Monday, December 29, 2014

Johnny Mercer wrote 1,200 songs

Johnny Mercer (1909 to 1976) was an amazing talent. He was one of the most popular singers of the 1940s, behind Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. He was cofounder of Capital Records in 1942 and an executive there. Meanwhile he wrote the lyrics for a lot of songs; he sometimes also composed the music. The lyrics have been found for 1,200 of them. Those found are brought together with complete lyrics in a huge book that has little text beyond the lyrics.

The book: The Complete Lyrics of Johnny Mercer

My list: As I went thorough the book I noted the songs I recall. Here is my list with the songs by year and giving the page number in the book.

Lazy Bones p 22
I’m an Old Cowhand p 44. The funny song of the “cowhand” who rides the range in his Ford V-8.
Hooray for Hollywood p 59
Jeepers Creepers p 74
You must have been a beautiful baby p 74

Fools rush in, page unknown

Blues in the Night p 117. Everyone agreed he deserved the Academy Award for song for this. The award went to the great duo Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein. They apologized to Mercer, agreeing that he deserved the award, because their song was not new and not written for the movie. The rules were soon changed, so that didn’t happen again.

I remember you, page unknown

That Old Black Magic p 136
One for my baby and One more for the Road p 138. It has the Unusual length of 43 bars
Ac-cent-tu-ate the Positive p 144
On the Atchison Topeka and the Santa Fe p 152
Come Rain or Come Shine p 162

In the Cool, cool, cool of the Evening p 192
Glow Worm p 220
Something’s Gotta Give p 241
Jubilation T Cornpone from the obscure musical Lil’ Abner

Satin Doll p 272 
I Wanna be around to pick up the Pieces p 275. A little lady working the cosmetics counter in a department store in Youngstown, Ohio, Sadie Vimmerstedt, wrote only the title and first line, but was given full credit as co-composer by Mercer. When asked why he responded that the title and first line is half the work of writing a song.
Two of a Kind p 291
Moon River
Bilbao Song (Bertolt Brecht)
Days of Wine and Roses p 300

I also enjoy a recording I have of Mercer and Bobby Darin singing Paddlin’ Madeline Home, which shares our granddaughter’s name. But Mercer didn’t write it.

New York's good old 1970s were bad, very bad

New Yorkers - some of them - are remembering the 1970s. But not for the much higher crime or the city going bankrupt. No, as a funky, fun place.

Ed Driscol reminds how bad NYC was before Rudy Giuliani cleaned it up. Ed Koch provided some sane, if more dangerous, years also.

PJ Media

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Barry Ritholz's investment advice

Barry Ritholz has been in finances for 35 years. Here are some lessons he has learned.

1. You cannot beat the market.

2. Stock picking is a sucker’s game.

3. Fees rob you every year. Cut them as low as possible. No active management.

And more. HIs quick advice is here. Big Picture

More: Ritholz uses a very interesting article by Mark Dowie. First, it tells the story of the advice to Google employees before its IPO. Second, how the author cleaned up his investment portfolio and the people at Aperio who helped him. Third, how passive management began at Wells Fargo in San Francisco in the early 1970s. And how it could not have happened in New York, Boston, Chicago or any other center of finance; it required mavericks. And why is so much money still in wasteful active management?

The Big Picture the article by Mark Dowie. It first appeared in San Francisco Magazine in December, 2006.


Friday, December 26, 2014

Using Mt Rainier for climate nonsense


The Tacoma News Tribune ran a major feature on how Mt Rainier is dying. But Sierra Rayne looked at it and found major problems with it. My favorite is that the warming trend is hidden by recent colder temperatures. Recent colder temps are hiding warming? Maybe colder means colder!

American Thinker Here is a sample.

You must be kidding: 105 years of climate data isn't enough to establish trends? Pure nonsense, as is the claim that the park's weather varies so widely that it "obscures long-term changes." Last time I checked, all major scientific organizations were using climate records much shorter than 105 years to establish trends.

And claiming that year-to-year and decade-to-decade variability obscures long-term changes is oxymoronic – although it makes a convenient alarmism talking point. The statistical tools we use to assess whether trends are significant or not take into account this variability.

There are many climate datasets that have substantial variability but still yield significant trends over time. Conversely, there are also many climate datasets that have relatively little variability but that do not exhibit any significant trends. It is all too convenient to raise the "too much variability" flag when the time series doesn't give you a trend – but I don't see any concerns over "too much variability" when the statistical analyses yield a trend.

In other words, the same degree of variability apparently becomes a problem when the analysis suggests no climate change, but it is just fine when a trend can be identified. Heads, we win; tails, you lose. Sounds like a fine philosophy by which to run a casino, but that simply is not how objective and rigorous publicly funded science should work.

Later on in this article, there is the following statement that appears to entirely contradict the excuse quoted above:

[Quoting TNT] Eleven weather stations gather data in the park, but only the station at Longmire has been operating long enough (since 1909) to show trends that climatologists say are significant. [End of quote]

Wait a minute. Were we not just told earlier in the article that "the first weather station in the park wasn't installed until 1909, so there's not enough historic data on temperature or snowfall – especially at high altitudes – to establish trends with those numbers"? And now we are being told that "only the station at Longmire has been operating long enough (since 1909) to show trends that climatologists say are significant."

So data since 1909 is not enough to establish trends, except when data since 1909 is enough to show trends? Sure, that makes sense.

Read the whole thing.



Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Artificial knee meniscus - regenerated in place


TC Columbia Univ knee meniscus

Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center & Cornell are working on a method of regenerating knee meniscus in place. It is a combination of 3D printing and getting stem cells to do the regeneration. 

Interesting as the 3D printing is, the key is the way to hold two growth proteins that atttract stem cells that do the work. They successfully did this in sheep so that they could walk, but a few years are needed in the lab to make it practical for you and me.

Tech Crunch

Photo: Tech Crunch

Monday, December 22, 2014

Mayor Murray wants more tent cities

What you enable you get more of. Do you want more people on the street (no, in tents, big difference)? Seattle Mayor Ed Murray wants seven (7) city-sponsored tent cities with up to 100 people in each. Churches and other religious institutions are allowed to host tent cities with few restrictions.

Mayor Murray set up a task force to study where to put/allow homeless people and this was one of their key recommendation. Did they consider security? Homeless encampments in the past have been shown to attract people with criminal records. Sanitation? One hundred people outside without plumbing?

Seattle Times

Why work to pay rent when the city encourages living in tents for free? The mayor should do everything to encourage more jobs. More people working and paying their own rent. When he makes it easier to be homelessness he will attract more of them both locally and from other places.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Alternate-fuel vehicles - sometimes less healthy than gasoline

Alternate-fuel vehicles - are they less healthy? Depending on the which fuel is used, sometimes the answer is YES.

Popular Mechanics describes a study that says there is a split - that some alternate fuels are less healthy than gasoline-powered cars! The alternates included electric vehicles with six different fuels for generating the electricity. The big villains are using corn ethanol for fuel and electric cars when the electricity is generated by coal - which much of it currently is

The researchers investigated ten alternatives to gasoline. They include diesel, compressed natural gas, ethanol derived from corn, and ethanol derived from cellulose, as well as electric vehicles powered in six different ways: by electricity from coal, natural gas, corn leaf and stalk combustion, wind, water, or solar energy. They then modeled the effects of replacing 10 percent of U.S. vehicles that currently run on gasoline by 2020. ...

The findings showed a dramatic swing the positive and negative effects on health based on the type of energy used. Internal combustion vehicles running on corn ethanol and electric vehicles powered by electricity from coal were the real sinners; according the study, their health effects were 80 percent worse compared to gasoline vehicles. However, electric vehicles powered by electricity from natural gas, wind, water, or solar energy might reduce health impacts by at least 50 percent compared to gasoline vehicles.

They were studying health effects, not global warming.

For more see the abstract at Proceedings NAS.

Helping the almost billionaire

Help Fidel Castro retain tyranical control of Cuba, President Obama. Help the almost billionaire. According The Richest Castro is worth $900 million.

And President Obama is clearly helping him by opening normal relations with Cuba without getting anything - well only one prisoner released. 

Quote of the day - John Kerry

John kerry yacht in RI

John "Do you know who I am?” Kerry * speaks his wisdom: US Department of State

I was a seventeen year old kid watching on a black and white television set when I first heard an American President talk of Cuba as an "imprisoned island.”

For five and a half decades since, our policy toward Cuba has remained virtually frozen, and done little to promote a prosperous, democratic and stable Cuba. Not only has this policy failed to advance America's goals, it has actually isolated the United States instead of isolating Cuba.

That’s right. It is the US that is isolated more than Cuba. Oh? Are people from everywhere in the world trying to get into Cuba? Do Americans drive only US cars from the 1950s, or do we import from any country that make quality cars?

Tell us more, esteemed Mr. Kerry.

* (That is what people in Massachusetts tell us Kerry says when he treats people like dirt in public: "Do you know who I am?”)

Photo: on keeping his 75-foot yacht in RI to avoid Mass taxes.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Europeans cheat on auto fuel and emissions tests

The Europeans are systematically cheating on auto fuel and emissions tests. You cannot believe the numbers the auto makers show off with the approval of the European Commission.

The Economist

…  What was once a gap between the mileages achieved on test tracks and real-world roads has become a chasm, according to a recent report from Transport & Environment (T&E), a green pressure group. Analysis by the International Council on Clean Transportation, a consultancy, of data reported by car owners in Europe shows that in 2013 fuel-economy figures “on the road” were on average 38% worse than those advertised.

The makers are allowed to test prototypes rather than production copies; they can remove mirrors, spare tires, etc; in the test the cars are driven with very gradual acceleration; they are run at the maximum temperature, which helps. The tests are simply nonsense.

We always hear that the Europeans are superior to us in every way and especially in anything about the environment. Don’t believe them and their cheerleaders. 

This Wikipedia article tells more about the standards and the tricks. Wikipedia

Joel Kotkin and New Geography

Joel Kotkin is an Orange County, Calif professor (check…) He collects his thoughts and those others on urban geography at NewGeography web site and blog. For example, he fisks the common claim that the US has not been investing in infrastructure. But he shows that the pessimists run out the worst examples and ignore the good news. New Geography

And Kotkin's new book: The New Class Conflict at Amazon

"There's class warfare politics in America today, but not between Marx's bourgeoisie and proletariat. On one side are a hyperaffluent financial and high-tech Oligarchy and a preachy media, university, and government Clerisy, using their advantages to promote liberal social values and 'green' policies. On the other are the middle-class yeomanry and an urban underclass, both of which need the mass economic growth and upward mobility that the Oligarchy and Clerisy ignore. Joel Kotkin's The New Class Conflict tells how this conflict is proceeding--and how it might be turned around."
--Michael Barone,Washington Examiner and the American Enterprise Institute


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Very funny - waterboard the coach

Waterboard the coach!

Sportscaster Dan Hampton is a hall-of-fame veteran of the Chicago Bears; he wants to get to the truth. So he proposes waterboarding Mel Tucker, the Bears defensive coordinator.  Very funny.


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Greenpeace defaced very old treasure

Greenpeace knowingly defaced a very old treasure in Peru. Peru has a bunch of large-scale drawings on rock by the Nazca people around 400 to 640 AD. Greenpeace chose to place its message about renewable whatever adjacent to one of them. Adjacent - so close that they trampled on it. Their chosen site is the hummingbird geoglyph. And in their nocturnal comings and goings they created a road that is as bad an eyesore from above as the trampling they did.

Their message: “Time for change! The future is renewable - Greenpeace.” Duh… the past is not renewable. They caused permanent damage. But their intentions were good. And they are sorry that you take exception to what they do. But they have a higher calling.

Peru government official Jaime Castillo said that the action was illegal and they are investigating it.

Via Gizmodo. Source IO9

Patricio V. Murillo shows how researchers wear special footgear to protect the ground at the Nazca sites. (In Spanish)

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Still lying about Obamacare - two this week

Obama’s new Secretary of HHS told Two half truths this week. First, that Obamacare make huge decrease in inflation of healthcare costs. Wrong. Cost increases slowed before - before - Obama’s pet bill passed in 2010.

Lie #2: Increased patient safety. But… But Obama’s minions are not counting the worst infection now running through hospitals, called C Diff. The independent hospital patient safety experts say things are not improving.

From Betsy McCaughey at New York Post

Monday, December 08, 2014

Raise in federal minimum wage reduced employment

Raising the federal minimum wage reduced employment. Detailed analysis with the control group being states that already had higher minimum wages. With all things considered authors found that the 3-strep raise in 2007, 2008 and 2009 reduced employment by .7%. That’s a huge number of people who lost their jobs.


Friday, December 05, 2014

Stand with Hillary

Watch the music video Stand with Hillary 2016 - country version. Enjoy it like all us country music fans do.. They plan three more for other ghettos, I mean, populations. 

At PowerLine you can watch it and enjoy Steven Hayward’s commentary.

Powerline Blog

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Where will China seek more energy & resources?

Richard Fernandez quotes sources that say given the choice between: West - in and across Russia overland and East/South over water influenced by the US and Japan, China has chosen to take on the emaciated Bear, Russia.

Richard Fernandez at Belmont Club

The analysis he quotes is disjointed, but interesting.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Cabo Mexico after category 3 hurricane

Odile playa grande

We returned to Cabo San Lucas, BCS, Mexico last night curious to see how there are recovering from category 3 hurricane Odile in mid September. There is a lot of recovery to go. Our home resort, Playa Grande, opened on October 20, 5 plus weeks later. And we knew some other resorts opened then or within a few weeks. But we were surprised on the drive from the airport, which is 20 miles away in San Jose, to see lots of dark buildings. Even some major resorts are not yet open - Palmilla, Dreams, Fiesta Americana, Westin, Sheraton; those are all big ones.

At Playa Grande our view will be greatly improved (we are staying at the resort next door this wee - Sandos Finisterra), because the palm trees lost all their fronds - all of them. Our view before was frustrating because our condo is right at the edge of the beach, but the palm trees cut the view to peek-a-boo. At least most of the trees survived. There is damage - one stairway to the beach is missing the last 10 steps. But the resort is set back from water’s edge, which reduced the damage.

Grand Solmar Resort is next to the rocks at the famed Fin de Tierra - “land’s end” - but they built it close to the water. It has concrete wall faced with stone on the water side. Most of the stone work is gone. And the concrete wall protecting one close building has a 40-foot gap. And more damage; when walking by barefoot on the sand watch out for rebar sticking our of the sand! But the resort is open.

Photo: The entrance to Playa Grande. The drop below the van on its side is 13 meters (40 feet). Credit shows in the photo.