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Monthly Archive: July 2011

Jul 24 2011

Jeffrey Sachs has become ‘shrill’

I read the book The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time (2006) by Jeffrey Sachs, a professor of economics and director of the Earth Institute at Columbia, some time ago and much of it consisted of him jetting around the globe meeting with heads of state and helping them solve their economic problems. …

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Jul 24 2011

Trying to make sense of the insane

In reading about the horrific tragedy in Norway, I was trying to think of how, even to a diseased mind, it would make sense to mow down a large number of trapped unarmed young people. How could you possibly think it would bring credit to your cause (whatever it is)? I know I may be …

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Jul 24 2011

How to talk like Deepak Chopra

It’s easy! A commenter named marius at the Calamities of Nature site where I saw this had a go at using the template and came up with the following: The mind is like a quark. In both cases, when tunneling occurs, the physical reality of the void becomes apparent. It is only due to the …

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Jul 23 2011

Prison chase

What comedian Benny Hill taught us is that footage of almost any chase can be made funny by speeding it up and adding the tune Yakety Sax as the sound track. Here the theory is applied to a chase within a prison as captured by the closed circuit surveillance cameras. (Via Boing Boing.) I just …

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Jul 23 2011

Rebranding Christ

Via Pharyngula, I learn that Campus Crusade for Christ, the evangelical organization, has decided to change its name. The new one? Cru. Yes, really. Apparently college affiliates had been referring to themselves this way for a while. I don’t know about this. Cru sounds more like the stage name a rapper would adopt, as in …

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Jul 22 2011

Obama’s negotiating skills

As the debt-ceiling talks drag on, Democratic party supporters keep getting alarmed at getting regular reports that he seems to be willing to give away the store to the Republican crazies who are clearly losing the public relations battle, and keep wondering why he seems to be such a lousy negotiator. It is important to …

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Jul 22 2011

Religion and inequality

Jerry Coyne has a very interesting post discussing a new study by F. Solt, P. Habel, and J. T. Grant, J. T. titled Economic inequality, relative power, and religiosity that appeared in the journal Social Science Quarterly, 92: 447–465 (2011), that finds that economic inequality is positively correlated with religious belief, and looks at theories …

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Jul 22 2011

Film review: The Company Men

The film looks at the effect of the loss of jobs in the current economy, but from the point of view of the upper middle classes. It centers around the character played by Ben Affleck, a well-paid executive who suddenly loses his job as a result of his division in a conglomerate being shut down. …

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Jul 21 2011

Dramatic horse rescue

In October 2006, more than one hundred horses got trapped in a small patch of dry land as a result of a sudden flood in the Netherlands in which 18 horses drowned. All rescue attempts failed and the horses seemed to be getting desperate until four women decided to try a different approach. The episode …

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Jul 21 2011

The deficit reduction plan of the so-called ‘Gang of Six’

Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), issued a statement on the latest budget plan that Obama seems to be enthused about, although there is still some confusion about what the plan calls for since it is still in outline form. Baker’s statement is worth reading in full but here …

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