Thursday, August 31, 2006

NHRA Makes a Change for 2007

The NHRA will change its championship format for the 2007 season. Their points system will resemble that of the NASCAR Nextel Cup. With six races left, only eight competitors will be able to win the championship. With two races left, only four will fight for the NHRA season championship.

Looking for any news and/or opinion on the topic, I
found one reviewer of the change who apparently isn’t afraid of telling people against the change (which would include me) how we’re wrong:

“All I can say is unless you were in the top eight to begin with, you have no shot of coming from behind to win it all. Under the current format, no team has ever come back from outside the top eight in points with six races remaining to win the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series world championship. This is not the NHRA's way of squashing the hopes and dreams of those competitors that could go on a hot streak at the end and really vie for a championship. If the team is really a championship caliber team, they will already be in the top eight and in a good position to win it outright. Cry baby smaller teams outside the top eight, thanks for playing, we'll see you next year.”

I’ll grant the argument with complete merit, it makes sense, and David Lamm’s not lying about the fact that no one from outside the top eight has ever won with so little time. However, let’s think of this economically… These new close championship fights may continue possibilities of stronger “team orders.” There’s also the complete disregard for a huge lead that may be built up during the beginning of a season by one team. Take for example Greg Anderson the past two seasons. He put a spanking on the pro-stock field, and yet under the rules for next season he would have to give up a whopping 300 point lead to go back to only being 10 points ahead. Economically speaking, this is a sham; essentially the leader is being punished for doing well, while a straggler in 8th place is being rewarded for the opposite. How come no one is addressing that question (which is essentially a question that deals with the sportsmanship behind any race series)?

Also, David Lamm fails to touch on another rule the NHRA made (or didn’t make) that converses on the “small team v. big team” battle. The NHRA capped the team car number to a whopping four. Out of a 16 car field, this obviously means that two teams could take up half the field. And with team orders always being swarmed up in the rumor mill, this could turn out to be quite ugly near the end of a season.

In the end, this decision is probably less about racing than it is about money. Ironically enough
John Force already commented about this type of points system last year:

"I really believe NASCAR screwed up when they created that new rule and I hope NHRA doesn’t do something like that," Force said, "because any guy can get on a roll on the last day. They’ve got all these races left in NASCAR and some of the best guys are out and they could have got on a roll and been there. I don’t believe the fan’s being treated fair. They did it for a reason. I don’t really know why."

Right now, not many other people know why either. But economically speaking, the only good reason for doing something like this would be more money.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Workplace Performance and Social Connections

A research paper from Oriana Bandiera, Iwan Barankay, and Imran Rasul discusses and tests the data behind the performance of individuals and the firms they work for in relation to their social connections. Reading through all the work that they did, and pretty much convincing me on giving managers a more incentive based pay scale in some instances, they state near the end that

…our findings provide support to the idea that interplays between social relationships and incentives need to be taken into account, in order to understand how individuals respond to a given set of incentives, and to understand the optimal set of incentives within an organization.

And as with some other economic topics, it’s not a “one size fits all” explanation, but rather understanding that many workplace factors affect worker productivity. Managers who have favorites will increase the productivity of their connected workers, but the firm’s productivity will suffer on the whole. However, this does not happen if managers are paid on performance bonuses.

So, this may explain why performance bonus pay schemes could be on the rise.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Do the Ends Justify the Means?

There has been a lot of debate on various topics that falls into the category of the question, “Do the ends justify the means?”

And after watching yet another NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Bristol this weekend, I note along with this report from Tom Jensen that:

“As Bristol races go, this one was unusually tepid, with no major fights or rancor, an uncommon state of affairs for this event. There were no fistfights, no shoving on pit road, no upraised middle fingers or threatened retaliation, only clean racing.”

Yet, I once again wonder if people are really think about the topic fully. There was nothing wrong with Saturday night’s race; in fact it was great just how “tepid” it was. But I still wonder about the overall ideology of the motor sport as it stands. Even a close friend of mine on the fence about Nextel Cup drivers willfully hitting each other says that it’s great (at LEAST in terms of publicity) for the sport.

However, do the ends justify the means? Shouldn’t safety be paramount? Although, objectively speaking, one could note that the tantrums that are acted out on the track are done because the safety of the cars and the equipment for the drivers is quite substantial. Nevertheless, on the other side, the FIA has historically shown that it provides hefty draconian penalties on drivers. (A good example, the two-second time penalties given to Alonso and Schumacher prior to the race at this year’s Hungarian Grand Prix.)

In any case, other than putting someone’s life in potential danger, maybe there is nothing wrong with the drivers who make the choice to hit another person willfully. The only chink in the armor of that argument of choice is that the drivers don’t own the cars most of the time. By not owning the car, it could be said that it’s not theirs to wreck.

In the end, I really think it’s a worthy question to ask here, and in many other facets of life. Do the ends justify the means?

(Picture taken from

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

websites that don't work

This is not the first time this has happened to me with the direct loan service site, and I doubt that it will be the last. Nevertheless, the point is that I want to pay them back, but sometimes they don’t make it easy. I’d like to take a page out of Scott Adams’ blog, and go through a hypothetical scenario.

Rule of thumb for many free market economists is that the government has a horrible habit of running things inefficiently. So, even though I loved my direct loan for college, what if these loans were all carried out in a competitive private sector market? Of course I would have to hope that they don’t try to run a cartel or oligopoly in the student loan market. Nevertheless, would I be able to get what I want (a functional website)? I know my credit card’s website is always operational. The credit card company makes it so easy to get my money through the web.

But there in lies the problem, the company’s website that works charges some of its customers 18% APR. So, with that in mind let me just keep praying that the government decides to improve its website rather than giving my loan to a credit card company.

Does anyone else out there know of some websites that they wish worked better?

Monday, August 21, 2006

Economic Links for Arbitrage

A recently released paper from Lauren Cohen and Andrea Frazzini finds a system of arbitrage that has apparently gone unnoticed for a significant amount of time. The authors’ “customer momentum” portfolio manages to return 18% per year.

How? Customer and supplier links. The authors explain that they “…simply follow the evolution of customer/supplier firm-specific relations over time.” Their easy example of such a relationship were the companies Coastcast (gold club heads) and Callaway (golf equipment retail company). Essentially, the authors take customer/supplier link firms that have significant business with each other (which ends up being 11,484 unique relationships between 1980 and 2004).

And here is an explanation of how the arbitrage works:

In this example, we were unable to find any salient news release about Coastcast other than the announcement of a drop in revenue of its major customer. However, it was not until two months later the price of Coastcast adjusted to the new information. A strategy that would have shorted Coastcast on news of Callaway’s slowing demand would have generated a return of 20% over the subsequent two months.

To make this work though, time is needed to assemble the information on companies that are linked significantly. And then it would be up to the person managing the portfolio to hound for news articles and press releases for all those companies, and then execute the strategy accordingly.

Cohen and Frazzini made a believer out of me; the strategy is sound. I just wonder to what extent fund managers use this type of arbitrage because “78% of the customer-supplier link relationships are in fact across industries, so industry momentum is unlikely to be driving the results.”

Friday, August 18, 2006

Dating Game Theory

It’s unfortunate that I didn’t think of this sooner in such context, but Tim Harford lays out the idea of game theory in dating very well:

The economist using game theory cannot pretend to hand out advice on snappy dressing or how to satisfy your lover in the bedroom, but he can fill some important gaps in many people's love lives: how to signal confidence on a date, or how to persuade someone that you are serious about them, and just as importantly, how to work out whether someone is serious about you.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Buying Power in the FIA

Toyota announced the other day its decision to leave the GPMA (Grand Prix Manufacturer’s Association) thus leaving BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, and Renault to continue the bargaining efforts made with the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone.

Essentially these deliberations manifest themselves into the Concorde Agreements (the latest being agreed upon in 1998, and due to expire at the end of 2007). A lot of the bargaining chips for the GPMA came from their threats to start a racing series that would rival Formula 1. Those threats and the possibilities of the GPWC (Grand Prix World Championship) came to naught when Ferrari extended its 1997 Concord Agreement to 2012.

While I have no personal way of confirming this, it seems as though Toyota thinks the GPMA has done everything it set out to do. The GPMA, and the agreements that these manufacturers make are -- in part -- for share of the revenues that Formula 1 receives. I do not know if this matters, but now that Toyota is gone, the manufacturers in the GMPA run on Michelin tires, whereas the rest of the manufacturers in Formula One are Bridgestone runners. And since the GPMA most likely deals with some debate over the technical regulations of the sport, I would venture that the fact that next year Bridgestone will be the sole tire supplier of Formula One may lead the rest of the teams in the GPMA to argue that they may need some kind of help in the off season for testing of the new tires.

From an economic standpoint, the GPMA was an interesting tool. None of the smaller teams really had a say, yet the interests the GPMA take are legitimate. So, some good questions to ask, if not now, later: Do the rules imposed by the FIA to slow the cars down help the sport? Is there any way to gauge if such regulations help the motor sport’s appeal? Do the regulations also help control costs (i.e. a sole tire supplier after the ’06 season), or actually elevate costs due to the R&D money that teams put in trying to circumnavigate the effects of the regulations that slow the cars down?

However those questions are answered, the GPMA may have lost some its market power now that Toyota left the association. For Toyota, maybe they saw it as further requests that would probably never have been fulfilled.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A new consensus?

I remember when I first heard about Scott Ginsberg through an article posted on CNN back in 2003. I ordered his first book as soon as I could, and I have been a fan of his since.

With that said, when Jacqueline Passey
made mention that, “Finding a good mate is a combination of both being a good potential mate yourself *and* marketing,” bells started going off in my office because that’s the idea that Scott Ginsberg has spoken of.

I really think that they might be onto something.

And while on the subject of dating, in case
this comment was missed, my good friend Kevin left the link to a description of the “matching hypothesis”. Apparently, in dating, there’s a good chance it will all work out for everyone. No worries.

The Format

You might see that many blogs near the southeastern PA region will be making posts today about The Format, as they played the TLA last night.

If you check out
my page, you can obviously see that they’re a favorite of mine. The show was a complete joy to be a part of, and if you go to their website I’m sure you’ll be able to hear some of their tunes.

Picture taken from

P.S. As every few months I drive the route to Philly, I still pray for the safety of everyone who travels on I-95, especially those on a daily basis; it takes a bit of courage.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

paying the bills

A simple economic question: At the office building that the company I work for rents, the utilities are covered by the owner of the building. When our upper managers heard about this they said that we didn’t have to restrict our energy consumption as much as we had been because we don’t have to pay for it.

But I wonder if by not restricting our consumption, that we might start to use so much energy that the owner’s utility bills would soon create a large enough cost for him to change our payment scheme in which we would either have to pay the utility bills and/or pay more rent. If the payment scheme is in any way changed to the point where we pay more when we use more, then we’re right back to conserving and restricting our consumption.

Now I wish I could have access to the bills and then run one month of conservation, and one month with the air conditioner set to 67 F to get a good idea of how much our renter is not saving.

Monday, August 14, 2006


I say it’s about time, and some others may still question my sanity. Nevertheless, I called it. Let me set all this up.

What has come to me as conclusion of my accuracy? It is
this post from Jacqueline Passey. Before I go on, let me first say I HAVE NOT contacted Ms. Passey at any point in my lifetime. So, at the end of her post where she makes comments about stalkers and a bunch of weirdoes contacting her, I can thankfully count myself out of that crowd. Second, I called it. I made mention of my crush, and apparently everyone on the internet decided to jump on the bandwagon. The only thing that separates me from all of those other people is that I knew trying to contact Ms. Passey would only be an action done in vain. Also, that post shows that I was right to be so self-deprecating. And if you read Ms. Passey’s post, you’ll see why I was (and apparently still am) right about how much I suck with women.

With that said, let’s get on to the heart of the subject. This post was a long time coming from Jacqueline. She
time and time again made mention that she didn’t want to be around people (although she’s gotten over this), or look for a relationship. Jacqueline has now apparently gotten fed up with the amount of dudes looking for love.

So, let’s see how I called it. If at a social environment (i.e. bar, etc.) many close friends and acquaintances of mine would normally tell me go for it, and ask her out. But I would say, “No, I don’t think she’d like me.” I also want to take this opportunity to show how smart I am for never having contacted her in the first place (as it would be done only in vain). My friends would then tell me, “Mike, how do you know that she doesn’t like you?” Well, my friends, your question will now be answered.

I will now show you request by request (or demand by demand if you’d like) how I called all of this. I’ll of course be using
her post as a guideline. This is what she wants:

  • Men who are fit: Am I? I’m 5’11”, weigh 155, and play tennis as frequently as I can, but I don’t know exactly what her criteria is for fitness.
  • Attractive: If past history dictates anything about a prevailing market (which even though it shouldn’t, it usually does), then the dating market to me would prove that I am as attractive as a halibut.
  • Intelligent: Sure, I have a four year degree in finance, and a minor in economics, but who doesn’t these days. Today, you can send away four box-tops from Lucky Charms cereals boxes, wait 6-8 weeks, and then get your diploma in the mail. And if you really want to get specific with IQ (she said worse case scenario, hers is 130) then I’m not even sure the scale would go low enough to quantify mine. The simple fact that I’ve never had my IQ measured shows that I’m probably not up to her standards.
  • Educated: I made a joke using Lucky Charms; I do not believe anything else needs to be said.
  • Financially Successful: I’m not. I have a job I like, a car I like, but the problem is that I’m sure Ms. Passey would rather me make more money than I currently do.

Ms. Passey goes on to say that she can add on “all sorts of additional requirements” if she wants to. So, I’d like to address those…

  • Must be atheist: I have no way of fighting that one. I believe God’s out there, somewhere, terrorizing me with females on the internet whose sole purpose on earth is to show everyone how much better they are than me.
  • Must be Libertarian: The problem with that one is that I don’t know if I am or not. Sure, I love the free-market, but so does Arnold Kling, a libertarian and a person whom I respect. But if I’m not mistaken, I think Arnold may have called for the killing of an entire type of people.
  • Must not want (more) children: Okay, hey, I won one. Although that means that my family name would then cease. But, some people might think of that as a good thing.
  • Must be financially independent or self-employed and available for frequent world travel, etc.: Wow, um, man, I’m screwed now. Maybe I’m financially independent, although lets just say no. Self-employed, no. Frequent world travel, as long as it doesn’t go above my miniscule two-week vacation.

Okay, now that we’ve done that, why don’t I score myself? Well, one good reason not to score myself is that I haven’t quantified any of this. So, I’ll just use an arbitrary system based on a 100 point total. I think that with only the first demands looked at, I scored a 65 out of 100. I was going to give myself a 59, but I speak Greek, and I thought it was cool that I was fluently bilingual, something that Ms. Passey is not (yet). With her other added on restrictions, my score I think it would probably come out to 47 out of 100. Why? Because according to Ms. Passey's guidelines, I suck.

Later on in her post, Ms. Passey writes, “I realize that some of you will find this post depressing because you’ll realize that you don’t qualify as a high quality man and thus won’t be able to get a high quality woman.” What’s really sad here is that I became depressed BEFORE she made this post. It’s just the way I am with women. What her post does do is prove that I have been right about my “product qualities” in the dating market all along.

So, Ms. Passey, while
your post has probably sent me and many other unfortunate people like me off to suicide, I do want to close by writing this: You are right, but then again, so am I.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

what does it take

Well, if you need to scare people into persuading them to let you do whatever you think is necessary then Arnold Kling almost did just that to me. I read Arnold Kling’s blog all the time, and it’s really his thought process and the use of what he calls, “Type C” arguments that convinces me to give a significant amount of what he says weight.

Therefore, when Kling
writes that many Islamists sole purpose has turned into killing any westerner, I naturally get scared beyond all reason. And it’s at these times when I miss the constant quoting of FDR’s, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Unfortunately, I then realize those famous words were in reference and response to the bank panic and depression of the 30s. In fact my fear is best described from a skit on SNL in 2002 when Darrell Hammond as Chris Matthews said, “The only security the office of homeland security provides is the security of knowing I can't go outside without browning my pants!”

My terrified state is justified when Kling writes:

To this day, we continue to be squeamish about firing at mosques or
assassinating "clerics" who espouse violence. Many people say that we need to "engage" Iran, even though the leaders of Iran want to kill Jews and other westerners. Just as we ignored Bin Laden's declaration of war, we ignore the declarations of war of the Iranian leaders and the leaders of the various militant Islamic groups around the world.

That comment is what scares me, and maybe that’s what caused me not to react as harshly to a comment in his article where he
references himself in 2001:

A key strategic element in the war against terrorism will be to confront the arsenals of hatred and get rid of them. We cannot ignore them. We cannot appease them. We should not bother to psycho-analyze them. We need to eliminate them.

And I don’t think he’s backing down on his stance of those comments. As he comments that his suggestions still, “offers a more long-range, strategic vision than I can find reading most pundits.”

So, why react so harshly to the phrase “eliminate them”? Well, I asked Will, my friend and colleague over at
Blogicology as to why I had mixed feelings (I’m scared Islamists want to kill me, but does that mean I should want them to be “eliminated”?) on the article, and what his thoughts on the article were. Will was kind enough to respond.

Quoting Will:

He's clinging to the belief that our way of life (which he does not define) is, somehow, a right. Unfortunately, it's not. Pragmatic consumerism (or whatever he means by "way of life") can never be guaranteed. Eradication (is) completely hysterical and kneejerk. Who does the eradicating? Our troops? Unfortunately, that would screw them up more than war already has. (Cyborgs, maybe?)

On the theory of our eradicating of anyone who opposes the US/Israel

But the cost to our morality and civility would be devastating. The
fallout wouldn't be kept to overseas. Within our borders, the moral and ethical fallout would be devastating. And, remember those moderate Muslims who live peacefully in other areas of the globe including the US? Well, we'd effectively begin a bloodfued with them.

Well, thanks to Will for pointing those items out. I believe my own fears stem from the movement of containment (a great reason to support Israel for me) to escalation. As Will puts it, before September 11 2001, maybe containment came from a US security standpoint that “involved infiltration, intelligence gathering and sharing, and physical and monetary surveillance.” Containment can also be seen from the fact that Israel seems to act like a linchpin in what is a conglomerate of Islamic states. Israel’s western democratic status does two things. First, it acts as a stop from what might turn into an Islamic caliphate in the Middle East. Unfortunately, it also may be the cause of conflicts that arise from the dispute over Jerusalem.

In an escalation environment, I worry that our pro-active motions in the Middle East (The Iraq War) will cause everyone who opposes us to up the ante. How? Factions that had previously opposed each other and had somewhat separate goals (lets say Hezbollah and Hamas) can now coordinate their actions, or at least their motivations (lets all hate the US). If they all hate the US, and Israel loses strength, wouldn’t a caliphate come? It is reason to be scared, but it’s also a reason not to stir the tensions. And an effort to eradicating all those that oppose the US/Israel would most definitely cause ill-will that would of course be a huge escalation.

So, while I like Arnold, and I don’t want to make him angry; the deaths of all those people worry me.

Here’s something to think about though -- as if the current situation in the world isn’t. Since I don’t want war, what would it take for the UN to address the concern (that everybody agrees is real) that so many Islamists hate the US, Israel, and other western nations? Does the UN believe the only western nations targeted are the US, Great Britain, and Israel? Is there anything else that can be done?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

great place to work

As an example of how I enjoy my work environment and the congenial relationship I have with my boss, this is an email I wrote to my boss after I received a request to “please complete the attached forms,” for an assignment I had never done before. I thought that I could provide some insight back to my boss in considering the lack of directions that I received.


I would be happy to, but I will not forego this opportunity to shed on you some economics questions. Firstly, with efficiency in mind, why would someone (namely here, you) request completion of tasks from someone who has never completed said tasks. Even if an argument of “applied learning” is implemented, several questions remain. Do I have the resources to complete these tasks? Do I know where to acquire the information and proprietary knowledge to complete the forms in the task?

What are the chances of me coming back to the same person who assigned the task (again, namely you)? Is it then truly efficient that I were given the task? Even if completed entirely on my own, would the documents be sufficient? In my personal expertise, I might describe the property as, “Three lots barely larger than the area between elbow and forearm, which are located somewhere in Delaware.” Even then, you might still come back to me with requests for revision, which would restart this entire scenario.

In the words of (a co-worker and friend of mine at another division), (boss’ name), think smarter, not harder. I’ll see you soon.

-Mike K.


Needless to say we all had a good laugh, and the job was done.

market restrictions

As I mentioned before on Blogicology (good luck finding the exact post), the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 is mostly seen as a market restriction. Once again, another commentary on Nightly Business Report – this time from Glenn Hubbard, Columbia University – who articulates the impedance on competitiveness that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act imposes on US capital markets.

I wonder where the balance lies for corporate reporting and just how burdensome it is on certain corporations. Is it necessary for every corporation or industry? Is it effective? Or, is it effective for all different types of business? Are there any industries that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act proves to be ineffective?

Monday, August 07, 2006


In reading many op-eds and news stories with the upcoming fall midterm elections, I have noticed a strange dichotomy existing through the media. First, with thanks to Dan Froomkin, as he wrote here, many Republicans up for re-election are trying to distance themselves from President Bush and the administration.

However, opposite to that, many people still are staunch Republicans -- Republicans loyal to Bush -- including a few people I know personally. And in today’s society many people I know are prescribing to the idea of neo-conservatism that Glenn Greenwald explains. To those people, whom I still consider great friends, that is a now part of their Republican platform.

I can still remember in history class about Dwight Eisenhower’s warning on the military industrial complex. After Eisenhower’s presidency, he was known for being a supporter of Barry Goldwater and the conservative movement associated with it. It was this movement that influenced Karl Rove to leave the University of Utah and start working with the College Republicans.

Democrats from the 30s were associated with populist movements, and more importantly, the Middle American farmer. Yet, over time, this has changed as well. In today’s political climate, those same citizens in Middle America vote on the majority for the Republican ticket. Rightfully so, many Republicans now vote through the farm subsidies that keep these farmers competitive (or world farmers not competitive). My question is why the shift. What did Democrats do to disenfranchise their former base back then? Perhaps some light is shed on by Lyndon B. Johnson’s signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when he commented, “We have lost the South for a generation.” Possibly there have been similar effects in the middle of America as well.

So, through the effects of terrorism and increasing tensions in the world, most specifically, the Middle East, the Republican Party has become a party that uses its now assertive military ideology for our safety.

My questions to any reader, and even to myself: Is this progression proper? Why do you think conservatives like George Will and William Buckley disagree with some of George W Bush’s policies? Do Will and Buckley represent the schism of conservatism and neo-conservatism that Froomkin alludes to?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

online sales tax

A recent working paper written by Glenn Ellison and Sara Ellison at MIT researches the effects of sales tax and geographical location on e-retail stores. Most notably, it’s important that you have an understanding of “bounded rationality.” I believe that many consumers fall into boundedly rational behavior because while they do seek to gauge the lowest price (rational behavior), they don’t always pick the lowest price (not rational).

The Ellisons in their research think of some very good reasons as to why, in the end, many consumers from e-retail sites don’t always pick the store with the lowest price. One reason, striking true with me, is that consumers may pick a retailer within the state they inhabit as well in order to receive an item quicker for the cheaper “ground” shipping. The reason why this fell out of rationale was because in doing so, the consumers would pay the sales tax of their state.

Also, another reason, they say Brynjolfsson and Smith’ (2001) paper “finds strong evidence that consumers prefer branded e-retailers over lesser known firms.” So, even though they’re not based completely on price (you’d think non-rationale), consumers are actually acting in their own best interest. I always cite Thomas Hawk for a perfect example of what can happen to a consumer.

The paper did bring up another good point. The Internet Tax Nondiscrimination Act that is set to expire in 2007 may hinder e-commerce sales. Even if it was to expire, and therefore you’d always get charged with sales tax when making an online purchase, I still believe that the e-commerce will still prove to be very powerful. For example, even the paper sites Brown and Goolsbee (2001) who, “find that in the mid 1990’s term life insurance rates dropped more for demographic groups whose members were more likely to have Internet access.” A finding that Freakonomics mentioned.

Do you think sales tax on the net would hinder you from making a purchase?

**Update: A commenter notified me of a mistake I made. They are exactly correct; the moratorium is an access issue. My insinuation on its effect to sales tax was an error on my part.

I also believe they are correct that some type of legislation being passed for taxes on online purchases across state lines would not or will not pass in congress.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Other Side

On the other side of relationships, friends matter. Or do they? Sebastian Mallaby wrote an article a few weeks back about how Americans (and many people from affluent countries) report having fewer friends than reported years ago. Now you might see as to why I’m not such a huge fan of MySpace.

So, do you have anyone close to confide in? Someone besides your spouse? I’m afraid that even Mallaby has me pegged in the article.

Stephen Dubner made an interesting post about a new study from Satoshi Kanazawa, which explains that we witness beautiful women marrying unattractive men because of the supply & demand of beautiful women. So, this keeps my hopes alive.

Jurassic 5

One happenstance about getting a blog only recently is that it seems when I talk about something from the music industry; it’s always from an artist who is now gaining much more notoriety, even though I was listening to them for quite a bit of time. A great example for this in the past was Fountains of Wayne. That’s why I’ve added the play list link and board on the right side of my blog page.

All the same, today’s musical mention goes to Jurassic 5, who are out with their latest album, Feedback. I first heard these guys back when WOXY was still an old fashioned radio station. The lead single from the album, “Work it Out,” features Dave Matthews and is a most enjoyable track, as is the album. With as much talent that these gentlemen employ, it’s hard to imagine anything they ever do as being sub-par.

On a side note, to those who know me, I am still not a fan of Dave Matthews, and I believe what this shows is Jurassic 5’s constant attraction of working with other artists, and Matthews’ willingness to join such one-off ventures.

I’d love to post one track, but two things. One, the RIAA would have me killed, and two, there is no need because Jurassic 5 let you listen to some of their tracks on
their website.