COURTESY PHOTO: PR NEWSWIRE

Equifax Screw Ups: Let Me Count the Ways


WC’s apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, but the count of Equifax’s multiple, awful screw ups are reaching the level of Abomination. Here’s a partial list: (1) Five months ago, Equifax, whose business is holding securely every single bit of information necessary to permit identity theft and fraud, got hacked. It didn’t tell anyone. Nor has…

The Ugly American, lost in the weeds

The Ugly American


The phrase “The Ugly American” may have originated with Constantino Arias’ photo of the same name, showing a 1950s Batista-era tourist in Havana, Cuba. But the term is best known for the 1958 fictionalized political science novel by Eugene Burdick and William Lederer which graphically describes the failures of the U.S. diplomatic corps in Southeast Asia. In 1967…

R.I.P. Penny Chenery: Let the Big Horse Run


Penny Chenery followed in the footsteps of figures like Lucille Markey of Calumet Farm; Elizabeth Arden Graham of Maine Chance Farm; and Allaire C. duPont, owner of the champion gelding Kelso, all members of the limited circle of thoroughbred racing’s well-known women. But Chenery was lucky enough to own Secretariat, arguably the greatest race horse…

Just focus on the ripe cherries; pay no attention to any others

Fallacies: Cherry Picking


If you judged fresh cherries only by he ones sold in supermarkets, you’d conclude that all cherries are ripe, good-looking and healthy. But the cherries sold in supermarkets aren’t a representative sample; they represent the very best, not a random sample of all cherries growing on the trees. It’s an example of selection bias, an…

Silver City, looking southeast; note mine spoil at upper right

Road Trip: Silver City, Idaho


The Owhyee Mountains in southwestern Idaho and eastern Oregon aren’t the product of a single geologic event, or even the same series of events. In the case of the parts of the Owhyees around Silver City, Idaho, it’s more of a damaged geologic layer cake: Cretaceous granodiorite, which penetrates Paleozoic sedimentary rock, all overlain with…