Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy 2008!!!

Auld Lang Syne - Robert Burns

SHOULD auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to min'?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days o' lang syne?

We twa hae rin about the braes,
And pu'd the gowans fine;
But we've wander'd monie a weary fit
Sin' auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl't i' the burn,
Frae mornin' sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
Sin' auld lang syne.

And here 's a hand, my trusty fiere,
And gie's a hand o' thine;
And we'll tak a right guid-willie waught
For auld lang syne.

And surely ye'll be your pint-stowp,
And surely I'll be mine;
And we'll tak a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne!

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne.

Read more about this Scottish poem here.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Dr. Paul on Meet The Press

Here is Ron Paul talking foreign policy with Tim Russert on Meet The Press. This is from 12/23/07.

Friday, December 21, 2007

A Little Holiday Cheer

This is phenomenal.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Word of the Day

pari passu \PAIR-ee-PASS-oo; PAIR-ih-PASS-oo\, adverb:

At an equal pace or rate.

Expand the state and [its] destructive capacity necessarily expands too, pari passu.
-- Paul Johnson, Modern Times: The World From the Twenties to the Eighties

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Economic Illiteracy

Click here for a horrendous article detailing a professor's indoctrination of the minds of her impressionable students. It doesn't get too much worse than this.

This article, I believe, is a very important read. It discusses a professor at UNC who is indoctrinating the young mind's of her students with extremely liberal thought. I cannot tell you how furious this makes me. This woman espouses beliefs which I find incredulous. My personal philosophies are the polar opposite of hers, and to read what she is doing is extremely upsetting.

Apart from the fact that she is promoting ideas which I disagree with, I have a more fundamental problem with her actions. A teacher is in a particularly powerful position, in that, to a large extent, a teacher has the ability to shape a student's beliefs on whatever the subject it is that is being taught. Students look up to teachers and respect their opinions. From my limited knowledge of the situation, gained solely from reading this article, it appears that this woman is clearly abusing her special power. Abuse like this makes me absolutely sick and I can assure you, I would never send my child to North Carolina, if they can defend such teaching methods.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Word of the Day

perspicacity \pur-spuh-KAS-uh-tee\, noun:

Clearness of understanding or insight; penetration, discernment.

His predictions over the years have mixed unusual aristocratic insight with devastating perspicacity.
-- "Why fine titles make exceedingly fine writers", Independent, November 3, 1996

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Gas Buying Tip

With the price of gas so high these days, I've included an interesting tip on how to save money when filling up:

Only buy or fill up your car or truck in the early morning when the ground temperature is still cold. Remember that all service stations have their storage tanks buried below ground. The colder the ground the more dense the gasoline, when it gets warmer gasoline expands, so buying in the afternoon or in the evening....your gallon is not exactly a gallon. In the petroleum business, the specific gravity and the temperature of the gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, ethanol and other petroleum products plays an important role. A one-degree rise in temperature is a big deal for this business. But the service stations do not have temperature compensation at the pumps.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Ron Paul, Mounting a Charge

(via WSJ)

While 8% is not exactly a dominating figure, it is much more than Paul had several months ago. Paul has been gaining popularity, primarily through grassroots and on-line support. He has raised $10.5 million and has established himself as more than just a fringe candidate. While unlikely that he will seriously challenge for the Republican primary, it is encouraging to see this surge.

Another take-away from the chart is the impressive lead that Mitt Romney holds over all other candidates. With this lead in NH, and a slight lead still in Iowa, Romney is in a very good spot.

Do you support the Treasury's plan to freeze rates on some mortgages?

Let me preface my answer by acknowledging that I have not done my homework on this and do not know all (or even many) of the details.

However, in general I feel that parties need to be held responsible for their own actions. This accountability should be no different now. Lender's should have known better than to give money to the borrowers with poor credit, and the borrowers should have known better than to over extend themselves by getting into mortgages they should have known would be difficult to handle.

I feel that having the Treasury enter the situation partially absolves both parties from facing the consequences of their actions. I feel that the consequences, unfortunately do need to be felt, so that we won't be making the same mistake 10 years from now.

That's my two cents.

Edit - Link to the poll on

Monday, December 03, 2007


My friends at have a very nice post sharing their thoughts on the final BCS bowl outcomes. Below is an excerpt, in which they support the final pick of OSU-LSU.

LSU and OSU have their black eyes, but consider what they’ve done, too. LSU wasn’t losing after regulation in a single game this year. Yes, we know they lost in overtime, but in terms of deciding how good the Tigers actually are, that’s important. College football could still have the rule that games tied after regulation are counted as ties; in which case, no one would argue against LSU. They’ve got the two best losses — by far — of any two loss team. They also have the toughest schedule of any two loss team. They won the toughest conference in the country. I’m not much of an LSU fan, and I think they’ve been over hyped by the media — but they’re the most accomplished of the two loss teams. Ohio State and Kansas are the only one loss teams, and I don’t think anyone is arguing for Kansas these days. The Buckeyes are not a controversial selection except by Big 10 haters, but consider: Ohio State didn’t lose to the Stanford of its conference (USC), or a .500 team (Oklahoma, Georgia), or get blown out by anyone (Virginia Tech). A two-loss Buckeyes squad wouldn’t deserve to make the title game, but OSU did not have a bad loss like everyone else in college football. Except the Tigers.

Huckabee Rising in Iowa

(per the WSJ)

The biggest problem with Huckabee is that he is soft on Economics. He's not supportive of free trade, and this to me, is deeply troublesome.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Song of the Day

A quick note on Song of the Day - from now on the Song of the Day will not only include a song and an artist, but will also include the actual music. This will be in the form of a Youtube video. Sometimes it will be a music video - other times it will simply be the music. To kick off this new format, we have:

People Got To Be Free
- The Rascals

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Word of the Day

incongruous \in-KONG-groo-us\, adjective:

1. Lacking in harmony, compatibility, or appropriateness.
2. Inconsistent with reason, logic, or common sense.

I have since often observed, how incongruous and irrational the common Temper of Mankind is.
-- Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

This is How Much Energy I Produce

Your Body is Producing 274 Watts!

This is 10% MORE wattage than the average person

  • You could light up 3 light bulbs
  • You could power 69 iPods
  • You could power 1 Xbox 360
  • 4 of you would be needed to keep a refrigerator running
See how much you produce by clicking here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Monday, November 26, 2007

Dr. Ron Paul on Monetary Policy

This is a little long, but well worth it.

For more on Dr. Paul's campaign, click here.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thursday, November 22, 2007

This is a Tesseract

(Per Wikipedia)

In geometry, the tesseract, also called 8-cell or octachoron, is the four-dimensional analog of the (three-dimensional) cube, where motion along the fourth dimension is often a representation for bounded transformations of the cube through time. The tesseract is to the cube as the cube is to the square; or, more formally, the tesseract can be described as a regular convex 4-polytope whose boundary consists of eight cubical cells.

For more on this, click here.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Quote of the Day

- Statistics are like a bikini. What they reveal is suggestive , what they conceal is vital.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Stevie Wonder Does "Superstition" Live on Sesame Street

Not sure it gets too much more awesome than this...

Link to the song on Wikipedia

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Neat Webpage

This is a very cool page with inconic photos recreated as if it they were in a computer game. The FAQs on this page about how they were created, what each image is, etc. is also pretty neat. Below is Quang Duc burning himself in protest of the Vietnam War.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

A Joke Heard On Halloween

Senator Bill Frist dressed up as Groucho Marx and handed out candy to kids that trick-or-treated at his house. Nancy Pelosi dressed up as Karl Marx and took the candy from the kids who worked hard to trick-or-treat and gave it to those kids who stayed home.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Friday, September 28, 2007

Monday, September 24, 2007

Word of the Day

panacea \pan-uh-SEE-uh\, noun:

A remedy for all diseases, problems, or evils; a universal medicine; a cure-all.

He considered education "the great panacea" and insisted that access to knowledge was the key to all social progress.
-- Diane Ravitch, Left Back

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Song of the Day

Go Your Own Way

- Fleetwood Mac

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

More UK - Louisville Highlights

Below is an exceptional highlight reel, with Tom Leach's play by play. Its hard to get any better than this.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Florida Student Tasered and Arrested at John Kerry Forum

Here are some related links:
Kerry's Response
The Student's Website
The Facebook Group for a March, Taking Place Today

Sunday, September 16, 2007

UK Upset Highlights

Below is the game winning pass, with Tom Leach's play by play. This is classic.

Another video of the pass. Note how incredibly loud the crowd is in this one. Unbelievable.

UK Upsets Number 9 Louisville!

What a game. Unbelievable. Andre Woodson to Steve Johnson on a 57 yard pass with 28 seconds left to take the lead. Here is a highlight montage from ESPN.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Takled the Number Right Off

I don't think I have ever seen this before - Alabama linebacker Rashad Johnson (49) had the numeral 9 knocked off his helmet during this play. My immediate inclination was to dismiss this photograph as one of the many photoshopped pictures floating around the internet - but this picture was taken by an AP photographer. Its the real deal. Nothing like a little hard hitting, SEC football.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

NFL Coverage Maps

Here is a link to a pretty neat web site: NFL TV Distribution Maps, which shows which regional games will be shown in what parts of the country. Though I'm not nearly as passionate an NFL fan as I am of the college game, I always find these coverage maps interesting to see.

Friday, September 07, 2007

An old Favorite

I'm not sure if I've posted this before or not, but below is a classic video of a student at Air Force getting down. Pretty amusing...

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Checking In

Right now I'm in the ATL airport with a few free moments until I have to hop on a plane. I just spent the past week in Greenwich, CT - possibly the most ridiculous town I have ever seen. I've included a small sample of pictures that neatly sum up the area. No kidding, as I was walking back from dinner last night, I passed two Corvettes, two Porches, a Lamborghini and an Aston Martin. The majority of the money comes from the ubiquitous hedge funds which are seemingly in every other office building. The last several weeks have been pretty rough for a lot of the "quant" funds, but most of them will be able to escape from the sub-prime mortgage mess.

Two weeks ago I was in Boston, and got to catch a sweet game at Fenway Park. Though I am a staunch opponent of the Red Sox, any sports fan has to recognize the special environment at Fenway.

The week before that, I was out in San Diego, and got to stay at the Torrey Pines Hilton, where my hotel room looked out upon the 18th fairway of the Torrey Pines golf course. Again, I am not a huge golf fan, but looking onto a perfectly manicured course is something anyone should be able to appreciate.

Hopefully my life will slow down a bit and I will be able to get back to posting here regularly on the Julep. Thanks for still checking it out.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

I've been pretty busy the last several weeks, hence no updates here. I will be on the road for much of the next four weeks, so most probably posts will be limited until things calm down. With that, I leave you with this neat photo above by Harold Edgerton of MIT, and used for a lecture he gave at MIT in 1964, entitled "How to Make Applesauce at MIT."

Friday, July 13, 2007

Word of the Day

triskaidekaphobia \tris-ky-dek-uh-FOH-bee-uh\, noun:

A morbid fear of the number 13 or the date Friday the 13th.

Thirteen people, pledged to eliminate triskaidekaphobia, fear of the number 13, today tried to reassure American sufferers by renting a 13 ft plot of land in Brooklyn for 13 cents . . . a month.
-- Daily Telegraph, January 14, 1967

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Here is one of the odder articles I have come across in a while. In New York, a man severely beat a peacock, claiming that the bird was a vampire.

Per the article on Fox News:

He seized the iridescent bird by the neck, hurled the creature to the ground and started kicking and stomping the animal, said worker Felicia Finnegan.

"He was going crazy," said Finnegan, 19.

Asked what he was doing, she said, the bird-beater explained, "'I'm killing a vampire!"'

Monday, June 25, 2007

iPhone Mania

With the iPhone coming out on Friday, there is much anticipation and excitement among many technophiles, anxiously awaiting the moment when they can get their hands on this new device.

Here is a very informative, 20 minute guided tour of the iPhone.

Everyone I have talked to seems either to think it will be an enormous success, or an enormous flop. Personally, I think the iPhone is going to be a revolutionary device. The price tag is the most difficult hurdle for sales. However, the high price becomes somewhat of a deal, when you realize that the combined cost of purchasing a smart phone and an iPod, is greater than the listed $499 price of a 4GB iPhone. Regardless of the success of the iPhone itself, it will nonetheless spur more research and development from competitors who will be trying to steal some of the market share. Its my own belief that Friday marks the end of the cell phone as we have know it. We are now entering the era of the all-purpose personal device, which will play music, make phone calls, take pictures, send e-mail, watch movies, and even more.

- A very amusing, multi-city live blog of the madness very amusing
- Streaming live video from the line outside the Apple store in San Francisco.
- The Ultimate iPhone Campout Guide

Some pics:

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Media Revolution

A look into the future?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Oil Supply

This article maintains that the worldwide oil supply is diminishing at a rate faster than previously believed. I'm not sure I entirely believe it, but here you have it.

According to "peak oil" theory our consumption of oil will catch, then outstrip our discovery of new reserves and we will begin to deplete known reserves.

Colin Campbell, the head of the depletion centre, said: "It's quite a simple theory and one that any beer drinker understands. The glass starts full and ends empty and the faster you drink it the quicker it's gone."

Sounds pretty simple, huh. A more vexing, and obvious question remains: what to do when we run out of oil?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

U.S. President's Job Approval Ratings

Graph from the Wall Street Journal.

Two interesting observations:
1. Every President, with the exception of Clinton, had a worse rating upon leaving office, than upon entering.

2. Every President, with the exception of W. Bush, had a better approval rating upon entering office, than the President immediately preceding him.
Christopher Hitchens on Paris Hilton:
"Siege of Paris: The Creepy Populism Surrounding high-Profile Defendants."

U.S. States Renamed for Countries with Similiar GDPs

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Random Pizza Maker

This site creates a random pizza for you.
I got one with whole wheat crust, bbq sauce, smoked gouda, blue cheese, fresh jalapenos, spinach, prawns, and lobster.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Thursday, June 07, 2007

A Modern Parable

A Japanese company ( Toyota ) and an American company (General Motors) decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River . Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.

On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile.

The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. A management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action.

Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 8 people steering and 1 person rowing.

Feeling a deeper study was in order, American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion.

They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing.

Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team's management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 3 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager.

They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 1 person rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the 'Rowing Team Quality First Program,' with meetings, dinners and free pens for the rower. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses.

The next year the Japanese won by two miles.

Humiliated, the American management laid off the rower for poor performance, halted development of a new canoe, sold the paddles, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses and the next year's racing team was out-sourced to India .

Sadly, The End.

Here's something else to think about: Ford has spent the last thirty years moving all its factories out of the US , claiming they can't make money paying American wages.

TOYOTA has spent the last thirty years building more than a dozen plants inside the US. The last quarter's results:

TOYOTA makes 4 billion in profits while Ford racked up 9 billion in losses.

Ford folks are still scratching their heads.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Quote of the Day

"Don't believe the man who tells you there are two sides to every question. There is only one side to the truth."

- William Peter Hamilton
(Original editorial page editor of The Wall Street Journal)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Hope I Die Before I Get Old...

Below is a video of The Zimmers doing "My Generation," originally done by The Who. Read more about it here.

Libby Sentenced to 2.5 Years

Scooter Libby will be going to prison for up to 2.5 years for lying and obstruction of justice in the investigation of the 2003 leak of CIA secret operative, Valerie Plame's identity. Before the sentancing, Libby said "It is respectfully my hope that the court will consider, along with the jury verdict, my whole life."

Read more about this story, here and here.

Plus, will Bush pardon him?

Monday, June 04, 2007

perfunctory \pur-FUNGK-tuh-ree\, adjective:

1. Done merely to carry out a duty; performed mechanically or routinely.
2. Lacking interest, care, or enthusiasm; indifferent.

The city's moderate hotels, however, tend to offer minimal comforts, perfunctory service and dreary decor.
-- Paula Butturini, "What's Doing in Naples", New York Times, April 14, 1996

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Utterly Ridiculous

This occured about five minutes from where I live. Read about it here.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Microsoft Surface

Several days ago Microsoft unveiled its newest product - the Microsoft Surface. If goes as planned, this new product will revolutionize the way that humans interact with computers. For a brief explanation of the Surface, one article writes:

The Microsoft Surface - a 30-inch display embedded in a gloss-covered table - will eventually replace the mouse and keyboard, and opens the prospect of a computer in every surface of the home, the company claims.

Consumers will have to wait a few years before getting their hands on the technology themselves, but the first versions of the computer have already been sold to corporate clients including mobile phone companies and restaurants.

When customers at a restaurant put down their glasses, a computer in their table will be able to tailor food recommendations to the choice of drinks, and display pictures linking wines or beers with the vineyards and breweries that produced them.

Here is a nice demostration on YouTube:

Sunday, May 27, 2007

bon vivant \bon-vee-VONT\, noun:

A person with refined and sociable tastes, especially one who enjoys fine food and drink.
For the unregenerate "peasant" (the term that he often used about his mother, whom he despised) had gone there with the successful glass distributor, shrewd investor, versatile talker, and . . . bon vivant whose motto was "The best is good enough for me."
-- Ted Solotaroff, Truth Comes in Blows

Bon vivant comes from French bon, "good" (from Latin bonus) + vivant, present participle of vivre, "to live," from Latin vivere.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Top 10 List of Twins Names in 2006

Names of twins born in 2006
Rank Names Number
1Jacob, Joshua 67
2Matthew, Michael 54
3Daniel, David 52
4Ella, Emma 38
5Isaac, Isaiah 38
6Madison, Morgan 36
7Landon, Logan 35
8Taylor, Tyler 35
9Brandon, Bryan 34
10Christian, Christopher 33

Thanks Social Security Online for the info.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A reminder to all that at the bottom of The Mint Julep, you will find a cartoon from Newsbusters, which is updated daily. Unfortunately the bottom of this page is the most convenient, albeit highly inconspicuous, place to put a daily cartoon. This being the case, I have created this post to put today's cartoon in a bit more of a prominent place.

Monday, May 14, 2007

acrimony \AK-ruh-moh-nee\, noun:

Bitter, harsh, or biting sharpness, as of language, disposition, or manners.

In years to come, liturgical infighting ranked alongside disputed patents, contested fortunes, and savage political feuds as a source of McCormick family acrimony.
-- Richard Norton Smith, The Colonel

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Dallas Trip

I just got back from a trip to Dallas. Normally while on the road, I end up staying in a place like the Marriot or a Hampton Inn, but our client hooked us up with a corporate rate at the swanky Hotel Zaza in uptown Dallas. Apparently it is frequented by celebrities - and that makes very good sense, for it catered to the customer's every whim. The rooms were double the size of your standard Hampton Inn, accentuated by full length sofas, 42" flat screen TVs, and bottles of oxygen for your personal use.

After checking in, my colleague and I headed over to Stephan Pyles for dinner. This was one of the better meals I have had a in very long time. The restaurant has a very nouveux, southwestern feel to it. We started off with a ceviche - Halibut with Avocados and Tomatillos, and a sampling of four unique types of gazpacho. I then ordered the Hoja Santa Salmon Packet on Golden Crabmeat Paella (see picture). By the way, this picture looks exactly like the dish I ate. It is hard to make out, but steamed salmon is actually wrapped in this lettuce-type wrap, and placed on a bed of rice and crab. It came out piping hot and was fantastic.

The whole dining experience was unbelievable, and the service exceptional. All in all, both the ZaZa and Stephen Pyle's were As. If ever in Dallas, I highly recommend both.

Friday, May 04, 2007

The Annual Quintessential Mint Julep Post

With the 133rd running of the Kentucky Derby tomorrow, I feel that it is my absolute duty as author of The Mint Julep, to write a post concerning that lovely libation that is the essence of Kentucky in May. Of course, I am talking about the Mint Julep.

Eric Felton from the Wall Street Journal paid the Mint Julep a tribute in his weekly "How's Your Drink?" column, citing Southern author Walker Percy's observations about the Julep.

But now on to the most important part of this post. Just as I did on this day, one year ago, and just as I did on this day two years ago, so too today will I include a letter, written from a Lieutenant in World War II, to a fellow comrade. The description of how to create this fine beverage is nothing less than awe-inspiring, and worth reading in whole. Please enjoy.

March 30, 1937

My dear General Connor,

Your letter requesting my formula for mixing mint juleps leaves me in the same position in which Captain Barber found himself when asked how he was able to carve the image of an elephant from a block of wood. He replied that it was a simple process consisting merely of whittling off the part that didn't look like an elephant.

The preparation of the quintessence of gentlemanly beverages can be described only in like terms. A mint julep is not the product of a FORMULA. It is a CEREMONY and must be performed by a gentleman possessing a true sense of the artistic, a deep reverence for the ingredients and a proper appreciation of the occasion. It is a rite that must not be entrusted to a novice, a statistician, nor a Yankee. It is a heritage of the old South, an emblem of hospitality and a vehicle in which noble minds can travel together upon the flower-strewn paths of happy and congenial thought.

So far as the mere mechanics of the operation are concerned, the procedure, stripped of its ceremonial embellishments, can be described as follows:

Go to a spring where cool, crystal-clear water bubbles from under a bank of dew-washed ferns. In a consecrated vessel, dip up a little water at the source. Follow the stream through its banks of green moss and wildflowers until it broadens and trickles through beds of mint growing in aromatic profusion and waving softly in the summer breezes. Gather the sweetest and most tender shoots and gently carry them home. Go to the sideboard and select a decanter of Kentucky Bourbon, distilled by a master hand, mellowed with age yet still vigorous and inspiring. An ancestral sugar bowl, a row of silver goblets, some spoons and some ice and you are ready to start.

In a canvas bag, pound twice as much ice as you think you will need. Make it fine as snow, keep it dry and do not allow it to degenerate into slush.

In each goblet, put a slightly heaping teaspoonful of granulated sugar, barely cover this with spring water and slightly bruise one mint leaf into this, leaving the spoon in the goblet. Then pour elixir from the decanter until the goblets are about one-fourth full. Fill the goblets with snowy ice, sprinkling in a small amount of sugar as you fill. Wipe the outsides of the goblets dry and embellish copiously with mint.

Then comes the important and delicate operation of frosting. By proper manipulation of the spoon, the ingredients are circulated and blended until Nature, wishing to take a further hand and add another of its beautiful phenomena, encrusts the whole in a glittering coat of white frost. Thus harmoniously blended by the deft touches of a skilled hand, you have a beverage eminently appropriate for honorable men and beautiful women.

When all is ready, assemble your guests on the porch or in the garden, where the aroma of the juleps will rise Heavenward and make the birds sing. Propose a worthy toast, raise the goblet to your lips, bury your nose in the mint, inhale a deep breath of its fragrance and sip the nectar of the gods.

Being overcome by thirst, I can write no further.

S.B. Buckner, Jr.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Legally Blonde

Last Sunday the show Legally Blonde opened on Broadway. Legally Blonde stars Laura Bundy, a talented actress from Lexington, KY. In fact, Laura and I went to the same school - she is three grades ahead of me. In any case, I happened to be up in New York last Sunday, and was on Broadway when Legally Blond let out. The picture heading this post is the one I took as everyone was leaving. It is supposed to be a good show. Here is a nice article from the Lexington Herald Leader about the show, and here is an AP review.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Happy 90th, I.M. Pei

I want to give a Friday morning acknowledgement to I. M. Pei, who, I would call, the last great architect. He likes to work primarily with stone, concrete, and glass. You have no doubt seen many of his achievements, ranging from the Louvre Pyramid to the East Building at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. (both pictured below) Pei turned 90 yesterday, yet he is still able to produce new projects at an astonishing rate. His latest is the NASCAR Hall of Fame, set to open in 2009.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

At three minutes and four seconds after 2:00 a.m. on the 6th of May this year, the time and date will be 02:03:04 05/06/07. This will never happen again.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


I have now taken my large test and should have a bit more free time to post items on here. However, in the immediate future I will be somewhat busy with travel - Sewanee tomorrow, St Louis next Monday and Tuesday, and New York, NY the Monday and Tuesday after that.

Now, for something interesting, below is an excerpt about Rudyard Kipling, found on Wikipedia.

Kipling was one of the most popular writers in English, in both prose and verse, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The author Henry James famously said of him: "Kipling strikes me personally as the most complete man of genius (as distinct from fine intelligence) that I have ever known." In 1907, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, making him the first English language writer to receive the prize, and he remains today its youngest-ever recipient. Among other honours, he was sounded out for the British Poet Laureateship and on several occasions for a knighthood, all of which he rejected.

For more, see here.

-EDIT - General Electric may have set a record last year by filing a return that, had it been printed on paper, would have totaled more than 24,000 pages.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

My apologies for the dearth of posts recently. I have a large exam coming up on Wednesday and have been preoccupied with studying. I'll be back to providing interesting articles, videos, and word of the days, soon.

One thought before I go. I agree that Imus's comments were over the line, but it seems to me like the public outcry is a little over the top. The lead story on NBC news the past couple of nights has been about this guy. He was wrong, but why is it the leading story on all major media outlets this entire week? I don't get it. Why don't they go report some real news, like all the children that are being murdered in Darfur.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Best Place To Work - Google

Several weeks ago Fortune magazine named Google the best company to work for. The article online is here. The video below (a Today Show segment) summarizes the environment pretty well. Perks include: 11 gourmet cafeterias, Wi-Fi-enabled coaches from five Bay Area locations to assist employees commuting to work, onsite barber and masseuse, laundry rooms and dry cleaning, ability to bring pets to work, foreign language tutoring. The list goes on and on

Monday, April 02, 2007

arriviste \a-ree-VEEST\, noun:

A person who has recently attained success, wealth, or high status but not general acceptance or respect; an upstart.

Sherman, in his $1,800 imported suit and British hand-lasted shoes is . . . an arriviste and a poseur.
-- Frank Conroy, "Urban Rats in Fashion's Maze", New York Times, November 1, 1987

Monday, March 26, 2007

March Madness

In case you have not already seen, this is Barton's incredible comeback to defeat Winona State for the Division II National Championship, on Saturday. Winona State was the heavy favorite, riding a 57 game win streak. Anthony Atkinson scored 10 points in the final 39 seconds, including a layup at the buzzer for the win. This is as good of a comeback as I have ever seen, and most certainly the best comeback in a TITLE game. Watch and enjoy.

ESPN's article, here.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Quote of the Day

“When I refer to myself as Southern, I am talking about the part of myself that is most deeply human and deeply feeling. It is the part of me that connects most intimately and cordially with the family of man. There are qualities of grace and friendship and courtesy that will always seem essentially Southern to me no matter where I encounter them on the road.”

- Pat Conroy

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Baseball Economist

Last night I drove down to Altanta for for a book signing of The Baseball Economist, by J.C. Bradbury. This is J.C.'s first book. J.C runs Sabernomics and is a leader in the field of Baseball Economics. I have not yet had time to read any of his book, but the buzz on the street is that it is filled with good stuff, and some suprising findings.

A snippet of a review:

Freakonomics meets Moneyball in this provocative exposé of baseball's mostfiercely debated controversies and some of its oldest, most dearly held myths—explained through the language of numbers and cool cash.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

appurtenance \uh-PUR-tn-un(t)s\, noun:

1. An adjunct; an accessory; something added to another, more important thing.
2. [Plural]. Accessory objects; gear; apparatus.
3. [Law]. An incidental right attached to a principal property right for purposes such as passage of title, conveyance, or inheritance.

The inauguration of presidents, the coronation of monarchs, the celebration of national holidays--these events require everywhere the presence of the soldier as a "ceremonial appurtenance."
-- Barbara Ehrenreich, Blood Rites

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

March Madness

This is the requisite NCAA Tourney post. The match-ups have been set and game times determined. Everyone now has to make their picks. This is something I always love doing, yet historically, am very poor at.

This year I have been reading a handfulof different blogs and websites which talk about the various odds involved in the tournament. A professor at St. Joseph's has a terrific website where he ran a Monte Carlo simulation to determine the most statistically likely bracket. Monte Carlo is a type of statistical simulation where you take small random events and simulate these events over long periods of time within the context of a larger system. For the purposes of this tournament, the game outcomes are the small events and the overall bracket is the larger system.

Gene Wojciechowski from shadowed odds makers at Las Vegas Sports Consultants. The guys at LVSC are the ones who set the initial spreads on all the tournament games, which are then dispersed to all the casinos. His behind the scenes account is particularly interesting.

Additionally, Doug Drinen who runs Pro-Football-Reference, has a good article on how to fill out your office pool, from a mathematical perspective. His results will surprise you.

I will be traveling to Lexington, KY tomorrow to catch the 1st and 2nd rounds which will be held in Rupp Arena. Highlights will include Greg Oden and Mike Conley from Ohio St, Acie Law from Texas A&M, and Rick Pitino leading Louisville against Stanford.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

PlayStation Home

Several months ago I posted about Second Life - a virtual reality on the internet where users create characters of themselves, called avatars, and can interact with other users. This was becoming such a phenomenon that companies such as Nike and General Electric were buying online "real estate" and holding virtual conferences.

In much the same vein, PlayStation is coming out with "Home," a virtual world accessible via the PlayStation 3. Like with Second Life, users will have their own avatars and can interact with other users in the virtual community.

Here is a preview:

And here is a good article discussing Home.

'Some pig!' muttered Lurvy in a low voice.
'Some pig!' whispered Mr. Zuckerman.
They stared and stared for a long time at Wilbur.
Then they stared at Charlotte.

-E.B. White

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Happy March Madness, Everyone

With UK kicking off the post-season by playing Alabama in the SEC Tournament tomorrow, I've gotta post this video, which is a sweet introduction that is played in Rupp Arena before all home games.

indefatigable \in-dih-FAT-ih-guh-bul\, adjective:

Incapable of being fatigued; not readily exhausted; untiring; unwearying; not yielding to fatigue.

She was always seeking to add to her collection and was an indefatigable first-nighter at Broadway shows.
-- Meryle Secrest, Stephen Sondheim: A Life

Monday, February 26, 2007

Democratizing Education

Here's an article from the WSJ last week discussing how many major universities are now putting many of their course online, for free. These course are commonly referred to as OpenCourseWare.

Per the WSJ:
Following the lead of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other highly competitive schools, more institutions are posting online everything from lecture notes to sample tests, and even making audio and video files of actual lectures publicly available. The sites attract anywhere from thousands to more than one million unique visitors each month.
MIT's pioneering "OpenCourseWare" program, which was launched in 2003, posts the syllabus and class notes for more than 1,500 courses online for anyone who wants them. By this November, it aims to publish materials from virtually all 1,800 of its courses across all its schools.

I think this is absolutely fantastic. I have always thought, and often remarked that one can get just as good of an education at a local public library as at any renowned institution - just with a little more will and determination. Now with OpenCourseWare, there is no need even to go to the library. You can take classes on line, for free. In fact, I know many people that are enrolled in schools where they don't usually go to class, but rather read the PowerPoint and web lectures which are e-mailed to them by their professors. The only difference between them and what you can do with this OpenCourseWare is that they are paying a small fortune, and you don't have to. Obviously taking an OpenCourseWare class is not exactly like attending the school, and you get no recognized credit for your work, but you are able to absorb the exact same knowledge and information as the privileged students at these renowned institutions. I say, terrific.

I have been to several of the websites, cited in the article, and below are links to the two which I find most user-friendly: