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“Foreign Affairs”

…. it is taken for granted that people over fifty are as set in their ways as elderly apple trees, and as permanently shaped and scarred by the years they have weathered. The literary convention is that nothing major can happen to them except through subtraction. They may be struck by lightning or pruned by the hand of man; they may grow weak or hollow; their sparse fruit may become misshapen, spotted, or sourly crabbed. They may endure these changes nobly or meanly. But, they cannot, even under the best of conditions, put out new growth or burst into lush and unexpected bloom.       Read more »


Nate the Great and 538

Nate Silver, the quant jock who created the website:  (538) has proved his detractors wrong once again and accurately predicted the outcome of the presidential election (Obama). Despite the conservatives claiming the presidential election was too close to call and trying to spin Romney as the front-runner (especially after the first debate), the race had never been that close, according to Silver. Obama always had a strong chance of winning:  ranging from a low of 63% on Oct. 9th to a high of 91% the day before the election. In terms of electoral votes, Silver predicted (on election day) Obama would obtain 313 electoral votes while Romney would obtain 225. The actual outcome was 303 electoral votes for Obama and 206 for Romney, with Florida too close to call. And yet numerous news stations, talk shows, radio programs, and newspapers predicted the 2012 presidential election too close to call.  Why is that? Read more »


CiCi’s Handmade Italian Butterhorns

When I was in high school, I would often go to my friend Amy’s house over the holidays where her extended family would celebrate the end of a meal with a table full of Italian pastries and cookies. At my house, most cookies came in a bag so the sight of a whole table piled high with every conceivable type of handmade Italian cookie was a dream come true. Amy’s Aunt Cookie was primarily responsible for that dedicated table and she was infamous among her relatives (and friends) for her homemade cookies: Italian Wedding, Wandi, Pignoli, Struffoli, and more. Read more »


Pret A Manger

What do you get when you cross a good restaurant, a top quality grocer, a European style coffee bar, and the speed of light? Pret A Manger:  a British-based fresh food provider that makes healthy and delicious food as fast as it flies off the shelves. Read more »


Nate Silver and 538

Four years ago, Nate Silver created “538 dot com” or “538” – a blog that applies mathematical models/statistical analysis to predict election results. Frustrated with the lack of quantitative methods in polling data and prediction models reported in the media, Silver used his math skills to analyze polls and predictors for their size and historical margin of error and make his own predictions.  His results were astounding with an accurate prediction in the Democratic primary in March, 2008 (Obama) followed by the Presidential election (in 49 out of the 50 states) and the winner of every 2008 US Senate race. Since the 2008 election, Silver has continued his success and has a proven track record for predicting who our elected officials will be. Read more »