Our hearts are broken …

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Image result for jose fernandez baseball card back


Read this touching tribute by Ben Lindbergh.

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Happy Birthday: F Scott Fitzgerald

Rest in Peace

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Visualization of Jupiter’s massive size

Credit: Nancy Kelly Allen & Lisa Fields (hat tip: Cliff Pickover)

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Is the Mona Lisa overrated?

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If elected, Trump could be impeached

Law professor Chistopher Lewis Peterson makes a persuasive case in this paper why Mr Trump could be immediately impeached if he were to win the election. In two words: Trump University. Here is the full abstract of Prof Peterson’s paper (hat tip Paul Caron):

In the final weeks of the 2016 Presidential campaign Donald J. Trump faces three lawsuits accusing him of fraud and racketeering. These ongoing cases focus on a series of wealth seminars called “Trump University” which collected over $40 million from consumers seeking to learn Trump’s real estate investing strategies. Although these consumer protection cases are civil proceedings, the underlying legal elements in several counts that plaintiffs seek to prove run parallel to the legal elements of serious crimes under both state and federal law. This essay provides a legal analysis of whether Trump’s alleged behavior would, if proven, rise to the level of impeachable offenses under the presidential impeachment clause of the United States Constitution. This essay begins with a summary of the evidence assembled in the three pending Trump University civil lawsuits. Next, it describes the legal claims involved in each matter. Then, this essay summarizes the applicable law of presidential impeachment under the United States Constitution and analyzes whether Trump’s actions in connection with Trump University are impeachable offenses. Finally, I offer concluding thoughts, considering in particular the policy implications of a major presidential campaign with simultaneously pending legal complaints of fraud and racketeering.

Can you give people their money back?

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How are big box stores like Wells Fargo?

Lots of big box retailers like Walmart and Home Depot are ramping up their use of self-scanners in order to reduce their labor costs. That is, instead of waiting in a long line to have a cashier ring up your purchases, you can save time by going up to a self scanner and ringing up your purchases yourself. But according to two respected researchers at the University of Leicester (Adrian Beck and Matt Hopkins), self-scanners increase the level of shoplifting by reducing the perception of risk (i.e. the risk of getting caught shoplifting). Professors Beck and Hopkins conducted an extensive consumer survey to measure the incidence of “shrinkage” (i.e. theft) in retailers who employ self-scanners. Surveys, however, are notoriously unreliable, as they are based on self-reports, making it impossible to verify their accuracy. Indeed, our first reaction to their study was: Who would ever admit to stealing? The answer, it turns out, is more people than you might imagine. One-fifth of shoppers in their survey admitted to stealing from self-checkouts, with the majority of those claiming they did so regularly. In other words, self-service checkout technology creates a trade off between convenience and speed on the one hand and higher rates of shrinkage on the other. (You can find a link to the study here. Also, check out this thread on reddit on “Walmart self checkout.”)

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Credit: Market Realist

Posted in Bayesian Reasoning, Deception, Ethics, Game Theory, Law, Probability, Web/Tech | 5 Comments

1000-piece color puzzle

Australian artist Clemens Habicht has created the beautiful “color puzzle” pictured below, a puzzle containing exactly 1,000 colors cut into a one-thousand piece CMYK color gamut. You can order one here (via Colossal).

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Hat tip: Cliff Pickover

Posted in Art | 4 Comments