Links: Collapsing NYC Skyscraper, NCAA Bagmen, Yahoo, Health Insurance, Etc.

Now that my PhD is done—for the water wave aficionados out there, I will post a link to the preprint of my research sometime soon, I hope1—it’s time to start catching up on things. The writeup on my math, linguistics and writing freshman seminar is in the works. For now, here are assorted links.

  • This is really scary/fascinating: there was a design flaw in the CitiCorp Center tower in Manhattan that could have led to its collapse. For more, see the BBC documentary (part 2 and part 3) and the New Yorker article (paywall).

  • Interesting article about the bag men who direct and link the booster ecosystem in NCAA football. A perhaps naive question: this isn’t illegal in terms of law, just in terms of NCAA regulations, right? (Well, except for the tax code.)

  • On human memory. I found this particularly interesting as someone who has very careful notes for a whole range of things—I’ll interrupt conversations with (certain) friends to “consult my journals”, knowing exactly where to find something I can’t remember, especially when it comes to literature.

  • David Auerbach on product management and Marissa Mayer. Also on Yahoo: how can Yahoo be worth less than zero.

  • London’s Great Exodus. Wouldn’t it make sense to tax such outside real estate investment higher?

  • On health care: Why employers will stop offering health insurance. That would be great. Unfortunately, see this recent news: the IRS isn’t letting employers nudge employees to the health exchanges.

  • I must admit I found myself doing the same thing as the author of this article about Tiki Barber’s website that lets fans pay to do various activities with athletes: I started searching for the most obscure and absurd things, e.g., the karaoke.

  • On bicycle laws: why cyclists should be able to roll through stop signs.

  • Why unbundling cable won’t save you much money. Not surprising. Well, you shouldn’t get cable anyways—why not read? (Silicon Valley is great, though.)

  • A somewhat sad but quite interesting article on Tom Lehrer.

  1. At some point I’d like to try to write an exposition of my research geared at readers with only a moderate (say, multivariable calculus) background. We’ll see if I have time.