Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Econlinks: The Freudian interlude

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ah não ser eu toda a gente e toda a parte!

I've watched it most recently via this smart* video rental & online streaming service called Netflix : a true gem of a movie, albeit one of the most underrated cinematographic creations of the past decades (does not have a RottenTomatoes critics' rating!). This is a Wim Wenders meisterwerk, most of the time my favorite (nontrivial; I hold most of Wenders's movies in high esteem). As a by-product, the film is also an effective branding/ marketing tool for Lisboa, and, by extension, Portugal** --in fact, Wenders's original intention had been to make a documentary about the city; suffice to say that Lisbon Story alone would convince me to place Lisboa among my in-no-way-can-miss destinations.  Some highlights: Rüdiger Vogler plays superbly the confused German sound engineer; even though his effective role here is minimal, Patrick Bauchau is perfect as the elusive film director (alter ego of Wenders himself); while Madredeus's Teresa Salgueiro... well, she is just so unique; around them fascinating Lisboa snapshots-- images, sounds, poetry, music, life: what's a key without a kiss?

Earlier on my live discovery of Portugal. Earlier on Madredeus. Earlier on Pessoa.

* not ideal: so far I could find only about 60% of the movies I was interested in watching, with the post-mailed DVD option included. Given my typically unusual choices though, 60% is not that bad. Something like this is badly needed on European soil, too.
** I am going to claim more: this is eventually a great cinematographic statement for and about Europe itself.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

One hundred years of AER

 "This paper presents a list of the top 20 articles published in the American Economic Review during its first 100 years. This list was assembled in honor of the AER's one-hundredth anniversary by a group of distinguished economists at the request of AER's editor. A brief description accompanies the citations of each article."
"Written in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the American Economic Review, this paper recounts the history of the journal. The recounting has an analytic core that sees the American Economic Association as an organization supplying goods and services to its members, one of which is the Review. Early in its history the Review was a multipurpose publication with highly disparate content. Over time the economics profession expanded and more economics research was produced, primarily in the form of journal articles. Editors accommodated this shift by allocating more resources to the refereeing and editing process and more space to research papers."

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Econlinks: Of (visual) art, old and new

  • The third and the seventh: imagination materialized or Alex Roman's computer generated art. Via Michael Nielsen
  • Staying in CG: meet Julia Map, of Google ancestry. And since we're here, read how the fractals changed the world --which was in a way also part of the obituary to Father Fractal, Benoit Mandelbrot, who passed away a couple of months ago; see a better one from the Economist. My own brief memories of him: I met Mandelbrot at a workshop on economics with heterogenous agents (WEHIA) at Essex University, back in 2005. Before his keynote speech, he introduced himself in the following very humorous way (paraphrasing): "Hi, I am Benoit Mandelbrot. And I am not dead yet. [pause] I tell you that because I have just met somebody in the corridor who told me: 'OMG, you are Benoit Mandelbrot. I thought you were dead for a long time now' ". 
  • Meet Jeremy Mayer, tamer of the typewriter. "I disassemble typewriters and then reassemble them into full-scale, anatomically correct human figures. I do not solder, weld, or glue these assemblages together- the process is entirely cold assembly. I do not introduce any part to the assemblage that did not come from a typewriter"
  • Back to the traditional, but impressively executed: meet Camille Seaman. From the "Last Iceberg series" statement: "Nick Cave once sang, 'All things move toward their end.' Icebergs give the impression of doing just that, in their individual way much as humans do; they have been created of unique conditions and shaped by their environments to live a brief life in a manner solely their own. Some go the distance traveling for many years slowly being eroded by time and the elements; others get snagged on the rocks and are whittled away by persistent currents. Still others dramatically collapse in fits of passion and fury."
  • On the art of fiction: interview with Michel Houllebecq, born provocateur. Hat tip MR.
  • And yes, she is back online (hopefully she is now here to stay)! Meet my friend Anna, talented photographer and undercover economist. 

Thursday, February 03, 2011

The quest for good old kiełbasa in the Big Apple

We ventured out to the Polish neighborhood yesterday. Nothing as compared to Chicago, but nonetheless good sausages. But after five minutes we went to the wrong direction, and ended up in a derelict, post-industrial nightmare instead of lively Polish ladies selling imported toilet paper. 
-Daniel, venturesome lover of all things Polish-

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

A little blizzard. Treated with Tanya.

Will it beat the legendary 1967 one? My Lakeview Lake Shore apartment windows are shaking,  but so far holding up (they'd  better: in Chicago terms, I am paying a fortune for this place). Yes, somehow  I made it home; Evanston likely cut off from Chicago for the next couple of days, Northwestern closed for the time being. No better time than now for listening loudly to Gordon and Byrd's Tanya: Part 1 + Part 2 in the original 1964 recording; later Tanya sample with Dexter Gordon proving his worth. A tune indeed* one flight above pretty much anything else. Blizzard-proof, too.

* some credits due to my jazz-expert friend Dean