From VOX – Short poppies: the height of WWI servicemen

The Long Run

From Timothy Hatton, Professor of Economics, Australian National University and University of Essex. Originally published on 9 May 2014

The height of today’s populations cannot explain which factors matter for long-run trends in health and height. This column highlights the correlates of height in the past using a sample of British army soldiers from World War I. While the socioeconomic status of the household mattered, the local disease environment mattered even more. Better education and modest medical advances led to an improvement in average health, despite the war and depression.

The last century has seen unprecedented increases in the heights of adults (Bleakley et al., 2013). Among young men in western Europe, that increase amounts to about four inches. On average, sons have been taller than their fathers for the last five generations. These gains in height are linked to improvements in health and longevity.

Increases in human stature have…

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30 Seconds Over Tokyo

The Story Behind The Story

This is a tribute to the American Spirit.

It is not a tribute to War – or worse, the Geo-Politics that spawn War.

It is a tribute to 80 men with courage, principle, and backbone – Men who simply wished to avenge injustice and right a wrong.  By so doing, they inspired an entire nation.

This is a tribute to men who understand the importance of a mere 30 seconds – and how half a minute not only changed a nation, but also the entire world.

This is the Story Behind the Story of the “Doolittle Raiders”.

They didn’t “do – little” – NO —-

in only 30 seconds over Tokyo, they “did a lot”.


Once, not too long ago, they were among the most universally admired and revered men in the United States . There were 80 of the Raiders 72 years ago back in April 1942, when they carried…

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In a time of great powers and empires, just Europe experienced extraordinary economic growth. How and Why?

Originally posted on Mostly Economics:
Prof Joel Mokyr of Northwestern University sums up years of his scholarship in this article. One of the holy grails of economic history is how and why did Europe experience economic growth in 18th century. Prof…

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Meet Richard Muller, Lukewarmist

Science Matters

Richard Muller, head of the Berkeley Earth project, makes a fair and balanced response to a question regarding the “97% consensus.”  Are any of the US Senators listening?  Full text below from Forbes 97%: An Inconvenient Truth About The Oft-Cited Polling Of Climate Scientists including a reference to Will Happer, potentially Trump’s science advisor.

Read it and see that he sounds a lot like Richard Lindzen.

What are some widely cited studies in the news that are false?

Answer by Richard Muller, Professor of Physics at UC Berkeley, on Quora:

That 97% of all climate scientists accept that climate change is real, large, and a threat to the future of humanity. That 97% basically concur with the vast majority of claims made by Vice President Al Gore in his Nobel Peace Prize winning film, An Inconvenient Truth.

The question asked in typical surveys is neither of those. It is this:…

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The tractors are coming, the tractors are coming for all the horses

Many new technologies display long adoption lags, and this is often interpeted as evidence of frictions inconsistent with the standard neoclassical model. We study the diffusion of the tractor in American agriculture between 1910 and 1960 — a well known case of slow diffusion — and show that the speed of adoption was consistent with the predictions of a simple neoclassical growth model.

The reason for the slow rate of diffusion was that tractor quality kept improving over this period and, more importantly, that only when wages increased did it become relatively unprofitable to operate the alternative, labor-intensive, horse technology


Source: Frictionless Technology Diffusion: The Case of Tractors By RODOLFO E. MANUELLI AND ANANTH SESHADRI