Wednesday, 29 November 2006

only works a small subset of people

The world's greatest chat up line, for economists only:

"In equilibrium, you're coming home with me."

Contributed by Guy Arie.

Saturday, 25 November 2006

Norman Gall exhibition

Norman Gall, a friend of my Dad's from Sao Paulo, has an exhibition of photographs of Latin America:
Litvinenko's last statement.

Had a lovely thanksgiving up at Door County, a beautiful peninsula sticking into Lake Michigan on the edge of the world.

Wednesday, 22 November 2006

Have you coughed blood yet?

I was grumbling to Rolando about how hard the work was. He smiled and told me that during his PhD in Biology, he had to stay up to watch some vital experiments which needed 24 hour monitoring. He didn't sleep for three days. During that time, he caught pneumonia and began to cough up blood.


Monday, 20 November 2006

Help bring postcodes into the public domain are trying to create a public domain database of postcodes, so you don't need to buy the info off the Post Office for a few £1000. Go and help them by clicking on the map and entering your postcode.

Friday, 17 November 2006

Milton Friedman died

Bummer. When I was a teenager I remember reading Free to Choose at more or less the same time as Marx. As someone drily remarked, they are rather difficult to reconcile.

Friday, 3 November 2006

More maths

Just a quickie in between preparing for social choice theory midterm.

Guy Arie told me this one.

Suppose you throw a bunch of ants on to a one yard long stick. The ants run along the stick at one yard per minute. When an ant meets another ant, s/he changes direction and runs the other way.

How long before all of the ants run off the stick?


As Guy said, stop thinking that ants have personality.

If one ant goes on to the stick, he runs off within (at most) one minute.

But if lots of ants are bumping into each other and changing direction, the problem gets much more complex....

Until you stop thinking that ants have personality. When two ants meet, both change direction. So just swap the labels on the ants and imagine that they ran straight through each other. In other words, them meeting doesn't make any difference. All the ants still run off the stick in (at most) one minute.

This is a slightly more advanced version of the famous "what if your dog is running between Donegal and Kerry" question.