links for 2010-09-14

  • "Ryan’s game plans are designed to create confusion and anxiety in opposing backfields. There is always the suspenseful feeling that sorties of blitzers are about to come. Sometimes they do arrive in numbers, sometimes they travel alone and sometimes it’s “simulated pressure” and nobody comes at all. Players who are listed in the program at one position turn up elsewhere: defensive ends retreating to safety; linebackers morphing inside and out like peppered moths — so many linebackers flying around the flame. It’s a hybrid landscape and a distorted one. There is the unsettling realization that trouble can come from anywhere. During Ryan’s 10 seasons with Baltimore, the Ravens allowed fewer points than any other defense and the fewest running yards. Skeptics noted that fortifying Ryan’s play-calling was a human portcullis — middle linebacker Ray Lewis, the best defender of his time. Then last year Ryan arrived in New York, where immediately the Jets defense ranked first in the N.F.L
  • False confessions are common: "But more than 40 others have given confessions since 1976 that DNA evidence later showed were false, according to records compiled by Brandon L. Garrett, a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law. Experts have long known that some kinds of people — including the mentally impaired, the mentally ill, the young and the easily led — are the likeliest to be induced to confess. There are also people like Mr. Lowery, who says he was just pressed beyond endurance by persistent interrogators."
  •  [T]here are two technologies for producing automobiles in America. One is to manufacture them in Detroit, and the other is to grow them in Iowa.
  • author sets aside $10/week to give to homeless, a friend of hers writes a yearly check and doesn't give any money. i'm always interested in solutions to this problem
  • guys that barely survive impending danger
  • within-store marketing to customers, e.g. "shopper marketing," is booming: "Although the “science” of this kind of marketing is sometimes debated and questions constantly arise about the messy, qualitative side of this discipline—something I can discuss more, later on—powerful statistics act as a call to shopper marketing. Namely: —70% of brand selections are made at stores —68% of buying decisions are unplanned, and —5% of consumers are loyal to the brand of just one product group (Stahlberg & Maila 2010) In other words, while sometimes highly effective, there seems to be something very ineffective with traditional marketing, advertising and branding efforts. As a result, shopper marketing budgets are growing rapidly."
  • excellent: "What the issue of job creation illustrates is the problem of treating government experts as responsible for a problem that cannot be solved by a single person or a single organization. Economic activity consists of patterns of trade and specialization. The creation of these patterns is a process too complex and subtle for government experts to be able to manage. The issue also illustrates the way hubris drives out true expertise. The vast majority of economists would say that we have very little idea how much employment is created by additional government spending. However, the economists who receive the most media attention and who obtain the most powerful positions in Washington are those who claim to have the most precise knowledge of "multipliers.""
  • Paradoxically, the very things that made the stimulus more effective economically may have made it less popular politically. For instance, because research has shown that lump-sum tax refunds get hoarded rather than spent, the government decided not to give individuals their tax cuts all at once, instead refunding a little on each paycheck. The tactic was successful at increasing consumer demand, but it had a big political cost: many voters never noticed that they were getting a tax cut.
  • According to New Hampshire’s WMUR Channel 9 News, three local men, Mario Rojas, Leonardo Barroso and Victor Rodriguez, have burglarized more than 18 homes in the Nashua area of New Hampshire simply by checking status updates on Facebook and then pillaging the houses of victims who announced on the social network that they were not home.
  • I think there are five different variables being represented here, in x, y position, size of circle, country name and denomination (color). Cool chart. Clustering of high-population Muslims in top left

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