“As Chinese stocks rise, Beijing wins“, by Shen Hong & Chao Deng (Wall Street Journal). The SHCOMP is up nearly 37% year-to-date, and over 125% year-to-year. This article claims that “the biggest winner has been the Chinese government”.
“Rise in suicide by black children surprises researchers“, by Sabrina Tavernise (NY Times). And it should shock you, too. I hope “the government” figures out an effective counter, but in the meantime, let’s each of us make a conscious, sustained effort to meaningfully engage the people (especially the children) in our lives, and to respect those like grade-school teachers who make such interactions their vocation.
“How birds got their beaks“, by Elizabeth Pennisi (Science). Dr. Abzhanov and Dr. Bhullar “have demonstrated a powerful new approach: pinning down how anatomy changes using fossils, then trying the recapitulate the changes in the lab by tinkering with genetic signals”. Their study suggests that the genes Fibroblast growth factor 8 (Fgf8) and WNT were involved in the evolution of beaks from snouts. Other researchers express reservations about these pathways, proposing sonic hedgehog (SHH) as the critical gene in beak formation.
“The great distortion” (The Economist). Government-instituted tax deductions on mortgage interest payments costs the U.S. 2-3% of GDP annually. The code encourages over-investment in housing and worsens income inequality. The article points out that the present time, with interest rates low, is likely the easiest time to initiate change.
“More hands to rock the cradle” (The Economist). Paid paternity leave, in lieu of or in tandem with paid maternity leave, may combat gender inequality in the workforce by giving (married) women the opportunity of returning to the work force more quickly. Sweden’s “equality bonus” is an interesting idea and might encourage fathers to be more hands-on in child-rearing.
“The war in Europe is ended!“, by Edward Kennedy (NY Times, 8 May 1945). The rest of the title reads “Surrender is unconditional; V-E will be proclaimed today; our troops in Okinawa gain”. The last clause, and the remark midway through the article that “Germany’s formal capitulation…did not silence all the guns, for battles went on in Czechoslovakia”, serve as a grim reminder that more carnage was to come. Never forget.
“‘Flash Crash’ a perfect storm for markets“, by Roger Kenny, Bradley Hope, Tynan DeBold, & Stephanie Yang (Wall Street Journal). “After the steep drop, both futures and stocks bounded back and erased the earlier paper losses of more than a trillion dollars from the markets”.
“The world’s first self-driving semi-truck hits the road“, by Alex Davies (Wired). The self-driving “Freightliner Inspiration” only takes over on highway driving, and then plays by the defensive driving textbook (and then some). Self-driving trucks offer both safety and economic benefits.