Archive for category Miscellaneous

Talk About a Shot Heard ‘Round the World

I just read this Wikipedia article regarding the scuttling of the German fleet of WWI at Gutter Sound. Interesting article in many ways, but the thing I found most remarkable was that the wreck of the Kronprinz Wilhelm was used as a source of radiation-free steel for the construction of delicate radaition-sensitive instruments. Apparently these require metals to be used that were forged prior to Earth’s  first atomic explosion in 1945 because all metal forged on Earth since 1945 contains radioactive isotopes that will harm these instruments. Read the rest of this entry »

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Leadership, Decisionmaking and Trust

Bush and Paulson confidence and authority, or not?

As policy-makers navigate the financial crisis, the leadership styles on display are interesting. The predominant style is a single-solution approach. One idea (TARP or the Bad-Bank) is selected at a time and incremental changes are made as new information and ideas emerge. Contrast this with a more multi-solution approach where several possible solutions are put forward, strengths and weaknesses are discussed, adjustments are made and finally, one solution is chosen from among many. For example, suggestions could include TARP-style cash infusions, creation of a Bad-Bank, creation of a Good-Bank, do nothing, etc.

The single solution model Read the rest of this entry »

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I’m back in town

I’m back. I took a summer away resting up and trying to find some time to draw near to God. It was really refreshing, although it was also full of a lot of difficulty. Hopefully I’ll be posting more frequently again now that I’m back in town.

One of the most refreshing parts of my summer was a little book called “A Simple Way to Pray” by Martin Luther. He wrote it for his barber of many years when he asked Luther how he ought to pray. I learned from this book the (obvious?) lesson that I can’t pray well from a cold start. I need to prepare my heart to pray well. Luther would begin by turning to the Gospels and reading a saying of our Lord or some other such passage to warm his heart to pray. When his heart was warmed to pray he would begin. I’ve found that preparing my heart before praying helps me pray much better.

Read Luther’s book. It’s only a letter actually, just a few pages long.

This one reads well online.

This one prints to a booklet if you print it doublesided.

This one is fullsize if the others are hard to read and you don’t mind waiting a moment for the download.


I won my first game in the HSU vs. CSU Long Beach chess tournament

It has been a very long time since I last wrote. Life has been pretty busy, but I had such a great time in this game that I just wanted to post a note about it. It was a sort of online correspondence chess, 3 days per move. It really drew out the excitement. The game can be viewed online here.

He played a good game. He eventually blundered a bishop as he tried to win a pawn and a rook for a rook. I then forced the trade of both queens and he chose to trade the remaining rooks to lead us into the endgame with me a bishop and pawn ahead. I think the position was essentially won at that point. It dragged on for another 20 moves before he resigned. I came close to blundering it myself by moving to centralize my king in the endgame when I should have gone straight for his passed pawn. I caught the error in time to capture the passed pawn before it was too late.

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Join us in supporting things that aren’t John McCain!

I have created this new Facebook group for all those people out there who support things. Unless John McCain is one of them.


The thin line separating genius from insanity

I just stumbled upon this article from the UK’s Daily Mail from my buddy’s Facebook, and it’s really stunning. I almost wonder if it can be real. Apparently this old gentleman in Italy dug a massive complex of beautifully sculpted temples beneath his hillside home. The complex spans 300,000 cubic feet, or 20 times the volume of London’s Big Ben clocktower. The artistry of the complex is simply stunning. There is no other word for it. Apparently Italy is calling it the eighth wonder of the world.

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A note from my alter-ego the economics student

So, I research the North Coast regional economy as writer/assistant editor of the Humboldt Economic Index. This is a bit from my real estate economics hack alter-ego.

I just had a thought. Foreclosures are at the highest level our nation has seen since the Depression. Estimates are that barring Federal intervention (and perhaps in spite of it) a couple million more ARM’s will reset before the smoke clears and a solid chunk of these resets will result in foreclosures. Already in some areas it is not uncommon to see families in front yards full of furniture after a forcible eviction has been served. This amounts to a comparable, perhaps larger, refugee crisis than Katrina, just one that is not focused in such a narrow region as a single city.

The thought is just that a lot of folks need our prayers during this time. Many of them will be discovering that they have little else.

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who keeps track of all this anyhow?

Gotta love Wikipedia. Look at the article entitled death growl. You’ll notice that the death growl is frequently employed in a genre of music known as goregrind. What is goregrind you ask? Perhaps you know it by its other moniker, grindgore. If you read its article, you’ll discover that it is a subgenre of grindcore, which in turn is an evolution of crust punk, which itself is an extreme evolution of anarcho-punk, which in turn is a faction of the larger punk subculture. Which leads to the question of the day, Who keeps track of all this anyhow?

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Do What to Santa Claus?

Ok, I’m a little embarrassed to put this up here, but it’s just golden. A buddy of mine dug this up from who knows where. Someone we went to high school with must have had it laying around and someone digitized it.

Me and a couple buddies were in an aquatics class during my Junior year. We thought it would be a pretty easy A because we were swimmers and polo players. We lived in the water already. How hard could it be? We were right, except for one unit of the class, synchronized swimming. How could we maintain our adolescent sense of masculinity and compose a synchronized swimming routine? Here’s the result.

I think we took at least one of the shirts out of the lost & found in the locker rooms. If I remember we composed the whole routine the night before and it was nothing but each of the required movements one after the other. We added in a Hungarian drill from polo and then we did a throw to show off the treading water skills. The fellas threw me completely out of the water without touching bottom. The camerawork really falters at that point, but it was a pretty sweet little maneuver. Click on the image to see the full video.

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Mom Passed the Texas Bar Exam!

WOW! I’m pretty excited for my mom. She just got the list of candidates who passed the Texas state bar exam. She passed! It was a gruelling process of studying and she put a lot of time into it. She’s incredibly bright. I didn’t really have any doubt.

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