Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Costumes from the grandmas.

Four links for future reference

A great article in The Economist about corporations and corporate social responsibility (CSR). The first paragraph is absolutely hilarious, but it does curse once (would quote here, but I'm trying to maintain my coveted "G" rating).

A great blog posting from Russ Roberts on "making the world a better place."

An academic paper that has offended a lot of people called "Green Products and Ethical Behavior." It fits in neatly with my theory of moral quotas.

An interesting statistical analysis (uses a lot of marketing statistics tools too) of the make up of individuals who self-identify as subscribers to the tea-party. The interesting point is that it is made up of about 50% conservatives and 50% libertarians. The two groups disagree on quite a bit (e.g., trade, immigration, abortion), but do agree on spending reduction. A WSJ article recently showed something similar, but without the heavy quant behind it.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

True Dedication

What do you do when your dreams come true, but you get stuck at court, so you are going to miss it?

Click here for the best filing ever from a Texas Ranger fan.

Price Discrimination

I have to fly to Panama for work, and I realized that it is cheaper to fly to Panama from New Jersey than flying to Utah from New Jersey. How could it be cheaper to fly all the way to Panama?

... and then it dawned on me that they are the same distance away! And I'm not talking about Panama City Florida.

Monday, October 18, 2010


We have a baby! Yaaaaaay! In his honor, we post the following video:

The stats in case you're interested: Joseph Amos is 7 lbs 3 oz. 20.5 inches. 34 cm head. Born at 12:26 PM on Sunday October 17th. Ashley's water broke at almost exactly 3 AM that morning. He emerged from the womb wearing a sailor's cap. We're not quite sure what that means.

Pictures to follow.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Economics News - People Respond to Incentives

I read this about Joseph Stiglitz's latest narrative about current monetary policy ("run the presses!"), and it was making so much sense until I got to the last line.

Meanwhile, Russ Roberts wrote a great piece tearing apart the "spending creates prosperity" argument. One commenter quips, "I can't even fathom that the state of economics in 2010 is such that this post is even necessary. So paying people to do nothing doesn't create any output. Brilliant."

Also, using my ultimate clairvoyantness (here), I was able to predict this recent Reuters headline: "Health reform to worsen doctor shortage." In an economics class, we would have pushed the demand curve out without shifting the supply curve. The result is either much higher prices or a shortage. Because there are so many price controls in place, voilĂ ! Shortage. It's pretty basic, and forecasters are finally taking this into account.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

World Teachers' Day

October 5th was World Teachers' Day. Because most teachers do tend to accept late work, I'm writing about it now. I would like to list those teachers that I learned from in the acknowledgments below. Immediately following will be my disacknowledgments. Feel free to add your own in the comments if you feel so inclined.


- Every teacher that told me I was a poor writer. They were by far more helpful than the ones who said I was fine.

- Most of the SUU economics department, with one glaring exception. If you knew the department back then, you know who I am talking about. The department was fantastic though. For the most part, they were professors who were willing to help you reach your goals instead of just pass their class. That's admirable.

- Mom. Because of her blasted teaching me all the time, I never learned a thing in public school. Thanks Mom.


- "Joseph Smith was a false prophet. Here is a picture of him [shows picture of Brigham Young]." --2nd grade

- "You should buy up land in Arizona because it will become beach front property when the oceans rise." --4th grade

- "The world is on the verge of running out of fresh water." -- 5th grade

- "Valium is fantastic!" -- 6th grade

- "Colleges will look at your middle school algebra grades." -- 7th grade (so glad I didn't believe that one)

- Step-by-step instructions on how to convert cocaine into crack. -- 8th grade

- "It doesn't matter what the dictionary says, furtherest is a word." -- 11th grade

- "In as soon as five years, the oceans could rise between 16 and 32 feet... or even double that." -- Commencement speech.

Monday, October 4, 2010

There's Just Something About Owls

Although the movie "Legend of the Guardians" hasn't received that great of reviews, I think I'm still going to love it. Especially given this negative review from rottentomatoes: "Snyder and his crew have made a film for an improbably narrow audience -- I can imagine 12 1/2-year-old boys being enthralled by it." ... ... That's me! It's all about a brave little owl striking out on his own to go find a group of hero owls to save his city. Check out 0:53 - 0:57 of this video. That's me!! Ashley and I will probably check it out next week, assuming the child has not arrived.

On Venezuela and Nationalization

When I see headlines like these:

"Hugo Chavez Tweets Nationalization of Private Venuzuelan University"
"Defiant Chavez orders land takeover of British food giant"

All I can think of is "All your base are belong to us!"

Saturday, October 2, 2010

General Conference

So I drew this during General Conference. Just imagine seeing it in The Friend.

Elder Quentin Cook, by Jake. Age 26