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Things one middle-aged economist finds interesting



Updated: 2018-02-18T05:49:00-05:00

 



"Artificial Intelligence May Have Cracked Freaky 600-Year-Old Manuscript"

2018-02-18T05:49:00-05:00

That would be the famous Voynich manuscript. They think it's written in encoded Hebrew.     Related Stories"‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee’ On Netflix: Jerry Seinfeld’s Complete Case Of Comedians As 'Other'""Which Industry Has The Worst Jargon?""Why power-hungry men love luxury watches"  That would be the famous Voynich manuscript. They think it's written in encoded Hebrew.      Related Stories"‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee’ On Netflix: Jerry Seinfeld’s Complete Case Of Comedians As 'Other'""Which Industry Has The Worst Jargon?""Why power-hungry men love luxury watches"  [...]






"The 29 most rewatchable movies ever made"

2018-02-17T05:51:00-05:00

A fine list. I enthusiastically endorse, for both original watching and later rewatching, Goodfellas, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Social Network, The Shawshank Redemption, A Few Good Men, Groundhog Day, Mean Girls, Road House, and most especially, Pulp Fiction and...     Related Stories"The 21st Century's 100 greatest films""Why The Godfather Endures""‘Who’s Next?’: The Mysterious Blind-Item King Who Exposed Weinstein, Spacey, and Lauer Before the Media"  A fine list. I enthusiastically endorse, for both original watching and later rewatching, Goodfellas, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Social Network, The Shawshank Redemption, A Few Good Men, Groundhog Day, Mean Girls, Road House, and most especially, Pulp Fiction and Grosse Pointe Blank.  (The only movie on the list that I've seen and find overrated is The Big Lebowski.)      Related Stories"The 21st Century's 100 greatest films""Why The Godfather Endures""‘Who’s Next?’: The Mysterious Blind-Item King Who Exposed Weinstein, Spacey, and Lauer Before the Media"  [...]



"Stop Relitigating Penalty Decisions and Just Watch Victor Wanyama Kill a Soccer Ball"

2018-02-17T05:06:00-05:00

I know it is harder than it looks, but it's puzzling to me why more striker don't seem to do this regularly.     Related Stories"Watch a surfer take on a monster wave off the coast of Portugal""Belichick and Saban: The Stories Behind Football’s Most Powerful Friendship"Whichever team wins today . . .  I know it is harder than it looks, but it's puzzling to me why more striker don't seem to do this regularly.      Related Stories"Watch a surfer take on a monster wave off the coast of Portugal""Belichick and Saban: The Stories Behind Football’s Most Powerful Friendship"Whichever team wins today . . .  [...]



"Goodman’s Greatest Gig at 80"

2018-02-16T05:50:00-05:00

My late father's first musical allegiance--always--was to Louie and his Hot Five. But he surely did love the 1938 Carnegie Hall concert. Here's Gene Krupa featured on "Sing Sing Sing".     Related Stories"The Go-Go’s reunite to herald Broadway blockbuster""Rescue Me""Imagine Making $2000 A Day From Something You Did 30 Years Ago . . .That's What Sting Did"  My late father's first musical allegiance--always--was to Louie and his Hot Five. But he surely did love the 1938 Carnegie Hall concert. Here's Gene Krupa featured on "Sing Sing Sing".      Related Stories"The Go-Go’s reunite to herald Broadway blockbuster""Rescue Me""Imagine Making $2000 A Day From Something You Did 30 Years Ago . . .That's What Sting Did"  [...]






"Watch a surfer take on a monster wave off the coast of Portugal"

2018-02-16T05:00:00-05:00

Huuuuuuge--estimated at more than 115 feet--wave.     Related Stories"Belichick and Saban: The Stories Behind Football’s Most Powerful Friendship"Whichever team wins today . . ."Chelsea Return From Brink Of Despair With Gorgeous Team Goal"  Huuuuuuge--estimated at more than 115 feet--wave.      Related Stories"Belichick and Saban: The Stories Behind Football’s Most Powerful Friendship"Whichever team wins today . . ."Chelsea Return From Brink Of Despair With Gorgeous Team Goal"  [...]



"What it’s really like to spend weeks in a coma"

2018-02-15T05:51:00-05:00

Yow. Harrowing even to read, but the story does have a happy ending. After going into shock and flatlining in the ER, my next memories began once I was in the Surgical Intensive Unit. I remember being fully awake but...     Related Stories"Powerless Placebos""Anti-inflammatory drug 'cuts heart attack risk'""The next revolution in dental care is about to begin"  Yow. Harrowing even to read, but the story does have a happy ending. After going into shock and flatlining in the ER, my next memories began once I was in the Surgical Intensive Unit. I remember being fully awake but unable to focus on anything; I could feel hands touching my head and comforting me, but I couldn’t move. I heard beeping, dinging, and ticking; I could feel my lungs expand and contract, but had no control over what was happening.      Related Stories"Powerless Placebos""Anti-inflammatory drug 'cuts heart attack risk'""The next revolution in dental care is about to begin"  [...]



"Which Industry Has The Worst Jargon?"

2018-02-15T05:48:00-05:00

The competition is fierce. I think the industry chosen for first is a reasonable choice.     Related Stories"Which Industry Has The Worst Jargon?""Why power-hungry men love luxury watches""Your Dog Feels No Shame The myth of canine guilt"  The competition is fierce. I think the industry chosen for first is a reasonable choice.      Related Stories"Which Industry Has The Worst Jargon?""Why power-hungry men love luxury watches""Your Dog Feels No Shame The myth of canine guilt"  [...]



"Why power-hungry men love luxury watches"

2018-02-15T05:21:00-05:00

"Aside from a flashy display of wealth, some watches communicate another message: power."     Related Stories"Your Dog Feels No Shame The myth of canine guilt""Inside the world's biggest baked bean factory where 3 million cans are produced each day""SEDAC Population Estimator"  "Aside from a flashy display of wealth, some watches communicate another message: power."      Related Stories"Your Dog Feels No Shame The myth of canine guilt""Inside the world's biggest baked bean factory where 3 million cans are produced each day""SEDAC Population Estimator"  [...]



"R.I.P. Terry Ward, the most interesting man in Indiana"

2018-02-15T05:03:00-05:00

I don't know about "most," but pretty darn interesting is right for a start: "He never owned a personal cell phone and he had zero working knowledge of the Kardashians."     Related Stories"Girl's plea for more data from O2 ends with surprising reply from mobile firm""The diabolical genius of the baby advice industry""Riding the Dakota prairie on Christmas Eve"  I don't know about "most," but pretty darn interesting is right for a start: "He never owned a personal cell phone and he had zero working knowledge of the Kardashians."      Related Stories"Girl's plea for more data from O2 ends with surprising reply from mobile firm""The diabolical genius of the baby advice industry""Riding the Dakota prairie on Christmas Eve"  [...]



"PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi's long-term strategy put her job in jeopardy — but now the numbers are in, and the analysts who doubted her will have to eat their words"

2018-02-14T05:52:00-05:00

The message is, as always, give the points and bet on Indra. (She became President and CEO of Pepsi on 10/1/2006. According to Google, the increase in Pepsi stock from 10/1/06 through 2/4/18--as I write this--has been 111.97%. The S&P...     Related Stories"The decline and fall of General Electric, the poster child of Obamanomics""The best supermarkets in America""Profit and Sauce: How Much Do D.C. Restaurants Really Make Off of Meals?"  The message is, as always, give the points and bet on Indra. (She became President and CEO of Pepsi on 10/1/2006. According to Google, the increase in Pepsi stock from 10/1/06 through 2/4/18--as I write this--has been 111.97%. The S&P rose, over that same time, 87.06%. With a beta value--according to Yahoo--of 0.64.)      Related Stories"The decline and fall of General Electric, the poster child of Obamanomics""The best supermarkets in America""Profit and Sauce: How Much Do D.C. Restaurants Really Make Off of Meals?"  [...]



"How the Universe Got Its Bounce Back"

2018-02-14T05:39:00-05:00

Don't sell the Big Bang short yet. But maybe keep an eye on the Big Bounce. It's seems to be a comer.     Related Stories"Your Dog Feels No Shame The myth of canine guilt""The mystery of why some people become sudden geniuses""Powerless Placebos"  Don't sell the Big Bang short yet. But maybe keep an eye on the Big Bounce. It's seems to be a comer.      Related Stories"Your Dog Feels No Shame The myth of canine guilt""The mystery of why some people become sudden geniuses""Powerless Placebos"  [...]



"Your Dog Feels No Shame The myth of canine guilt"

2018-02-14T05:22:00-05:00

It's fun to anthropomorphize dogs a little. But not too much.     Related Stories"Okay, So Some Dogs Eat Poop""The mystery of why some people become sudden geniuses""Powerless Placebos"  It's fun to anthropomorphize dogs a little. But not too much.      Related Stories"Okay, So Some Dogs Eat Poop""The mystery of why some people become sudden geniuses""Powerless Placebos"  [...]



"The Case for Pittsburgh Pizza"

2018-02-14T05:06:00-05:00

I didn't know "Pittsburgh pizza" was a thing. But I can certainly support this: So what makes Pittsburgh pizza different? Firstly: A Pittsburgh pizza is a vessel for cheese. . . . But Pittsburgh pizza is primarily defined by cheese....     Related Stories"The Best Valentine’s Day Candy and Chocolates, According to Chefs""Standing ovation for man using his KFC bucket as a soda cup""There's a mathematical formula for producing the perfect roast potato every time — here's how to do it"  I didn't know "Pittsburgh pizza" was a thing. But I can certainly support this: So what makes Pittsburgh pizza different? Firstly: A Pittsburgh pizza is a vessel for cheese. . . .  But Pittsburgh pizza is primarily defined by cheese. Depending on the pizzeria, you will find somewhere between a lot and far too much cheese on your pie. I would call it a “toothsome” amount at minimum, and “an entire cheese shop’s worth” at maximum.      Related Stories"The Best Valentine’s Day Candy and Chocolates, According to Chefs""Standing ovation for man using his KFC bucket as a soda cup""There's a mathematical formula for producing the perfect roast potato every time — here's how to do it"  [...]



"Nobody wants to take your guns?"

2018-02-13T05:51:00-05:00

An impressive list of the people who apparently do want to take our guns. Remember it the next time some Liberal says nobody wants to take them away.     Related Stories"How Free Markets Neutralize Junk Science""All that you — and Justice Anthony Kennedy — need to know about redistricting and gerrymandering""Health Care: How in the World Did We Get Here?"  An impressive list of the people who apparently do want to take our guns. Remember it the next time some Liberal says nobody wants to take them away.      Related Stories"How Free Markets Neutralize Junk Science""All that you — and Justice Anthony Kennedy — need to know about redistricting and gerrymandering""Health Care: How in the World Did We Get Here?"  [...]



"The mystery of why some people become sudden geniuses"

2018-02-13T05:38:00-05:00

Interesting. Made me think that maybe more of us need a shockabuku.     Related Stories"Powerless Placebos""Okay, So Some Dogs Eat Poop""Scientific Theory And The Multiverse Madness"  Interesting. Made me think that maybe more of us need a shockabuku.      Related Stories"Powerless Placebos""Okay, So Some Dogs Eat Poop""Scientific Theory And The Multiverse Madness"  [...]



"All that you — and Justice Anthony Kennedy — need to know about redistricting and gerrymandering"

2018-02-13T05:36:00-05:00

Michael Barone: Does gerrymandering matter? Not as much as you might think. You're sure to be wrong if you take at face value the rhetoric of liberals who seem to place most of the blame for Republican majorities in the...     Related Stories"How Free Markets Neutralize Junk Science""Health Care: How in the World Did We Get Here?""Rethinking the Geography of Power"  Michael Barone: Does gerrymandering matter? Not as much as you might think. You're sure to be wrong if you take at face value the rhetoric of liberals who seem to place most of the blame for Republican majorities in the House of Representatives on partisan map-making.      Related Stories"How Free Markets Neutralize Junk Science""Health Care: How in the World Did We Get Here?""Rethinking the Geography of Power"  [...]



"How Free Markets Neutralize Junk Science"

2018-02-13T05:36:00-05:00

Yet one more cool thing markets do. (Actually, the piece makes the case for markets supported by decent government, but that's a quibble.)     Related Stories"The Trump Growth Machine""All that you — and Justice Anthony Kennedy — need to know about redistricting and gerrymandering""Health Care: How in the World Did We Get Here?"  Yet one more cool thing markets do. (Actually, the piece makes the case for markets supported by decent government, but that's a quibble.)      Related Stories"The Trump Growth Machine""All that you — and Justice Anthony Kennedy — need to know about redistricting and gerrymandering""Health Care: How in the World Did We Get Here?"  [...]



"Health Care: How in the World Did We Get Here?"

2018-02-12T05:52:00-05:00

Pretty good list of the problems in our health care systems and where they came from.     Related Stories"Rethinking the Geography of Power""The Trump Growth Machine""Battling treacherous office chairs and aching backs, aging cops and firefighters miss years of work and collect twice the pay"  Pretty good list of the problems in our health care systems and where they came from.      Related Stories"Rethinking the Geography of Power""The Trump Growth Machine""Battling treacherous office chairs and aching backs, aging cops and firefighters miss years of work and collect twice the pay"  [...]



"Rethinking the Geography of Power"

2018-02-12T05:42:00-05:00

Amen to this: "In America and abroad, governing institutions should be dispersed more widely."     Related Stories"The Trump Growth Machine""Battling treacherous office chairs and aching backs, aging cops and firefighters miss years of work and collect twice the pay""Study: Being a Teen Sucks Now"  Amen to this: "In America and abroad, governing institutions should be dispersed more widely."      Related Stories"The Trump Growth Machine""Battling treacherous office chairs and aching backs, aging cops and firefighters miss years of work and collect twice the pay""Study: Being a Teen Sucks Now"  [...]



"The Trump Growth Machine"

2018-02-12T05:40:00-05:00

Richard Epstein, no less. (Not exactly an over-enthusiastic Trumpster.) I discovered my genuine confidence in the sustainability of the current economic growth cycle when I recommended to my 27-year-old Uber driver that he invest some portion of his wages in...     Related Stories"Confiscation of Gold by the Federal Government: A Lesson""Battling treacherous office chairs and aching backs, aging cops and firefighters miss years of work and collect twice the pay""Study: Being a Teen Sucks Now"  Richard Epstein, no less. (Not exactly an over-enthusiastic Trumpster.) I discovered my genuine confidence in the sustainability of the current economic growth cycle when I recommended to my 27-year-old Uber driver that he invest some portion of his wages in a diversified index fund. Although the stock market will surely ease off its current pace, it nevertheless should prove far more profitable than standard money market funds with their puny returns. The good news is that the current trend likely will not fizzle out anytime soon thanks to several key factors, including lower taxes and deregulation.      Related Stories"Confiscation of Gold by the Federal Government: A Lesson""Battling treacherous office chairs and aching backs, aging cops and firefighters miss years of work and collect twice the pay""Study: Being a Teen Sucks Now"  [...]



"Powerless Placebos"

2018-02-12T05:32:00-05:00

Turns out that much of the power of placebos is due to our old adversary regression to the mean.     Related Stories"Anti-inflammatory drug 'cuts heart attack risk'""Okay, So Some Dogs Eat Poop""Scientific Theory And The Multiverse Madness"  Turns out that much of the power of placebos is due to our old adversary regression to the mean.      Related Stories"Anti-inflammatory drug 'cuts heart attack risk'""Okay, So Some Dogs Eat Poop""Scientific Theory And The Multiverse Madness"  [...]



"Confiscation of Gold by the Federal Government: A Lesson"

2018-02-12T05:31:00-05:00

A lesson, all right: when the government sets its mind to confiscate, no asset is safe.     Related Stories"The Stock Market Works by Day, but It Loves the Night""The Information Content of Dividends: Safer Profits, Not Higher Profits""Ridiculous licensing rules are holding back people who want to work"  A lesson, all right: when the government sets its mind to confiscate, no asset is safe.      Related Stories"The Stock Market Works by Day, but It Loves the Night""The Information Content of Dividends: Safer Profits, Not Higher Profits""Ridiculous licensing rules are holding back people who want to work"  [...]



"Battling treacherous office chairs and aching backs, aging cops and firefighters miss years of work and collect twice the pay"

2018-02-12T05:03:00-05:00

If this was taking place in the private sector, some people would probably charged with felony fraud. Asked about the program last year, Riordan said: “Oh, yeah, that was a mistake.” Riordan said he supported DROP to appease the police...     Related Stories"Study: Being a Teen Sucks Now""Are Blue States Better at Exemplifying Red State Values? The Data Might Surprise You."Early frontrunner for headline of the year  If this was taking place in the private sector, some people would probably charged with felony fraud. Asked about the program last year, Riordan said: “Oh, yeah, that was a mistake.” Riordan said he supported DROP to appease the police union during a tumultuous period in city politics, but that it had been dogged by rumors of abuse from the beginning. Told that nearly half of all DROP participants who entered the program had subsequently gone out on disability leaves, Riordan, now 87, said he remembered hearing the number was even higher. “Either way, it’s total fraud.”      Related Stories"Study: Being a Teen Sucks Now""Are Blue States Better at Exemplifying Red State Values? The Data Might Surprise You."Early frontrunner for headline of the year  [...]



"Inside the world's biggest baked bean factory where 3 million cans are produced each day"

2018-02-11T05:52:00-05:00

That's more than 1 billion cans/year. Seeing this reminds me again of what an amazing time we live in.     Related Stories"Artificial Intelligence May Have Cracked Freaky 600-Year-Old Manuscript""‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee’ On Netflix: Jerry Seinfeld’s Complete Case Of Comedians As 'Other'""Which Industry Has The Worst Jargon?"  That's more than 1 billion cans/year. Seeing this reminds me again of what an amazing time we live in.      Related Stories"Artificial Intelligence May Have Cracked Freaky 600-Year-Old Manuscript""‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee’ On Netflix: Jerry Seinfeld’s Complete Case Of Comedians As 'Other'""Which Industry Has The Worst Jargon?"  [...]