URLs du Jour


  • I've been successfully nagged by close relatives and health professionals to undertake regular gym trips. Greg Mankiw brings his skeptical economist's eye to the claims about exercise's benefits. He quotes an NYT article:
    Over all, each hour spent exercising (up to 30 hours a week) adds about two hours to a person's life expectancy, according to the Harvard Alumni Study, which has tracked deaths among 17,000 men for more than two decades.
    You should check what Greg says about this, but he doesn't mention what really stood out: 30 hours a week! That's three-quarters of a fulltime job! Do a lot of Harvard alumni really have that kind of free time?

    Of course, if I'm reading this right, they only looked at dead Harvard alumni … anyway, maybe I'll skip the gym tonight.

  • Bryan Caplan went to Comic-Con. Among other things, he reports this q-and-a between Samuel L. Jackson and a fan in the crowd about the upcoming movie Snakes on a Plane:
    Audience Member: But is the behavior of the snakes at all... realistic? Is that really what snakes on a plane would do?

    6,500 Fans in Unison: Boo! Boo!

    Jackson Are you high? Because we asked every [expletive] snake expert in the world, and every [expletive] one of them said that this is EXACTLY what snakes on a plane would do!

    So there you go. It's a scientifically accurate must-see, like March of the Penguins.

  • According to an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, at Elon University, they apparently have psych profs teach freshman about "globalization." (No word on whether they have math profs teaching poetry.) Dan Drezner deems the article "one of the more useless acts of self-flagellation about globalization I've seen in quite a while." Very much worth reading, and sufficient reason to attend Tufts over Elon, if you're in the position to make that choice.

Observations on a Small Town Paper

[Rep Murtha in NH]

Our hometown newspaper, Fosters Daily Democrat, wrote up (FRR) Congressman John Murtha's recent visit to a Hampton Falls, NH fundraiser for the local Democratic Party.

Observation One: judging by the picture they ran, someone at Fosters seems to be unfond of Congressman Murtha. (It was black and white in the print edition, which didn't improve it.)

Observation Two: from the article:

Murtha was not alone in addressing the crowd, which also included three candidates looking to unseat Congressman Judd Gregg in November, should they make it through the September primary.

The candidates are, in fact, hoping to replace Jeb Bradley, who's was first elected to this seat in 2002. Judd Gregg is currently one of NH's US Senators, who still has over four years to go in his current term. Guess Fosters' editors took a long weekend.

Observation Three: all three Democratic candidates present put themselves firmly on the record in favor of Murtha's "run away" strategy in Iraq.

Interestingly, Fosters contradicts the Boston Globe's story on this, with respect to one of the candidates, Jim Craig. Here's Fosters:

Manchester native Jim Craig was the last of the congressional candidates to speak. Craig said after hearing Murtha's message from the Congressman himself, he supports his plans and the redeployment of the troops.

and here's the Globe:

Not all local Democrats side with Murtha's call for a deadline to withdraw, including state Rep. Jim Craig who is running for Congress in the 1st Congressional District.

So, what's the story here, Jim? Is your position on Iraq really so confusing (or, um, fluid) that two reporters came away with opposite impressions?

(The Globe link is via Raven, who's really unfond of Murtha, and will use borderline PG-13 language to tell you so.)

Last Modified 2012-10-23 2:25 PM EDT