In Large Type

brilliant ideas in a big font… often gay interest or political topics.

Archive for April, 2007

My bicycle accidents

Posted by bert5 on 29 April 2007

Was biking on my new Schwinn today and had a crash — all by myself. No one else was involved. I was biking through a deserted parking lot, and I hit a speed bump at full speed completely unaware it was there. Over the bar and hit the pavement with my palms and rolled. The surprising thing is that I got up with hardly a scratch. And even the bike was fine. My lucky day.

I’ve had bike accidents before all varying degrees worse than this one. At least a couple in college at low speed with other bikers. All of those were without a helmet.

Then there was the one at squaw valley going downhill mountain biking. A raspberry, skinned thigh, arms and elbows. That was pretty bad.

Actually I think the weight of the bike matters in a crash. If it’s light, it’s easy to push out of the way or prevent it from falling on you and causing more complications. Not landing on rocks is also helpful.

Posted in journal | Leave a Comment »

Articles on sexuality in the NYTimes today

Posted by bert5 on 10 April 2007

Link While covering well trod ground on correlation of homosexuality with number of older brothers, this article does also mention some new ideas about brain related genes on the X-chromosome and variability in intelligence of males.

Another article talks about height/income tradeoffs from the point of view of a woman looking for a man. I’ll cost you $278k / year to appeal like a taller man, if you’re really short.

Posted in gay, psychology, science -ish | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Joshua Bell plays nearly unrecognized in DC Metro

Posted by bert5 on 10 April 2007

Towleroad reported on this interesting event staged and originally reported by the Washington Post. Joshua Bell posed as an amateur violinist at the L’Enfant DC Metro station in early morning to see if working stiffs — there were probably no tourists at that early hour — would recognize his talented violin playing for what it was. Turned out the answer is basically no. Or else people have so little appreciation for classical music, they wouldn’t recognize a world-class classical musician if he were playing beautiful music right in front of them. I would hope the same wouldn’t happen in SF, but BART stations can be such dumps compared to the DC metro; it’s not quite the same experiment.

# # #

Some search queries hit this page asking if Joshua Bell is gay.  Apparently he says he is not.  I think he’s being honest — because of his hair — it’s just not a gay guy hairstyle.

Another query: why do people think Joshua Bell is gay?  I’m sure gay folks don’t, so I assume we’re talking about straights here.  An unfair stereotype based answer would be that straight guys feel threatened by the  talented, wealthy and pretty guy and want to confirm their misplaced suspicion to their apparently Bell gushing girlfriends that he is gay in an attempt to shut them up.  Straight women just want to know, you know, because they’re interested in whether they should invest some effort in stalking the fellow.

Posted in gay, gaydar, science -ish | 2 Comments »

Sam Zell

Posted by bert5 on 6 April 2007

It was only the third time that I’ve seen a billionaire in person. The first was the reclusive Paul Allen in my engineering elective class in the biz school, and the second sighting was Gordon Moore. Mr. Zell spoke about corporate governance, how Sarbanes-Oxley is putting a tax on free market capitalism and was just bad legislation. He spoke about public trust and working in the interest of the shareholders. Also, interestingly on executive compensation — skin in the game. He also mentioned a few details about the shrewd negotiation to get Blackstone to buy Equity Office Properties — of which he was a major shareholder — for $55.5 billion. (He didn’t explain why news articles peg the transaction at only $39 billion or lower.) His team decided the price was right. In fact, it was an offer he couldn’t refuse, perhaps even at the $48 billion first offer. Quite the trick was getting the extra $7 billion and change.

He wouldn’t talk much about his recent, not quite completed, purchase of Tribune. Obviously he believed newspapers make money. I’d read that newspapers throw off a lot of cash. Still, the outlook didn’t seem great for newspapers in the future. He mentioned how a lot of younger folks get their news via internet and for free. He mentioned how Google making all the revenue was an untenable situation. If all the papers got together and negiotiated with Google, they would get some money out of Google, he hinted.

Recent articles about Sam Zell in Cincinnati Post and BusinessWeek

Posted in economics, journal | Leave a Comment »

Less painful being a gay teenager?

Posted by bert5 on 4 April 2007

Link  In this NYTimes piece things sound pretty humane.

Posted in gay | Leave a Comment »