Gongol.com Archives: May 2010
Brian Gongol

May 25, 2010

The American Way What to do about energy markets
The Economist published a piece recently which called for a carbon tax to help combat future hazards from oil drilling, which is undoubtedly more reasonable than insisting on drilling moratoria. But a tax is just a deterrent. What we really need are inducements to create the new technologies that will change both the production and consumption of energy. Innovation prizes brought about the safe canning of food, transatlantic flight, and (in the recent Ansari X-Prize) privately-funded space travel. Surely a handful of giant prizes (on the order of $1 billion each) would be enough to tease a few innovations out of otherwise idle minds. Perhaps some of Sarah Palin's book royalties could help start an endowment.

Health Why the South should be especially supportive of stroke research
Georgia and the Carolinas have been found to have 40% higher rates of age-adjusted stroke mortality than the rest of the United States. Blame the fried foods.

Computers and the Internet Google makes Pac Man a permanent feature
One software firm thinks the appearance of the game on Google's home page the other day sucked up 5,000,000 hours of work time. And that's quite easy to believe.

The American Way Report from the Acumen Fund
It's an American charity, but it behaves like a mutual fund: It invests in private-sector technologies and businesses in the developing world in order to help encourage private-sector improvements in quality of life. What's encouraging is that they recognize the lack of smoothness in progress -- big leaps combine with little steps to lead to better living.

Recent radio podcasts