Monday, July 23, 2018

July 23rd Links

  • After you submit your completed order and the options you selected become available in production, we will begin the process of matching your order to a vehicle and coordinating your Vehicle delivery. Your Order Payment covers the cost of these activities and other processing costs and is not a deposit for the Vehicle. [Tesla]
  • You will find that ruling a small country is akin to being a rock star. Give yourself a new name in the local language, like "Rooster Who Gets All the Hens" [link]
  • Throughout Schiller's tenure as CEO, he maintained an extravagant lifestyle that required him to spend millions per year on expenditures relating to his mansion, a sprawling ranch, racehorses, and generous donations to Schiller’s alma mater, Texas A&M University. In order to finance his lifestyle, in March 2010, Schiller opened a margin account that was secured with his stock portfolio, the majority of which was EXXI stock. By February 2014, he had borrowed over $23 million against the margin account and the account was highly leveraged. Schiller's financial advisor warned him at this time that if EXXI's stock price dropped by more than $2.60, his accounts would be in a margin call. Starting in February 2014, Schiller faced the prospect of selling significant blocks of his EXXI stock to satisfy margin calls if its price declined. Between May and October 2014, Schiller received a series of margin calls. In order to avoid selling his EXXI stock and causing a further share price decline from the CEO selling his shares, Schiller, while CEO and Chairman of the board, obtained $7.5 million in personal loans from three company vendors. Following their loans, EXXI awarded these vendors new business and/or better terms on existing business. Schiller failed to disclose the loans to EXXI. [link]
  • I'd ordered a re-stock of my vitamin K2, I decided I should get my parents to start taking some dietary supplements (they are in their mid-60's and retired last year). At the least, I wanted them taking the ones I call the "Big-5." I ordered: magnesium, vitamin D, vitamin K2, Omega-3, NAC, and zinc. [link]
  • If Justice Roberts's views were to prevail, virtually every new voter suppression law passed by Republicans would be upheld by the court. And the country's most important civil rights law would be dead. [NY Times]
  • In no sport does the regulatory apparatus — the referees — exercise such a heavy hand as in soccer, and when an industry is over-regulated, gaming the bureaucracy becomes everything. A questionable foul or penalty can influence the outcome of an NBA or NFL game, but in soccer, goals are so scarce that most or all of the scoring in a game might depend on a subjective foul call inside the penalty area, which leads to a penalty kick that will almost certainly result in a goal. So crucial are penalty kicks to soccer that it sometimes appears as if the most important skill a soccer play can possess is a knack for drawing fouls in the penalty area. [National Review]
  • Student debt, especially student debt a number of years down the road at a point when some people have paid off their debts and some haven't, tends to correlate with having high self-esteem and low visual-spatial-math IQ. [Sailer]
  • Recently my personal laptop fell on some hard times and had to be sent to the laptop retirement home. The one hesitation I had with getting a new one was dealing with Windows 10. It has some security and user interface improvements, but there's a lot to hate. There's the tasteless advertising in your start menu turning the OS into adware, invasive collection of system runtime and personal information with only vague documentation of what is being collected, ignoring or even re-enabling data collection you've disabled (see below), and possibly most horrifying, the forced download of software from third parties who pay Microsoft to install their junk on your system (sometimes including severe vulnerabilities for which "just don't run it" is not exactly a reassuring answer). But all of these arguably malicious actions are common in garden variety malware and otherwise misbehaving programs. As long as a few core security features still function, a tight lockdown policy may be enough to block them. [link]
  • There's a lot of money in keeping you basic, fat, and broke. Netflix--the $11B company--says [its] greatest competitor is sleep. The last thing the pharmaceutical, sports, entertainment, and fast food industry want you to do is get mentally, physically, and emotionally fit. [Twitter]
  • The edge of the Piedmont/Coastal Plain, where various rivers cross from hard bedrock to soft sediments, is marked by a line of rapids and waterfalls called the Fall Line. John Smith was the first European to report on this natural feature. In April, 1607, Captain Christopher Newport and John Smith led an expedition upstream from the site just chosen for Jamestown, until rapids at the current location of Richmond blocked further exploration by ship. The Fall Line, which has been part of Virginia's landscape since the formation of the Atlantic Ocean, is a geologic feature that has had great impact on the cultural geography of Virginia. That physical pattern of rapids/waterfalls blocked ships from sailing further upstream, limiting water-based transportation of the European colonists. The natural geologic barrier to shipping delayed European settlement of the Piedmont and shaped the location of major Virginia's cities, including Alexandria, Fredericksburg, Richmond, and Petersburg. [link]
  • Perhaps the closest parallel between the North American portages of voyageurs is found in Russia, where the Vikings used convenient portages between the watersheds of the Baltic and Black seas. Indeed, many place-names in that area incorporate the word "volok," whose etymology is derived from Slavic words meaning "drag" or "haul." One example is the city of Volokolamsk, which arose at a portage (that is, a volok) between the Lama and Voloshnya rivers, which then flow downstream to Novgorod and Moscow, respectively. Another example is Corinth, Greece, which lies on an isthmus connecting the Peloponnesus to the rest of Greece. The portage at Corinth was convenient relative to rounding the entire Peloponnesus, and Corinth was involved in transshipment and trading beginning in ancient times. This locational advantage was rendered obsolete both with the construction of the Corinth Canal circa 1890 and the expanding size of ships with the Age of Steam. [Philly Fed]
  • The red supergiant star Antares will likely have exploded in a supernova. The explosion is expected to be easily visible in daylight. [Wiki]
  • An oddball that crosses the divide between American whiskey and scotch by literally mixing the two, Campfire combines straight Indiana rye, straight Indiana bourbon, and peated blended malt scotch, marrying them together in heavily toasted French and Hungarian oak wine barrels. [link]
  • The erupted mass was 100 times greater than that of the largest volcanic eruption in recent history, the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia, which caused the 1816 "Year Without a Summer" in the Northern Hemisphere. Toba's erupted mass deposited an ash layer about 15 centimetres thick over the whole of South Asia. A blanket of volcanic ash was also deposited over the Indian Ocean, and the Arabian Sea, and South China Sea. Deep-sea cores retrieved from the South China Sea have extended the known reach of the eruption, suggesting that the 2800 cubic kilometer calculation of the erupted mass is a minimum value or even an underestimate. [Wiki]
  • Despite previously having minimal interest in beds, I resolved to eventually get an Emperor bed (I liked its square shape and felt the Caesar was a bit too big) to replace my Queen if I ever got the space. A bit later I learned that most UK mattress websites ship internationally, and in 2016 I finally moved into a condo with a loft that could be extended to the right size. Upon completion of renovations to my loft in mid-2017, I learned that the UK websites would not ship mattresses to the United States. Additionally, American furniture companies that make custom beds would not make larger-than-standard mattresses as they only cut down from existing models. At this point, I decided the only thing that made sense was to build my own mattress from scratch. [link]
  • In a move that some will call devious and others will call ingenious, Kentley-Klay reached out to some of the biggest names in the field and told them he was making a documentary on the rise of self-driving cars. The plan was to mine these people for information and feel out potential partners. [Bloomberg]
  • And the harsh reality is if you are making big money, dressing sharp and living in a town with beautiful girls on every corner, you don't even have enough days and nights in the week to swoop all the girls you got cooking. Write a blog post? Or go out to a restaurant on complete Lock Down with two beautiful 21-year-old Ukrainian girls? Tough decision. [link]
  • The takeaway from this paper is that upward social mobility is predicted by genetics. And, as the summary notes: "Higher SES families tend to have higher polygenic scores on average [and thus more upward mobility] — which is what one might expect from a society that is at least somewhat meritocratic." Indeed, the obvious historical interpretation of this result is that this is where meritocracy got us. At the beginning of the Flat Century meritocrats had a lot of genetic outliers to uplift out of what they called the "deserving poor"; which is another way of saying that back then, the genetic potential for upward mobility was more widely distributed in lower SESes because it had not yet been selected out by the uplifters. [link]
  • Despite his leading role in some of the most ambitious and money-bleeding ventures at Enron, Pai hasn't attracted the kind of attention associated with other major players in the energy giant's recent collapse. To date, he has not been summoned before congressional inquiries into what has become the largest bankruptcy case in history. Even the business press paid him scant notice until it was reported that he cashed out more Enron stock than any other top executive between 1999 and 2001, shares worth $353 million -- more than the combined booty reaped from insider options by former chairman Kenneth Lay, ex-CEO Jeff Skilling and chief financial officer Andrew Fastow. [link]
  • One little known yet cogent example is the response and resistance of the eye structures of the Drosophila fruit fly to normally lethally damaging UV radiation at 2537 Å, given that this wavelength does not penetrate the ozone layer and is thus not evident as a Darwinian selective factor at the surface of the Earth. Many of these "unearthly" properties of organisms can be plausibly explained if we admit the enlarged cosmic biosphere that is indicated by modern astronomical research – discoveries of exoplanets already discussed. [link]
  • An interesting story published last month in the L.A. Times explored the so-called "sweet spot" for digging tunnels along the California/Mexico border. "Go too far west," reporter Jason Song explained, "and the ground will be sandy and potentially soggy from the water of the Pacific Ocean. That could lead to flooding, which wouldn't be good for the drug business. Too far east and you'll hit a dead end of hard mountain rock." However, Song continues, "in a strip of land that runs between roughly the Tijuana airport and the Otay Mesa neighborhood in San Diego, there's a sweet spot of sandstone and volcanic ash that isn't as damp as the oceanic earth and not as unyielding as stone." [link]
  • The Monadnock was stone and mortar, and sixteen stories was the breaking point with those materials. Any higher and the whole thing would fall into a pile of rubble, or require walls so big and windows so small that the rooms would have resembled dungeon cells... The building is so obese with masonry that it sank nearly two feet into Chicago's lakefront soil after it opened. It is still the tallest building in the world without a steel frame, and it represents a monument of sorts: the very brink of physical possibility... [Uranium]
  • In this 2 day intensive participants will learn how to use a 12 Euro USB dongle* with free and open-source software to read, record and appropriate a vast world of signal around them. From weather satellite imagery to the International Space Station, police and military radio, pirate and amateur bands, software-defined radio allows for a laptop to become a powerful ear into a world otherwise unheard by the devices we use. [link]
  • What we have here is a geometrical oddity: an edge over which it is impossible to look. Because you can see the endless walls of the abyss both below you and facing you, nothing is hidden except what is down the hole. Standing on the rim, you are very close to a mystery: a space receiving the light of the sun into which we cannot see. [link]

No comments: