Sunday, March 30, 2014


MRB and I made beer at Matt's house. It was my first time. Here's how we did it.

1. Clean everything real well.

2. Buy grain.

3. Take a close-up of said grain.

4. Prove that since you're using both Belgian and German ingredients, you must really know what you're doing.

5. Get some yeast growing.

6. Melt some sugar.

7. Heat up water.

8. Put your filter ("false bottom") together so you can drain sugary water from the bottom.

9. Poor the hot water in and mix in your grains.

10. Repeatedly say "This smells like Grape Nuts!" Let sit for 90 minutes.

11. Poor out sugary stuff from the bottom via your false bottom while adding hot water on top.

12. Collect all the good stuff from the bottom. Use foil or something so you don't stir it all up when add hot water on top.

13. Boil it outside because people don't like Grape Nuts.

14. Skim the gross stuff off the top.

15. Add too many hops.

16. Add sugar.

17. Add some weird chemical that yeast like to eat.

18. Stop boiling, cool everything down.

19. Rehydrate even more yeast.

20. Siphon the wort into a carboy.

21. Add yeast. Take out your frustration on how little volume you got by shaking it all up.

22. Let it ferment for several weeks. (Run a tube from the carboy to let it off-gas, put the end of the tube under water to prevent creepies from crawling in.)
And that's it. Wait a few weeks, hope that you're lucky and the water you added at the end because you were pissed off about how little volume you got because you boiled on a really high flame was sterile, bottle or keg the stuff, and you've got great beer you made yourself! Good times. Thanks, MRB.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Weekend Plans

Here's what I'll be doing this weekend, along with my first ever homebrewing with the guys in Philly. And following twitter updates about the Barkley Marathons. Good luck Heather!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Yosemite HD II

I think I linked to the first one of these when it came out a couple years ago. Here's some more. Watch it full screen.

Yosemite HD II from Project Yosemite on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Economics makes you cultured

GF was in town for the weekend. We saw the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra. Why? Because I read about orchestras in an economics journal article I taught my students last semester. An oldy but a goody from Claudia Goldin and Cecilia Rouse: "Orchestrating Impartiality: The Impact of "Blind" Auditions on Female Musicians."

A change in the audition procedures of symphony orchestras-adoption of "blind" auditions with a "screen" to conceal the candidate's identity from the jury-- provides a test for sex-biased hiring. Using data from actual auditions, in an individual framework, we find that the screen increases the probability a woman will be advanced and hired. Although some of our estimates have large standard errors and there is one persistent effect in the opposite direction, the weight of the evidence suggests that the blind audition procedure fostered impartiality in hiring and increased the proportion women in symphony orchestras.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Damn you, coffeeshop.

I came here to get work done.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


A few weeks ago around the time I was running 20 miles in urban North Philly on a paved bike path (with occasional unpaved horse trails on the side) with Mark, I came across a few things about the most remote place in each state/the US. North Philly, they are not.
  • A Dirtbag Diaries podcast about a couple visiting the most remote spot in each state. The couple's website, Project Remote
  •  The Bedrock & Paradox guy wrote a post on remoteness and different ways to measure it shortly before that. 
By some of the common definitions for the lower 48 (from a road, county with the fewest roads) I got pretty darn close to on my CDT hike. But not so much in the last few years.

Friday, March 21, 2014

GPX's of the Runs

Santa Monica Mountains 3/8/14

San Jacinto (Cactus to Clouds) 3/10/14

Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim 3/12/14


Zoraster's Temple from Tip Off




Back Down

Up, Again

Good Day's Work

Thursday, March 20, 2014

In Summary

I went to LA and ran in the Santa Monica mountains. Then I watched Nano run the LA marathon, and Icut through a bike u-lock on Venice Beach. Then I ran from 500 feet elevation in Palm Springs, CA to 10,300 feet elevation at the top of San Jacinto and back down. Then I drove through J Tree on my way to the Grand Canyon, where I ran rim to rim to rim in 12 hours. Then I did a bit of nothing on Humphreys Peak outside Flagstaff and in Warm Springs Wilderness outside Kingman. Then I climbed a couple small peaks in Mojave National Preserve. Then I went to a development economics conference. Then I ran some in the Malibu mountains.

 That's all. Back to work. A few photos are below, more are here.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

PacDev 2014

I finished spring break with the PacDev (Pacific Conference for Development Economics) at UCLA on Saturday. My favorite two papers were "The Political Legacies Of Combat: Attitudes Towards War And Peace Among Israeli Ex-Combatants" by Grossman, Manekin, and Miodownik, and "The Causal Effect of Environmental Catastrophe on Long-Run Economic Growth" by Hsiang and Jina, which show that combat exposure causes Israeli soldiers to be anti-reconciliation with Palestine and more prejudiced against Palestinians, and typhoons are responsible for a crap-ton (that's the scientific term) of long-term GDP loss. The latter is maybe not surprising to the lay person, but this seems like a pretty strong paper in the "geography" column in the geography vs. institutions debate. I haven't read the papers yet, but the identification methods of instrumental variables in the first paper and panel data and fixed effects in the second seemed reasonable in the short presentations at the seminar.

Does combat experience foster hardliner approaches to conflict, diminishing the likelihood of reconciliation? We exploit the assignment of health rankings determining combat eligibility in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to examine the effect of combat exposure on support for peaceful resolution of conflict. Given the centrality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to global affairs, and with no resolution to the conflict currently in sight, the question of the political consequences of combat becomes all the more pressing. We find that exposure to high-intensity combat hardens attitudes towards the rival and reduces support for negotiation and compromise. Importantly, these attitudes translate directly into voting behavior, such that combatants are more likely to vote for hardliner parties. These findings cast doubt on research highlighting the benign effects of combat and underscore the importance of combatant reintegration for the transition from conflict to peace.

Do natural disasters have a causal e ffect on economic development? Reconstructing every country's physical exposure to the universe of tropical cyclones during 1950-2008, we exploit year-to-year variation in cyclone strikes to identify the e ect of disasters on long-run growth. The data reject long-standing hypotheses that disasters stimulate growth via \creative destruction" or that short- run losses disappear following migrations or transfers of wealth. Instead, we fi nd robust evidence that national incomes decline, relative to their pre-disaster trend, and do not recover within twenty years. This result is globally valid, holding for countries of all types, and is supported by non- income variables as well as global patterns of climate-based adaptation. National income loss arises from a small but persistent suppression of annual growth rates spread across the fteen years following disaster, generating large and signifi cant cumulative e ffects: a 90th percentile event reduces per capita incomes by 7.4% two decades later, effectively undoing 3.7 years of average development. The gradual nature of these losses render them inconspicuous to a casual observer, however simulations indicate that they have dramatic in uence over the long-run development of countries that are endowed with regular or continuous exposure to disaster. Linking these results to projections of future cyclone activity, we estimate that under conservative discounting assumptions the present discounted cost of \business as usual" climate change is roughly $9.7 trillion larger than previously thought.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Ran from rim to rim to rim of the Grand Canyon. Took me 12:12. I
couldn't even walk because I was so sore from Cactus to Clouds, so I'm
pretty happy with my performance. It was a really fun run. I went down
South Kaibab, up and back down North Kaibab (which is fun and
runnable) and then up Bright Angel (which wasn't quite as runnable as
N. Kaibab, given both steepness and it being at the end of a long

I think I'll go check out Flagstaff tomorrow. I did 10,000+ feet of
climbing Monday, and 15,000+ today, so it would only make sense if I
did 20,000+ by climbing that big mountain outside Flag three times on
Friday, but I am confident that is not going to happen. I'm a little
worried that if I stop walking my calf is going to cramp and will
never come undone. Oh well.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Cactus to Clouds

Ran from Palm Springs up 10,000 vertical feet up San Jacinto. Discovered that Trader Joe's sesame cashews aren't vegan. Cried the whole way down.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Everything is better in California.

Ran 20 miles in the Santa Monica mountains with Megan and Marshall this morning. I mean, they made me wake up at 6:30, but with jetlag, I barely even noticed. I think I'll run Cactus to Clouds on Monday, then head to the Grand Canyon and do R2R2R on Wednesday.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Everything is better in Califorrnia.

But if all you are growing in your public garden plot is one kale tree, you really need to work a little harder.


Wednesday, March 05, 2014


Bridge on the Pennypack trail

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Run 21 miles in the rain next to a prison in North Philly? Sure, Mark, sounds great! (Who am I kidding? We all know it was my idea.)

Ran the fabulous Pennypack trail today. Northeast Philly's finest, all the way to prison on the Delaware River.

French Creek State Park

MRB and I went out to French Creek State Park. Mostly ended up hiking because there was still a lot of snow (more than in Philly), but it was fun. The park is mosly flat, but we had the trails all to ourselves.

This Horseshoe Trail goes all the way from Valley Forge out to the AT.