Movies Watched -- The East

Added on by C. Maoxian.

Not bad ... Gen Y / Millennial thing ... eco/corporate-"terrorists" and a mole ... token black guy and fat girl (also the computer nerd, kill two birds with one stone) and maybe even a Latino in the group, just to get that Sesame Street-like balance. Everyone else is beautiful so don't worry. Juno girl in there.  Had that Martha Marcy May vibe at points.  Ridley Scott a producer.  Not on my radar since only 68% Fresh at RT, but came across it on some other list.  Wasn't too thrilled with the ending, but as I say, not badly done.  Too long at 1 hr 56 mins. 

Annual Rowing Goal Met

Added on by C. Maoxian.

Every day I try to row 4,000 meters (slowly), it's a sort of meditative thing. I have a rowing machine in my study which is over 15 years old now, I think... still rock-solid, the Concept II.  

 In January I had the flu (despite having a flu shot) and missed over eight days which I had to make up in subsequent months.  In May we traveled somewhere and I didn't plan ahead.

Anyway, 1,460,000 meters rowed in the last year, right on schedule.

Sep. 2013: 120,000

Oct. 2013: 124,000

Nov. 2013: 120,000

Dec. 2013: 124,000

Jan. 2014: 90,000

Feb. 2014: 130,000

Mar. 2014: 140,000

Apr. 2014: 120,000

May 2014: 109,690

Jun. 2014: 134,310

Jul. 2014: 124,000

Aug. 2014: 124,000

Rap Tap on Wood

Added on by C. Maoxian.

From Born to Dance ... 1936 ... original title of the movie was Great Guns. Has one of my favorite verses (so many I love from Cole Porter though):

When ev'ry meal you take
Is made of milk and honey,
When ev'ry stock you stake
Is making mints of money,
When ev'ry heart you break
Is such a cinch, it's funny,
Careful, sonny,
Rap-tap, rap-tap, rap-tap-tap, rap-a-tap-tap....
Ra-ap tap on wood

Other songs in the musical that I enjoy include Love Me, Love My Pekingese ("'Spite of your antipathies") and I've Got You Under My Skin (best version done by old Blue Eyes many years later).

List of Stock Exchanges and Dark Pools

Added on by C. Maoxian.

List of US Stock Exchanges:

List of Dark Pools:

Independent dark pools

Broker-dealer-owned dark pools

Consortium-owned dark pools

  • BIDS Trading - BIDS ATS
  • LeveL ATS

Exchange-owned dark pools

Other dark pools

Dark pool aggregators

  • Fidessa - Spotlight
  • Bloomberg Tradebook
  • SuperX+ – Deutsche Bank
  • ASOR – Quod Financial
  • Progress Apama
  • ONEPIPE – Weeden & Co. & Pragma Financial
  • Xasax Corporation
  • Crossfire – Credit Agricole Cheuvreux

Painfully Simple, Painfully Fair

Added on by C. Maoxian.

From a December 1999 article in Wall Street + Technology titled The top 10 financial technology innovators of the decade

Joshua Levine The Matchmaker
If there's a single person that revolutionized the equity markets in the 1990s, it's Joshua Levine, creator of the Island ECN--a computerized trading system that automatically matches buyers and sellers.
Island is an outgrowth of The Watcher, a front-end trading system into the Nasdaq system that Levine had first created, which provides day traders with direct electronic access into the SOES and SelectNet systems. Island, however, developed in January 1996, is widely considered a more significant innovation.
"This was probably the most influential change in the markets since they did away with fixed-commission rates in the 70s," says Mark Friedfertig, CEO of Broadway Trading, a leading day-trading firm that has used Island since January 1996.
As Friedfertig recalls it, Island started as an internal electronic communications; network (ECN), which Friedfertig and others say led to the SEC's order handling rules issued in January 1997. The rules force Nasdaq market makers to post their customers' limit orders in their Nasdaq quote or send the order onto the newly created ECNs.
According to Peter Stem, the Chief Technology Officer of Datek Online, Island is successful because "the Island ECN is just painfully simple, it's painfully fair, there are few rules because it's very straight forward-buyers and sellers meet, a trade is won, end of story," says Stem, who met Levine when both were freshman at Carnegie Mellon University. Levine reportedly left school and headed for Wall Street where he teamed up with Datek Online co-founder Jeffrey Citron. Noticing that there were "cross markets" going on in Nasdaq-when the price someone is willing to pay to buy stock is higher than the price someone else is offering to sell at-Levine wrote a program to track how many times a day this was happening. 'Josh said, this is ridiculous that trades aren't taking place when you have customers that are willing to pay higher to buy than customers willing to sell stock," recalls Friedfertig. "He created a way for customers to trade with other customers as opposed to just trading with market makers," says Friedfertig.
Levine spread the gospel by publishing the Island API (application programming interface) on his own personal Web site, www.josh.com. Today, Island has grown to become the second most popular ECN after Instinet-executing over 100 million shares a day. (Levine himself argues that "Instinet created the ECN trend, not Island. Island just did what Instinet was already doing, only better.")
Island is one of three ECNs that have filed with the SEC for permission to register as an exchange. And, it's currently the only ECN to display its real-time limit order book to the public on its Web site, using a program that Levine wrote called the BookViewer, as well as to reveal its volume statistics.
Levine, now 31, is in charge of the development of all the core systems, which have been written in DOS and Java. Going forward, where Island needs work, he says, is not in its system, but in its communications. "Our challenge in the future is to explain to the investing public how the markets work." 

Watcher and the Monster Key

Added on by C. Maoxian.

From a 1998 NYTimes article on Jeff Citron and Datek:

"One reason for Datek's success was its innovative software programs like Watcher and the Monster Key -- programs that other S.O.E.S. houses eventually licensed or mimicked. Mr. Citron and Mr. Levine, meanwhile, created an array of companies to orbit around Datek, including Smith Wall Associates, a computer services concern that had sales of $100 million in 1996. It was from many of these companies that the two say they made much of their fortunes, tens of millions of dollars. They even won over regulators by developing an electronic stock exchange called Island, a system that now handles about 4 percent of all Nasdaq trading volume."

Wonder where Josh Levine is now?  I don't think he's still at josh.com. {Update: Yes, he is, though his blog is now hosted by WordPress.)

Movies Watched -- Blue Ruin

Added on by C. Maoxian.

Revenge tale ... but about an avenger who is unable to plan ahead ... things go wrong, very wrong.  It's a downer. Overly violent.  White trash America not very realistically depicted.  But it was exactly 90 minutes long which wins big points with me.

Movies Watched -- Snowpiercer

Added on by C. Maoxian.

Dystopian future vision ... heavy-handed moralizing ... had some wonderful weird bits, but also gory over-the-top violence and an ultimately dumb story ... also too long at over two hours.

Engaged in an Interaction with a Killer Whale

Added on by C. Maoxian.

From the SeaWorld prospectus:

Featuring animals at our theme parks involves risks.
Our theme parks feature numerous displays and interactions that include animals. All animal enterprises involve some degree of risk. All animal interaction by our employees and our guests in attractions in our theme parks, where offered, involves risk. While we maintain strict safety procedures for the protection of our employees and guests, injuries or death, while rare, have occurred in the past. For example, in February 2010, a trainer was killed while engaged in an interaction with a killer whale. Following this incident, we were subject to an inspection by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which resulted in three citations concerning alleged violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and certain regulations thereunder. We have appealed certain of these citations and the appeal process is ongoing. In connection with this incident, we reviewed and revised our safety protocols and made certain safety-related facility enhancements. This incident has also been the subject of significant media attention, including television and newspaper coverage, a documentary and a book, as well as discussions in social media. This incident and similar events that may occur in the future may harm our reputation, reduce attendance and negatively impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.
In addition, seven killer whales are presently on loan to a third party. Although the occurrence of any accident or injury involving these killer whales would be outside of our control, any such occurrence could negatively affect our business and reputation.
We maintain insurance of the type and in amounts that we believe is commercially reasonable and that is available to animal enterprise related businesses in the theme park industry. We cannot predict the level of the premiums that we may be required to pay for subsequent insurance coverage, the level of any self-insurance retention applicable thereto, the level of aggregate coverage available, or the availability of coverage for specific risks.

Incidents or adverse publicity concerning our theme parks or the theme park industry generally could harm our brands or reputation as well as negatively impact our revenues and profitability.
Our brands and our reputation are among our most important assets. Our ability to attract and retain customers depends, in part, upon the external perceptions of the Company, the quality of our theme parks and services and our corporate and management integrity. The operation of theme parks involves the risk of accidents, illnesses, environmental incidents and other incidents which may negatively affect the perception of guest and employee safety, health, security and guest satisfaction and which could negatively impact our brands or reputation and our business and results of operations. An accident or an injury at any of our theme parks or at theme parks operated by competitors, particularly an accident or an injury involving the safety of guests and employees, that receives media attention, is the topic of a book, film, documentary or is otherwise the subject of public discussions, may harm our brands or reputation, cause a loss of consumer confidence in the Company, reduce attendance at our theme parks and negatively impact our results of operations. Such incidents have occurred in the past and may occur in the future. In addition, other types of adverse publicity concerning our business or the theme park industry generally could harm our brands, reputation and results of operations. The considerable expansion in the use of social media over recent years has compounded the impact of negative publicity.

You Can't Make Comedy a Rubber Doll

Added on by C. Maoxian.

From an AP story in May 1981:

An interview with Jonathan Winters is an odyssey, a tour through a strange and childlike region peopled by the many facets of this pot-bellied original.
His Reds cap perched squarely on his head, his ample belly sparring with the edge of the formica table in the NBC publicity conference room, the characters living in Winters' head interrupt incessantly, turning the interview into a performance.
You don't interview Winters, you become an audience.
''You know, you get labels in this business, a wild person, 'Jonathan Winters is a wild person. How do you get a net over him? Was he really in a crazy house?'
''But I enjoy my insanity. And I say 'insanity' because when people say to me, 'There's nothing the matter with me,' that's the person who puts the telescopic sight here (he levels an imaginary rifle out the window, aiming into the NBC parking lot) and says, 'Let's see how many we can get before we lose light. There's one (he pulls the trigger).' That's the sort of person who says there's nothing wrong with him.''
That kind of craziness, that senselessness, alienation and blind brutality of modern life, crashes into the conversation relentlessly. There's reason for this. Winters has said that it's the child in him that's funny, and it's the child in us that laughs. The times are tough for all his children.
''It's harder to reach that little boy now. When I was growing up, the little boy saw six cars in the high school lot. Now, in some cases, there's no high school, just cars. We were confused, too, but we were confused in a wonderful way.
''That was the world of imagination. Now, times have changed. It was one thing to live when there was no atomic bomb, another thing to live with the atomic bomb. And a completely different thing to live in a time when you wonder whether there will be total holocaust by Friday at 12:30."
''We've got used to assassinations, we've got used to guys in the Dallas towers, we've got used to guys taking shots at our leaders. I think the hardest thing, for the little boy in me to break through to the little boy out there, is this terrible paranoia we're all in. My little boy has to work 200 per cent harder.''
Another character, 8-year-old Tommy Brichton, comes forth to demonstrate the point.
Man: ''You're little Tommy Brichton.''
''Yes I am.''
''Tommy, how are you doing in school?''
''Well, it's difficult to know what's going on from one day to the next. I watched a man on television who said the school situation is going to turn around by July. But we're going to be out of school by July, so what does he mean?''
''You're talking about busing . . ."
''Yes. I'd like to ride a bus.''
''Why not walk to school?''
''No waaaay. Eddie Terrell was stabbed to death by a 91-year-old man. He couldn't see. Thought it was a dog, that's what he said. C'mon, he killed him.
''That's terrible. How did you feel?
''Eddie was bad. He would have died before he got to high school because he was bad news. He passed out gum balls with stuff in them.''
Point taken. It's kind of strange to find so much grim in a fellow so thoroughly comic. Maybe not so strange, come to think of it.
Winters shrugs and says: ''These are the things that are happening, in Atlanta, everywhere. It's tough to take. But you can't make comedy a rubber doll. Then you've got nothing. You have to go with a piece of reality."
''The key is, somehow we've got to slip in a little more truth and still keep the world a fantasy.''
If such is possible, Winters can work it.

JW a fascinating guy ... an American original.

Performing Open-soul Surgery

Added on by C. Maoxian.

From a David Kleinberg profile of Robin Williams in September 1985 (SF Chronicle):

Williams ... was born in Chicago in 1951. He grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, and he moved to Marin county with his family when he was 16. He doesn't think it's that unusual to be a comedian coming from what he defines as ``the middle-upper class.'' His father was an executive for Ford Motor Co. who retired to Tiburon.
Though he had older stepbrothers, Williams considered himself an only child, and spent a lot of time playing ventriloquist to hundreds of toy soldiers in his bedroom.
In Marin, he attended Redwood High School in Larkspur, Claremont Men's College in Southern California for a year, returned for a brief period to College of Marin, and spent three very important years at the Theater Center of New York's prestigious Juilliard School. ``My father said, `Do whatever you want, but be ready to have a second profession.' ''
In 1976, the first profession started to pan out. In San Francisco's first Comedy Competition, Williams finished second to Bill Farley, a man who unfortunately will have to live with the stigma of being the answer to the ultimate San Francisco comedy trivia question, ``Who finished first the year Robin Williams finished second in the comedy competition?''
Williams feels it was no surprise that he came in as runner-up. He wasn't a good comedian then. In fact, he referred to a 1976 review of his work by the late Chronicle critic John Wasserman, who stated that Williams' material had yet to reach curb level. ``John was right. It was all pee-pee, ca-ca. Everyone starts off at a certain level . . . Usually you imitate someone's style that you admire . . . Then you break away.''
Jonathan Winters' style is the one that Williams' initially grabbed; he and Richard Pryor are the two names Williams mentions as his favorite comics. ``Jonathan . . . just because he's a gentle soul with a madness and wild, out-there vision. It comes from a very sensitive man who talks about things that are very painful but makes them funny.
``As whimsical as Jonathan is, Pryor is deep. He's not afraid to perform open-soul surgery at any moment. Deep, deep stuff.''
As far as new comics go, Williams likes Steven Wright, whom he compares with Woody Allen. And, as he told GQ magazine recently, ``Bob Goldthwait, very high energy, does a kind of nervous breakdown on stage. Wow, there's Whoopi Goldberg! There's Paula Poundstone, Sandra Bernhard, Elayne Boosler. There's Jay Leno . . . Rick Overton, Charlie Fleischer, A. Whitney Brown, a young guy named Dana Carvey - all of them doing different things.''

Throw Your Skinny Body Down, Son

Added on by C. Maoxian.
Oh, I can smile about it now 
But at the time it was terrible 

A lyric I often say to myself, now in my dotage. Old Morrissey ripping his shirt as usual ... thank god he had Johnny Marr simply ripping it behind him.