Monthly Archives: May 2013

I Could Already Be a Winner!

This hit my inbox yesterday, one of the more amusing scam emails I’ve received. Dear E-mail User; You have a package that contains a bank draft of £5,00,000.00GBP from the Massachusetts UK Lottery. Contact Rose Fenty (Online Coordinator) for claims … Continue reading

Posted in LMAO, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Interesting, but What Does it Mean?

Thomas Caton and Marcus Walker have an article at  WSJ about the prospect of economically struggling EU states leaving the Euro, that includes this interesting-but-what-does-it-mean graph. Like the graph, the article focuses almost solely on the economic decline in these … Continue reading

Posted in Economical Musings, Politics in General | Tagged , , , , , , | 19 Comments

The 51st State…and More?

I’ll bet you didn’t know this. The 51st State Party is a political party in New Zealand. It advocates New Zealand becoming the 51st state of the United States of America. The party’s secretary is Paulus Telfer, a former Christchurch … Continue reading

Posted in Politics in General, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Found Humor

On the website for the Chicago Architectural Foundation’s river cruises: Instead of lifting concrete bucket by bucket up to the top of the Trump Tower, the construction team purchased a 680-horsepower Putzmeister 1400 pump to push the concrete up hundreds … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Found Humor


The most interesting sentence I’ve read this week: From the beginning, it was evident that the Kern River field was rich with oil, millions upon millions of barrels. (A barrel, the unit of oil measurement, is 42 gallons; depending on … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Oil

Strategic Analysis of the Sequester

One of my Political Behavior students wrote a nice strategic analysis of the sequester and its failure. His theoretical basis was the concept of brinkmanship, originally devised by Thomas Schelling, and concludes that the sequester is a good example of … Continue reading

Posted in Perverse Incentives, Politics in General | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Instantly, Eventually

The best line of a student essay in this term’s competition discusses the U.S. response to the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor: Instantly, months later, the United States accelerated it nuclear weapon program. Perhaps the student was thinking in geologic … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 19 Comments

How Should We Count?

Just for kicks, here’s one of the assignments I give students in my American Gov’t class. It’s a vote-counting assignment, calculating an election using different methods of counting the votes. The idea is to get them to understand that there … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How Should We Count?