Sunday, December 25, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

Earth: Fun while it lasted

Last week I presented research at the Naval Postgraduate school, went
to a Brandi Carlile concert, saw a rough cut of a friend's movie about
the Hiker Trash on the AT, and went for a great run on Mt. Diablo,
which may have been my first real run with actual hills in it since

Friday, December 16, 2011

Me: I'd like to close my account

WF: I'm sorry to hear that. May I ask why?
Me: Because large banks are evil.
WF: May I ask what makes you think that large banks are evil?
Me: Because I have a PhD in economics and you tanked the world
economy. Not you specifically, but Angelo Mozilo and people like that.
I already zeroed out the account so it should be pretty easy.
WF: Your account has been closed. Thank you for calling.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Letters to Inmates

Anybody ever written letters to a federal inmate in the US? Did my letter to one bounce because it was coming from Kenya, or because it was greeting card size, not regular letter size?

Sunday, December 04, 2011


New post for close friends on the invite-only blog. Thoughts from econs/academics/people who have had a job are encouraged.

My last day in Busia is a boring and rainy one. The highlight so far has been vegan white bean pancakes. It's hard to make progress on my personal research when it takes 45 minutes to run one 600,000 observation Poisson regression. I think the finding is going to be that when I look at US military deaths from 1990-2006, there are no interesting effects on recruitment, while they're there and strong if I only use 2001-2006, so maybe war-time deaths are especially important.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Garden Fail

My garden in Busia has been a big failure. Gigantic pumpkin, broccoli, and zucchini plants, but none of the fruiting part. (How are you supposed to describe that since these are all vegetables?) Too much rain? Too hot? Crappy soil plus bugs?

Cuba to Florida

Not my personal favorite endurance sport, but I gotta respect it. The article is fairly insightful too-- I like the point about the effort being more inspiring from afar.

From The New York Times:

Marathon Swimmer Diana Nyad Takes On the Demons of the Sea

Why the 62-year-old can't stay out of the water. Despite the jellyfish.

Interesting, that's all.

I like what he says about change being unlikely. Seems like we could be cynic-buddies.

From The New York Times:

CURRENTS: On Sidelines, Candidate Speaks Freely

Buddy Roemer, a long shot candidate with little to lose, says American politics is plagued by a "plantation mentality" and that the wealth that built the United States may yet stifle its democracy.

This Guy

bikes all over the world and is a philosophy prof at Williams. I'm jealous. (OK, I guess I did just win a bike race in Uganda, and I'm a postdoc on a project run by some heavies, so maybe I'm not doing too shittily myself.)
[h/t MRB]