Saturday, March 31, 2018

Cuando amor no es locura, no es amor

Cuando amor no es locura, no es amor. (When love is not madness, it is not love.)
~ Spanish Proverb

Do not push the river, it will flow by itself. 
~Polish Proverb

Good men must die, but death cannot kill their names. 
~Spanish Proverb 

Gin Gin and Berrima is calling ... 

Mummy in 2500-year-old coffin at Sydney Uni may be Egyptian priestess 

Bach and the Erotics of Bohemian Spring Counterpunch 

Eastern Europe gets orange snow, caused by sand from Sahara desert storms mixing with snow and rain
↩︎ BBC News via Margita Imrichova 

Alberici revels in jewel roles

ABC chief economics correspondent and former host of Lateline Emma Alberici is not above spruiking a jewellery brand on social media. At the Logies last year, Alberici posted a big thank you to Cerrone, the family owned jewellery house, established in 1972, that handicrafts the most admired jewellery for lifes most ...

LAST BLUE MOON UNTIL 2019:  Blue moon will light up sky ahead of Easter.

A media dragon uses artificial intelligence to create surrealist nude paintingsBoing Boing

There are books for when you’re bored. Plenty 

Wes Enzinna tags along with prolific hitchhiker Juan Villarino on a 1000-mile trip in Africa. "You don't catch a ride with your thumb. You catch it with a smile."The “world’s greatest hitchhiker,” Juan Villarino, has thumbed his way across 100,000 miles in 90 countries
 The New York Times Magazine

SOLO: At 70, he spent 110 days naked and alone, paddling across the Atlantic in a coffin-like kayak. "I like to sail," he says. The motivations are more complex, Elizabeth Weil discovers for the Times.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Even short bursts of exercise can reduce risk of disease and death, study says. I favor interval training because (1) it seems to work; and (2) I find cardio boring, but kinda like to run flat-out.

CARTOONING FACEBOOK’S MELTDOWN: “You don't have to remind me what a hypocrite I am to be posting this cartoon on, umm, Facebook.” So begins Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Signe Wilkinson’s FB post of her cartoon Thursday on the Cambridge Analytica-Facebook scandal. Wilkinson emails e that her post is indicative of “the perfectly consistent human being that I am” and adds the following on the scandal: “Home in my studio steaming mad as the snow fell outside. This image was one I'd drawn a week ago but other events superseded (DARNED NEWS KEEPS HAPPENING). I have another, similar one coming up soon on Facebook ‘privacy’ but have to do on for the kids at the Saturday march for tomorrow.”

Friday, March 30, 2018

Good Friday - No country, no rights, no hope.

When you drink the water, remember the spring (and Cold River)
~ MEdia Dragon Proverb

Lunch at Greenacre with Mini Milli and Benkey was exactlty was the doctor ordered ....

Multiple companies pull advertising after Fox News’s Laura Ingraham publicly mocks one of the Parkland survivors.
Sunday 10 March 2018 AD marked Rupert Murdoch's 87th birthday, but more than two months after his fall on son Lachlan Murdoch's yacht in the Carribean, the media mogul remains on death bed.↩︎ The Hill  -   (*Rupert Murdoch Reassures Friends Worried About His Health)
[Rupert Murdoch Fast Facts]

Temptation is all around us
It clings from dawn to dust.
An impulse to do
Something wrong or untrue
Will sacrifice all that is just.

Like a moth to a flame
You fly like a plane
Into a fire of lights.
Scorched to death
Without your health
Life is drifting out of sight.

You unwisely drive forward
With the pedal to the metal
As the cliff awaits your entry.
No time to think
Before you faint
Accepting the outcome with glee.
Like a moth to a flame
You fly like a plane
Into a fire of lights.
Scorched to death
Without your health
Life is drifting out of sight.
The train is on the tracks
While the horn is blowing whack
Still you lie there afraid to move.
The train is hours away
You do not pray
Just settling into your groove.
Like a moth to a flame
You fly like a plane
Into a fire of lights.
Scorched to death
Without your health
Life is drifting out of sight.
You are in a job
That continues to rob
You blind of satisfaction.
But for whatever reason
You accept the season
And do nothing to seek reclamation.
1. Recognizing a hopeless situation is the first step to solving the problem.
2. Identifying the cause is the next step to recovery.
3. Making strides to fix what’s broken starts the healing process.
4. Moving forward stimulates a fresh, new outlook

No country, no rights, no hope 

"Today it is conservatively estimated that 10 million people are stateless worldwide ... Yet since there is no Australian visa specifically for stateless persons, many are detained indefinitely in Australian immigration detention." (Pursuit)

Fish, to taste good, must swim three times: in water, in butter, and in wine.  
~ Polish Proverb

It's somehow fitting that the Destroyer should take the form of a nice Midwestern son of immigrants from Scandinavia. Gail Heriot hasn't quite figured out that Norman Borlaug is perhaps the quintessential example of the road to Hell being paved with good intentions. (BC's favourite line)
HAPPY 104TH BIRTHDAY, NORMAN BORLAUG: If you don’t know who Norman Borlaug was, it’s high time you learned. His claim to fame: Saving over a billion people from starvation. Yes, that’s a “b” for “billion,” but even if it were an “m” for “million,” it would be a staggering achievement. When others are teaching their children and grandchildren to act like a ruthless killer (“Be like Che”), teach yours to “Be like Norman.”   Make his memory eternal.
Oh, I think his legacy will be remembered, all right. Not even Mao and Pol Pot managed to lay the foundation for a bloodbath of the sort that will one day be known as having taken place on a Borlaugian scale. Let's just say I very much doubt the world will ever see 3 billion sub-Saharan Africans, let alone 4 billion.

The 100 Most Jewish Foods. Love the spinning table interface.

Stick This Gold Sticker On Your Tooth To Track How Much You Eat

Evangelical Church Forced to Remove Jesus From Easter Sign.

New technology has the potential to completely change the face of tax law and accounting: that was the take-away from a recent installment of a tax and tech series organized by Professor Jeffrey Owens and Julia de Jong of Vienna University’s Digital Economy Taxation Network.   The roundtable on Governance Implications of Disruptive Technology assembled experts from Microsoft, PWC, think tanks, and the academy.

The session began with a staggering prediction that large companies will sack up to 40% of their tax compliance employees in coming years.  Why?  Experts anticipate that technological progress in data collection and algorithmic reporting will allow audit functions to be built directly into data collection and management.  This integration will allow governments to coordinate seamlessly with taxpayers by assuming the role of tax preparers whose reliance on algorithms largely eliminates the need for auditors.  Similarly, data technology will eventually obsolete VAT returns, an administrative headache for most of the globe and a major source of work for the accounting industry. Eelco van der Enden, a partner with PWC Netherlands, went so far as to predict the breakup of Big Four accounting within ten years as technology grabs the tax prep reins and renders auditing obsolete.

Disruptive technologies that leverage data also have the potential to revolutionize how we address the tax gap.  As van der Enden noted, “[d]ays are gone when you could create a bunch of bullshit” in a tax return to force regulators into a negotiation.  The ready availability of data from sources as disparate as taxpayer reporting, social media accounts, and even satellite pictures of the planet are poised to revolutionize business and tax transparency.  In addition, advances like quantum computing, when combined with what has been called a tsunami of data, will allow tax systems to handle an exponentially increasing amount of complexity.  Transfer pricing, for instance, will be a whole new ballgame with the advent of close-to-omniscient tech.  When (not if, but when) complexity no longer results in a loss of efficiency on the human side, tax administrations could see large gains from re-regulation in some cases.

As Harald Leitenmuller of Microsoft concluded about tax experts going forward, “[t]he future of your profession is to be a good data scientist who can leverage the knowledge hidden in the existing data.”  Congress and IRS, take note.

(Written with thanks to Fulbright Austria for supporting my work.)