- An article by James Surowiecki on the subprime crisis and the "band-aid" Paulson (partial), J.P. Morgan-like, solution. This while Greenspan thinks the bubble should first break on its own (and certainly differs here from Martin Feldstein, who advocates for a fast, two-act intervention, see my previous post on that)
- Here's a very interesting post of Andrew Gelman (based on this co-authored article of his) on whether the Democrats should move, as an electoral strategy, more to the left on the economic policy axis. His answer says that no, au contraire, they could gain if they moved moved a bit to the right (indeed, how on earth could the Democrats move more to the left than where they are already, economic-wise?!) , but certainly keeping to the left of the Republicans. The analysis is quite insightful, but I think it ignores other dimensions that would/will play a big role in the electoral strategies; i.e, the left and right discussed herein are purely the economic ones, while probably the Democrats can win much more from positioning strategically on the political axis, where most Republicans are not what they should/could/ought be (beats me why...), libertarians that is... (e.g. think for instance of the 2-dimension political compass I've talked about a while ago). Also, linked to left-right economics opinions in the USA (and, in fact, in general), see a concise analysis from Greg Mankiw: he tackles the divergences in this context among the experts, so to speak...
- Meet the Isaac Newton of biology (so says Esquire, but read on: they might well be onto something here), also known as Dr. Franziska Michor. Blonde, 25 years old, very good looking (that is already my opinion, not Esquire's). That she's got an impressive number of top publications, a PhD on the 'evolutionary dynamics of cancer' from Harvard at 22, or that she was a theoretical biologist at the Institute for Advanced Studies at 19, is certainly meritorious :-). But what's really killing is that she's also got a licence to drive 18-wheelers (part of a family-induced education that included two other essential chapters: cake baking and ballroom dancing): we love it, we love it!
Taphephobia (or "taphophobia", depending which spelling convention you follow) is the fear of being buried alive. A Chilean cemetery will build an alarm into a coffin for only $462. In 1995 entrepreneurs marketed a $5000 Italian casket with an emergency signal beeper and a two-way microphone/speaker to the outside world. The accompanying survival kit includes a torch, an oxygen tank, and a heart stimulator; don't ask who will administer the latter.