Tuesday
Mar282006

Is Steven Pinker borrowing from Diamond or just using a similar reference?

I am just finishing The Language Instinct by  Steven Pinker.   I'm amazed how similar the "Big Bang" Chapter is to Jared Diamond's The Third Chimpanzee in terms of data and theory contstruction.  However, I find it intersting that The Third Chimpanzeeis not mentioned in the reference section.  And Diamond is onlyreferenced once.  I will have to investigage further - perhapsboth these accomplished academic authors had similar sources.  (Ican expand once the blog is in non-test phase)
Monday
Mar272006

Thank You for Smoking

Thank You for Smoking is a brilliantly scripted comedy which takes aim at our spin oriented culture. 

The Film does an excellent job creating a seldom conflicted yet complicated character in Nick Naylor portrayed by Aaron Eckhart.  Ifound myself rooting for the despicable hero as he promotes thebenefits of smoking and defends the rights of tobacco companies.  He even goes so far as to join Hollywood in looking for ways to combat public opinion and legally encourage more teenagers to smoke.  To satisfy his own loneliness, Naylor brings his pre-adolescent son with him on many of these lobbying excursions.  Some of the films most uncomfortably ironic and brilliantly comic moments are seen through the boy’s statements of admiration.

 The movie is intelligent, sardonic and keeps the belly laughs going.  Attimes, I found it a bit preachy as every other character seems to be astraight-man to Naylor’s (Eckhart) tobacco spinnerisms.  The moments lacking of innocence and full of pure evil represent the film’s highest comedy.  Naylor’sfriends are lobbyists from the alcohol and firearms industries;together with tobacco the triumvirate calls itself the Merchants ofDeath (or MOD Squad).  At their weekly lunchthe MOD Squad compete with statistics about whose products cause themost harm and how to beat public opinion.  The satire is almost too obvious.  But it still works.

I would highly recommend seeing this film adaptation by Jayson Reitman of Christopher Buckley’s book.

(Interestingly Christopher Buckley is the son of the Commentator William F. Buckley.)

imdb.com link
official link to film

Sunday
Jan012006

What's a Strangle? (Option Strangle)

A Strangle is the purchase of a put and a call, in which the options have the same expiration and the put strike is lower than the call strike, called a long strangle. Also the sale of a put and a call, in which the options have the same expiration and the put strike is lower than the call strike, called a short strangle. If both options have the same strike price, it's called a straddle.With both straddles and strangles you don't care which direction the market moves. You are just betting that it moves faster than the options lose ...

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Sunday
Jan012006

Life Is Short

Saw this video and quit my job two days later: ...

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