Tagged: Humor

Would you hire Luis Suarez to work in your office?

I realize hilarious responses may be limited to fans of proper football who already know Luis Suarez. Suffice it to say he’s an athlete paid millions of dollars [pounds, pesos, whatever] to dazzle his opponents on a football pitch. Soccer field in the USA.

He’s also known for problems with translation into English leading to penalties for racism. Problems with civil behavior leading to penalties for biting an opponent. Problems with balance admittedly affecting dozens of world-class athletes leading to penalties for “simulating” a foul by an opponent.

Any road, the video is a hoot.

Why conservatives hate New York’s Citi Bike

What is it about bike shares that so enrages conservatives? They’re just bikes! That people share! And yet the New York Post has a new story every day about the endless disasters that Citi Bike has brought upon the helpless populace of New York.

Dorothy Rabinowitz of The Wall Street Journal called the Bloomberg administration “totalitarian” for … encouraging the riding of bikes, we guess…

But, in a way, the depth of conservative animosity for a bike-share program makes perfect sense. Because, as the Venn diagram above indicates, Citi Bike finds itself at the very nexus of five different things that conservatives hate:

Mayor Bloomberg: Conservatives hate Mayor Bloomberg, a cosmopolitan billionaire who thinks he knows better than them and has the right to control their lives. Bloomberg wants to take their guns, and, even worse, he wants to take their enormous sodas…

Healthy: Bike riding is healthy, especially when the alternative is sitting in a cab, train, or bus. But conservatives hate being told to be healthy. Look at how much scorn they have for Michelle Obama simply for encouraging kids to exercise more and eat more vegetables. As Americans, it is our God-given right to eat as much crap as we want, pass our medical bills onto the government, and then yell at the government for spending too much money on health care…

Sharing: So central to the concept of bike shares, they put it right in the name. But conservatives hate sharing — tax dollars, calamari, doesn’t matter…

Environmental: Bike are also good for the environment. This will please you if you think the environment actually needs help. But if you think carbon emissions and climate change are conspiracies (like 58 percent of Republicans) perpetrated by Al Gore and a handful of scientists at the University of East Anglia, then bikes are just lies on wheels…

Vaguely French: French people ride bikes, right? Like, more than other people? There’s something vaguely French about this whole thing. Doesn’t sit well.

Sounds about right to me. I don’t see a single issue here that hasn’t been raised by some AM radio nutball preacher or pundit.

Coming Soon: TBTF ETF

I am putting together a new ETF that consists entirely of companies that have become so large and systemically important that they are guaranteed survival regardless of their own incompetency.

It is a market cap weighted index (naturally) so that those names that represent the greatest threat to the overall economy have the highest weighting. Full universe of potential holdings are here:

Ticker symbol: TBTF

Top 10 Holdings
AIG*
Citigroup
Bank of America
Morgan Stanley
Goldman Sachs
Wells Fargo
Fannie Mae
JPMorgan
US Bancorp
Ally

…We expect trading to begin May 1. Full disclosures and documentation available on request…**

We will be following the domestic ETF with an international version: TBTFi (not to be confused with the BlackRock’s offering, iTBTF). It will be filled with ECB notes, Japanese banks, Sovereign debt from Greece and Cyprus, etc. For diversification purposes, it is important to own TBTF banks in various geographic regions in case of local central bank collapse or nuclear accident.

* AIG is really in there as a sentimental favorite, but they are no longer truly TBTF.

** No, not really, as this is sarcasm.

Barry Ritholtz has a background in math & sciences and a law school degree…He left Law for Finance, working as a trader, researcher and strategist before graduating to asset management…and sarcastic blogging.

He considers himself an independent voter and describes himself as a recovering Republican.

Doomed, I say. Doooomed!

 

El Señor Studio has the honour to present the failures of the natural selection. A set of strange creatures whose instincts instead of focusing on survival seem doomed them to an absurd and comic extinction, in the presence of the astonished gaze of the narrator.

This is also the story of the relationship between these creatures and its Narrator. The character of the Narrator was a documentary star, but unfortunately for him, the good times are over and he is forced to accept this strange documentary, which he considered far below its potential.

Thanks, Ursarodinia

The Good Book: A Secular Bible – an interview with the author

A.C.Grayling says his book…doesn’t attack religion, it’s a positive book, there’s nothing negative in it. People may think it’s against religion – but it isn’t.” But then he says, with a mischievous twinkle: “Of course, what would really help the book a lot in America is if somebody tries to shoot me.”

With any luck it shouldn’t come to that, but Grayling is almost certainly going to upset a lot of Christians, for what he has written is a secular bible. The Good Book mirrors the Bible in both form and language, and is, as its author says, “ambitious and hubristic – a distillation of the best that has been thought and said by people who’ve really experienced life, and thought about it”. Drawing on classical secular texts from east and west, Grayling has “done just what the Bible makers did with the sacred texts”, reworking them into a “great treasury of insight and consolation and inspiration and uplift and understanding in the great non-religious traditions of the world”. He has been working on his opus for several decades, and the result is an extravagantly erudite manifesto for rational thought…

Who does he think will read The Good Book? “Well, I’m hoping absolutely every human being on the planet.” He’s sure that a lot of people will wonder just who he thinks he is, to have written a bible, but doesn’t appear particularly troubled by this prospect. “The truth is that the book is very modestly done. My wife did give me a card,” he giggles, “that said, ‘I used to be an atheist until I realised I am God’. And I know that on Monty Pythonesque grounds there’s a good likelihood that in five centuries time I will be one, as a result of this.” He lets out another little chuckle. “But I certainly don’t feel like one now, that’s for sure.”

The little jokes and kindly bearing can make Grayling sound quite benignly jovial about religion at times, as he chuckles away about “men in dresses” and “believing in fairies at the bottom of the garden”, and throws out playfully mocking asides such as, “You can see we no longer really believe in God, because of all the CCTV cameras keeping watch on us.” But when I suggest that he sounds less enraged than amused by religion, he says quickly: “Well, it does make me angry, because it causes a great deal of harm and unhappiness…”

… We have to try to persuade society as a whole to recognise that religious groups are self-constituted interest groups; they exist to promote their point of view. Now, in a liberal democracy they have every right to do so. But they have no greater right than anybody else, any political party or Women’s Institute or trade union. But for historical reasons they have massively overinflated influence – faith-based schools, religious broadcasting, bishops in the House of Lords, the presence of religion at every public event. We’ve got to push it back to its right size.”

Atheists, according to Grayling, divide into three broad categories. There are those for whom this secular objection to the privileged status of religion in public life is the driving force of their concern. Then there are those, “like my chum Richard Dawkins”, who are principally concerned with the metaphysical question of God’s existence. “And I would certainly say there is an intrinsic problem about belief in falsehood.” In other words, even if a person’s faith did no harm to anybody, Grayling still wouldn’t like it. “But the third point is about our ethics – how we live, how we treat one another, what the good life is. And that’s the question that really concerns me the most.”

Exactly the same round robin of reflection I encountered and resolved when still a teenager. The atheist part came first and easiest. Studying materialist philosophy – especially as a dialectic, a mirror of physical processes in science – took a bit more work and brought an enormous amount of satisfaction in knowledge.

A study habit I’ve never lost and never will.