Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Newsflash: Central Banks Don't Understand Supply & Demand

I cant believe the news today. Oh, I cant close my eyes and make it go away...You'd think that banks would like understand simple economic theories. You'd think that or you would've at least hoped it to be the case. Well here's an interesting excerpt from an article hitting the newswire today:
"Bank of England Struggles to Keep Staff Lured by Pay"

June 26 (Bloomberg) -- The Bank of England's governing board said it's concerned about an exodus of economists, who were lured by higher pay in London's financial services industry last year.

Governor Mervyn King, whose own pay rose to 283,564 pounds ($567,000) last year, is vying to keep analysts and government statisticians from choosing record bonuses at banks over civil service wages. The starting salary offered by the Bank of England to an economist with a PhD is 37,230 pounds, a third of the 2005 average earned by their counterparts in a U.K. bank.

``The main thing that has changed over the last year is that the private financial sector seems to be recruiting at a massive rate,'' said Simon Hayes, an economist at Barclays Capital in London who left the central bank 18 months ago. ``The bank can't compete on salary. Not at all.''
So lemme get this straight: When people are paid more for doing the same task, they tend to move towards the higher paying jobs...Remarkable! Tell me more!... So if there is a high demand for a scarce resource, the prices/wages actually increase? Whoa Nelly!

Basically the Central Bank doesn't understand supply and demand...moreover how is this a newsworthy story. What are you supposed to say "Oh well, those government workers should really stay with their shittier jobs."

I mean it's not as if these are teachers who feel that the have a non-financial incentive to keep enlightening young minds....these are economists. If there's one thing they're supposed to understand it is to be cold and heartless. That's like what they do. The fact that their employers are stupefied by this finding is baffling.

Maybe the Bank of England is so dumb because too many of the workers who understand Econ 101 already left...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Sometimes the best questions in life are the simplest. Why don't all religions realize that they have more threads in common than apart? I dunno. Why don't the protons in the nucleus of an atom tear apart by repelling each other...after all, shouldn't positive forces repel? I dunno. (editor's note: please don't post a comment about strong and weak nuclear forces). Why does each season of the Real World on MTV get progressively worse? Well that's actually one question that I do know the answer to: it's because the people they bring on are a bunch of shmucks.

But instead of dealing with those timeless questions I ask you this, why does the sweet kid below who I spotted at Rockefeller Center in midtown have a shirt that says "Hitler" on the back?...and of course it has to be an Indian kid too, with his parents proudly walking in front of him.

You know people sometimes poke at me (in real life, not in the facebook kinda way) and say that I just like to pick on Indian people. While this may be true, it's not like I can make up these observations. Indians just do goofy things.

Speaking of observations, allow me to make one more: Now I'll be the first person to tell you that racism is bad; there's no appropriate time to show it. BUT that being said, I'm not sure if you've checked the news lately, but of all places to wear clothing that is slightly anti-Semitic, New York isn't one them. Um, yeah...we sorta have like a bit of a Jewish population here, and when I say "a bit" I mean like almost all of's basically Jerusalem West.

Way to go desi. Way to go.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Signs God is Laughing at You: #17

Occassionally in life it's important to recognize when you're getting shat upon. It's one thing to complain that "oh my day sucks.. my computer is down...blah blah blah" it's quite another to take note of how it does suck. On a sidenote, isn't it funny that we always blame computers for ruining our day, but we never say "Man I was having a so-so day but then my computer just took over and knocked shit out". Go figure. Big ups PC's.

Aiight back to my recognition of recent suckhood:

1. Travel Suckiness
On my recent trip to South Beach my weekend almost got derailed before it even started. My 4pm departure from Newark (Liberty International, "where the war against terror takes off!") Airport to Miami was nearly killed. I left work in downtown Manhattan at 2:30pm and still had to go home, finish packing, get a cab, and make it to my gate. As if that wasn't bad enough, the kind people at Continental Airlines decided to have my flight leave from the furthest gate possible, Gate C88. Sometimes in life it's good to take a step back and laugh at how hopeless things can seem.

2. Line Suckiness
Driving is fun, but don't take my word for it, people have been driving for several years now. Anyhoo, if there's one thing worse than being in a long line, it's being the last person in line. Who here hasn't taken a silent sigh when you're stuck in a godforesaken line at the post office during tax season and had 100 other shmucks line up right behind you. It's hard to find pure happiness in life, it's much easier to feel better about yourself through the misery of others. As you can see from the picture to right, being stuck in a traffic jam is bad enough..
...but take a look at my rear view mirror in the picture below...there is only one F'n car behind me for like hundreds of yards! I'm like literally the last person in line on the entire freeway. Why me? Is that even possible.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Spot The Desi: #9

One of my more popular things I used to do was spotting desis out in public and giving you, the viewing audience, tips on how to spot places of high Indian probability. This edition is a classic one that should be helpful for novices to hone their mad skillz.

While taking the train into the city over the weekend the relative order and calm of my train station was destroyed by a tribe of Indians.

Here are several tell-tale signs that the ethnic group in question was in fact of and/or relating to the South Asian diaspora:

1) The girls were well dressed but they were on a train to....Newark
2) The group felt the need to take no fewer than 8 group photos...on the train platform
3) The name "Priya" was said aloud several times
4) Two girls had similar black & white dresses and never stood closer than 15 feet away from each other
5) Many of the males had adopted a quasi valley-girl vernacular by saying the phrase "like totally dude" frequently
6) Come on, we're in Jersey, there's a pretty good chance that any large gathering of people are Indians

But wait, there's more! I know what a lot of you are thinking right now, "Shakes while your words are wise and true, how did you get to by so fly?" Well don't you pay attention to anything that Mims says? I'm hot 'cause I'm fly. All people who are are fly are hot, although to be fair all people who are hot are not necessarily fly. There's a good article in the Village Voice that goes through various graphical schematics to dissect Mim's riveting song. In other words, imagine a ven diagram as pictured to the left.

But all of this jibber-jabber is just a digression. Back to the Indians at hand! I shall do the most awesome job of predicting events that would occur throughout the course of their night:

1) They were going to a desi party (duh)
2) At some point there will be a fight amongst wannabe thugged Indians wearing matching white loafers purchased from a little boutique that I like to call Aldo.
3) This "Priya" character would be torn between two guys
4) One of the girls would get her dress "accidentally" ruined and proceed to turn Medieval Desi-style on the unsuspecting culprit
5) Half of the girls will fall into the camp of being "sad drunks" (as opposed to the other two potential categories: "happy drunks" and "angry drunks")
6) Someone (usually a girl) will lose her cellphone causing the lowly Rahul to spend the rest of his night trying to find it and win her affection, sadly it will not receive anything more than a drunken "thank yooou"

These, my friends, are the common elements in any large desi outting.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

squirrel launcher

I like squirrels. I like squirrels a lot. I like squirrels so much that I think it's funny when people make them fly. Animal cruelty? Noooo. It's Animal Awesomeness.

Friday, June 15, 2007

my Top 5 videos

My research of MTV2 has shown that if you are a half-rate music star you can earn the right to have one of two things:
1) be profiled on "Cribs"
2) choose your top videos for some hour-long show

While my apartment is hardly Cribs-worthy...although have you noticed that that homes they show are becoming less and less glamorous? I mean there's a limit to how choice sleek video editing can make your plasma TV in an unfurnished home in the valley showing "Scarface" (a prerequisite)....I certainly think I'm eligible for a showing my top videos.

But sadly I'm not gonna get picked by network executives to make a special anytime soon. I hate it when The Man brings me down. Well I guess I have my blog instead. Anyhoo, these are my top 5 videos (in no particular order). The general idea is that both the video and song have to be pretty cool...

1. Lauryn Hill, "Everything is Everything" - Dude the city is spinning like a fuckin' record. Neeed I say more. Oh yeah the song is dope too.

2. Beastie Boys, "Root Down" - This is like a NYC tribute. Any video that shows old Knicks highlights, breakdancing, and the view from a subway train is a winner in my books.

3. U2, "All I Want Is You" - You didn't think I'd leave my favorite group U2 out of this, did you? I can listen to this song forever and ever, and you should too. Midgets, heartbreak, and death...what more do you want in a video?

4. Radiohead, "Street Spirit" - It took me a long time to figure out how the hell they made this video...and once I did I decided that instead of trying to recreate it with a home video camera, I'd just spend my time looking at my mirror doing my best Thom Yorke impression (it involves sticking my ears out with my fingers and closing one eye)

5. Bombay Vikings, "Kya Soorat" - This song is so cheesey it's unbearably good.

Runner ups... Prodigy "Smack My Bitch Up", Red Hot Chili Peppers "Give It Away", Ghostface Killah "Daytona 500", Bally Sagoo "Chura Liya"

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Mister Wizard, R.I.P (1917-2007)

Sadness has fallen over science classes everywhere as Mr. Wizard (Don Hebert) died today at the age of 89. For anyone who doesn't know him, Mr. Wizard used to have TV shows where he showed that contrary to popular belief, learning can be fun. However today's events demonstrate yet again that those who exhibit a profound love for science often end up dying. It's a pattern that has been repeated all too often, such as Einstein (died in 1955) and Copernicus (died in 1543).

Meanwhile people who are indifferent to the sciences often tend to be living (see Hasselhoff, David).

I think we can all learn a valuable lesson from that empirical evidence...and in the end I think it's safe to say that Mr. Wizard would've wanted it that way.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Desi Pirates

Why is it that in the new "Pirates of the Caribbean" the head pirate of the desi clan (the Kauravas?) has a girlish voice?

...and oh yeah, I did take this pic while watching the movie. No I didunt...oh yes I did...oh no I didunt...oh yes I did.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

London unveils 2012 Olympics logo; thousands perish

In case you missed it, and I'm sure you have , we're only 5 years away from the 2012 London Summer Olympics and they proudly unveiled their official Olympic logo on Monday days ago. Now I'm not an art critic or anything and I know it's bad to pass judgement on people and their ideas, but after seeing it I was overwhelmed with the desire to vomit profusely over everyone and everything.

The logo is one of the stupidest things I'd ever seen. It looks like a rare combination of Barney the Dinosaur and a jigsaw puzzle. If you ask aloud "what the hell is that supposed to look like?" imagine no further, the logo is your answer.

If you look closely the pink pieces of torn construction paper are actually 2-0-1-2. Go figure. If you wanna be really abstract, look sorta looks like Lisa Simpson (on the right hand side) doing certain acts. Very uncouth.

But the really funny part is that the chairman for the games, Sebastian Coe, said the logo "reach[es] out to young people around the world." …[and] is a truly innovative brand logo that graphically captures the essence of the London 2012 Olympic games. The IOC President Jacques Rogge added that the logo "inspire[s] young people around the world." WTF? Are you people high?

Which kid has been inspired by this? If anything it inspires a bunch of kids bad at sports that they should do advertising instead because they can make millions making stupid logos.

The logo looks like it was spawned by a bunch of kids on E who are waking up from the purple haze of the Manchester/Madchester rave scene from the early 1990s....but I know that's hard to resist, even proud soccer teams succumbed to bad judgement then (how about Manchester United's 1990 away kit)

But wait! It gets better. Earlier today the promotional film for the Olympics was pulled because it was causing epileptics to have seizures. The video showed an animated version of the logo diving into a pool and doing random things. So lemme get this straight, the video is both vomit producing and seizure inducing? Incredible. Or as they would say in Spanish, increĆ­ble!
Publish Post

On second thought it may actually be perfectly British after all. It's has the same effects of fine English cuisine. Boiled liver anyone? How about a lovely dosage of bubbles and squeak? Vomit vomit vomit. That's what I say.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Asian people at CPK

Asian people are funny. But that's neither here nor there. I have a Chinese friend named Ernie who I grew up with who once broke the axle of his car while trying to avoid hitting a cat. He ended up hitting the sidewalk curb, cracking the axle, and still managing to kill the cat. Now he aims for cats as he drives.

In that same spirit a recent trip to the California Pizza Kitchen (a staple diet of all ex-pat Californians) resulted in me sitting next to a table of 2 Chinese girls. While this is not abnormal event, the events that followed were. They stared face down into their menus for almost 30minutes. During that time they finished two rounds of drinks (non-alcoholic). It's like they were studying the menus for finals.

As a side note, my pics that I took with my phone should not be characterized as "stalking," it was done for scientific/journalistic purposes.

11:27am: Subjects stare are their menus....

...and continue to stare at their menus again.... (sorry it was blurry)

...oh boy now the pressure is really getting big....the waitress is going to ask for their answers and their test papers are going to be totally blank...

 they stall by ordering drinks...

...and after nearly 40 minutes later they guessed it...dumplings! How ironic. I nearly spit out my BBQ Chicken Pizza when I saw this. Dude, there is no way I can make this stuff up. My imagination may be glorious, but it's not that good. I also have no idea how they were oblivious to a a brown guy taking pictures of them from 2 feet away.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Saturday, June 2, 2007

NASCAR couture / tourist spotting

As a rule, no New Yorker likes NASCAR. People in the city don't really drive and hence a sport built around modified cars built to outrun police during the Prohibition Era fails to hit the mark with this demographic on several fronts. The fact that we live in the North is just one of them. It's sorta like going to Darfur and asking why the locals do not like Hot Dog eating contests.

As such one sure-fire way of spotting tourists during the dreaded fifth season of the year (spring, summer, fall, winter, & tourist season) is seeing the abundance of NASCAR couture in the city....specifically around the areas of 41st to 49th street, between 6th and 8th Avenues...the dreaded Time Square. No real New Yorker has been spotted there since Mayor Dinkins in the early 1990s (aside from of course a certain brown person who frequents the Virgin Records there).

NASCAR couture was in force this weekend as I spotted (but was unsuccessful in getting a picture of) Dale Earnhardt jackets, t-shirts, and of course hats. My favorite was a football jersey with his name on the back. In my own opinion NASCAR is pretty boring... I mean they only make left turns over the course of 4 hours. I only watch for the crashes. From a physics perspective since a Force is applied but there is no displacement, no Work has been accomplished.

While out of towners often wonder how come everyone knows they're tourists, just take a look in the are a few dead giveaways:

1) You have a styrofoam Statue of Liberty crown
You've been to the Statue of Liberty (guilty)
You wear a fannie pack...proudly in the front. You know it's called a fannie pack for a reason, because it goes over your fannie. Wearing it in front makes it pack
You keep on looking up while walking around
When random guys yell out "free comedy shows!" you decide to have a conversation.
Being in an area with lights and large amounts of people that is neither a (i) sporting event or (ii) book burning ceremony, excites you
You think the cemetery on Wall Street is related to the ceremonies from 9/11 are and hence take pictures of it for no reason....without realizing that the weirdos at the Church put up Halloween decorations on the tombstones during October
ESPN Zone is considered the finest restaurant the city has to offer
You don't realize that everyone is listening to you in the subway

As you can see, your outwardly support for Dale Earnhardt through your clothing is just one of the signs. I would say the same thing about Kyle Bush, but c'mon everyone knows that you're supposed to hate him...