Jan 25, 2011

Queue: The communist monopoly

After the anti-monopoly and the ATM version, here comes Queue, the communist version. Researchers in Poland have come up with the concept:
Players are tasked with buying a list of essential items like bread and toilet paper. Rather than try to force other players into bankruptcy, though, Queue will encourage them to line up in an orderly fashion to get into state-owned shops. Instead of Chance and Community Chest, players will draw wild cards that can be positive - getting them sent to the front of the queue because of a Communist Party connection - or negative, such as seeing a shop closed down for 'decadence'.

Jan 24, 2011

Where to submit your paper

Submitting to an academic journal can be stressful as you wait and wait and hope for a "revise and resubmit" that simply doesn't happen. Well, it doesn't have to be this way. Now you can submit to a prestigious journal and get rid of all the stress and uncertainty. At the Journal of Universal Rejection, all submissions, regardless of quality, will be rejected. But there are many advantages:
  • You can send your manuscript here without suffering waves of anxiety regarding the eventual fate of your submission. You know with 100% certainty that it will not be accepted for publication.
  • You may claim to have submitted to the most prestigious journal (judged by acceptance rate).
  • You retain complete rights to your work, and are free to resubmit to other journals even before our review process is complete.
  • Decisions are often (though not always) rendered within hours of submission.

Jan 23, 2011

It Keeps On Going

I've posted on this topic a couple of times before, the alleged involvment of Australia's banknote printing company (a subsidiary of the central bank) in corruption and bribery. Now it seems that the story is not over, with more allegations that the company bribed the then governor of the Vietnamese Central Bank in order to win their note printing contract.

My question is: instead of dribbling out more allegations of corruption by the note printing company over the rest of the year, why not just order an inquiry to clean up the mess in one go? That is, unless there is some reallybad skeletons in the closet which people may prefer to keep hidden........

Jan 21, 2011

Catching Up in the Mexican Drug War

The Mexican government just released a detailed dataset on drug related crime by city and month. Anyone in for a paper on that, let me know! With above graph I take a quick glance, if there has been convergence in drug war deaths between Mexican regions over the period 2009-2010. It seems that regions with low intitial deaths in 2009, experienced relatively higher growth in deaths. Who is catching up on whom here?

Love,War,Money in Google Ngram

Jan 14, 2011

World shipping through air pipes

How convenient would it be to receive the goods you order (books, shoes etc...) directly home in the hour after you order? According to the video below, you can now order wine online and it comes out right out of your USB tap.

But seriously speaking, shipping technology could get better. Ships are slow and pollute a lot (not as much as planes, trucks and trains though!). An idea would be to have a wide network of pneumatic tubes, delivering goods in capsules directly to houses, in the same way water or electricity is delivered. It's actually an old technology. You may have seen it in James Bond (in The Living Daylights, a supposed Soviet defector was smuggled across the Iron Curtain in an oil pipe-line) or in supermarkets (to send money to the back). But, as seen in The Economist, Dr Cotana is trying to revive it, notably in Italy but also in China. Maybe in 10 years pizza delivery guys will need to find new jobs!