“Chuck” used to sell marijuana in California. But the legalization of medical marijuana in the state meant he was suddenly competing against hundreds of marijuana dispensaries. So he moved to New York — where marijuana is still 100 percent illegal — and quadrupled his income.
Because it’s a black market, his customers have a hard time finding other marijuana retailers. “There’s plenty of weed in New York; there’s just an illusion of scarcity, which is part of what I’m capitalizing on,” he says.
This is what economists call ‘information asymmetry’: Chuck knows more about the market than his customers do. If weed were legal, his customers could comparison shop — they could look at menus and price lists and choose their dealer. As it is, once they find Chuck, they’re likely to stick with him.
Imani Winds’ members play David to Igor Stravinsky’s imposing Goliath, as they shrink the massive Rite of Spring down to size in a rendition for just five wind instruments. The result is an epic in miniature — and a performance perfect for a Tiny Desk.
Earlier this week, state-run China Daily called most of China’s major cities “barely suitable for living.” Such unusually blunt language from the Chinese government’s English-language mouthpiece is a sign of just how bad conditions have become.
To Denise Mauzerall, a Princeton environmental engineering professor who arrived in Beijing at a time when the capital was facing some of its worst pollution in recent memory, the lesson was surprising and inescapable.
“I took the fast train from Beijing to Shanghai, and looking out the window for large sections of that trip, you couldn’t see more than 20 feet,” Mauzerall recalled.
“This air pollution problem is on the scale of eastern China — It’s definitely not just a Beijing problem. It’s a national problem and it needs a national solution.”
Environmental regulation can make a difference. In Shanghai (photo above), the government limits car ownership by auctioning off license plates each year at prices exceeding $14,000 apiece. Shanghai also benefits from its location on the water and winds coming off the East China Sea.
Khaled Hosseini’s third, heart-wrenching tale set in Afghanistan, California, Paris and the Greek islands. And The Mountains Echoed is a story about family — specifically the siblings Abdullah and Pari, separated at a young age. Early on in the book, a young Abdullah thinks that he would rather forget Pari than be haunted by her memory …
John Williams’ Stoner sold just 2,000 copies when it was originally published in 1965. It is now acknowledged as a classic work, a best-seller across Europe and the No. 1 novel in the Netherlands.
“It sort of pays tribute to a man whose life is, in one sense, utterly ordinary, but, in another sense, rich as anyone’s life can be,” said Edwin Frank, who runs New York Review of Books Classics, which republished Stoner in 2006.
Largest study yet into genetics and mental health reveal that the five most common disorders—autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disease, schizophrenia, and major depression—all share similar genetic components.
The results suggest that a rethink in how these disorders are defined might be in order. Rather than focusing on symptoms, which can be attributed to one or more disorder, physicians could one day start to rely on specific gene mutations or biologic pathways to make a formal diagnosis.
Two new studies by Broad Institute researchers are among the first to account for some of autism’s heritability. One study, led by Mark Daly, found that approximately 5% of autism cases could be linked to inherited, recessive mutations that completely disrupt gene function.
A second study, led by Christopher Walsh, found that autism risk could also be attributed to inherited mutations that resulted in only a partial loss of gene function. Moreover, Walsh’s team found that many of these partially-disabling mutations occurred in genes in which a complete disruption of the gene has been known to cause more severe or even fatal inherited diseases. This suggests that milder forms of some severe, Mendelian diseases – diseases caused by a single gene – may present as autism spectrum disorders.
Walsh, et al’s study, in particular, demonstrates the utility of whole-exome sequencing for identifying clinically unsuspected genetic conditions and the importance of partial loss of gene function in autism spectrum disorders.
Psychiatry’s new manual, DSM-5, has been nearly 20 years in the making. During that time, scientists have learned a lot about the brain. Yet despite some tweaks to categories such as autism and mood disorders, DSM-5 is remarkably similar to the version issued in 1994.
Almost every specialty that deals with the brain has run into the same roadblocks facing psychiatrists. “The brain is very, very complicated and it really hasn’t yielded its secrets yet.”
And that, says Dr. First, is the primary reason mental health isn’t more like cardiology or oncology, why psychiatrists and psychologists still rely on symptoms, rather than lab tests …
The brain is indeed a complex organ. Fortunately, we seem to be gaining ground on turning psychiatry into science with recent genomic studies which identified a common thread among some of the major psychiatric disorders — It’s all in the genes and their shared genetic mutations. Stay tuned!
NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has officially drilled into its second rock. The sample, once analyzed by the rover’s onboard laboratory, could reveal new insight into the origins of Mars. The rover drilled into this rock target, “Cumberland,” during the 279th Martian day (May 19, 2013) and collected a powdered sample of material from the rock’s interior.
Is it just me…or is it hollow in there? In any case, a pretty perfect drilling job, huh?! ;)
Cognitive behavioral therapy conducted by email was helpful in relieving anxiety disorders in patients unable to receive conventional treatment, according to a report at this year’s American Psychiatric Association Meeting.
Another thing Tumblr’s good for — Keep blogging! ;)
Early humans living in South Africa made cultural and industrial leaps in periods of wetter weather, according to a study that compared the archaeological record of Man’s evolution with that of climate change.
Water — the essence of life — in more than one way.
A team of ex-Nokia engineers and designers has unveiled the Jolla, a totally new smartphone with a totally new operating system. Even if this snazzy new device crashes and burns like other dark-horse mobile devices in the past, it sure will look good while it does so.
The phone’s most unique aspect has to be its split nature: The front has the usual smartphone guts and a 4.5-inch HD screen. But attach an “other half” to the back and your phone gets a new look, new profile, or even new features. Each rear piece can be independently configured — have one for work and one for personal use, for instance, or buy one that adds exclusive apps or even something like wireless charging.
Coming out in Q4 of 2013 — they’re taking pre-orders now. ;)
About 80 percent of the donations are carted away by textile recyclers, says the executive director of Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles (SMART), Jackie King. That’s ~3.8 billion pounds of clothing for recycling each year.
King hopes more clothes — of good quality — are donated, as her organization estimates 85 percent of all the clothing sold each year ends up in landfills.