September, 2007


29
Sep 07

Economics for five year olds

Arnold Kling has a great post on explaining economic development to five year olds, with the hope that journalists understand it. The version he came up with was this

There are lots of people in the world who will give us things that we want, as long as we give them something they want in return. This is called trading. Some of the things we trade are hard to see–they are like nice thoughts. Other people keep thinking up nicer things to trade with us, and we keep thinking up nicer things to trade with them. We keep trading nicer and nicer things. Many years ago, people had not thought up all of these nice things, so they did not have as much to trade as we do. That is why people who lived back then were poor, and we are not.

Now if he’ll only do one for deadweight loss.


28
Sep 07

Recommended Friday viewing

Check out this speech by Michael Sheurer.


28
Sep 07

Russian Weirdness

From the AJC (again)

Woman’s 12th Baby Weighs Over 17-Pounds
A small Russian city just got a really big addition: a 17-pound, 1 ounce baby whose mother had already delivered 11 other children.

Tatiana Khalina, 42, delivered the girl by Caesarean section at a maternity clinic in Aleisk, a town of 30,000 people in the Altai region in southern Siberia, a nurse at the clinic said Thursday.

The Guinness Book of World Records says the heaviest baby ever was born in the United States in 1879. It weighed 23 pounds, 12 ounces and died 11 hours after birth. Guinness says they heaviest surviving baby was born in 1955 in Italy, weighing in at 22 pounds, 8 ounces.


28
Sep 07

The criminal side of over coming handicaps

From the AJC

Armless Gwinnett man involved in deadly fight jailed
A disabled artist known for painting with his feet was jailed this week on charges related to a deadly brawl with another man earlier this month.

William “Rusty” Redfern was booked into the Gwinnett County Detention Center Wednesday on a misdemeanor charge of affray, a legal term for fighting in public, and later released on $1,200 bond.

Witnesses said the men yelled at each other from across the street. Redfern, who was born with no right arm and only a stump for a left arm, then ran into Teer’s driveway and head-butted him.

Teer, 49, died minutes later. Police initially suspected Teer died from the head-butt. However, a subsequent autopsy determined that he died of a heart attack. Teer had been suffering from coronary artery disease, according to the Gwinnett County Medical Examiner’s Office.

If you put your mind to it, I suppose you can accomplish anything.


27
Sep 07

A Hoffer appearance

It seems that ZenPundit is a fan of Eric Hoffer too, as well as Mises and Orwell. Interesting.


26
Sep 07

Somethign work reading

From LifeHacker – 7 Stupid Thinking Errors You Probably Make


25
Sep 07

A cool ASP.net feature

If you’re getting strange ASP.net errors like “Padding is invalid and cannot be removed”, check out this entry on CodingHorror.com.


23
Sep 07

An interesting series on the death penalty

The AJC is having a series on the death penalty in Georgia. Two interesting tidbits

Tidbit 1

White killers are more likely to face capital prosecution and land on death row, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found. The reason: White killers are more likely to kill white people.

A statistical analysis shows Georgia prosecutors were more than twice as likely to seek the death penalty when the victim was white.

Tidbit 2

Though most crime involves a victim and a perpetrator of the same race, there is no tradition of outrage on behalf of black victims who are attacked by black assailants. Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard, who is black, has noticed the difference.

“Everyday my office … handles horrible cases involving the sexual assault and/or death of black children, black women and black senior citizens. It is difficult for me to recall an occasion wherein my office has received a note, card, letter or phone call from any black advocacy group or political leader in support of these victims. We receive many communications in support of black defendants in some of those same cases,” he wrote in an e-mail.

“I am very disturbed about what’s happened to Genarlow Wilson and the ‘Jena Six,’ but I am equally disturbed by the plight of the endless number of black victims who don’t have the benefit of community support or outrage,” he said.

Public Choice theory strikes again I suppose.


21
Sep 07

Free tech stuff

I have a perfectly good scanner and laser printer (black and white) which, alas, are not Vista compatible. Does anyone in the Atlanta area either of them?


21
Sep 07

A hopeful sign

A pleasing development in DC and Alaska

FBI tapes Stevens calls as part of sting
The FBI, working with an Alaska oil contractor, secretly taped telephone calls with Sen. Ted Stevens as part of a public corruption sting, according to people close to the investigation.

The secret recordings suggest the Justice Department was eyeing Stevens long before June, when the Republican senator first publicly acknowledged he was under scrutiny. At that time, it appeared Stevens was a new focus in a case that had already ensnared several state lawmakers.