Morning in Arizona

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More on Matte Paintings in Movies

Matte paintings from the pre-CGI movie era are total catnip for me, and are probably my favorite topic in film.  I remember first learning about matte painting after being blown away with the the huge hanger scenes and infinite drops on the Death Star in Star Wars. The Matte Shot blog has another great post [...]

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Transpartisan Plan #2: A Better Approach to Government Health Care: Focus the Government on the One Thing It Does Best

So this is my second in a series of transpartisan proposals, the unintended consequence of which is likely to have me ostracized not just by the two major parties but by the libertarian community as well.  My first such proposal, on climate, helped get me ostracized from the climate skeptic community.  Much of this article [...]

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Looking At Causes of Recent Wildfires and Resultant Property Damage, It’s Hard To Point The Finger Solely or Even Mostly at CO2

Today I want to talk a bit about trends in wildfires in the US.  And as regular readers know, I have a real pet peeve about declaring a trend without actual, you know, trend data.  The media may be willing to jump from “most devastating fire in California history” to a trend just based on [...]

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Be Especially Careful When Media and Pundits "Teach" You the History of Nazi Germany

I once was taking a course on the history of the Roman Empire (Garrett Fagan via the Teaching Company) in which the lecturer at the end of the course engaged the ever-popular topic of “why did the Roman Empire fall?**”  He made an interesting observation that could equally well be applied to many of the [...]

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Your Government Outrage of the Week — The Feds Try To Collect a Retroactive Rent Increase

Years ago the Forest Service wanted to eliminate car traffic in popular Sabino Canyon near Tucson, AZ, so they closed the road and asked companies for proposals to run a tram service to various stops in the canyon.  While a bit unusual at the time this service started, this is now a very common response [...]

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Does the Zero-Sum Nature of Academic Success Contribute to the Left-wards Bias of Academia?

For a while now, I have  had a theory that the zero-sum nature of academic success (competition for a fixed and perhaps shrinking number of tenured positions) affects the larger world-view of academia. (This article that compares academia to a harmful cult demonstrates this zero-sum thinking pretty well.) It is pretty well-established that the American [...]

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Incredible Evidence of P Hacking in Research Studies, Demonstrated with One Chart

Hat tip to Kevin Drum for finding this: I will let him explain the chart, it is worth understanding: The authors collected every significant clinical study of drugs and dietary supplements for the treatment or prevention of cardiovascular disease between 1974 and 2012. Then they displayed them on a scatterplot. Prior to 2000, researchers could [...]

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I Think I Have Lost the Plot — When Did AG Jeff Sessions Become a Liberal Icon?

I simply cannot believe that the same folks on the Left who loathed Jeff Sessions a few months ago are now protesting in the street because Trump has fired him.  This is just bizarre beyond words.  I celebrate his firing.  Sessions has been as illiberal an AG as I can remember.  He has been hostile [...]

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Hotels: For the Love Of God, I Just Want to Turn the Lights On

Well, in a now familiar experience, I had to search around yet another darkened hotel room tonight with my cell phone in flashlight mode trying to just turn on the freaking lights.  The Lutron sales folks have been busy again, selling yet another hotel on some sort of complex mood lighting control center with 7 [...]

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Tesla Is A Finely Crafted Machine for Sucking Money Out of Taxpayers’ Pockets

I have ranted about this before, but the numbers for Tesla subsidies in the third quarter were simply staggering: Tesla’s Main Product Isn’t Cars, It’s Subsidies Tesla received $713 million in U.S. subsidies in Q3, compared to its $312 million profit. That’s a pace of $2.8 billion a year.   More than half of this starts [...]

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