Posted by: Patrick Allen Foster | August 29, 2013

Odds and Ends

1. Judge Kopf: “The 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream speech’ and the March on Washington started me thinking once again about the many young black men I send to prison for dealing drugs and devastating the lives of others in so doing.”

2. Katie Renee reflects on her recent experience of reporting for jury duty.

3. Tyler Cowen: “Singapore is inequality on steroids.”

4. Guest blogging at Noah Smith’s blog, Guan Yang explains why people like the 30-year fixed rate mortgage, with particular reference to Denmark. Responding to a Matt Yglesias post, Yang writes: “The interest rate is fixed. This is an obvious benefit, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take it seriously. Most people can pay off their mortgage in 30 years, and having a fixed rate means they know exactly how much they will pay every quarter (for Danish mortgages) for the term of the mortgage. A homeowner with a fixed rate mortgage could still lose his home if he loses his job, for example, and can’t make the payments, but he is much less likely to lose it solely because of movements in interest rates. … The prepayment and delivery options aren’t free, and their price will be built into the yield and ultimately the mortgage payments. I don’t really consider an adjustable interest rate a big advantage per se because the typical homeowner probably shouldn’t try to make guesses about future interest rates.” Indeed.

5. Via Althouse, here are “40 Maps That Will Help You Make Sense of the World.” I liked #1 (“Where Google Street View is Available”) and #8 (“Worldwide Driving Orientation by Country”), and I really liked #10 (“Global Internet Usage Based on Time of Day”). #11 was eye-opening (“The World’s Busiest Air Routes in 2012”), as was #23. I think most people on Facebook saw #12 before. #14 explains a lot. #26, showing the Mississippi drainage, was cool. I also liked #30 (“The World Divided Into 7 Regions, Each with a Population of 1 Billion”).

Also, the breakup of the USSR must have been hard on the guy at the end. (And someone should let him know that South Sudan has seceded from Sudan.)


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