Gongol.com Archives: August 2010
Brian Gongol

August 11, 2010

The American Way Want to stop a fight? Just lay down clear ground rules.
Wind turbines make enough noise that some neighbors will complain. In Oregon, the state has laid down laws on industrial noise that are clear enough that the builders of new wind turbines are paying the neighbors to put up with the sound. It's the market system at work.

Health Newts can regenerate limbs -- why not mammals?
Researchers at Stanford think they've figured out why not us -- because mammals have certain proteins circulating in our bodies which prevent cells from growing quickly. So they tried suppressing the proteins and successfully did so in mice, generating new muscle tissue. The key, of course, is to keep the replication from going awry and turning into cancer. It's highly promising, though.

News Moscow subway station has artwork that's too depressing
It's based upon Dostoevsky's work, and some people are concerned that the artwork is so depressing that it will cause passengers to commit suicide (which apparently happens with some frequency there anyway). Meanwhile, the rest of Moscow is seeing a doubling of the normal death rate because of all the pollution in the air caused by nearby wildfires.

The United States of America Why won't Americans use the $1 coin?
The Federal Reserve is sitting on $1.1 billion in unused dollar coins, because we're too fickle to use them -- even though they last longer and are a much better value to produce than dollar bills. Perhaps it's time to phase out the dollar bill, increase production of the $2 bill, and mint only dollar coins instead. We don't have to stop printing the dollar bill altogether, but if it's becoming too costly to keep circulating it, we should start working on alternatives.

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