May 31st, 2013 → 6:03 am

“What fine chisel
Could ever yet cut breath?”  – Winter’s Tale

I went to a performance of The Pirates of Penzance with an opera-buff friend of mine this past Wednesday night.  And afterwards we discussed how good the voices were.  My favorite was Mabel, played by Deanna Breiwick (all those trills!), but my more knowledgeable friend couldn’t take her eyes off the conductor (he mouthed the whole performance as he conducted, and, admittedly, he was quite handsome).  One thing we did agree on is that The Pirates of Penzance has one of the silliest plot lines in all of opera, and for opera, that’s saying something!

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art

The Ups and Downs of Life

May 29th, 2013 → 6:22 am

“This world to me is as a lasting storm.” – Pericles

I had a crazy day yesterday.  It started out awful (due, of course, to a certain arch nemesis), but then turned much better (due, unexpectedly, to a surprisingly kind person).  I felt like a ship tossed about in a storm, at first thrown low, then brought high, and all in under an hour!

Filed under: Blog & Self/My Life

Old (Irrelevant) Age

May 27th, 2013 → 6:55 am

“Unregarded age in corners thrown.” – As You Like It

Last week I read about Yuichiro Miura, the 80 year old Japanese man who climbed Mount Everest.  At the time I was impressed, but I also assumed he must just have really good health.  Yesterday, however, I read how in fact he had both hip surgery and heart surgery not long before making the climb.  As one who has had her fair share of physical impairments, now I am even more impressed.

Filed under: Blog & Other

London Hacking Attack

May 24th, 2013 → 5:37 am

“It is the bright day that brings forth the adder,
And that craves wary walking.”  – Julius Caesar

Meaning:  On a bright day snakes can come out in the open, so be careful where you walk.

I was shocked a couple of days ago at the Notre-Dame suicide; I’m shocked even more today hearing about the broad daylight hacking attack in South London.  What’s happening these days???  What goes through a person’s mind to just run someone down in broad daylight, hack them to death with a meat cleaver, and then stick around to talk about it to passersby in the street?  And while Cameron, Obama, and other Western leaders have condemned the attack, where’s the high profile Muslim leader/representative doing the same?

Filed under: Blog & Stupid/Evil People

Notre-Dame Suicide

May 22nd, 2013 → 6:54 am

“This mortal house I’ll ruin.” – Antony and Cleopatra

Apparently somebody walked into Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris yesterday, strolled up to the main altar, and then pulled out a shotgun and blasted himself in the mouth.  If you’re going to commit suicide I have a lot of sympathy for you, you must be in a pretty low place, but why do it in front of 1,500 tourists (including children) on their family vacations?  That ruins not just your own mortal shell, but the image of Notre-Dame as a sanctuary as well.

Filed under: Blog & Other

$600 Million Powerball Lottery

May 20th, 2013 → 6:12 am

“The giddy round of Fortune’s wheel.” – The Rape of Lucrece

I don’t normally follow lotteries, but I have to admit, I was hoping no one would win yesterday’s Powerball, just so that the pot could ratchet up to $1 billion.  A $1 billion lottery prize; that would have been cool!  As it happens, someone in Florida did apparently win.  Good luck, mystery winner, figuring out what to do with all that money.  History (and academic research) has shown that not everyone actually knows how to handle it.

Filed under: Blog & Economics/Money

Losing His Way

May 18th, 2013 → 7:16 am

“Purpose is but the slave to memory,
of violent birth, but poor validity.
Which now, like fruit unripe, sticks on the tree,
But fall, unshaken, when they mellow be.”  – Hamlet

Barack Obama seems to be losing his way, with what seemed like driven purposes falling to the ground like rotten apples.  Closing Guantanamo Bay?  Too hard.  Press freedom?  Not if it hurts my administration.  Military red lines?  Syria’s only orange.  To be honest, I’m not that upset with President Obama; it’s got to be a tough job and overall he’s doing alright.  But sometimes, he can really step in it.

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians

Young, Tempestuous Love

May 16th, 2013 → 6:23 am

“If love be blind, love cannot hit the mark.” – Romeo and Juliet

Well, the wedding my husband, son, and I flew out to Nevada to attend never took place.  Our neice, in the end, broke it off.  At least we got to see family and have a bit of memorable fun time.  Personally, I think 19 years old is too young to get engaged in the first place, but when I say that, I then can’t help but think of my in-laws who got married that young and yet still stayed together for 50+ years.  Even now they hold hands together when they sit on the couch and watch TV at night (it’s so friggin adorable).  Who knows what makes love work?!?

Filed under: Blog & Other & Self/My Life

Mother’s Day

May 12th, 2013 → 7:43 am

“He did it to please his mother.” – Coriolanus

We’re in Nevada right now with my in-laws.  So for the first time in many years my husband is actually with his mother on mother’s day.  It’s adorable.  I can’t wait till my own son is old enough to do nice things for me on Mother’s Day!

Filed under: Blog & Other & Self/My Life

Reinhart Rogoff Finkelstein et al

May 9th, 2013 → 6:39 am

“[They] who
With half the bulk o’th’ world played as [they] pleased,
Making and marring fortunes.”  – Antony and Cleopatra

Here’s Shakespeare’s version of Keynes’ famous quote about defunct economists influencing the world.  And unfortunately, perhaps, sometimes it is true.  The discredited study by Reinhart-Rogoff on debt limits really got too much currency; even had it been empirically correct it got too much attention – it was just one study!  Theory advances by repeated results over time.  Having said that, I came across an academic study last week whose purpose was to repeat the empirical results of a rather famous health care study from the 1980s.  And it was beautiful!  No cheating uncovered, empirical results repeated and advanced upon, conclusions and updates made.  Now this is what academic research is about.

Filed under: Blog & Economics/Money