Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hans Rosling Explains the World Through the Lens of a Washing Machine

The master explainer takes on the washing machine. As always, thought provoking and truly global. Besides, he shows that statistics can be fun!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hidden Inflation is Here Again

I've notis for the past couple of years how packages are shrinking, while prices stay the same. It's cheating, it's hidden price increases.
And it's about time that somebody reports about it, which New York Times did today.
Food Inflation Kept Hidden in Tinier Bags

Sara Kay Seduces With Words and Smiles

Friday, March 11, 2011

Why Not an "Earthquake Building Standards Freedom of Choice Act"?

Michelle Bachmann of Tea Party fame keeps fighting the Big Bad Government's oppression of Americans. She recently re-introduced the "Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act" to stop the planned phase-out of old-fashioned and environmentally dangerous light-bulbs (The Congress voted on the issue in 2007 and George W. Bush signed it into law that year. Bachmann launched her first demand for a repeal in 2008.)
What's next?
Why not do away with oppressive building standards like those who protect us against earthquakes? Why shouldn't builders have the freedom to build cheap and fast instead of having to follow all these regulations and building codes?
I'm sure the congresswoman from Minnesota would much rather enjoy the freedom from regulations in a place like Haiti compared to liberal-socialist places like California and Japan. 

Hans Sandberg

PS. New York Times ran a story about the light-bulb fight on March 12.
Give Up Familiar Light Bulb? Not Without Fight, Some Say

PPS. And here is a story about Japan's building codes.
Japan’s Strict Building Codes Saved Lives

Friday, March 4, 2011

Dr. Doom Likes Sweden

Brian Milner writes about Sweden's economy in the The Globe and Mail (Canada):
How Sweden emerged as Europe's big winner
The Swedish economy grew at a 7.3-per-cent annual clip in the fourth quarter according to Statistics Sweden (SCB). "That’s the fastest growth ever recorded by the stats gatherers, who only began tabulating quarterly numbers in 1970. Expansion for the full year totalled more than 5.5 per cent. And it was broadly based, with increased consumer spending and business investment added to booming exports," Milner writes. He quotes Nouriel Roubini, also known as Dr. Doom:

“Sweden’s growth prospects look strong, compared with those for many other advanced economies, but growth is nevertheless expected to slow down,” Roubini Global Economics said in a note to clients.That slowdown will be a modest one, RGE says, largely stemming from the end of the inventory rebuilding effect that always follows recessions."

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hubble Telescope Images