Sunday, June 27, 2010

July Book Club

Let us hear if any of you're reading the list for July.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Controversial Book Cover Art- Israel and South Africa

The Unspoken Alliance: Israel's Secret Relationship with Apartheid South Africa
Author: Sasha Polakow-Suransky
But Vorster was unapologetic and proudly compared his nation to Nazi Germany: “We stand for Christian Nationalism which is an ally of National Socialism . . . you can call such an anti- democratic system a dictatorship if you like,” he declared in 1942. “In Italy it is called Fascism, in Germany National Socialism and in South Africa Christian Nationalism.” As a result of their pro-Nazi activities, Vorster and van den Bergh were declared enemies of the state and detained in a government camp.

Three decades later, as Vorster toured Yad Vashem, the Israeli government was still scouring the globe for former Nazis— extraditing or even kidnapping them in order to try them in Israeli courts. Yet Vorster, a man who was once a self- proclaimed Nazi supporter and who remained wedded to a policy of racial superiority, found himself in Jerusalem receiving full red-carpet treatment at the invitation of Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin....

In April 2006, the Israeli Defense Ministry intervened to block South Africa’s release of a 1975 agreement outlining the planned military cooperation between the two countries, which is signed by Defense Ministers Shimon Peres and P. W. Botha. The Directorate of Security of the Defense Establishment (known by its Hebrew acronym Malmab) insisted that declassification of the 1975 document or any others would endanger Israel’s national security interests.

Listen to a podcast about the book

Friday, June 25, 2010

Book Cover Art- Why England Lose

Assorted Footballonomics

World Cup's African Vibe Hits the Fashion World

Grass roots soccer, African style

Ole ole ole ole: Google Wave Football Fever!

U.S.-Algeria, the Day After;
Earlier today President Obama called the U.S. Men’s World Cup Soccer team. The President congratulated them on their extraordinary victory and told them that while he was meeting with General Petraeus in the Oval Office, he could hear the rest of the West Wing erupt when Landon Donovan scored the game winner. The President then congratulated Donovan on the game-winning goal, asked Tim Howard how his ribs were feeling and asked Clint Dempsey how his lip was doing. The President wished the team good luck on Saturday and made sure they knew that the entire country was cheering them on.

The market for young soccer players

Soccer rules as a market design problem

Why England Lose

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Assorted World Cup

Understanding Italian football part II - Furbizia
Perhaps nothing has been more influential in determining the popular perception of the Italian game than furbizia, the art of guile. For it is no overstatement to say that Italians enjoy a reputation as the dirtiest players in the game and, dryly put, as cheaters.

Investment Banks and the World Cup

Competition Description: World Cup 2010 - Take on the Quants

The Vuvuzela Externality

Soccer Done Right;
To remove these bizarre incentives, soccer should follow the ice hockey approach to penalties, after correcting for the difference in team size (six players for hockey vs. 11 for soccer) and game length (60 minutes for ice hockey vs. 90 minutes for soccer).

They think it’s all over: National identity, scoring in the last minute, and penalty shootouts

The Carbon Footprint of the 2010 World Cup

Gamesmanship and Collective Reputation

The Diving Champions of the (Football) World

While the anecdotal (and video) evidence against Italy is strong, it would be useful to have a statistical measure of diving on the basis of which international comparisons could be made. One possibility is to use data on fouls suffered. For instance, in the latest game, Italy was fouled 23 times while New Zealand suffered just 10 fouls. Either New Zealand is an unusually aggressive (or clumsy) team, or a number of the "fouls" suffered by Italy were simulated.

Back to the Future in the soccer World Cup: Chile wins 1-0 or 3-1?

Now onto more substance about the evolution of soccer: historically, the 1962 World Cup is an important turning point, since it marks the advent of modern defensive strategies in soccer. Until that World Cup, the average scoring had always exceeded 3 goals per game. In the 1962 World Cup, the goal scoring dropped significantly below 3 goals, to 2.78 goals per game, never to recover.

Defensive strategies have further taken hold. Nowadays we would be satisfied if we were witnessing ‘a mere’ 2.78 goals per game. In the seven World Cups between 1980 and 2006, the average had already dropped further to only 2.53 goals per game.

Blog of the Day

Backpocket Coo

Bluefin Tuna Fact of the Day

"The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, one of only two known Atlantic bluefin spawning grounds, has only intensified the crisis. By some estimates, there may be only 9,000 of the most ecologically vital megabreeders left in the fish’s North American stock, enough for the entire population of New York to have a final bite (or two) of high-grade otoro sushi. The Mediterranean stock of bluefin, historically a larger population than the North American one, has declined drastically as well. Indeed, most Mediterranean bluefin fishing consists of netting or “seining” young wild fish for “outgrowing” on tuna “ranches.” Which was why the Greenpeace craft had just deployed off Malta: a French fishing boat was about to legally catch an entire school of tuna, many of them undoubtedly juveniles."
-Tuna’s End

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Why Arabs love Turkish soaps?

If this seems like a triumph of Western values by proxy, the Muslim context remains the crucial bridge. “Ultimately, it’s all about local culture,” said Irfan Sahin, the chief executive of Dogan TV Holding, Turkey’s largest media company, which owns Kanal D. “People respond to what’s familiar.” By which he meant that regionalism, not globalism, sells, as demonstrated by the finale of “Noor” last summer on MBC, the Saudi-owned, Dubai-based, pan-Arab network that bought rebroadcast rights from Mr. Sahin. A record 85 million Arab viewers tuned in.

That said, during the last 20 years or so Turkey has ingested so much American culture that it has experienced a sexual revolution that most of the Arab world hasn’t, which accounts for why “Noor” triumphed in the Middle East but was considered too tame for most Turks. Even Mr. Sahin wonders, by contrast, whether the racier “Ask-i Memnu,” a smash with young Turks, threatens to offend Arabs unless it is heavily edited.

“You have to understand that there are people still living even in this city who say they only learned how to kiss or learned there is kissing involved in lovemaking by watching ‘Noor,’ explained Sengul Ozerkan, a professor of television here who conducts surveys of such things. “So you can imagine why the impact of that show was so great in the Arab world and why ‘Ask-i Memnu’ may be too much.

“But then, Turkey always acts like a kind of intermediary between the West and the Middle East,” she added.
-Turks Put Twist in Racy Soaps

What should you teach Artists?

On five Saturdays this month and next, Mr. Barman, Mr. Hinojosa and 54 other artists are attending a class paid for by the City of New York that is intended to help them turn their creative works into money.

“Does everyone have Excel?,” Peter Cobb, a lawyer and administrator at the New York Foundation for the Arts, which runs the program, asked the class last Saturday. “For next week, your assignment is to make a list of all your expenses for 2009.”

The sighs and complaints that followed were proof of the challenging task Mr. Cobb and his colleagues have taken on: trying to teach people who like to color outside the lines about drawing up business plans, budgeting and making a sales pitch...

Artists are not taught to plan,” said Jackie Battenfield, a painter and the author of “The Artist’s Guide: How to Make a Living Doing What You Love.” Too often, she said, they’re “going in circles, and that’s very demoralizing.”

This is the first time the city has financed such a program, though others, like one at the Bronx Museum called Artists in the Marketplace, have long strived to help artists manage their careers.
-Creative Types, Learning to Be Business-Minded

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Interesting Blogs


Advertising is Good for you

Tanya Khovanova’s Math Blog

Grattitude Journal- Lets be grateful we are not deaf

8 Month Old Deaf Baby's Reaction To Cochlear Implant Being Activated

via David Henderson

We're pattern seeking animals!

People that are put in a condition of feeling out of control are more likely to see something in this, which is allegedly patternless. In other words, the propensity to find these patterns goes up when there's a lack of control. For example, baseball players are notoriously superstitious when they're batting, but not so much when they're fielding. Because fielders are successful 90 to 95 percent of the time. The best batters fail seven out of 10 times. So their superstitions, their patternicities, are all associated with feelings of lack of control and so forth.
-The pattern behind self-deception

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Economics of the Game

Play the Fantasy World Cup

Economists need to follow the accountants lead

A great source for accounting students- Open Tuition.

The Art of Defining Marriage

The unit’s lore is worthy of its own reality TV series — sham couples caught red-handed, yes, but also quirky ones whose authenticity surprised everyone. The gay man who claimed he had suddenly found his female soul mate (denied); the recovering alcoholic who had lost his memory (approved); the man who volunteered that he had erectile dysfunction in an attempt to explain why his mate did not know the location of his nine tattoos (unsuccessful); the elderly citizen who lost an arm in a subway accident, but found happiness with a young Caribbean wife (successful).

“We can’t impose our definition of marriage, especially being in New York,” said Maria Guerra, a Stokes supervisor. “We’ve seen it all.”

-Do You Take This Immigrant?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

“The meaning of life is that it ends”- Kafka

Just finished reading the book 'How Doctors Think' by Jerome Groopman.

Came across two moving stories from the NYT- I recommend the book to every one.

Floyd Norris talks about his cancer treatment.

I am undergoing radiation and drug treatment for cancer.

The drug is Erbitux, which at least is something I had heard about. (You may recall that was the drug involved in the Martha Stewart lying-to-the-S.E.C. case.) It has made my face look worse than anyone’s face ever looked when I was in high school.

I know that it is not news that radiation treatment can be miserable. I did not do all the homework I could have done, so perhaps I should have been better prepared.

But the pain involved is more than I have ever experienced. It is virtually impossible for me to eat. I am losing weight at an impressive rate, to the dismay of the radiation doctor. I have little energy, which is probably both because of the radiation directly and because of the lack of nutrition...

It is not fun, but it has been inspiring. In a way, I am happier about my life than at any time I can remember. Clint Eastwood once asked, “Do you feel lucky?” My answer is a shouted yes...

I am 62, and have had the honor of being a financial columnist here for more than 20 years. I have been happily married for 26 years, and last Friday saw our son graduate from high school. He will be attending an excellent college in the fall.

I hope to have a lot more years. But I’ve had a lot already, and they have been better than a lot of people have any reason to hope for. I am grateful.

A Scare, a Scar, a Silver Lining;
This is trite but also so, so true: A brush with mortality turns out to be the best way to appreciate how blue the sky is, how sensuous grass feels underfoot, how melodious kids’ voices are. Even teenagers’ voices. A friend and colleague, David E. Sanger, who conquered cancer a decade ago, says, “No matter how bad a day you’re having, you say to yourself: ‘I’ve had worse.’

My surprising inspiration (death!)

Random Blogs


it's all yoga, baby

Our Dinner Table