1. Swing states, 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Update 22 Sep. 2012

Here is the latest breakdown of states, ranked by Swing Points with Electoral Votes used as a tiebreaker. As usual, Florida and Ohio are 1-2 in this "Top 10-ish" list:

Code:
22 Sep. 2012

State           EV  SP
1  Florida         29  65
2  Ohio            18  65
3  Virginia        13  65
5  Iowa             6  65
6  Wisconson       10  60
8  New Hampshire    4  55
9  North Carolina  15  50
10  Pennsylvania    20  40
11  Michigan        16  35
Some changes since last time:
Colorado, Iowa, and Nevada have each gained 10 points as CNN now considers them to be true swing states.
Both Wisconsin and Michigan have dropped 5 points as Real Clear Politics now puts them both in the "Leaning Democrat" category.

If we (like last time) consider states with 55 points or more to be true swing states, and states with 50 or below as solid or leaning for one side or the other, then we currently have the following scenario:

95 Electoral Votes (EV) are up for grabs (Top 8 states in the above list)
237 EV are solid or leaning Democrat (includes Pennsylvania and Michigan in above list)
206 EV are solid or leaning Republican (includes North Carolina in above list)

Based on these numbers:
The Democrats need 33 of the 95 available EV to win.
The Republicans need 64 of the 95 available EV to win.

This is close to the state of things from last time, except that Nevada has gone from Leaning Democrat to being considered a true swing state in coming up with these numbers.
Posted Sep22-12 at 06:52 PM by Redbelly98
Updated Sep22-12 at 07:00 PM by Redbelly98
2. Swing states, 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Electoral Vote Totals, 17 Sep. 2012

As a follow up on what I have posted above, it is reasonable to ask how many of those swing votes each candidate needs in order to get to 270 electoral votes, the minimum required to win the election.

From the sources I listed, it is pretty well accepted that the top 7 states in the list are undecided, while all remaining states are either leaning toward one of the candidates or are pretty solidly in favor of one of the candidates. Oddly, Fox News has Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee leaning Republican, but I think it is safe to put them in the solidly Republican group.

With that in mind, we have the following scenario:
89 Electoral Votes (EV) are up for grabs (Top 7 states in list above)
243 EV favor the Democrats (179 solid, 64 leaning)
206 EV favor the Republicans (159 solid, 47 leaning)

Based on those numbers:
The Democrats need 27 of the 89 available EV to win.
The Republicans need 64 of the 89 available EV to win.

In short, the Republicans can only lose 25 EV among the top 7 undecided states, and therefore must win Florida -- unless they win over some states in the leaning-Democrat category. Their best bets there lie in Pennsylvania (20 EV) and Michigan (16 EV).

The Democrats need just 27 more EV (Florida alone would accomplish this), assuming they do not lose any of the states currently leaning Democrat. Their best chance at winning a big leaning-Republican state would appear to be in North Carolina, with its 15 EV.

Obviously the mix of states that are up for grabs or simply leaning one way can change over the next 7 weeks. I will try to update things, as time permits me.
Posted Sep17-12 at 04:36 PM by Redbelly98
Updated Sep22-12 at 06:58 PM by Redbelly98 (Corrected some numbers)
3. Copy-and-paste math symbols, short list

A small percentage of members may not be able to see the nabla if you use the copy-and-paste method. Instead, you can use LaTeX by typing $\nabla f(x)$ to get $\nabla f(x)$
Posted Nov3-11 at 10:23 AM by Redbelly98
4. Copy-and-paste math symbols, short list

Quote:
Quote by rude man
Thanks redbelly!
But could you not include nabla? Often needed.
Posted Oct31-11 at 01:50 PM by rude man
5. Copy-and-paste math symbols, short list

Thanks redbelly!
Posted Oct31-11 at 01:49 PM by rude man
6. Copy-and-paste math symbols, short list

Quote:
Quote by dotancohen
You will find that any modern web browser will have better unicode support than Notepad. Notepad uses the default encoding of the OS, with in XP and Vista would _not_ be UTF-8. This may be fixed in Windows Seven, users have been crying for it for years.

If your intention is that the characters show in a web browser, then you don't need a "won't show for everybody" option.

Of course, this is all assuming that there are fonts with the appropriate glyphs installed in the OS. So far as I know, every desktop OS has all the fonts with glyphs for those symbols available to software such as the web browser. If there is an exception then I'd like to know. I run http://gibberish.co.il and deal with this stuff.

Thanks for the useful post!
You're welcome!

PF member Kurdt had mentioned (about 3 years ago) that he couldn't see some of the symbols. There might have been 1 or 2 other members who noted having the same problem. At the time, what they could or could not see was consistent with the Notepad test.

Kurdt was using Windows XP, as was I at the time, so we don't think it was an OS issue. I'm not sure what browser Kurdt was using; I was (and still am) using Firefox.

There is no rule against using the "not viewable" characters in your posts, just the caveat that there are (or were) a minority of people out there who would not be able to view them.
Posted Aug14-11 at 05:32 PM by Redbelly98
7. Copy-and-paste math symbols, short list

Quote:
Quote by dotancohen
Which Linux distro? On a recent Kubuntu (Ubuntu with KDE) I see the dots slightly-different (I wouldn't have noticed the difference if I wasn't looking for it) but the tilde and the other squiggly symbol look completely different.
Now that I look closer, I do see a difference in both symbols.
However in XP/IE7 the difference is much more noticeable, and the non-viewable squiggly symbol looks like a minus sign.

Btw, there was a thread somewhere, where it became clear that not everyone could see all symbols (in Opera IIRC).
XP/Notepad seemed to match the differences pretty well.
Posted Aug14-11 at 03:22 PM by I like Serena
8. Copy-and-paste math symbols, short list

Quote:
Quote by I like Serena
Interesting. :)
In Linux/Firefox the center dots looked the same, and so did the tilde (and the minus).
In XP/IE7 the center dots look different, and the minus doesn't look like a tilde.
Which Linux distro? On a recent Kubuntu (Ubuntu with KDE) I see the dots slightly-different (I wouldn't have noticed the difference if I wasn't looking for it) but the tilde and the other squiggly symbol look completely different.
Posted Aug14-11 at 10:18 AM by dotancohen
9. Copy-and-paste math symbols, short list

Quote:
Quote by Redbelly98
This is weird. My test for "viewable to everybody" was that I could include the character in a text file, and that it was visible in Notepad.
You will find that any modern web browser will have better unicode support than Notepad. Notepad uses the default encoding of the OS, with in XP and Vista would _not_ be UTF-8. This may be fixed in Windows Seven, users have been crying for it for years.

If your intention is that the characters show in a web browser, then you don't need a "won't show for everybody" option.

Of course, this is all assuming that there are fonts with the appropriate glyphs installed in the OS. So far as I know, every desktop OS has all the fonts with glyphs for those symbols available to software such as the web browser. If there is an exception then I'd like to know. I run http://gibberish.co.il and deal with this stuff.

Thanks for the useful post!
Posted Aug14-11 at 10:01 AM by dotancohen
10. The Dow, 2008 vs. 1987 vs. 1929 (as of 12 Aug. 2010)

I have updated the Dow 5-year graph.
Posted Aug13-11 at 07:02 PM by Redbelly98
11. Copy-and-paste math symbols, short list

Interesting. :)
In Linux/Firefox the center dots looked the same, and so did the tilde (and the minus).
In XP/IE7 the center dots look different, and the minus doesn't look like a tilde.

I also checked Notepad in XP and I can confirm that the non-viewable characters are not visible in XP/Notepad.
Furthermore, from the symbols I gave in my previous post, the only ones visible in XP/Notepad are: ∩ ¬ Ø.

Btw, I still use these symbols since LaTeX is often slow, and the screen keeps jumping up and down. And every now and then, a member apparently gets the raw LaTeX.

I do find it too obscuring to use the Times Roman font, so after experimenting a bit, I decided to usually write "pi" and "alpha". ;)
Posted Aug8-11 at 11:33 AM by I like Serena
Updated Aug8-11 at 11:39 AM by I like Serena
12. Copy-and-paste math symbols, short list

This is weird. My test for "viewable to everybody" was that I could include the character in a text file, and that it was visible in Notepad. "·" and "⋅" are actually different characters -- seeing the distinction might depend on what font you use to view them. One was viewable in Notepad, one was not, and so they got put into different categories of "viewableness". Same for ~ and ∼.

However, when I checked the characters again just now, all are now visible in Notepad. All the characters I listed as "Not viewable" are visible in Notepad. I don't know what this means in terms of other people being able to see them however. It was definitely true, about 3 years ago, that at least 1 person could not see the "Not viewable" characters in their browser.

I have upgraded my OS from Windows XP to Windows 7 in the intervening time, I wonder if that has something to do with it.

At any rate, since our upgrade to MathJax, it is easy enough to use LaTeX for symbols if there's any doubt about viewability.
Posted Aug6-11 at 12:32 PM by Redbelly98
Updated Aug6-11 at 12:47 PM by Redbelly98
13. Copy-and-paste math symbols, short list

I just saw that you included · and ~ in both the viewable and not-viewable sections....
Do you already know which it is?

And as yet I'm missing a few symbols like "is element of", "is subset of", "empty set", "intersection of sets", ...
And "logical not", "logical and", ...

Here are a few of the symbols I've found for myself that might be handy:
∊ ∩∪⊂⊃⊄ ⊅ ⊆⊈ Ø
∀∃ ¬∧∨ □
ℓ ∓
⋀⋁⋂⋃∈∉∅

Of course I have no clue which ones are not viewable to every one.
Posted Aug6-11 at 10:11 AM by I like Serena
14. Copy-and-paste math symbols, short list

Thanks.
Posted Apr14-10 at 07:42 AM by Sweet_GirL
15. Smilies / emoticons

hey i love the dork too - whats wrong with that???

and since we got links for smileys - check these out:

http://smileyfaceclipart.net
Posted Feb25-10 at 02:27 PM by money5
16. The Dow, 2008 vs. 1987 vs. 1929 (as of 12 Aug. 2010)

Agreed. This is just meant to make comparisons among the three historic market crashes, not to predict the future of the market. That would be folly.

Since the Dow is commonly used as an indicator of market health, that was the metric I chose. All we can say, when we compare the graphs, is that the crash of 2008 was/was not as severe as the ones in 1929 or 1987, using this particular metric.
Posted Dec6-09 at 07:55 PM by Redbelly98
Updated Aug13-11 at 07:01 PM by Redbelly98
17. The Dow, 2008 vs. 1987 vs. 1929 (as of 12 Aug. 2010)

I hate to be the downer here, but trying to find a pattern in the stock market, or the Dow in particular is like trying to find meaning in a Britney Spears song: there isn't one.

The 30 companies that comprise the Dow Jones Industrial Average derive their share prices based on two fundamental things 1) discounted free cash flows and 2) a market premium.

There are so many mitigating factors as to why comparing all the different time periods is like comparing apples to oranges. For example, and this is important: there were completely different companies listed on the Dow average in 1929, in 1987, and 2009! Not only were they totally different companies in each time period, but in 1929 there were only 12 companies total, compared to 30 in later years.

In short: don't waste your time with trying to find patterns in the stock market.

To make an analogy, it is as if an intelligent person wished to find out what the pattern for a particle suspended in a glass of water is, and then to try and predict where that particle would travel next without ever having the slightest understanding of Brownian motion. To be clear, there are deeper fundamental principles in the stock market. Attempting to discover superficial patterns will distract you from these deeper principles.
Posted Dec6-09 at 12:17 AM by koontz
18. The Dow, 2008 vs. 1987 vs. 1929 (as of 12 Aug. 2010)

The correlation is pretty eerie in the Nasdaq2000 vs. DJI1929
Posted Dec3-09 at 11:30 PM by Redbelly98
19. The Dow, 2008 vs. 1987 vs. 1929 (as of 12 Aug. 2010)

This chart may be clear.

Posted Dec3-09 at 06:03 PM by Peter_Pan6688
Updated Dec3-09 at 06:09 PM by Peter_Pan6688
20. The Dow, 2008 vs. 1987 vs. 1929 (as of 12 Aug. 2010)

Just find another chart that compared Nasdaq, Nikkei, Dow at 1929 and current SPX:

LIt seems after a crash on index, always an L-type trends formed and at least 10-20 years of recovery.
Posted Dec3-09 at 06:01 PM by Peter_Pan6688
Updated Dec3-09 at 06:06 PM by Peter_Pan6688