Recent comments by aleister perdurabo

Report: Millennials are moving to Buffalo, living the 'new American Dream' | syracuse.com

Millennials are loving the looks of Buffalo, N.Y., -- so much so they are deeming it "the come back city."

According to a report from Gothamist, from 2000 to 2012 the number of college graduates between the ages of 25 and 34 in Buffalo jumped 34 percent. This is more than Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago, The New York Times analyzes.

Buffalonians say moving to their city is like "dating the girl next door who's undergoing a She's All That-style transformation," Gothamist says.

The younger demographic has reportedly been brought in through projects including the Buffalo Building Re-Use Project, a loan-providing program to help improve downtown, and Urban Homestead Project, that sells abandoned homes for $1.

And with millennials come jobs. According to Forbes, millennial jobs jumped 9 percent in Buffalo-Niagara Falls area.

The top occupations that accounted for this jump are food prep and serving, personal care and service occupations such as childcare workers, and sales and related occupations. Food industry positions saw a 34 percent growth from 2007 to 2013, an increase of 4,500 jobs, Forbes adds.

A system must be managed. It will not manage itself. Left to themselves in the Western world, components become selfish, competitive, independent profit centres, and thus destroy the system. . . . The secret is cooperation between components toward the aim of the organization. We can not afford the destructive effect of competition."[27]

"To successfully respond to the myriad of changes that shake the world, transformation into a new style of management is required. The route to take is what I call profound knowledge—knowledge for leadership of transformation."[27]

"The worker is not the problem. The problem is at the top! Management!"[35] Management's job. It is management's job to direct the efforts of all components toward the aim of the system. The first step is clarification: everyone in the organization must understand the aim of the system, and how to direct his efforts toward it. Everyone must understand the damage and loss to the whole organization from a team that seeks to become a selfish, independent, profit centre."[27]

Deming

Deming Moment 

Deming made a significant contribution to Japan's reputation for innovative, high-quality products, and for its economic power. He is regarded as having had more impact on Japanese manufacturing and business than any other individual not of Japanese heritage. Despite being honored in Japan in 1951 with the establishment of the Deming Prize, he was only just beginning to win widespread recognition in the U.S. at the time of his death in 1993.[6] President Reagan awarded him the National Medal of Technology in 1987. The following year, the National Academy of Sciences gave Deming the Distinguished Career in Science award.

I'm 25 miles north of NYC. So far less than an inch.

Where's MP or Pavel these days?

The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

One "singular" incident, Maillard says, was when the patients, granted a large amount of liberty around the house, actually overthrew their doctors and nurses and usurped their positions, locking them up as lunatics. These lunatics were led by a man who claimed to have invented a better method of treating mental illness, and who allowed no visitors except for "a very stupid-looking young gentleman of whom he had no reason to be afraid". The narrator asks how the hospital staff rebelled and returned things to order. Just then, loud noises are heard and the actual hospital staff breaks from their confines. It is revealed that the dinner guests were, in fact, the patients who had just recently taken over. As part of their uprising, the inmates had treated the staff to "tarring and feathering". The keepers now put the real patients, including Monsieur Maillard, back in their cells, while the narrator, who is the "stupid-looking young gentleman" mentioned by Monsieur Maillard, admits he has yet to find any of the works of Dr. "Tarr" and Professor "Fether".

- NY Times

HONG KONG — The euro weakened and stocks fell across Asia on Monday morning as investors reacted to Sunday’s Greek parliamentary elections, which handed a decisive victory to the left-wing Syriza party.

Syriza and its outspoken leader, Alexis Tsipras, had campaigned against the austerity measures imposed on Greece by its international creditors. With 92 percent of the vote counted, Syriza had 36 percent, almost eight points ahead of the governing center-right New Democracy Party of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, who had conceded defeat. The only uncertainty was whether Syriza would muster an outright parliamentary majority or if it would have to form a coalition.

After falling to an 11-year low last week, the euro dropped as much as 0.9 percent against the dollar in Asian trading Monday morning before recovering slightly. By mid-morning in Tokyo, it was down around 0.3 percent, at around1.117 per dollar.

Fraud in the Imputation of Fraud | Psychology Today

Many of us theoretical biologists who knew Stephen Jay Gould personally thought he was something of an intellectual fraud because he had a talent for coining terms that promised more than they could deliver, while claiming exactly the opposite. One example should suffice—the notion of “punctuated equilibria”—which simply asserted that rates of (morphological) evolution were not constant, but varied over time, often with periods of long stasis interspersed with periods of rapid change. All of this was well known from the time of Darwin. The classic example were bats. They apparently evolved very quickly from small non-flying mammals (perhaps less than 20 million years) but then stayed relatively unchanged once they reached the bat phenotype we are all familiar with today (about 50 million years ago). Nothing very surprising here, intermediate forms were apt to be neither very good classic mammals, nor good flying ones either, so natural selection pushed them rapidly through the relevant evolutionary space.

But Steve wanted to turn this into something grander, a justification for replacing natural selection (favoring individual reproductive success) with something called species selection. Since one could easily imagine that there was rapid turnover of species during periods of intense selection and morphological change, one might expect species selection to be more intense, while during the rest of the equilibrium stabilizing selection would rule throughout. But rate of species turnover has nothing to do with the traits within species—only with the relative frequency of species showing these traits. As would prove usual, Steve missed the larger interesting science by embracing a self-serving fantasy. Species selection today is a small but interesting topic in evolutionary theory, not some grand principle emerging from paleontological patterns.

http://www.pnas.org/content/87/19/7777.full.pdf

We estimate that Americans eat about 1.5 g of
natural pesticides per person per day, which is about 10,000
times more than they eat of synthetic pesticide residues (see
below). As referenced in this paper (see refs. 16-21 and
legends to Tables 1 and 2), there is a very large literature on
natural toxins in plants and their role in plant defenses. The
human intake of these toxins varies markedly with diet and
would be higher in vegetarians. Our estimate of 1.5 g of
natural pesticides per person per day is based on the content
of toxins in the major plant foods (e.g., 13 g of roasted coffee
per person per day contains about 765 mg of chlorogenic acid,
neochlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, and caffeine; see refs. 22
and 23 and Table 2).
Phenolics from other plants are estimated
to contribute another several hundred milligrams of
toxins. Flavonoids and glucosinolates account for several
hundred milligrams; potato and tomato toxins may contribute
another hundred, and saponins from legumes another hundred.
Grains such as white flour and white rice contribute
very little, but whole wheat, brown rice, and corn (maize)
may contribute several hundred milligrams more. The percentage
of a plant's weight that is toxin varies, but a few
percent of dry weight is a reasonable estimate: e.g., 1.5% of
alfalfa sprouts is canavanine and 4% of coffee beans is
phenolics. However, the percentage in some plant cultivars
is lower (e.g., potatoes and tomatoes).

Millennials Prefer Single-Family Homes in the Suburbs - WSJ

LAS VEGAS—One of the hottest debates among housing economists these days isn’t the trajectory of home sales, but whether millennials, those born in the 1980s and 1990s, want to remain urbanites or eventually relocate to the suburbs.

Some demographers and economists argue that the preference of millennials, also called Generation Y, for city living will remain long lasting. And surveys of these young urban residents have tended to show that they don’t mind small living quarters as long as they have access to mass transit and are close to entertainment, dining and their workplaces.

But a survey released Wednesday by the National Association of Home Builders, a trade group, suggested otherwise. The survey, based on responses from 1,506 people born since 1977, found that most want to live in single-family homes outside of the urban center, even if they now reside in the city.

“While you are more likely to attract this generation than other generations to buy a condo or a house downtown, that is a relative term,” said Rose Quint, the association’s assistant vice president of survey research. “The majority of them will still want to buy the house out there in the suburbs.”

A Victory for the Right to Pee Standing Up - The Atlantic

Thursday brought an advance in the cause of standing up to pee. A judge in the German city of Duesseldorf ruled in favor of a man suing his landlord for a full refund of his security deposit, which had been partially withheld because the marble floor of the tenant's bathroom had been damaged by uric acid, presumably from the errant urine of an upright person relieving himself.

"Someone who still practices this previously dominant custom is regularly confronted with significant disputes, particularly with female cohabitants," Judge Stefan Hank observed, according to AFP. "However normally he must not reckon with damage to the marble floor of a bathroom or guest toilet."

"Despite the increasing domestication of men in this area, urinating while standing up is indeed still common practice," Hank added.

Why, you might ask, is the judge referring to men urinating while standing up as a fading social phenomenon—a "previously dominant custom" undermined by the "increasing domestication of men?"

The dispute in Duesseldorf is actually part of a long-running debate in Germany over whether men should be encouraged to sit down when urinating. The controversy pits stehpinklers (men who stand up to pee) against sitzpinklers (men who sit down), and it has taken some bizarre twists over the years. In 2004, for example, The Telegraph reported that sitzpinkler had become a synonym for "wimp," and that a company had invented a gadget that attached to toilets and scolded stehpinklers when they lifted the seat. One admonition, in a voice mimicking that of former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, declared, "Hey, stand-peeing is not allowed here and will be punished with fines, so if you don't want any trouble, you'd best sit down." Millions of the devices had been sold in German supermarkets.

80 rich people now have as much as 50% of the rest of humanity combined – Quartz

Billionaires are getting richer, according to a new study from Oxfam. Gather together the wealth of the world’s richest people, and you now only need 80 of them before there’s enough in the pot to equal everything owned by the poorest 50% of the rest of the world combined. Back in 2010, you’d have needed 388 of the world’s richest to balance those scales.

Calif. millionaire shot in Rolls Royce by bicyclist: police - NY Daily News

A California multimillionaire was shot in his Rolls Royce by a bicyclist in Hollywood Friday night, police said.

Kameron Segal, the CEO of a property management firm, was waiting to meet a business partner to close a $5 million deal when a man on a 10-speed bike fired at his silver-and-black luxury car, NBC4 reported.

Segal, 48, was shot in the face and chest at close range, police said. He is expected to survive.

The shooter in a blue hat and jacket pedaled away from the parking lot on Sunset Boulevard and North Gardner Street, police said. He remains at large.

Segal, 48, was conscious and taken to Cedars-Sinai hospital, where he is in stable condition. Police have not been able to speak with him yet.

Real Estate Investors Evaluate the Lay of the Legal Pot Land for Possible REIT Launch in 2015 - MainStreet

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — A year into the legalization of recreational marijuana, 2015 may have what it takes to launch the nation’s first reefer Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT).

“A marijuana-related REIT will come together as more real estate experts enter the playing field,” Scott Greiper, CEO with Viridian Capital & Research in Manhattan. “But as of yet the amount of capital required to build out a REIT has yet to come to market.”

That's because marijuana is still classified a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

“When grow facilities are in a zone for marijuana, it’s triple the price,” Greiper told MainStreet. “But larger investors that have the amount of capital to build out these facilities are still concerned about federal illegality.”

Blackstone Said to Market First Rental-Home Securities of 2015 - Bloomberg

Blackstone Group LP (BX) is offering the first securities of 2015 tied to rental homes, the start of what Morgan Stanley analysts predict may be a more than doubling of issuance this year in the nascent market for such debt.

Blackstone’s Invitation Homes is planning a $513.8 million deal backed by 3,072 properties, a person with knowledge of the matter said. A total of $227.8 million of top-rated securities may be sold at yields that float about 1.35 percentage points above a borrowing benchmark, said the person, who asked not to named without authorization to speak publicly. That compares with the 1.3 percentage point-spread to the one-month London interbank offered rate at which it sold similar bonds in its last offering in November.

Man trapped in coma for 12 years was aware of everything, hated 'Barney' reruns | syracuse.com

At age 12, Martin Pistorius became mysteriously ill and fell into a coma. For the next decade, he was trapped inside his own mind, gradually pulling himself out of a vegetative state.

For most of his time in the coma, he was aware of his surroundings. Today, after a miraculous recovery, the 39-year-old South African man recalls being forced to watch Barney reruns for hours at the special care center where he spent most days.

"I cannot even express to you how much I hated Barney," Pistorius told NPR. The show's theme song, "I Love You, You Love Me," was revealed last year as part of a list of songs used in "enhanced interrogation techniques" by the CIA, according to The Houston Chronicle.

That hatred was part of what triggered him to start regaining control of his mind and body.

Boom Goes The Dynamite: Oil's Price Crash Is Going To Rip The Global Economy To Shreds | Seeking Alpha

At a price of less than $50 a barrel, it is just a matter of time before we see a huge wave of energy company bankruptcies, massive job losses, a junk bond crash followed by a stock market crash, and a crisis in commodity derivatives unlike anything that we have ever seen before. So let’s hope that a very unlikely miracle happens and the price of oil rebounds substantially in the months ahead. Because if not, the price of oil is going to absolutely rip the global economy to shreds.

British inflation rate drops to 0.5%, lowest in almost 15 years - Chicago Tribune

NDON — Britain's inflation rate fell to the lowest in almost 15 years in December, which will force Governor Mark Carney to write the Bank of England's first open letter explaining why prices are rising too slowly.

Consumer-price growth weakened to 0.5 percent from 1 percent in November, the lowest since May 2000 and below the 0.7 percent median forecast of 37 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. A separate report showed factory-gate prices, a leading indicator of inflation, fell the most in five years.

Plunging oil costs and supermarket price wars are driving the sharp slowdown in U.K. inflation. With price growth below the BOE's 2 percent target and a weak euro-area economy damping export demand, that's helping Carney and his majority on the Monetary Policy Committee justify keeping the key interest rate at a record-low 0.5 percent.

Canon to move camera production back to Japan: Digital Photography Review

Canon wants to increase its domestic production over the next few years, something spurred by the falling value of the yen. According to Reuters, Canon is looking to increase its production in Japan from 40 percent of its overall output to 60 percent.

According to Canon spokesman Hirotomo Fujimori in a statement to Reuters, the boost in domestic production will include building cameras, as well as printers and copiers. The increase will take place over the next three years, and follows the yen hitting nearly a seven-year low after beginning to tumble in October of last year. As the value of the yen declines, so do any cost-savings previously offered by outsourcing production.

After a busy 2014, what’s in store for Las Vegas real estate? - VEGAS INC

After hitting bottom, home prices rose at one of the fastest rates nationally in recent years as investors paid cash, sight unseen, for low-priced houses to turn into rentals.

But now, with fewer bargains out there, investors are pulling back. They triggered a valleywide slowdown last year as more listings went ignored, sales volume dropped and prices rose at a much slower pace.

Real estate pros expect things to keep cooling in 2015. But with the market relying more on regular, mom-and-pop buyers, that could turn a slowdown into a slump, as many locals can’t get a mortgage because of tighter lending requirements and past bankruptcies, foreclosures or short sales.

Meanwhile, homebuilders had a topsy-turvy 2014.

Sales totals dropped hard as would-be buyers, saddled with financial woes and sticker shock, backed off. Through November, sales volume was down 20 percent year-over-year in Southern Nevada, prices were flat, and builders pulled fewer construction permits.

All told, there’s little reason to feel “warm and fuzzy” about 2015, Home Builders Research President Dennis Smith recently said.

Single-Family Housing: Time to Cash Out? | Single-Family Housing content from National Real Estate Investor

It may be time for institutional investors to exit the single-family home rental industry in some markets, according to a recent report from RealtyTrac, a provider of housing data and analysis. Surveying the single-family home sector in December, the firm found that for properties purchased in 2012, investors could realize returns ranging from 38 to 43 percent if they were to sell out in the coming months, while many of the markets they’ve invested in would be facing much lower price appreciation in 2015 and beyond.

Son allegedly killed Manhattan hedge fund founder over $200 allowance cut, source says | Fox News

The son of a millionaire Manhattan hedge fund founder allegedly gunned down his dad because his allowance was cut to $400 from $600 a month – a $200 difference – a law enforcement source told the New York Post.

Reciprocal Altruism in the Theory of Money | Satoshi Nakamoto Institute

Finally, is there anything inherently antisocial about being wealthy or about amassing wealth? If making money means just granting favors, then it is not inherently antisocial no matter how much money someone makes. The only question is whether it is possible to give out favors that are not as beneficial as they may at first appear, but this is a very subjective question that would arise in any system of cooperation. A person who has a high income is just someone able to provide very useful favors.

A person with a large savings is even better; he is someone willing to donate to the economy without demanding much back. If he spends his money eventually, then he was giving to the economy on a loan; if he is willing to maintain his savings permanently, then he is willing to remain permanently invested in the future productivity of the economy. This is social behavior, not antisocial!

Wainscott Capital’s Gilbert Killed in Manhattan Apartment - Bloomberg

Wainscott Capital Management founder Thomas Gilbert, 70, was shot in the head and killed at his Beekman Place apartment in Manhattan today, a spokesman for the New York City Police Department said.

Investigators are looking to question Gilbert’s son, police said, declining to say if he was a suspect. Authorities responding to a call about 3:30 p.m. local time found Gilbert in a bedroom of the eighth-floor unit.

Gilbert, a graduate of Harvard Business School, spent decades investing in stocks, as well as private-equity, real estate and fixed-income markets, before starting his fund in 2011, according to Wainscott’s website.

His Wainscott Capital Partners Fund managed no more than $5 million by the end of that year, according to a regulatory filing at the time. An article in industry publication Hedge Fund Alert in August 2013 said the fund had returned 25 percent in 2012 and 17 percent so far that year. The firm at that time managed $5 million and was seeking to raise money from investors, the newsletter said.

Police gun deaths rose 56 percent in 2014, after calm 2013, report finds - The Week

Across the U.S., 50 federal, state, tribal, and territorial law enforcement officers have been killed by firearms in 2014, including 15 who were ambushed, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund says in a report released Tuesday. That's a 56 percent jump over 2013, when 32 law officers were shot dead. Gun deaths were the leading cause of police fatalities, followed by traffic-related incidents, which made up 49 of the 126 total fatalities.

Have I mentioned that I hate flying?

But you like having flown.

- NY Times

The bitterly traded charges of deception and unfair attacks would have been right at home in a rough-and-tumble political campaign. In this case, though, the acrimony erupted in an area that is usually much more placid: the market for children’s violin lessons.
It all began when the American violin virtuoso and composer Mark O’Connor, who started publishing his own instruction books several years ago, took aim at the giant of the field: the Suzuki method, known for teaching legions of children around the world to saw away at variations of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

Mr. O’Connor not only criticized the method but also accused its creator, Shinichi Suzuki, of fabricating parts of his biography to promote it. The International Suzuki Association counteredthat his allegations were “inaccurate and false” and implied that he was trying to discredit Mr. Suzuki, who died in 1998, to sell his own books. An examination by The New York Times of some of Mr. O’Connor’s key charges found that they were undercut by evidence.

Best "Boil 'em Cabbage Down" ever! - Mark O'Connor/Wynton Marsalis - YouTube

Congressional leaders hammer out deal to allow pension plans to cut retiree benefits - The Washington Post

A bipartisan group of congressional leaders reached a deal Tuesday evening that would for the first time allow the benefits of current retirees to be severely cut, part of an effort to save some of the nation’s most distressed pension plans.

The measure, attached to a massive $1.01 trillion spending bill, would alter 40 years of federal law and could affect millions of workers, many of them part of a shrinking corps of middle-income employees in businesses such as trucking, construction and supermarkets.

State pension funds' combined underfunding rises to $4.7 trillion — report - Pensions & Investments

State employee retirement systems are underfunded by a total of $4.7 trillion for a funding ratio of 36%, said a report from State Budget Solutions, a non-profit organization advocating state budget reform.

The report measured state public pension liabilities by market valuation instead of discount rates based on investment return assumptions because “the discount rates that plans use are just far too high,” said Joe Luppino-Esposito, State Budget Solutions general counsel and the report's author, in an interview. A risk-free rate based on a 15-year Treasury bond rate works better when states fail to make annual contributions and address unfunded liabilities, Mr. Luppino-Esposito said. “Even if you are on target, it doesn't work. The bottom line is that on paper nothing beats a government pension. But in reality, the money isn't there,” Mr. Luppino-Esposito said.

The overall actuarial assets of state pension funds in the 50 states, according to the report, total $2.68 trillion, while liabilities total $7.42 trillion.