Sat, 17 Jun 2006

Save the Date

My friend, Mike, is getting married later this year. I receive a "save the date" notice last week, followed by a second notice with a correction to the wedding's website.

I really don't understand the point of these notices. In order to send a save-the-date notificiation, you must already know when the wedding is, and if you know when the wedding is going to be, you almost certainly know where it's going to be held, especially if you're the type inclined to send out such notices. Furthermore, you know who you're going to be inviting because you wouldn't send a save-the-date notice to somebody who you aren't inviting. So, if you know all the critical details, why not just send out the invitations?

My hypothesis is that some couple actually had a legitimite need to send out such notices, such as an impending wedding date without a confirmed location. But some bachelorette received received one of these notices and decided her wedding had to have at least everything that her disorganized friend's did. And at some point, the stationer or wedding planner added save-the-dates to the checklist, and we'll be forever subject to such silliness until there is a cure to bridal irrationality syndrome.

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Tue, 23 May 2006

Sons & Daughters

Here's the video Fred Goss created to sell NBC/Universal on the idea of an improvised sitcom, which eventually turned into Sons & Daughters, the funniest show since Seinfeld, which was recently canceled after airing 10 episodes.

Fred has a blog on MySpace. He's considering doing an internet-distributed show, but it probably won't be Sons & Daughters because it'll probably be hard to scale down from the current 80-person crew/$700k-$1M per episode budget. Whatever he ends up doing, I'm sure it'll be hilarious.

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Thu, 05 Jan 2006

Abuse of Popular Credulity

In Italy, "abuse of popular credulity" is a crime. A case has been brought against a Catholic priest for claiming that Jesus Christ was an actual person, and the judge has ordered the priest to appear in court to prove his claim.

I don't know how courts work in Italy, but in the US, witnesses are asked to swear on the Bible. Doesn't doing so assume that the text within is factual? I don't think think they you bring in your own books to swear upon.

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Sun, 11 Sep 2005

Drunk Drivers Suck

We were rear-ended in a hit-and-run last night. The driver was apparently drunk. He hit us while we were driving about 35 mph on Washington Blvd in Culver City. We pulled over to the side of the road, and he floored it and took off. I then sped up to get his license plate number. We didn't have to pursue him for very long: he slammed into a parked car a few hundred meters from where he hit us, and we pulled over about 30 feet behind him.

I called the police, and while on hold, the driver got out of his car, and started walking towards us. Not wanting to confront a potentially violent drunk, I pulled in front of him. He got back in in his truck and sped off again.

The police arrived about 10 minutes later to take a report. Since there wasn't any damage to our car other than a little scratched paint and no injuries, the police officer asked if we really wanted to file a report. I wanted to make sure that we filed an official report in case we were needed as witnesses in the event of a subsequent vehicular manslaughter or something. If this guy didn't kill anybody last night, he got very lucky. Leaving the scene of an accident is also a crime, but unfortunately, he probably won't be prosecuted.

Overall, we were lucky not to have been hurt. I just hope the police can get this idiot off the road.

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Fri, 19 Aug 2005

More Housing Bubble T-Shirts

Barry at The Big Picture points out another popular housing bubble t-shirt, a parody of Mr. Bubble.

Barry thinks that the fact that because there are declarations of the bubble everywhere, that it is must not be a bubble.

I find that somewhat ironic -- the same people who missed the largest stock bubble in human history have now become expert in spotting bubbles. And they now are spotting bubbles everywhere.

I cannot quite put my finger on precisely why the entire world declaring a housing bubble exists makes it less likely to be so at the moment.

I think, because so many people lost their shirts in the nasdaq bubble just a few years ago, it makes sense that many would be able to recognize the housing/credit bubble. I find it remarkable that so many people have been party to the current bubble. It's not like previous bubbles where there have been multiple generations between bubbles, causing the lessons of the past to be forgotten. There must be a propensity among people to assume that if the banker wants to give them a loan for 10 times their income, it must be in their best interest.

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Thu, 18 Aug 2005

Hocus Pocus

In response to Kansas becoming the latest state wanting to teach "Intelligent Design" in a science classroom, one of Denisa's professors, Robert Cleve, suggested that doing so is akin to splitting a physics class in two, and teaching magic during the second half. I thought that was a clever and apt analogy.

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Sun, 31 Jul 2005

Housing Bubble T-Shirts

Calculated Risk points us to I ♥ The Housing Bubble t-shirts.

I decided to contribute my own.

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Thu, 21 Jul 2005

Congress to Slow Earth's Rotation

According to the Chicago Sun-Times (via Max Clark), Congress is planning to add two months to Daylight Saving Time.

"The more daylight we have, the less electricity we use,'' said U.S. Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who co-sponsored the measure with U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.).

Shifting daylight from the morning to the evening doesn't create more of it. See Wikipedia for more details on DST.

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Mon, 20 Jun 2005

I'm an Art Collector

On Saturday, Denisa and I bought our first pieces of art. I took her down to Scala Galleria to show her Carrie Graber's stuff that I liked. She wasn't quite as impressed as I was, but she thought some of pieces were pretty good.

We ended up buying two small, 9x12 pieces, one original and one print. The original is Room Full of Blues.

The print is The Letter.

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Sun, 05 Jun 2005

Great Beer and Great Art in Los Angeles

I went down to the Scala Galleria on Montana in Santa Monica yesterday to check out their art by Carrie Graber. They had about 10 pieces of hers including a couple small original paintings and a number of giclees on canvas. Her paintings are amazing.

I had never checked out that area of Santa Monica before, so I wandered down Montana towards the beach. It's mostly little boutiques, but there are also a number of coffee cafes and restaurants. I stopped at the bluffs and read for bit. On the way back, I stopped in a little pub called Father's Office. From the "Beer" sign outside, I thought it would be a dive, but it was actually a trendy little place.

It reminds me a bit of City Pub in Redwood City. They have 36 beers on tap, mostly California microbrews and a few international beers. I had a great IPA, Bear Republic Racer 5, and an even hoppier double IPA, Russian River Brewing's Pliny the Elder. Both were fantastic beers. Surprisingly, they had Greene King Abbot Ale. I've never seen Greene King in the states. I asked if they ever get the IPA, which is probably my favorite English beer, but the manager said that it doesn't travel well, which is kind of weird considering IPA's were originally made for export.

The only disappointment was the food. They have an absurd policy of "No substitutions, modification, alterations or deletions. Yes, really." When did beer snobs become food snobs? Since I couldn't get a burger without cheese, I ordered some chorizo which wasn't very good.

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The state is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else. - Frederic Bastiat