Cosmic Jewish Zombie


Seems about right. I’m guessing all religious people feel the same way as Father Dougal deep down:

Hat tip: Adam Mueller


Now That’s Marketing

I’ve been really impressed with the online marketing campaign for Free to Choose Media’s upcoming documentary The Power of the Poor (which features Hernando de Soto and is bound to be excellent; airs October 8 on PBS). They are running a blog contest, with a first prize of $250 plus a DVD of the show. That’s pretty low cost, and is getting them a lot of publicity ’round the free market economics blogosphere. (It’s only open to U.S. legal residents, so I can’t enter.)

They’re also making good use of twitter. I suspect they’re following everyone mentioning The Power of the Poor, and liberally posting links to blog posts. Again, very low cost with the potential to make a big aggregate difference in publicity.

Well done, chaps! It’s good to see such a worthy project getting the marketing it deserves. People need to see this film (including me; anyone know how those of us outside the U.S. can see it?).

Norman Borlaug, the Greatest Person Ever, has Died

Since he’s not a eccentric pop star, Norman Borlaug’s death is unlikely to be particularly newsworthy. Here’s a short video outlining his contributions to human wellbeing:

PC has a nice round-up of obituaries, etc.

A Big Step for Cloud Computing

Google is releasing a Chrome OS:

So today, we’re announcing a new project that’s a natural extension of Google Chrome — the Google Chrome Operating System. It’s our attempt to re-think what operating systems should be.

Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks. Later this year we will open-source its code, and netbooks running Google Chrome OS will be available for consumers in the second half of 2010. Because we’re already talking to partners about the project, and we’ll soon be working with the open source community, we wanted to share our vision now so everyone understands what we are trying to achieve.

Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS. We’re designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds. The user interface is minimal to stay out of your way, and most of the user experience takes place on the web. And as we did for the Google Chrome browser, we are going back to the basics and completely redesigning the underlying security architecture of the OS so that users don’t have to deal with viruses, malware and security updates. It should just work.

Google Chrome OS will run on both x86 as well as ARM chips and we are working with multiple OEMs to bring a number of netbooks to market next year. The software architecture is simple — Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel. For application developers, the web is the platform. All web-based applications will automatically work and new applications can be written using your favorite web technologies. And of course, these apps will run not only on Google Chrome OS, but on any standards-based browser on Windows, Mac and Linux thereby giving developers the largest user base of any platform. (…)

We hear a lot from our users and their message is clear — computers need to get better. People want to get to their email instantly, without wasting time waiting for their computers to boot and browsers to start up. They want their computers to always run as fast as when they first bought them. They want their data to be accessible to them wherever they are and not have to worry about losing their computer or forgetting to back up files. Even more importantly, they don’t want to spend hours configuring their computers to work with every new piece of hardware, or have to worry about constant software updates. And any time our users have a better computing experience, Google benefits as well by having happier users who are more likely to spend time on the Internet.

I’ve been using Chrome as my default browser since it was released. I occasionally still need Firefox for one thing or another, but I rate the hell out of Chrome’s simplicity for everyday use. I can definitely see the OS as a useful dual-boot option for laptop and desktop PCs, as well as netbooks.

I, for one, welcome our new decentralized, cloud-based overlords.


I’ve  had a twitter account open for a while, but haven’t used other than to periodically browse the #iranelection tag. I’m going to start using it to link to my posts here and at Fr33Agents. I can’t imagine I’ll use it for much else, though I did just link to a very nice (and libertarian) Gogol Bordello song.

There’s a widget on the sidebar, or @bradrtaylor.

Markets in Everything

Two strange items from China involving pretty young women.

Saliva taken from pretty 18 year-old girls while sleeping:

The seller claimed the saliva was a ‘tonic’ and was asking the equivalent of £2 a small bottle, reports Hunan Online.

Listings for the bottles included pictures of the 18-year-old girls the saliva was supposedly taken from.

However, auction house deleted the listings after receiving dozens of complaints from web surfers.

Fresh corpses (not what you think):

he newly deceased bodies of young women in rural China are in increasing demand for superstitious families to use as, “ghost brides” for sons who died before marrying, to prevent the unmarried dead from haunting the family.

The 2,000 year old practice of spirit brides is becoming more difficult to sustain in a modern twenty-first century China, with its one-child policy, which leads to a shortage of women both dead and alive.

The acute shortage of young female corpses for ghost brides was highlighted by the recent arrests of five men from the Sha’anxi province, who were caught digging up the grave of a teenage girl who committed suicide, after failing her university entrance exams.

A grieving father, who lost his son to an unexpected automobile accident, paid several men thousands of dollars for a ghost bride for his unmarried son. The father had planned to have a spirit marriage ceremony, joining together his dead son and the female corpse in marriage, so that his son would have a mate in the afterlife.

The female ghost bride would then be buried in the same grave with the deceased son, a bachelor in life but not in death.

Miscellaneous Links

Eric Crampton continues to blog the devastating critique he and Matt Burgess made of the BERL report on the social costs of alcohol. The BERL study is utterly worthless and dangerously misleading, yet the authors continue to defend it.

How Bryan Caplan improved his social intelligence. Seems like good advice.

Spanish bar encourages insults, offers free drinks for sweet burnsGordon Tullock would always drink for free.

New Zealand Food Safety Authority ‘investigating the legality’ of high-caffiene energy shot drinks. Those meddling healthists make me very angry!

Public health researchers want price controls on milk to make it more affordable. Those economically illiterate healthists also make me very angry!