Share good ideas and conversation.   Login, Join Us, or Take a Tour!
wasoxygen's comments

You were quicker than me, and I had seen the question before so I was pretty sure I knew the rule.

wasoxygen  ·  5 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: SpaceX will Launch a dragon to the ISS at 1:16PM EST TODAY

First time watching the "Countdown Net" alternate camera in the video. It gives a better overall perspective than the vehicle POV cameras, and projects pessimistic parabolas. But the Stage 1 landing video will be interesting too...

francopoli  ·  5 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Right as the re-entry burn was going, a part fell off the first stage booster. Once the burn was over, everything went sideways. Booster hit the water. First one of these landings in a while that has failed.

wasoxygen  ·  7 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: US Treasuries Never Wrong - well, not really

The U.S. Yield Curve Just Inverted.

A little.

  1 Mo 2.30

2 Mo 2.35

3 Mo 2.38

6 Mo 2.56

1 Yr 2.72

2 Yr 2.83

3 Yr 2.84

5 Yr 2.83 (!)

7 Yr 2.90

10 Yr 2.98

20 Yr 3.15

30 Yr 3.27

  12/03/18
blackbootz  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Super interesting. This bit of news came out in time to make it into my presentation on monetary policy, the main thrust of which is that quantitative easing and interest payments on those newly created reserves will become conventional monetary policy.

Long story short (ok it's still long), QE was a method of bringing down long-term interest rates when nominal short-term rates were already near zero. Saved the economy? The Fed certainly thinks so, and the argument is coherent (bring down cost of borrowing, spur investment, recover, etc.). So all the trillions of dollars in bonds and mortgage-backed securities banks were holding the Fed purchased with (digitally summoned from thin air) money. But trillions of dollars entering circulation would lead to hyperinflation, so the Fed incentivized banks not to lend this new money out. How did they do that? Simple: They killed the Batman, er, the Fed started paying banks interest on their reserves. The rate was quite low: .25% between 2008 and 2016. But .25% interest on an amount that fluctuates between $1 and $2 trillion is still quite a lot. By my math, interest payments to banks grew gradually from $2 billion to $11 billion by 2016. Then $25 billion in 2017. It'll hit something like $50 billion by the end of 2019.

I'm tempted to expand the tangential point that these interest payments are a de facto subsidy of the banking industry. That of the 6,800 banks in the US, the top 25 institutions get half these payments. That a third of interest payments on reserves go to foreign own institutions. But I'm not an economist (yet).

Controlling inflation is an obvious function of paying IOR (interest on reserves). But the Fed still has to achieve its monetary goals and promote "maximum employment." And its conventional instrument--targeting a federal funds rate by manipulating the supply of reserves through open market operations--requires a scarcity of excess reserves. Now they're not so scarce. But there's another important benchmark interest rate that the Fed can set: the rate of interest it pays on reserves. Raise that rate and banks will park more of their money in reserve, restricting the money supply, and discourage lending, or lower it and get the opposite effects.

My conclusion was that this may be the new, "conventional" policy instrument. Even though the Fed started "normalizing" its balance sheet in September 2017 by selling more of its bond holdings, this process will almost certainly not finish before the next recession. And if it's a particularly bad recession, with nominal rates (i.e. IOR-rate) pretty low at 2.25%, there's not a lot of room to wiggle room. I can't imagine the Fed standing by idly, and so may well do more QE and, for the reasons explained above, continue to pay interest on reserves.

This yield curve inversion bolstered my point that a recession is a-comin'.

wasoxygen  ·  7 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Getting into Go

I played a lot of fast 9x9 games with friendly, consistent bots to get the hang of things. It was fun to see my rating slowly climb as I learned some of the tricks.

Sensei's Library is a great resource.

Merlin  ·  7 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I've been devouring that site. So much fun

wasoxygen  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Trip Report: Amsterdam

We had a great time, thanks for the suggestions!

I did not miss another chance to sample a pepernoot after the first one. And I brought a bag back to the office to ingratiate myself with coworkers.

While I was working nine miles (14 km) from home, I bought a decent used road bike and commuted with it until I figured my metro savings had paid it off. It's fun, but the ride was hard, I didn't save so much time, and flat tires were more of a headache.

Now I'm commuting half as far, and when I ride I almost always take my heavy old hybrid. With the wider tires and upright posture I feel more stable at low speeds, and can even manage a track stand. Slow, safe and comfortable is better than arriving a few minutes sooner.

wasoxygen  ·  13 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Trip Report: Amsterdam

The hygiene literature runs deep. I enjoyed the observational studies showing that men spend e.g. 3.5 seconds washing hands, women a little more (though both are probably averages skewed by abstainers).

It doesn't seem like we know much. The research is disconnected from reality. Soap and water, used as directed, are effective at mechanically removing microbes, but you're going to touch a knob or phone or keyboard in another minute anyway. Dry hands transfer microbes less so it helps to reduce moisture residue.

Disposable towels have a "friction effect" that removes microbes after a 3.5-second wash, but it is hard to standardize, so study participants just press their hands on a towel for ten seconds. Dyson warns that people leave moist paper towels strewn about the WC, or try to flush them and cause overflows. But no one ever picks up a paper towel from the floor to wipe their nose. The air dryers (tested when new, and not contaminated by use) tend to blow particles all over the place.

I appreciate having a single-use barrier with which to grab the doorknob.

Everyone measures bacteria (using titres of "glove juice") but do bacteria make people sick? Sure they do, and pianos can kill, but I worry more about viral infections. Probably that is harder to measure.

Manila: another Waterhouse for another time.

flagamuffin  ·  12 days ago  ·  link  ·  

quite so

    Like a client of one of your less reputable pufferfish sushi chefs, Randy Waterhouse does not move from his assigned seat for a full ninety minutes after the jumbo leaves Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
wasoxygen  ·  13 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Trip Report: Amsterdam

    Such nice people.

Yes, this is a factor that is hard to gauge on TripAdvisor but makes a difference in quality of visit. Venice was probably the worst, Rio and Montreal are the only ones that could give the Netherlands any competition on the nice scale.

flagamuffin  ·  13 days ago  ·  link  ·  

probably because the only people who live on the island proper are in the tourism/service industry. i went to a venetian party with some wonderful people last year, but they were mainlanders who'd come over to have fun just like i had, so it may not count.

wasoxygen  ·  14 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Grubski! Thanksgiving edition! What did you cook? Share here.

    The pure and mineral-rich Dutch EARTH Water is bottled at a small water source named Anl'eau. This resource is located in the protected greenzone named "the Hunzedal" in the province of Drenthe. Anl'eau is named as one of the best water sources of Europe by water specialists. The production site is pumping pure spring water from a depth of approximately 150 meters. This groundwater has fallen as rain in the Middle Ages on "the Hondsrug"; at a time when people did not use harmful substances. After a long journey of approximately 1000 years through the ground, the water has absorbed many minerals. The water therefore is of a very good quality.

I got the bottle with the red label (which turned out to be carbonated), once someone told me that the machine would not take cash. I had a €2 coin, but had to use a credit card, and am pleased to find that I was charged only $2.29, almost exactly matching what Google shows as the exchange rate of €1 = $1.13.

wasoxygen  ·  18 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Grubski! Thanksgiving edition! What did you cook? Share here.

My mission was to extract water from a machine that would not accept coins.

Foveaux  ·  14 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm curious about the EARTH water.

wasoxygen  ·  14 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    The pure and mineral-rich Dutch EARTH Water is bottled at a small water source named Anl'eau. This resource is located in the protected greenzone named "the Hunzedal" in the province of Drenthe. Anl'eau is named as one of the best water sources of Europe by water specialists. The production site is pumping pure spring water from a depth of approximately 150 meters. This groundwater has fallen as rain in the Middle Ages on "the Hondsrug"; at a time when people did not use harmful substances. After a long journey of approximately 1000 years through the ground, the water has absorbed many minerals. The water therefore is of a very good quality.

I got the bottle with the red label (which turned out to be carbonated), once someone told me that the machine would not take cash. I had a €2 coin, but had to use a credit card, and am pleased to find that I was charged only $2.29, almost exactly matching what Google shows as the exchange rate of €1 = $1.13.

Sorry, this comment is private.
Sorry, this comment is private.
Sorry, this comment is private.
Sorry, this comment is private.
wasoxygen  ·  21 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: An Aging Marathoner Tries to Run Fast After Age 40

    We go slower as we age, but we also age when we start to go slower.

As a late starter, I have no doubt that my best performance came well after age 30, but I do wonder if I have passed my peak. I don't run enough regular events to see any trends, and don't do enough regular training to see any improvement.

    Meanwhile, a couple of times a week, I would fire up an app on my phone and actually do some non-running exercise and stretching.

I am not convinced that stretching is that helpful, though I wouldn't argue with professional trainers. One exhaustive resource describes a balance between risk of injury from lack of flexibility and reduced performance from excessive flexibility.

WanderingEng  ·  21 days ago  ·  link  ·  

My opinion on stretching is it helps reduce injuries as muscles become tight from repeated heavy use. That's probably the same as your comment about balance, that stretching a tight muscle simply moves back to the middle.

I think I'm still moving toward my peak, with improvements coming faster than my body is slowing down. Would I have been better if I'd started ten years earlier? Probably, but I was never going to be elite. I question if I have the physiology to qualify for Boston (I don't question if I have the determination or commitment to try to find out).

wasoxygen  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Madison (half) Marathon 2018

Nine halfs, that’s beginning to look like a habit.

Do you have all your times handy? Are you improving with experience? I am always wondering if I have passed my peak.

WanderingEng  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think I'm improving, but my performance seems to vary with the weather a lot. I'm not sure if that's normal. Here are my times going off what I recorded on my watch (a few seconds off official time):

May 29, 2016: 2:05:21. It was very pleasant.

August 20, 2016: 2:19:21. It was hot and humid.

November 13, 2016: 1:59:01. It was very cool but not cold.

April 1, 2017: 1:58:03. It was cold but not unseasonably so, maybe 35 degrees.

May 28, 2017: 1:57:50. It was very pleasant.

August 19, 2017: 1:55:59. It was somewhat warm but not hot.

April 7, 2018: 1:49:56. It was cold, 17 degrees, and a very flat course

May 27, 2018: 2:06:08. It was hot, probably the hottest day of the year up to that point.

November 11, 2018: 1:53:56 It was cold, about 30 degrees.

Two hours is the magic number for me for halfs. I'll know I'm past my peak when everything goes well and I come in over two hours.

It is definitely a habit or at least a little addictive. The race experience is so fun and not just because of the medals and T-shirts.

wasoxygen  ·  34 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Hubski Race Report: A Foray into Ultrarunning

Great job! That’s a strong finish on what sounds like a tough course.

I like dry feet and have carefully tiptoed across wobbly rocks to avoid getting wet, only to have to wade through a stream minutes later. RDs always seem to downplay the downsides.

So, 50’s done, what’s next?

ButterflyEffect  ·  33 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Race Directors are a special breed...I signed up for what will be an incredibly muddy and wet 50k at the end of January, have a 50k in April and another in July, and a 50miler or 100k sometime next year. Getting a mountain trail run in this weekend while the weather is good.

One thing I didn't mention in the article, pinging WanderingEng too, was the emotional aftermath. Maybe you've experienced this too. It was a more of a slow burn instead of an immediate and visceral emotional reaction, over the course of the day or two immediately following the race was...strange. Very calm, increasingly happy about it, increasingly chatty about the race.

WanderingEng  ·  32 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I haven't experienced emotion like that. I was struggling at the end of my marathon. But I do find now a year later that I'm still just as proud of doing it as I was then. The long distance is just so difficult it has a totally different emotion.

Sorry, this comment is private.