Tan update

by Henry on April 21, 2006

Via reader Joe, Ben and Jerry’s have done more than Winston Churchill ever did; they’ve “apologized”:http://msnbc.msn.com/id/12425491/ for the “Black and Tans”:https://crookedtimber.org/2006/04/04/and-how-will-they-be-marketing-this-in-ireland/.

bq. DUBLIN – Ice cream makers Ben & Jerry’s have apologized for causing offense by calling a new flavor “Black & Tan” — the nickname of a notoriously violent British militia that operated during Ireland’s war of independence. The ice cream, available only in the United States, is based on an ale and stout drink of the same name. “Any reference on our part to the British Army unit was absolutely unintentional and no ill-will was ever intended,” said a Ben & Jerry’s spokesman. “Ben & Jerry’s was built on the philosophies of peace and love,” he added.

70’s Rock Arbitrage

by Harry on April 21, 2006

I apologise in advance for lowering the tone, but I have recently discovered in myself a hitherto unimaginable and frankly rather disturbing liking for 70’s rock. I sometimes blame Steve Harley, but its not really his fault. It all began with me whimsically picking up The Best of the Seventies, and then only listening to it for reasons referred to in this long dead, but maybe worth-glancing-at, thread.

Prog rock, folk rock, glam rock (of the less cerebral variety (Slade rather than Bowie)), you name it, it seems to have infiltrated my consciousness, 30 years late (not disco or punk, which I did register at the time, hating one and liking the other). I’ve been using boxed sets such as Ars Longa Vita Brevis, Time Machine, and Strangely Strange but Oddly Normal to feed my habit, using them as samplers for observing a strange but oddly congenial world. I am too young to have listened to this stuff first time round (born 1963, and came late to contemporary music, around the time of TRB), and would have scoffed at it at the time, but there you go. The Move and The Strawbs are particular favourites at the moment.

Arbitrage?

[click to continue…]

A counterexample

by John Quiggin on April 21, 2006

This report on a recent outbreak of mumps in the US midwest makes the point that the US has a far more stringent and effective system of universal vaccination than most European countries. For example, it’s impossible for a child to attend school without up-to-date vaccination records (at least that was my experience when I lived there).

Australia dropped the ball on this a decade or so ago when the Federal government passed responsibility to the states, though we now seem to have restored effectively universal vaccination.

All of this is surprising to me. I would have expected that health scares about vaccination would be at least as easy to run up in the US as anywhere else, that objections on the grounds of individual liberty would be taken more seriously in the US than elsewhere, and that the complex patchwork of state and local management of health policy would lead to large gaps.

Is my general expectation wrong, or is there something special about the case of vaccination? Or is thus just an illustration of the fact that every predictive model fails sometimes?