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October 2009
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December 2009

Gender Gap

WSJ via Instapundit:

The unemployment rate for men, 11.4%, based on seasonally adjusted data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, outpaces the rate for women, 8.8%. We now have the largest jobless gender gap since tracking became possible in 1948. The gap reached its previous peak, 2.5 points, in 1967 and 1978. Today's gap has exceeded that for three months. It's endured at two points or above for an unprecedented length, eight months and counting.

As of the end of October, the U.S. had lost 7.3 million jobs in this Great Recession. Men account for 5.3 million of that loss. The shift is so dramatic that women now constitute 49.9% of the work force and will soon outnumber men.

I blame The PatriarchyTM.

The Burning of Innocence

We typically think of terrorism as a political act.

But sometimes it’s very personal. It wasn’t a government or a guerrilla insurgency that threw acid on this woman’s face in Pakistan. It was a young man whom she had rejected for marriage. As the United States ponders what to do in Afghanistan — and for that matter, in Pakistan — it is wise to understand both the political and the personal, that the very ignorance and illiteracy and misogyny that create the climate for these acid attacks can and does bleed over into the political realm. Nicholas Kristof, the New York Times op-ed columnist who traveled to Pakistan last year to write about acid attacks, put it this way in an essay at the time: “I’ve been investigating such acid attacks, which are commonly used to terrorize and subjugate women and girls in a swath of Asia from Afghanistan through Cambodia (men are almost never attacked with acid). Because women usually don’t matter in this part of the world, their attackers are rarely prosecuted and acid sales are usually not controlled. It’s a kind of terrorism that becomes accepted as part of the background noise in the region. ...

Click here to read further and view the horrifying results of terror.

Link via David Thompson.

No Fat For You!

Metro via Instapundit:

When a small church comes to the Bowery Mission bearing fried chicken with trans fat, unwittingly breaking the law, they’re told “thank you.” Then workers quietly chuck the food, mission director Tom Bastile said.

“It’s always hard for us to do,” Basile said. “We know we have to do it.”

Reminds me of a grand policy started during the Great Depression: pay farmers to not grow food. You know, so that they can keep food price stable and high and keep on voting Democrat.

Hot Stuff

James Delingpole writes an excellent article on Climategate. It's amazing to read so much concentrated deception from top-level scientists -- considering that their dishonesty would eventually be shown as such since not all scientists are fabricators.

Of course, they figured out a way to get back at honest researchers. Go there to see a sample of:

a long series of communications discussing how best to squeeze dissenting scientists out of the peer review process. How, in other words, to create a scientific climate in which anyone who disagrees with AGW can be written off as a crank, whose views do not have a scrap of authority.

GDP Not So Hot

Vox Popoli:

You may recall my warning that the 3.5 percent figure in the Advance report would be revised downward on the day it was published. Now, according to the BEA's newly revised estimate, only 1.3 percent of GDP growth was NOT provided by Cash for Clunkers. So, if you consider the even larger stimulus provided by the $8k housing credit, which is not separately accounted for, it is quite obvious that economic activity is still contracting even if the GDP statistic is not.

It's like watching someone inflate a dead horse and then viewing the horse deflate in jittery slow motion. Soon, others come to the painful conclusion that the horse has been dead for some time.

Okay, that was a weird analogy.

Clarity and Precision

An excellent article about sound quality at Trusted Reviews.

a few people in the last six months or so - people who take their audio gear seriously and have spent thousands of pounds on Hi-Fi equipment - have admitted privately to us that 256kbps MP3 is easily good enough for serious listening, and that they struggle to hear much difference over 192kbps MP3 in many situations. This got us thinking: when we claim that we can tell the difference between a 320kbps MP3 and a FLAC encode, are we really hearing some substantial difference, or are we merely telling ourselves that one is better than another?

It's tough to tell apart music encoded at 320kbps with MP3 when compared to a FLAC encode. However, a 192kbps encoded MP3 has lost a few important qualities.

  1. The bass is not as deep. If your CD music is loaded with booms, then each punch of it will sound like an anvil being dropped. A high compressed MP3 will reduce that sound to a dropping of an empty cereal box.
  2. The instruments get muddled. Classical music with FLAC sounds incredible. The instruments sound crisp and clear. When one compresses the music, the instruments seem to overlap; their sounds fade. The beauty and skill of the musicians sadly gets jumbled up.
  3. Certain sounds are almost impossible to hear. Often, very faint cues that add a nice layer to the music are hard to hear on an MP3. Though, it's possible that the fault lies with the audio equipment one uses to listen to the MP3 rather than the compressed file itself. If you're not familiar with Grado, Logitech or Creative, then it's likely that you're not getting the optimal audio experience.

Link via Instapundit.

Fair and Blind


TOO MUCH TIME INDOORS causes myopia?

I've wondered about that since I have myopia. There weren't any sports or activities at my school in Saudi Arabia. With the weekly exception of a cricket game with friends, I spent practically all my time indoors reading novels and magazines. It was the same in Pakistan; though, the cricket frequency was a bit higher.

A Topsy-turvy World

Classical Liberal provides this link in a previous post:

The trailer for 2012 plays like a highlight reel of civilization falling apart all over the world, but it's religion that gets the brunt of Emmerich's digital pounding: A Buddhist temple gets hit by a tidal wave. The Sistine Chapel crumbles to pieces as a split tears right down the middle of Michelangeo's painting of God touching Adam's finger. St. Peter's Basilica rolls over onto a crowd of devoted worshipers. Rio de Janeiro's iconic Christ the Reedemer statue falls to earth as its wracked by shockwaves. The White House is even crushed by, of all things, an aircraft carrier. But eagle eyed fans of watching organized religion get its disaster porn comeuppance will have noticed that there are no Islamic landmarks on the CGI chopping block.

Westerners won't even show a CGI Kaaba going down in flames -- which alone would be worth the price of the ticket -- and yet vast majorities of Muslims in Arabia and Pakistan celebrated when iconic buildings were annihilated and thousands of souls extinguished on that day in 2001. One side doesn't even want to offend the other while the other seeks joy in the slaughter of its opponent.