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Public vs. private entities Mon, Feb 23, 2015
I liked this part of a recent Freakonomics episode interviewing the head of the World Bank: 
Well, I think market forces are critical here. And sometimes people say, "Well, you know, the private sector does everything better." And I don't know that that's really the case so much as the private-sector entities that did it poorly no longer exist, right? Because they go out of business. And public-sector entities can stay in business for a very long time no matter how poor their performance is.
Good take on both points.  Bad businesses can and do fail.  Bad government isn't allowed to fail.  Maybe it should be. #business

HP vs. LOTR Wed, Feb 18, 2015
I started reading the Lord of the Rings a few weeks ago, and I immediately noticed several similarities to the Harry Potter books.  In both stories, the main character, seemingly setting out on his own before being joined by his helpful friends, goes on a quest to destroy an object containing the soul of the antagonist referred to as the Dark Lord.  This main character has interactions with wizards, trolls, and elves, has to avoid undead dark creatures who bring cold sadness to everyone they meet, and receives a nearly mortal wound that somehow connects him telepathically to the antagonist.  I'm no literary critic, but these things were obvious even to me. #entertainment

Grades and money Wed, Feb 11, 2015
When I was in school, my primary motivation was to get good grades.  I think I knew that good grades wouldn't necessarily guarantee me success in the future, but I was pretty sure bad grades would likely set me up for future failure. 

I have almost the exact same viewpoint today concerning money.  I know money can't buy me everything, but I'm also quite sure that a lack of money can't buy shit. #money

AWD success Tue, Feb 03, 2015
I never believed the hype about All Wheel Drive.  People would say how much better it was in snow and ice, but it mostly just seemed to make people drive more recklessly in bad conditions.  It wasn't until about two years ago when I finally drove in a friend's AWD car in the snow that I realized the difference.  My front-wheel drive car would routinely spin its wheels on very gentle slopes, even in my nearly flat driveway.  My friend's car had no problem getting around in slick conditions, even on snow-covered, icy, steep driveways in frigid Vermont, where we often visit for ski/snowboard trips. 

Fast forward to this past weekend, when I got the chance to take my new AWD car to Vermont and drive in snowy conditions.  Not only was it snowing pretty heavily, but Vermont seems to take a wait-and-see approach to plowing and salting the roads.  Several large trucks couldn't make it up and over the mountains in the area, and even a Honda Accord driver had to turn around and give up after spinning his tires on a steep part and making no headway up the hill.  The real coup de grace was on a relatively small side road, where I was driving behind an SUV on a moderately steep incline.  The SUV started spinning its tires and not making any forward progress, so the driver waved me around.  From a dead stop on a slippery incline, I pressed the gas pedal and just went.  I passed the stranded driver and got to my destination without a single problem.  I will literally never own another vehicle that doesn't have four driven wheels. #travel