Monday, August 24, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen . . . Mr. Leonard Cohen.

Another recent (and short) biographically slanted New Yorker article on Cohen...

Download the movie here.

Also, apparently Leonard doesn't like you covering Hallelujah anymore.

wtf Paris? I thought we had something going here...,1518,641430,00.html

"Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë, building on the success of the city's popular Vélib curbside bike rental scheme, is planning to deploy a fleet of 2,000 electric cars that customers can pick up and drop off at rental stands around the city. Another 2,000 vehicles will be offered in two dozen surrounding cities."

The surrounding cities thing kind makes sense... Rent a bike in town; going outta town = rent a car. And if you are renting a car, it may as well be electric? But the limited range...

"Although rates haven't been set yet, city officials say each half-hour is likely to cost $6 to $9... Customers would have to register for Autolib in advance, presenting a valid driver's license and paying a monthly subscription fee of about $22 to $29."

"Environmentalists favor ride-sharing programs or more traditional rental schemes in which cars have to be reserved and then returned to the same location, which discourages people from going for drives on a whim.... Advocates of Autolib, however, contend that people will be less likely to buy cars if they have access to flexible... The cars will probably have a driving range of no more than 100 miles before needing a recharge, making them unsuitable for long trips."

Album of the Day: R.E.M. - Green

This was the first album I ever purchase on CD. I remember it like yesterday.. falling for it. Still holds up pretty well... Except the songs I liked on the album are not the ones I go back to now. Stipe turned into a bit of a douche, and that whole thing with Courtney Love ended my relationship with REM. Anyway, time to move on!.. Here's Get Up live:

Bill Berry on the drums, and Mike Mills sounds awesome. He actually recorded a few tracks on the Smashing Pumpkins' Siamese Dream (piano on Soma comes to mind). The studio version is better than this acoustic track, but I can't find it free and streaming anywhere... Anyway, I really liked REM through "Automatic for the People" and "Monster"; two great and under-rated albums... after that REM started to blow, in my opinion.

Here's another from the album: You Are The Everything

Download album here from the torrents:

Forgot how to download torrents? Look here.

Lyrics to Get Up (with another video... )

Lyrics to You Are The Everything

The Immaculate inning.

Pitchers who have struck out three batters on nine pitches in one (half) inning..

This is apparently happening with increased frequency...

Why? Perhaps the increased use of the relief pitcher.

Unlucky number 37.

I discussed this briefly with one or two people, and I don't think it came out quite right.. here's the explanation on the odds and statistics of marrying the right (or wrong) person (from a great article in the New Scientist)


If you have trouble knowing when to quit, try getting your head around "diminishing returns" - the optimal stopping tool. The best way to demonstrate diminishing returns is the so-called marriage problem. Suppose you are told you must marry, and that you must choose your spouse out of 100 applicants. You may interview each applicant once. After each interview you must decide whether to marry that person. If you decline, you lose the opportunity forever. If you work your way through 99 applicants without choosing one, you must marry the 100th. You may think you have 1 in 100 chance of marrying your ideal partner, but the truth is that you can do a lot better than that.

If you interview half the potential partners then stop at the next best one - that is, the first one better than the best person you've already interviewed - you will marry the very best candidate about 25 per cent of the time. Once again, probability explains why. A quarter of the time, the second best partner will be in the first 50 people and the very best in the second. So 25 per cent of the time, the rule "stop at the next best one" will see you marrying the best candidate. Much of the rest of the time, you will end up marrying the 100th person, who has a 1 in 100 chance of being the worst, but hey, this is probability, not certainty.

You can do even better than 25 per cent, however. John Gilbert and Frederick Mosteller of Harvard University proved that you could raise your odds to 37 per cent by interviewing 37 people then stopping at the next best. The number 37 comes from dividing 100 by e, the base of the natural logarithms, which is roughly equal to 2.72. Gilbert and Mosteller's law works no matter how many candidates there are - you simply divide the number of options by e.



Just a select few pictures... MANY more can be seen here (with sporadic and slowly updated commentary):

Iceland - June 24th - August 1st, 2009

There were also a ton of videos taken, but I'm saving most of them for a travel dvd. Here are two though... the first one from Skógafoss (trying to get behind the falls) and one from the Blue Lagoon.

This trip was taken about a month and a half ago, and I feel like I've been talking about it too much already... It was absolutely fantastic though, and I got that itch to travel more because of it.

... and I'm back.

I am going to try this again; this time with another sustained effort. I remember feeling really great about this blog in it's heyday (yes, three months ago). It gave me an outlet to share general ideas and get thoughts out to discuss and learn with people... So I went back and took a look at the opening post and why this all started, and after a rollercoaster few months, I'm back to starting (not stopping), feelin' good and sharing ideas and current thoughts and not just emailing (some of) you weird randomness.