Life is weird sometimes. I had a pretty great week last week. I got to go to Chicago early in the week to speak at a conference on high-frequency and algorithmic trading and meet a lot of interesting--and frighteningly smart--people. I always enjoy getting my nerd on with other academics and policy wonks especially when combined with industry experts and a guy who started university at 14 and now builds neural networks to create artificial intelligence-type systems to trade stocks. For about 2 1/2 minutes I was even able to hold my own in a conversation with him about how his systems handle outliers in their outputs. Being in Chicago also allowed me to enjoy their freakishly warm 70-degree temperatures while Alaska was experiencing slick roads due to freezing rain and snow. Upon returning home I received another speaking invitation and an offer to be a guest on Reuters Global Markets Forum.