James Surowiecki writes about how the powerful illusion of housing as a guaranteed investment winner persists. Some of the economic errors he points out in rising housing price statistics are so basic that you'd think they'd have been corrected long ago. Two examples are not adjusting housing prices for inflation and failing to account for housing improvements. Sample bias is another problem: data on housing prices comes only from houses sold and don't reflect houses that don't sell because the owners aren't happy with the market price.
A collection of links to blog posts apologizing for not having posted in a while. Funny. People probably overdo it on the blog absence apologies. People can probably figure it out: you're too busy, too lazy, or on vacation.
Soundtrack.net has song by song previews from the new Casino Royale score. Some tracks evoke early John Barry, and many of those early Bond cues from Barry evoke my childhood like no other movie themes. My dad loved James Bond movies, and I used to hate it when ABC or another network would air a Bond movie late on a weekday night because I'd always have to go to bed early for school and miss the ending. I don't know why so many people are down on the new Bond movie before it has even hit the big screen. It's arguably the most successful and durable film franchise in Hollywood history, and the mythology is still alluring: play with the most advanced gadgets, travel to the world's most exotic locations, save the world from the craziest of megalomaniacs, and bed the world's most beautiful women. It's just a twist on the superhero movie genre, one that surmises that if such a super spy existed he probably wouldn't be the shrinking violet that is Clark Kent or Peter Parker but rather a somewhat sadistic, cocky SOB who'd want to indulge in all the perks of the office. If the perks weren't there, who'd take the job?
David Lynch's daily LA weather reports return. I listened to it this morning and felt unusually happy about the good weather having heard about it from Lynch.
Clive Owen will play Sir Walter Raleigh opposite Cate Blanchett's Elizabeth I in the sequel to Elizabeth, The Golden Age. Both are actors I love. I saw Blanchett from the first row in a production of Hedda Gabler at BAM in Brooklyn, and she was awe-inspiring. I saw Clive Owen walking out of the Mercer Hotel in Soho about a year ago, and he confirmed what I suspected, that wherever he is, he's the coolest character in the joint. But it's not entirely coincidental that we'll have the bonus of a bit more heat from our modern incarnations of Sir Walter Raleigh and Elizabeth I. Sure, standards of beauty change over time, but come on. I think natural selection and the passage of time are working in our favor here. But judge for yourself: