Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Melamed was right to think he could use some help in overcoming doubts about the initiative. Futures trading had been used for agricultural goods since the 19th century, and some in the business were wary of trying to transplant it elsewhere. Meanwhile, there were some financial types who regarded the Chicago trading pits as déclassé.UPDATE: I'll be talking about this article on the Gabe Wisdom Show on Monday, Nov. 2 at 7:30pm ET.
“It’s ludicrous to think that foreign exchange can be entrusted to a bunch of pork belly crapshooters,” said one New York banker just before the opening of the Merc’s International Monetary Market in May 1972. Business Week ran an article titled “The New Currency Market: Strictly for Crapshooters,” saying the market would have great appeal “if you fancy yourself an international money speculator but lack the resources.”
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
UPDATE 10/23: At New Majority, I say: "Privatize Outer Space."
UPDATE 10/25: Paul Spudis notes some of what's missing from the Augustine report.
Mitt Romney has purposely kept a lower profile and stuck to speeches on specific policy issues, in part to avoid the early trade-off between placating party activists and appearing presidential.In 2008, Romney desperately tried to show that he's a hard-right type, contrary to his record. In 2012, he can come across more as the data-crunching business consultant/policy wonk he really is. It might work.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
In a bid to attract otherworldly buzz for its upcoming animated comedy "Planet 51," Columbia Pictures has arranged to have the film orbit the planet. The film won't be available on Earth until it bows in theaters on Nov. 20, but it is currently safely ensconced in the International Space Station.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
OK, maybe that's not what that song's about, but it's at least open to interpretation.
Before electric light,
You paddled through the soup of darkness as a crocodile,
Cherry picking in the river,
I would leave crisp note footprints at the Bankside
Watch it closely you will see it begin to move
Watch it closely you see it begin to flicker
Monday, October 19, 2009
UPDATE: More from Stand-Up Economist.
UPDATE 11-3: Quite a bit more from Ronald Bailey.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Virginia Postrel produced a small quilted hatbox on stage, then opened it to reveal… an ordinary incandescent light bulb. Surely (she said) all strains of conservatism could agree that it was wrong for government to outlaw this bulb?
As a Princeton undergraduate, Virginia had sat in the very room in which we were speaking and been taught by some of the inventors of the cap-and-trade idea. They argued then that government should get out of the business of prescribing solutions to problems - like banning light bulbs to fight global warming - and instead set general rules that enabled people to experiment with the best solutions.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Gabe hosts a wide-ranging and thought-provoking show on Business Talk Radio, and has been kind enough to have me on frequently to talk about financial history. His thoughts on finding companies with high and unrecognized potential are well worth reading and hearing alike.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
One hundred and forty lucky middle school aged students are headed to the South Lawn at the White House this evening for a night of star gazing with President Obama – but this time, the proceedings have nothing to do with Hollywood royalty.
Tonight's festivities will target a very specific age group, one that typically succumbs to peer pressure and tends to move away from science and technology. According to former astronaut Dr. Sally Ride, who was on the South Lawn for a preview and will be there this evening, 'this reminds them that science is cool, and tonight's event might let them hold onto that interest' going into high school and college.
The students from local middle schools in Washington, DC and Virginia who are coming to the White House tonight will be met by the 'Inflatable Dome,' a virtual universe that displays a realistic virtual show of the galaxies, as well as roughly twenty telescopes scattered about the lawn and pointed toward the heavens.
Visiting Dharamshala earlier this year, I was disconcerted by the ramshackle environs of the Tibetan government-in-exile. How could the Tibetans hope to engage in any kind of contest with China? Through the power of their ideas, and through U.S. support. Looks like they'll have to rely on their ideas.
Still jet-setting at 74, the Dalai Lama has been in Washington this week to receive an award in Congress and attend a conference on meditation. But, for the first time since 1991, the Tibetan religious leader’s visit to the US capital has not included a trip to the White House.
Barack Obama, US president, is to make his first visit to China next month and any meeting with the Dalai Lama, which would doubtless raise hackles in Beijing, has been put on hold.
Monday, October 5, 2009
And if you're feeling long in the tooth and ready for retirement, the Nobel Prize has just been awarded to the people who figured out that telomeres are crucial in the aging process.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
My long-ago review of a Carl Sagan book is here. A somewhat later review of a Nick Sagan book is here. Hey, Nick--isn't it time for a reunion with your ex-Space.com friends? (Ex-Space.com, not ex-friends, I mean.)
Friday, October 2, 2009
The roots of biotech can be traced back over centuries, involving such precursors as the fermentation of yeast in beer production. The modern biotech industry, though, began on April 7, 1976, when biochemist Herbert Boyer and venture capitalist Robert Swanson founded Genentech to develop drugs based on the technology of recombinant DNA, in which genes from multiple sources are combined into a single molecule. Boyer and geneticist Stanley Cohen had pioneered such gene splicing earlier in the decade.
Genentech went public on Oct. 14, 1980, with 1 million shares offered at $35 each. Investors bid the price up to $89 in a matter of minutes, and the stock closed for the day at $70. The company, by the way, at this point still had no actual products, though it had achieved some important laboratory milestones, such as cloning human insulin.