Tuesday, August 29, 2006
"Oh, I think I dated her."
"I doubt you dated anyone called that."
So, if you think New York is overrun by meanies, I'm here to assert that arbitrary strangers do sometimes give you superficial reinforcement. So, come to Manhattan.
- The read rates are going to be unexpectedly low
- Maintenance costs for the readers are going to be unusually high
- There'll be a public announcement of someone having tricked a reader, shelving any staff reduction plans
- Privacy concerns will force the State Department to offer RFID-less passports as an option
- The chips themselves will prove vulnerable to things like laundry, storage in hotel safes with electronic equipment, begin driven over, and other things that passports go through. I might have unusually unlucky passports, but I don't think so.
But, why are we then buying our chips from Germans? I expect our contracting process to be somewhat corrupt, but it should definitely be buying American. Alien, Impinj, Avery Dennison and Texas Instruments, just to name some chip vendors off the top of my head, would love to get a piece of this action. Buying chips overseas totally does not keep the money on shore!
Somebody needs to read up on his Reaganomics.
Monday, August 28, 2006
three quarters of Iraq now gets twice as much [electricity] today as it did before the war.Do you suspect that maybe the major cities are all in that last quarter? I'm assuming they're quartering by land mass, not by population or pre-sanction energy consumption.
The reporter didn't write about the Water Treatment Plant he visited that will provide fresh potable water to more than half a million people in southern Iraq in just two more months.That's funny. Two more months was always the amount of time my Master's Thesis was going to take. You have to wonder why they didn't show a completed one.
The Corp of Engineers planned to complete three thousand two hundred reconstruction projects. Today they are focusing on the completion of three thousand seven hundred projects. The Corp has also started three thousand five hundred of those projects and completed almost twenty eight hundred and the work is continuing.Could there maybe be a rollover project or two? It seems like the number of projects is increasing.
I'm not suggesting we're doing no good in Iraq. We're doing far less good than we're doing harm, but I expect that there are little patches of incremental immediate benefit. But, the statements of it are designed to make it sound better than it is. It's quite dishonest, whether the author is an Army Sergeant or a thinktank intern. I think that explicitly identifying things that are dishonest or crazy wrong was a large part of what Congress and the media failed to do in the run up to the war, so I'm trying to model good behavior.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Friday, August 25, 2006
As far as I know, Nouriel Roubini of Roubini Global Economics is the only well-known economist flatly predicting a housing-led recession in the coming year.A major economist agrees with me!
Natascha Kampusch was 10 when she vanished in 1998 while walking to school in Vienna.
Yesterday she leapt from a black BMW and ran into a nearby garden....
Police spokesman Erich Zwettler said she seemed to have had "Stockholm syndrome", a psychological condition in which long-held captives begin to relate to their captors.
I don't think that's Stockholm Syndrome. That's being raised from the age of ten -- it's supposed to create a certain amount of affection. And, in this country, end at the age of eighteen. You don't normally jump out of a black BMW, but you can look at that like a metaphor. In fact, the whole thing has 'opera' written all over it.
Michael Lutin, columnist for Vanity Fair, considers UB313 really too far away to affect our day to day life. You know? Of course it won't. The thought that it could is absurd! But, can you take that thinking one step further?
Now, you're aware that the University of Utah began its push to be the premier American department of Atmospheric Sciences by hiring Nephologist Tim Garrett in 2002. In that vein, they've now released an update to their popular Mesomaps tool. Really, it kept me from building one of my own.
Check it out -- you, too, can make pictures like this, too.
It's important to remember that although we may worship it as a God, what the National Hurricane Center specialists do is look at a bunch of divergent model solutions and trust their respective guts to form a consensus track and intensity forecast.THE INTENSITY FORECAST IS HIGHLY CONTINGENT UPON A COMPLICATED
UPPER-LEVEL PATTERN FOR WHICH THE GLOBAL MODELS PROVIDE DIFFERING
BOTH THE SHIPS AND GFDL MODELS INTENSIFY THE CYCLONE TO
A HURRICANE WITHIN 3 DAYS.
That image I just stuck in by directly editing the HTML.
Now, earlier discussion of TD-5 mentioned a nearby cyclone that would take over when TD-5 failed to evolve. But, their keeping mum now. Ah, the politics of hurricane forecasting.
On another topic, does it look like somebody corrupted this poll?
I had an unexpected moment of fellow feeling with the repugnant supporters of oppression today when Pluto lost its status as a planet in the eyes of the International Astronomical Union. I'm a post-Enlightment guy -- I was a deist in college -- and I have an affection for consistency and order for its own sake. So, I get that it would have taken a lot of semantic acrobatics to make Pluto a planet and exclude Ceres, Charon and Xena. But, still, I say, 'why not leave well enough alone?'
In stark contrast to Fair Marriage, nobody benefits from this new consistency in celestial taxonomy. And 'planet' to my mind didn't really need a consistent definition -- the dynamical properties of bodies aren't going to change with their labels, and they're not going to play a different role in our lives. Planetary status didn't get Pluto a tax break. So, I would let custom rule over consistency in this instance.
All of which leaves me eager, as I always am when I see a chance for me and the biodiesel president to agree on something. Because the IAU is an international decision making body, and which rocks you refer to as planets is really up to you, I expect President Bush to publicly and boldy refer to Pluto's continuing status as a planet in the weeks upcoming.
The NAHB released data, and I made charts. Housing affordability in the Wayne-White Plains MSA (which includes Manhattan) spiked after 9/11 and is now half its previous nadir for the years since Q191. It's plotted against the ratio of median income to price to show the impact of interest rates.
The second plot shows how afforability nationally has fared over the same period. It's plotted against the percentage of adjustable rate mortgages, which has been dropping, although not fast enough to keep us out of the crapper. Anyway, I said a bunch of predictable things based on those plots and the associated data tables.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
If you saw the Al Gore movie, you'll understand that the next few days over cold water will only provide a temporary respite. On the plus side, it's starting to look more and more like Debby will hold off until I get out of the City.THE NHC FORECAST BRINGS DEBBY TO HURRICANE STRENGTH IN 4 DAYS...WHICH
IS VERY CLOSE TO THE CONSENSUS OF THE GFDL AND SHIPS
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
I was hanging out this morning reviewing satellite pictures of Hurricane Debby (really the water vapor animations from the Eastern Atlantic) and I noticed a similar scale storm coming out of Niger in the Funktop.
Can these things come out of Africa to get us, like africanized killer bees? We really don't need two in a row.
Can you slow the 'tropical wave' down a little bit? I get on an airplane in Newark bound for Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris next Friday night at 10:00. Can we ask Tropical Depression Four to bounce around the Carribean Sea for a few days before smashing into Manhattan as a Class V Hurricane? I'd really prefer that the bulk of the immediate cleanup be done before I get back.
Thanks.I AM NOT TOO ENTHRALLED WITH THE MODEL SOLUTIONS...AND WE MAY
SEE THE CYCLONE TURN OUT TO BE MORE OF A WEST-RUNNER THAN A
RECURVER THROUGH THE STRONG SUBTROPICAL RIDGE LOCATED TO THE
NORTH...THEN THE CYCLONE WILL LIKELY MISS THE WEAKNESS IN THE
RIDGE THAT ALL THE MODELS FORECAST TO DEVELOP.
Monday, August 21, 2006
To paraphrase Margaret Mead, "Never doubt that a Cape Verde-type hurricane can rain destruction on Manhattan. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Is this some attempt by the liberazzi at the NWS to suggest that there's more carbon dioxide in the air?CURRENTLY, WE BELIEVE THAT THE WET SPRING AND OVERLY GREEN
CONDITIONS IN CENTRAL PARK ARE CONTRIBUTING TO THE SLIGHTLY COOLER
READINGS WE HAVE SEEN IN THE PARK DURING THIS RECENT HEAT WAVE. THE
BACKUP TEMPERATURE GAGE IS TOTALLY IN LINE WITH OUR ASOS TEMPERATURE
EQUIPMENT WHICH WAS RECALIBRATED JUST BEFORE THIS RECENT HEAT WAVE
BEGAN, SO THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT THE READINGS ARE CORRECT.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Maybe he got the low price goods off of other people's trucks?
Saturday, August 12, 2006
The theoretical Northern
δ-Aquarid maximum on August 8, and the major Perseids (whose maximum is most likely between 23h— 1h30mUT on August 12— 13, though other peaks on August 13 around 2hand 9hUT are also possible from recent past results), both suffer badly from August's full Moon.
Friday, August 11, 2006
Estimated monthly changes in the mass of Greenland's ice sheet suggest it is melting at a rate of about 239 cubic kilometres (57.3 cubic miles) per year.
This figure is about three times higher than an earlier estimate of the mass loss from Greenland made using the first two years of Grace measurements.
But, then the article goes on to say
This would amount to a contribution to global sea level rise from Greenland of about half a millimetre (0.02 inches) each year.Now, my 20th hig school reunion is this weekend, so I'm reminded of the big ugly box I went to about 180 days out of the year for two years. They had a little class there they liked to call 'Physics.' And in Physics, we learned that accelerating phenomena don't proceed at constant rates. Remember the little triangle to show how much ground an accelerating car covered?
I think we need a new estimate of when the sheet will be gone.
There are a couple of problems with this
- We don't exactly know where the new coastlines will be. Is all of the ice going to melt? As humid as it gets, the water in the atmosphere shouldn't make that much difference to the sea surface height, so this is all about ice.
- If all the ice does melt, there's some disagreement about when this would happen. The official forecast is something like a decimeter SSH rise by the end of the century. This is because climate scientists, as much as they make fun of financial analysts for doing this sort of thing, seem to favor a stable year-over-year rise in global average temperature.
- We won't get beaches right away. We'll have to suffer through possibly decades of extreme wetlands. Good for the mangrove farmers, bad for beach tennis. If you knew where the coastline would be when the ice was all gone and when that would happen, it wouldn't be sandy for another several decades.
- Climate change will cause crop failure and major disruptions in transportation and probably communications, as well as pandemics and surprise effects like these beach bacterial infections we have now and (pet theory alert) tsunamis. It seems unlikely our challenged democracy will survive, and we should end up in a more pronounced plutocracy, where the private army of some rich person will just take whatever property that rich person wants.
And I'm all like, "Link exchange is cool."
So, as careful readers will note, I now have a links section.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
No real pattern leaps out, but we'll wait and see.
- If no one was taxed, no revenues would be raised
- If taxes took everything, no one would bother to generate wealth, and no revenues would be raised
- We're between 0 and 100 % taxation
- Some tax revenues are raised
- Since we have two zeros with an non-zero number in between, the dependence of tax revenues on taxation is a parabola
- Since more than half of all economic wealth is absorbed into taxes, reducing taxes would increase revenues
But! Two kind of crazy otherwordly things happened, as reported in Slate.
- Dick Cheney ordered a study to see how true this was
- A report was released debunking the Laffer Curve nonsense
Here you are. The introduction seems very line-toeing, but turns around into brutal irony the deeper you read.
Extending the remainder of the tax relief – the 10 percent rate, the expansion of the child tax credit, and the reduction in marriage penalties – stimulated economic activity during and immediately after the recession and served other purposes, such as making the tax code more progressive. However, these elements of the tax relief do not have positive growth effects in the longer term in ways that this type of model can measure.
Which is to say, tax cuts are only good for the rich.
Second, the initial steady state assumes that current law polices are fiscally sustainable.Zing!
If the revenue cost of that tax relief is offset by reducing future government spending, the increase in output is likely be about 0.7 percent under plausible assumptions. If, instead, the tax relief is extended only through the 14 end of the budget window (i.e., it is temporary), the tax relief would increase national output in the short run, but long-run output would decline as future tax rates increase.Well, OK. But, if Mr.-Tax-Cut president can't get spending down with a friendly Congress, I think we'd best keep an eye on our revenues.