- The Vice Presidential Debate—featuring Governor Mike Pence (R, Indiana) and US Senator Tim Kaine (D, Virginia)—airs tonight at 9:00 EST. Here’s how to watch it. Catch up on the 2016 President Election with my recent post on the race.
- Nicolas Jaar is one of my favorite musicians and he’s out with a new album, Sirens, and part IV of his on-going project, Nymphs. Two sample tracks below, from my music blog with my brother, Jacob Freeland.
- Two Nobel Prize awards have recently been announced, including one this morning:
- Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine to “Yoshinori Ohsumi “for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy.” Abridged citation below:
“This year’s Nobel Laureate discovered and elucidated mechanisms underlying autophagy, a fundamental process for degrading and recycling cellular components. The word autophagy originates from the Greek words auto-, meaning “self”, and phagein, meaning “to eat”. Thus,autophagy denotes “self eating”. This concept emerged during the 1960’s, when researchers first observed that the cell could destroy its own contents by enclosing it in membranes, forming sack-like vesicles that were transported to a recycling compartment, called the lysosome, for degradation. Difficulties in studying the phenomenon meant that little was known until, in a series of brilliant experiments in the early 1990’s, Yoshinori Ohsumi used baker’s yeast to identify genes essential for autophagy. He then went on to elucidate the underlying mechanisms for autophagy in yeast and showed that similar sophisticated machinery is used in our cells. Ohsumi’s discoveries led to a new paradigm in our understanding of how the cell recycles its content. His discoveries opened the path to understanding the fundamental importance of autophagy in many physiological processes, such as in the adaptation to starvation or response to infection. Mutations in autophagy genes can cause disease, and the autophagic process is involved in several conditions including cancer and neurological disease.”
- Nobel Prize for Physics to David J. Thouless, F. Duncan M. Haldane, J. Michael Kosterlitz “for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter.” Abridged citation below:
“They revealed the secrets of exotic matter. This year’s Laureates opened the door on an unknown world where matter can assume strange states. They have used advanced mathematical methods to study unusual phases, or states, of matter, such as superconductors, superfluids or thin magnetic films. Thanks to their pioneering work, the hunt is now on for new and exotic phases of matter. Many people are hopeful of future applications in both materials science and electronics. The three Laureates’ use of topological concepts in physics was decisive for their discoveries. Topology is a branch of mathematics that describes properties that only change step-wise. Using topology as a tool, they were able to astound the experts. We now know of many topological phases, not only in thin layers and threads, but also in ordinary three-dimensional materials. Over the last decade, this area has boosted frontline research in condensed matter physics, not least because of the hope that topological materials could be used in new generations of electronics and superconductors, or in future quantum computers. Current research is revealing the secrets of matter in the exotic worlds discovered by this year’s Nobel Laureates.”
- Schedule for the Remaining Nobel Prizes: Chemistry, Literature, Peace, & Economics
- A good friend—Kevin Glass of the Franklin Center—has a great new podcast on the outstanding BloggingHeads podcast network. It available by audio or video. He has had great recent interviews with Cathy Reisenwitz on feminism and libertarianism, Jim Tankersley discusing his long and in-depth interview with Charles Koch, and Vikrant Reddy on criminal justice reform.
- Andrew Sullivan takes a deep and personal dive into distraction in our modern world. Additionally, Andrew Sullivan had an interesting recent conversation with Ezra Klein.
- The NYTimes has been leaked a copy of Donald Trump’s 1995 tax return. Trump shows a nearly $1 billion loss, which would allow him to reduce or elimate his tax burden for years subsequently. Here’s an explainer from the Wall Street Journal. Megan McCardle points out the legitimacy of the tax provisions. David Cay Johnson has a more critical take. Both authors consider the implications for Trumps business acumen. I look at these provisions in a past paper on tax cave-outs and tax cronyism.
- Three posts on the state of the economy worth reading, both offering optimistic yet sober analysis. Great essay at the Washington Post on the concept and related data concerning the middle class and middle income. Vox looks at how work is improving. 538 looks at the current state of the economy and how Americans really feel about their economic situation and prospects.
- The Brooking Insitute is out with a new paper that groups cities globally by their economic characteristics. The Wall Street Journal has a good summary. Below are graphic mapping those cities, listing the cities with their groupings, and displaying the economic factors used in the groupings.