Easing your Travel Pain
"Travel safe and enjoy the long weekend!"
As Minyans eye-ball the clock this morning, trying to calculate the exact time at which "It's cool to leave early", they can rest assured that they are not alone. The highways, planes and trains of the nation figure to be packed with fellow religious celebrants of The Three Day Weekend.
In the interest of easing the pain for Minyans caught at the airport, standstill traffic a train terminal or at their spouse's insane family's house, I present below a voluminous collection of columns, stories, blurbs and articles from topics and journals around the world. Hit the links that catch your fancy, print the stories and jam 'em in the laptop bag while you try to look busy for the boss.
Hopefully you wont need them b/c you'll travel hassle-free to locales teeming with interesting people. It is for those of you not so blessed that we present the first ever:
Minyanville's Three Day Weekend Plane, Train or Automobile Reading Links:
* The text of George Soros' famous MIT speech on his financial theory of Reflexivity (in short: financial markets, through controlling the relative price of the access to capital, to a large extent shape the outcomes on which participants are, in effect, wagering.)
It's a little known fact that Soros concluded the speech by mumbling "but, hey, I dunno... this is just something I'm playing with... I mostly like to invest on the basis of stuff I overhear."
* Just because it's always interesting, the story of Ivan Boesky's "Greed is Good" speech (later used by raider Gordon Gecko to pummel the management of Teldar Paper, including that guy who ran the office in LA Law years later (Richard Dysart)).
* ESPN.com's Bill Simmons wrestles with the Boston Sports Fans' life-altering conundrum: "How to reconcile Red Sox (and to a much lesser extent) Patriot success with our self-perception as New York's snotty-nosed little brother with a monster chip on our shoulder?"
[Answer: They can't. It's no karmic coincidence that the Red Sox won the World Series immediately prior to the steroid thing sticking a shiv in baseball as a credible sport. Boston won as a wild-card team which would have cheapened it even if the entire league wasn't main-lining monkey pancreatic growth hormone between innings. The Red Sox are being welcomed to the top of baseball's Mount Olympus by the Marlins and the Diamondbacks. 'Nuff Said.]
* This is a big weekend for fans of college hockey (aka: "The Last Real Major College Sport"). Macke-Centered Worlds Collide tonight in Durham, New Hampshire ("New Hamp-shuh") when women's college hockey powerhouses Dartmouth and Minnesota collide.
* On the men's side of the ice, here's a fresh, clean, unsullied bracket to give those of us disappointed by the standings in the Minyan Hoops Pool.
Literary & History
* "Gunga-Din, Young Meehan. It is Gunga-Din who set the standard for water-bearing assistance to which you need strive in our relationship."
* A book on the history and emotional construct of Boredom. Ideal for Minyans who really want to dig into exactly what it is that they are feeling as they sit on the floor of JFK tonight at 9pm, waiting for an update on the 5 o'clock flight.
* Viewers of the Daily Show know, if the History Channel has taught us any larger, overarching lesson it is this: It's impossible to spend too much time studying and speculating about Hitler. Did he have the A-Bomb? Almost certainly not but hit the link and read on if you want to debunk the myth before the HC's three-hour documentary.
News, Notes and Columns
* The New Yorker explores the history and future of advertising through the lens of the question "Do ads still work?" I was thinking of submitting a column on this topic for the magazine, mostly so I could stage-whisper phrases like "I did a piece for the New Yorker" when around academic types to whom that matters. Alas, both my first draft ("No.") and my more thorough second effort ("No, traditional ads no longer work. At all.") were rejected.
* Had The New Yorker not sent my third effort back to me unopened they'd have seen rather strong evidence of our culture's state of denial over our ability to make anything look appealing if we just give it the right promotional "push".
* Speaking of academics and Boston (where academics mingle and breed), the Boston Globe explores a Columbia University ("The status of the Ivies, the ambient gunfire of USC") prof's idea that, rather than seeking to limit nukes we should be giving our extra missles to tin-pot dictatorships all over the globe. The Big Idea seems to be that giving everyone the power to annihilate would result in a perfect global balance of deterrence.
* Gary Kasparov has announced that he is quitting chess in order to dedicate himself to opposing Russian quasi-dictator Vladamir Putin. "We'll see how this strong man deals with the graceful menace of a three wave ideological attack employed by a Grand Master" I imagine Kasparov thinking in a moment of hubris.
"Throw him in prison... preferably on top of that Yukos guy", I imagine a bored Putin responding.
* For those of you observing Good Friday this weekend, take a moment to reflect on Bill Moyer's contention that "We are witnessing today a coupling of ideology and theology that threatens our ability to meet the growing ecological crisis". It's a little-known fact that the Sermon on the Mount is a thinly veiled allegory arguing the merits of Alaskan oil drilling. Good to see the cover get blown off that conspiracy.
So, I guess Bill will be working on Friday.
* Dallas coming to the big screen! Unlike Charlie's Angels, Starsky and Hutch and other assorted dreck dug up from the 80's, the filmakers seem to be inclined to play it as drama rather than with ironic detachment. Presumably the resulting film will stay true to the Old-TV-Show-Made-Movie genre by sucking like a super-charged Oreck.
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