Central Caribbean Light Pollution Map

Hat tip: u/AJgloe, via Reddit

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When new technologies and dated policies collide

That is the title of this fascinating 19-minute interview with Vitalik Buterin, a co-founder of Ethereum, an open-source, blockchain-based distributed computing platform and operating system. (Hat tip: Marginal Revolution.) Among other things, Mr Buterin discusses Proof of Stake and the future of Ethereum.

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World Cup theme songs

Sunday Funday! The Internet never ceases to amaze us. The volunteer editors of Wikipedia, for example, have compiled a complete list of official FIFA World Cup anthems and songs dating back to the 1962 World Cup tournament in Chile. Below the fold are some of our favorites:  Continue reading

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A modest proposal

The beautiful game or the cheating game? Vox staff writer Umar Irfan offers this excellent analysis of why soccer players take dives–and why most of these fake falls and feigned injuries occur in the penalty area. In two words: cheating pays! Our position is that players who take dives–like Neymar, the notorious diver of the Brasilian National Team–should be red-carded straight away!

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Map of Asteroid Orbits

“If it makes you feel any better… if the line widths were to scale then it would be entirely white at this resolution.” (u/BFC_Psym)

Hat tip: u/3aush, via Reddit

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Is stare decisis dead?

SCOTUS overruled another venerable precedent this week. (Will Roe v. Wade be the next to go?) The case is South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., a decision we hope is quickly overruled by Congress. Due to other commitments (Summer A grading), we will discuss the sordid details of the Wayfair case–and propose a bill to Congress to overrule this hideous decision–next week. In the meantime, check out Will Baude’s excellent summary, via Volokh, of this stare decisis divide.

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Summer readings (part one)

Now that the Summer of 2018 is upon us, here’s what we are reading (and watching) this week:

1. “Finding law” by Stephen A. Sachs. This 60-page essay addresses a fascinating theoretical question in legal theory: Do judges make law or find law when they decide cases?

2. “Surprising originalism” by Lawrence B. Solum. This law review article, based on Professor Solum’s “2018 Regula Lecture” at the University of Akron, identifies (or should we say, purports to identify) several ways in which “public meaning originalism” (a conservative theory of constitutional interpretation) is surprising.

3. “Blockchain and the law” by Primavera De Filippi and Aaron Wright. In the words of one reviewer (J. J. Roberts), this book “attempts to do for blockchain what the likes of Laurence Lessig and Tim Wu did for the Internet and cyberspace–explain how a new technology will upend the current legal and social order.”

4. “Smoky the cowhorse” (pictured below) by Will James. We added this tome to our reading list as soon as we discovered (thanks to Tyler Cowen, who blogs compulsively at Marginal Revolution) that this children’s book was the most influential book that the self-described “errant economist” Thomas Schelling had ever read. (Full disclosure: Tom Schelling is one of our intellectual heroes.)

5. Mr Rogers’ 2002 commencement speech at Dartmouth (see our previous post). Now that we have seen the documentary “Won’t you be my neighbor?” about Mr Rogers’ life and TV career, we are more fascinated than ever by the spirit and legacy of Fred Rogers. We might even try to watch an entire episode or two of his classic TV show, Mr Rogers’ Neighborhood. (Many of these episodes are now available on YouTube.)

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