More wisdom from the irascible Christopher Hitchens, interviewed by Michael Totten:
“The essence of totalitarianism is that it’s systematic, thorough, and absolute, but it’s also unpredictable and capricious.”
Hannah Arend couldn’t have said it better. Read the whole thing.
@lawton_assoc, & @felixsalmon point to the Bloomberg article on how Gordon Ramsay nearly went bankrupt.
For Ramsay, this was especially embarrassing because Kitchen Nightmares showcases him as a savior of other people’s restaurants.
“It’s not great if you’re making a show called Kitchen Nightmares and advising people on how to fix their businesses for you to go bankrupt,” says Pat Llewellyn,
I’ve watched Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares on BBC America (I can’t speak for any of his Fox shows in the US) and I find it an entertaining show particularly for the way Ramsay (known for his screaming and liberal use of the f-bomb) deals with the softer aspects of running a restaurant. In episode after episode he’s called in to punch up disillusioned staff and help return them to past glory. It’s usually morale and interpersonal relations that add to bad cash flow management in killing good restaurants. To see how Ramsay turns the attitudes of put-upon staff and restores their confidence is what really makes this show for me. Who wouldn’t mind having Jack Welsh or Vince Lombardi as your personal coach for a month?
FSC Senior Analyst Bobby McMahon chats with Prost Amerika after the 2010 World Cup Draw and has these observations to make:
- Are South Africa the weakest host country? “They’re not the strongest hosts… but… the host nation more times than not finds a way to get through.”
- On Mexico- are they underestimated?: “Mexico… can be intimidated… when they get up against vert strong, physical sides that get on top of them they can have some trouble… The States… for the longest time have built a team equipped to beat the Mexicans”
- On Argentina- ‘very dangerous to link qualifying performances with performances at World Cup’
- “I’m not a big watcher of Slovenian soccer but I watched both games against Russia… the second leg performance… was outstanding…. If they’re a counterattacking team… I think they cause problems for England.”
- If Slovenia and Algeria were replaced in Group C with Russia and Egypt, people would be calling it the “Group of Death”
- Bobby’s predictions for which teams will make it through…
- Group A: France & Mexico;
- Group B: Nigeria & Greece;
- Group C: US & England;
- Group D: Serbia & Germany;
- Group E: Netherlands & Cameroon;
- Group F: Italy & Paraguay;
- Group G: Brazil & Ivory Coast;
- Group H: Spain & Chile
Listen to the whole conversation here.
Thanks to Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution for pointing this article from New York Magazine. Most restaurant patrons probably don’t consider all the work that goes into designing a truly effective menu. Apologies for sounding like a rube, but this analysis is brilliant.
4. In The Vicinity
The restaurant’s high-profit dishes tend to cluster near the anchor. Here, it’s more seafood at prices that seem comparatively modest.
I didn’t realize the degree by which my decision making at dinner has been manipulated by business considerations. I do now.
Calculated Risk estimates the US economy has to grow by 6% in order to reduce unemployment by a mere 2%. Not likely.
“we find a robust negative correlation between
unemployment and attacks against government and allied forces and no
significant relationship between unemployment and the rate of insurgent
attacks that kill civilians”