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Miscellaneous thoughts on politics, people, math, science and other cool (if sometimes frustrating) stuff from somewhere near my favorite coffee shop.
September 1st, 2012
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Dean Kirkland

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April 25th, 2017

There are people that you and I know who have beer or wine every day.  And over the weekend, the intake might even increase.But, there is nothing to describe them the way the word "pothead" is used.  Beerhead? Winehead?  Whiskeyhead?  You see the problem?As one who has never gone

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April 24th, 2017

When I was young--yes, I was young a long time ago--women were actively discouraged from pursuing higher education and careers.  There were two big issues of those days: It could become a challenge to find a suitable groom, and an educated/career woman might not fit into the multi-generational household that was the no

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April 23rd, 2017

The guy finally wrapped up his "work" and travel, and returned to blogging.  He has a lot to catch up on and in a hurry!  He resumed his blogging with his comments on the cheeto's executive order.

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April 22nd, 2017

In my classes, I often remind students that for all practical purposes, it is the last two hundred years that have made a huge difference in the human condition, and that the rest of this century will undergo transformations that will be of a scale ev

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The fantastically fucked up GOP, and its standard-bearer and the 63 million who voted for that idiot, are collectively so anti-science that I imagine tha

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April 21st, 2017

When I switched from engineering to learning in graduate school the kind of issues that have always interested me, the benefits of agglomeration was one of the many ideas that impressed the crap out of me.  With graduate school in Los Angeles, why seemingly everybody who wanted to be in the film and television business

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April 19th, 2017

I often tell students who are awake in my classes that by default the market does not care for morals.  The market cares not whether you are a saint or a sinner. It does not care whether you are selling bread or cocaine.  It simply is.I then remind them that the same market can also be made to enforce

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April 18th, 2017

A few years ago, ok, decades ago, I was at a seminar talk that was highly critical of the empirical approach to understanding the human condition.  I sympathize a lot with that crowd, yes.  I detest, for instance, how the GDP has come to signify the be all and end all of everything that we are.  Why do I get

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April 17th, 2017

You are (not) what you eat

Every time I visit India, and when it is time for me to pack up to return home, I am asked the same questions by people around me, which are all variations of "are you taking with you sweets and savories?"I tell them that I am not.  The reason is simply: I usually eat from whatever is available in the place

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April 16th, 2017

There were three questions in this quiz. Ahem, I scored three out of three!Go ahead, take that quiz, and come back for the rest of this post.  OK?Alright, you ar

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April 15th, 2017

It was a column on India.It started with a photograph of the synagogue in Cochin (Kochi) in Kerala. I was tempted to ditch reading it--yet another writer having stumbled upon the coexistence o

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This, which I have sent to the editor, builds on a previous blog-post************************************************************“Follow the immigrants.” 

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April 14th, 2017

I have sent this across to the editor ... perhaps it will be published. If not, hey, you read that here ;)****************Thanks to Donald Trump’s election, and his statements and policies since the inauguration, students in my introductory economic geography class seem to

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April 13th, 2017

The reality show nightmare continues.  And it is not even three months yet!“I was sitting at the table. We had finished dinner. We are now having dessert. And we had the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake that you have ever seen. And President Xi was enjoying it,” Trump said.So, h

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April 12th, 2017

April is poetry month.  Something that even this prosaic blogger remembers and likes to blog about every April. Poetry speaks to the emotional beings that we are.  I did not realize that until I was well into adulthood, as a working stiff in the US.  I went to a local poetry reading.  

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April 10th, 2017

Whether it is the US or the UK or France or ... aren't the political events related to this confluence of diversity and economic well-being?Think about California's Silicon Valley.  A whole bunch of people from all over the world, right?  That is to be expected; after all,

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