Lion of the Blogosphere

So Tim Cook is gay

with 29 comments

I guess I wasn’t paying attention.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

October 30, 2014 at 9:12 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Pieds-à-terre unfairness?

with 76 comments

Julie Satow, writing in the NY Times, complains about the fact that in some super-high-end areas of Manhattan, a large percentage of the apartments are vacant most of the time, because the owners are rich people who live somewhere else and consider themselves to be too rich to rent a hotel room when they visit Manhattan.

Of course, they don’t pay New York income tax if New York isn’t their primary domicile and they don’t earn any money directly tied to work performed in New York. (It pays to live in a zero-income-tax state like Florida if you are very rich!)

I think the article may have some false information about real estate taxes. As far as I understand, residential property in New York City is intentionally assessed at a value that sounds absurdly low, but then is subject to a tax rate that would be absurdly high if it was based on the true market-value of the property. Also, as far as I know, new condos generally face the highest property taxes, unless the condo was subject to a temporary tax abatement because the developers also built “affordable” housing coincident with the luxury housing, or for other reasons.

If a condo has a tax abatement, that would be baked into the price, so you would pay more for a condo subject to a tax abatement. But as the tax abatement runs out, the condo will decline more in value relative to condos not subject to a tax abatement.

So who’s really making a profit on the tax abatement? The answer is the people lucky enough to win the lottery to get into one of those “affordable” apartments. And of course the developers are also making a profit because they can sell the condos for a higher price.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

October 28, 2014 at 9:16 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Another possible Ebola case in NYC

with 23 comments

5-year old boy has 103 degree fever and vomiting. He recently returned from Guinea with his family.

The media is full of false-positives, but given the severity of the fever and where the boy has been, Ebola sounds like a strong possibility. Of course, there are all kinds of other viruses in Africa that he could have picked up.

UPDATE: The NY Post article may have lied about the 103 fever, I don’t see that in any other news sources. I guess there’s a reason why the Post is considered a crappy newspaper.

According to the NY Times: “The child at first did not appear to have any symptoms,” he said. But at around 7 a.m., the child’s temperature had elevated to just over 100 degrees, according to health officials.”

UPDATE: NOT EBOLA

The kid tested negative, luckily. The Post lied about the 103 fever.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

October 27, 2014 at 10:00 am

Is Psy alpha?

with 43 comments

Most-watched music video in the history of mankind. And he’s Korean.

* * *

shiva1008 writes: “I think Lion is trolling us with these alpha and beta posts.”

I admit that it’s pretty funny reading the comments with people arguing whether Psy is beta because he’s pudgy, goofy, and married, or is alpha because he’s rich and famous and dancing with Hyun-a who’s considered one of the top-ten sexiest women in Korea (although I personally think that Katy Perry is way sexier).

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

October 25, 2014 at 9:54 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Washington shooting: not beta-male rage

with 34 comments

The shooter was a football player and was the “homecoming prince.” Also he was American Indian, and beta-male rage crimes are usually committed by whites, Asians, and hapas.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

October 25, 2014 at 9:51 pm

Posted in Crime

Ebola documentary

with 18 comments

Hat tip to commenter “slithy toves” for linking to this VICE News documentary, The Fight Against Ebola.
There are two things that struck me most while watching.

(1) The Liberian people who work with Ebola victims say that they are doing their jobs to help their country. For them it’s not so much about helping the victims, but it’s about preventing the disease from spreading. Despite all the bad things you hear about corrupt African governments, I was quite moved by some of the genuine patriotism and self-sacrifice of the Liberians who were interviewed.

(2) Near the end of the video, the reporter interviews a doctor, and then asks if he can go into the Ebola treatment center. The doctor talks him out of it, explaining how dangerous it is and even the slightest mistake taking off your protective gear could lead you to catch Ebola.

It’s too bad that the hospitals in Spain and in Texas where the nurses caught Ebola didn’t heed some of the advice that would have been freely given by African doctors who had actual experience with the disease. There is this hubris in the West that our healthcare workers are a lot smarter than African healthcare workers, but if anything, the video shows the extreme caution the Liberians are taking with Ebola. They spray down their hazmat suits with chlorine bleach after every contact with Ebola, which is something that wasn’t initially done in the West because we keep continually underestimating Ebola.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

October 25, 2014 at 11:17 am

Ebola goes underground

with 44 comments

The NY Times:

Even as the authorities worked to confirm that Mr. Spencer was infected with Ebola, it emerged that he traveled from Manhattan to Brooklyn on the subway on Wednesday night, when he went to a bowling alley and then took a taxi home.

The next morning, he reported having a temperature of 103 degrees, raising questions about his health while he was out in public.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

October 23, 2014 at 8:54 pm

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