Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

DOOM Team wins Lunar Lander Contest























My buddy David P sent me this one. Apparently John Carmack of Doom fame and his team of minions won the First Stage of the Lunar Landar contest. Check it here.... I still think he got help from aliens....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The HILLS Large Hadron Collider and Keifer Sutherland doing Japanese Commercials

The Girls from the HILLS talk about the Large Hadron Collider....
this one is priceless...........LOL



Also....

Keifer Sutherland doing some JAPANDER action and shooting a 24-esque commercial for tasty snacks... at Japander.com


Enjoy!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Diversification Jive Turkey Madness

Diversification Jive Turkey Madness or 'when putting all your eggs in different baskets is a bad idea, because all the baskets are sitting in the kitchen of the Titantic'

MBA Nerd Material Alert

So I found this interesting paper that describes situations where diversification will totally pwn you. This article describes situations where increasing the number of items in a portfolio actually increases the portfolio risk. Pretty interesting but a VERY dense if your not into this sort of thing.


On another thought, thinking of the classical view of the portfolio which includes a correlation component. It is quite interesting because diversification makes sense if your 'intra-portfolio correlation' is below 1. So anything below 1 lets you minimize the aggregate risk to the portfolio. Another thought is that the correlation between your portfolio pieces also changes over time, so what had low covariance matrix today may not have low covariance matrix tomorrow. I remember reading somewhere that 'when things start to go down the tubes... things can get highly correlated very fast...' I think I heard a guy on NPR say something to the effect that blind diversification is bad.. kind of like talking on your cell phone while driving while listening to music does not reduce your chance of getting into a car accident =p

UPDATE
I also found this paper detailing the effect of Heavy Tailed returns on popular Risk Measures... To measure and manage market risk, it is important to use a model that describes asset returns accurately. Most financial concepts that have been developed in the past decades rest upon the assumption that returns follow Gaussian, bell-shaped distributions. However, evidence from the markets shows that the distribution of returns in several asset classes diverges from the Gaussian assumption. In particular, it has been observed that the profit/loss distributions present asymmetries and heavy tails. Extreme events, such as large losses or gains, occur with a higher probability than the one implied by the Gaussian distribution

UPDATE AGAIN
Here is some more epic distribution goodness

An excerpt from one of the papers cited by this link

Positive returns have less impact on future variances and correlations than negative returns of the same absolute magnitude, although the economic importance of this asymmetry is minor. Finally, there is strong evidence that equity volatilities and correlations move together, possibly reducing the benefits to portfolio diversification when the market is most volatile.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Shinobi's BACK!

LOLLLLLLLL.... found this old commercial.... with our favorite Hero Hiro (Masi Oka)... Shinobi's Back... i remember this because he was so totally biting my gear style back then... enjoy!


As an extra bonus.. here are Hiro and Claire (Hayden Pattanree..whatever)from the cover of FHM Magazine.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I miss B School already OR Kellogg Students get 'Myrtle Beach' drunk

A good friend of mine emailed this to me, and it brought back memories... I miss B school already. The intersection of highly intelligent, highly driven people, with beer and business cases.... this is how empires are built and alliances are forged my friends. =)

The following was apparently sent to the B school students at Kellogg... and was originally found at Dealbreaker.com Here is the hilarious email. Apparently these Kellogg students got 'Myrtle Beach' drunk =p

Sent: Thursday, October 16, 2008 12:54 PM

To: class09and10@kellogg.northwestern.edu

Subject: Student Conduct at Social Events

Students,

During our time at Kellogg, we have many opportunities to strengthen the "Kellogg" brand. Our relationships with one another and the time we spend together, both at Jacobs and away from campus, often provide great benefits to students and the school. Unfortunately, there are also times when students' conduct can have a negative impact on the brand. Since CIM Ball, there have been many rumors about what occurred that evening. KSA would like to provide clarification as well as provide a few reminders:

The Field Museum made the decision to shut the bar at CIM Ball down early because of student behavior, NOT because they ran out of alcohol. A few examples of such behavior included:

*Students were throwing things at a historic artifact: Sue, the Tyrannosaurus Rex, which The Field Museum purchased for over $8.3 million

*Students were vomiting on themselves and on the Field Museum Floors

*Students were spitting at people

*Students attempted to smuggle in a substantial amount of alcohol (large trash bins full of bottles and cans and flasks)

*Students passed out in high-traffic areas

*Students arrived at an open bar event already too overserved

While these examples apply to a very small minority of students, it only takes a few negative incidents to tarnish our brand. It is pretty embarrassing that the Field Museum will refuse to host future Kellogg events unless they can treat it like a high school prom, with breathalyzers, high security, and chaperones.

The goal of social and cultural events is to have fun, but a formal event at historical landmarks in Chicago should not be treated as a night out at the Keg. Not only will few venues be willing to host Kellogg events, but this type of behavior can decrease the value of a Kellogg MBA for us and future students.

We ask that you bear this message in mind at future social, cultural, and recruiting events, and that you treat students, event organizers, and the host property with respect.

Thank you,

Andrea

____________________________________________________________

Andrea Hanson

Vice President - Social & Cultural

Kellogg Student Association

Friday, October 24, 2008

Greenspan's Turkey























Apparently Greenspan was also a Jive Turkey =)
I first came across the Turkey analogy when I read Taleb's Black Swan book. The analogy was funny yet salient so I thought I'd share. After seeing Greenspan's quote I just had to bust this infographic out.

Greenspan's Jive Turkey Quotes

"once-in-a-century credit tsunami""That is precisely the reason I was shocked because I'd been going for 40 years or more with very considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well."

In the future, I hope we avoid being jive turkeys....

An interesting point... I was testing Black Scholes Merton equation's sensitivity to input volatility error for 'way out of the money' calls and puts and found an interesting example.

(if you don't care about derivative pricing then skip this section)

Take a call option with 1 year left before expiration, a strike price of $100, the current value of the underlying asset is $50... the volatility is 20%, and the risk free rate is 4.5%..... The call option price of this scenario is about $0.002.... Say the 'true' volatility was actually 26.6%, in this case the appropriate price for the call option is $0.044.... notice the raw sensitivity to the input, a 33% change in the volatility input results in a 22X change in the price... thus, you better be on point with your volatility input. This of course only matters if you believe the assumption that reality actually follows the Gaussian distribution into the tails..... (If you don't then this is an exercise in futility, if you agree with Mr. Taleb then this top-down approach is silly, this example is just to illustrate that even if the model constraints are true, you are still subject to massive swings in your solution if your inputs are even marginally off). Otherwise you might get a nasty surprise when this option exercised and you have to honor your end of the obligation... OOPS you charged WAY too little for this option... This is a good example of when not to be a turkey... This is an example I came up with after reading the Black Swan. The fragility of the Black Scholes Merton model is known to practioners and academics alike (My 'very smart professor' Zhao actually made us read a paper on the fragility of the model during my derivatives class after showing us the method.)
Anyhow, don't feel bad if your a turkey sometimes... just hope your not being a turkey when your house of cards is stacked to the ceiling. =)
Ciao

Sweet Godzilla scans























I saw this totally sweet link to a Flickr photoset of totally sweet Godzilla monster scans on boingboing.net Now we just need a cutaway of the presidential candidates LOL... or perhaps not =p

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Twitter Yo Moma Presidential Battle

I saw this twitter battle linked off of boingboing.net It's pretty damn funny so check it out. Here is an excerpt from it.

# Yo mama so fat, she authorized a $700 billion bailout of Dairy Queen.

# yo mama so fat, she thinks the G8 is a Value Meal.

# Yo mama so fat, her other biography is called "The Audacity of Hardee's.

# Yo mama so fat, the only Supreme Court verdict she wants to overturn is HomeTown Buffet v. Yo Mama.

# Yo mama so fat, she thinks sub-prime is a steak cut.

# Yo mama so fat, McCain refers to her as "Those Ones."

# Your mama so fat, when they asked which menus she reads, she said "You know, all of 'em."

# Yo mama's so ugly, Obama said "You can put lipstick on a pig and it would look a lot like yo mama on dollar margarita night."

# you moms so fat ACORN registered her to vote *three* times.

# Yo moms so fat Russia can see her from *their* house.

# Yo mama such a ho, the tab for the federal bailout plan is "700 billion dollars, plus fifty cents to have sex with yo mama."

# your mama so stupid she tried to arrange the genres on her iPod to put Country First.

# yo mama so fat McCain gives patronizing air quotes when he talks about the "health of yo mama"

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Street Fighter - The later years

The guys at collegehumor.com made this hilarious spoof on the Street Fighter fighting video game series.... Imagine Zangief as a janitor. Hadoken! =p
Check it!

Part 1


Below are hyper links to the rest of the videos. There are 9 videos total. Enjoy!
Part 2 (click here)

Part 3 (click here)

Part 4 (click here)

Part 5 (click here)

Part 6 (click here)

Part 7 (click here)

Part 8 (click here)

Part 9 (click here)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Booze and Schmooze #8 Gallery is up
















(Pictured: Wash U PMBA represent!)
The photos from Friday's Booze and Schmooze #8 are up. Check them out here. For more information about St. Louis Booze and Schmooze follow this link www.stlboozeandschmooze.com
Enjoy

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Army of ONE... World of Warcraft Style



So this guy apparently plays 36 World of Warcraft accounts simultaneously so that he doesn't have to deal with 'other people' when he does his raids and such... this kind of kills the social aspect of it, but to each his own...

I originally saw this gem on Metafilter.com

Friday, October 17, 2008

Totally Bad Ass! Man saves son by shooting arrow into the heart of a Grizzly bear



This by far has to be the most bad ass thing I've seen on the news all week. Check this out, this got took a 500 lb Grizzly bear down with a single arrow shot to save his son's life.... we salute you totally bad ass hunting dude..

It was a one-in-a-million shot, but luckily for Ron J. Leming, his father accurately fired the arrow from his bow the one time it counted the most - as a 500-pound grizzly bear chased him downhill.

He figured the bear was about 10 feet from him when he shot, although he can't remember using the bow's sight to aim. He also had to wait until his son passed, so his target window was short and his target was moving.

As he was falling, Leming pivoted onto his back. As the bear bore down on him, he fought back, throwing punches and kicking to keep the bear away from his head.

"I wouldn't have wanted to be on the other end of those," his father said. "He definitely fought for all he was worth. That kid's Ford tough."


Yes he just said FORD TOUGH.. but you know what, when you do something that bad ass... you deserve to say what ever you want =)

It is unfortunate the bear had to die though.

Black Swan author pwninates the market


Black Swan author Nicholas Taleb totally pwns market check it below.
Far out of the money puts and calls clip the chubby tails of the unknown.
Market Swan Dive is Bling Bling for Black Swan guy

"We refused to touch credit default swaps,'' Taleb said. ``It would be like buying insurance on the Titanic from someone on the Titanic."

"Investors advised by ``Black Swan'' author Nassim Taleb have gained 50 percent or more this year as his strategies for navigating big swings in share prices paid off amid the worst stock market in seven decades."

Someone Set Us Up the Bomb in Downtown Clayton


So apparently someone set us up the bomb in a downtown Clayton high rise building that is not very far from where I live... "A man named Michael Hart said his boss saw the explosion happen in the building's parking garage. Hart said his boss watched a man pick up a box next to a car, and then the box exploded, setting the man on fire. Hart said that witnesses helped put out the flames and get help for the man."

Check the ongoing story HERE!

thanks to Ambizzle for the find

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Yet again.. the DOW is under 9000!!!!!



LOL here we go again... btw notice that the ^VIX (the FEAR factor of the S&P 500) is almost at 70%........

Dhalsim attacks! and misses!


I saw this image posted on Shoryuken.com and almost fell out of my chair... LOLZ... in other news...

Walk without rhythm, you won't attract the worm...
























So apparently they have found a way to attract Worms... by sticking a stake in the ground and rubbing metal across the top... this simulates a grunting sound....
This sounds suspiciously like the method used in Frank Herbert's Dune series... where the characters use ground thumpers to attract giant worms..... go figure... btw the David Lynch Version of Dune is seriously the best even though its not true to original material =p I originally found this link off of Slashdot.org

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Godzilla vs POS American Godzilla

Ok.. so finally the OG Godzilla gets his revenge on the abomination called the American Godzilla... I'm glad that he finally gets to totally kick the crap out of that overgrown Jurassic Park CGI model... This does however make me want to see Godzilla Final wars though... it looks pretty ridiculous... ridiculously awesome!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Super Crack Head Cat Mario



So I saw this game on youtube like a year ago and downloaded the game from here - this is a zip download link

The homepage is in japanese here

to play use the up and left/right arrows.
left and right to move, and up to jump

GodzillaThon


















So I'm a huge Godzilla fan... I have a 1 foot tall giant Godzilla figure on my desk at work... oddly people love to stop by and say that they love the dinosaur...lol bless their little hearts... I guess they don't get much Godzilla in the midwest...
Anyhow check these Godzilla Cinema commentary videos out when you get a chance.. this guy points out some hilarious scenes and bits of information....

Here are 4 select videos I particularly liked









Godzillathon episode 1
There are like 17 or more of these you can check out.

Ex-Aerospace Engineer turned MBA is now the head treasury ninja
























LOL.... we salute you.... totally young 35 year old young dude, who used to be a aerospace engineer, who then went to Wharton for B school, who used to be a VP at Goldman Sachs, is now in the most important financial position on the planet....

Check it here

This story sounds way too familiar LOL....... "Kashkari has a Bachelor's and Master's degree in engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA (2002) from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.[2] Before enrolling in Wharton's MBA program, Mr. Kashkari worked for the aerospace firm TRW, where, amongst other projects, he worked on the James Webb Space Telescope.[3]"

This excerpt is from his wikipedia entry found here

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The black swan that made all this madness possible...

Credit Default Swaps or... the insurance that was supposed to make Mortgage Backed Securities and Collatoralized Debt Obligations bullet proof..... aka... insurance against defaults.... check this story from Newsweek

"Soon, companies like AIG weren't just insuring houses. They were also insuring the mortgages on those houses by issuing credit default swaps. By the time AIG was bailed out, it held $440 billion of credit default swaps. AIG's fatal flaw appears to have been applying traditional insurance methods to the CDS market. There is no correlation between traditional insurance events; if your neighbor gets into a car wreck, it doesn't necessarily increase your risk of getting into one. But with bonds, it's a different story: when one defaults, it starts a chain reaction that increases the risk of others going bust. Investors get skittish, worrying that the issues plaguing one big player will affect another. So they start to bail, the markets freak out and lenders pull back credit."

GET TO THE CHOPPER! or When Wallstreet Hits Main Street
























So apparently the cash crisis is punching our largest economic state in the face... and the Governator Arnold is issuing a 'GET TO THE CHOPPER' plea to the government to help save the state from danger....

Originally I found the link to this on fark.com

Here is the LA Times Story... included is the ACTUAL letter Arnold sent as well.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Mortgage Backed Securities and CDO's for normal people =p

I wish everything was explained at a basic level and with common language... I found this series of videos about Mortgage Backed Securities and Collateralized Debt Obligations when I was trying to understand the difficulty in pricing them.. these are pretty straightforward and practical... (Just in case you are not familiar.. these are the buggers that are causing so much trouble with the 700 Billion bailout....) Enjoy. =p

Mortgage Backed Securities Part 1


Mortgage Backed Securities Part 2


Mortgage Backed Securities Part 3


Collateralized Debt Obligations

Epic Debate Action at Wash U Danforth Center


LOL, we posted up behind the projector screen at the Danforth Center.... hilarity

Truly Epic Armored Car Robbery


My friend Ian found this gem. Apparently this dude used Craiglist to pull a straight Oceans Eleven Heist. Check the story here

" But apparently, the robber had planned ahead. In case anyone was hot on his trail, he had at least a dozen unsuspecting decoys waiting nearby, which he recruited on Craigslist.

KING

An armored car sits outside a Bank of America branch in Monroe, Wash. on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2008. Police say a man tried to rob the car, then jumped into a creek that led to the Skykomish River.

"I came across the ad that was for a prevailing wage job for $28.50 an hour," said Mike, who saw a Craigslist ad last week looking for workers for a road maintenance project in Monroe.

He said he inquired and was e-mailed back with instructions to meet near the Bank of America in Monroe at 11 a.m. Tuesday. He also was told to wear certain work clothing.

"Yellow vest, safety goggles, a respirator mask… and, if possible, a blue shirt," he said.

Mike showed up along with about a dozen other men dressed like him, but there was no contractor and no road work to be done. He thought they had been stood up until he heard about the bank robbery and the suspect who wore the same attire. "

Kindergarten explanations should be standard

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Treadmill Race in World of Warcraft


So apparently these dudes hooked up treadmills to control World of Warcraft characters to run a virtual marathon... this is pretty funny and its too bad they don't have something similar in gyms (at least what i've seen) Back in the day I used to go to a Military Base Gym that had these cycles and stairmasters that let you control a biplane to put out forest fires or race each other on a cycle track... What we really need is a resident evil version of this where you run through a bad area and punch zombies.. or even better a Grand Theft Auto version where you practice your mugging skills... running and punching.... (homage to Californication)

Goat Ninjas...


So in my quest to see if Lemurs can look LEFT.. I stumbled upon this... Goats that can climb trees....... Check it out here.

Update:
If you combine these CLIMBING GOATS with FAINTING GOATS then you have something hilarious.... so basically
THIS

PLUS THIS

= AWESOME

This would be a good movie plot.. if the goats were carnivores and rabid... so that your nightly stroll through the woods is interrupted by a flying goat =)

Sort of like this movie... Black Sheep (not the Chris Farley one)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Hindenburg Omen redux

Back in early July, I posted a snippet of information about the so called 'Hindenburg Omen'.

From seeking alpha

"The current Hindenburg omen was triggered on June 6, 2008, and has been confirmed by subsequent repeated H.O. signals. The previous confirmed H.O. was in October of 2007, and stock markets definitely had a serious correction afterwards. The success rate for H.O. is only about 25%, or 1 crash in every 4 signals, and it will last for about 120 days during which it could crash. But if you could avoid those mini-crash period as a buy-and hold investor, you obviously will do so much better."

Perhaps next time we see a Hindenburg omen... someone should buy a hilarious number of 6 month out of the money puts on the S&P 500.

Of course I thought this was an interesting curiosity but only in retrospect. Not necessarily useful but interesting nonetheless. In a world of uncertainty what on earth are we to do?

Night Vision Goggles.. for $89


Check out these totally sweet night vision goggles I found at thinkgeek.com. This piece is super cheap for only $89... think about how much fun you can have the next time you go on a float trip... never get lost again... then again... maybe you will wish you can't see whats going on in the next campsite over... LOL... apparently the crew at thinkgeek field tested this while using the restroom... real men of genius indeed....

Cellphones as instruments...



Found this on Engadget.com. You gotta check out the video and info shown here.

SubPrime Primer via stick figures - Simply Awesome...


My friend Andre found this simply awesome narrative about how the Subprime Crisis came about... its full of enough humor and anger that it's worth reading... as your 401k drops to the floor... enjoy.

Here is the original link from boingboing.net