Wednesday Midweek Roundup Vol. II

MAP: U.S. states labeled with countries that have similar GDPs

Heath Ledger found dead in US
This isn’t about a celebrity. My suspicions: a little alcohol mixed with some Ambien led to the Big Sleep. I would look for a backlash against that family of drugs and the over-prescription of them. Or one would hope. We really do try and emulate “Brave New World” in our proclivity for treating ills with a near-obessesion for getting the newest and best drugs.

Russia fires missiles off France
Russia can essentially do what it wants these days. It has a stranglehold on Europe’s gas resources. They followed all regulations and what have you, but are exercises like these really necessary?

Gates’s voice moderating US policies
Too little too late?

Radio Free Europe
Dedication to Anna Politkovskaya

A new software tool helps citizens visualize their cities’ eco-efforts
The baby steps forward in the green movement have turned into a phenomenon these days it seems. There is discussion about whether people (well, major corporations) are only giving lip service to ideas of sustainability and alternative energies, but every discussion, every advance helps.

The worst financial advice from around the web!
A funny round-up by Ramit on the doomsayers of our new financial apocalypse. No need to rush out to your bunkers yet folks.

Palestinians rush into Egypt through wall breach

I guess not everyone is too happy about that new government in Gaza

European markets tumble after gains in Asia
The Sky Is Falling! …

The Good News About the Recession
… But it could be a good thing.


  1. Chris

    I saw that post from Ramit yesterday too. Great stuff.

    And this bit from that “Good News About the Recession” article was fascinating:

    “In January 2001, the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ accounted for 48.4 percent of the globe’s stock market capitalization. In December 2007, by my calculation of data from the World Federation of Stock Exchanges, that proportion had fallen to 31.4 percent.”

  2. Ian

    I was really surprised to see that thing about Heath Ledger. I certainly wasn’t a fan or anything, but it just seemed strange. I hope it causes a backlash against sleeping medication, but I sort of doubt it. More troubling is the omission of data when it comes to the effectiveness of SSRIs (antidepressents like Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro…). I seem to recall reading that that particular class of drug was second only to penicillin in prescriptions, but maybe that was just Brain Candy. Either way, they are overprescribed and used not just to treat depression but also anxiety and OCD. Prozac Nation and a few other similar books are really interesting reads about the effects of these drugs and the idea of designer personalities.

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