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Fri, 19 Feb 2010 04:27:56 GMT

Information is Good, But It Can Also Steal Your Soul

Information is Good, But It Can Also Steal Your Soul
Seth Godin had a blog post a week or so ago about data - and how everyone wants more data, so they can prove their point.

We live in the Information Age now. There's a common misconception that we entered the Informatin Age as a byproduct of computers. But we had an infatuation with data before computers were very common. It makes me think of the McNamara Fallacy, named for Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. At a time when computers where not all that common, McNamara had a four-step process for reaching conclusions by exzamining the data:

  • The first step is to measure whatever can be easily measured.

  • The second step is to disregard that which can't easily be measured.

  • The third step is to presume that what can't be measured easily really isn't important.

  • The fourth step is to say that what can't be easily measured really doesn't exist.

Of course, step one is okay (for what it's worth). But the second step is misleading, the third step is blindness and the fourth step is suicide (or insanity).

McNamara left office in 1967.

Information is a marvelous thing. But given enough of it (and enough time) you can prove almost anything with it. And, as Seth says, "The problem is this: no spreadsheet, no bibliography and no list of resources is sufficient proof to someone who chooses not to believe. The skeptic will always find a reason, even if it's one the rest of us don't think is a good one."

Know what you beleive. The data comes after that....

Posted by: Steve      Read more     Source

February 12, 2010, 6:11 PM CT

Getting the Best Prices on Cheap Flights: Book In Advance to Save Money Says Southall Travel

Getting the Best Prices on Cheap Flights: Book In Advance to Save Money Says Southall Travel
Most people nowadays plan and book their entire vacation online. It is a much easier process that does not involve a middleman like a travel agent and the whole procedure is within your control. You can actually book a vacation even a year in advance and get good deals on the same. Most of the online travel websites even offer a combination package that has both airfare deals as well as cheap hotel deals. You have an option of booking a vacation with your desired time, location, and even budget with the help of Internet.

However you must also do a little bit of research to understand how you can actually grab a good deal. Recently Southall Travel reported how most UK travelers are missing out on cheap flights due to poor booking habits. This is happening since people are booking flights at a shorter notice while you can actually save a lot of money if you book tickets in advance. This is true in case of all flight tickets and also for all destinations. So if you keep this in mind when booking tickets online, you can automatically save a lot of money. Airlines also offer a wide range of offers to their regular customers and usually have loyalty programs for them. If you are a corporate flier, even then you are liable to get a wide range of benefits and discounts. When looking for good deals you can visit the travel websites which will show you the offers from all major airlines and this will make it easier for you to take a decision and buy tickets. ........

Posted by: Edwin      Read more         Source

February 7, 2010, 10:18 PM CT

Tips to Make Your Custom Made Shirts Perfect

Tips to Make Your Custom Made Shirts Perfect
custom made shirts are very poplar since they fit your body perfectly. Individuals prefer such shirts largely as they have full control over the size of their shirt. There are other factors like uniqueness in design and fabric that leads people to choose custom made shirts. Recently, Tony Nicolson, reviewer of Store Trooper has declared that designs goose neck and long arms have made him go for custom made shirts greatly. The garment dealers of this line of clothing are always coming up with better designs at affordable prices.

When an individual is purchasing a custom made shirt, there are several issues that he should judge to ensure a best buy. The following guidelines can enable a man to make a shirt that fits his personality.
  • Your fabric is the chief material in making a dress. Hence, you should take proper care in buying that. You should choose the color and style that suits your personality and your skin. There are several synthetic fabrics that look attractive and are available at affordable prices. It is better not to go for them. Always try to find cotton fabrics since they provide immense strength and durability to your dress.
  • Once your fabric has been selected, it is time to find a proper design. Generally, a good tailoring company offers attractive designs in shirts. Check for all the designs present in their catalogue before you place the final orders.
  • ........

    Posted by: Edwin      Read more         Source

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 05:17:22 GMT

Jennifer Lopez Helps Haiti

Jennifer Lopez Helps Haiti
Jennifer Lopez makes an appearance on a special two hour addition of the Larry King Live show called "Haiti: How You Can Help" in Hollywood on Monday (January 18).

The 40-year-old singer joins other celebrities like Paula Abdul, Christian Slater, Jared Leto, Nicole Richie and Joel Madden where they chatted online, answered phones, and tweeted to help raise funds to help survivors of the Haiti earthquake.

In other news, J.Lo is reportedly in discussion to make an appearance on Glee.

According to E!, Glee executive producer Brad Flachuk confirmed that Jennifer is being considered to play a cafeteria worker.

Posted by: Melissa      Read more     Source

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 05:09:04 GMT

Egg Shape Mobile Living Space

Egg Shape Mobile Living Space
This unit, the blob VB3, is mainly made by polyester, and holds all necessary items one could possibly need as bathroom, kitchen, lighting, sleeping space and several niches for storage.

Moreover, the nose can be opened automatically and functions as a porch. While being closed, it blends into a complete smooth blob.

Posted by: Gerard      Read more     Source

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 04:02:28 GMT

Yale Admissions Video

In some ways, you gotta admire Yale for going out on a limb and producing an entire musical admissions video with which to promote the finer elements of their storied institution. On the other hand, you also have to laugh. And laugh. And laugh. Granted, this video still can"t touch the pure brilliance of Appalachia State University"s recruiting efforts (the benchmark for all catchy collegiate tunes), but really, who can?

Nevertheless, this video, titled "That"s Why I Chose Yale," plays sort of like a forgotten number from Enchanted. I half expected Amy Adams to come swirling into frame, crooning "How doooo yoooooou knoooowwww???????" But alas, the best we get is Brian Williams, who thankfully refuses to sing his two cameo lines. As for the rest, well, it"s mainly just a bunch of effete guys with very high voices exalting the many splendors of residential colleges and varied course offerings.

Personally, I like the Dartmouth"s recruiting videos more, which are both conveniently located after the jump....

Posted by: B-Side      Read more     Source

January 22, 2010, 8:09 AM CT

Satisfied and Well-informed Consumers

Satisfied and Well-informed Consumers
Expert consumers like to be surprised by unusual product presentation, while novices crave familiarity, so claims a new Pitt/USC study titled "Smart Subcategories: How Assortment Formats Influence Consumer Learning and Satisfaction," to be reported in the recent issue of "Journal of Consumer Research".

"How can retailers help consumers become more informed about the products they use while also making them happy?" write authors Cait Poynor, Pitt assistant professor of business administration in the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, and Stacy Wood, University of South Carolina professor of marketing. The answer seems to be in organizing products tailored to customers' knowledge levels. Their research indicates that simply organizing a store's existing stock in different ways can improve consumers' learning and their degree of satisfaction.

What works for one consumer may not work for another, however. The authors observed that highly knowledgeable consumers liked being surprised by product formats; conversely, novice consumers had an easier time when familiar with product groupings.

The data was collected from 123 undergraduate students who completed a two-part study as part of their course work. Both parts were carried out online where the presentation of information could be manipulated. The benefit of an online environment is the infinite number of ways Web sites can be organized, says Poynor.........

Posted by: Edwin      Read more         Source

Mon, 18 Jan 2010 04:56:55 GMT

Things to Do if You Get Sick on Vacation

Things to Do if You Get Sick on Vacation
© Leonid Mamchenkov

Fodor's has some useful tips availabel for what to do if you get sick on a trip.Getting a cold or the flu is bad enough, but when it strikes less than 24 hours before getting on the plane-or worse, while you're flying-panicking won't speed up your recovery. Rather than succumbing to a sneezy fate, take immediate action by following these top five tips en route.Top number one? Check your carry-on along with the rest of your bags so that you don't have to haul around any extra weight. You don't need the stress. Read the other tips here.

Posted by: Lisa      Read more     Source

Mon, 18 Jan 2010 04:14:57 GMT

Historical Medical Videos from Wellcome Trust

Wellcome Trust has a Youtube channel on which they feature videos from the 20th century including films about surgeries, medical issues and the everyday lives of doctors.

A new digital collection of moving images on 20th-century healthcare and medicine is now online. Over 450 titles – 100 hours of film and video – have been transferred and are freely available under Creative Commons licences.

Here are a few examples:

Cruel Kindness: a 1967 UK educational film about childhood obesity

Acute appendicitis from 1931:

Caesarean section from 1930:

(Hat tip: BoingBoing)

Posted by: Bertalan      Read more     Source

January 15, 2010, 8:12 AM CT

Lifestyle Traits and Foreclosure Rates

Lifestyle Traits and Foreclosure Rates
A homeowner's station in life and personal spending beliefs and habits are important indicators of the borrower's potential for home-mortgage default, say scientists in the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Business.

"Our research has shown that a borrower's personal traits and behaviors have considerable influence on their willingness and ability to repay a mortgage loan and avoid foreclosure," says Stephanie Rauterkus, Ph.D., UAB assistant professor of finance.

"Traditionally, the industry has focused on default pressures like income, credit scores or loan-to-home-value ratios, but our research has shown that borrowers who may look identical by these traditional measures could have very different default probabilities based on their behavioral characteristics," she says.

The study, Behavioral Determinants of Mortgage Default, was authored by Rauterkus, her husband Andreas Rauterkus, Ph.D., UAB assistant professor of finance, and Grant Thrall, Ph.D., professor of geography at the University of Florida.

The scientists considered a sample of 7,000 mortgages from public records in Jefferson County, Ala. Borrowers were classified into one of 12 so called LifeMode groups, which were based on classifications established by the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI).........

Posted by: Edwin      Read more         Source

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