succumbing to peer pressure

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


I think my advisor just jettisoned about 1/3 of my research. I mean, I can't be sure, and I could probably talk her out of it...I think I just presented my last set of results to her Shell shock.

Then, back to my computer where I find out that Duncan's memorial in Cleveland is the day after I get back from Salt Lake City and the price to fly from here to there is skyrocketing as we speak. Blah. Grumpy.

Monday, July 23, 2007

You've got to be fucking kidding me

Oh wait, for a second there I forgot that we still live in a world that hates women. Ms. Robin Givhan's latest brilliant fashion piece not only analyzes Senator Hillary Clinton's wardrobe (always a worthy topic when discussing a serious politician. I mean, I just can't remember the number of times I have guffawed my way through a 'news' piece about Senator Biden's choice of tie color or Senator Byrd's wacky pleated pants!) but goes so far as to discuss her anatomy. Cleavage, to be precise. I can't bring myself to reprint the offensive lines (of which there are many) but click through and try to keep your head from asploding. If your frontal lobe is still in tact after, consider writing a letter to Ms. Givhan herself, or the Washington Post editors (who no doubt had a jolly laugh over the Senator Hillary Clinton's Cleavage! story pitch).

In related you've-come-a-long-way-baby news, the article mentions that women weren't "allowed" to wear pants on the US Senate floor until the 1990s (?!?!?!?). I found this referenced a few other places, but can't actually locate any specific Congressional dress codes. I did, however, find this Salon article mentioning the current Bush Whitehouse's brief attempt to reinstate his daddy's dress code, requiring women to wear "...knee-length skirts and stockings in the West Wing."

They can't really seem to do anything well (homeland security? war? civil rights? the economy? healthcare?) but thank goodness this administration is trying to protect us from women in pantsuits! I mean, if we let them wear the same clothes as men, they may get crazy ideas about being equal to men!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Random question of the day:

I've been doing some major cleaning around here, going through old papers and whatnot, and found this in some class notes from a few years ago:

One sign of market failure is increasing prices, especially increasing prices in the face of increased demand; a good examples of this is healthcare.

My question is, is this a true statement? Help me out here economists - is this a general rule of thumb when discussing markets? And if so, what kinds of solutions are typically suggested?

Random stats news

Dr. Bradley Efron has been awarded the 2005 National Medal of Science (he is one of eight winners). No, that's not a typo. Due to 'scheduling conflicts' several awards are 'tardy.' Dr. Efron has made significant contributions to a number of fields, but he is most well known for developing a method called bootstrapping (a method I spent some 6 hours employing last week). I've had the good fortune to meet him, and he's an all around wonderful guy, in addition to being a thoughtful and hard working researcher. It's nice to see statisticians getting a little recognition (as he says, "Statisticians don’t win many awards.”)!