Like the Kruse Kronicle at Facebook if you want links to daily posts to appear in your Facebook feed.
Here are this week's Saturday links.
1. To celebrate the Christmas season, Deck the Halls with Macro Follies
"... Drawing on data from the [Harvard] university's library collections, the animation below maps the number and location of printed works by year. Watch it full screen in HD to see cities light up as the years scroll by in the lower left corner. ..."
3. Drive-through fast-food not convenient enough for you? Burger King delivery: A new front in the fast-food wars?
4. There is a U-shaped happiness curve, consistent across cultures, that shows happiness declines from childhood until about our mid-forties and then begins to improve as me grow old. It appears it may hold true in primates as well. Our ability to discount bad news, even when we shouldn't, follows the same U-shaped curve. Our brains and experience are optimal for discerning bad news in middle-age. Turns out that ignorance (or maybe denial) truly is bliss. Viewpoint: How happiness changes with age. On a related note, it appears that Elderly Brains Have Trouble Recognizing Untrustworthy Faces.
5. The holiday season is in full swing and many people falsely believe this a time of elevated suicide rates. Actually, spring and summer have the highest rates and Nov - Jan have the lowest. In 2010, July was highest and December was lowest. Holiday suicide myth persists, research says
6. French sperm count 'falls by a third' but still within normal range. Researchers don't seem to know why.
7. The Atlantic has interesting article on Why Don't Parents Name Their Daughters Mary Anymore? It includes this graph.
"Michael" was in the top 3 names for boys from 1953-2010. It dropped to sixth last year. Want to know how your name ranks for each year since 1880? Go to the Social Security Online's Popular Baby Names. The Baby Name Wizard is also pretty cool.
"For the first time in Barbie’s more than 50-year history, Mattel is introducing a Barbie construction set that underscores a huge shift in the marketplace. Fathers are doing more of the family shopping just as girls are being encouraged more than ever by hypervigilant parents to play with toys (as boys already do) that develop math and science skills early on.
It’s a combination that not only has Barbie building luxury mansions — they are pink, of course — but Lego promoting a line of pastel construction toys called Friends that is an early Christmas season hit. The Mega Bloks Barbie Build ’n Style line, available next week, has both girls — and their fathers — in mind.
“Once it’s in the home, dads would very much be able to join in this play that otherwise they might feel is not their territory,” said Dr. Maureen O’Brien, a psychologist who consulted on the new Barbie set...."
And this reminds me of last year, or the year before, when cooking sets were becoming big with boys. They've been watching Emeril Lagasse on the Food Network. "Bam!" New merchandising angle.
9. Instead of indiscriminately sending kids off to college and saddling them with huge debt, maybe a New push for two-year degrees could be smart move for US, report says.
10. Business Insider lists The 12 Most Corrupt Countries In The World.
11. Love them or hate them, the Koch brothers are intriguing. Many political junkies know of them but few others seem to know about them. Forbes has an interesting feature article in the most recent issue on the Koch empire and its influence: Inside The Koch Empire: How The Brothers Plan To Reshape America
12. Is the two party system fracturing? Coalition Is to Control State Senate as Dissident Democrats Join With Republicans
13. How is this economic recovery different from others? The Scariest Jobs Chart Ever
14. "Data-driven healthcare won't replace physicians entirely, but it will help those receptive to technology perform their jobs better." Technology will replace 80% of what doctors do
15. Another bright idea. New plastic lighting saves energy. Goodbye, fluorescent lights?
"Scientists have designed an energy-efficient light of plastic packed with nanomaterials that glow. The shatterproof FIPEL technology can be molded into almost any shape, but still needs to prove it's commercially viable."
16. Yet another good story about the rise of vertical farming. Salad in the sky: The rise of the vertical farm?
17. The Conservation Law Center has an interesting piece about the potential changes nanotechnology will bring to use of resources and the economy. Nanotechnology: The Potential to Make Every Industry Sustainable
"... Last month, at the first ever conference of the Sustainable Nanotechnology Organization in Washington DC, Michail Roco of the National Science Foundation, and architect of the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative provided a response. He said, “every industrial sector is unsustainable…and nanotechnology holds the promise of making every one of them sustainable.”
It’s my belief that that is true: nanotechnology, or the ability to manipulate matter at a scale of one billionth of a meter, has far-reaching implications for the improvement of sustainable technology, industry and society.
Already, it is being used widely to enable more sustainable practices. Safer manufacturing, less waste generation, reusable materials, more efficient energy technologies, better water purification, lower toxicity and environmental impacts from chemotherapy agents to marine paints are all current applications of nanotechnology. There is no reason for this technology to develop in an unsustainable manner.
In the past, a lack of foresight has resulted in costs to society – people, businesses, and governments, and— that could have been avoided by proactive efforts to manage risks. Today, the tools to develop safer technologies and less harmful products exist. Let us not miss this opportunity. ..."
18. The American Enterprise Institute has an interesting summary of a Nielson report about social media usage. 8 fun facts about the incredible rise of social media
"It used be that news of death spread through phone calls, and before that, letters and house calls. The departed were publicly remembered via memorials on street corners, newspaper obituaries and flowers at grave sites. To some degree, this is still the case. But increasingly, the announcements and subsequent mourning occur on social media. Facebook, with 1 billion detailed, self-submitted user profiles, was created to connect the living. But it has become the world's largest site of memorials for the dead."
20. From the "That's just not right!" file. Harvard Economics Department does their version of "Call me maybe."