Mission to The Edge of Space

How does it feel to jump from 21,800 metres? Ask Felix Baumgartner.

How does it feel to jump from 21,800 metres? Ask Felix Baumgartner. This comes against Red Bull, as the company sold in 2011 while 11.4 percent more doses, but still of the 4.25 billion euro annual turnover more than half (2.3 billion) in Austria is generated. Outside the country, the Group still has plenty of room for improvement.

The Austrians broke through the first man to break the sound barrier in free fall. Although the project initially was under an unlucky star, Baumgartner likewise made exactly a year ago after several attempts in the desert of New Mexico in Roswell.

I wanted to open the parachute after descending for a while but I noticed that I was still at an altitude of 50,000 feet.

Red Bull moves in dimensions that are usually only achieved the Olympic Games or World Cup Soccer Championships. The 50 million euro (15 million euro amount to the expenses for the team 35 million those for the equipment), which can cost the life dream of Felix Baumgartner Salzburg, are a trifle compared to the advertising value that is generated by the media attention .

Passion is priceless

May say that Felix Baumgartner, adventure and passion have no price in the face of these numbers is not surprising. Red Bull looks for his exceptional athlete and that he has refused to rise when the slogan “Welcome to my world – the world of Red Bull” recite. We will see in Fuschl far behind when Baumgartner was at least the attention of the world on the sweet juice from the silver-blue box.

mission-redbull-stratos-2

Was calculated switched to 1.8 billion TV sets and a billion connections to the live broadcast on the Internet. Last comparisons were drawn to the New Year’s Concert of the Philharmonic, which acts as a provincial event over the Stratos project. The advertising value of the New Year’s Concert is estimated at a range of 150 million to 450 million euros households. Extrapolated to the Stratos would be more than eight billion euros.

Three world records

The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, which cares for the recording of data records in the aviation world, recognized with the jump to three world records.Baumgartner reached the maximum speed of Mach 1.25 or exactly 1357.6 hours kilometers, the highest jump at 38969.40 meters and the longest free fall, with a length of 36402.6 meters. Only a teddy bear outplayed in August with a “Spung” 39 kilometers from the record of Baumgartner.

After the Stratos project, the now 44-year-old Baumgartner announced plans to return to professional sports and the back to build up as a rescue helicopter pilot a new foothold.

2026 We Build Sagrada Familia

Since construction began over 125 years ago, the Sagrada Família has stood in various stages of incompletion. But, according to The Guardian, Gaudí’s sprawling basilica has finally received an “official” completion date–sometime between 2026 and 2028. That timetable is scheduled around the centenary of the architect’s death, in 1926, when he was struck by a moving tram.

At the time of his death, Gaudí had been living in the church crypt, amid a menagerie of large-scale models and plaster mock-ups.

Over the ensuing 85 years, the construction site has experienced numerous setbacks

Barcelona’s world famous Sagrada Família will finally be finished by 2026, the architect in charge has vowed… nearly 150 years after work began. That will make it ready in time for the centenary of the death of architect Antoni Gaudí, who famously joked that his client, God, was in no hurry to see it finished.

sagrada-familia-completed-nave
Sagrada Familia Finished Nave

La Sagrada Família attracts around 3million visitors a year, whose entrance fees pay for most of the €25million a year cost of continuing its construction, with gifts from private donors making up the rest.

Barcelona’s world famous Sagrada Família will finally be finished by 2026, the architect in charge has vowed… nearly 150 years after work began. That will make it ready in time for the centenary of the death of architect Antoni Gaudí, who famously joked that his client, God, was in no hurry to see it finished.

How Sagrada Familia Will Look In 2026

Construction began in 1882, with Gaudí’s involvement commencing the following year when he took over the project and radically transformed it’s design with his distinctive Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau style. Problems have long dogged work on Barcelona’s second cathedral, with Gaudí neck-deep in the project when he was killed in 1926 when he was run over by a tram.

This video shows what the culmination of the work being funded mainly through public donations, including the massive, yet-to-be-finished 564-foo tower at its center. But a lot can happen between now and 2026—so we’ll believe it when we see it.

Bates Motel is this week's TOP pick

The Old Head Golf Links is one of the most remarkable developments ever conceived in the history of golf; an Atlantic promontory that will never be rivalled in terms of drama and beauty.

It rises hundreds of feet high above dramatic cliffs, surrounded by the ocean on all sides and commanding the most spectacular views from virtually every part.

Is it a true links? Is it a great test of golf? No matter the question, the answer is the same: Find a way to get to this clifftop layout  unabashedly set on a headland jutting into the Celtic Sea.

The Old Head of Kinsale is a national monument and an ancient royal site, fortified by a castle at the narrowest part of the promontory, with history traceable back to several centuries before Christ. It is a place of special historical, archaeological and scientific interest.

Glory Game

The Erainn Celtic people, the first Irish settlers, fortified the peninsula by building a fort, the remains of which can still be seen today, along with the castles and signal tower on The Old Head itself. The new lighthouse was built on the site in 1853, carrying on the ancient tradition of “Navigational Fires” situated on the promontory.

Nature Conservation

The Old Head was included in the “Inventory of Outstanding Landscapes in Ireland” as being ‘a narrow coastal headland with spectacular cliffs of geological interest’. The landscape development program at The Old Head is designed to enhance, complement and harmonise the newly planted areas with the existing vegetation. It consists primarily of native maritime species, coupled with a refined selection of seaside plants from the flora of all five continents.

Embracing slow time

When you work in a traditional office and have a question, instant gratification is hard to resist. It’s so easy. Just stumble over to a co-worker’s desk, make sure they stop whatever it was they were doing, blather on until the lights of recognition come on in their eyes, then await the answer.

Unless your query concerns inflammable materials currently engulfed in said flames you’ve likely wasted their time – in fact, you may have even wasted your own. One of my favorite side-effects of working remotely is the way slow-time communication forces you to stop and think before you speak. When I have a question for one of our programmers, for example, here’s a bit of what goes through my head:

The basic idea is this: you try to minimize the things that are bad, and maximize those that are good.

It’s usually at this point that I either figure out the answer for myself or come up with a new way of considering the problem, never having to even ask the original question. I didn’t bother my co-worker, I didn’t look like an idiot trying to articulate the question on-the-fly, and most importantly I figured out the answer!

embracing-slow-time-1

People who struggle to work remotely often bemoan the lack of in-person collaboration jumping from this tool to that tech in an effort to recreate the magic that only happens when we’re all in the same room. There are definitely advantages to face time, but too often it seems like facial expressions and waving arms are substituted for clear thought and courtesy.

The next time you have a question for a coworker, try writing it out as if they were 1000 miles and 3 time zones away – even if they’re sitting right next to you. You might surprise yourself with the answer.

Zedd’s Music Moment Of Clarity

This audio post is probably just amazing. All the white-hot techno DJs and producers, few are more molten right now than Anton Zaslavski, better known as Zedd. Zedd’s single “Clarity” (featuring London-based female vocalist Foxes).

When we entered The Fox, which is the unofficial sister-venue of SF’s The Warfield in look, decor, and size, Oliver was on, pounding the crowd with their heaviest brand of “Oliver” house music–edgy and powerful, but still very composed and endlessly sexy.

What is creativity really?

From a scientific perspective, creativity is your ability to think of something original from connections made between pre-existing ideas in your brain. These connections are controlled by neurotransmitters like adenosine, which alerts your brain when you’re running out of energy and reacts.

zedd-1

This got me wondering about coffee and beer and which one would actually help me be more creative and get work done. Hopefully, this will help you decide when it’s best to have that triple shot espresso or ice cold brew.

From a scientific perspective, creativity is your ability to think of something original from connections made between pre-existing ideas in your brain. These connections are controlled by neurotransmitters like adenosine, which alerts your brain when you’re running out of energy and reacts.

Australian Open and Guide to Melbourne

Simply thirteen years past, it had been revelling in a very triumphant Olympic Games amid claims it had been the best town within the world. London has since snatched the “best-ever Olympics” title. currently Melbourne, long-time second fiddle to Sydney, has been voted the world’s most inhabitable town for the past 2 years.

One US columnist said ‘women fell for him like ninepins and when he went to Hollywood, male film stars went and sulked in Nevada.

It shouldn’t be a surprise in a very country with such competitive instincts that the 2 cities are slugging it out for thus long (Melbourne hosted her own successful athletic contest in 1956). within the nineteenth century, Melbourne enjoyed a gold rush and therefore the world’s highest per capita champagne consumption and, despite the Victorian grandeur, was a busy port choked with high-rollers adopting fairly low morals. Then the town developed a rep for being too British, whereas vivacious Sydney player the sequential waves of immigrants seeking the nice life in Oz.

australian-open-guide-2

There are some unpleasant sights to behold when the camera crosses idly over the crowd at SW19 – giant Union Jack headwear, portly gentlemen spilling Moet on their trousers, Alex Ferguson… but thankfully, it’s not all bad.

Tennis players, like footballers, Formula 1 drivers – hell, any young, rich, male athlete – seem to have the incredible knack of ending up with stunning wives and girlfriends to sit on the sidelines, chewing their nails and cheering them on. No, we can’t figure it out either.

Now, the Ugg’s on the opposite foot. Melbourne is as inventive a town as any at once, with hip eateries, gig venues, galleries and speakeasies stoning up faster than you’ll say “strewth”.

Top Cocktails of The Week

From a straightforward gin-and-tonic to a gussied-up concoction like Associate in Nursing absinthe-infused cocktail, cocktail preferences vary vastly. we tend to collected our favorites from a number of the most effective bars and restaurants within the country.

WHO will resist sampling quite a couple of in one sitting? Not the T&C staffers, WHO sipped everything from Burgundy to Black Label within the name of analysis.

Basically it’s a can of Tecate with some lime juice, hot sauce, and salt. That’s pretty much it

Specifically, testing cures for the aches you will likely be feeling the morning when January 1 Eve. Blowfish ($2 per dose, forhangovers.com), a pill to be dissolved in water à la alkaliser, contains a not entirely revolutionary however winning combination of alkaloid and Empirin. It received out and away the best praise of all the hangover cures we tend to tested.

BARTENDER QUESTIONS: WHAT DOES HIS AIRNESS DRINK?

It worked sort of a charm,” one editor reported . alternative remedies we tend to tried enclosed milk “I felt rehydrated, however the nausea didn’t fully subside”, greasy food Helped settle my abdomen, however I did not regain full operation till regarding five p.m. that day, and greasy foods extremely gain the pounds, sensible recent hair of the dog “While the Bloody The Virgin helped distract my body from the hangover promptly, the new buzz eventually wore off, and that i was back to wherever I started: on my couch, feeling horrible, and 2 of the oddest and oldest cures: tripe No change and ice in one’s underclothing If the aim was to show my happy place into a frozen plain appropriate for the likes of Happy Feet, yes, it worked.

Did it rid of American state of my hangover? completely not. Of course, one might simply settle for the pain and take it as a lesson to indicate moderation within the coming back year, however nobody volunteered to check that strategy.

The Last of Us Game Review

The end of the world is near! Especially if you’re into pop culture.

The end of the world is near! Especially if you’re into pop culture. A parade of apocalypses is storming theaters this year in an effort to turn the end of humanity into the beginning of lucrative franchises.

A pandemic has decimated humanity. The world is struggling to survive. And at the centre of this are Ellie, a teenage girl, and Joel, the hardened survivor hired to smuggle her out of the quarantine zone and across America. As they travel, you’ll encounter a stunningly-realised America that has been reclaimed by nature, and take the characters on an emotional journey as long and fraught as their cross-country trek.

The broad strokes are spectacular, but the finer details impress the most, the environment telling its own stories as Joel and Ellie explore

But while moviegoers can spend their last days with good-looking celebs, gamers will be spending theirs with one of the best-looking video games ever created.

SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST

Developed by Uncharted developer Naughty Dog, post-apocalyptic survival game The Last of Us (due out June 14) has been on “must-watch” lists since its tremendous debut at the 2011 Spike Video Game Awards. Already the winner of numerous pre-release honors from countless outlets (us included), the PlayStation 3 exclusive is about as hyped as games come. Should we really be this excited about our final days?

According to critics, absolutely. With over two dozen perfect scores and an overall 95 current rating on Metacritic, it’s already among the best-reviewed games in the PS3’s seven-year history and a shoo-in for Game of the Year contention.

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That’s to be expected, to a degree; Naughty Dog has already earned a reputation for delivering jaw-dropping graphics. But The Last of Us sets a new bar.

The Last of Us seamlessly intertwines satisfying, choice-based gameplay with a stellar narrative. It never slows down, it never lets up, and frankly, it never disappoints. It’s PlayStation 3’s best exclusive, and the entire experience, from start to finish, is remarkable. I lost myself in Naughty Dog’s vision of a pandemic-ridden United States, in the characters that populate this unfortunate wasteland, and in their individual stories. The 17 hours I spent playing through the campaign are among the most memorable I’ve ever spent with a game.

The collapse of society

Joel and Ellie develop a sort of dysfunctional father-daughter relationship as their collective experiences bind them, and rooting for Ellie in particular is commonplace in The Last of Us. Her success means the player is successful, and her hardened exterior is the perfect complement to her complete ignorance of the world before it was destroyed.

Ellie was born after the collapse, and as such, she’s full of questions and wonder, often communicated through the many contextual conversations she and Joel share. She’ll pick through records at a music store, become fascinated with wildlife she’s never seen before, and ask a million questions about the past. You watch her learn, grow, and gain meaning. It’s impossible not to become attached to her.

Goodwood Festival of Speed

Goodwood Festival of Speed and Revival founder Lord March is today able to announce the provisional dates for next year’s two leading sell-out Goodwood motoring events. It should be noted that at this stage the 2014 Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival dates are provisional and remain subject to change, pending ratification by the FIA of the 2014 Formula 1 calendar in December.

The 911 has been at the very heart of the Porsche brand for the past five decades.  Few other sports cars in the world can look back on such a long tradition and continuity as the Porsche 911. It has been inspiring car enthusiasts the world over since its debut as the model 901 at the IAA International Automotive Show at Frankfurt in September 1963.

Goodwood honoured the 50th anniversary of one of the world’s most versatile and popular sports cars – the Porsche 911 – at the Festival of Speed 2013.

Today the truly versatile 911 is considered by its many devoted fans to be the quintessential sports car, and the central point of reference for all other Porsche series, as each of the marque’s other models carry a piece of the 911’s philosophy.

The Track Action

As well as wheel-to-wheel racing, the Members’ Meeting will also feature thrilling, high-speed track action from more modern eras of Formula 1, Le Mans and beyond – sights and sounds that have never been seen before at Goodwood Motor Circuit. The inaugural event in 2014 will celebrate the flame-spitting Formula 1 cars

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The three typical, Marshall-style controls for volume, bass, treble and a switch to flip on and off the Stan Mores, located on the top of the unit. Through the included 3.5mm spiral cable, which has the appearance of a typical guitar cable, virtually any music source to the powered speakers can be connected.

50 Years of Porsche

The main ‘Central Feature’ marked this prestigious milestone with a one-off 911-inspired sculpture displayed prominently outside Goodwood House. A dedicated class of road and racing 911s, covering all seven generations of the iconic sports car, took to the Goodwood Hillclimb twice each day over this Summer weekend for a special parade.

Can be beyond even via Bluetooth with aptX technology or the two other connections ( RCA input / optical input ) connect directly to their sources.Thanks to the high quality components Stanmore intended to provide a detailed sound across the entire frequency range without sacrificing quality. The sound is punchy, without losing detail, and very clear and powerful to penetrate the entire spectrum from Stanmore.

The main ‘Central Feature’ marked this prestigious milestone with a one-off 911-inspired sculpture displayed prominently outside Goodwood House. A dedicated class of road and racing 911s, covering all seven generations of the iconic sports car, took to the Goodwood Hillclimb twice each day over this Summer weekend for a special parade.

 

Computational World Cup

The Financial Times’s Alphaville blog recently covered a number of quantitative models for predicting World Cup outcomes – models developed by well-known “quant” desks.  Though this may seem like a waste of brains and shareholder value, World Cup outcomes are historically predictive of regional equity performance; furthermore, recent trends in securitization have not passed over sports as large as soccer.  Here are the respective desks’ picks:

  • JPM: England 1st, Spain 2nd, Netherlands 3rd (notes)
  • UBS: Brazil 1st, Germany 2nd, Italy 3rd (notes, p. 37)
  • GS: England, Argentina, Brazil, Spain (unranked) (notes, p. 71)
  • Dankse Bank: Brazil 1st, Germany 2nd (notes)

As could be expected, there is some disagreement as to the value of these predictions.  Gary Jenkins of Evolution Securities chimes in with his own thoughts:

Yes it’s that time again when analysts like me who can barely predict what is going to happen in the market the following day turn away from our area of so called expertise and instead focus our attention on who is going to win the World Cup. I first got involved in this attempt to get some publicity 8 years ago, when Goldman Sachs produced a report combining economics and the World Cup and included their predictions as to who would get to the last four (I believe they got them all wrong) and had Sir Alex Ferguson pick his all time best World Cup team. I decided to do the same thing but had to explain that we could not afford Sir Alex. Thus I got my dad to pick his all time team. It caused more client complaints than most of my research and my favourites to win the tournament got knocked out early, so I abandoned this kind of research for a while.

Again, for more interesting coverage of the real-world effects of the World Cup, see FT Alphaville’s South Africa 2010 series.  P.S. Go Azzurri this afternoon!

Bursts: The Hidden Pattern Behind Everything We Do

Albert-László Barabási, in his usual creative fashion, has produced an interesting game to help publicize his new book, Bursts: The Hidden Pattern Behind Everything We Do.

Read their description of the game below and check it out if you’re interested!

BuRSTS

BuRSTS is a performance in human dynamics, a game of cooperation and prediction, that will gradually unveil the full text of Bursts. In a nutshell, if you register at http://brsts.com, you will be able to adopt one of the 84,245 words of the book. Once you adopt, the words adopted by others will become visible to you — thus as each words finds a parent, the whole book will become visible to the adopters. But if you invite your friends (and please do!) and you are good at predicting hidden content, the book will unveil itself to you well before all words are adopted. We will even send each day free signed copied of Bursts to those with the best scores.

From http://barabasi.com/bursts/.

Tax Day: A Mathematical Approach to the Study of the United States Code

United States Code
United States Code

April 15th is Tax Day! Unless you’ve filed for an extension or you’re a corporation on your own fiscal year, you’ve hopefully finished your taxes by now!

While you were filing your return, you may have noticed references to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). The IRC, also known as Title 26, is legal slang for the “Tax Code.”  Along with the Treasury Regulations compiled into the Code of Federal Regulations (26 C.F.R.), the Internal Revenue Code contains many of the rules and regulations governing how we can and can’t file our taxes.  Even if you prepared your taxes using software like TurboTax, the questions generated by these programs are determined by the rules and regulations within the Tax Code and Treasury Regulations.

Many argue that there are too many of these rules and regulations or that these rules and regulations are too complex. Furthermore, many also claim that the “Tax Code” is becoming larger or more complex over time. Unfortunately, most individuals do not support this claim with solid data. When they do, they often rely on either the number of pages in Title 26 or the CCH Standard Federal Tax Reporter. None of these measures take into consideration the real complexity of the Code, however.

In honor of Tax Day, we’re going to highlight a recent paper that we’ve written that tries to address some of these issues – A Mathematical Approach to the Study of the United States Code. The first point to make is that this paper is a study of the entire United States Code. Title 26, the Tax Code, is actually only one small part of the set of rules and regulations defined in the United States Code. The United States Code as a whole is the largest and arguably most important source of Federal statutory law. Compiled from the legislation and treaties published in the Statutes at Large in 6-year intervals, the entire document contains over 22 million words.

In this paper, we develop a mathematical approach to the study of the large bodies of statutory law and in particular, the United States Code. This approach can be summarized as guided by a representation of the Code as an object with three primary parts:

  1. A hierarchical network that corresponds to the structure of concept categories.
  2. A citation network that encodes the interdependence of concepts.
  3. The language contained within each section.

Given this representation, we then calculate a number of properties for the United States Code in 2008, 2009, and 2010 as provided by the Legal Information Institute at the Cornell University Law School. Our results can be summarized in three points:

  1. The structure of the United States Code is growing by over 3 sections per day.
  2. The interdependence of the United States Code is increasing by over 7 citations per day.
  3. The amount of language in the United States Code is increasing by over 2,000 words per day.

The figure above is an actual image of the structure and interdependence of the United States Code. The black lines correspond to structure and the red lines correspond to interdependence.  Though visually stunning, the true implication of this figure is that the United States Code is a very interdependent set of rules and regulations, both within and across concept categories.

If you’re interested in more detail, make sure to read the paper –A Mathematical Approach to the Study of the United States Code. If you’re really interested, make sure to check back in the near future for our forthcoming paper entitled Measuring the Complexity of the United States Code.

H.R. 4872 Word Cloud

With the passage of H.R. 4872 in the House last night, our previous research on the relative size of H.R. 3962 has been in high demand. While we are not yet prepared to run similar calculations for H.R. 4872, at first glance we can say – as passed, H.R. 4872 is marginally longer H.R. 3200 and nearly 20% longer than H.R. 3962.

We have created the word cloud below … it is mainly just for fun. However, one interesting thing that jumps out from the cloud is the prevalence of the word “secretary.” Indeed, this may indicate the legislation provides a non-trivial amount of discretion to the relevant various administrative agencies.

H.R. 4872 Word Cloud
H.R. 4872 Word Cloud

New Paper Available on SSRN: A Profitable Trading and Risk Management Strategy Despite Transaction Cost

Readers might be interested in an article that A. Duran and I have coming out in Quantitative Finance this year entitled A Profitable Trading and Risk Management Strategy Despite Transaction Cost. In the article, we develop a strategy which outperforms the “market” in rigorous out-of-sample testing. We’ve made sure to check the robustness of the results by performing Monte Carlo simulations on both the S&P 500 and Russell 2000 while varying the subsets of stocks and time periods used in the simulation.

The strategy is interesting in that it is based on behavioral patterns.  Unlike many other algorithmic trading models, our strategy is modeled after a human trader with quarterly memory who categorizes the market return distribution and market risk into low, medium, and high categories.  Technically, it accomplishes this by non-parametrically categorizing windowed estimates of the first four moments of the return distribution and the normalized leading eigenvalue of the windowed correlation matrix.  Based on the assessment of these low/medium/high categories and past experience in similar states, the strategy then decides whether to invest in the market index, invest in the risk-free asset, or short the market.   The strategy soundly outperforms the market index in multiple markets over random windows and on random subsets of stocks.

While you’re waiting for its publication in Quantitative Finance, you might check out a copy over at SSRN.  Here’s the abstract and a figure below comparing the log-return of our strategy with the market over one realization:

We present a new profitable trading and risk management strategy with transaction cost for an adaptive equally weighted portfolio. Moreover, we implement a rule-based expert system for the daily financial decision making process by using the power of spectral analysis. We use several key components such as principal component analysis, partitioning, memory in stock markets, percentile for relative standing, the first four normalized central moments, learning algorithm, switching among several investments positions consisting of short stock market, long stock market and money market with real risk-free rates. We find that it is possible to beat the proxy for equity market without short selling for S&P 500-listed 168 stocks during the 1998-2008 period and Russell 2000-listed 213 stocks during the 1995-2007 period. Our Monte Carlo simulation over both the various set of stocks and the interval of time confirms our findings.