Michael Heilemann.
If you have Dunstan's Time Since installed, this plugin uses it for the title="" attributes on the comments and posts. (For WordPress 1.5) Author: Brian Meidell Author URI: http://meidell.dk/ Version 1.5: Now works without LOCK TABLE and CREATE TEMPORARY TABLE priviledges. Version 1.5.1: Can't remember what I did here Version 1.5.2: Fixed count select statement to not include spammy comments Version 1.5.3: Properly excludes track- and pingbacks Version 1.5.4: Excludes posts that are not published, even if they have comments Version 1.5.5: Fade old comments, fixed bug that wreaked havoc with Time Since Version 1.5.6: Bugfix from Jonas Rabbe (http://www.jonas.rabbe.com/) pertaining to timesince Version 1.5.7: Bugfix so old colors can be darker than new colors (stupid oversight), thanks to http://spiri.dk for spotting it. Bugfix where single digit hex would cause invalid colors, thanks to http://www.wereldkeuken.be/ for the fix. Version 1.5.8: Updated to work with WordPress 2.1 alpha by M. Heilemann. */ function blc_latest_comments($num_posts = 5, $num_comments = 6, $hide_pingbacks_and_trackbacks = true, $prefix = "
  • ", $postfix = "
  • ", $fade_old = true, $range_in_days = 10, $new_col = "#444444", $old_col = "#cccccc") { global $wpdb; function clamp($min, $max, $val) { return max($min,min($max,$val)); } $usetimesince = function_exists('time_since'); // Work nicely with Dunstan's Time Since plugin (adapted by Michael Heilemann) // This is compensating for the lack of subqueries in mysql 3.x // The approach used in previous versions needed the user to // have database lock and create tmp table priviledges. // This uses more queries and manual DISTINCT code, but it works with just select privs. if(!$hide_pingbacks_and_trackbacks) $ping = ""; else $ping = "AND comment_type<>'pingback' AND comment_type<>'trackback'"; $posts = $wpdb->get_results("SELECT comment_post_ID, post_title FROM ($wpdb->comments LEFT JOIN $wpdb->posts ON (comment_post_ID = ID)) WHERE comment_approved = '1' AND $wpdb->posts.post_status='publish' $ping ORDER BY comment_date DESC;"); $seen = array(); $num = 0; if($fade_old) { $max_time = $range_in_days * 24 * 60 * 60 ; $r_new = hexdec(substr($new_col, 1, 2)); $r_old = hexdec(substr($old_col, 1, 2)); //$r_min = min($min, $max); //$r_max = max($min, $max); $r_range = ($r_old-$r_new); $g_new = hexdec(substr($new_col, 3, 2)); $g_old = hexdec(substr($old_col, 3, 2)); //$g_min = min($min, $max); //$g_max = max($min, $max); $g_range = ($g_old-$g_new); $b_new = hexdec(substr($new_col, 5, 2)); $b_old = hexdec(substr($old_col, 5, 2)); //$b_min = min($min, $max); //$b_max = max($min, $max); $b_range = ($b_old-$b_new); } // print "ranges: $r_range, $g_range, $b_range
    "; // print "r: ".(0.5*$r_range+$r_new)."
    "; foreach($posts as $post) { // The following 5 lines is a manual DISTINCT and LIMIT, // since mysql 3.x doesn't allow you to control which way a DISTINCT // select merges multiple entries. if(array_key_exists($post->comment_post_ID, $seen)) continue; $seen[$post->comment_post_ID] = true; if($num++ > $num_posts) break; $commenters = $wpdb->get_results("SELECT *, UNIX_TIMESTAMP(comment_date) AS unixdate FROM $wpdb->comments WHERE comment_approved = '1' AND comment_post_ID = '".$post->comment_post_ID."' $ping ORDER BY comment_date DESC LIMIT $num_comments;"); $count = $wpdb->get_var("SELECT COUNT(comment_ID) AS c FROM $wpdb->comments WHERE comment_post_ID = $post->comment_post_ID AND comment_approved = '1' ".$ping); $i = 0; $link = get_permalink($post->comment_post_ID); if($usetimesince) $title = " title=\"Last comment was ".time_since($comment->unixdate)." ago\""; else $title = ""; echo $prefix."".stripslashes($post->post_title). "  ".$count."
    \n"; foreach($commenters as $commenter) { if($usetimesince) $title = " title=\"Posted ".time_since($commenter->unixdate)." ago\""; if($fade_old) { $diff = time() - $commenter->unixdate; $r = round($diff/$max_time*($r_range))+$r_new; $r = clamp(min($r_new, $r_old), max($r_new, $r_old), $r); $g = round($diff/$max_time*($g_range))+$g_new; $g = clamp(min($g_new, $g_old), max($g_new, $g_old), $g); $b = round($diff/$max_time*($b_range))+$b_new; $b = clamp(min($b_new, $b_old), max($b_new, $b_old), $b); $r_hex = str_pad(dechex($r), 2, '0', STR_PAD_LEFT); $g_hex = str_pad(dechex($g), 2, '0', STR_PAD_LEFT); $b_hex = str_pad(dechex($r), 2, '0', STR_PAD_LEFT); $colstr = " style=\"color: #".$r_hex.$g_hex.$b_hex.";\""; } if($i++ > 0) echo ", "; echo "comment_ID."\"$title>".stripslashes($commenter->comment_author).""; } if($count > $num_comments) echo " [...]"; echo "".$postfix."\n"; } } ?> Life Insurance: An Oxymoron | Pluranomics.com

    Small silhouette of Doug Wolkon WELCOME TO PLURANOMICS, THE ECONOMICS OF MANY.

    Life Insurance: An Oxymoron

    This post is a response to What is the rationality of taking out Travel Insurance? on Financial Times, Undercover Economist Blog, by Tim Harford – posted Dec. 10, 2007

    Although there may be many reasons, there is no purely rational reason for ever taking out insurance. In other words, taking out insurance is a fear-based, irrational decision. Essentially, you are betting against yourself. That is how the insurance companies make money, they make you bet against yourself and they take the other side. Statistically, they make sure the odds are at least 51% – 49% in their favor. They are playing off your fear and statistically, they win you lose, the majority of the time.

    I am not arguing that insurance is not the right decision for you. However, from a purely economic sense, the chances are more likely than not that you will be paid out less than you put in. Why would you ever take those odds? It is not a whole lot different than sitting down at the blackjack table. You know the odds are against you, but you do it anyway. Why? The answer is different for everyone. But your decision to purchase insurance is not based on sound or rational investment principles of risk and reward as the odds are certainly against you.


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    comment_status) && ('open' == $post->ping_status)) : // Comments and trackbacks open ?> comment_status) && ('open' == $post->ping_status)) : // Only trackbacks open ?> comment_status) && !('open' == $post->ping_status)) : // Only comments open ?> comment_status) && !('open' == $post->ping_status)) : // Comments and trackbacks closed ?> ", ""); ?>

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