Friday, April 29, 2011

Metal Friday

Some of the best music ever put to a heavy metal guitar. Up the irons!

Hayek vs. Keynes Round II

One of my favorite things this month and front-runner for one of my favorites this year.

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Great article on the economics of the Death Star. The comments are even more robust and thoughtful than the article itself. Via Marginal Revolution
  2. The best interactive weather forecaster and historical record I've ever clapped eyes on. Via Information Aesthetics.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Tyler Cowen - Fun and Stuff Edition

We're back after getting some sweat on a Filipino dance floor. There's a lot of fun stuff that's happened in the past 5 days. As such, we're breaking today's edition of links into pieces. The Fun and Stuff Edition summarizes the best things on the internet in the past five days.

The Tyler Cowen - Global Affairs Edition

We're back after some sun on the beaches of Puerto Galera. There is a lot of news to catch up on and articles to recommend. As such, we're breaking today's edition of links into pieces. The Global Affairs Edition summarizes the best writing of the past five days on global issues.
  1. Great insight on North Korea from Russia. I need to dig deeper into the Cheonan incident. 
  2. Pacifism. Via Marginal Revolution
  3. The resurgence of the veil and the broader implications of Islamism not as a religious force but a socio-political one.
  4. Another article questioning the widely-accepted connection between prosperity and democratization. I still think they're conflating revolution and democratization
  5. A sweepingly comprehensive overview of The Arab Spring. Ranging from a summary of the Tunisian tipping point to the historical comparisons to Communism and 'Common Sense' to the role of technology in revolutions. The picture it paints for the Middle East's future is not a rosy one but it is far more realistic than most analyses which look only forward. As always, a Maslow's Pyramid understanding of what's needed strikes me as the most obvious. 
"The truth of the matter is that Europe's requirements for the next three or four years of foreign food and other essential products -- principally from America -- are so much greater than her present ability to pay that she must have substantial additional help or face economic, social, and political deterioration of a very grave character."

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

Minimal updates today. Our crack team of journalists is heading to...the Philippines. For what they assure me is the scoop of the century. On a beach. Thankfully I don't pay them anything so I can't get too bent out of shape as they slowly burn to a crisp on vacation.

We'll be back in the saddle next Wednesday fans, with more of the content that you love. Until then, enjoy.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Firefly: The Message Review

Generations of charm.
Firefly continues to oscillate between the satire and the saccharine, the mindless and the maudlin. It's starting to feel like the wheels are falling off the show a little bit, particularly with the extremely weepy conclusion to The Message. Which is something of a shame, given how tight the episode feels overall. Slightly deeper research however, reveals an explanation for The Message's jarringly heavy-handed conclusion; the news of the show's cancellation came during the production of The Message. Whedon and Minear used the final moments of the episode as a vehicle for their own farewell to the show. Cast in this light, the episode's conclusion is no less jarring but is, at least, forgivably so, putting The Message up there with the series' best.

The Tyler Cowen

  1. iPhone're being watched
  2. Genetic modification promises to save us all. Not to be a cold-hearted pragmatist, but effectively stopping 1M human deaths a year isn't going to help our over-population problem now is it?
  3. OKCupid parses through it's wealth of information. Via Marginal Revolution.
  4. How to talk to a North Korean.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Quick apocalypse link

The threats to our continued existence were terrifying enough without impossible to predict or forestall cosmic events. Thank you very much Cracked! (Although I do appreciate the levity with which you present these terrors.)

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Portal Kombat. Via Joystiq.
  2. Transiency. Via Marginal Revolution.
  3. Simple but effective infographics. Also via Marginal Revolution.
  4. Sexist assholes getting taken to task.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Firefly: Trash Review

Back, in all her buxomy glory (turns out 'buxomy' is not an acceptable adverbification of 'buxom' just as 'adverbification' is not an acceptable noun form of 'adverb'), is Kristina Hendricks of Mad Men fame. However, despite attempting to kill the gang in her previous appearance, Trash sees her teaming up with Mal and co. for a historic heist. It's a fun, light-hearted romp through Firefly's universe with some interesting sets and clever plans. As is the show's custom, it occasionally veers a little too close to camp for my comfort but, with a naked Nathan Fillion, who can really complain?

Fan service.

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Problems in Pakistan.
  2. The origin of all language. Via Marginal Revolution. And a skeptic's rebuttal
  3. Teleportation is now a reality for packets of information. Now all we need is to get far enough away from each other where this means a damn. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Smart phones in North Korea.
  2. Yellowstone...still scary. (Scarier still after seeing 2012.)
  3. When diplomacy and humanity clash.
  4. US-Saudi relations are worsening. Somewhere, Michael Ruppert is planting his organic crops, waiting for the collapse.
  5. Capitalizing on the Arab Spring in positive, economic ways

2012 Review

My review of Inception was hardly glowing and based on some pretty unapologetic criticisms of not just the movie but the psychological soundness of those who enjoyed it. While I'm not going to back down from those comments, I will post a glowing review of 2012. That way, those who love Inception can discount my disgust as the ramblings of a madman and refer to my 2012 review as proof of my lunacy. To all the Inception fans out there: this is my gift to you.

2012 is everything a disaster movie should be.

Phoenix Friday

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Awesome summary of the universe understood through thresholds of complexity.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Alan Simpson, a former Republican Senator from Wyoming, goes after the less attractive parts of his party. Ah catharsis is a beautiful thing.

The Tyler Cowen

Enough hating on Inception eh? Let's bask in the glory that is Eddie Izzard. May he live one thousand years.
  1. MORE The Daily Show.
  2. and MORE The Colbert Report.
  3. and! TOGETHER!
  4. More Eddie Izzard you say? Oh fine fine...

Inception Review

Here's hoping we're far enough removed from Inception's hype for a clear-eyed (and not overwhelmingly positive) review to not be met with anger.

Look serious and people will take you seriously.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Fun with Lego

A weird but fun stop-motion using lego pieces. Via Gizmodo.

Ah from studio shelter on Vimeo.

The Tyler Cowen

  1. In our third Cowen in a row (?), COLBERT AND STEWART MAKE AN APPEARANCE!
  2. Krugman on the Paul Ryan plan.
  3. Post-apocalypse preview.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Richard Branson shoots for the depths in a submarine named 'Virgin Oceanic.' Wasn't Oceanic the fictitious airline that got it all started on Lost?
  2. How fast are professional athletes? Really. Effing. Fast. Via The Awesomer.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

  1. How has this slipped past my radar? This is truly the uncanniest valley I've been in.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Collapse Review

Collapse is a documentary filmed in the spring of 2009 that deals with the pending collapse of modern human civilization. It stars Michael Ruppert, a 60-year old ex-police officer currently living in Napa County, California. 'Stars' might be a misleading word actually. Collapse is essentially an 82-minute monologue by Ruppert, interspersed with archival footage and the occasional off-camera question from his interlocutor, director Chris Smith. It is, at turns, fascinating, terrifying, and cringe-worthy.