Protect your credit reports from the government

GovTrack: H.R. 3997: Financial Data Protection Act of 2006

This bill is a horrible misnomer. It is not going to help consumers as much as Congress claims it will. US PIRG has a good analysis.

Rain rain rain

History : Weather Underground

We've had 7.67 inches of rain in June 2006. The average is 3.7 inches, so we're doing well (if "well" means soggy...).

More David Swensen

How David Swensen beats the market

Here is a Canadian newspaper article about David Swensen.

More Philosophy Books Search Results: Tsai Chih Chung

Some more excellent comics on philosophy/history (Chinese philosophy, to be more specific) have been written by Tsai Chih Chung and translated by Brian Bruya.

Action Philosophers!

Action Philosophers! is one of the best recent intellectual comic books I've seen recently. It's definitely worth a read for those of us who feel embarrassed walking into/out of a comic book store because we're about 25 years older than the target demographic.

Portuguese Tapas in NYC

We had dinner with Pauline at Tintol

155 West 46th Street, New York, NY 10036

The restaurant is between 6th and 7th. Excellent Portuguese food!

As an aside, I formatted this post like this to try and force Google's AutoLink feature on the Google Toolbar to recognize the address. Interestingly enough, when I used "46 Street", AutoLink would not recognize the address.

Picasa Web Albums

I tried Picasa Web Albums for the first time. My album is publicly viewable. It's a pretty good organizer, although I'm not sure if I prefer blogging my photos or putting them all in an album. I guess they are complementary ways of organizing your photographic life.

The Met

We went with Pauline to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. What a museum! Posted by Picasa

Financial advice

One of the best books I've read about individual investment strategies recently is David Swensen's Unconventional Success: A Fundamental Approach to Personal Investment. Swensen runs Yale's money, and he has an outstanding performance record. There are several points of interest:
  1. He explains why the mutual fund industry is generally not a great place to invest, because of the many costs involved: trading costs, management costs, and tax costs.
  2. He implies that diversification away from common stocks might be a good thing. Many advisors suggest a 60-70% allocation to stocks, but Swensen gives a "sample" allocation as having around 50% stocks, broken into 30% US, 15% developed foreign markets, and 5% emerging foreign markets.
  3. He states that diversification towards real estate (REITs) and bonds is a good thing. His sample allocation has 20% in real state, 15% in Treasuries, and 15% in TIPS.
  4. He states that municipal bonds and corporate bonds are not useful assets for diversification.
WBUR has an interview with him online.

The Morgan Library

My cousin Pauline came to visit, and Ming and I went with her to the Morgan Library and Museum last night. It is free on Friday nights, and since we only live 5 minutes away, we plan on going again! We saw some outstanding exhibits. Ming really liked the Mesopotamian seals; we wondered if my cousin Jack (who did his PhD on that era) had gotten a chance to see them.

I was amazed at some of the drawings they had, as well as some of the musical manuscripts that they had on display. Unfortunately, we weren't allowed to see the performance hall. Here is an article and picture of the Morgan Library and Museum's hall from the NY Times.

Pauline has her own blog, so I'm sure she will have interesting things to say about her visit.
Jack has a blog too, so maybe I can search his blog about what he has seen in NYC.

Broadway shows

Our friends John and Becky Carter came to visit from Salt Lake City. We saw two shows with them, Avenue Q and The Producers. Outstanding stuff: I had almost forgotten how much fun musicals on Broadway could be!

(Re)-starting a blog

I decided to restart my blogging, to see if it would be a useful thing to do.

I also decided to clean up my web pages (which are still at the University of Utah) and start over with Google Page Creator.

The earlier posts in this blog contain photos from a trip that Ming and I took in February 2005. The photos are from Beijing, China and Hong Kong.