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Remarkable!

August 12th, 2013 · No Comments

Remarkable stories from the web in a new, easier format.

Venom is milked from thousands of brown spiders before being injected into horses. This triggers an immune response that creates life-saving anti-venom for humans – while drastically reducing the horses’ own lifespan.

BBC News – Biting back: Taking the sting out of spider venom

Birds living in cities are performing a type of “avian rap” while their rural counterparts are sticking to more traditional sounds, a study shows.

BBC NEWS | UK | Urban-based birds ‘learn to rap’

6. Scientists still don’t really know how bicycles work.

BBC News – 10 things we didn’t know last week

China accounts for 97% of global rare earth production and is said to have 87% of the world’s rare earth deposits. But in an attempt to curb pollution and protect its resources, the country began to slow exports of the minerals.

What Could Go Wrong In China – Business Insider

I see that a fair number of readers believe that Keynes is no longer valid because any increase in domestic demand will simply “leak” abroad. This is a widespread view, but it’s wrong. Globalization has been impressive, but it has not proceeded far enough to make Keynesian analysis irrelevant.

Actually, you should realize this point immediately just by thinking about the Great Recession itself. If domestic spending all goes on stuff made in China, the one-two punch of plunging home construction and falling consumer spending should have done all its damage abroad, not here in America. Obviously that didn’t happen.

Economics and Politics by Paul Krugman – The Conscience of a Liberal – NYTimes.com

Then there’s this interesting paper by Douglas Cumming, Feng Zhan, and Michael Aitken, which suggests that HFT actually drives out market manipulators. Robots defeating sneaky underhanded Wall Street fixers? That sounds good to me! Though of course HFTs can engage in manipulation of their own.

Noahpinion: A healthy side effect of High Frequency Trading?

My friend John Davidson sees information as the central issue for the economy. In this guest post, he argues that one of our big supply-side problems is the decline in the quality of human-brain information-processing behind lending decisions.

John L. Davidson on the Decline of the Quality of Information Processing in Lending

From a game theoretic point of view, then, the shop assistant’s strategy is not stupid. If the customer is, in fact, too poor to afford the purse, then she has lost nothing. If the customer is rich enough to afford the purse, and insists upon buying it to demonstrate that fact – well, the assistant might have offended someone, but she’s still sold a purse worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Worthwhile Canadian Initiative: Oprah Winfrey, victim of racism – or marketing?

Japan’s top listed companies doubled earnings last quarter from a year earlier, exceeding already high forecasts and generating momentum for the economic recovery effort of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Japan Inc. Earnings Double to Give Momentum to Economic Recovery – Bloomberg

Two Federal Reserve economists are telling the Street what it already suspected: Dovish talk may be even more powerful than quantitative easing. In a research note, the economists wrote that the Federal Reserve ‘s asset purchases, or quantitative easing , probably provided a “modest boost to economic growth and inflation.” However, the effects of QE would depend in large part on the Fed’s interest-rate guidance, the note said.

Fed ‘dove-nado’ may prove more powerful than QE – Yahoo! Finance

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