Pursuit of Truthiness

my gut tells me I know economics

Archive for September 2007


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Advanced French

This is the class we spend talking with our really cool teacher about what there is to do around here.

Tout en francais, bien sur.

Elementary Spanish

Because learning one language at a time would be too easy.

Really though, its fun to be a beginner in another romance language. Learning languages is kind of like putting together a puzzle. Learning French, Spanish, or Latin, we start out with a bunch of edge pieces together.

Calculus 3

Tried this one freshman year; it was hard, 10 am was too early.

So now I’ll give it a try at 830 am, and in French. Huzzah

Media Literacy

Learning how the media fails in its mission of objectivity… it’s like watching the Daily Show, but not as funny.

Written by James Bailey

September 19, 2007 at 1:49 pm

Posted in La Belle France

Who’s nerdy enough to buy it?

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That question describes most of the cool t-shirts online.

I recently discovered some for economists!


Written by James Bailey

September 12, 2007 at 1:09 pm

Posted in nerdiness

Ethiopia enters the 21st century

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Seeing that title, I was expecting an article detailing all the ways in which Ethiopia was modernizing and westernizing; I was prepared for a bit of a surprise, as I keep reasonably abreast of world affairs and had not heard of many such developments there.

But in reality, our friends at Le Monde are trying to tell us something much more itneresting and more surprising- that Ethiopia is still on the Julian Calender (ie, the one started by Ceasar), and are seven years behind us.

Africans master time travel (francais)

Written by James Bailey

September 12, 2007 at 10:23 am

Posted in Uncategorized

On French Fashion

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I’d heard that the French, and Europeans in general, dress to look ‘nice’ compared to most americans; this is certainly true, and as I look around here I can see everyone dressed impeccably compared to me in my old t-shirt.

I suppose it’s a good thing to look good; it’s a better thing though to spend less time and money on something the isn’t that important.

Of course, people will always find ways to be irrational; and if you want to fight them at an individual level, you will pay a social price.  I’m sure I’ll end up conforming on this one; some fights against human nature, I’m beginning to realize, aren’t really worth the effort.

In the short to medium term, I think a much more fruitful project than talking sense into people is to turn irrationality to positive, productive uses.

So hurrah for us hoodlums in the US who made it cool, at least for some people some of the time, to wear the oldest and cheapest clothes they have.

But I suppose the French have come a long way since the days when keeping up with court fashion could bankrupt an aristocrat.

Written by James Bailey

September 5, 2007 at 10:59 am

On International Flights

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British-Airways style, at least, it’s what I would expect from first class, but I was still in coach.  Comfy seats, new-release movies at your control, super-nice attendants, tons of good food ie cheesecake, and of course, a fine selection of adult beverages at no extra charge.

This must be why British security is so tight… what a sweet plane to hijack.

Written by James Bailey

September 5, 2007 at 10:20 am

Posted in sweet deals

On French Food

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I had heard that food, along with most things, is more exprensive in France; and this is largely true.

But when a country really appreciates something, they get very good at making it.

Decent bottle of wine: under 3 Euro

Hunk of Brie twice the size of my hand: under 3 euro

6-pack of good German beer: under 3 euro

10-pack of mediocre French beer: under 3 euro

The best croissant you’ve ever had, plus apricot and chocolat varieties of the same: under 1 euro

 more to follow

Written by James Bailey

September 4, 2007 at 2:24 pm

Posted in La Belle France

On European Beaches

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A couple revelations here.

I’d always wondered why guys would wear speedos and women’s bottoms to the beach when all it’s going to do is make people cringe.

And then I realized- it’s fun to make people cringe! Maybe I’ll try it sometime.

On a more serious note, I had heard from a lot of people that almost everyone who goes nude/topless to beaches is really old, and like the proverbial man in a speedo they’re likely doing it to make people cringe.

I would like to state emphatically for the record that this is *not true*.

That is all.

Written by James Bailey

September 4, 2007 at 2:18 pm

Posted in La Belle France