Monday, September 22, 2008

This and That

Cartoon of the day:


Album of the day: Rachmaninov: The Four Piano Concertos
Bernard Haitink (Conductor), Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam (Orchestra), Vladimir Ashkenazy (Performer) - A splendid recording! And definitely much better than the von Karajan and Alexis Weissenberg version--the orchestra overshadowed the piano (has something to do with von Karajan's celebrity-ego, I suspect).

Motion picture of the day: "Brief Encounter" by David Lean

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Opposition-less Government?

One reason to oppose the so-called "joint government":

Power House

When Kenya convulsed with violence after its flawed election in late December, many expressed surprise that one of Africa’s most stable countries could so quickly fall victim to ethnic hatred. But political scientists Steven Fish and Matthew Kroenig noted something else: a feeble legislature. Despite the opposition winning twice as many legislative seats as the president’s party, opposition members still took to the streets. Why? Because they wanted the only office that has any power in the country: the presidency.

In a groundbreaking new study, Fish and Kroenig rank the power of 158 national legislatures around the world, based on a survey completed by more than 700 country experts. The strength of parliaments and congresses is measured
using four groups of factors: influence over the executive (such as powers of impeachment), autonomy (such as whether the executive can dissolve parliament), vested powers (such as the power to declare war), and the capability to get things done (such as having the resources to hire staff).

They find that countries with strong legislatures are far more likely to have resilient democracies. Weak legislatures often cannot keep executives in check, especially when autocratic leaders come to power. “This decade, the great enemies of democracy are presidents,” says Fish, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. “If you have a legislature that’s vested with the power to stand up to them, you can keep democracy on track.”

The title of world’s most powerful legislature is a tie between Italy, Germany, and, curiously, Mongolia, where the 1992 constitution created an especially healthy parliament, thanks in part to fears that China or Russia could easily manipulate a strong president. At the bottom of the list sit Burma and Somalia. The U.S. Congress is outranked by 40 other national legislatures, scoring poorly in part because its laws are not veto proof.

Fish and Kroenig believe that countries with stronger parliaments may also be less prone to civil wars and might even be more disposed to economic growth. “We haven’t yet found anything wrong with having a strong legislature,”says Fish. It may be that the best advice for any young democracy is to make sure not to build a House of cards.

Foreign Policy Magazine - March/April Edition (hervee garahguy baival download deer ni darj baigaad uzeerey)

Sunday, September 07, 2008

This and That

The coolest video I've seen in a while: Hitchcock's "The Key to Reserva" made by Martin Scorsese :P (+ YouTube link)

Woody Allen-ii Interview Magazine-d ugsun yariltslaga: "Woody Allen" by Douglas McGrath. Minii medeh Allen-ii hamgiin goyo yariltslaga baina. Bas ene Interview gej goyo setguul baidag yum baina. Andy Warhol undeslesen yum baih aa

Saya savaaguytej yavaad tasarhai nom olov: "LSD — My Problem Child" by Albert Hofmann. LSD-iin tuuh geh yum uu daa. Unuu Richard Feynman anecdote-iihaa tsugluulga (Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman) deer "Altered States" geed buhel buten buleg oruultsan baidag shig (gesnees nuhur LSD-g "turshiltiin jurmaar" hereglej uzsen tuhai Gleick-iin biography deer baidag baih aa, aimar gar :P) asar dalii zuiliin talaar asar shimten sonirhov. Hervee deerh nomiig unshihaas zalhuurval The Economist deerh Hofmann-ii obituary-g unshaaray (aimar shortcut naasan :P).

A.O.Scott on indie films: It’s Suddenly So Last Year, That Once Bold New Guard

Brad DeLong's Fall 2008, American Economic History course blog + Fall 2008 course blog for The Political Economy of Civil War and Terrorism at Yale University, taught by Chris Blattman

Current Song:
Corrine Bailey Rae - Butterfly

Current Band: The Loafing Heroes

Current Video: Nutgaa sanasan humuus zaaval eniig uzeerey :)

Current Album: Amy Winehouse - Frank. Humuus Winehouse-iig dan gants Back to Black-aar ni tusuuluud baidag yum shig. Minii huvid bol tuunii debut album boloh Frank ni hamaaguy iluu. Yag l 30, 40-uud onii jazz sonsch baigaa yum shig, tegsen murtuu mash orchin uyeiin, uuriin gesen ontslogotoy. Deerees ni Slate-iin (btw, ene article-iig zaaval unshaaray) "feisty London homegirl who emerged in 2003 with a rich mid-Atlantic musical mix, combining a connoisseur's passion for American soul and jazz with a strong sense of English particularism" gesen todorhoilolt tuuniig yav tsav ilerhiilj chadna baih.

On Jose Gonzalez

Deehne manai eeljiin manager nadad tun sanaandguygeer (shunu ajlaas buuhiin umnuhun baih aa) ireh guravdahad Boston orj concert uzne gej helev. Bi yahav hend ch heregguy yum sonirhoj yavdag yum bolhooroo "henii?" geed avaad hayav. Tegsen nuhur uuduus, "Jose Gonzalez-iih, chi ch barag medehguy baih aa" gedeg yum baina. Yaj yavaad ch bilee Jose Gonzalez gedeg nuhur minii Zero 7-ii baingiin bus gishuun gej unshij baisan yum (ternees gadna Jose Gonzalez Massive Attack-iin "Teardrop"-iig cover hiisen baihiig ni sonsch baisan). "Aan, Jose Gonzalez uu? Mediishdee. Ter nuhur chini Sweden-d tursun Argentinian, bas Zero 7-nd toglodog..." gej medemhiirev (hicheelee sanadagguy murtuu iim yumiig bol shuud l sanaj baigaan). Tsaashaagaa yahav, nuguuh chini aihtar indie sonsdog gar bolj taaraad, harin bi aihtar meddeg hun bolj jujigleed suuldee yarisaar ter nuhurt daigdan Boston orj Jose Gonzalez-iin concert uzeh bolov. Gertee ochood naiz ohin, bas dahiad hoyor nuhriig (:P) uruu tatsanaar bugdeeree neg udriig udurjin hotoor tenen, shunu ni Boston Museum of Fine Arts-d ochin concert uzeheer tohiroltsov...

Concert hediigeer gadaa tsetserlegt boloh baisan ch boroo oroh surgaar (gehdee medeej orooguy) dotor auditorium-d bolov. Sanasniig bodvol mash tsuun hund zoriulj toglosnoos gadna gereltuulgiin huvid mash uvurmuts goyo shiideltey bolovch haritsanguy tsuuniig ashiglaj neg yosondoo mash engiin, uzegchdiin anhaarliig gantshan duuchin deer tuvluruuleheer zohion baiguulagdsan baiv.

Concert ehelj, Jose Gonzalez guitar-aaraa anhniihaa note-iig togloj ehelsen muchuus humuus bugd chiv chimeeguy bolj hugjimd ni ter chigtee uusaad orchihov. Gantshan acoustic guitar-aar (ter ni hervee buruu haraaguy bol classical aka Spanish guitar baisan) neg hunii huvid baij bolomguy gemeer complex ayiig togloj, gots goid zuilguy murtuu uyangalag namuun hooloigooroo uzegchdiig ezemdeh ni uneheer bishirmeer.

Jose Gonzalez-iin duunuudiin huvid uneniig helehed bi Teardrop-iin cover-oos uuriig urid umnu ni negiig ch sonsch uzeeguy baisan yum (uuruur helbel indie gariin concert-d asar indie tsarailj ochson gesen ug :P). Gehdee concert duusah uyest dahiad gantshaniig togloosoy gesendee algaa horstol tashsaniig bodvol nadad anhnii sonsoltoor l asar ih talaagdsan bololtoy (Gonzalez uzegchdiin huselteer dahin 3 duu togloson buguud anhnaasaa zoriud tegev uu ali esvel uzegchdee hundlev uu sain medehguy). Magadguy ene ni gaihaltay hugjmuus gadna tuunii neleed gunzgii lyrics-ees bolson baih. Suuld sonsohnee nuhur biochemistry-eer PhD student, deerees ni Richard Dawkins unshij inspiration avdag gesen :P

Togloltod het uussan hajuudah hun maani zuurmegleed avsniig es tootsvol concert uneheer gaihaltay bolj ungursun. Magadguy ene minii amidraldaa uzsen hamgiin mundag concert baih. Hervee bolomj oldvol Jose Gonzalez-iin duunuudiig zaaval sonsch uzeerey!

Addendum: Musicians@Google: José González Live + Jose Gonzalez in Concert - from NPR's All Songs Considered

Saturday, September 06, 2008

This and That

Gobbet of the day:

[D]emocracy does not mean and cannot mean that the people actually rule in any obvious sense of the terms 'people' and 'rule.' Democracy means only that the people have the opportunity of accepting or refusing the men who are to rule them. But since they might decide this also in entirely undemocratic ways, we have had to narrow our definition by adding a further criterion identifying the democratic method, viz., free competition among would-be leaders for the vote of the electorate.
from Schumpeter's "Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy"

Link of the day: as Tyler Cowen calls it - "Website about airline food" :P - for Christ's sakes, would someone please send to them the picture of MIAT's inflight food? Aero Mongoliagiih baigaa murtuu MIAT-iih alga. How unfair is that? :P
via Marginal Revolution

Video of the day: Herbie Hancock and Corinne Bailey Rae are covering Joni Mitchell's "River" - bloody brilliant!