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EclectEcon
I have "delusions of adequacy."
Interests: economics, policy, theatre, music, hiking, geocaching
Recent Activity
“Oh God, oh God,” he said, unable to control a rush of tears. “This is where they died. This is where they took them from us. I can see it. I can see it! Why? Because we were Jewish? I still don’t get it. I still don’t get the hate.” From the Washington Post's article about Auschwitz. Continue reading
Posted 15 hours ago at EclectEcon
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I set this website going a couple of days ago and have let the programme run since then. It shows the number of attempted cyber attacks (of sorts) by source of the attack, by target of the attack, etc. [via Jack] Here is a screen shot of what I had seen after a couple of days (the data are cumulative).... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at EclectEcon
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Several of my Facebook friends have posted the picture below showing Jimmy Carter along with the quote, "If you don't want your tax dollars to help the poor, then stop saying you want a country based on Christian values, because you don't." That's utter nonsense. I would much rather my dollars help the poor through private agencies rather than through... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at EclectEcon
We went shopping yesterday. We spent about $150 at the grocery store, including buying 7 cartons of pop and two plants. Then we went to the liquor store, where we spent over $450. That probably reveals a great deal about our priorities. Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at EclectEcon
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As a followup to my recent post about how standards of living have dramatically improved over the past few decades (despite what some people might try to tell you), here are some very interesting data about life expectancies of various age groups in various countries grouped by country income [via JR, my favourite drug dealer]: Over the 40-year time span... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at EclectEcon
I saw this back in August when it first came out, and I see it's making the rounds again on Facebook. Here's the list, but I'm adding my own comments and observations: 1. People asking you to say ‘aboot ‘ for them. I have never had this happen to me, but maybe that's because I moved here from the US... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at EclectEcon
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The Economics Department at The University of Western Ontario maintains an office for its retirees to use now and then. They jokingly refer to the office as "Jurassic Park". I had some concentrating to do today, so I came to the office to work: Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at EclectEcon
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Yesterday, I decided to forego my usual morning coffee or Coke Zero but have tea instead. It was a pleasant change of pace. I have two favourite types of tea, Lapsang Souchong and Genmaicha: Genmaicha is a Japanese green tea with toasted rice in it. The toasted rice adds a sort of nutty/corny taste to the green tea. I first... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at EclectEcon
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No, I'm not going to write about sports bras, thongs, long shorts, tight shorts, or whatever. This piece is a comment on the increasing use of neon yellow by top players. Have you noticed how many top tennis players these days are wearing neon yellow as part of their outfits? Some players still do some original designs, though, and many... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at EclectEcon
Long-time readers of EclectEcon know that I am a global-warming skeptic. Not a denier but a skeptic. I just don't know what to believe, given all the spin put on things. For example, both the Washington Post and the NYTimes recently published stories about how NASA scientists say the earth is warmer. But then yesterday, the Daily Mail published a... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at EclectEcon
To everyone who thinks the standard of living of the middle class has stagnated since 1979, please read this and the links there. [Addendum: also be sure to read this post by David Henderson.] But let me add some thoughts of my own. In 1979, I had a rotary-dial phone. There were no cellphones, and push-button tone phones were very... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at EclectEcon
Janis Joplin's, "Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz" lampoons the misuses of religion and prayer, focusing on human greed. I thought it was great when I first heard it, and I still like it. Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2015 at EclectEcon
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Over 50 years ago, a learned person introduced me to the joys of Fibonacci sequences and geometric patterns. I didn't use the mathematics much after that, but I did come to appreciate the geometry and the art of Fibonacci patterns. This one, using 3D-printed objects that are then spun, is simply wonderful [via Ralph]: Long-time readers of Eclectecon or Facebook... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2015 at EclectEcon
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In late February I'll be playing Sean Connery in a celebrity red-carpet affair. Maybe with careful makeup and some lifts in my shoes, I can pull it off: According to Wikipaedia, In 1989, he was proclaimed "Sexiest Man Alive" by People magazine and in 1999, at age 69, he was voted "Sexiest Man of the Century". Typecast again? Okay, I... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2015 at EclectEcon
When a business is failing, it often skimps on customer service and quality, and focuses mainly on short-term revenue goals. There is good reason to believe the same thing happens in failing bureaucracies, e.g. the police force of Detroit. As the funding for pensions, salaries, health care, and other perquisites was drying up, the police force appears to have forsaken... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2015 at EclectEcon
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A few days ago I did some snow stomp art and was quite disappointed when the wind distorted and muted the results of much of my effort. [See this] Tonight the temperature began to rise -- dramatically. I looked out at the snow stomp art, and the patterns come through wonderfully! They may not be there tomorrow morning, so I'm... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2015 at EclectEcon
Target has announced that it is withdrawing from Canada. I'm not surprised. Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote: No matter what rationalizations are offered, the simple reason Target is in trouble is that when you walk into and through one of their stores, you're turned off. The selection is limited, the prices aren't all that great, and there's a... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2015 at EclectEcon
I was sitting around this evening with Ms Eclectic and our Regina granddaughter. Ms Eclectic was basically ragging on me about my immaturity and quoting to our granddaughter some of the things I often say (she laughs and knows I say them in jest): Hey, I'm a man! Whadya expect? [I often joke about testosterone poisoning, as if a guy... Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2015 at EclectEcon
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I have written about my burgers before (here and here). Today I set out to make another batch. I started with about 8lbs of lean ground beef and 4lbs of medium ground beef. I like to have enough fat in the burgers both for flavour and to hold them together, but interestingly many grocery stores no longer carry medium ground... Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2015 at EclectEcon
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We received about 2-3 inches of snow last night, with very little wind. Also, the temperatures were only a few degrees below zero. It looked like a perfect day to go out to the lawn in front of our condo building and do my biggest ever creation of snow stomp art. Before I began, I had in mind some random... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2015 at EclectEcon
Over the past month or so, I've seen some birthdays of contacts and Facebook friends, but people I really don't know all that well, showing up in my Google Calendar. I see no reason for those birthdays to appear there. In fact, I have no idea how they got there, and so I clicked on them to try to remove... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2015 at EclectEcon
[via Rebekah] It has taken me many, many months of my retirement time, but I have just finished building my new Medicine Cabinet. I don't know about you, but I think it was well worth the time and expense. Disease Wine Daily dose Allergies Chardonnay de Paeuf 1 glass Anemia Graves 4 glass Bronchitis Bourgogne or Bordeaux > ( +... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2015 at EclectEcon
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Over the holidays, my older son (David Ricardo Palmer) told us that if we put a circle on the floor, the cat where we were all chatting would go sit in it. He showed us all the images here of cats sitting in circles or hexagons. So we decided to try it. We got some duct tape and put a... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2015 at EclectEcon
The evidence that rent controls are harmful is overwhelming. They: lead to deteriorating quality of rental units cause black markets to develop, with landlords requiring side payments create increased opportunities for discrimination (especially against immigrants, single parents, and students) reduce the supply of rental units, making affordable housing even more difficult to find. Imagine my shock when I read this... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2015 at EclectEcon
Ted Frank runs the Centre for Class Action Fairness. His general target is the attorneys who make massive fees while winning pitifully trivial awards for the members of the class. And then he took on the settlements that allowed the defendants to make big donations to charity in lieu of providing awards for members of the class (while attorneys for... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2015 at EclectEcon