plummeted, there has been considerable discussion in the media and elsewhere about what will happen to the quantity supplied (pedantic note for colleagues and students: quantity supplied, NOT supply) of oil in the short run and in the long run. This article in Slate has it almost right. The average costs per barrel of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2014 at EclectEcon
Six years ago, in a public presentation, people asked me what I thought would happen with the price of oil. I had no idea. I was tempted to tell them to look at the futures market, since that would be a pretty decent predictor. Instead I said, "I can readily imagine the price of oil will drop back to $50/bbl.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 11, 2014 at EclectEcon
For our April concert, Encore (the Concert Band) will be performing selections from Carl Orff's CarminaBurana. I love the piece and have been looking forward to rehearsing and playing it. It should be interesting with a concert band and a top local male chorus. Tonight we had our first run at the piece. All was going pretty well for me... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2014 at EclectEcon
What began as an annual tradition several decades ago. Here it is again in response to many requests. You'll have to click on the link to get to it. Merry Christmas. You won't want to miss it. Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2014 at EclectEcon
I just received the following email at my UWO email address. Fortunately their mail server flagged it. It's ingenious. Shipping status: Transaction confirmation: 71872499590 Agatha Staebell <> to jpalmer Morning, Your order #71872499590 will be shipped on 10.12.2014. Date: December 08, 2014. 01:55pm Price: £186.65 Transaction number: 0B6939A3F078A5 Please find the detailed information on your purchase in the attached file... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2014 at EclectEcon
This afternoon I played horn with "Encore, the Concert Band". And this evening I played Joey Gambino, a 30-year-old gangster: Both were lots of fun! Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2014 at EclectEcon
Many years ago, I heard someone say, One problem, among others, with white elephants is that once you build them, you then find you need to build bigger zoos to keep them in. I was reminded of that quote today when former student/colleague/co-author John Henderson sent me this: The city of Timmins finally closed its white elephant Shania Twain Centre.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2014 at EclectEcon
To paraphrase Dave Barry, the Coase Theorem is named for the famous economist who formulated it, Professor Theorem.
The "problem" of people reclining their seats on airplanes has given rise to this wonderful piece by Virginia Postrel. In it, she explains the Coase Theorem, the importance of the assumptions underlying the theorem, and how to deal with situations when the assumptions are not satisfied (which is what makes both the Coase Theorem and her article so good). A... Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2014 at EclectEcon
One of my favourite scotch whiskies is Caol Ila. I can get it in Alberta, where retail liquor sales have been privatized and there is competition among retailers in the provision of brands and varieties. But I can't get Caol Ila in Ontario. The gubmnt monopoly stores do not carry it. Maybe they will at some point, but I haven't... Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2014 at EclectEcon
I gave some of my other colourful socks to one of my granddaughters. But then while she and I were shopping at Value Village, we saw these for $2/pr, and I couldn't resist them. Continue reading
Posted Nov 27, 2014 at EclectEcon
I will never again groan so loudly or so much when I hear the words, "I would like to thank...." during a major award ceremony or telecast of election results. I don't know that I have ever won any award or election after which I was expected to make a speech, and so I didn't understand how heartfelt the thanks... Continue reading
Posted Nov 27, 2014 at EclectEcon
Last week I read a discussion on Facebook in which professors speculated about how many students would attend class on the Friday before Thanksgiving. Huh? I thought Thanksgiving was on Thursday and then many/most people not in the retail business also got the next day, Friday, off. Schools closed for both Thursday and Friday, and people traveled for the four-day... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2014 at EclectEcon
When we moved from our house in Clinton to our 2br condo unit in London a little over 3 years ago, I got rid of probably 20 neckties. I still have maybe 40, but I rarely wear any of them anymore. However, I recently acquired some interesting socks [thanks to Ms Eclectic]: Socks! The new neckties! Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2014 at EclectEcon
My classmates from Carleton College, Northfield MN, are planning a 50th reunion for this coming June. In preparation, they have put together a page of bios and photos. I don't remember this photo, but apparently it was taken during our first week on campus in the fall of 1961. Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2014 at EclectEcon
Back in May, 2013, I wrote about the potential for using graphene to desalinate water. If graphene has all these miracle properties, watch for more economic growth and more change as entrepreneurs find less expensive ways to produce and use high-quality graphene . Wow! Update: Jack recommends the Wikipaedia link to many of the potential uses being touted for graphene.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2014 at EclectEcon
Tomorrow evening is our final performance of "Unforgiven", an entry in this year's London One-Act Festival at the McManus Theatre in London, Ontario. Tickets for this (and three other shows altogether) are only $15. To be honest, I was less-than-enthusiastic about the script when I first read it. But with creative insight from Diane Haggerty (director) and Rhonda Allen (co-star),... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2014 at EclectEcon
Tyler Cowen says it here: First, China is notorious for making announcements about air pollution and then not implementing them. This is only partially a matter of lying, in part the government literally does not have the ability to keep its word. They have a great deal of coal capacity coming on-line and they can’t just turn that switch off.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2014 at EclectEcon
The money quote from this amusing YouTube video: With viagra and a hip replacement, I could be a porn star. Yeah, sure. Though I did play one once: Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2014 at EclectEcon
When I lived in Regina, Saskatchewan, one of the things that struck me was how much it was like Lincoln, Nebraska, in one important aspect: fan and city-wide enthusiam for the local football team. Both cities are quite far from any other city that offers one of the four major-league professional sports (MLB, NFL, NBA, and NHL) and football in... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2014 at EclectEcon