Meow meow

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Sunday, March 05, 2006

On Wednesday, we finally got some proper snow which blanketed the ground, rather than the sleet ('frozen raindrops that bounce on impact with the ground') of a week or three ago and the very sporadic snow that we'd been getting on and off. The ground was then blanketed in a sheet of white. Of course, as someone noted, snow is only fun for the first 30 minutes. Then it begins to melt, get dirty and turn into slush.

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Snowscape, from the window outside my room

Venturing further afield, I located another Aldi along Groeneweg, and this one was much larger than the first one I'd gone to (though not within walking distance of the Central Station). They had most of the stuff I need, except for fresh meat and Coke. Beside it was a Nettorama, a discount supermarket, which did have them, and stuff found in normal supermarkets. Meat seems cheaper at the market, and if I looked hard enough, most fresh produce might be as well, but the trouble with the market (besides it being 3/4 open on Wednesday, half open on Friday and fully open only on Saturday) is that it's inconsistent, heterogeneous and prices are not always clearly displayed (if they are marked in the first place), and one has to spend some time visiting all the individual stalls to find the best bargain. Unlike most females, I do not incur negative search costs (ie They enjoy the process of looking for low prices itself), so I will probably opt for the satisficing option of doing most of my non-meat shopping at Aldi and Nettorama (and going for Euroshopper brand products like €0.29/kg spaghetti and the Bonus [sale] items at Albert Heijn).

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View of Vredenburg, where the market is

Nettorama even had Made-In-Belgium Garnier Fructis, and at a lower price (€2.49 per bottle) than the market too - the power of economies of scale trumps that of cross-border arbitrage. I noticed that the Nettorama had a price guarantee, but oddly stocked none of the brands that Aldi had; Aldi almost surely stocks funny brands you don't find elsewhere for this reason, especially since in this case they were right next to each other - even if Aldi had lower prices for pasta sauce than Nettorama, it's for another brand so the price guarantee would not apply.

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Ditto

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The birds seemed strangely unperturbed

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Then they took wing

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I like snow-covered trees. This from just outside my housing.

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Interestingly, here they call peanut butter pindakaas, which translates as "peanut cheese".


Quotes:

[On a model] We decided to, or I decided to extend it.

[On the Solow model being insufficient to explain growth] This is good news, or the course would end here and you'd be bored for the next 10 weeks.

[On education and human capital] In the end, this is the reason you came here this afternoon - to learn something so you can make more money.

[On Malthus] This model, which brings tears to your eyes because it's so terrible... People will make kids until you run out of food, then they'll die. It's terrible.

Those are things we can build into the model, but it's too much work and it makes me very tired.

[On health correlating to income and vice versa] Proof that these are true. Even if you believe, the proofs are quite fun, so let's have a look.

[On food and height] The body responds, 'This is not very good. I better not grow so much'. I have no idea what I'm talking about - this is biology... it takes up too much energy [to be tall].

[On conscription] They measure your weight, they measure your height. They even try to measure your intelligence - it's very funny.

[On an Italian minister] 'I will not enter parliament because it would decrease my human capital'... he went back to Florence to become an Economics Professor.

By going here, you have increased your future wages by a certain amount. I'll reveal it later - it's a secret. (coming)

[On human capital wearing out] If you don't practise the Solow model everyday, you'll forget it.

People who go to College are not a random ability sample... Now I'm flattering you. People who go to College are smarter. This is twice as so for the teacher.

In formulas - it always looks more impressive if you say these things in formulas.

I give you this data because it has the Netherlands in it. Your textbook does not. Very wrong.

[On finding productivity] In your homework, there's an exercise with data for the USA and Netherlands from 2000. It shows you, if you do it correctly, that you can manipulate the numbers to say pretty much anything you want.

[On productivity being a catch-all term] It is indeed a collection of garbage.

Now is when we start doing mathematical gymnastics.

[On the dot above a variable indicating its rate of change] This notation, by the way, was invented by Isaac Newton, because he was writing a large book, and he got very tired.
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