March 5, 2010

At the Blue Path Café...


... we're quite happy and ready to talk all afternoon.


traditionalguy said...

What was that last post about someone bullying you? The blue path is the path to beautiful spring days this weekend and the next. What a beautiful world. The Jonquils are blooming and Tiger Woods is swinging( golf clubs) and fondly remembering Elin's charms, and Chloe is diligently filtering out the boys from the men with no winners in sight yet. We need to find a way to postpone politics until next month. Maybe another snow storm in DC can ice it, or maybe we can ask the Chinese to cyber-attack Drudge's server.

The Crack Emcee said...

Follow that path and all you'll end up with is a pretty good knot on your noggin'.

traditionalguy said...

Crack ...That path may lead to the secret entrance door to the underground lair of the Complicated Women Society.This was a forerunner to Yale's Skull and Bones.But keep this quiet.

Big Mike said...

I heard something about student riots at UW. Didn't affect you, I hope.

Meade said...

@Big Mike: UW-Milwaukee

Penny said...

As usual, a beautiful photograph. But right about now, I wish you lived further south, where there were some buds on the trees. North Carolina might be a good choice.

The Crack Emcee said...



As expected - expected! - I will forevermore worship and adore this "opening".

Big Mike said...

@Meade, I stand corrected.

rhhardin said...

XKCD has a strip today on the Collatz conjecture.

Curiously, that's one of the things my laptop works on when it's otherwise idle.


$ cd /tmp
$ ls -l collatz
total 44
-rwxr-xr-x 1 rhh None 125 Feb 1 2009
-rw-r--r-- 1 rhh None 2376 Feb 1 2009 collatz.c
-rwxr-xr-x 1 rhh None 12866 Dec 24 2008 collatz.exe
-rwxr-xr-x 1 rhh None 181 Feb 1 2009
-rwxr-xr-x 1 rhh None 216 Feb 1 2009
-rwxr-xr-x 1 rhh None 40 Jan 19 2009
-rw-r--r-- 1 rhh None 3721 Apr 14 2009
-rwxr-xr-x 1 rhh None 2337 Apr 14 2009
-rwxr-xr-x 1 rhh None 92 Dec 24 2008
-rwxr-xr-x 1 rhh None 321 Dec 24 2008
-rwxr-xr-x 1 rhh None 122 Dec 24 2008
-rw-r--r-- 1 rhh None 45 Feb 1 2009 temp
-rwxr-xr-x 1 rhh None 2318 Jan 6 2009
-rwxr-xr-x 1 rhh None 228 Dec 24 2008
-rw-r--r-- 1 rhh None 33 Dec 24 2008 toa.txt
-rwxr-xr-x 1 rhh None 228 Dec 24 2008
-rw-r--r-- 1 rhh None 33 Dec 24 2008 tob.txt

It takes a random million-digit number and sees if it ever gets to one (it always does). Then it does it with another one and so on.

avwh said...

Greatest takedown of Paul Krugman ever today, by James Taranto:

"Paul Krugman takes note in his New York Times column of what he calls "the incredible gap that has opened up between the parties":

Today, Democrats and Republicans live in different universes, both intellectually and morally.

"What Democrats believe," he says "is what textbook economics says":

But that's not how Republicans see it. Here's what Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate, had to say when defending Mr. Bunning's position (although not joining his blockade): unemployment relief "doesn't create new jobs. In fact, if anything, continuing to pay people unemployment compensation is a disincentive for them to seek new work."

Krugman scoffs: "To me, that's a bizarre point of view--but then, I don't live in Mr. Kyl's universe."

What does textbook economics have to say about this question? Here is a passage from a textbook called "Macroeconomics":

Public policy designed to help workers who lose their jobs can lead to structural unemployment as an unintended side effect. . . . In other countries, particularly in Europe, benefits are more generous and last longer. The drawback to this generosity is that it reduces a worker's incentive to quickly find a new job. Generous unemployment benefits in some European countries are widely believed to be one of the main causes of "Eurosclerosis," the persistent high unemployment that affects a number of European countries.

So it turns out that what Krugman calls Sen. Kyl's "bizarre point of view" is, in fact, textbook economics. The authors of that textbook are Paul Krugman and Robin Wells. Miss Wells is also known as Mrs. Paul Krugman."

Theo Boehm said...

Looks like Althouse and I have been playing with our blog templates and settings in a kind of weird, slow-motion pas-de-deux.

We both use Blogger Minima with similar adjustments for width. Now, for the past few days, we've been playing with fonts and font sizes, colors, tag clouds, subtle adjustments to the template, etc.

Wonder who's going to stop first? And have I been following Althouse, or t'other way around?

I feel like we're on a dance floor, but it's a hell of a way to go clubbing.

Ann Althouse said...

@Theo I am not playing. I was forced to switch to layouts to get back to the full display of the archive pages. Since then I've only been trying to return to what I had. It's a big waste of my time and not for any creative purpose at all. It's purely an issue of functionality that was forced on me.

Penny said...

All in all, I would rather be dancing than trying to understand technical things.

Guess it's too early for our Althouse DJ, Lem?

Theo Boehm said...

Well, I mean "playing" in the techie sense of "adjusting" or "making it work."

I know it can be quite serious and a pain in the ass.

But I use the term all the time when I'm adjusting professional flutes, some of which the players are dependent upon for their living. "Oh, I'll play with it and get it right," is my relaxed way of putting it. That's made some players uptight, but most understand it as the piece of irony it's intended to be, especially when the player has a concert in three days at Avery Fisher Hall, and their damned piccolo doesn't work.

As a very small-time blogger, I suppose I can afford to be more actually playful. But I come back to the old question, What's the difference between play and work when you're really good at something?

And, yes, I'll probably copy your settings when you get things right.

Ann Althouse said...

It's not play because it doesn't amuse me and it's keeping me from doing things that are energizing and creative. It's something I would give to an assistant to work on if I had an assistant.

Penny said...

"What's the difference between play and work when you're really good at something?"

The "enjoyment factor", Theo.

Theo Boehm said...

I can honestly say that the meanest scut work in what I do is always engaging, and, yes, I think of it as "play."

If you've got 300, 2-ft long pieces of grenadilla wood to drill with a 5/8" gun drill mounted on a lathe, cooled by compressed air that makes a 110 dB scream, that throws black, itchy, irritating, choking dust, and it's 90° F. and 85% humidity in a dark, basement shop, there are very few working environments worse than this.  And yet, I'm telling you the truth when I say I literally LOVE it.  I'm with my beloved wood.  The pieces will be FLUTES!  Beautiful $12,000 professional flutes. They will be INSTRUMENTS!  I will do ANYTHING for them to make them play MUSIC!

And that, Penny, is what I mean, when I wonder what is the difference between work and play.

I once had a job playing dinner music in a wonderful, chef-owned restaurant.  The owner, who was getting old and decrepit, said he HAD to come into the kitchen, because it made him happy.  Even though he was retired, he said couldn't live without being around the sights, smells and sounds of his beloved kitchen.  The food!  The people!  He had to be around it!

He may have driven the then-current staff crazy, just as the decrepit owner of my company did 50 years ago just before he sold it to his senior craftsmen at the time. But both of these people were examples of those who never thought of "enjoyment" as something separate from "work," and, at least in the case of my very self-aware restaurant owner, from "play."

I'm not enjoining Althouse to absolutely love editing Blogger templates, but only saying that creating a magnum opus may entail a little dust in the face or grease on your shirt now and then.

And I also work in an air-conditioned, well-lit shop far from the basement these days.

But I, too, am getting a little decrepit.

traditionalguy said...

I love you Theo, you old carpenter of musical instruments. Thanks for sharing.

Ann Althouse said...

And I'm saying I'd rather be with *my* beloved wood.

Theo Boehm said...

Can't blame you for that!

rhhardin said...

Nous vs hyle.