Tuesday, 23 August 2016


Wallander (UK version) is one hell of a police series. It is a police series based in Sweden.

Kenneth Branagh is the main star of the series and shows why he is one of the great actors. We have other stars such as a young Tom Hiddleston and the late Tom  Beard.

Although at times it becomes a very dark series as one might expect from a series based on solving murders the writing, directing and acting is superb. It is amusing for an Aussie to see a person wearing a jumper, overcoat  in summer.

I watched the last episode of the last season I taped on Sunday on the ABC. On Monday I watched the very first episode on 72 which i missed before i knew about the series
It is one hell of a series.

Monday, 22 August 2016

In Praise of blogging

Nick Gruen , the nicest bloke in the blogosphere and one on the most thoughtful ( although very Broderist in the best on M0nty;s definition.) has written in praise of blogging.

He naturally writes a interesting column on blogging.

Blogging has simply increased exponentially over the last ten years.

I can read and be kept up to date on macro-economics, micro-economics, statistics, politics, econometrics, history even economics in star trek or how science fiction is evolving. I can participate in debates over the various star trek franchises ( yes I am a trekkie) or the Lord of the Rings ( yep there too).
Even better you get to interesting blogs through either links in good articles or the blogs on the sidebars.
Don't believe then go to :

  • Mark Thoma
  • Simon Wren-Lewis
  • Noah Smith
  • Steve from Brisbane
  • Hotwhopper
this is only a small example.

My wife always nags me about how much time I have on the computer however she does not realise I am reading lots and lots of articles.

Thank you Nick

Not an update:

I have been upbraided for not commenting about how blogs on politics and elections in particular has become so much more sophisticated.
In Australia we saw Mumble and then in more recent times Kevin Bonham and Mark the Ballot who have shown us what the polls are really telling us.
In the US we had Nate Silver, Sam Wang and our own Simon Jackman all told us what would occur in the last US Presidential election ( although Katesy and Catallaxy did not typically understand)..

As Brad De Long would say smackdown accepted!

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Blue Oyster Cult

They did have one song that became an absolute classic.  Don't fear the Reaper

Here it is!

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Around the Traps 19/8/16

It is time for Around the Traps again.

Northern America
Andrew Gelman (mainly stats)
Genial Dave Giles (econometrics)
Dianne Coyle (quirky + book reviews)
vox wonk

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Penalty rates and employment

Fascinating article on this topic from Serena Yu and David Peetz. They examine the period from when NSW increased penalty rates to 200% on Sundays in NSW and compared it to Victoria where they did not.

Timothy Taylor on a related topic in the US.

Two anecdotes.

  1. A cafe does open on Sunday in Eastwood. It is the best cafe but the owners have decided Sunday is their family day
  2. An electrician told my wife any work he does on a Sunday is much dearer than any other day because again it eats into his family time. The opportunity costs is greater in other words.

Q & A Brian Cox and Malcolm roberts

I taped Q&A on Monday night and watched it recently.  I was impressed by Brian Cox someone I had never heard of before. Malcolm Roberts came over as a complete fruitloop. Both Linda Burney and Greg Hunt were underwhelming. The Mathematician was a babe, ( technical term!)

Roberts claimed the data was corrupted and there was a conspiracy between  BOM. CSIRO ,NASA  etc.

Gavin Schmidt has demolished the conspiracy garbage here.
And then theres Physics is good as well. Graham Readfern joins in

I think it very appropriate Roberts is part of Hanson's mob. He is right ( pun intended) at home there and deserves it.

I should note Jim Rose thought Cox condescending because of his smile. I thought the smile was merely highlighting good manners,  Denialists would probably no little about manners!

The show also highlighted denialists will NEVER acknowledge the facts. They simply change their arguments as I told Steve from Brisbane so long ago.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

A waste of money

Australians courtesy of the Government ( and it is bi-partisan) dishes out a lot of money to sport in the expectation it will lead to results. Let us leave the argument that is is a waste of money for the moment..

Quite clearly over the last decade we have seen little return on this large investment.
In swimming ( aint it interesting how we love sports most nations take little notice of) had quite a few world record holders who were favourites to win. Few did.

Ipsofacto something revolving around coaching is the problem.

Either a full investigation should be undertaken or simply stop the money going into high level sport