Assorted links

1. Wonkbook summary of the final deal.  Notably, Rubio and Rand Paul — two guys who may want to run for President — voted against it.

2. Has immortality been achieved?

3. Horoscopes for bureaucrats (the culture that is India).

4. Forthcoming economics books for 2013.

5. Israel bans very skinny models.


3. Not surprisingly , most of the horoscopes speak of significant financial gains.

Are Chuck Grassley and Tom Carper also running for President?

1. I do like the reference to "permanent" tax rates. Like Congress couldn't do anything about it ever.


"permanently", like the U.S. Constitution that has steadily mutated over the last two centuries....

Love this description of McConnell;

" the Senate minority leader, in charge only of the senators who are not in charge"

The writers are clueless about the Senate. The majority and minority "leaders" in the Senate are not "in charge" of any other senators. Contra the House, where the leadership is "in charge".

Like "permanent".

We need a better press.

I think that we all know that "permanent" is being used to note that the tax rates do not contain yet another sunset that moves them up if no action is taken.

If Tyler promises to remove my prediction if I am wrong, just as he removed yesterdays graph post when it was proved deficient, I predict the following:

1. Tax reform tied to entitlement reform as part of the debt ceiling need to get the money from somewhere....and with tax reform you can always say that this reform willl generate so much growth that it will pay for itself. Notice that the SS chain and medicare were not touched but that medicare still has a 1 year fuse.

2. Boehner will shed a tear before this is over.

3. Simpson/Bowles will say that this is not enough and we will appoint another commission.

Got to give Tyler kudos to Tyler for not embracing junk science!

Especially after it was pointed out to him by others.

Sort of like making a product with somonella and having to withdraw it from the market.

Ever ask how it got there.

ok, you've enjoyed your put down the ridiculous analogies and back slowly away.

The Israeli ban on "very skinny" models, which the article refers to as banning "anorexic" models is ridiculous.

Banning anyone with a BMI of 18.5 or below! That's merely "normal" skinny. Not even near "anorexic" levels. Many people - especially at the normal modeling ages of 14-25 - have BMI's that low even when eating 2500+ calories per day.

I should know, I was one of them.

Yeah, 18.5? My wife isn't close to anorexic, and she's barely at 17. That's absurd. She'd have to gain a third of her pregnancy weight back to get to that point.

BMI is just a stupid thing to try to make simple rules with.

5. This is one of those laws that hits my biases. There are few things less attractive, to me, than a gal (or guy if I'm not sexist) who will not eat. And it actually makes me sad to see or hear about anorexia and the emotional state of those who practice it. Should the media promote a curvier concept of female ideal? I think so. Does it have a subtle and profound impact on the social conscious? Definitely. I this law a liberal policy? Not so much. This might be one of those cases in which a system of greater happiness, the effect on the target, and the intent all outweigh the contravention of liberty.

Fashion models are selected to look the way they do because those bodies make clothes look best (more weight in the longer cloth to add bounce to drape, few curves to inturrupt a designers intended silhouette etc) also for photographic reasons, demands of lenses and normal shooting distances tends to widen and flatten people (ie the camera adds 10 pounds) and narrow faces are easy to light in flattering ways (think of Peter Cushing's Adm Tarkin vs the officer Choked in the famous (I find your lack of faith disturbing scene from star wars). Next, remember that like sports this is a career for basically the young (15-18) and every girl who is built like that (5'10" and taller and less than 130 lbs) usually ate fairly prodigiously (the rare anorexic models are much older women, usually in their late 20s who wish to compete with those whose metabolisms are still running full bore).

Men rarely find even non-anorexic models attractive, the only fashion runway aimed at men is the Victoria's secret one, which is populated with much curvier than average models (and lots of birdseed).


Birdseed is a very common trick to enhance the bustline. It has the right amount of bounce to look more convincing on video.

Also, they cut weight like high school wrestlers. Which is obvious, if you think about it, but it hadn't occurred to me to think about it. So when you watch the VS fashion show you're seeing dehydrated people.

This should also be interesting:

From 2. :

"Does that mean Armillaria and many of the world’s other fungi are not aging? Some experts believe it does. If true, such organisms would be the fungal equivalent of vampires, able to die only by external means.


In the world beyond fungi, whether organisms can escape aging is a matter of scientific controversy. A longstanding explanation for aging pins the blame on built-up genetic mutations activated once fertility begins to taper off. But this theory doesn’t work for fungi, which reproduce more, not less, as they grow older."

Does that seem like a non-sequitur to anyone else?

that whole article is a good example of terrible pop sci writing. all you need to know to prove that point is that it's based on 'preliminary findings' that are unpublished, let alone reviewed. most of the suggested claims they make could be interpreted differently, it's just bad science garnering eyeballs with promises of immortality. lt makes me sad that this was linked to.

What's hilarious is that the new york times only just published another terrible 'science' article about immortality last month! Link below that breaks down the flaws, it's hilarious how much it resembles the lichen one. The underdog scientist fighting against the hegemony, they alone understand the significance of the unglamorous research they dedicate themselves so tirelessly to! Extraneous imagery and details! Vague claims about what a boon to medicine it could be!
What's most annoying is that this is a legitimately cool topic about a legitimately cool "organism" (really a symbiosis of many organisms), but the article barely scratches the surface of all the actual science on this topic.

#5. Don't really understand a law like this, but even so - 18.5 BMI seems an unusual choice based on example images I've seen. Per this link champion tennis star Maria Sharapova couldn't be in ads.

1. I am pretty confused on this "final deal." From what I read, Obama couldn't get a deal with the House, so he went to Senate Republicans instead. How is this a final deal? Nothing will get passed until the House passes it. And yet the media has bought off on this as if both sides have agreed. Am I missing something here?

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