Month: January 2013
If a newly re-elected Democratic president can’t muster the political will and capital required to do something as straightforward and relatively popular as raising taxes on the tiny fraction Americans making over $250,000 when those same taxes are scheduled to go up already, then how can Democrats ever expect to push taxes upward to levels that would make our existing public programs sustainable for the long run?
Here is more.
Six percent of the value of all mowers sold in Germany are now robotic, and the country’s automatic mower market is growing in “double digits,” according to research company GfK Retail and Technology GmbH…
The market for hands-free mowers, which expanded by more than 30 percent last year, offers a rare bright spot in Europe’s consumer climate. The European market may grow as much as 20 percent annually over the next five years, Olsson said. Most of the customers are in Sweden, Germany, France and Switzerland — countries that have so far proven resilient to the debt crisis.
Demand for the garden robots has “exploded the last couple of years,” said Mats Gustafsson, owner of Moheda Jarnhandels AB, a hardware store in the southern Swedish town of Moheda. Gustafsson said he’s sold almost 60 robomowers this year, compared with fewer than 10 five years ago.
They cost about 1,700 euros, with falling prices, and they work like this:
The mowers use sensor technology to stay within a defined area of the yard, and are typically able to avoid obstacles such as trees and lawn furniture. Some of the mowers, including those made by Husqvarna, move around in random patterns, while others such as Bosch machines follow distinct lines.
For obvious reasons, this technology is less widespread in the United States. By the way, for those of you who doubt whether machinery can exert a negative effect on wages, it is still worth reading David Ricardo’s chapter “On Machinery.”
1. Wonkbook summary of the final deal. Notably, Rubio and Rand Paul — two guys who may want to run for President — voted against it.
3. Horoscopes for bureaucrats (the culture that is India).
Instead of long beards and robes, they wear track suits and T-shirts. Their tablets are electronic, not hewn of stone, and they hold smartphones, not staffs. They may not look the part, but this ragtag group of Israelis is training to become the next generation of prophets.
For just 200 shekels, about $53, and in only 40 short classes, the Cain and Abel School for Prophets says it will certify anyone as a modern-day Jewish soothsayer.
The school, which launched classes this month, has baffled critics, many of whom have dismissed it as a blasphemy or a fraud.
Here is more, and for the pointer I thank Asher Meir. By the way, I found this to be an especially odd and ineffective response:
“There is no way to teach prophecy,” said Rachel Elior, a professor of Jewish thought at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University. “It’s like opening a school for becoming Einstein or Mozart.”
I wonder what Bryan Caplan will think of this line:
Hapartzy can’t guarantee his course will give his students a direct line to God. But, he says, the syllabus provides the essential tools to bring out the prophet in anyone.
Here is another oddly incorrect statement:
Roie Greenvald, a 27-year-old tennis instructor attending the classes, also showed some skepticism. While he expressed interest in the spiritual development the course offers, one crucial detail stands in the way of his religious elevation.
“I’m not going to become a prophet,” he said. “I don’t think it pays very well.”
The school takes on all comers and it is run by a Russian immigrant and software engineer.