That pesky free market

Hadn’t thought of this. Couldn’t happen to nicer people.

DOMA Ruling Creates Tough Choices, New Opportunities For Some Same Sex Spouses

“I think major employers are going to have a hard time recruiting to states that don’t have recognition,” Kinney added. “If you’re a federally recognized couple living in New York or San Francisco or Los Angeles or wherever and your company wants to transfer you to Texas and you’re going to lose all your federal benefits, why would you ever do that?”

Swarming and stocks

My podcast randomization sometimes causes some interesting juxtapositions. Today’s example:

Talk of the Nation interviews a writer about flocking and swarming behavior, where a group of creatures can exhibit complex and intelligent behaviors that the individuals do not have.

Planet Money interviews the inventor of computerized high-speed trading, which now makes up 50% of all stock trades. Includes an interesting anecdotes about using robots in 1987 to work around NASDAQ rules.

I strongly suspect that sociologists later this century will apply the insights of the first story to figure out how we’re screwing up the second.

The Chopra Generator

This apparently has been around for a while, and damned if I know how I missed it, because it’s the best thing ever.

It has been said by some that the thoughts and tweets of Deepak Chopra are indistinguishable from a set of profound sounding words put together in a random order, particularly the tweets tagged with “#cosmisconciousness”. This site aims to test that claim! Each “quote” is generated from a list of words that can be found in Deepak Chopra’s Twitter stream randomly stuck together in a sentence.

Selected examples:

  • Interdependence influences universal chaos.
  • Quantum physics nurtures unparalleled energy.
  • The web of life grows through the barrier of belonging.
  • Your consciousness projects onto existential opportunities.
  • The future is an ingredient of infinite destiny.

How Singing With Others Changes Your Life

Fun NPR interview on Talk of the Nation. Direct MP3 download link.

When writer Stacy Horn was 26 years old, she was divorced and miserable. So she decided to audition for the Choral Society of Grace Church in New York. Horn made the cut and joined the community choir as a soprano.

She chronicles her 30 years with the group in a new memoir, Imperfect Harmony: Finding Happiness in Singing With Others. She talks with NPR’s Ari Shapiro about how singing made her life more bearable.

Daniel Levitin, psychology professor at McGill University, and author of This Is Your Brain on Music, joins the conversation to explain the science of group singing.