Daily Archives: November 18, 2013

I’m working on becoming the smartest person on earth

Current title holder

Current title holder

Working six days a week is no good

But beyond the obvious effects on health, working too much can actually impair cognitive function. In one five-year study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, participants completed a variety of tests to evaluate intelligence, verbal recall, and vocabulary. Compared to those who worked 40 hours per week, those who worked 55 hours per week showed poorer vocabulary and reasoning.

“We actually get stupider when we work too much,” says executive coach Tasha Eurich, Ph.D., author of the new book “Bankable Leadership.” Eurich says working fewer hours and taking more breaks and occasional vacations can help us become much more productive.

If 40 hours is better than 55 or 60, what’s negative 10? See you next week – maybe.

10 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Great setting for a crime novel

Cow-Tunnel-Engraving-460Cow tunnels in Manhattan: were they built, do they still exist? An entire hidden passage system unknown to all but a particularly vicious killer, the detective who follows him down under the streets, …

Quick refresher: the semi-mythical cow tunnel or cow tunnels are the subterranean part of Manhattan’s lost meat infrastructure, built to ease urban cow-jams at a particular historical moment — a time when live cattle were being brought to the city for slaughter in increasing quantities thanks to both its expanding population and the invention of the railway, but before the widespread adoption of cheap, reliable refrigeration meant that dead beef could travel long distances, meaning that abattoirs could be re-located outside densely populated areas.

At least one of them was built:

The cow tunnel in question was built in 1932, to connect the Pennsylvania Railroad’s two-story concrete cattle pen at the southeastern intersection of West 39th Street and Twelfth Avenue to the slaughterhouses of West 39th Street, which, at the time, was nick-named Abattoir Place. Although its blueprints and construction permit exist, the mystery continues: no one knows if tunnel survived the construction of the Javits Center and Lincoln Tunnel, and Lisi de Bourbon at New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission confirmed that “no archaeology has been done there and no members of our staff have any documentation of the tunnels.”

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Ooooh,they HATE when this happens

 

I blame Bush

I blame Bush

Global warming protest draws just fifty demonstrators, organizers blame unexpected snow storm.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

But he supports abortion rights, so I’ll vote for him regardless

red-apple-core-two-daysKeith Koffler: Obama’s contempt for the middle class

It dropped again Friday when Education Secretary Arne Duncan said this about opposition to the new “Common Core” education standards:

It’s fascinating to me that some of the pushback is coming from, sort of, white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were, and that’s pretty scary. You’ve bet your house and where you live and everything on, ‘My child’s going to be prepared.’ That can be a punch in the gut.

Just look at the simmering contempt that has bubbled up to the surface here.

White House suburban moms are, demographically speaking, the cornerstone of the middle class. Obama wants their vote. But that’s really all he wants to do with them.

I have news for you, Mr. Duncan. I know some of these suburban moms, white and otherwise. They are working their asses off, making sacrifices, juggling myriad obligations, and enduring limitless doses of stress to make it all work.

Criticism of the Common Core educational standards centers on their emphasis on “critical thinking,” which evens the playing field between these women’s hardworking children and the slackers. Critical thinking is subjective. Memorizing historical facts and learning your multiplication tables is not. The latter takes a lot more studying.

Besides insulting white women, this contempt infuriates others. As self-described “brow-skinned, suburban mom opposed to Common Core” Michelle Malkin says, 

I can tell you I’ve personally met moms and dads of ALL races, of ALL backgrounds, and from ALL parts of the country, who have sacrificed to get their kids into the best schools possible. They are outraged that dumbed-down, untested federal “standards” pose an existential threat to their excellent educational arrangements — be they public, private, religious, or homeschooling.

Duncan’s derision betrays the very control-freak impulses that drive Common Core. He presumes that only technocratic elites in Washington can determine what quality standards and curricula look like. He pretends that minority parents and students in inner-city charter and magnet schools with locally-crafted, rigorous classical education missions simply don’t exist. A textbook liberal racist, Duncan whitewashes all minority parents and educators who oppose Common Core out of the debate. And he condescendingly implies that the only reason “white suburban moms” object to Common Core is that their children are too dumb to score well on tests that are…a complete and utter mess.

11 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Let’s elect a man whose only work experience is as a community organizer to be our president. What could go wrong?

Michelle's advice on pyramids

Michelle’s advice on pyramids

A fish rots from the head, or close to it. State Department and Pentagon defy Obama team’s preferred approach towards Egypt. Obama, naturally, insists that the Egyptians create a “fully inclusive” – that would be the Muslim Brotherhood – government. I was never a community organizer, but it seems to me that, having gotten the terrorists out of their government, it would be unwise of the Egyptians to invite them back in.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

The last growth area in our economy

 

Power Lunch (clearly photoshopped, but you get the picture)

Power Lunch (clearly photoshopped, but you get the picture)

Washington D.C. has fastest growth of 1% ers in the nation.

Washington Post:

WASHINGTON • So much money to be had if you know where to look.

The avalanche of cash that made Washington rich in the last decade has transformed the culture of a once staid capital and created a new wave of well-heeled insiders.

The winners in the new Washington are not just the former senators, party consiglieri and four-star generals who have always profited from their connections. Now they are also the former bureaucrats, accountants and staff officers for whom unimagined riches are suddenly possible. They are the entrepreneurs attracted to the capital by its aura of prosperity and its super-educated workforce. They are the lawyers, lobbyists and executives who work for companies that barely had a presence in Washington before the boom.

During the past decade, the region added 21,000 households in the nation’s top 1 percent. No other metro area came close.

9 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

And a bit more real estate news

A sale reported, a fully executed contract and a contingent one.

3 Long Meadow Rd

3 Long Meadow Rd

3 Long Meadow Road, Riverside North, sold for $2.2 million. It asked $2.495 originally, dropped to $2.275 and that did it. I like this neighborhood, especially its comunity beach on the Mianus.

12 Shore Rd

12 Shore Rd

12 Shore Road, Old Greenwich close to the Stamford border (but on the tidal inlet), has a full contract, asking price $2.675 million. When it was new in 2010 it wanted $3.495 which I, and the market, thought was a stretch. The builders rented it out and brought it back in 2011 at $2.995, dropped it to $2.695 and Bob’s your uncle.

29 Cliffdale

29 Cliffdale

29 Cliffdale,over off Riversville and asking $5.245, reported an accepted offer last month and that has blossomed into a contingent contract. Next step will be a contract with all contingencies satisfied and then, one hopes, a sale. Sellers tried $6.895 million in December, 2010, which proved to be the wrong price.

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Sale prices reported

Two of them, in fact

329 Riversville Road

329 Riversville Road

That foreclosure property in the shadow of the Merritt at 329 Riversville Road sold for $2.575 million, an absolute home run for the builder/seller (out of town agent and, probably, buyer). Sellers bought it at its foreclosure auction back in 2012 for $1,489,952,  finished it, and put it back up for sale for $2.695. The house was okay, but the location really sucks. Perhaps the buyers were persuaded that they were getting a bargain because Indy Mac held a $2.6 million loan on the place. Usually, that’s irrelevant.

11 Meadow Drive

11 Meadow Drive

11 Meadow Drive, Cos Cob, asked $744,500 when it was placed on the MLS but sold direct after 27 days for $739,600. That’s a little bit better than the owner would have received, after commissions, had she sold it at full price.

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

I mentioned this when it happened, but it bears retelling

 

"I've got your back"

“I’ve got your back”

Obama rewards unions for their election support by exempting them from ObamaCare fees.

Earlier this month the Administration suggested that it may grant a waiver for some insurance plans from a tax that is supposed to capitalize a reinsurance fund for ObamaCare. The $25 billion cost of the fund, which is designed to pay out to the insurers on the exchanges if their costs are higher than expected, is socialized over every U.S. citizen with a private health plan. For 2014, the fee per head is $63.

The unions hate this reinsurance transfer because it takes from their members in the form of higher premiums and gives to people on the exchanges. But then most consumers are hurt in the same way, and the unions have little ground for complaint given that ObamaCare would not have passed in 2010 without the fervent support of the AFL-CIO, the Teamsters and the rest.

There’s no conceivable rationale—other than politics—for releasing union-only plans from a tax that is defined as universal in the Affordable Care Act statute. Like so many other ObamaCare waivers, this labor dispensation will probably turn out to be illegal.

And by the way, this favor harms all other taxpayers. The IRS assesses the reinsurance tax in annual tranches; it must collect $12 billion in 2014, $8 billion in 2015 and $5 billion 2016. So the smaller pool of ordinary people without a union card will pay a larger individual share of the same overall amount.

Count all of this as one more illustration of the way that ObamaCare has put politicians in control of health care. Some people get taxed but others don’t, some people get subsidies but others don’t, and some have to pay more so Mr. Obama can deliver favors to his political constituents.

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Yes it’s satire, but that’s usually the closest to the truth

 

I'm gonna hold my breath until I turn blue

I’m gonna hold my breath until I turn blue

New Yorker’s Borowitz;

Obama says Americans can keep their damn insurance

A vein in his forehead visibly throbbing, the President added, “You know, I really wish I hadn’t spent the last three years of my life on this thing. I should’ve just gone around invading countries for no reason. That would’ve made everybody happy. Well, live and learn.”

As the reporters averted their eyes from the President, many of them looking awkwardly at their shoes, he concluded his remarks: “All those people out there who want to repeal Obamacare? Well, guess what: I’ll make their day and repeal it myself. Really, it’s my pleasure. But I swear that this is the last time I try to do something nice for anybody.”

 

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

If I saw this guy on the field, I’d run home

6′ 4″, 400 lb high school running back tramples opponents. And he’s an American Indian – I didn’t know they grew them that big.

Screen Shot 2013-11-18 at 10.32.28 AM

8 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Probably not good news for world peace and all that

Same as the Old Boss

Same as the Old Boss

Worst of the Taliban (Dollar Bill would say the least understood) elected to replace his predecessor, who we recently dispatched to another place.

Maulana Fazlullah replaces Hakimullah Mehsud who was killed in a CIA drone strike last Friday.

Fazlullah, also known as Mullah Radio for his chilling propaganda broadcasts, led a brutal two-year occupation of the Swat Valley which was ended in 2009.

He is believed to have been selected for offering the most anti-Pakistan credentials of all the rumoured candidates for the post.

The selection of such an uncompromising hardliner suggests there is now little chance that long-trailed peace talks with the government can succeed. Fazlullah, a school drop-out, is thought to be 39 and is the head of the Swat Taliban. He ordered the closure of girls schools during his occupation of the Swat Valley, when his forces moved to within striking distance of the capital Islamabad.

They were eventually pushed back by the Pakistan army and he is now based across the border in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan.

14 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Something’s (really) fishy in Britain and here too, doubtless

Stop & Shop

Stop & Shop

Supermarket fish test: up to 10 days old, close to rotten and tastes god-awful.

The four samples that failed to meet the minimum level of acceptability — Tesco cod, Morrisons cod, Morrisons plaice and Asda plaice — were estimated to have spent between 11 and 16 days on ice, but each sample had two to three days left in its shelf life, according to their labels. If eaten on its use-by date, this fish would have been almost three weeks old.

Any fish that has spent between seven and ten days on ice is deemed to be at the lower limit of acceptability; over ten days and it is deemed unacceptable.

‘Fish is not toxic when it goes off, just horrible to eat,’ says Michaela. ‘Trust me, I know. I have eaten enough of it in this job.’

The worst piece of fish we tried was a cod fillet from Tesco, which scored 4/10.

It was not only soggy and soft, it smelled and tasted of sour milk. Michaela and I pulled faces when we ate it. It seemed remarkable that this fish is actually on sale as ‘fresh’.

Compare this with the best of the cod fillets, which scored 9/10, from the independent High Street fishmonger Moxon’s in South London. The cod’s firm, silky flakes tasted sweetly buttery.

What with Asian farmed fish being laced with insecticides and shipped halfway across the world in frozen blocks, and our local supermarkets stocking smelly, dead-eyed flounders, I either catch my own (I’m better at that than hunting, it seems) or pay up for Fjord Fisheries. The latter is a luxury, but better the occasional treat than a regular diet of putrid slabs of Omega 3.

11 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized