Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Here is another blog that includes a list of all the damage that New Orleans has experienced. This disaster is mind-blowing.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Looters in New Orleans

I was reading this article about the looters who are stealing clothes, jewelry and food from stores all over downtown New Orleans. In this article there was the following quote regarding the looting:

"To be honest with you, people who are oppressed all their lives, man, it's an opportunity to get back at society."

What?? How did society ever oppress someone such that it makes it right to steal other people's belongings? So this man may have had a tough life, but to blame it on society...give me a break. These people think it is everyone else's fault for their plight in life. I honestly can't believe somebody said this. Here, there are tens if not hundreds of people dying, billions of dollars in damages, and this guy thinks it is an opportunity to "get back" and the institution, by stealing other people's possessions. Simply unbelievable.

- Here is the blog to read about Hurricane Katrina.

Friday, August 19, 2005

A little Thought

I was just thinking at lunch today that when Tara Lipinski won the gold medal in ice skating several years ago, she was only 15 years old. I always knew this, but never really thought about how incredible it was. To put it into context, Lipinski was the best ice skater in the whole world when she was 15. How many professions are mastered by people who are only in their teens? I can't think of any other. Other athletes usually peak in their mid-twenties or sometimes even later, and otherwise "normal" jobs such as lawyers and doctors don't reach excellence until their 40s, 50s, or 60s. However, ice skaters peak in their mid-teens. I feel quite confidant that excellence in a field cannot be gained in any other profession at so young an age. How remarkable.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Word of the Day

tryst \TRIST; TRYST\, noun:
An appointment (as between lovers) to meet; also, an appointed
place or time of meeting.

And it bothers me that I begin to worry if she's planning a
tryst with my handsome neighbour.
--Anita Nair, [1]The Better Man

Friday, August 12, 2005

Would you like Frys with your McMansion?

Here's a nice little article I found over at concerning the evolution of the McMansion. Apparently the big home building companies have been changing the plans of their largest houses to include extra bathrooms, closet space, mudrooms, etc. Everyone needs a good bathroom, but these designs call for two different toilets in the master bath suite - a "his" toilet and a "her" toilet. Unbelievable. The article is good. Below is the introductory paragraph.

Even as economists debate whether discounts on some high-end homes signal a broader softening in the housing market, one indicator continues to rise: The biggest homes in suburbia are getting even bigger. The nation's largest builders of luxury homes say their top-selling designs lately have expanded to include more bathrooms, giant master-suite closets and extra rooms designated as teen dens, hobby rooms or even "bonus" rooms. Toll Brothers, of Horsham, Pa., says its best-selling plan this year has a base size of 4,800 square feet -- 1,600 bigger than its top seller of five years ago. WCI Communities, of Bonita Springs, Fla., says the most popular plan in its Mid-Atlantic region measures 5,425 square feet, up 250 square feet from its 2000 bestseller.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Freakonomics authors Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? How much do parents really matter? What kind of impact did Roe v. Wade have on violent crime?

These two guys have done a great deal to popularize economics and generate some interest in the field. The stuff they study is fascinating. Note, I have a link to their blog (and website) under my "Other Sweet Blogs" section. Check it out. You will learn.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Back in Action

I'm back from the sweet trip and on to more adventures. I'll keep writing about things that interest me. Last night I went to the Cheesecake Factory and as delicious as the cheesecake was, I found the dining experience a little bit disturbing. I had been before, and this recent trip made me think a little about our culture. Everything was so damn enormous, from the building itself, to the size of the entrees. It was almost sickening. The place was so "American," in that it pandered to the masses who thing that bigger is inevitably better. I mean, who wants to go and order a meal that could feed a small African family? What ever happened to subtlety and understated elegance. Those days are long gone, and have sadly been replaced with the biggest masses of food that can be fit onto a platter.