23 September, 2009

Best Daily Mail headline

... is at Boing boing.

On a less sensational note, if you haven't seen the Daily Mail headline generator, check it out here.

16 September, 2009

How much does crime pay

How much does crime pay? $22 per day for burglary, according to "When Brute Force Fails: How to have less crime and less punishment" as reviewed by Marginal Revolution.

I wonder if the reason for crime rates not falling proportionally can be explained by Sudhir Venkatesh's analysis of why drug dealers live with their mothers (also used in Freakonomics)

PS: Also love penguin bringing back their old paper back covers for a number of books (check out the Freakonomics link if you don't know what I mean)

15 September, 2009

Domestic abuse as a pre-existing condition

I tend to be in favour of parties being allowed to contract any which way they choose on most issues - and I think it's good that people should be able to pick and chose aspects of health insurance to find a policy that fits them.

However, I draw a pretty big exception line under the policies which are classing domestic abuse as a 'pre existing condition'. Whilst I can see it is perfectly logical from the company's point of view (people who suffer domestic abuse once are more likely to suffer from it again in the future), I just can't imagine what was going on in the mind of the individual who came up with this one in the first place.

Protest Banners: Left vs Right

Marbury makes an interesting comment about the different visual that you see at a left wing protest over a right wing protest commenting that:

... The [right's] protests were homemade, and touchingly so: unslick, amateur, unorganised... [At] rallies organised by the left - you see thousands of identical signs... At these tea parties, everyone made ... their own....

EDIT: Marbury writes: Um, not my comment. I'm quoting Jay Nordlingler. And the repulsive "homemade" sign in the picture is meant to draw your attention to what Nordlinger didn't say.

MMoM: Apologies for misquoting.

14 September, 2009

Mrs Voldemort?

This post from Dizzy Thinks observes that of all the influential women in politics over the past century (according to a Government list publish recently), only one is listed without her name.

Check out 1979 by clicking on the picture to make it bigger.

13 September, 2009

Lehman Brothers

This observation on Marginal Revolution is interesting in terms of Lehman Brothers spurring government action:

...without the immediate panic caused by the Lehman default, the government would never have agreed to make the loans needed to save A.I.G., a company it knew very little about. In effect, the Lehman bankruptcy caused the government to panic, which in turn caused it to save the firm it really had to save to prevent catastrophe....

Maybe locking the right stable door after a 3 legged horse has bolted can prevent the purebred racehorse from following it. (You might have noticed that the last comment lacked a little something - like a knowledge about 'good' and 'bad' horses. Apologies to all equiniphiles out there.)

09 September, 2009

One of Your Five A Day?

I've had a general background mistrust of the 'six litres of water/vitamin supplements/organic food/five a day" 'science' for a while. Too much seemed to be taken too literally with too few footnotes to seem wholly true.

I therefore found this article "Science and Pseudoscience in Adult Nutrition Research and Practice" by "CSI" (Committee for Sceptical Inquiry) quite interesting.

07 September, 2009

Healthcare Myths and Facts

I was on McSweeney's and I quite enjoyed this piece of analysis within commentary on the American healthcare debate... Can't help but feel he might just have hit the nail on the head there!


People in Britain are deeply unhappy with their socialized medicine system, which ours will become.


People in Britain are deeply unhappy with everything. It is their only source of happiness.