Friday, February 19, 2016

Schadenfraude Alert

"Without an original script there is no film. Without a director there is no film."
-- Gadi Oron, Director-General CISAC3 

Living Near A Lottery Winner Has A Surprising Downside Huffington Post. FYI lottery winners also have very high suicide rates.

Before the councillors had been sacked, Irene Simms, George Campbell and Tony Oldfield requested that sale of the 13 John St, Lidcombe site to be reassessed after they found out at a council Christmas party that a second valuation buried at the back of a council report wasn’t discussed, reports News Local
Suspended Auburn deputy mayor Salim Mehajer has lashed out at two of his colleagues...Mr Campbell described Mr Mehajer's message as an "extraordinary rant" while Ms Simms said Mr Mehajer's claims were "ludicrous", "didn't justify an answer" and "offensive words from a bitter little boy". Green Bitterness ...

As if it couldn’t get any weirder, Donald Trump is now beefing with the Pope.

'Missouri Paid Executioners $250,000 In Cash, Possibly Violating Tax Law; The state pays its small team of executioners in cash to limit the paper trail; The state isn't sending proper paperwork to the IRS -- experts told BuzzFeed News that it could be contributing to tax evasion": Chris McDaniel of BuzzFeed News has this report

Electricity mean bills and bills meant servitude, and worse, people reading your meter, keeping your details in a filing cabinet and counting you amongst the throng....

Hollywood star Johnny Depp has had one heck of a makeover to play presidential hopeful Donald Trump in a new spoof biopic, released by Funny or Die.
“That was very emotional. I was very vulnerable. I think that was an Oscar moment,” he says Dycing through American Elections

Duchess of Cambridge with a Blog entry
Creative Courage for Young Hearts: 15 Emboldening Picture Books Celebrating the Lives of Great Artists, Writers, and Scientists
House Numbers ... Punjing

AT&T Does Not Care about Your Privacy anywhere Bruce Schneier. In case you had any doubt…

China has uprooted more than 9,000 people from their homes for perhaps the most bizarre reason imaginable — a search for aliens. The mass relocation is to make space for the world’s largest radio telescope that is due to be unveiled later this year, according to The Guardian

Cranky judge rips federal prosecutors for "ineptitude" in his courtroom. Read more 

Allegations of jailhouse love making shenanigans earn a lawyer some unwelcome attention.  Lawyer Seen ‘Bent Over A Table Apparently Making Love With An Inmate’
jail kiss

“If I am to write anything fine or noble in the future I shall do so only by listening at the doors of your heart.”

Art or farce? 

Samsung is warning customers about discussing personal information in front of their smart television set.
The warning applies to TV viewers who control their Samsung Smart TV using its voice activation feature.
When the feature is active, such TV sets “listen” to what is said and may share what they hear with Samsung or third parties, it said.

Baby boomers’ retirements will cripple professions like air traffic controller, farmer, and geriatrician. Slate (resilc)

Gaius Musonius Rufus, "On Furnishings," in Cora Lutz, "Musonius Rufus, the Roman Socrates", Yale Classical Studies 10 (1947), 3-147 (at 125-126):
In general, one would rightly judge what is good and bad in furnishings by these three criteria: acquisition, use, and preservation. Whatever is difficult to obtain or not convenient to use or not easy to protect is to be judged inferior; but what we acquire with no difficulty and use with satisfaction and find easy to keep is superior. For this reason earthenware and iron and similar vessels are much better than those of silver or gold, because their acquisition is less trouble since they are cheaper, their usefulness is greater since we can safely expose them to heat and fire (which cannot be done with others), and guarding them is less of a problem, for the inexpensive ones are less likely to be stolen than the expensive ones. No small part of preserving them too is keeping them clean, which is a more expensive matter with costly ones. Just as a horse which is bought for a small price but is able to fulfill many needs is more desirable than one which does little although he was bought for a great price, so in the matter of furnishings the cheaper and more serviceable are better than the more costly and less serviceable ones. Why is it, then, that the rare and expensive pieces are sought after rather than those which are available and cheap? It is because the things which are really good and fine are not recognized, and in place of them those which only seem good are eagerly sought by the foolish. As madmen often think that black is white, so foolishness is next of kin to madness.

A witness stepped forward with a story to tell about changed numbers on a check stub, and what followed was something of a “wow” moment as modern litigation goes [Erik Larson and Margaret Cronin Fisk, Bloomberg]

The more you know about the early 20th Century progressive movement, the less you will probably love it. My colleague Trevor Burrus explores the story of Buck v. Bell, the 1927 case in which a eugenics-influenced U.S. Supreme Court approved a Virginia compulsory sterilization law.

Aha, so that's why: Online at The New Yorker, law professor Lawrence Lessig first had a post titled "Why I Ran For President." And later, he has a post titled "Why I Dropped Out." 

Do experts make more errors when they are losing or behind?

We halve our blunder rate when infinitesimally ahead, but why?

Crop from Seneca chess quote source
Lucius Seneca was a Roman playwright, philosopher, and statesman of the first century. He is called “the Younger” because his father Marcus Seneca was also a famous writer. His elder brother Lucius Gallio appears as a judge in the Book of Acts. Beside many quotations from his work, Seneca is famous for one he is not known to have said:  “To err is human.” 

"Law Blogging Is Not 'Journalism'": S.M. Oliva has this blog post today.

“Unemployment is really hard to handle,” said U Saw Tha Pyae, whose six elephants have been jobless for the past two years. “There is no logging because there are no more trees" Elephants had strong labor law protections  

Fee-vergnügen: John Edwards, who knows a thing or two about tactical concealment, seeks to rep Volkswagen owners in mass litigation [Grist, Politico]

James Thomson (1834-1882), "The Speedy Extinction of Evil and Misery," Essays and Phantasies (London: Reeves and Turner, 1881), p. 97:
I confess that the tortures and indignities to which in these days celebrated men are subject, both while living and when dead, have so horrified me, that I immensely prefer the most ignoble obscurity to the most noble reputation. For while alive the famous man has neither peace nor privacy, being the common property of all the idle busybodies and malicious or foolish newsmongers who may care to seize on him, destroying his comfort and devastating his time. And when dead his case is even worse. The repose of the tomb is no repose for him. Lecturers lecture on him, preachers preach on him; biographers serve him up in butter and treacle, or in acrid vinegar, to a lickerous and palled public, exposing all his weaknesses, follies, misfortunes, errors, and defects.

Negative 0.5% Interest Rate: Why People Are Paying to Save New York Times. You want to destroy capitalism, this is the blueprint. As Machiavelli advised his prince, “You can kill a man’s father, but you cannot take his patrimony.”

A right-wing Polish magazine cover emblazoned with the headline “The Islamic rape of Europe” has triggered a storm of criticism on social media, with some comments comparing it to World War II fascist propaganda.