nlscb's Diaries
Print Story The Wire: Season 3, Episode 8, "Moral Midgetry" - wait for it those who doubt
By nlscb (Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 10:07:12 PM EST) BSG, The Wire (all tags)
I just watched this episode.  For those who don't demand the instant gratification those who doomed Capria (CYLONS NOW!!! PEW PEW PEW PEW!!), please be patient to this episode.  This is when why people who loved The Wire (including the mayor of Rejkavik, Iceland), begin to make sense.   I wish more had the patience to wait for great dramatic payoffs.

(1 comment, 81 words in story) Full Story

Print Story Trade Joe's May Avoid Right to Work States
By nlscb (Wed Jul 28, 2010 at 01:34:40 PM EST) (all tags)
I have lately been looking into moving to Texas.  I have grown very weary of the US Coastal and Northern European real estate markets, which command sky high rents and housing prices not justified by average salaries or lack of space to build housing and transportation infrastructure.   I am, however, aware that this will require sacrifices on my part.  In particular, I was wondering if there were any Trader Joe's in Texas.  It turns out that there are not any in Texas.  I found this peculiar.  Texas is handling the current economic downturn better than just about anywhere else on the planet.  It has 4 large metropolitan areas, one of which, Austin, seems like a natural place for Trader Joe's to set up shop.  Why did Trader Joe's skip such prosperous place?   I then remembered that Texas is right to work state, meaning that Texas prohibits agreements between trade unions and employers making membership or payment of union dues or "fees" a condition of employment, either before or after hiring.  I wondered if this might have something to do with it.  I suspect it does.  

(24 comments, 391 words in story) Full Story

Print Story [+] [P] Books that give hands-on examples of how to use statistics properly
By nlscb (Thu Jul 15, 2010 at 11:38:30 AM EST) (all tags)
Are there any books out there that provide hands on examples on how to use statistics properly? I am not talking about how to the various proofs and exercises that under lie basic probability theory and statistics. I have already taken several calculus based courses in that. I am interested in ones that show how real life data was properly and correctly analyzed. I am trying to find a way to gain comfort with what I have studied through repeated practice.

(6 comments, 176 words in story) Full Story

Print Story What happened to all of the other housing bubbles outside America?
By nlscb (Thu May 08, 2008 at 08:17:40 AM EST) (all tags)
Now that America's housing market has turned down, what happened to all of the others about which I used to hear? UK, Ireland, Australia, Spain, Denmark, South Africa, among others were often mentioned to have appreciation rates that put American ones to shame. Are they still going strong? Have they stopped? Are they having problems?

(15 comments, 112 words in story) Full Story

Print Story How much do Europeans save on healthcare by just letting people die?
By nlscb (Tue May 06, 2008 at 07:48:08 PM EST) America, Europe, Health, Nationalization, freedom (all tags)
Everyone knows Americans pay too much for healthcare.  What many do not know is that, according to the neocons at the OECD, its governments (federal, state, local) spend more per capita on health care than any other country in the world except for Norway and Luxemborg. 

So, how does the rest of the world save so much money when we spend so much?

(42 comments, 456 words in story) Full Story

Print Story I miss egrep - stuck in a Windows world
By nlscb (Mon May 05, 2008 at 10:50:20 AM EST) Windows, UNIX, scripting, egrep, find (all tags)
I do a lot of scripting for data processing and presentation work.  I used to work in UNIX, primarily using SAS, perl, and various UNIX scripts in born shell.  I now work in a much more limited Windows environment.  I am having trouble getting used to the Window command prompt having a much more limited set of commands. 

(15 comments, 190 words in story) Full Story

Print Story Are Labor Unions in Europe involved in organized Crime?
By nlscb (Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 07:59:56 AM EST) Unions, Mafia, Crime, Labor, Welfare (all tags)
In the United States, Labor Unions have had a long and notorious history with organized crime.  Jimmy Hoffa controlled the Teamsters and the Mafia basically decides what gets built in New York City, to cite just the two most famous examples.  Unions in the United States are not above viciously assaulting strike breakers and physically threatening management. 

Does Europe have the same problem? 

(9 comments, 165 words in story) Full Story

Print Story How does one deal with blank spaces in folder names in Windows?
By nlscb (Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 06:28:41 AM EST) blank spaces, windows xp, dos, special characters (all tags)
Yes, I should be using UNIX/LINUX, whatever.  Unfortunately, my employer uses windows XP.  I am trying to create a batch file that will use xcopy to copy selected folders and their contents to another directory.

(4 comments, 82 words in story) Full Story

Print Story England - Europe's Manhattan
By nlscb (Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:40:29 AM EST) Thatcher, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland (all tags)
Given the declining health of Margaret Thatcher, it is time to admire the fruits of the labor of the greatest woman born since the Virgin Mary who saved England and its territories of Scotland, Wales, and Ireland from the specter of socialism and transformed England into the world's most advanced economy, free of unionized tyranny of manufacturing and fully immersed the 21st century service economy.

England, once derisively referred to as the 51st state, the sick man of Europe, or America's unsinkable aircraft carrier, has risen to the proud status of becoming Europe's Manhattan - the unquestioned cultural and financial center of the EU and possibly the planet. 

(5 comments, 213 words in story) Full Story

Print Story Is British Binge Drinking really that bad?
By nlscb (Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 05:58:37 AM EST) (all tags)
I keep reading stories on the BBC about how UKia is suffering an epidemic of binge drinking for about at least 10 years now.  Is it really that bad?  Is drunkeness and street crime really that out of control in UKia?  When I read the details, an occasional brawl or someone throwing up, it seems quaint by American standards.  How many american cities, despite vast improvements, would love to have those problems.

(25 comments, 114 words in story) Full Story

Print Story Hmm, why did my last diary entry disappear?
By nlscb (Fri Aug 19, 2005 at 10:56:44 PM EST) (all tags)
Yes, I understand you don't want crapflooding, but I don't think my question was obscene, irrelevant, or unfair *cough* rogerborg *cough*.  If the suburbs and urban center are going to have a dialogue, I think it is fair ro bring up.  If you really don't want this, fine.  It's your site, and I am just a guest.  I accept that. 

(8 comments, 106 words in story) Full Story

Print Story ASK HUSI: Is teamwork really that important in Japan?
By nlscb (Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 02:07:02 PM EST) (all tags)

I always wondered why the Japanese put up with the ridiculous hours and bizarre company work habits that they have. Why do that? With their insane high savings rates and still jaw droppingly expensive real estate, why not just cash out and move somewhere cheaper like the US or Canada?

Then, I guy in my dorm from Germany who had worked on engineering Japanese bridges said something. "Cooperation is everything in Japan. In Japan if you don't understand something, a teammate will sit down with you for 14 hours until you understand." Are the Japanese really that commited to the team? For all the team "takes" from a Western perspective, does it really give back in Japan?

(2 comments, 150 words in story) Full Story

Print Story Cheesy Olympic Sports
By nlscb (Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 07:18:04 AM EST) (all tags)
I just found out that both US women's soccer and softball have had victories.  Big surprise.  I get the feeling that there are some Olympic sports deliberately set up so that certain countries can get easy wins - usually the United States.  Basketball (though maybe not this year), and women's softball and women's soccer come to mind.  While I will concede that soccer is the world's sport, the rest of the world seems so pathetically far behind in women's teams sports with the exception of progressive Skandinavia and "anything-to-get-a-gold-our-woman-athletles-look-like-the-east-german-ones-from-the-70s" China, that it's hard not to get the impression that it is a gimme to the US.  Are there any other gimme sports, to the US or to other countries?

I think womens sports should be encouraged, thought something doesn't feel right about doing it this way, like a corner that will come back to poke us in ass is being cut.