Category Archives: Art, Music, and Culture

Intrade Predicted 11 out 12 Oscars in 2010-11

Hat tip to Mark Perry, who points out that in 11 of 12 cases, the Intrade contracts correctly predicted this year’s Oscar winners.  Apparently the only “miss” within this group was the Best Director prize, which went to “The King’s Speech’s” Tom Hooper instead of “The Social Network’s” David Fincher.

CARPE DIEM: Intrade Predicted 11 out 12 Oscars in 2010-11.

Assorted Links (10/13/2010)

Here’s a list of articles that I have been reading lately:

Christien Meindertsma: How pig parts make the world turn | Video on

“TED Talks Christien Meindertsma, author of “Pig 05049” looks at the astonishing afterlife of the ordinary pig, parts of which make their way into at least 185 non-pork products, from bullets to artificial hearts.”

Google to map inflation using web data

“Data could provide an alternative to official statistics.”

Higher Taxes Mean I’ll Work Less 

“A personal case study looks at some of the ways higher taxes may affect the earnings of high-income taxpayers.”

Review & Outlook: The 2010 Spending Record

“The Wall Street Journal on the 21.4% federal spending increase in two years.”

Boehner’s ‘Plan B’ for ObamaCare

“In the Wall Street Journal, Main Street columnist William McGurn writes that congressional hearings can be used to sell market-friendly fixes.”

Europe the Intolerant

“In the Wall Street Journal, James Kirchick writes that the continent’s progressive image is a fabrication of the American liberal mind.”

NFL vs. ‘TV Everywhere’

“In The Wall Street Journal, Business World columnist Holman Jenkins, Jr. says that TV’s fight to preserve its power in the face of digital ubiquity may be a lost cause.”

Book Review: Roosevelt’s Purge

“Jonathan Karl reviews Susan Dunn’s Roosevelt’s Purge: How FDR Fought to Change the Democratic Party.”

Irwin on France’s role in the Great Depression

“In the latest EconTalk, Doug Irwin argues that France played a much larger role than previously thought in causing the Great Depression. We talk about how the gold standard worked and how French monetary policy forced deflation on the rest of the world.”

The Decline of Cursing

“Bad words, once glorious, have been emptied of meaning by common use, argues Jan Morris in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.”

The Weekend Interview with Scott Rasmussen: America’s Insurgent Pollster

“In the Wall Street Journal, OpinionJournal columnist John Fund interviews Scott Rasmussen, who says that understanding the tea party is essential to predicting what the country’s political scene will look like.”

Paul Johnson – The Quest For God – The ReAL Book Review

I really like Gerard Reed’s book reviews; here’s one about British historian Paul Johnson’s new book entitled “The Quest for God”. I first became aware of Paul Johnson more than 20 years ago, when I became deeply influenced by Paul Johnson’s essay entitled “The Heartless Lovers of Humankind” (see

The Fed Compounds Its Mistakes

“In The Wall Street Journal, Carnegie-Mellon University economist Allan H. Meltzer says the Federal Reserve shouldn’t deliberately use inflation to reduce unemployment.”

Diamond, Mortensen, Pissarides Share 2010 Nobel Economic Prize

“Peter Diamond, Dale Mortensen and Christopher Pissarides shared the 2010 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for their work on the efficiency of recruitment and wage formation as well as labor-market regulation.”

Four Lions: The Absurdity of Terror

“In the British film Four Lions, five Muslim men from Sheffield, England—four from immigrant families along with an English convert—seek to break out of their ho-hum average-ness by doing something which they think will launch them into hero status in their community.They plot a terrorist attack in the name of “jihad” in the U.K. In this farcical film, black satire meets terror-jihad and it is a match made almost in heaven. The would-be jihadists, however, end their lives only in tragedy, not in paradise.”

The MBA Oath

“At a time when capitalism, free markets, corporate greed, (WallStreet 2), bankers’ bonuses, is making headlines, here is the MBA Oath. The oath is a voluntary pledge for graduating MBAs and current MBAs to “create value responsibly and ethically’.”

Joe Queenan on Jimmy Carter’s Addiction to Writing Books

“The American people wanted Jimmy Carter out of office in the worst way, and to this day they are paying the price. If we had to do it all over again, I think a lot of people would vote to amend the Constitution and allow presidents to run for five, six—as many terms as they wanted. That wouldn’t leave them much spare time to write books.”

Don Tapscott on Growing Up Digital

Hat tip to Geoff Riley, who summarizes Don Tapscott’s 27 minute video below in the following manner (see “Don Tapscott on Generation Net”): “I really enjoy listening to Don Tapscott, I feel that he is someone who gets to the heart of the big changes that are unfolding as a generations bathed in bits – the net generation – moves from extended adolescence into the world of work, politics, business, society and community.”

Assorted Links (7/13/2010)

Eugene White: Dodd-Frank, Meet William Jennings Bryan –

“In the Wall Street Journal, Eugene White explains why a ‘Financial Crisis Fund,’ similar to current proposals, was rejected over a century ago during the financial crisis of 1893.”

Amity Shlaes: FDR, Obama and ‘Confidence’ –

“Amity Shlaes writes in The Wall Street Journal that demonizing business deepened the Great Depression. The Obama White House can learn from Roosevelt’s mistakes.”

William McGurn: Obama’s Immigration Fakery –

“In The Wall Street Journal, Main Street columnist William McGurn says that in 2007, Barack Obama helped derail immigration reform as a junior senator from Illinois. As president, he is not serious about a bipartisan bill today.”

Brian Riedl: The Bush Tax Cuts and the Deficit Myth –

“In The Wall Street Journal Heritage Foundation fellow Brian Riedl explains that runaway government spending, not declining tax revenues, is the reason the U.S. faces dramatic budget shortfalls for years to come.”

Two Thumbs Down on the Financial-Reform Bill – Freakonomics Blog –

Economics Nobel laureate Gary Becker’s take on the financial-reform bill; he particularly dislikes the facts that this bill 1) adds regulations and rules about many activities that had little or nothing to do with the (financial) crisis, and 2) essentially says nothing about Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.

Bret Stephens: Dr. Berwick and That Fabulous Cuban Health Care –

“In The Wall Street Journal, Global View columnist Bret Stephens writes about the death march of progressive medicine.”

Op-Ed Columnist – An Economy of Grinds –

“The slow economic recovery is shutting out the small businesses that are vital to its success.”

Fund Track: Collar Fund Offers Low Risk, Low Reward –

“A cautiously bullish strategy is the mainstay of the $31 million Collar Fund, whose portfolio has low enough risk to inspire comparisons to a bond fund, but whose hedged exposure to stocks aim for stronger returns than bonds.” The Collar Fund represents an interesting application of some very simple financial engineering; this is the sort of stuff we study in my “Options, Futures and Other Derivatives” course at Baylor University…”

Correlation Soars on S&P 500 Shares –

“Stocks are trading in lock-step more than at any time since the 1987 crash, and the trend has some analysts concerned.”

2010 World Cup comes to a close – The Big Picture –

Who Pays for ObamaCare? –

“The Wall Street Journal on what Donald Berwick and Joe the Plumber both understand.”

Lessons From the Swedish Welfare State –

“In The Wall Street Journal, Swedish economists Andreas Bergh and Magnus Henrekson cite research that shows bigger government is associated with slower economic growth. Sweden is a prime example. It’s recent performance is due to market-oriented policies and a declining government share of GDP.

Pat Michaels: The Climategate Whitewash Continues: Don’t Believe the ‘Independent Reviews’

“In The Wall Street Journal, climate scientist Patrick J. Michaels criticizes the recent exoneration of charges that the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. He says that the members of the committee had a conflict of interest and that the review work was shoddy.”

Fred Barnes: Obama’s Entitlement Opportunity –

“In The Wall Street Journal, Fred Barnes notes that the president’s deficit commission isn’t likely to agree on tax increases. But it might recommend Social Security reform.”

Book review: Getting It Wrong –

“Edward Kosner reviews W. Joseph Campbell’s Getting It Wrong: Ten of the Greatest Misreported Stories in American Journalism.”