May 2007

On his blog, Lee Jones posted a link to this book review. Basically, the argument is that people are (a) exaggerating the dangers of climate change and (b) using climate change as an excuse to pursue other ends. I would not deny either claim. The Intuitor review of The Day After Tomorrow is evidence of […]


In the United States, there is a Presidential tradition of pardoning turkeys. Of course, it is dubious whether the turkeys had committed any capital offenses requiring a pardon beforehand. At least the tiger executed recently in British Columbia had done something that may have been criminal if done by a human. Birds of the genus […]


Today’s meeting with Andrew Hurrell was productive and enjoyable. Aside from preparing for exams, we had an interesting realization. It relates to the donut hole that exists in historical education. You see, there are the periods of history that are so distant that they even get mentioned in high school textbooks. (I remember how my […]

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One other lesson gleaned from many conversations with economists, professors of finance, and bankers over the last two years: the degree to which managed investments like mutual funds outperform the market is generally less than the fees they charge. As such, those of you with more savings than debt should put them into a low-fee […]


During my second-to-last high table dinner in Wadham tonight, I got into a long conversation about Canada and climate change. The man with whom I was speaking asserted that (a) Canada would benefit directly from moderate warming and (b) Canada would benefit from activities that encourage global warming, such as the exploitation of the tar […]


Google Maps has added street level views. Check out Times Square or the Golden Gate Bridge. People in major American cities may now switch from looking at their roofs from space to looking at an archived image of their front door from across the street. For a general collection of interesting things that have been […]




in Writing

I learned a new word just now: ‘backronym.’ This refers to a situation where you take an existing acronym and create a new description based upon it. The excellent web comic PhD could be considered an example. Somehow, this all arose from re-watching Oh Brother, Where Art Thou: definitely one of the better films of […]


I have resumed my old tactic of reading through rotation: moving from venue to venue in central Oxford. It is all meant to keep a bit of traction on the page. There is the sort of reading where a solid grip is there between your eyes, mind, and the page. Then, there is the sort […]


It remains somewhat amazing to me that governments and major international institutions so frequently forget what it means to distribute documents in Word format. In particular, people are surprisingly ignorant of how Word tracks changes: making documents into a palimpsest of revisions, not all of which you want the outside world to see. You don’t […]


When I was in the process of applying to Oxford, I filled out a web questionnaire about stress. A few months ago, I was invited to participate in a study and given a two-hour screening. Today, the active part of the experiment began. I know it involves mood and stress, but I don’t have a […]