Monthly Archives: September 2012

Weekend music: Emma by Carly Rhiannon (@carlyrhiannon)

Luminous and ethereal.

Carly’s EP, “The Cure for Growing Older” can be purchased at iTunes. She’s an independent artist, so put cancel that afternoon coffee run and get this instead. 🙂


More on Carly can be found at her website.

Emma – Carly Rhiannon – YouTube

The biggest thing that happened last week is QE3. Here’s what it is, and what it means for the future

Ezra Klein does a good job about explaining QE3 (Here’s why everyone is so excited about what the Fed did yesterday). So much so that I think you should go read it (if for no other reason, you will now know what QE3 is.)

What he does leave out is something I don’t think alot of people are talking about, and that is that the U.S. Federal Reserve is exercising new approaches to affecting the economy. I think QE3 will be either be successful or at the very least, not unsuccessful. While being successful is important now, what is just as important is that in the future, the Fed (and other central banks around the world) will have a precedent for doing the same thing again. And that is a good thing.

The head of the Fed, Ben Bernanke, should have done this along time ago. I think partly he did not because of push back and fears of what this might do. But now the precedent has been set, it will not be as hard to do again in the future.

And that’s a good thing.

Happy Birthday, John Coltrane.

John Coltrane, one of the great musicians of the 20th century, was born on this day. There’s a wealth of video on YouTube you can watch to get a sense of his greatness, including this (John Coltrane – My Favorite Things Live 1965 – YouTube)

You can watch him on YouTube, but better still, go and buy some of his music.



More on life expectancy falling in the U.S. and where it is falling

This map was taken from here: Where life expectancy is falling (in one map). Key quote:

The areas are by and large rural and lower income. They also tend to be areas with fewer doctors, likely meaning less access to the health care resources available elsewhere in the country.

I would be interested to know obesity rates and smoking rates in these areas. Also it is noteworthy that it is concentrated in the South of the U.S. I don’t know if there is a cultural element coming in there (and it would likely be hard to measure, especially compared to concrete things such as obesity, exercise rates, smoking, etc.).

Regardless, it’s not good.

P.S. Obesity rates are here and they overlap to a great degree.

Enrico Nagel and the Tragically Hip and the Xerox machine

I came across these great portraits of Enrico Nagel, like this one:

via Andrew Sullivan’s blog. I wanted to know more, and I clicked through to this link, Flavorwire » Enrico Nagel’s Delightfully Strange Scanner Portraits. I recommend you do too: there’s lots of great portraiture there.

It put me in mind of this cover art from the Tragically Hip from 1992, for the album, Fully Completely

The album came with art similar to Nagel’s. Both are really good. The Hip has the benefit of coming with great music too. 🙂

This is inexcusable: life expectancy rates are declining in the U.S.

While there is a focus here on white Americans, Life Expectancy for Less Educated Whites in U.S. Is Shrinking –, the fact that life expectancy for ANY group in the U.S. is inexcusable. Women in particular have been hit hard. Key quote:

The five-year decline for white women rivals the catastrophic seven-year drop for Russian men in the years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, said Michael Marmot, director of the Institute of Health Equity in London.

It’s not a small thing: it’s comparable to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

American society as a whole is suffering badly. This is a key indicator of it, and a signifigant sign more dramatic changes need to occur.

Friday Night Music: “Billie Jean”, The Civil Wars


The Civil Wars – Billie Jean (Michael Jackson Cover) – YouTube