Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Police shootings - the reality

An interesting YouTube video by the Eugene Police Department: Hollywood vs. Reality Officer Involved Shootings.

When you lose weight... where does it go?

Ruben Meerman "answers the question: When you lose weight... where does it go?" in The mathematics of weight loss: Ruben Meerman at TEDxQUT.

Australia losing the war on terror?

Irfan Yusuf explains By ignoring Muslim voices, Australia is losing the war on terror. My only criticism is that the article is behind a paywall. However there is a free trial.

What is Sharia Law?

Jamila Hussain gives us Sharia 101: a user's guide for Jacqui Lambie.

Five unanswered questions on the recent counter-terrorism raids

Paul Farrell writes: Counter-terrorism raids: five unanswered questions.

The real existential threat to us

Jonathan Holmes explains that Islamic State is not an existential threat to us but climate change is.

Making a million dollars and also ETFs

A bit of investment advice:

Scott Phillips: How to make a million in shares
John Collett: ETFs have a downside but can widen your exposure

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Fixing climate change might not cost any extra

Justin Gillis writes that Fixing climate change may add no costs, report says.
A global commission will announce its finding overnight that an ambitious series of measures to limit emissions would cost $US4 trillion or so over the next 15 years, an increase of roughly 5 per cent over the amount that would likely be spent anyway on new power plants, transit systems and other infrastructure.

When the secondary benefits of greener policies - such as lower fuel costs, fewer premature deaths from air pollution and reduced medical bills - are taken into account, the changes might wind up saving money, according to the findings of the group, the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Predicting the future

In How to see into the future Tim Harford looks at research into how successful people are at predicting the future.

Here's the article's recommendations on how to be more accurate in your predictions:
Some participants in the Good Judgment Project were given advice on how to transform their knowledge about the world into a probabilistic forecast – and this training, while brief, led to a sharp improvement in forecasting performance.
The advice, a few pages in total, was summarised with the acronym CHAMP:
  • Comparisons are important: use relevant comparisons as a starting point;
  • Historical trends can help: look at history unless you have a strong reason to expect change;
  • Average opinions: experts disagree, so find out what they think and pick a midpoint;
  • Mathematical models: when model-based predictions are available, you should take them into account;
  • Predictable biases exist and can be allowed for. Don’t let your hopes influence your forecasts, for example; don’t stubbornly cling to old forecasts in the face of news.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Easy Chocolate Fudge recipe

The Cake Mistress has a Quick & Easy Chocolate Fudge recipe that does look easy.

No-bake Lemon Coconut Slice Recipe

Essential Kids has a No-bake Lemon Coconut Slice from The Cake Mistress.

Apple, rye and ginger teacake recipe

Frank Camorra has an Apple, rye and ginger teacake recipe.

Yet another article on IKEA not paying tax

In IKEA pays a low amount of tax Michael West looks at another implication of IKEA not paying taxes, the advantage they have over their competitors who do:

"I am occasionally reminded by the ATO that tax is a competition issue, and that a late-submitted BAS is unfair to competitors. But my competitors as a furniture maker include the likes of IKEA, who I understand is a charity registered in the Netherlands that pays no tax whatsoever in Australia. How is this fair, and how are we to encourage home grown entrepreneurs?" Email from a reader, Dave.

Dave makes a solid point. It is not just individuals who suffer from the failure of government to police big tax avoiders. It is local businesses too, small and large, forced to compete on the same playing field as their multinational rivals. The latter enjoy an advantage of scale and far lower funding costs and pay negligible tax.

Born to walk, not to run

James O'Keefe at TEDxUMKC makes a really interesting presentation on the importance of exercise, but not too much exercise, in Run for your life! At a comfortable pace, and not too far.

Why can't we allow the import of second hand vehicles?

In Driving the status quo Michael Pascoe explains why the restrictions on importing second hand cars needs to go after local vehicle manufacturing stops. I can't understand why, for example, a new Mercedes Benz in Australia is so much more expensive than the same car in the USA. The tariff on imported new vehicles in Australia is only 5% so that's no the reason. However, a bit of competition from relatively young second hand imports from the UK and Japan should increase the competition and force the top end to drop their prices.

Yet another death row inmate found innocent through DNA evidence

Jonathan M. Katz and Erik Eckholm in Brothers freed after 30 years in jail amid new DNA evidence
describe a sad case of injustice:
Thirty years after their convictions in the rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl in rural North Carolina, based on confessions that they quickly repudiated and said were coerced, two mentally disabled half-brothers were declared innocent and released on Tuesday by a Robeson County court.

The case against the men, always weak, fell apart after DNA evidence implicated another man with a history of rape and murder.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

A solution to the boats

Richard Ackland in The Pacific Solution is reaching its endgame. Scott Morrison will soon run out of options suggests that we take more asylum seekers from camps in Indonesia and Malaysia. Although he doesn't mention that's basically what we did under the Fraser Government. It's also something I have been suggesting for some time. It's far more of a humanitarian solution than the Government's current policy.

How does the other half live? We have no idea.

Ross Gittins explains that We have no idea how the other half lives. It seems most of us think we are on an average income and we are becoming socially more stratified as the affluent move the inner-city and the less well off to the outer fringe.

A good article on why Labor created the NBN

David Braue explains the reason Labor created the NBN in Time for a reality check on Labor's CBA-less NBN strategy.