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

I think the brain is like a program in the mind, which is like a computer. So it’s theoretically possible to copy the brain on to a computer and so provide a form of life after death

Stephen Hawking: The afterlife is a fairy tale (but your brain might go on) | Technically Incorrect – CNET News

There have been fewer than 20 terror-related deaths on American soil since 9/11 and about 364,000 deaths caused by privately owned firearms. If any European nation had such a record and persisted in addressing only the first figure, while ignoring the second, you can bet your last pound that the State Department would be warning against travel to that country and no American would set foot in it without body armour.

American gun use is out of control. Shouldn’t the world intervene? | Henry Porter | Comment is free | The Observer

Market bubbles that lead to financial crashes may be self-made because of instinctive biological mechanisms in traders’ brains that lead them to try and predict how others behave, according to a study part-funded by the Wellcome Trust.

Drivers of financial boom and bust may be all in the mind, study finds

I recently noted (as I often do, for dead horses are made to be beaten) that we could make real increases in U.S. education if other states were to copy Massachusetts’ education system.

So Massachusetts As a Model Seems to Be Gaining in Popularity | Mike the Mad Biologist

In July, at the beginning of a quarter that saw the company lose $1 billion and ended with the announcement that it would fire 40% of its workforce, BlackBerry added a Bombardier Global Express to its private jet fleet, report Will Connors and Mark Maremont of the Wall Street Journal.

BlackBerry Buys Private Jet – Business Insider

The World’s Most Brilliant Hedge Fund Manager Put Together A Guide To How The Economy Really Works

Ray Dalio Economic Presentation – Business Insider

Scientists are more certain than ever that greenhouse gases from human activities are heating the planet, the head of the UN’s climate panel says.

BBC News – Human role in warming ‘more certain’ – UN climate chief

According to research from St. Lawrence University, students who never stayed up all night to study had an average GPA of 3.1, while those who regularly relied on the strategy only averaged a 2.9 GPA.

What An All Nighter Does To Your Body – Business Insider

What’s remarkable is that not only can you clearly delineate the former boundaries of East and West Germany, but you can also even see East and West Berlin! The former Cold War divide strongly influences German politics to this day.

Seven Maps That Prove That History Is Forever – Business Insider

OLEDs are the most interesting and promising new display technology in over a decade – possibly ever. In a span of just a few years this new display technology has improved at a very impressive rate, first challenging and now surpassing the performance of the best LCD and Plasma displays. OLED technology provides a number of major technology enhancements for displays: high Peak Brightness together with perfect Blacks, Infinite Contrast Ratios, very wide Viewing Angles, and very fast Response Times without visible Motion Blur. Equally impressive is that OLEDs have now moved up from small mobile displays into large TV screens for the living room.

LG OLED TV Display Technology Shoot-Out

The economy has been slowly recovering over the past few years. The stock market is at new highs and mom-and-pop investors are pouring in money. But how much have we really learned? Are we any wiser, or better prepared, than we were? Here are six lessons that we should have learned.

6 lessons the financial crisis should have taught – MarketWatch

China’s “ghost cities” may be a lot less ghostly than previously thought.

CLSA Analyst: China’s Ghost Cities Like Zhengzhou, Wenzhou, Ordos May Not Be as Empty as They Seem – China Real Time Report – WSJ

This is because, when you get to the nitty-gritty of it, the initiation of what we’d like to call ‘FARPs‘ is the polar opposite of QE. And in that sense the Fed really is going through with a form of tapering after all.

The greatest trick the Fed ever pulled… | FT Alphaville

European corporate earnings are at a turning point, according to Nomura, which predicts that European firms are set for significant profit growth in the coming year.

Europe at a turning point: This chart shows why

Taken as a whole, these measures have cut the deficit by $3.9 trillion over the next 10 years. And that doesn’t even count the expiration of desperately needed stimulus measures like the payroll tax holiday and extended unemployment benefits.

How Austerity Wrecked the American Economy | Mother Jones

Zookeepers noticed the trend for animal print clothing had caused animals to try to communicate with those wearing it or to run away in fear.

Leopard print clothing banned at zoo as it ‘confuses animals’ – Telegraph

Germany has reason to be complacent as it goes to the polls on Sunday, but German economists warn that this ascendancy is more fragile than it looks, an illusion of the business cycle and a China-driven global boom in machinery and capital goods that is running out of steam.

A victory for Merkel will only mask Germany’s long-term economic problems – Telegraph

Forbes contributor Harry Binswanger, who is a disciple of the writer Ayn Rand, argued this week that people who make $1+ million a year are so valuable to society that they shouldn’t pay any taxes.

Ayn Rand Is Ruining The American Economy – Business Insider

LTRO repayment is thus pretty much ECB tapering. Except that unlike the Fed, the rate of the ‘unwind’ is being dictated not by central bank forces but by endogenous forces related to market demand. And banks, it seems, are keener to dispose of excess liquidity than many expected.

The ECB’s very own tapering problem | FT Alphaville