Archive for April, 2009

If We Were Only All Supply-Siders… (link fixed)

April 29, 2009

Please.

Read this article by Brian Wesbury, I think it’s amazing.  It does a fantastic job of explaining the two major economic worldviews.

Demand and Supply

If one view sounds like is shown a cheerier light than the other, maybe it’s because those who hold that view tend to be much more cheery and optimistic people.  Comments are welcome. 🙂

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2nd to Last PhD Hurtle

April 24, 2009

atomI probably won’t be posting a whole lot for the next month.  This is caused by the do-or-die project I will be engaging in.  It’s called the General Exam and it is a written paper and oral exam, kind of like a mini thesis defense that physics students must complete to be official PhD candidates.  It’s an intense experience, and as hard as it is for me, I will have to concentrate on basically nothing but this project until I pass.  I have to be done before the start of June because my professor will be in Paris for the whole month.  I’m already nervous, if I don’t pass they are going to give me my Masters and send me on my way, but that is an unlikely outcome.  Luckily, I have become an important asset to my professor and he has helped me understand better what is expected of me during the presentation.

On a happier note, it looks like I will finally have my first authored pubication as a colaborator in this pretty neat paper.  I’ll summorize and link to it if and when it is published.

Coincidence?

April 17, 2009
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Facebook Advertising Works!

April 13, 2009

facebookHi all, and thank you everyone who stopped by my website either now or who are returning. WordPress lets their users see a wide variety of statistics about their blog. It’s neat to know what people are doing and how much they are doing it (without knowing specifically who it is). My favorite is this graph showing how many unique people come to my blog each day. It seems to be accurate and go by IP address, so the only double counting would be if someone came here on the same day from different computers. So, let me show you what happened when I put a little notice on my Facebook account about my blog.

Number of people visiting my blog per day.

Number of people visiting my blog per day.

Pretty neat, huh? It made me feel good that people cared enough to stop by. When I mention this and future posts on Facebook maybe I’ll get similar spikes in traffic. Perhaps a few will even show up unprompted.

Anyone Know of a Good Florist?

April 8, 2009

bouquetAlice and I haven’t had much luck with the whole flower part of our wedding. Every other aspect has gone pretty smoothly, but we don’t know where to start when it comes to flowers. Does anyone have any advice or recommendations concerning finding a good (inexpensive) florist? Please leave a comment.

I think we are mainly going to need the bouquet, flowers for the wedding party, and perhaps something to put on the alter.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

UPDATE:  For those who don’t know, I’m getting married in Cincinnati.

The Worst is Over

April 6, 2009

It’s been a little quiet lately, at least as far as dealing with the subjects I am comfortable bringing up here.  The low key atmosphere is a welcome relief from the past several months where there seemed to be a blockbuster news story about the economy each day. An unfortunate thing is that the government is accused of falling asleep at the wheel if they are not actively doing something to improve the state of the economy. I think it’s time for the government employees to all take a variant of Hippocratic oath and first do no harm. That being said, we will probably determine that a few things the government did were beneficial, though some things that are not will probably effect us for far too long.

I hope and believe we are at the turning point. That the market bottomed at the beginning of March. The quarter we just started will possibly be flat, meaning no or very little decline in GDP, followed by strong positive GDP growth in the second half of the year. The Fed is printing money as fast as they can, the economy is floating on a sea of cash, and Mark-to-market accounting rules have been adjusted favorably. The unemployment rate will likely increase for the rest of the year, but hopefully it will not travel far into double digits, or stay there for long. That is a recipe for social upheaval, and no one would benefit from the consequences of that.

So, things are looking up, and I imagine the rapid recovery we will likely experience for the rest of the year will make the doomsayers appear foolish once again.

The Perils of Flossing

April 3, 2009

brushingI thought nothing could go wrong from flossing my teeth.  I was doing something healthy even if I didn’t do it often enough.  The worst that would happen is a little bleeding, right?  Wrong!  I broke off a chunk of my molar that measures 5mm/3mm/2mm (3/16″ by 2/16″ by 1/16″).  That’s huge!  Just by pulling the floss out.  Since it happened on a Friday I have to wait until Monday to get it repaired.  And I’m lucky someone canceled, my original appointment was for the 14th of April (though I could still go to the emergency clinic Monday morning).  I bet the dentist is going to blame it on fracturing my tooth due to grinding them while sleeping and recommend I get a $300 (vs. $1000 at most private practices) bite guard.  I’ll probably take him up on it after this.  It’s freaky when parts of your mouth come flying out – I’ve had plenty of nightmares where I’m spitting my teeth out.

Cracking my tooth by flossing reminds me of another hazard of preventative dental care: gum recession due to harsh brushing. We received no warnings about the ferocity of our daily routine, and I would say it was essentially encouraged. That is, until we started complaining about sensitive gums. Then they kindly tell us to take it easy as if they hadn’t done something to initiate the irreversible erosion.

No real pain yet. I hope that lasts until Monday. I also hope I avoid slicing open my cheek from the now sharp point where my tooth use to be.

What’s Up – 1 April 2009

April 1, 2009

dancingSo, I have a friend who has offered to give Alice and I ballroom dancing lessons so we can be prepared for our wedding. This is very nice of her because otherwise I can’t see us going through with it. We’ll be able to pick the song we want to dance to and learn a couple of the traditional dances (waltz, foxtrot, ect.).

GrossLast night Alice and I saw a 2004 Nobel Laureate in Physics, David J. Gross, give a long talk on particle physics and string theory. I don’t remember when I first heard about string theory.  Apparently, some form of it’s been around for 41 years, though I think the present theory started much later. I think elementary particle physics was what got me interested in physics the first place, and I still have a fascination with it even if the excitement it caused didn’t last me all the way through grad school. I do still enjoy what I do on a day to day basis, and can’t think of a better way to ride out what is likely to be the worst economy of my lifetime (fingers crossed).