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25 December 2009

FM302~Not-Paid-To-Think-Posters.jpg



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The Concept Art that Sold Sherlock Holmes to Warner Bros

via io9 by Lauren Davis on 12/24/09

When Lionel Wigram decided to make a movie about Sherlock Holmes, he wanted to make sure the studios understood his pulpy vision. So he partnered with comics artist John Watkiss to create comic book-flavored concept art. Possible spoilers inside.

Wigram had Watkiss, who has provided artwork for Deadman, Sandman, and Conan, to bring his action comics style to Sherlock Holmes. Wigram wanted to create a visual pamphlet so that studio execs understood the sort of story he wanted to tell. Although some outlets have erroneously reported that Wigram and Watkiss collaborated on a comic, Wigram did have Watkiss illustrate the story, sans text. This series of illustrations then served as a key component of Watkiss' pitch.

The illustrations are currently on display and available fore sale at Nucleus Studios in Alhambra, California.

The Art of the Motion Picture: Sherlock Holmes [Nucleus Gallery via The Hollywood Reporter]















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sweet considerations



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Holidays

via Marginal Revolution by Tyler Cowen on 12/25/09

Nat2

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24 December 2009

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23 December 2009

No Give, No Take in Israel

via Marginal Revolution by Alex Tabarrok on 12/22/09

In January, Israel will become the first country in the world to give people who sign their organ donor cards points pushing them up the transplant list should they one day need a transplant.  Points will also be given to transplant candidates whose first-degree relatives have signed their organ donor cars or whose first-degree relatives were organ donors.

In the case of kidneys, for example, two points (on a 0-18 point scale) will be given if the candidate had three or more years previous to being listed signed their organ card.  One point will be given if a first-degree relative had signed and 3.5 points if a first-degree relative had previously donated.

In Entrepreneurial Economics I argued for a point allocation system like this--which I called a "no give, no take" system--as a way to increase the incentive to sign one's organ donor card.  One advantage of a no-give, no take system over paying for organs is that most people find this type of system to be fair and just--those who are willing to give are the first to receive should they one day be in in need.  

The new policy will be widely advertised in Israel and will be transitioned into place beginning in January.  I think this new policy is very important.  If organ donation rates increase in Israel, I expect that other countries will quickly follow suit.

By the way, is it peculiar that the two countries in the world with the best organ donor systems are now Israel and Iran?

Hat tip to Dave Undis whose Lifesharers group (I am an advisor) is working on implementing a similar system in the United States.

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Information on The Pittsburgh Promise

via The Bulletin by Bulletin Editor on 12/23/09

Pittsburgh Public Schools seniors and their families can get information about completing a Pittsburgh Promise application at one of the District’s Financial Aid Nights. Families will also learn about filling out the Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA), which is one of the steps required to receive a Promise scholarship.

In the East End, representatives from the Pittsburgh Public Schools, Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), Negro Educational Emergency Drive (NEED), and colleges will be on hand at Pittsburgh Peabody, 515 N. Highland Ave., on January 20 and February 17 at 5:30 p.m. to speak about The Promise and the various types of financial aid available to students, including grants, loans, and work-study.

Currently, graduates of the Pittsburgh Public Schools who are eligible have the opportunity to receive a scholarship from The Promise that would pay up to $5,000 each year for up to four years of tuition. Even students who already have scholarships to cover the full cost of tuition may be eligible for a minimum award of up to $1,000 through The Promise.

For more information, visit The Pittsburgh Promise website or call 412- 281-7605.

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Bourgeois Power and Marriage

via Thinking Allowed on 12/23/09

Kin marriage and the rise of the bourgeoisie. Laurie Taylor explores the frequency of marriages between close family relatives in the 19th century. Cousin marriage was a way of consolidating their political, economic and intellectual dominance. Professors Adam Kuper and Catherine Hall, and biographer Henrietta Garnett discuss.

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Vote/no-Vote?

DISENFRANCHISEMENT NEWS: 2009 IN REVIEW

Disenfranchisement reform received a great deal of attention throughout 2009, spurred in part by the excitement behind a historic presidential race at the close of 2008. 

Advocacy campaigns and media coverage gave light to the many individuals throughout the nation who were able to vote for the first time after having their rights restored.  

More than a decade after The Sentencing Project began to campaign on this issue, disenfranchisement reform has won editorial support in the media, gained legislative momentum from policymakers, and has been highlighted as a key area of research in the academic community...MORE

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Rural Prisons/Phantom Population Count

Black Leaders Urge US Census to Change How it Counts Inmates
By Carol Morello
Washington Post Staff Writer

A coalition of African American leaders concerned about minorities being undercounted in the 2010 Census called Wednesday for inmates at federal and state prisons to be tallied in their home communities instead of the towns where they are incarcerated…MORE

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Give us More!

1000 PA Prisoners being sent to MI keep Prison Open for up to Four Years

Dec. 22, 2009
Deal saves jobs at Muskegon prison
1,000 Pa. inmates to transfer to facility

BY DAWSON BELL
DETROIT FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

Mel Grieshaber, executive director of the Michigan Corrections Organization employee union, said “it was disappointing that Pennsylvania isn't sending more prisoners and saving more jobs”.

The inmates also are to be selected from among those who receive few visitors, have no special medical or mental health care needs and have at least three years remaining on their sentences, she said.

MORE

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22 December 2009

Note from Outside:

via Prison Talk by marcsbeth on 12/22/09

ok,I love marc to death. 99% of the time he's very good to me.he doesn't cheat,verbally abuse me,in denial about what he's done wrong, whine about conditions where he's at, none of that crap.but a couple years ago he sent me a poem claiming he wrote(when i asked after seeing the same poem in a book) and i was so mad he never did it again until today i got a letter from him and on the envelope was a beautiful saying and underneath he wrote his name but unbeknownst to him i've read that saying before in a sayings book i have and i know darn well he didn't write it. i'm so mad!! I thought we were past that kind of thing. to be fair,i'm already extremely stressed out about other things i don't discuss on here(my ex is taking me to court to try and get his child support reduced and that pays my rent and i have to cough up money to pay an attny) so i don't know if i'm making a mountain out of a molehill or if i should insist on utmost integrity.I don't know why he would even do this??? he's changed so much it's really great and to cause me to lose respect for him and try and take credit for something he didn't do really really upsets me. I don't do that to him.He's 43 yrs old and this just seems so childish.I'm not writing him about it right now cause i'm not thinking straight,but honestly i'm disappointed in him and i don't know how to handle it.I don't want to treat him like a child.also to be fair he's overlooked MANY of my inadequacies and flaws but i'm just wondering if i'm setting myself up for failure if i overlook this. i have no problem posting when i'm proud of him so i hope no one minds when i post when i'm disappointed in him.

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NYC wages

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21 December 2009

At What Price Our Freedom?

<br />Is Using A Minotaur To Gore Detainees A Form Of Torture?

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System of A Down-cover

</object><div style="padding:5px 0; text-align:center; width:480px;">See more funny videos and funny pictures at CollegeHumor.</div>

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Job Announcement

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The Geography of a Restaurant Menu


via Sociological Images by gwen on 12/20/09
Earlier in the week I posted about the use of apparent discounts as a marketing tool, and about the rise of the shopping cart. Since I’m on a little marketing-related posting trend, I figured I might as well post about restaurant menus. New York Magazine recently provided an analysis of menus and how things such as placement, images, and so on influence purchases.
Here’s the menu analyzed in the article:

Some of the most interesting elements numbered on the menu:
1. Pictures of food on menus are tricky. They can convince people to buy a dish, but more expensive restaurants don’t want to be associated with low-cost places like Denny’s or Applebee’s. In general, the more expensive the restaurant, the less likely there are to be images of food, and if there are, they’re drawings, not color photos. And, apparently, the upper right corner is where customers’ eyes go first, so you need to make good use of that section.
2 and 3. You list something expensive (like a $115 seafood dish) in a prominent spot to serve the same function as a “manufacturer’s suggested retail price” on a sales tag at a retail store: to set an anchor price that makes other prices look like a bargain in comparison. The $70 seafood dish listed next to the $115 one seems way more reasonable than it would have it listed without the comparison anchor price.
5. Listing dishes in a column encourages customers to skim down the list, making it more likely that they’ll be focusing on the column of prices rather than the dishes themselves, and will pick from among the cheapest things on the menu. If the dish names are connected by a line of dots or dashes to specific prices, this is even more pronounced.
8. Restaurants often use “bracketing”:
…the same dish comes in different sizes. Here, that’s done with steak tartare and ravioli—but because “you never know the portion size, you’re encouraged to trade up,” Poundstone says. “Usually the smaller size is perfectly adequate.”
Notice the same things I mentioned in my post about meaningless discounts: high prices used to set an anchor that makes everything else look cheap and an emphasis on apparent savings to distract the customer from how much they’re spending.
And the bracketing thing is marketing genius: the larger portion is usually just a little bit more expensive, so the customer is likely to focus on the fact that the additional amount is actually a bargain, but you usually have very little information about how much bigger it actually is. Lisa told me recently about a video she’d seen where a guy measured the cup and bowl serving sizes of soups from restaurants and found that the bowl usually held only a tiny bit more than a cup, meaning you were actually paying a premium for that small increase. But it looks so much bigger! And sounds bigger!
I am entirely fascinated by marketing right now, so you can expect more posts along these lines in the future.
(View original at http://contexts.org/socimages)

The Execution of Old Men

via Sociological Images by lisa on 12/19/09

Chris Uggen, fellow sociologist and editor of Contexts magazine, put together a graphic for Public Criminology comparing the current age of death row inmates in the US with their age at arrest (in the title, I assumed they were mostly men, but I don’t know):

So the median age at arrest is 27 and the median current age is 43.  This illustrates the lag time between arrest, conviction, sentencing, and  execution.  It also creates the conditions for what Uggen calls the “graying of prison populations.”   We are executing mostly middle-aged men and older, even as the young are disproportionately convicted for committing violent crimes.

I suppose whether or not we support executing a 50-year-old man for a crime he committed half a lifetime ago depends on what you think the death penalty is for.   Is it to satisfy the family of the victims?  Is it for revenge?  Is it for deterrence?  Is it to make the world outside the prison a safer place?

Executing people in their 40s, 50s, and beyond makes more sense if your goal is something like revenge, less sense if your goal is a safer world with less violent crime.  So, how we frame the death penalty (that is, how we answer the questions “what is it?” and “what is it for?”) shapes whether the graph above looks like social justice or social tragedy.

(View original at http://contexts.org/socimages)

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Re-Entry: Personal Histories

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Frequently Asked & Answered (FAAA)

Trying to get a Job with a Federal Conviction

http://jailtojob.com/wordpress/?p=497

Posted by Adogzheart

Q:

Hi from David D,

I’m seeking employment. I just did 10 and a half months in federal prison for contraband cigarettes. I’m a tractor trailer driver but I see that companies have an issue with me being a felon. My crime not a serious one but a problem. Can you help me?

A:

Hello David,

There is little that can be done about your record as far as expungement. In that regard, the only available option is a Presidential pardon, which not many are granted.

I suggest to felons (poor word choice--j/r) looking for jobs with difficult situations is to contact elected officials. Contact all you can think of. City Council members, State Assemblymen, State Senators and the Congressmen from your district. These are all powerful people with many contacts.

In a well written letter, express your desire to be employed and once again become a productive member of society. Never ask for a job. Simply ask for suggestions that would help your situation. Always include your resume and contact information. Elected officials have staff members that answer letters and respond to inquiries from citizens. This method works well for ex-offenders that are skilled but meet with opposition due to to having criminal records.

I hope this helps.

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20 December 2009

It never rains....

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Casino law dealt state a losing hand

via Today's Tribune-Review on 12/20/09

Now that the cards are face up on the table, the lawmakers who made that bet probably wish they had folded that night. Casino gambling has delivered a windfall, all right — but it's been one of fiascoes.

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Western Pennsylvania's county jails grapple with addicts

via Today's Tribune-Review on 12/20/09

A high percentage of inmates have drug or alcohol issues, but many of them aren't identified or receive little treatment.

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