This Should Be Wisconsin

October 13, 2017

Via xkcd, of course…

A schism between the pro-panhandle and anti-panhandle factions eventually led to war, but both sides spent too much time working on their flag designs to actually do much fighting.

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Holy Crap. This Never Gets Old

October 11, 2017

SpaceX landed another rocket. Phil Plait, of Bad Astronomy fame, enjoyed it:


Apple Charging

October 11, 2017

Why are Apple products so hard to charge? I’ve had a variety of Android phones and tablets. I’ve used any number of charging cords and bricks. They always work. Why wouldn’t they, it’s not that complicated.

Everyone else in the family has iPhones. We have two iPads. My daughters have the charging quirks down. “Don’t use that cable for the iPad, it only works for my iTouch”. “No, not that one either, that only works for Danny’s phone”. And the devices all recognize that a charger has been plugged in, because you get the ever so helpful “Not Charging” status. We’ve returned multiple iPhones because they wouldn’t charge. Googling “iPhone won’t charge” returns over 13 million hits.

Serious question, can anyone explain this? Charging isn’t hard…

 


Mars 2024

September 29, 2017

This is long and geeky, Elon Musk’s latest presentation on Making Life Multiplanetary. One of the reasons I enjoy Elon Musk as a CEO is when he’s discussing this stuff you can tell that he really knows it. His throwaway lines amuse me:

It’s 2017, we should have a lunar base by now, what’s going on?

The quick takeaways from the presentation are that SpaceX plans to send two rockets to Mars in 2022 to land cargo and four of them in 2024, two of which will be manned to establish a base.

And in typical SpaceX fashion, it dawned on them that if they get so good at launching and landing rockets such that the cost drops dramatically, there’s no reason you can’t take a rocket from NYC to Shanghai in 39 minutes (jump to the 41 minute mark of the video).


Stand Up – No, Seriously

September 29, 2017

A sobering Healthcare Triage on the dangers of sitting:

Every time you sit and watch an hour of TV, you could be taking 21.8 minutes off your life


Atlantic Antic 2017

September 24, 2017

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I’ve blogged about this so many times, please refer to prior year posts. The kiddos are getting older so we actually got to sit down at one place to enjoy food and drinks. It was hot this year, but overall a very nice antic. Food roundup for me:

  • alcupurrias (Spanish church)
  • corn (who knows, it’s everywhere)
  • empenanda (second pass by the Spanish church, seriously good)
  • oysters (from French Louie – they said they had 3,000 oysters and ran out)
  • fries (same place, really good)
  • bratwurst (random German stand)
  • pizza (Brado, my local joint)
  • gumbo (The Gumbo Bros)

What makes this the best street fair in NYC is that on top of the generic street fair food (not that there’s any wrong with the sausage and peppers truck), the local joints are providing the food, drinks and music. Crazy good fun. I need to burp…


Index Fund Beats Hedge Funds

September 18, 2017

Warren Buffett apparently made a bet 10 years ago that a basic S&P index fund with low fees would outperform hedge funds on aggregate. He put his money where his mouth was, offering a $500,000 bet to any hedge fund manager. The manager would have to pick 5 hedge funds and they would compare how the 5 performed against the Vanguard S&P 500 index fund.

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I publicly offered to wager $500,000 that no investment pro could select a set of at least five hedge funds – wildly-popular and high-fee investing vehicles – that would over an extended period match the performance of an unmanaged S&P-500 index fund charging only token fees. I suggested a ten-year bet and named a low-cost Vanguard S&P fund as my contender. I then sat back and waited expectantly for a parade of fund managers – who could include their own fund as one of the five – to come forth and defend their occupation. After all, these managers urged others to bet billions on their abilities. Why should they fear putting a little of their own money on the line?

What followed was the sound of silence. Though there are thousands of professional investment managers who have amassed staggering fortunes by touting their stock-selecting prowess, only one man – Ted Seides – stepped up to my challenge. Ted was a co-manager of Protégé Partners, an asset manager that had raised money from limited partners to form a fund-of-funds – in other words, a fund that invests in multiple hedge funds.

Like Warren Buffett needs more money, but he won the bet. None of the five hedge funds individually outperformed the S&P 500 and on average the hedge funds returned 7.1% compared to the S&P 85%. Not even close.