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I’m a complete idiot when it comes to all things financial/economic, but some of you might find this article from Wired interesting. It looks into one of the major causes of our economic collapse. A hat tip to Mr. Murray for sending this my way.

Recipe for Disaster: The Formula That Killed Wall Street

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Sometimes I get a little out of it. Other than the previous night’s big game, I’m not really sure what’s going on. For example, did you know there’s a new comet to look at?

Catch Comet Lulin

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“What are the girls saying these days?” you ask. I share below.

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I owe my fellow music geeks some AT40 updates. So a couple items from the last two weeks are below.

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A couple basketball links to get Friday started. This first is a classic feel good story that helps balance all the crap we have to deal with as sports fans.

Amid the grieving, a rare act of sportsmanship

Something else was on Dave Rohlman’s mind when he asked for a volunteer to shoot two free throws awarded his team on a technical foul in the second quarter. His senior captain raised his hand, ready to go to the line as he had many times before.

Only this time it was different.

The second came via my friend Wyn. It is one person’s take on how college basketball would look this year if there had been no early entries into the NBA draft the last three years. It’s a little suspect because, if you read through the comments, you’ll see he left out some important players in his initial list.

And while it’s fun to imagine these kinds of things, it’s an imperfect exercise. For example, I think KU was much better last year without Julian Wright than they would have been with him. You can go through each team’s roster and think about potential when adding back in NBA players, but that doesn’t mean those teams would necessarily be better than they are. Some of these teams would be stacked, in theory, but would the guys who stayed have developed as much if the older guys had not left? Would there be enough shots? Would they have been able to subvert egos the way KU and Memphis did last year, or would there have been internal strife?*

* Which is rumored to have been the case at KU during Wright’s last year in Lawrence.

Still, fun to read and think “What if?”

What Could Have Been

Here’s a link to a very interesting article from Michael Lewis that appeared in last weekend’s New York Times Magazine. One of my goals for the year was to learn more about advanced stats, the statistics that are being used to redefine how we view baseball. Lewis was instrumental in bringing these stats to the mainstream with his best seller Moneyball in 2003.

Now he looks at how NBA teams are beginning to look at ways of using advanced stats to better allocate their salary cap dollars. His focus is on the Houston Rockets and Shane Battier, a player who despite an impressive basketball pedigree is viewed by most as barely hanging on to his roster spot. Yet, he not only starts most of the Rockets’ games, but he plays a major role in determining each game’s outcome.

The No-Stats All-Star

“I hate being out on the floor wasting that time,” he said. “I used to try to talk to people, but then I figured out no one actually liked me very much.”

Another effect of being on Facebook: I sometimes forget to post things to the blog. I’ll do a Facebook update and think I’ve covered a topic, when all I did was offer up a blurb that demanded a more in-depth accounting here. Here’s one story I should have shared with you.

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It’s been a few months since I finally became an active member of Facebook. Based on my discussions with a few of you, my odd reaction to the experience is not one unique to me. It’s just a strange thing.

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I was surprisingly spry Friday and Saturday. Guess those 4-5 weeks of resistance training leading up to our personal training session paid off. The abs and back muscles were sore, but the good kind of sore. I did the workout again yesterday, augmented by some time on the treadmill at a big incline. I’m sorer from the treadmill than I was Friday. I’ll be interested to see what he has in store for us Thursday.

There’s a great show on Current TV called infoMania. It’s their weekly review program; their version of E!’s The Soup or VH1’s Best Week Ever. This week was the obligatory Valentine’s themed-show, featuring some funny segments about online dating. They threw in a reference to a site for people who are looking to have affairs. The site’s tagline is “When Divorce Isn’t An Option.”

Ummm, ok.

I’m no prude and believe people can do what they want so long as they’re willing to accept the consequences, but isn’t this stuff supposed to be hidden? Like blind ads in the weekly alternative papers, or in the backs of porn mags? Not some fancy website with well-produced commercials?

* Watch the clip for the name of the site. It comes about 8:00 into the show. I really don’t want to link to it myself.

Being a curious lad, I did have to check out the site. You don’t get much without registering, and I didn’t think my wife would understand me registering for such a site in the name of “research for the blog.” But I can report that they offer an Affair Guarantee. That’s reassuring.

Suddenly if feels like New York, 1977 in here.

And with that, Happy Valentine’s Day, everybody!