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Category Archive for 'Fun Facts'

Monday Morning Roundup

The U.S. is 100% reliant on imports, from Canada, of Rubidium. Time to invade. Come to think of it … I AM a paid shill … for students. I wonder why private college tuition isn’t much lower? What is the right social cost of carbon to use for policy purposes? Acemoglu on automation and the […]

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Sunday Morning at the Pulpit

The hosts used at Catholic Mass, i.e. the Sacramental Bread, are made from wheat (and yeast, and water, and salt, and even some holy water!). Quiz question: What percentage of the acreage of wheat planted around the world for commercial/consumption purposes is GMO wheat? Answer here. Be nice to Mom today. And every day.

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From the interesting book, The Almost Nearly Perfect People, comes this one: Sweden now has some of the most generous parental leave allowance in the world, with 16 months’ leave on 80 percent of wages guaranteed by law, to be taken whenever the parents feel like it up until the child is eight years old. Without going […]

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Size Matters

The population of the United States: 319 million The population of the largest Northern European navel, Sweden: 9.8 million The population of Denmark: 5.7 million The population of Finland: 5.5 million The population of Norway: 5,2 million All together these are the size of Texas. Or to put it another way, Sweden is about the […]

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Zombie Nation

Since 1989 the annual growth of real GDP per working age population has been higher in Japan than in the United States. (HT to the great Tim Taylor)

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The weekly earnings premium (in dollars, not percentages) enjoyed by graduates of professional and PhD programs over graduates with just a Bachelors is now larger than the earnings premium enjoyed by BA recipients over high school graduates. In percentage terms, the graduate degrees enjoy a 45% premium over BA recipients who in turn enjoy a 65% […]

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US CO2 emissions from energy production today are no higher than they were 18 years ago. Adjusting for energy produced and GDP produced we are seeing the beginnings of a decoupling. One would hope this is viewed as good news.

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What was the (net) profit margin for Walmart in the most recent quarter for which I can fund data? In other words, for every $100 of goods that Walmart sells, how much profit do they “take home?” My bet is that if you asked a typical person they would think the number would be very […]

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Was perusing river volume data the other day and was very well surprised to learn that the Colorado River, perhaps the most important river in the West, does not rank even among the twenty largest American rivers in terms of annual volume flowing through it.

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Of Interest

1. “Forest carbon sequestration associated with increased harvests for bioenergy would be offset by new forest growth given sufficient time.” In other words, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that matters for climate change is cumulative, so it doesn’t matter whether we sequester (or cut) carbon today versus out in the future. This […]

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