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Things one middle-aged economist finds interesting



Updated: 2017-12-17T05:48:00-05:00

 









"Why The Godfather Endures"

2017-12-16T05:44:00-05:00

While Kyle Smith's discussion is interesting, my answer would be shorter: because it is very, very good.     Related Stories"‘Who’s Next?’: The Mysterious Blind-Item King Who Exposed Weinstein, Spacey, and Lauer Before the Media""15 Things You Might Not Know About One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest""Why Didn't Liberals Embrace 'Whiskey Tango Foxtrot'?"  While Kyle Smith's discussion is interesting, my answer would be shorter: because it is very, very good.      Related Stories"‘Who’s Next?’: The Mysterious Blind-Item King Who Exposed Weinstein, Spacey, and Lauer Before the Media""15 Things You Might Not Know About One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest""Why Didn't Liberals Embrace 'Whiskey Tango Foxtrot'?"  [...]



"The Genius of the 'Dilly Dilly' Commercial"

2017-12-16T05:01:00-05:00

I had thought it was a weak attempt to emulate "Whazzup?!" So now I understand better why some people like it, but I still think it's a lousy commercial.     Related Stories"‘Who’s Next?’: The Mysterious Blind-Item King Who Exposed Weinstein, Spacey, and Lauer Before the Media""Top 10 Celebrities Who Were On Game Shows Before They Were Famous"Mini Billy Crystal-palooza  I had thought it was a weak attempt to emulate "Whazzup?!"  So now I understand better why some people like it, but I still think it's a lousy commercial.      Related Stories"‘Who’s Next?’: The Mysterious Blind-Item King Who Exposed Weinstein, Spacey, and Lauer Before the Media""Top 10 Celebrities Who Were On Game Shows Before They Were Famous"Mini Billy Crystal-palooza  [...]



"Sultans Of Swing (Alchemy Live)"

2017-12-15T05:53:00-05:00

I posted this here almost six years ago. It was great then and upon a recent re-listen it's still great.     Related Stories"Neil Young just launched a high-quality archive of his entire back catalog""The 10 Greatest Rock Guitar Chords of All Time""The 10 Best Hold Steady Songs"  I posted this here almost six years ago. It was great then and upon a recent re-listen it's still great.      Related Stories"Neil Young just launched a high-quality archive of his entire back catalog""The 10 Greatest Rock Guitar Chords of All Time""The 10 Best Hold Steady Songs"  [...]









"Why a cooler climate makes you more likely to get cancer"

2017-12-14T05:45:00-05:00

Something I did not know: Inuits have the highest rate of cancer, followed closely by Scandinavian people, while chilly Britain has a cancer rate three times higher than that of India and twice the rate of Thailand. Evidence now suggests...     Related Stories"Adapted Crispr gene editing tool could treat incurable diseases, say scientists""Five ways to fix statistics""Weight loss could send diabetes into remission, scientists find"  Something I did not know: Inuits have the highest rate of cancer, followed closely by Scandinavian people, while chilly Britain has a cancer rate three times higher than that of India and twice the rate of Thailand. Evidence now suggests people are at greater risk in colder countries because of their genes.      Related Stories"Adapted Crispr gene editing tool could treat incurable diseases, say scientists""Five ways to fix statistics""Weight loss could send diabetes into remission, scientists find"  [...]



"Adapted Crispr gene editing tool could treat incurable diseases, say scientists"

2017-12-14T05:36:00-05:00

Sounds good. Hurry up.     Related Stories"Five ways to fix statistics""Weight loss could send diabetes into remission, scientists find""If science is what scientists do, what happens if scientists stop doing science?"  Sounds good. Hurry up.      Related Stories"Five ways to fix statistics""Weight loss could send diabetes into remission, scientists find""If science is what scientists do, what happens if scientists stop doing science?"  [...]



"All The People In Human History Who Have Had A Net Worth Greater Than $100 Billion"

2017-12-14T05:08:00-05:00

You probably can guess who #2, #3, and #4 are, but do you know #1?     Related Stories"The Gerber baby is now 91: See what she looks like today""Science shows redheads have genetic superpowers""Milton's Own"  You probably can guess who #2, #3, and #4 are, but do you know #1?      Related Stories"The Gerber baby is now 91: See what she looks like today""Science shows redheads have genetic superpowers""Milton's Own"  [...]



"Science shows redheads have genetic superpowers"

2017-12-14T05:01:00-05:00

Why Amy Adams smells good, and more.     Related Stories"Milton's Own""The Gerber baby is now 91: See what she looks like today""Not all fire hydrants are red — here's what each different color means"  Why Amy Adams smells good, and more.      Related Stories"Milton's Own""The Gerber baby is now 91: See what she looks like today""Not all fire hydrants are red — here's what each different color means"  [...]



"What's Really Behind The CVS-Aetna Merger? (It's Not Amazon)"

2017-12-13T05:53:00-05:00

"The CVS Health bid to buy Aetna will "reshape" health care, or so headlines would have us believe. Actually, it's a sign that the health care landscape is already being reshaped — by consumers, instead of central planners."     Related Stories"Walter Isaacson: Why I Left DC""One Mueller-Investigation Coincidence Too Many""Time to Tear Down These Schools"  "The CVS Health bid to buy Aetna will "reshape" health care, or so headlines would have us believe. Actually, it's a sign that the health care landscape is already being reshaped — by consumers, instead of central planners."      Related Stories"Walter Isaacson: Why I Left DC""One Mueller-Investigation Coincidence Too Many""Time to Tear Down These Schools"  [...]



"One Mueller-Investigation Coincidence Too Many"

2017-12-13T05:49:00-05:00

I'm far from a conspiracy-theorist, but I agree with Victor Davis Hanson that there are a heck a lot of "coincidences" here.     Related Stories"Walter Isaacson: Why I Left DC""What's Really Behind The CVS-Aetna Merger? (It's Not Amazon)""Time to Tear Down These Schools"  I'm far from a conspiracy-theorist, but I agree with Victor Davis Hanson that there are a heck a lot of "coincidences" here.      Related Stories"Walter Isaacson: Why I Left DC""What's Really Behind The CVS-Aetna Merger? (It's Not Amazon)""Time to Tear Down These Schools"  [...]



"Walter Isaacson: Why I Left DC"

2017-12-13T05:39:00-05:00

A promising sign. The country probably would be better off if some of the Smart People left D.C. and worked for constructive change in their hometowns.     Related Stories"One Mueller-Investigation Coincidence Too Many""What's Really Behind The CVS-Aetna Merger? (It's Not Amazon)""Time to Tear Down These Schools"  A promising sign. The country probably would be better off if some of the Smart People left D.C. and worked for constructive change in their hometowns.      Related Stories"One Mueller-Investigation Coincidence Too Many""What's Really Behind The CVS-Aetna Merger? (It's Not Amazon)""Time to Tear Down These Schools"  [...]



"Milton's Own"

2017-12-13T05:03:00-05:00

Get a Christmas gift for a conservative.     Related Stories"The Gerber baby is now 91: See what she looks like today""Not all fire hydrants are red — here's what each different color means""Retirement planning: Top 6 things no one tells you about"  Get a Christmas gift for a conservative.      Related Stories"The Gerber baby is now 91: See what she looks like today""Not all fire hydrants are red — here's what each different color means""Retirement planning: Top 6 things no one tells you about"  [...]



"Time to Tear Down These Schools"

2017-12-12T05:52:00-05:00

This is the biggest civil rights issue of our time. (Related: I'm reading a book on education reform. The author talks about the PISA test that is used to compare high schoolers' performance across countries and he states: "Last time...     Related Stories"Walter Isaacson: Why I Left DC""One Mueller-Investigation Coincidence Too Many""What's Really Behind The CVS-Aetna Merger? (It's Not Amazon)"  This is the biggest civil rights issue of our time. (Related: I'm reading a book on education reform. The author talks about the PISA test that is used to compare high schoolers' performance across countries and he states: "Last time out, the U.S. average score was 500, just behind Poland and ahead of Liechtenstein. However . . . If America's scores were limited to those from schools in districts in which the poverty rate was less than 10 percent--Finland's poverty rate is less than 4 percent--the United States would lead the world, and it wouldn't be close . . .")      Related Stories"Walter Isaacson: Why I Left DC""One Mueller-Investigation Coincidence Too Many""What's Really Behind The CVS-Aetna Merger? (It's Not Amazon)"  [...]



"Weight loss could send diabetes into remission, scientists find"

2017-12-12T05:47:00-05:00

The solution starts with "low-calorie liquid meals for three to five months". That doesn't sound easy, but you wouldn't expect it to be.     Related Stories"Five ways to fix statistics""How Bacteria Help Regulate Blood Pressure""Alabama teen's science project a breast cancer breakthrough"  The solution starts with "low-calorie liquid meals for three to five months". That doesn't sound easy, but you wouldn't expect it to be.      Related Stories"Five ways to fix statistics""How Bacteria Help Regulate Blood Pressure""Alabama teen's science project a breast cancer breakthrough"  [...]



"Eric Garcetti for president? Really?"

2017-12-12T05:37:00-05:00

Made me laugh. Someone may be putting something in the Los Angeles water supply. In the past months, two unlikely L.A.-based presidential contenders — Mayor Eric Garcetti and Disney Chief Robert Iger — have been floated in the media, including...     Related Stories"Walter Isaacson: Why I Left DC""One Mueller-Investigation Coincidence Too Many""What's Really Behind The CVS-Aetna Merger? (It's Not Amazon)"  Made me laugh. Someone may be putting something in the Los Angeles water supply. In the past months, two unlikely L.A.-based presidential contenders — Mayor Eric Garcetti and Disney Chief Robert Iger — have been floated in the media, including in the New York Times.      Related Stories"Walter Isaacson: Why I Left DC""One Mueller-Investigation Coincidence Too Many""What's Really Behind The CVS-Aetna Merger? (It's Not Amazon)"  [...]



"‘Who’s Next?’: The Mysterious Blind-Item King Who Exposed Weinstein, Spacey, and Lauer Before the Media"

2017-12-12T05:21:00-05:00

I've been reading the "blind-item king" for a while now. He sure seems to have some good sources.     Related StoriesMini Billy Crystal-palooza"Walter Isaacson: Why I Left DC""One Mueller-Investigation Coincidence Too Many"  I've been reading the "blind-item king" for a while now. He sure seems to have some good sources.      Related StoriesMini Billy Crystal-palooza"Walter Isaacson: Why I Left DC""One Mueller-Investigation Coincidence Too Many"  [...]



"San Francisco rent is so expensive that a law firm bought a $3 million plane to fly its people in from Texas instead of having them live there"

2017-12-12T05:01:00-05:00

The jet cost $3 million and costs $2500/hour to operate.     Related Stories"Walter Isaacson: Why I Left DC""One Mueller-Investigation Coincidence Too Many""What's Really Behind The CVS-Aetna Merger? (It's Not Amazon)"  The jet cost $3 million and costs $2500/hour to operate.       Related Stories"Walter Isaacson: Why I Left DC""One Mueller-Investigation Coincidence Too Many""What's Really Behind The CVS-Aetna Merger? (It's Not Amazon)"  [...]



"Five ways to fix statistics"

2017-12-11T05:52:00-05:00

Interesting, especially because it introduced me to a fine idea by David Colquhoun and then to his blog. Two posts from his blog: "We know little about the effect of diet on health. That’s why so much is written about...     Related Stories"Weight loss could send diabetes into remission, scientists find""If science is what scientists do, what happens if scientists stop doing science?""Two Stars Slammed Into Each Other And Solved Half Of Astronomy’s Problems. What Comes Next?"  Interesting, especially because it introduced me to a fine idea by David Colquhoun and then to his blog.  Two posts from his blog: "We know little about the effect of diet on health. That’s why so much is written about it". (And he links to a short paper by John Ioannidis, "Implausible results in human nutrition research".) "Placebo effects are weak: regression to the mean is the main reason ineffective treatments appear to work".       Related Stories"Weight loss could send diabetes into remission, scientists find""If science is what scientists do, what happens if scientists stop doing science?""Two Stars Slammed Into Each Other And Solved Half Of Astronomy’s Problems. What Comes Next?"  [...]



Interesting . . .

2017-12-11T05:47:00-05:00

Put these two pieces together and something interesting may be happening. "The U.S. Media Yesterday Suffered its Most Humiliating Debacle in Ages: Now Refuses All Transparency Over What Happened". "The New FBI Agency Everyone Forgot – Did Adam Schiff Just...     Related Stories"Walter Isaacson: Why I Left DC""One Mueller-Investigation Coincidence Too Many""What's Really Behind The CVS-Aetna Merger? (It's Not Amazon)"  Put these two pieces together and something interesting may be happening. "The U.S. Media Yesterday Suffered its Most Humiliating Debacle in Ages: Now Refuses All Transparency Over What Happened". "The New FBI Agency Everyone Forgot – Did Adam Schiff Just Get Caught in an Elaborate Counterintelligence Sting?…".      Related Stories"Walter Isaacson: Why I Left DC""One Mueller-Investigation Coincidence Too Many""What's Really Behind The CVS-Aetna Merger? (It's Not Amazon)"  [...]



"Six Facts The MSM Isn’t Reporting About The Jerusalem Issue"

2017-12-11T05:42:00-05:00

More reasons why I get very little of my news from the MSM. Also on the Middle East: Caroline Glick likes the supposed new peace plan. Myron Magnet approves of--but warns about--the actions of the new Saudi Crown Prince.     Related Stories"Walter Isaacson: Why I Left DC""One Mueller-Investigation Coincidence Too Many""What's Really Behind The CVS-Aetna Merger? (It's Not Amazon)"  More reasons why I get very little of my news from the MSM. Also on the Middle East: Caroline Glick likes the supposed new peace plan. Myron Magnet approves of--but warns about--the actions of the new Saudi Crown Prince.      Related Stories"Walter Isaacson: Why I Left DC""One Mueller-Investigation Coincidence Too Many""What's Really Behind The CVS-Aetna Merger? (It's Not Amazon)"  [...]



"OxyContin: Another Story of Government Failure"

2017-12-11T05:41:00-05:00

An evergreen story: "So, the Food and Drug Administration, tasked with proving the safety and efficacy of medication, was either bought off by the drug company or failed in their due diligence."     Related Stories"Walter Isaacson: Why I Left DC""One Mueller-Investigation Coincidence Too Many""What's Really Behind The CVS-Aetna Merger? (It's Not Amazon)"  An evergreen story: "So, the Food and Drug Administration, tasked with proving the safety and efficacy of medication, was either bought off by the drug company or failed in their due diligence."      Related Stories"Walter Isaacson: Why I Left DC""One Mueller-Investigation Coincidence Too Many""What's Really Behind The CVS-Aetna Merger? (It's Not Amazon)"  [...]



"Chicago’s Debt Dereliction"

2017-12-11T05:36:00-05:00

"The Windy City is using complex bonds to delay a financial reckoning and avoid cleaning up its fiscal mess."     Related Stories"Walter Isaacson: Why I Left DC""One Mueller-Investigation Coincidence Too Many""What's Really Behind The CVS-Aetna Merger? (It's Not Amazon)"  "The Windy City is using complex bonds to delay a financial reckoning and avoid cleaning up its fiscal mess."      Related Stories"Walter Isaacson: Why I Left DC""One Mueller-Investigation Coincidence Too Many""What's Really Behind The CVS-Aetna Merger? (It's Not Amazon)"  [...]



"Utah 'Monument' Was a Reward to a Clinton Donor"

2017-12-11T05:21:00-05:00

The horrible, disgusting, deeply no-good action by President Trump on the Utah monuments--all our land should belong to the federal government!--has gotten some of the usual suspects all upset. I don't know if this story checks out, but it certainly...     Related Stories"Walter Isaacson: Why I Left DC""One Mueller-Investigation Coincidence Too Many""What's Really Behind The CVS-Aetna Merger? (It's Not Amazon)"  The horrible, disgusting, deeply no-good action by President Trump on the Utah monuments--all our land should belong to the federal government!--has gotten some of the usual suspects all upset. I don't know if this story checks out, but it certainly sounds right.  Sell 80% of federal land, across the board, and use the money to pay down the deficit.      Related Stories"Walter Isaacson: Why I Left DC""One Mueller-Investigation Coincidence Too Many""What's Really Behind The CVS-Aetna Merger? (It's Not Amazon)"  [...]



"Most People Have a Basic Misunderstanding of the Word 'Monopoly'"

2017-12-11T05:03:00-05:00

A fine piece by Richard Ebeling. He makes the vital points but simply enough that a high schooler could appreciate them. Give the piece to a young person you know who's being taught some bad antitrust economics.     Related Stories"Walter Isaacson: Why I Left DC""One Mueller-Investigation Coincidence Too Many""What's Really Behind The CVS-Aetna Merger? (It's Not Amazon)"  A fine piece by Richard Ebeling. He makes the vital points but simply enough that a high schooler could appreciate them. Give the piece to a young person you know who's being taught some bad antitrust economics.      Related Stories"Walter Isaacson: Why I Left DC""One Mueller-Investigation Coincidence Too Many""What's Really Behind The CVS-Aetna Merger? (It's Not Amazon)"  [...]