Archive for the Uncategorized Category

This Bodes Ill

Posted in Uncategorized on August 1, 2013 by heckblazer

Anyone who’s watched horror movies knows that when you find a stone coffin with a mysterious sealed lead coffin inside, opening it is a Bad Idea.

We still don’t know who is inside – so there is still a question mark over it… None of us in the team have ever seen a lead coffin within a stone coffin before. We will now need to work out how to open it safely as we don’t want to damage the contents when we are opening the lid.

Vampires!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 1, 2013 by heckblazer

A possible vampire graveyard has been found in Poland:

Four skeletons were found at the site, where mandatory digs were being carried out prior to the construction of a ring road.
In each case, the deceased had been buried with the head between the legs.
According to folk beliefs, this prevented a possible vampire from finding his or her way back to the land of the living.
There was no trace at the burial ground of any earthly possessions, such as jewellery, belts or buckles.
“It’s very difficult to tell when these burials were carried out,” archaeologist Dr Jacek Pierzak told the Dziennik Zachodni newspaper.
However, it is believed that they took place in the early modern period.

 

An older news story that has a first line that can’t be beat:

The vampire attacked just before midnight on the porch of a vacant Hooters.

Boston

Posted in Uncategorized on April 17, 2013 by heckblazer

Boston

North Korean People’s Army Funky Get Down Juche Party

Posted in Uncategorized on February 28, 2013 by heckblazer

North Korea is the funkiest place on Earth. Dear leader said so.

Literacy Test

Posted in Uncategorized on February 21, 2013 by heckblazer

While surfing I came across  an online copy of the Louisiana  literacy test at the Civil Rights Movement  Veterans website and tried taking it to see precisely how unfair it was.  I failed.  I failed in multiple ways.  The instructions say “You have ten minutes to complete the test,” but it took me twelve because of the ambiguous and confusing questions.  It took me a bit to parse question 27, “Write right from the left to the right as you see it spelled here,” so I’d lay good odds someone with a fifth grade reading level would have it worse.   I also got it wrong by printing “right” instead of writing out the whole phrase in cursive.  Since any mistake means you flunk the test that’s strike two.  Question 20 says “Spell backwards, forwards”  which can be interpreted several ways, and no doubt whichever way I picked would turn out to be wrong if I were black.  Quite a few of the questions are like that.   Then there are questions that aren’t even a even a grammatical sentence, like number 30 which says “Draw five circles that one common inter-locking part.”  

Just to remove all doubt that Louisiana is dealing from the bottom of the deck, question 25 is a noted word illusion:

Paris

The great state of Louisiana was about a step a way from just asking “Are you black, yes or no?” and failing the yeses.

What are ants doing in my freezer?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 20, 2010 by heckblazer

Well, what are they doing besides dying.    Seriously, there’s a huge pile of dead hypothermic ants in my freezer.

WTF?

Economic Crisis Articles

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on April 7, 2009 by heckblazer

“‘No Money Down’ Falls Flat”

A description of the various creative loans like the NINJA loan  that caused foreclosures when the housing bubble popped.

“What is a CDO?”

A nice explanation of how collateralized debt obligations work, along with what the heck a tranche is.

CDO Powerpoint SubPrime Primer

A pretty good (and profane) powerpoint summary of how mortgage CDOs screwed everyone.

“The Monster That Ate Wall Street”

What credit default swaps are, and how they screwed things up.

“Recipe for Disaster: The Formula That Killed Wall Street”

The story of  the Gaussian copula function, a mathematical formula whose misuse caused Wall Street to massively underestimate the risk of CDOs.

“Wall Street on the Tundra”

How Iceland’s banks went bankrupt.

“The Quiet Coup”

A fomer IMF official describes how the US is in a similar  situtation to many IMF clients dominated by oligarchs.

“The Big Takeover”

Discusses the use of political power by financial insiders to benefit themselves.

“How to Clean a Dirty Bank”

A proposal for a relatively simple way to clean up insolvent banks.

“The End”

Michael Lewis revisits the Wall Street he dissected in his classic book Liar’s Poker.