With Teeth 

Apparently the breakout hit of this year's Sundance Film Festival is Teeth, about a girl with choppers in her vagina.

It sold for $2.5 million.



John Stossel on "Uncle Milton" 

Monday is Milton Friedman Day.
His interests were not narrowly focused on economics. He pointed out the folly of the government's so-called "war on drugs." His ideas helped create the school-voucher movement. And when the Vietnam war raged in the 1960s and early 1970s, no one argued more eloquently for ending the draft, and he helped bring about the all-volunteer army.
More on Milton Friedman Day here.

[HT: Carpe Diem]


Elevator of Death 

I've got this elevator at work that likes to scare the shit out of me frmo time to time. It rattles and shimmies. Soemtimes the doors don't open. Sometimes it almost crashes through the roof. When I step on the elevator from my [32nd], it sometimes drops a good inch or so. Freaky shit.

Here's some interesting info on elevator and escalator-related deaths and injuries:
Incidents involving elevators and escalators kill about 30 and seriously injure about 17,100 people each year in the United States, according to data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Injuries to people working on or near elevators – including those installing, repairing, and maintaining elevators, and working in or near elevator shafts – account for 14- 15 (almost half) of the deaths. The two major causes of death are falls and being caught in/between moving parts of elevators/escalators. Incidents where workers are in or on elevators or platforms that collapse, are struck by elevators or counterweights, or are electrocuted are also numerous.


People save less in light of nuclear threat 

Well, duh. An economist posits that the U.S.'s notoriously low savings rate may be due to the risk of nuclear annihilation.
The hypothesis of this article is that the performance and, in particular, the rate of saving in the postwar U.S. economy has been influenced by the changes in the public perception of the threat of a catastrophic nuclear war. An increased threat shortens the expected horizon of individuals, and thus reduces their willingness to postpone present consumption in favor of investment. The hypothesis is tested by expanding a standard savings function estimation technique to include a measure of the perceived threat of nuclear war.
More here.

[HT: Greg Mankikw]



Why (most) CEOs deserve what they are paid 

Thomas Sowell explains what he calls "The 'Greed' Fallacy."



What price nostalgia? 

When will trade protectionists get the lesson: industries change and disappear. EspressoPundit has a succinct and eloquent elegy on the people and companies that will no longer exist:

Time's Running Out

This just in from Time magazine.

Time Inc., the country's largest magazine publisher, spent the morning telling hundreds of staffers their jobs were being eliminated -- in its latest and largest yet round of staff cuts -- for the company's good.

Meanwhile, the sale of the LA Times is going badly. An analysts on Public Radio's "Market Place" was asked to describe the auction last night and simply said "Ouch!"

TowerWe learned in high school that industries become obsolete and disapear--bugy whip makers, milk men and movie theater ushers are gone. The Oldmobile went the way of the Nash, but no one seemed to realize the speed with which the internet would wipe out businesses and indeed entire professions. Tower Record's business model became obsolete and it folded. My kids have never seen a "Record Store." Travel agents are nearly gone. Call a broker to buy stock? Give me a break.

Just as I marvel that a man in a green truck used to bring milk to my door each morning, my children will marvel that a someone used to bring a 5 pound stack of paper to our door step at 5:00 every morning.

I don't know what will surprise them more, that I paid to buy it, or that


We've got rankings (Beer drinker's edition) 

Top 50 Places to Have a Beer in America (2006)
by BeerAdvocate.com.

#15 is actually just down the street from me--a regular stop on our our semi-regular nights out.

I'm proud to say I've actually hit up three (in three different states) on this list; the others are #7 and #49. The remaining 47 give me something new to shoot for.

Anyone in Chicago ever been to the Map Room (#5)?



UofA Marching Band Covers Radiohead 

Anyone who watches college sports will know that the accompanying college bands have become incresingly progressive in their repertoire as of late. UofA's director and arranger Jay Rees (whom I've had the pleasure of meeting during my music days in Arizona) has no doubt been a big part of that. Exhibit A.

It makes clear how many Radiohead melodies sit comfortably among a large brass arrangement.


The Visited States of America 

A while back I posted an admittedly lame "graphic text" version of the map below, which represents the states I have visited. After this past Summer, I was able to color in a few more so here is my updated "Visited States" map (I'm counting only places that I've atleast stayed overnight in, not merely driven through).

Create your own visited states map. By my calculations, I'm about 60% done.

[UPDATE: The link has been fixed]



We've Got Rankings (Restaurant Edition) 

Most expensive restaurants worldwide.

1. Aragawa - Tokyo
2. Eigensinn Farm - Toronto
3. Arpege - Paris
4. Sketch - London
5. Petermann's Kuntstuben - Zurich
6. Tetsuya's Restaurant - Sydney
7. Vitrum - Berlin
8. Steirereck - Vienna
9. Yamazato - Amsterdam
10. Zalacain - Madrid
11. Bruneau - Brussels
12. Il Teatro - Milan
13. Vivendo - Rome
14. Pierchic - Dubai
15. Restaurant Savoy - Moscow

More here. This list, from 2005, is a bit old and (I hope) deliberately leaves out American shockers. Places like Masa and Alain Ducasse (both in New York) and the French Laundry in Napa Valley would easily beat out many of the indulgences in the above list. Detroit (Tribute), Atlanta (Seeger's), Chicago (Charlie Trotter's), and Houston (Tony's) would also have entrants into the expense account dining club.



First Best 2007 Jam 

Here's the first track from the upcoming Of Montreal release, Hissing Fauna are you the Destroyer? This tune just screams perfect opener. Grabs you by the balls and doesn't let up for 3 minutes. The whole disc is killer, and sounds like the new album The Shins should have made. It's out Jan. 23.

Of Montreal - "Suffer For Fashion"


Of Montreal - "Reject the Frequency"


How I wish I'd spent my New Year's 

From an article in today's (perpetually less journalistic) Chicago Sun-Times:
A 21-year-old woman was hospitalized for intoxication over the weekend after "continually providing wrong answers" during a game of Trivial Pursuit where participants drank alcohol and did drugs when they answered incorrectly.
Go ahead, you know you want to read the whole article.


Fact of the day 

Iceland has the highest percentage of broadband users in the world.


Optical Illusions 

A rather exhaustive list of animated optical illusions along with instructions and (sometimes rather technical) explanations. Many even have a bibliography! The site is put together by a German professor of opthamology.

Try "Biological Motion," "Missing Corner Cube," or "Hidden Bird." Start the tour here.


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