Monday, August 3, 2009


I was supposed to fly out this morning but the flight was full. I'll
try again tomorrow all day and keep you posted. I'm a little worried
about work but otherwise I'm well.

Friday, July 31, 2009


Hi all,

I hope you are well. I've had a fantastic week with Matt's family in Roquebrune for Matt's mother's wedding. The wedding was beautiful and Matt's friend's place is fantastic. We've spent some time laying around the pool (which overlooks the Mediterranean), we spent some time jumping off rocks into the Mediterranean. We've had some nice hikes, good company, and fantastic food. 
I hope you're well,

Sunday, July 12, 2009

St. Gilgen

We're well in St. Gilgen Austria. Dad has a cousin here and his
father's family goes way back. This morning we were walking on the
street when a man stopped us to say hello to the cousin of Dad's who
is showing us around. When it was explained who we were he said that
he had lived for a time in the property that Dad's great grandparents
once owned here. The guesthouse of the property is itself three
stories tall and elegant looking. Aparently out great great
grandfather was very well off.

The area is stunningly beautiful so I'll have plenty of pictures to
post to the Internet once we get back.

Tomorrow we head back to Paris where we'll stay until dad leaves on

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Having a great time in Nor,qndie; but I cant write much because I
donùt hqve time + Im on a strange keyboard;

Relaxed and sleeping well in places with walls a foot thick:::::and the food;
Be well:

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Dad and I have found each other and all is well. It's surprisingly hot
in Paris and jet lag is kicking in. Be well. I'll try to write more

Sent from my iPod

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Thats one way to put it

From Harpers: Number of times in 2008 that the S&P 500 closed up or down 5 percent in a single day: 17

Source: The Vanguard Group (Malvern, Pa.)
Number of times between 1956 and 2007 it did this: 17
Source: The Vanguard Group (Malvern, Pa.)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Class is out. Off to Tahoe.

Wednesday I submitted the grades for my course and I'm surprised at how happy I am with how the class progressed over the summer. I had a busy time planning and teaching, going out of town/state almost every weekend, and spending the rest of my time with a good guy in Co Springs (alas, he is moving). In the midst of it all I was too busy to reflect much on the course. But two weeks before the end of the class a few students explained to me that their religious backgrounds had biased them against the idea of evolution. They thought that evolution was itself opposed to religion and I had made them see otherwise. I had explained that evolution doesn't really comment on religion and that many of the early prominent biologists (eg, Mendel) were members of the clergy. I think explaining evolution and natural selection without comment on religion is exactly what made them see that there is no need for religion to attack evolution, for evolutionary theory isn't attacking religion. They directly told me "thats not what I thought evolution was" or, paraphrasing, 'my wife doesn't like evolution becuase the church tells her not to, but I can see they're very different.'
I couldn't ask for greater praise from my students. I'm looking forward to the fall when I'll be teaching another section of the same ecology course and two sections of biology for non-majors.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Wall E - I can't wait

John Lasseter is the biggest name in film you don't know. He's been the director or producer of every Pixar film to date. It is an unparalleled track record and Wall E will continue the streak.

The reviews are glowing - some of them comparing the first 40 minutes of Wall E to the best of the silent film era.

Here is the trailer.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

McCain supports wiretapping without warrants

In another shift from the right position to the wrong position, McCain backs Bush's wiretapping program, here. Anyone who wants to vote for the year 2000 version of John McCain needs to wake up and realize that person does not exist anymore.

Update to the scorecard.
[Another update as Obama loses a point for his support of a windfall profits tax on gasoline. Tax gas, yes, but not this way.]


Frank Rich nails it:

"Mr. McCain only reminded voters that he, like Mrs. Clinton, thinks that change is nothing more than a marketing gimmick. He has no idea what it means. “No matter who wins this election, the direction of this country is going to change dramatically,” he said on Tuesday. He then grimly regurgitated Goldwater and Reagan government-bashing talking points from the 1960s and ’70s even as he presumed to accuse Mr. Obama of looking “to the 1960s and ’70s for answers.”
Remarkably, neither Mrs. Clinton nor Mr. McCain had the grace to offer a salute to Mr. Obama’s epochal political breakthrough, which reverberated so powerfully across the country and throughout the world. By being so small and ungenerous, they made him look taller. Their inability to pivot even briefly from partisan self-interest could not be a more telling symptom of the dysfunctional Washington culture Mr. Obama aspires to mend."

Obama plays better in the rest of the world than I think most Americans will ever realize, here, herehere, and here - The Economist's take. Moreover, a change in look, approach, and rhetoric is, in itself, substantial to the rest of the world.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I completely agree with this Hillary supporter...

Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell (a Clinton supporter) on Clinton's posturing following her loss of the nomination, on the idea of Obama asking her to be VP, and on the difficulties posed by Bill.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Clinton loses, gives victory speech....what the fuck?

I'm buying into the egomaniac ideas about her. Bringing up the bullshit that she won the popular vote doesn't help either. (Parts of the speech are pretty good, but still...)

McCain's speech. He looks tired. I half expected him to read aloud the word "smile" that was clearly sprinkled throughout the script.

Obama soars:

Sunday, May 25, 2008

It's over ...... right?

The difference between Hillary's response to Obama's "bitter" comment (article, video: massive political attack "Obama, the elitist") and Obama's response to Hillary's "assassination" comment (article; she was probably tired and didn't mean any offense) is a striking example of the character differences between these two.

Hillary Clinton certainly is a fighter. Does she ever know when to stop?

In the running for worst policy of the Democratic Party

The New Yorker: The free trade paradox:
"At times, the campaign has looked like a contest over who hates free trade more: Obama has argued that free-trade agreements like NAFTA are bought and paid for by special interests, while Clinton has emphasized the need to “stand up” to countries like China."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

One Point McCain

One point to McCain. McCain opposed the farm bill. Obama supported it.

As Greg Mankiw pointed out, both the NY Times and the Wall Street Journal opposed the bill.
I'm very bothered by Obama's support for this piece of legislation.

Monday, May 19, 2008

How awesome

Here's an article.

Here's the youtube video.

Sort of like Buzz Lightyear once he spreads his wings.