Archive for June, 2010

physicist trashtalking on economists

“The physicist-run Prediction Company is an example of a company that has apparently extracted unusual profits from the market for over a decade. In contrast, economist-run companies like LTCM and Enron have gone belly-up. Being a physicist certainly doesn’t guarantee success … but if you are going to look for correlations in (market or any other) data then being a physicist might help.”

Joseph L. McCauley, writing in
Dynamics of markets: econophysics and finance

sniffing for oil and detergent

Trained Noses to Sniff Out Gulf Seafood for Oil

William Mahan bends over a bowl of raw shrimp and inhales deeply, using his left hand to wave the scent up toward his nose. Deep breath. Exhale. Repeat. He clears his palate with a bowl of freshly cut watermelon before moving on to raw oysters. Deep breath. Exhale. Repeat.

He’s one of about 40 inspectors trained recently at a federal fisheries lab in Pascagoula, Miss., to sniff out seafood tainted by oil in the Gulf of Mexico and make sure the product reaching consumers is safe to eat.

Oh god help us.

BP leak

Wall Street Journal has a great set of flash graphics on this that actually makes sense (Interactive Graphics tab).