Daily Bafflements

The BafflerSeptember 09, 2015
Watch a man land on Mars from the comfort of this tiki bar, while locals barricade themselves into their homes. / Sam Howzit

Watch a man land on Mars from the comfort of this tiki bar, while Boca Chica locals barricade themselves into their homes! / Sam Howzit

• Today in billionaires: “It’s like Nazi Germany,” says a resident of Boca Chica Village, the Texas town Elon Musk’s SpaceX has generously “put on the map.” From its drones to the new checkpoints that have sprung up, to the restrictions on when residents can leave the house and where they can go grocery shopping, Musk’s project isn’t endearing him to locals, whereas developers, always alert to the next big Mars mission, are scouring the web for advice on “how to build an elevated, air-conditioned observation deck with a tiki bar” there. (Thanks, Bloomberg!)

• Here’s a study comparing the dollars that private, money-collecting colleges save from not paying tax on their endowments with the funding allocated to state schools. Take this nugget of doom: “Whereas Harvard netted $48,000 per student in tax benefits, the University of Massachusetts–Amherst got a measly $9,900 in government backing.” The authors wonder: Shouldn’t we be taxing endowments? 

• “Eccentric Millionaire” John McAfee’s new Cyber Party, which is running for office, does not yet have a leader. Are you “more charismatic” than John McAfee? Why not put yourself forward?