15 June 2009

Arta pianului

Documentar despre cei mai mari pianisti din secolul 20.

10 June 2009

Teoria austriaca a crizelor economice si predictiile lui Peter Schiff

Intre 2006-2007 a prezis criza economica surprinzator de precis

iar acum zice ca SUA se indreapta spre hiperinflatie

Schiff se bazeaza pe teoria austriaca a ciclului economic, in timp ce majoritatea celorlalti economisti se bazeaza pe teoria monetarista a lui Friedman.

In 2005 Tyler Cowen a facut urmatoarele predictii pe baza teoriei austriece ("Ce-as crede dac-as fi austriac"):

1. I would think that Asian central banks, by buying U.S. dollars, have been driving a massive distortion of real exchange and interest rates.

2. I would think that the U.S. economy is overinvested in non-export durables, most of all residential housing.

3. I would think that we have piled on far too much debt, in both the private and public sectors.

4. I would think these trends cannot possibly continue. Asian central banks may come to their senses. Furthermore the U.S. would be like an addict who needs an ever-increasing dose of the monetary fix. This, of course, would eventually prove impossible.

5. I would think that the U.S. economy is due for a dollar plunge, and a massive sectoral shift toward exports. Furthermore I would think it will not handle such an unexpected shock very well.

6. I would buy puts on T-Bond futures and become rich.

7. I would think that Hayek's Monetary Nationalism and International Stability, now priced at $70 a copy, is the secret tract for our times.

04 June 2009

Cum a fost descifrata scrierea Maya

O noua descoperire despre originea vietii

Discutie intre John Horgan si George Johnson, trec in revista teoriile despre originea vietii:

Articolul lui Nicholas Wade din NY Times.

Scientists had long suspected that the first forms of life carried their biological information not in DNA but in RNA, its close chemical cousin. But despite 20 years' work, they had found no plausible way in which nucleotides could have been assembled.

A nucleotide consists of a chemical base, a sugar molecule called ribose and a phosphate group. Chemists quickly found plausible natural ways for each of these constituents to form from natural chemicals. But there was no natural way for them all to join together. (...)

In an article being published Thursday in Nature, Dr. Sutherland and his colleagues Matthew W. Powner and BĂ©atrice Gerland report that they have taken the same starting chemicals used by others but have made them react in an order and in combinations different from those of previous experiments. They discovered their recipe, which is far from intuitive, after 10 years of working through every possible combination of plausible chemicals.

The starting chemicals, they found, will naturally form a compound that is half-sugar and half-base. When another half-sugar and half-base are added, the RNA nucleotide called ribocytidine phosphate emerges. A second nucleotide is created if ultraviolet light is shone on the mixture.

Dr. Sutherland said he had not yet found natural ways to generate the two other types of nucleotide found in RNA molecules, but synthesis of the first two was thought to be harder to achieve.

If all four nucleotides formed naturally, then they zipped together easily to form an RNA molecule with a backbone of alternating sugar and phosphate groups. The bases attached to the sugar constitute a four-letter alphabet in which biological information can be represented. (...)

Darwin, in a famous 1871 letter to the botanist Joseph Hooker, surmised that life began ''in some warm little pond, with all sorts of ammonia and phosphoric salts.'' But the warm little pond has given way in recent years to the belief that life began in some exotic environment like the fissures of a volcano or the deep sea vents that line the ocean floor.

Dr. Sutherland's report supports Darwin. His proposed chemical reactions take place at moderate temperatures, though one does best at 60 degrees Celsius. ''It's consistent with a warm pond evaporating as the sun comes out,'' he said.

And because his proposal requires ultraviolet light, it would rule out deep sea vents as the place where life originated.

O viata cu sens vs. o viata fericita

Fragment din Heroes sesonul 1, episodul 18.

J. Gould despre insectele sociale