† In no way am I trying to minimize dietary conditions; I myself was hit hard by a sudden onset of lactose intolerance at age 49. I know I drive everyone else crazy this. voluntaryxchange, voluntary, exchange, economics, finance, suu, sob, southern, utah, university, sob, school, business, urban, consulting
… I hated the place and the neighborhood. The house was tight, and the area was filled with boys who ran around with lengths of pipe they used as makeshift blow guns.
They’d blow needle-pointed darts through the pipes and could hit you from up to 30 feet away. Other kids, in fits of cruelty, tied cats upside down by their tails on clothes lines. The neighborhood was like something out of “Children of the Corn.” …
He lived in several other places along the Wasatch Front, and none of them gets the same treatment. The article is interesting throughout.
When I visited the gardens they showed parts of a black and white movie filmed there.
I searched it out and here it is: it is a 1939 entry from a series of movie shorts called “Going Places”.
Of course, this reflects the times, so don’t be offended by the humanization of the chimpanzees.
It’s very strange watching this, after having seen much the same scenery almost 80 years later.
The backstory here is that in the 30’s, when Florida was still boomtown, this guy named McKee built a tourist trap called McKee’s Jungle Garden. It evolved towards an amusement park, before finally going bankrupt in the late 1970’s.
* I’m a sucker for botanical gardens, so I’m not unbiased. But, if you’re near Vero Beach, I recommend a visit. This place was abandoned for most of the 80’s and 90’s, and it is slowly being refurbished — so I found the small staff very helpful and informative.
Maggie McKneely lists out and discusses all of the legacy media creations that are (strictly positive) stand-ins for Hillary Clinton.
Not that there’s anything wrong with the notion of a female president. But as early as the 1990s, TV shows have been promoting the idea of one specific female as president: Hillary Clinton.
Admittedly, she’s the best all-around candidate (no pun intended, really) for an artist to use as a model. Even so, we’ve had many other first ladies, a few dozen female senators, and the first female Secretary of State was a black Republican.
For my money, the quantity is ridiculous enough to call a weird fixation. McKneely lists out:
5 network TV series explicitly based on parts of the Clinton biography.
10 TV series with something between an episode and a story arc based on Clinton.
4 movies with Clinton-like leads. One of these, Primary Colors, was actually purported to be truthful.
6 musical numbers more or less about Clinton.
25 children’s books are currently on sale about Clinton, including these two:
Then there’s the Axis of Time trilogy targeting the adult science fiction audience with a post Clinton II world.
How on Earth do people not see the similarities between Bernie Sanders and President Snow?
Let me see. They’re both:
Old and hoary,
In favor of greater government control of peoples’ lives,
And they don’t seem to know anyone outside their social circle.
Now, that last one is a bit of a stretch. But here’s the thing about Bernie Sanders. He’s been on the regional and then national stage for 30 years now. Can you name anyone in his circle? Can you name any significant interaction he had with anyone outside his circle before beginning his Quixotic run for President? Even better, note that he doesn’t even include Democrats in his circle (although he’ll gladly accept their votes).
I wonder if I’ve actually been to more science fairs than the people who wrote the snarky post:
Teacher: Even though I am apparently judging this science fair, I know nothing about science and thus have to assume you used magic to make that kid’s toy disappear. I have to disqualify you, because you are obviously a witch.
I actually think that pretty much covers most of the science fair judges I’ve talked to. They seem to be really big on experiments involving milk, bananas, and paper towels.
This is when I figured I’d go to the bathroom (which I hate doing in movies):
Ben Grimm: Um, does anyone realize we’re 45 minutes into a 105-minute movie and we don’t even have our powers yet?
Yes, I got back before they did anything.
And I was scratching my head at this point:
Ben Grimm: And, in 2015, we are really going to keep the one female character in the group sidelined? Do you not see the problem here?
Of course, I’m not sure which is worse, diminishing a female character that’s actually in the source material, or adding one that isn’t there (as in The Hobbit disasters).
I’m not actually that familiar with the source material, but I did think during the movie that this was a pointless addition:
Dr. Tim Blake Nelson: Ben, we want you to murder people for the U.S. military.
Ben Grimm: Of course you do. Sure, why not? I just loved the storyline in the Fantastic Four comics where the Thing joined the army and started killing enemy combatants with his bare hands oh wait I didn’t because NOTHING LIKE THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED IN FANTASTIC FOUR.
Do screenwriters actually know how not to use this plot device? Just wondering.
I did not make this connection, but boy do I wish I was this sharp:
Sue Storm: So this is my scene? I just look pensively at a lot of computer monitors to find Reed?
Man in Authority: Yes.
Sue Storm: You realize that not only did I not get to go to the other dimension, but my job on the projects was making the environment suits? Making clothes? For the men?
I did catch this one, and it bugged me during the movie:
Scientist #1: Okay, no one act even slightly surprised or concerned that there is something living on this alien planet in another dimension.
Scientist #2: Hey, it’s that Doom kid! And his face looks like a bootleg action figure!
Scientist #1: Let’s take him back to Earth.
(later, back at the base)
Doom: Hey! I gotta get back to my planet!
Dr. Tim Blake Nelson: Then why’d you even walk up to the scientists in the first place?
Doom: Shut up. (Dr. Tim Blake Nelson’s head explodes)
Doom: The world is bad so I’m going to destroy it! (everybody’s heads explode, Doom goes back to Planet Zero)
Why is it that movies have to tell you how awful everything is on Earth. Is it because … they’re not? Think about it: the Fantastic Four comics were written within a couple years of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Now that sucked.
There are lots of good bits in the original that I didn’t quote. Check it out.
Here’s a goofy piece of poor editing, that will make you smile if you’ve seen this scene clipped from Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story:
The only planet in our solar system discovered by an American, Pluto actually is a mini solar system unto itself. Pluto — just two-thirds the size of our own moon — has big moon Charon that's just over half its size, as well as baby moons Styx, Nix, Hydra, Kerberos and Styx. The names are associated with the underworld in which the mythological god, Pluto, reigned. New Horizons will observe each known moon and keep a lookout for more. [emphasis added]
Gary Silverman draws a great analogy between Hollywood:
There was good news out of Hollywood this week for Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush and Han Solo. The latest box-office receipts suggest that the public appetite for the old and the familiar is surprisingly robust.
The numbers emerged after Walt Disney tried to do things a little differently during the recently concluded Memorial day weekend. The US holiday marks the unofficial start of summer in this part of the world and Hollywood typically joins in the fun by releasing big-budget sequels such as X-Men: Days of Future Past in 2014 or Fast & Furious 6 the year before.
Last weekend, however, Disney served up Tomorrowland, a fantasy starring George Clooney that featured such novelties as original characters and an original story (albeit with synergistic connections to the attraction of the same name at the company’s theme parks). To create an air of mystery, the studio’s advance marketing campaign kept a tight lid on plot details.
The response was dismal …
And our contemporary political system:
But the truly amazing thing is that all this repetition remains popular with the people and that suggests we need to prepare ourselves for sequels in the White House. I speak as one of the doubters who wondered whether Americans could stomach a presidential campaign in 2016 between the wife of one president, Mrs Clinton, and the son and brother of another, Mr Bush.
Now I’m not so sure. A citizenry that would want to sit through Fast & Furious 7, which opened this year, could probably handle a Clinton Administration 3 or a Bush Administration 4. For all we know, it might even look forward to a star turn by Hillary’s daughter, Chelsea, or Jeb’s son, George P. [emphasis added]
Read the whole thing, entitled “Hollywood learns originality does not pay” in Financial Times.
NSFW. Click the link if you don’t know what that means.
If you haven’t heard, there’s an undergraduate at Duke his is public about doing porn to pay her bills. What I have below is the fourth part of series on The Source about her experience. My guess is that most of you won’t have a problem with what’s shown: if you do, don’t watch.
This video mostly covers her at a convention meeting fans. Just like, say, baseball … the fans pay cash for autographs and staged photos.
Towards the end of the video, she counts up her take from that day, and it’s $981. That’s revenue.
She figures it cost her $600 in expenses to do the show (flight, hotel, meals, incidentals), which she calls overhead. The distinction between fixed and variable costs in microeconomics is more situation-specific than most students are aware of. In this case, that overhead is a variable cost from the perspective of her whole life, because she didn’t have to do the show. But, once she’s decided to do the show, the overhead is a fixed cost of that show (because she could probably work longer signing autographs to increase her revenue without increasing those fixed costs). I know … more complex than you may need.
Then she recognizes that those overhead costs apply to both days of the show, while she hasn’t counted the revenue from the first day. She figures she made $600 more in revenue the previous day, subtracts out $100 in other expenses, and figures she cleared $800 for the weekend.
I’m not sure how she’s set up for tax purposes. But, the video doesn’t say anything about that, so let’s assume that she’s a proprietor. Then that $800 is the accounting profit from her business, and that goes straight into her bank account as individual income.
But she recognizes and mentions that she did a lot of work for that $800 (and I don’t mean something crude about porn, I mean just working at her convention booth).* Presuming she did two 8-hour days, that works out to about $50/hour: comparable to what professors in the SUU School of Business make (not me, I’m a peon). So, it’s great money for an undergraduate, but she’d probably be making that in 15-20 years anyway.
Now, here’s where the porn comes in. Her accounting profit is $800. But her economic profit would subtract out many things, most importantly opportunity costs. The reason most people don’t do porn is not that they can get paid better at other jobs, but that they suspect that doing porn is blocking them out of future job possibilities that might pay more. So it’s not so much an opportunity cost as the cost of opportunities foregone.
In this case, I think those opportunity costs fall mostly on the actual doing of the porn, rather than on going to conventions. So for this particular weekend, her accounting profit is $800 and her economic profit might be the $500 excess she makes over working some other job back at school.
But, for her career, let’s say she makes $100K. That’s accounting profit. She’s willing to do that because her economic profit is less than that, but still positive and presumably large. Just to throw out a number, perhaps her opportunity costs are $60K, so she’s left with $40K in economic profits. When you choose not to do porn, you’re thinking that the opportunity costs of that far outweigh the accounting profits. When you put it that way, the difference between someone who does porn and someone who does not is largely their subjective evaluation of their opportunity costs: if you don’t think they’re large, you do porn, if you do think they’re large, you don’t.
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