Saturday, May 22, 2010

Who lies more---Men or Women? See the Top Ten lies each gender tends to tell...

From realm of the obvious, a poll reveals men tend to lie more than women...Glad the British government paid for this one...

From BBC: Men are bigger liars than women, says poll
Men are more likely to tell lies than women and feel less guilty about it, says a survey. In a poll of 3,000 people, researchers found that the average British man tells three lies every day, that's equivalent to 1,092 a year. However the average woman appears more honest, lying 728 times a year - around twice a day.
Here are the Top 10 lies each gender tends to tell...
1. I didn't have that much to drink
2. Nothing's wrong, I'm fine
3. I had no signal
4. It wasn't that expensive
5. I'm on my way
6. I'm stuck in traffic
7. No, your bum doesn't look big in that
8. Sorry, I missed your call
9. You've lost weight
10. It's just what I've always wanted
1. Nothing's wrong, I'm fine
2. I don't know where it is, I haven't touched it
3. It wasn't that expensive
4. I didn't have that much to drink
5. I've got a headache
6. It was in the sale
7. I'm on my way
8. Oh, I've had this ages
9. No, I didn't throw it away
10. It's just what I've always wanted
THIS is SERIOUS social science research!!! :)

Is Facebook set to crumble? Hope they don't close my account!!

(Be sure to note videos below)

Market activity provides a check on would-be monopolists...As long as the dominant industry does not rent-seek to limit competition, then new rivals can (1) provide viable alternatives, (2) keep the dominant industry honest and require them to work to please its customer base. However, this is dependent on maintaining the market mechanisms of economic freedom, entrepreneurship, profit motive and private property rights (intellectual property rights in this case)...
From BBC:   ""The controversy over Facebook's privacy policy is helping those developing alternatives to the social network. Funding and users are flowing to services that claim to put members in charge of their personal data. The rivals range from start-ups to more established firms working on the specifications for an ecosystem of open social networks....""
However, it does not look like it has reached a tipping point yet.  I am an avid user of Facebook and I am not really up to speed on the privacy issues.  I am sure I am affected in some way, but have to say I don't see any negative consequences thus far...
 ""Experts say Facebook may have little to worry about, despite 11,000 people pledging to quit Facebook on 31 May. "Nobody has reached anything like critical mass in the same social platform area," said Lee Bryant, from social technology consultancy Headshift. "Facebook is like an entire web operating system," he said.""
BBC Video story on Facebook privacy issues in Europe

BBC Video:  Facebooks Response (rare interview with  Mark Zuckerburg)

World-Wide air traffic in a 24 hour period---Where the planes are going!!

World Air Traffic Over 24 Hours - The most popular videos are here

16 Items They Only Sell At Chinese Walmarts

Click HERE for ALL the pictures...This ain't a North Texas Walmart...(HT: Marginal Revolution)

Who was the richest President?? Hint: He had 525 million of these with his picture on it..

Well, of course he did not have his picture on a dollar until much later...BUT George Washington was by far the "richest" President who gained the wealth mostly on his own (JFK had access to immense family wealth)...The list (From The Atlantic) is interesting and gives their wealth in today's dollars to give you some perspective...(HT: Carpe Diem)

"Blood Minerals"---there is movement to solve this problem that plagues The Congo...

There is movement in trying to solve what seems to be an intractable problem- --the horrendous violence and chaos in the eastern part of the Congo.  The Senate has inserted an amendment into the current financial system reform bill  to require strict reporting by companies that use minerals that "may" have come from illegal sources within the Congo...
NYTIMES""...Nevertheless, tucked into the bill passed by the Senate on Thursday is a provision that requires any publicly traded company that uses certain minerals to file reports annually with the Securities and Exchange Commission certifying whether the minerals originated in Congo or neighboring countries. It also requires them to report what steps the company took to ensure that the purchase of these minerals did not benefit armed groups in Africa. Minerals trading in Africa is often used to finance military activities. These are not just any minerals, however. Columbite-tantalite, cassiterite, wolframite, gold and metals derived from them are widely used in the manufacture of cellphones, laptop computers, MP3 players, digital cameras and all sorts of other consumer electronics. Thus, the regulations could affect hundreds of companies. Wolframite, for example, is a source of tungsten, which is used in integrated circuits, light bulbs, and computer and television screens. The measure calls for any company using the minerals as a primary ingredient in its products to file the reports and to describe the steps taken to ensure that its mineral procurements did not benefit armed groups in Africa."""
Below is an short video explaining what "Conflict Minerals" are and why they are a problem. VERY informative if you are interested in the issue...Also, go HERE for more information on this issue.

If you like World Cup Soccer this Nike 3 minute commericial may be for you...

From Chartporn

Privacy is a thing of the past! Look how you can zoom in from afar...

Quite unbelievable panoramic views of different places or events (Pres Obama's Inauguration is here too)!  You control the shot or click on a photo below and it will zoom in on an object or a person...Privacy is a thing of the past!!

It is not easy falling in love with an Economist...

obtsrusegoose (HT: Meaghan Nowell)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Cotton Pickin', Cotton Picking Subsidies!! You get to pay Brazilians for growing Cotton

U.S., Brazil reach accord on cotton subsidies
Let me get this straight---Brazil wins an appeal to the WTO in regards to excessive subsidies the US Government pays to US cotton farmers.  Brazil now has the right to retaliate against the subsidies by putting tariffs on OTHER US goods that are exported to Brazil:
On March 8, Brazil announced a final list of products that would face higher tariffs beginning April 7. Those goods included autos, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, electronics, textiles, wheat, fruits, nuts and cotton. Brazil hadn't made a final decision on which U.S. intellectual property rights might be affected but it was in the process of deciding.
The tariffs Brazil would impose would amount to approximately $147.3 million...BUT as a result of intensive negotiations, Brazil WILL NOT impose those tariffs.  Instead the US Govt will,  "establish an annual fund of around $147.3 million to provide technical assistance and capacity building for Brazil's cotton industry."  Read that again, please...Now we will be subsidizing not only US cotton farmers but Brazilian cotton farmers too!!  According to the WSJ, cotton subsidies for 2009 amounted to $2.3 billion and 10% of cotton farmers received 70% of the subsidies (click HERE for data on top recipients).  Corporate cotton farmers get paid by taxpayers AND because of interest group politics lobbying self-serving politicians who don't worry about spending other peoples money, we get to compensate Brazilian cotton farmers as well...Does this make sense to you?? Am I overly sensitive???

Is that $20 bill in your wallet REAL????

"""IN APRIL 2009 the United States Secret Service, a government agency set up in 1865 to suppress currency counterfeiting, seized $8.4m worth of $100 bills in Peru. To confound the forgers the Treasury unveiled a redesigned $100 bill last month, the largest denominated note it currently issues, and the most faked outside its borders. The new note has additional security features such as a 3D security ribbon designed to make it easier to identify and harder to copy. But the notes most often removed from circulation by authorities are those with a face value of 20. These notes have the advantage of being frequently exchanged but having a high enough value to cover the costs of counterfeiting. The amount of counterfeit cash in circulation remains small. The £20 ($29) notes removed from circulation by the Bank of England in 2008 (whose highest-denominated note is £50) amounted to just 0.05% of circulation or 514 fakes for every million genuine notes.""  The Economist

Remind me again, which Party in Congress is the BIG deficit spender???

The Internet saves two girls from Human Trafficking...VERY NICE!!!!

The Internet to the Rescue
""Two Russian girls arrive in DC as part of a travel exchange program for which they’ve paid about $3000. The program promises them jobs on arrival but fails to deliver. Instead, they are instructed to travel to New York City to do “hostess work” in a place called the Lux Lounge. Their American friend, currently in Wyoming, pleads with them not to go, but after some initial hesitation they board a Greyhound bus to New York, insisting that everything is fine. Where can the panicked friend turn? To the Internet, of course. He posts a plea for help. Commenters jump into action, contacting police and social service agencies, pooling information to figure out what bus the girls are likely to be on, and arranging to have them escorted to a police station. A couple of hundred comments later, the girls are safe and sound. One commenter adds:
""This is the best use of the Internet that I, personally, have ever seen. I’m so proud to be a member of this community.""
Source: Steve Landsburg

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Someone is going to be assaulted with a "blood-diamond" by Naomi Campbell...

I would not want to be within a shoes throw of the World Court if she actually testifies...
War crimes prosecutors in The Hague say supermodel Naomi Campbell should be subpoenaed to testify at the trial of Liberia's ex-President Charles Taylor. They say Ms Campbell "was given rough diamonds" by Mr Taylor in 1997 at Nelson Mandela's house in South Africa. Mr Taylor is accused of using "blood diamonds" to fuel an insurgency in Sierra Leone that cost tens of thousands of lives. Ms Campbell had previously declined to provide testimony to prosecutors.
Ms Campbell's testimony is necessary as there is evidence that Ms Campbell was given rough diamonds by the accused (Mr Taylor) in September 1997," said a prosecution motion filed with the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

Chinese buy US houses at rapid pace...Is this a bad trend?

Should we be concerned that residents of China are buying houses in the US at an increasing rate? Does it not help absorb surplus housing and help maintain housing prices for everyone, especially in a tough housing market?(Carpe Diem has supporting evidence) How did they get so much surplus cash to buy houses in the US...
""As China’s economy rises, a group of China’s new rich with abundant cash funds appeared in Southern California, mostly businessmen, taking advantage of the housing market downturn bought a lot of foreclosures, short sales or not yet listed houses with cash.""
Well, we all know how one sided trade with the China is,  right?  I don't believe so...Trade is a two-way street--always and each side benefits!...With regards to China, people think it is one-way trip---we buy more stuff from China then they buy from us. We MUST be the loser in this scenario , because the media and the political party OUT of power remind us so with regularity . BUT this is only half the story. China now holds the dollars we used to buy their stuff. What are they going to do with those dollars? To be any good, dollars HAVE to find their way back to the US (directly or indirectly) to be redeemed for US goods/services OR US financial/physical assets...period, end of story! They can (1) buy a US good (John Deere tractor, Dell Computer, etc) or service (IT services, banking services,etc), (2) buy a US financial asset (stock, mutual fund, savings bond, OR GOVERNMENT DEBT...) or physical asset (land, commercial building, factory...) OR a HOUSE! Another incidental aspect to financial assets is China buying bonds/mortgages from the Federal guarantors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that allow Americans to buy houses for relatively low interest rates. Yes, that is right, the Chinese may own part of your home mortgage.  Whether all of this or only some of this is desirable, we have to consider both sides of trade and recognize the flow of money (or financial capital) as it chases goods/service/assets is CIRCULAR  and benefits as well as costs (yes, I recognize the costs) accrue on both sides.  Disagree? Let me know...

General Motors Ad claiming pay back of loan---what the SHOULD have said...

A re-do of the infamous ad from General Motors claiming they "paid back" the government loan they received...This is what they probably SHOULD have said...It is now known that it was the result of creative accounting and some slight of public-relations-hand. I have no problem with GM making a claim, but they owe the public the explicit truth and not make people have to chase it out of them or the government...That is all I ask...

Heavy Metal Band names---Where do they come from???

Heavy Metal Band flow chart...I am not into the music, but I love graphs of any sort.  I am also curious about how names came about...Did not realize some of these bands were fans of William Faulkner...(HT: Chartporn)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Harmful Drinks...How many of these do YOU consume on a regular basis???

Yikes!! The sugar content on various "popular" drinks. Each picture gives you an idea of the sugar content of a drink to the quantity of a relative product...I drink several of these beverages...I am really unhealthy and make poor choices....How about you???

Clink here to see the Top 20 : Harmful Drinks in America

Monday, May 17, 2010

AP Macro AND Micro FRQ answers as I see them...

The 2010 AP Macroeconomic and Microeconomics FRQ's have been released.  I have put together a not so fancy powerpoint of what I believe are the correct answers, or what would be acceptable answers...Go to and the links will be in the center of the page...(I reserve the right to modify upon learning I may be wrong in my interpretation)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

"The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been the real estate market..."

Ok, I made that up... but the farm that was host to the filming of the movie "Field of Dreams" is for sale for $5.4 million...Wish I had the money....(Source HERE)

""The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It's been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and that could be again. Oh, people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come"" ”

This is what the night sky REALLY looks like outside the light pollution of the city...

If you watch/play Baseball--This may be one of the best homeplate touches EVER!!

If you are a poor college student, this invention is for YOU!!!

If you are a "poor" college student, or are VERY frugal with your money, this my be your best purchase ever!  The Japanese are geniuses.  It solves the age-old logic problem of eating Ramen Noodles: Do I use a spoon or a fork? What do you call it a Spoork or a Froon?  :) 
""Behold, the Ramen Fork. A fork with both tine for noodles and a small bowl for soup base. It's basically a spork, just a little more professional. As a frequent ramen eater -- mostly thanks to Ramenbox -- I am constantly irked by the difficulty of eating noodles and slurping soup simultaneously. Their supposed to be eaten together, and yet, no utensil has been able to accomplish this. Until now. Because of the Ramen Fork. Japan, I'll take 100...."""
Click HERE for source..
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