Monday, January 31, 2011

Poll Question

A few weeks ago I said I would stop updating my "Books Read" sidebar, since the same information is on my "Books Read" page. But tonight as I was updating said page, I realized I should find out what my reading public prefers. That's how I developed such a massive following (current followers count: 44, or less than the maximum capacity of a bus, meaning all my followers could be wiped out in one horrible field trip accident).

So here's the question. Which do you prefer: a "Books Read" sidebar and page, or just a page?

I know Blogger allows for poll questions in the sidebar, but most of you would not see it, since you don't read my blog on my actual blog, you know? So leave a comment (which requires an actual trip to the actual blog--the horror!) and cast your vote. Then you can tell your friends, "I was influential in determining the layout of a blog." And if your friends don't care, that kind of crap looks great on a résumé.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

License Plate Entendres

My brother-in-law has a theory regarding why there are so many Virginia personalized license plates. Supposedly the personalization premium is incredibly low, so low that people show up at the DMV, find out they can afford a personalized plate, and create one on the spot. This leads to a lot of stupid plates.

Plates like the one I saw on a BMW Z3, which read, "BMW Z3." To the right of the license plate was where the factory had installed the BMW name plate, and to the left was where the factory had installed the Z3 name plate. The license plate added no additional information at all.

Some plates just establish ownership, like when a Lexus has a variation of "our Lexus" on it (RLEXUS, OURLEXS, et cetera). These plates are virtually informationless, since few people who drive cars they don't own actually advertise such.

With the different ways of creating the same license plate message, you often see more than one plate that is supposed to be read the same way. It seems almost obligatory to, upon buying a Ford Mustang, get a personalized plate that tells all and sundry of your "fast pony." But when the guy driving FSTPONY looks over and sees the guy driving FASTPNI, is he excited that he found a member of a (not sufficiently) exclusive brotherhood, or is it more like sharing a cab with your wife's former boyfriend? With there being so many members of the Fast Pony Club around, it wouldn't be too hard for me to ask one.

Since there are multiple ways to communicate the same message, it makes sense there would be multiple messages sent by the same communication. Recently I have enjoyed trying to come up with more than one meaning for personalized plates. These are a few I remember from the past several days.

  • NURDRMZ
    1. in your dreams
    2. nerd rooms
  • NRLEMNT
    1. in our Element (on a Honda Element)
    2. inner lament
  • For this last one, you have to be aware that Virginia allows you to have hands on your license plate, like this:It counts as a letter, so you only get six characters after it.

    [hands]LUVUVA

    1. love you, Virginia
    2. love University of Virginia
    3. handle your vulva

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Term "Higher Education" Was Not Supposed to Be Ironic

I recently decided to expand my base of news sources. That decision has been rewarded with more misanthropy.

Today I read about the first student to graduate with a master's in The Beatles. That sounds like something that gets awarded at the end of music trivia night at a bar, not something earned at a university.

I don't want to criticize the lady. She's an adult, and can make her own decisions. But our culture tends to value all education equally, when it is obviously anything but equal. This type of consumption is as productive as buying a gold-plated bidet (or any bidet, really). The difference is there's a good chance public dollars were spent somewhere on this lady's degree, whereas a bidet would have been entirely on her own dime (until the bidet manufacturers of America can convince a Congressman that bidets provide health benefits, and then they'll be a subsidized right).

Thursday, January 27, 2011

P.G. Wodehouse: Life Coach

In reading Very Good, Jeeves, I am struck by the notion that Wodehouse would not have agreed with the life decisions I was making in late 1999.

First Jeeves has this to say:

'I would always hesitate to recommend as a life's companion a young lady with quite such a vivid shade of red hair. Red hair, sir, in my opinion, is dangerous.' (pp. 54-5)

Then Aunt Dahlia adds this:

'You sit there and tell me you haven't enough sense to steer clear of a girl who calls herself Gwladys? Listen, Bertie,' said Aunt Dahlia earnestly, 'I'm an older woman than you are--well, you know what I mean--and I can tell you a thing or two. And one of them is that no good can come of association with anything labelled Gwladys or Ysobel or Ethyl or Mabelle or Kathryn.' (p. 115)

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Wodehouse wouldn't approve of the decisions I made as a young man.

'The modern young man,' said Aunt Dahlia, 'is a congenital idiot and wants a nurse to lead him by the hand and some strong attendant to kick him regularly at intervals of a quarter of an hour.' (p. 78)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Giveaway Prize

Several weeks ago, I held my first giveaway. All entrants complied with the only rule (don't be my wife), and after a long visit to a random number generator website, the winner was JT.

Today he notified me that he received his prize, so now I can tell the rest of you what it was.


As a bonus, in the background of these pictures you can see the fabric of our dining set chairs and our bedspread.

Yes, JT will now get to read himself to sleep with heartwarming stories of inspiration and hope inspired by adorable pets. Which is good news for JT, who recently acquired a dog.

Etymology

Super-Hot 111: Go change clothes for lunch.

Crazy Jane: Why?

Super-Hot 111: Because you're wearing velvet.

Crazy Jane: But we're having Velveeta.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dinner Advice for Economists

From this blog, there is advice for how to behave on a job market interview dinner.

Some if not all the people going to dinner with you will also want to have a glass of wine. This is especially true of macroeconomists who will want to have many, many drinks and then go to a bar after dinner.
And I remind you of this observation from one of my professors last semester.
To be a macro consultant is not that lucrative. You're just a witch-doctor and everyone knows it.
If macroeconomists are alcoholic witch doctors, why do they dominate the president's Council of Economic Advisors?

Kid Tech Know-How

My kids are developing differently from every generation before them. The hallmarks of development (dressing themselves, riding bikes, tying their shoes) can't get their attention. In all these things and more, they are behind where I was at their age. Significantly behind. (It helps that I have really clear memories of life from about the age of five onward. I'm not just guessing when I tell you I learned to tie my own shoes in the first few weeks of first grade.)

The skills they do have were not even an option for me. My family bought its first computer when I was in kindergarten, but it did very little beyond word processing, and we didn't have a computer with a mouse until I was 13. My two-year-old knows how to double-click to open a program.

We've tried to institute a shoe-tying boot camp lately, and it's had some success, but they don't care if they learn because they have become accustomed to not wearing lace-up shoes. The same is happening with bike riding: while my six-year-old still wants to learn to ride, my eight-year-old is beyond it now, having made her peace with the idea of never riding a bike in her life.

Today I read this article from some tech news guy who has the same fears. He sites a study that shows it's not just my kids who can't perform anything that doesn't involve a screen. (Actually, he sites a different article that sites the study's press release. Such is modern news.)

What baffles me is that, if there was a way to approximate shoe tying, maybe in an X-Box game that uses that new Connect thingy, my kids would probably learn it in half-an-hour. And they'd be super excited about it, too.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Am I Serious? Am I Serious?

I know California politicians don't like being asked if the Constitution rains on their planned parades, but I wonder if Bill Lockyer's planned IOUs pass "bills of credit" muster. Because you can be sure those things would circulate, and would be acceptable for payments due to the state. (Although given government hubris, they probably wouldn't be acceptable as payment; they pay you in IOUs, but you pay them in cash or go to prison.)

Mail Bag: Homeschool Edition

JT writes:

I'm wondering what type of school fundraisers you make your kids do?

Well, it goes like this: I walk up in front of the "mark" (or "donor," as public school fundraiser participants would call him) and tell him I am from Toledo and stuck here when my car broke down, and I'm trying to get home, and I'm just five dollars short of bus fair, and if he has five dollars to spare, I'd really appreciate it, and is he sure, just five dollars, he doesn't have five dollars to spare? Meanwhile, my "accomplices" (known in public school fundraiser circles as "students") circle around behind him and take his wallet, or, sometimes, knife him in the kidney. Not even to take his wallet. Just to watch him bleed.

Seriously, though, God gave everyone an extra kidney, so it's totally cool.

Just to be sure, I asked Super-Hot 111 how much we spent on homeschooling in a year, and she reinforced what I already suspected the answer to be: we have no idea. It depends on what you'd consider "homeschooling" expenses. Entry to field trip sites? Gas to field trip sites? SEIU dues? It's a slippery slope once you start expensing the kids' career items, and their $2 (collective) per diem.

In Kansas the local district wanted to count us on the roll so badly they bought homeschooled kids a fancy-schmancy curriculum. In Virginia, we look at the commonwealth's education standards for the appropriate grade level, then use library books, free online resources, and inexpensive workbooks (ala "summer bridge" books from the education sections of bookstores). It sounds like we're borderline negligent until you meet someone into Thomas Jefferson Education. Then we sound like we're Asian.

The secret is to use the stuff you already have around the house. For instance, the only reason to pay someone for a sheet of 30 addition facts is laziness. What, you can't generate 30 addition facts? Now, I've been that lazy before, but I've also written my own sometimes. Library books help a lot, and so does our local second-hand bookstore, where I pick up a couple biographies about famous Americans every time I go in (last month: a Sojourner Truth biography for $0.65).

If I paid property taxes, maybe I'd be a little upset about paying for a "perfectly fine" school I'm not using, but I doubt it. I'm fine with the way things are. My wife wants to buy some math curricula (since math is her weak point), and we probably need a foreign language curriculum, since the online resources we've found aren't keeping our kids' attention, but as it is, I don't really think there's much our kids are missing on $100 a year.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Homeschool Curriculum

Sometimes people want to know, "What do you do with your kids all day?" Well, I'll tell you what we don't do: sex acts.

"Oh, but A Random Stranger, that's in Oakland. That would never happen in my perfect suburb where the public schools are like opulent amusement parks of learning, and all the students speak three languages and consider Harvard a 'safety school.'"

Oh, so it's cool that the state uses the police power to force kids into grade-school sex workshops, as long as it's poor kids?

How's that so vital "socialization" working out for you? Again, the only thing that keeps your public school classroom from being like this one is your income. The school, the teacher, the curriculum, and the classmates are geographically assigned. When you say tell me your neighborhood school is excellent, you're really just telling me you consider yourself rich. Which, as we all know, is the ultimate solution to all of life's problems, right?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Contrasting Christianities

Last night, I read this, from Mormon first counselor Dieter Uchtdorf:

Perhaps there is no better laboratory to observe the sin of pride than the world of sports. I have always loved participating in and attending sporting events. But I confess there are times when the lack of civility in sports is embarrassing. How is it that normally kind and compassionate human beings can be so intolerant and filled with hatred toward an opposing team and its fans?

I have watched sports fans vilify and demonize their rivals. They look for any flaw and magnify it. They justify their hatred with broad generalizations and apply them to everyone associated with the other team. When ill fortune afflicts their rival, they rejoice.

Brethren, unfortunately we see today too often the same kind of attitude and behavior spill over into the public discourse of politics, ethnicity, and religion.

My dear brethren of the priesthood, my beloved fellow disciples of the gentle Christ, should we not hold ourselves to a higher standard? As priesthood bearers, we must realize that all of God’s children wear the same jersey. Our team is the brotherhood of man. This mortal life is our playing field. Our goal is to learn to love God and to extend that same love toward our fellowman. We are here to live according to His law and establish the kingdom of God. We are here to build, uplift, treat fairly, and encourage all of Heavenly Father’s children.

This morning, I read this, from Alabama governor Robert Bentley:

Anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I'm telling you, you're not my brother and you're not my sister, and I want to be your brother.

When asked if the governor could fairly govern those he deems non-Christian, his office released a non sequitur that merely restates his position as governor. "The governor clearly stated that he will be the governor of all Alabamians — Democrat, Republican and Independent, young, old, black and white, rich and poor."

No one is questioning his position as governor. The question is will he govern fairly? Nero was the emperor of both pagans and Christians, but only one group found itself playing the lions in the Coliseum. And in the supposedly-clarifying statement, many classifications of Alabamians are used, but not the ones in question: Christian and non-Christian. The question is, will the governor be impartial with regards to religion, and the answer we get is, "He's in charge of all of 'em! Boy howdy! [exuberant gunfire into the air]"

The Way Cool Adventures of Plaid Girl

Crazy Jane explains, "She loves plaid. I only had black and red pens, so that's why everything is in black and red. And I wrote it at night."

It might be hard to read because it looks like she wrote it all first in pencil, then re-wrote it in pen without erasing the pencil. To begin it says, "On a planet called Earth, aliens let out a plaid spell. Now it's up to Plaid Girl to break the spell...." Three victims cry out, "Help!" "We can't--" and "--get off Earth!!" Then they all shout, "Plaid Girl!" (with more exclamation marks, but you get the basic idea). Plaid Girl answers, "Yes?" The victims plead "Help us!" and Plaid Girl agrees, "OK." Plaid Girl finds the aliens with their plaid potion and yells, "Stop!" (Again with lots of exclamation points.) Then Plaid Girl narrates, "Now the aliens are in jail." "No more plaid," she says, as she dumps the potion down the toilet, which has been turned plaid by the potion. Finally, non-plaid people cheer, "Yay, Plaid Girl!" and she flies away.

Here's what I don't understand: why would a girl who likes plaid want to rid the world of plaid? Maybe she respects individual liberty. If so, she has no place on a homeowners' association board, or in the president's cabinet.

According to the author, this idea came from a similar event in a Captain Underpants book.

This episode is called "Plaid Dr. Poop." In the first panel the narrator tells us, "On the way to school, Plaid Girl heard something." The voice is yelling, "Help! Come back, Dr. Poop!" Plaid Girl exclaims, "Never fear, Plaid Girl's here!" Dr. Poop has a shirt labeled "Baby" because he is a baby. He is laughing menacingly while firing his laser gun next to a vat of potion. Plaid Girl is carrying some fake poop, telling us, "Shh," so we don't tell. Next Dr. Poop says, "Sorry, I'm so happy!" as he sits next to the fake poop. (When asked to explain this panel, and the rest of the comic, the author was flummoxed.) Then Dr. Poop asks, "How are you?" and Plaid Girl responds, "How do you think, Dr. Poop?" Dr. Poop now has an X on his shirt and is angry. Plaid Girl laughs proudly, "Ha!" The policeman tells Dr. Poop, "You've learned a lesson." The comic ends with a smiling Plaid Girl.

The third installment is the last so far. It's called, Spider Breakout."

First a girl calls out, "Help, Plaid Girl! A spider attacked me!" Plaid Girl asks, "Where did the spider go?" The girl points and says, "Over there." Then she says, "Thanks," and Plaid Girl says, "OK." Finally, a menacing, three-eyed spider is shown. A marginal note says, "This is to draw later," with an arrow to the empty panels.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Comics Week Becomes Comics Fortnight

I have an explanation for Crazy Jane's looniness: the mouse in the wheel in her brain gnawed his way into a stash of homemade speed, and is always awake, running until its heart explodes. The good news is that she rarely comes to us complaining of boredom. The bad news is that she's routinely awake in bed until nearly midnight, coming up with new ideas. Intending it as a series, she created the character of Super Silly Bands, and then managed to get out just over one entire comic before a new idea changed her direction.

This is the front cover and back cover.

The back tells us the superhero's alter-ego is Lily, and that the book is "a great gift with some Silly Bands!"

The first episode is entitled "Super Silly Bands and the Pillow Monster." The narrative reads, "Once there was a girl named Super Silly Bands (Lily). One night, her pillow became evil. And she got...ready to fight." Both Super Silly Bands and her evil pillow yell, "Go!" and the pillow is quickly pinned underfoot. "Help! I will be good," he says. "OK!" Super Silly Bands agrees.

This is probably my favorite of Crazy Jane's comics. Firstly, it explains a lot of her inability to fall asleep (fears of evil pillows would keep me awake, too). Secondly, I absolutely love the ominous zoom in on Super Silly Band's eye, ending with a reflection of the evil pillow. She's awesome!

This is where she loses steam. After setting the scene with, "Once SSB saw a...monster who hated Christmas." And that's where the mouse in the wheel started in a new direction.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Comics Week Was Extended Due to Laziness

I originally intended to post all these comics in four or five posts on consecutive days. That didn't happen.

Here's a series called "Sherlock Hamster and Watson, the Naked Mole Rat."

The second episode followed soon after.

Like a Robert Ludlum character, the mantle was taken up by another writer.

Watson, who was last seen naked, tells Sherlock, "Don't look." Sherlock agrees, "I won't," and then commands, "In the ball." Watson says, "Weee," in anticipation of the ball rolling. Sherlock commands, "Come on." Watson tries to get Sherlock to wait, but to no avail, and Watson pukes, which grosses Sherlock out ("Ewww."). In the final panel, Watson has "an old-fashioned birdy thing around his head" from his travels in the hamster ball, and Sherlock declares, "Look, fabric." That's as far as this continuing story currently goes.

Here's a comic about a dog named Strawberry. It's supposedly one of a series, but the accompanying comics are lost in the tons of paper stuffed in Crazy Jane's filing cabinet. Yes, she's had her own filing cabinet since she was six. I didn't get my first one until I was about 14.

In the first panel, an alien is mixing a poison and laughing "ha ha." In the second panel, Strawberry's owners is filling the dog's water dish. In the next several panels, the still-laughing alien finishes his poison, but trips, and laments his spilling the poison into the Clean Water Pipe, where it comes out in Strawberry's dish. Strawberry comes to drink the ominously bubbly water, and gets the dreaded X-eyes. The final panel asks breathlessly, "Will Strawberry survive? Find out next comic. ????????"

Here's one I drew on my own.

Finally, here's another Crazy Jane creation, entitled "A New Dress for Tinker Bell."

First Tinker Bell dismisses a series of dresses, saying, "Nope," "Uh uh," "No," "No way," and "You're crazy," before finding a green one she likes ("Yes!") Next she tries shoes, dismissing them with, "You're loony," "Nope!," "No," and "You're out of your mind," then picking green shoes. Lastly, she tries hairstyles ("Nope," "No way," "You're loony," "Yes"). Finally, she has combined the approved dress, shoes, and hairstyle.

Monday, January 10, 2011

More Comics

Here are three more Crazy Jane creations.

First is "Let It Snow, Or Maybe Not." In the first panel, the girl is observing that there is "no snow." In the second panel, she issues the command, "Snow go!" In the third panel, no snow falls. In the fourth panel, in disappointment she says, "Aw." In the fifth panel, she commands more emphatically, "Snow GO!!!" In the sixth panel, she is dismayed that there "still" is no snow. In the seventh panel she again commands, "Let it snow," but in the eighth panel she tries politely asking, "please." In the ninth panel, snow gently begins to fall. In the tenth panel, the girl tries to up the snowfall by again commanding, "Let it snow." In the eleventh panel, a giant snowball falls on the girl. In the twelfth panel, just her hat is sticking out, next to a mountain of snow. In the thirteenth panel, she says, "Or maybe not," and then in the fourteenth panel, she calls, "Help!"

Up next is "Pizza." First, a "guy with stand-up hair" (which I assume is something very different from "a stand-up guy") is laughing and putting something on the pizza. In the second panel, the guy zips from the room as the mom calls, "Pizza for dinner." The guy warns ominously, "Don't bake pizza." The mom asks, "Why?" In the fifth panel, the mom calls, "Here is pizza." In the sixth panel, despite his knowledge of the doctored pizza, the guy with stand-up hair nibbles a piece. Finally, he gets X-eyes. (In explaining this comic to me tonight, Crazy Jane backed away from her obvious original intention of having the guy with stand-up hair die, as indicated by the word "Die" next to his corpse. Perhaps she felt the moral of the cautionary tale was too heavy-handed, or perhaps she has doctored my food and is trying to ease her conscience by lessening the imagined repercussions. We'll never know.)

Lastly we have a more-recent effort, "Super Twins." This comic can get by with less explanation. In the fourth panel the girl in bed is one of the Super Twins (Ruby, specifically), hearing someone else cry for help. In the eighth panel, the bad guy is saying, "Ha ha!" while a girl cries out, "I am shrinking!" In the tenth panel, Ruby is walking the shrunken girl to the grower, which does its work over the next two panels. Finally, the girl asks the unanswered question, "How can I ever thank you?" How indeed, rebigulated girl. How indeed.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Comics Week Continues

Sometimes my church comics are single-panel affairs, like Family Circus, only funny.

My son Articulate Joe decided to make Mittens holed up in a cave, and Sparks sitting on top, roasting a marshmallow over an open fire, using his tail to hold his skewer.

A Clarice Bean inspired effort. (Proof of its humor is found in Crazy Jane's annotation, "He he!"

Okay, so maybe I was wrong to call out Family Circus. But I think we can all agree that my comics are funnier than those in the New Yorker.

Friday, January 07, 2011

The Family That Doesn't Pay Attention in Church Together Stays Together

About a year ago, I drew a comic for our kids during sacrament meeting. It told the story of a dinosaur attacking a church, and two children who were eaten because they couldn't sit still. I've looked all over the house this week, but I can't find it. It's like Fermat's Last Theorem: you'll just have to believe me that it was awesome.

This started a comic-drawing trend in our family. At first, they were church-themed, as shown in this comic drawn by my daughter Crazy Jane.

In the first panel, a girl is excited to be baptized. In the second panel, the baptism is occurring. (No one filled Crazy Jane in on the whole "don't depict a baptism" controversy.) In the third panel, the girl is drying off. In the fourth panel, she's bearing testimony of how she felt after her baptism. In the fifth panel, she's enjoying the refreshments. In the sixth panel, she's receiving a new journal, and in the seventh panel, she's recording her feelings. In the eighth panel she's in bed asleep (under a bed canopy), smiling as she remembers her baptism in her dream.

A few weeks later, Crazy Jane drew the squares, labeled the paper "A Good Comic By Dad" (which is why all my subsequent efforts bear that subtitle), and passed it to me. And this is what we got.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't poking fun at Crazy Jane for not singing the hymns. I wasn't. See, a total lie.

Next, she came out with this effort, which was so hard to understand, that I created a panel-by-panel translation for her.

As you can see, our subject matter quickly went downhill. From baptisms to dogs eating stinky diapers. I'm not going to say I wasn't proud.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Economic Rents in Book Publishing

A friend of mine recently told me, "I wish I could buy the new Mark Twain autobiography. When he wrote it he said they'd have to wait 100 years to publish it, and now it's out and there're only, like, 200 of them, and they're already sold out."

Because I'm an economist, I ignored the 18 urban legends that could be easily debunked with a cursory web search, and I said, "Why would the publisher do that? They're creating a lucrative resale market from which they'll receive nothing. They should capture some of those rents by printing more copies."

Later, I was researching the Jack Russell, Dog Detective book series that my son loves, and I learned that the ninth book, Fowl Play, is not available through the American publisher. And unlike that cockamamie about the Mark Twain book, this isn't just a made-up story.

Why would a publisher create a resale market? Every other Jack Russell book is $4.99, but the cheapest copy of Fowl Play on abebooks.com is $28.90.

My guess: it probably is due to subject matter. A book about chickens might feature a discussion of cocks, and we can't have these precious American snowflakes reading that word in its correct usage, even when they should be too young to know of its alternative meanings. That's the only explanation I can think of that would justify the publisher allowing such a high price to persist.

When we lived in Kansas, we had a missionary in our ward from Australia. I'm pretty sure we could have her buy Fowl Play and mail it to us for a lot less than $28.90. As for my friend and her Mark Twain problem, the solution is even simpler: buy it on Amazon.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Recent Reading

I haven't been doing much lately, including not checking Internet news stories, so I haven't had much to say in blog posts. I've been getting up early (like seven-thirty early!) and reading, and that's about it.

Here are a few bits of my recent reading that I thought were interesting.

  • A French invasion of Britain was widely expected, and in February 1797 a small complement of French troops landed in Wales. They mistook a distant gathering of women in Welsh costume as British troops, and promptly surrendered.

    Gold: The Once and Future Money, by Nathan Lewis (p. 33)

  • In most cases, there is virtually no relation whatsoever between the central government's debts and currency values or interest rates.

    Lewis (p. 367)

  • "Well," the professor said, tucking into his chicken, "do you feel that you know more about happiness?"

    Hector said that he did, but, right at that moment, he felt something tugging at his trouser leg: it was a squirrel wanting some of his lunch. And this made him think. Did the squirrel realise how lucky he was to be there? Or on the contrary did he spend his life wondering whether he might not be better off somewhere else, or feeling that he didn't have the life he deserved? In the end, it depended on the comparisons the squirrel was able to make: he must have seen the large portion of fried squid on the plate in front of Hector. The squirrel could either think that the large portion was a stroke of luck because it increased his chances of getting some squid, or he could consider it a terrible injustice that Hector should have such a large portion all to himself, or he might even feel that it proved that he, the squirrel, was a miserable wretch (especially if his squirrel-wife reminded him of it every evening when he went home).

    Hector and the Search for Happiness, by François Lelord (pp. 143-4)

  • The advantage of an international authority should be mainly to protect a member state from the harmful measures of others, not to force it to join in their follies.

    Denationalisation of Money, by Friedrich A. Hayek (p. 18)

  • ...history is largely the history of inflation, and usually of inflations engineered by governments and for the gain of governments....

    Hayek (p. 27)

NB: About two years ago, my sister recommended that I take the sidebar list of books I'd read in the calendar year and make each title a hyperlink to a book review I'd written of it. I did so, but now that Blogger has added pages, I now have a page called Books Read, so maintaining the sidebar list seems redundantly redundant. From now on, I'll only be updating the Books Read page, where each title will still be a hyperlink to the appropriate book review on my other blog, Hardcore Literature.