Good idea.

Marine biologist Kristen Marhaver explained in a TED Talk that baby coral polyps are drawn to “white and pink, the colors of a healthy reef,” and they “they prefer crevices and grooves and holes, where they will be safe from being trampled or eaten by a predator.” 3D printers are working to recreate this environment.

Teams in Bahrain and Monaco have manufactured pastel-colored sandstone reefs with the same shape and texture of coral. Sandstone’s neutral pH makes the artificial reefs an attractive destination for baby coral polyps. A forthcoming model from Reef Design Lab will feature a porcelain coating that more closely resembles the chemical makeup of coral.

Geez … NOt bending the cos curve down.

Health care spending in the United States grew 5.8 percent in 2015, hitting a record high of $3.2 trillion, according to the latest estimates from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Last year, health care spending in the United States totaled $3 trillion—or $9,523 a person. This year, per-person expenditures went up to $9,990.

“The faster growth in 2014 and 2015 occurred as the Affordable Care Act expanded health insurance coverage for individuals through Marketplace health insurance plans and the Medicaid program,” the report said.

Attack from the blind side. Although when dealing with the press every side is blind.

His most famous weapon is the tweet, those midnight brain belches that suddenly erupt from Trump Tower and are turned into instant news by a panting press corps. Politico’s press critic, Jack Shafer, suspects that Trump’s tweets, even the strange ones, are strategically provocative, designed to throw reporters off the scent of real Trump stories (his business entanglements, the settlement of the Trump University lawsuit) by giving them something more immediate, sensational, and easier to cover. Shafer is probably giving Trump too much credit, but there’s no doubting that our president-elect provokes a response from his intended audience.

And who is that? The common thought is that Trump uses Twitter to go over the heads of the reporters who cover him to reach the public unfiltered. Just as often, though, the reporters are his primary audience; the secondary audience is the general public, few of whom obsessively check a Twitter account the way reporters do. But the public can distinguish between a tweet and the reaction to it. For an ordinary person, the news isn’t merely what Trump tweets, it’s also the hyperventilation he provokes from the press. The second is usually crazier than the first.

Remember when a cast member of the musical Hamilton gave a pompous lecture to Vice President-elect Pence from a Broadway stage? If you’ve forgotten the lecture you probably remember the tweet that Trump fired off when he learned about it (“Our wonderful future V.P. Mike Pence was harassed last night at the theater by the cast of Hamilton, cameras blazing. This should not happen!”). And then you might remember the reaction of the press to Trump’s reaction.

The New Yorker’s Washington correspondent called Trump’s tweet “unhinged and bizarre.” News readers on NPR nearly choked with indignation. When Trump briefly appeared in public the next day, the questions from the press pen were all about the tweet. (Aleppo was crumbling, children’s hospitals in Syria were bombed to rubble .  .  . but Mr. President-elect, what about Broadway?)

Watching the free market work. .

The students started with $37 of (4-chlorophenyl)acetonitrile, and synthesized it down to 3.7 grams of pyrimethamine. According to their chemistry teacher, the students did so in a different way than the patented method so that they could avoid using dangerous reagents.

Making a compound once in a school lab is not the same as scaling it up to full production and clearly regulatory hurdles, as Shkreli smugly reacted on The students started with $37 of (4-chlorophenyl)acetonitrile, and synthesized it down to 3.7 grams of pyrimethamine. According to their chemistry teacher, the students did so in a different way than the patented method so that they could avoid using dangerous reagents.

Making a compound once in a school lab is not the same as scaling it up to full production and clearly regulatory hurdles, as Shkreli smugly reacted on [Twitter].

Shkreli also posted a video to YouTube of himself reading a polished statement about the promise of STEM education in the coming century. He compared the teenagers in Australia to Ahmed Mohamed, the teenager last year who assembled a clock and brought it to his school in Irving, Texas, only to be arrested under suspicion of having made a bomb. Feuding about teenagers on the internet is an odd way to encourage future scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians, and it detracts from Shkreli’s broader point: making a compound in a school lab, with the help of teachers and advisers, is different than bringing it to market.

Still, in his angry takedown of how the Australian students approached their project, Shkreli misses the broader point: other pathways to the compound exist than the one already patented, and while scale, testing, and labor are indeed costs that drug companies have to cover, none of them are so steep as to require a 5000 percent increase in the price of an existing, life-saving medicine, whose formula already exists.

Fun facts on the referendum in Italy. A functioning nation state where you can buy tires in a leather jacket store.

If you google the topic, you can get endless details on the vote, but here are the salient points. The Italian nation in its current form was born right after WWII and as such, has a deep seated fear of concentrated power; pretty understandable after the fun times under Mussolini and his buddy Hitler.

That fear created a government with essentially two congressional bodies, both like America’s House of Representatives, except with more than double the members and even more layers of government from the top federal level on down to localities. There are a lot of people whose entire raison d’etre is to express their opinions and these are Italians, so the whole thing takes longer and is more emphatic.

The intention of the measures in the referendum, according to Prime Minister Mario Renzi, is to make government less complex and more functional, with fewer people involved and fewer layers. For example, today the Chamber of Deputies (Congress) has 630 members, (elected by voters age 18 and older) and the Senate has 350 members, (elected by voters 25 and older). The Senate would be cut to 100 members appointed by the regional elected governors, rather than by voters, and would only be involved in major decisions such as war or international treaties versus today where both houses basically participate in everything equally. The province layer of government would be officially removed.

Geez …

Here is what Gott wrote in the Guardian about Chávez in 2012:

In Venezuela itself, there is no doubt that the Bolivarian revolution presided over by Chávez will be able to soldier on without him. After 14 years of considerable institutional change, huge oil revenues now pour into the alleviation of the acute poverty suffered by a large percentage of the country, and there is a rock-solid base of chavista support that will take decades to erode. …

… What is so extraordinary about Gott’s Castro obituary, however, is that it makes no assessment of the economic effects of Castro’s regime. When Castro seized power, Cuba was at the economic level of Italy, and richer than Spain. It had a poor peasantry, but so did Spain and Italy. Like Perón in Argentina, but even more dramatically, Castro undeveloped his country.

Good call.

Environmentalists are grumbling that Trump hasn’t added enough members to his EPA transition effort, so he’s named to the team Colorado’s own Amy Oliver Cooke from the Independence Institute’s Energy Police Center, a free-market think tank where Cooke reigns as vice president and EPA skeptic. So that will gleefully shut them up, for a while.

Cooke is exactly the right person to join Myron Ebell, another free-market thinker, in transforming the wayward EPA from a power-hungry bureaucracy that does more damage than good, into an agency that serves rather than subjugates taxpayers.