Sidewalk art

What is “street art”? When people talk about street art they are usually referring to large-scale murals painted on walls, but earlier this week, we literally stumbled upon the micro-artwork pictured below, which was painted on a sidewalk on N.W. 26th Street in the whimsical Wynwood Art District in Miami, Florida. (Artist unknown.)

Photo credit: F. E. Guerra-Pujol

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A constitutional paradox

Today (15 Nov 2018) is the 241st-year anniversary of the ratification of the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union. (The complete text of the Articles of Confederation is available here.) This weak confederation, however, did not last long, as it was replaced by a new national government on 21 June 1788, when New Hampshire became the ninth State to ratify a replacement constitution. (When our Founding Fathers proposed the first draft of the Constitution on 17 September 1787, they agreed that the new constitution would not become law unless nine of the original thirteen members of the existing confederation ratified it.) But Article XIII of the Articles of Confederation states:

Every state shall abide by the determination of the united states in congress assembled, on all questions which by this confederation are submitted to them. And the Articles of this Confederation shall be inviolably observed by every state, and the union shall be perpetual; nor shall any alteration at any time hereafter be made in any of them; unless such alteration be agreed to in a congress of the united states, and be afterwards confirmed by the legislatures of every state.

So, wasn’t the original Constitution temporarily unconstitutional, at least until Rhode Island became the thirteenth State to ratify it? More problematically, the new constitution was ratified via single-purpose ratification conventions convened in each one of the states and not by state legislatures as required by Article XIII of the previous Articles of Confederation.

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Beach art (Art Deco lifeguard stations edition)

ArtDeco Museum (Miami Beach, Fla.) (photo credit: Sydjia Guerra)

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Work-life balance (Drake-Migos Tour edition)

My wife and I will be attending the Miami, Florida stop of the Drake-Migos Tour on 14 November. In honor of these contemporary artists, below the fold are two of our favorite Drake/Migos songs, along with some artful choreography: Continue reading

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November readings (updated)

Here is our updated fall reading list. (We are taking the week of Thanksgiving off to get caught up on our readings.)

prior probability

In addition to our regular stream of scholarly readings (blog posts, book reviews, essays, law review articles, etc.), below are some of the books we are reading this month (updated 11/13):

  1. Tyler Cowen, Stubborn Attachments (Stripe). This will be a re-read for us, as we read a previous (unpublished) edition of this manuscript two years ago or so.
  2. Steven E. Landsburg, Can You Outsmart an Economist? (Mariner). The title of this book is a bit misleading, because the book ignores the entire subfield of behavioral economics. Still, it’s a fun read.
  3. Cass R. Sunstein, The Cost-Benefit Revolution (MIT Press). We are going to read this book on the strength of Tyler Cowen’s recommendation. Our copy of this book just arrived (11/12), so expect regular updates soon.
  4. Tom Wright & Bradley Hope, Billion Dollar Whale (Hachette). We just finished reading this tome, which tells an incredible…

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Let’s groove!

To celebrate our impending “200,000th hit” (see the counter on the right side of the desktop version of our blog), we are sharing this fun rendition of “Let’s Groove” by Earth, Wind, and Fire. The choreography is a smash! (Hat tip: Rachel Wong.)

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Ofrendas as art

One aspect of Mexican culture that has always fascinated me is the custom of making ofrendas to honor the dead. (An ofrenda is a collection of physical objects–some sacred, others profane–placed on a ritual display, usually during the annual “Dia de los Muertos” celebration every 2 November, and many ofrendas are quite large and elaborate.) The Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin, Texas contains, among other things, an eclectic collection of ofrendas. Most of the museum’s ofrendas honor actual persons, but the one below honors Cri-Cri, a beloved Mexican cartoon character!

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