Assorted links

by on April 12, 2012 at 12:20 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

1. World’s first commercial 3-D chocolate printer, story here, beware noisy video at that link.

2.  Cardboard arcade made by a nine-year-old boy, hat tip to Karina and Chad.

3. Tightening antibiotic use for livestock; let’s hope it works, a partial but not complete Coasian trade says it won’t, in a pinch farmers will buy vets.  More here.

4. Proof that I am needed.

5. The electrical efficiency of computing.

1 darren April 12, 2012 at 12:34 pm
2 Andrew' April 12, 2012 at 12:58 pm

1. The hypothesis that “even 3-D printing is better with chocolate” remains un-rejected.

3 joshua April 12, 2012 at 1:17 pm

2. From the startup perspective, the Hacker News community has some great comments on why this kid is a brilliant entrepeneur:

– Ability to see the core value proposition: that S-hook with string is the fun part of the claw game, you don’t need the complex mechanical arm and flashing lights to make it fun
– Scrappiness: use what you got, he only had his toys so made those the giveaways in his arcade.
– User testing: soccer game wasn’t hard enough so put up army guys
– Lean startup: don’t build a ticket dispensing machine while you’re still testing development, just sit in the box and dispense tickets while you watch the balls fall through
– Pricing: make the upgrade plan really easy to justify to yourself (4 plays for a dollar, 500!!! plays for $2)
– Marketing: he even had the cool web startup t-shirt going!

– Build something you want.
– Build something other people would want.
– Turn your passion into a business.
– Offer street level appeal.
– Secure technology (calculators).
– Turn customers into raving evangelists.
– Leverage others’ technology (Facebook, Reddit).
– Bootstrapped with friends & family.

4 Zachary April 12, 2012 at 1:28 pm


I consider myself to have a stiff upper lip. Whenever I see internet pull-at-your-heart-strings videos, I usually think that they are just a waste of time. But this video had me crying. Actually crying. Tears and sobbing. (WTF is wrong with me? I’m a grown man!) This is what the USA was about: Entrepreneurial spirit, creativity, and hard work. This is what is now missing from our culture.

This can be filed under “Stories that make Economists cry”

Thank you Prof. Cowen.

5 Adrian Ratnapala April 12, 2012 at 2:34 pm

#1 is amazing, not for what it is, but for that fact that I have never heard, or thought of such a thing. You would have thought that it would about the second material people ever tried for the purpose.

6 Becky Hargrove April 12, 2012 at 2:52 pm

3) Wow, quite a complicated issue. I am glad for less antibiotic use, but the lack of vets in rural places is just one problem. Rural people have to do most of the ‘heavy lifting’ when it comes to their livestock. Also one tradeoff may be more illness in livestock as they continue to be overcrowded in order to realize profit.

7 MC April 12, 2012 at 4:19 pm

#1 deserves a “There is no Great Stagnation” header.

8 Mark Thorson April 12, 2012 at 10:33 pm

I can’t read the New York Times article, but the Washington Post item gets it wrong. The use of antibiotics in animal feed is at a level about 10X lower than the level that would be used for combatting disease. It’s used to increase the productivity of feed by suppressing intestinal flora. You’re just wasting money feeding bugs without it. It reduces methane production too, which otherwise would contribute toward greenhouse gases.

9 Andrew' April 13, 2012 at 4:09 am

There are rumblings about problems of resistant bacteria and E. Coli resulting from feeding grains to ruminants.

10 Andrew' April 13, 2012 at 4:11 am

Considering the new appreciatio for probiotics it’s pretty interesting also that human drugs are used for the express purpose to keep something UNhealthy.

11 Mark Thorson April 13, 2012 at 10:24 am

Want to know another interesting fact? Have you ever eaten corn-on-the-cob and noticed later how there are undigested whole corn kernels in your poop? The same thing happens when you feed dried corn to cattle. That corn isn’t thrown away. It’s cleaned up and fed to pigs. A fair amount of food energy remains in the corn, and pigs can extract that value.

12 lxm April 14, 2012 at 2:06 pm

#4 proof is in the puding

13 Sunset Shazz April 16, 2012 at 4:47 pm

#4 – Speaking of “Cupertino’s”, on p. 128 of *An Economist Gets Lunch*, there is a discussion of Filipino “Adobe dishes” (sic). I know that was the publisher’s error, not Tyler’s.

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