Spoiled Rotten

I shop for beer seconds. Buying returned meat is another smart way to stretch a grocery budget. Read more

The Truth About the Super Bowl ‘Chicken Wing Apocalypse’

When you look at all chicken consumption, the Mid-Atlantic states are about 5 to 6 percent above average. The West Coast is just 1 to 2 percent above average. Cowboy country—Wyoming, Montana, cattle country—is the softest consumption area. Super Bowl weekend is nearly 5 percent of annual consumption.

(via Businessweek)

Headline of the day 2

Death Star Petition Gets White House Rebuff

from the archives: June 29, 2006

Radiographer (Perry Blake Now Owes Me $156):

My final was yesterday, orientation for the next semester is tomorrow, and today, with no plans, I sat around and was bored, that is, until I read a review of the Adam Sandler film “Click”. Memories started flooding me from my old life in Hollywood. I had to see the film because there were a few things I had to know.

Imported Frankfurter, 16 cents

Full listing includes prices at Brooklyn markets on this day in 1910 for jack rabbit, Bermuda parsley, Tunis dates, squab, and spring lamb.

Courtesy of @nypl_menus.

Also, premium bologna.

Politics as Usual

I was thinking this morning about the government gridlock in Washington, but it upset me, so I sat down at the computer to calm myself and look at a few of my favorite sites. The connection ran slower and slower until my browser froze. This made me even angrier. Instead of punching my monitor, I went into the kitchen to have breakfast—I thought it would take my mind off whatever troubled me. The yogurt container was completely empty, which didn’t matter because the refrigerator apparently stopped working last night and all my food was spoiling. I decided to go buy ice in an attempt to save some of the food, but my car wouldn’t start and I had to jump it from a battery charger. The cable was frayed and it gave me a nasty shock. Now I was super-mad. After jumping around for a while, I shook off the tingling sensation in my arm and drove to the convenience store for ice for my food and a bandage for the electrical burn on my hand. I ran out of gas on the way home, because the car’s fuel gauge has been broken for a long time and I can’t afford to keep the tank filled, thanks to the high gas prices those assclowns in Washington seem to be unable to do anything about, which really pisses me off and then my ice melted.

From my site (here)

in the manner of smoke signals

I added this to the bottom of Casey’s marmot tweet-ucation post, but I felt it deserved its own: Teju Cole on what connects Downton Abbey, the IMF, Drones, and Virgin’s Upper Class

30 Photos of a Chinese Sex Toy Factory

Derek White on Art, Economics, and ARK CODEX ±0

A worthwhile Monkeybicycle interview with Derek White re: Calamari Press’s ARK CODEX ±0.

DW: Obviously I didn’t start a small press to make money, i don’t think anybody in their right mind would, so I’m just happy to have more readers, that’s what’s important in the end. But yes, it is disheartening, it is disheartening that in the past 10 years people have expected to get art—music, movies & books—for free, & they don’t consider the implications of what the lack of support will do to the quality of art. I think the quality of music has suffered as a consequence—only big commercial acts are able to “make a living” at it. But there is no sense lamenting, it’s just what has become of the world in this digital age, it’s nothing anyone can change. Whether i put out more “pay what you want” dbooks, i can’t say—it depends on the author. As a publisher, it is my responsibility to sell as many books as I can (and also try to at least recoup my costs) & by giving away the dbook, you are essentially shooting yourself in the foot as those people are not so likely to turn around & buy the “real” book. But a dbook can certainly be a lot more affordable.

Note that as of the moment of the interview with Derek, over 6500 people had downloaded ARK CODEX ±0 via the “pay what you want” scheme — and none had donated a cent.

It looks remarkably like Africa, but it’s not — this is Texas

60 Minutes did a segment on African animals, some on the verge of extinction in their natural habitats, thriving on Texas ranches that offer the opportunity to hunt some of the animals in exchange, I guess, for the economic incentive to protect the rest. Embedding was disabled, but you can watch the video on YouTube.

(via marginal revolution)

from the comments

Josh Weichhand:

I thought this was really sad at first, but in thinking it through, it also makes sense. In a country that no longer makes things, I suppose one of our last commodities that can be bought and sold is our attention.

dueling banjos

All that’s left here are the remnants of what was

Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, the directors of the documentary Jesus Camp, produced a short video at The New York Times about the dismantling of Detroit.

One freezing evening we happened upon the young men in this film, who were illegally dismantling a former Cadillac repair shop. They worked recklessly to tear down the steel beams and copper fasteners. They were in a hurry to make it to the scrap yard before it closed at 10 p.m., sell their spoils and head to the bar.

Surprisingly, these guys, who all lacked high school diplomas, seemed to have a better understanding of their place in the global food chain than many educated American 20-somethings. The young men regularly checked the fluctuating price of metals before they determined their next scrap hunt, and they had a clear view of where these resources were going and why.

dear clusterflock

I don’t mean to go around hawking my wares, but this seemed so relevant and useful to you personally that I thought it would be wrong not to share it. Please keep in mind that I am financially involved with this offer, but even so I think you’ll find I was right to share this marvelous opportunity with you today.

Well now here I’ve wasted a lot of your time with technicalities and jibber jabber, I’ll come to my point quickly. Let me ask you just one question:

Have you ever wanted to have a spleen named after you?

headline of the day, III

Candidate Tells Supporters He Majored in ‘Economics;’ Actually Majored in Home Economics

The Lockheed Lakester

This 1917 beauty, known as the Lockheed Lakester, will be up for auction at Barret-Jackson later this month.

The car, registered for road use as a 1917 Crow Lakester Custom, was hand-built from the wing tip tank of a Lockheed Super Constellation and uses a mix of automotive and aircraft parts. Wedged inside the tank is a 1.8-liter turbocharged Hemi four-cylinder mated to a five-speed manual transmission, and the two-person cockpit features gunner seats and an air-speed indicator in lieu of a speedometer.

nobody understands debt

This has been passed around for a few days, but here is Krugman on the American deficit:

Deficit-worriers portray a future in which we’re impoverished by the need to pay back money we’ve been borrowing. They see America as being like a family that took out too large a mortgage, and will have a hard time making the monthly payments.

This is, however, a really bad analogy in at least two ways.

First, families have to pay back their debt. Governments don’t — all they need to do is ensure that debt grows more slowly than their tax base. The debt from World War II was never repaid; it just became increasingly irrelevant as the U.S. economy grew, and with it the income subject to taxation.

Second — and this is the point almost nobody seems to get — an over-borrowed family owes money to someone else; U.S. debt is, to a large extent, money we owe to ourselves.

headline of the day

PayPal hates violins

Daddy’s Plane

My daddy went to work at the aircraft firm of Chance Vought in 1935, I think, when he was nineteen or so. Jobs were hard to come by, but he was smart and mechanically inclined and he had a high school degree.

When the US entered WWII, my daddy was exempted from the draft on account of his working in a ‘critical industry’. Vought’s biggest customer was the US Navy.

After the war, Vought’s military contracts must have dwindled. Or maybe moving operations inland seemed like a good idea. Anyway, the company transferred 1300 key personnel from Connecticut to the right-to-work state of Texas. It was the biggest-ever US corporate move at that time. A Hollywood film inspired by the move even went into pre-production, and Spencer Tracy was said to have been cast. I imagine my mother in a Katharine Hepburn role.

The F4U Corsair (1940-1952) was Vought’s triumph.

The Japanese are said to have called the plane Whistling Death.

quote out of context

“What I can promise you is this – when you get out of college, if I’m president, you’ll have a job.”

from the comments

Joel Bernstein:

And I should point out that the Lego Technic sets that I had as a kid are still actively developed, you just wouldn’t know it walking down the lego aisle at your local toy store.

And that brings up an even bigger point, which is that the internet has freed the long tail to go live in cheap ecommerce space, rather than cutthroat toy store shelves. If there’s a particular brick you need, there are official and unofficial places to get it. Whole communities of people online trade designs for their new transmission gearbox.

I’d argue that there’s never been a better time to get your kid interested in legos, male or female.

the most disturbing thing I’ve read today

When things blew up, we didn’t say to ourselves, “maybe it’s not possible to engineer a low-risk 6% annual return on assets” or “maybe it’s not possible for everyone a demographically mature population to expect to spend as much time out of the workforce as in it.” Instead, we search for the fault in the system: were pension fund managers too incompetent? Bankers too greedy and clever about searching for loopholes? Regulators too lax? Did we write the rules governing bank risk capital wrong?

Discovering that we can’t all achieve higher risk-free returns by piling into mortage securities, we do not question the premise that there is some way to achieve attractive risk free returns on a mass scale; instead, we direct the banks to pile into OECD sovereign debt. Having created a bubble in OECD sovereign debt that is about to end disastrously, bankers and regulators are undoubtedly even now searching for a “truly” risk free security that they can use to backstop their deposits.

Let us instead consider the possibility that this thing may not exist. There may be no way for us all to enjoy steady, low-risk capital appreciation, or to exit the workforce whenever work becomes difficult. There may be no way to engineer these possibilities into being.

And that’s counting Cher’s twitter feed.

Last Words

Among the last words my mother spoke to me: “I wish money had never been invented.”

headline of the day

Financial crisis forces Berlusconi to delay release of latest love song CD

quote out of context

We’re almost on the other side, and the negativity leaves us well positioned to exceed expectations with an I.P.O. baby that, having seen the ultrasound, I can promise you is not one of those uglies.

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