Thursday, September 30, 2010

Assorted thoughts

1. In what's becoming an annual event, Alberto Contador, the current Tour de France champion, has tested positive for a banned substance. Contador blames tainted meat, which has to be the worst possible excuse out there. If he knew ex ante that the meat could trigger a positive test, it just doesn't make sense to eat it. (From a competition/drug testing perspective, not from a why-would-you-ever-eat-something-described-as-tainted-meat perspective.) If he didn't know ex ante that it could cause a false positive, what in the culinary world has changed over the last months to determine this? I'm being facetious-- nothing that I know of, anyway-- but even if it did, who's to say that it couldn't have been something else he ate? If the answer to that is "It's known that meat can have this impact," we're back to square one.

Cycling and drug scandals are a fantastic example of diminishing returns-- at this point, believe the marginal impact to cycling from additional positive rider are as close to zero as possible.

2. I get the sense that the number of people in a dining party is a function of the quality of the restaurant. I think this because every time I run down to the McDonald's near the office, it's generally pretty busy, but the single diners outnumber the groups by a healthy margin (even comparing the total number of people dining in each). When I go to a restaurant, I rarely see people dining alone. If dependent variable is simply the average/expected group size as a function of restaurant quality, I'd expect it to rise to a point then fall-- you generally don't take consistently larger groups to particularly high quality resturants. (Perhaps I'm mistaken.) If the dependent variable is simply the number of groups vs. the number of single diners, maybe that's increasing over the entire range. I'm not perusing the highest quality eateries, I'll spare you my likely incorrect assumptions.

Maybe it's because there aren't many places to sit that would accomidate a larger party? Possibly, but larger parties could still exists within the current framework at most fast food eateries.

I'm not certain if Tyler Cowen's said anything about this, but this seems right in his wheelhouse.

3. I just made it through Exile on Main Street; I'm still a bit baffled as to the critical acclaim this album continually gets. (I do understand part of that may have been drumming up interest for the recent re-release.) I think part of the reason is that the Rolling Stones is a fantastic band that wasn't particularly adept at making good albums, and people can't seem to handle that disconnect. They have to choose something as a flagship effort, and Exile seems to be it.

1 comment:

Will Luther said...

"I get the sense that the number of people in a dining party is a function of the quality of the restaurant."

I would argue, rather, that the quality of the restaurant one chooses to go to is a function of the number and significance of dining party members.

Otherwise, my experience supports your observations that singles, large groups, and couples go to McDs, Applebees, and Capital Grille, respectively. (Though, I think families w/ small children at McDs and couples at those mid-level restaurants would make for a less than perfect goodness of fit.)