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Wet Newspaper: The Gruen Effect

The Gruen Effect


Drug discovery is becoming slower and more expensive over time, despite improvements in technology. Eroom’s law (Moore’s law spelled backward) observes that the cost of developing a new drug roughly doubles every nine years.

The Gruen effect is the moment when consumers enter a shopping environment such as a mall and, surrounded by an intentionally confusing layout, lose track of their original intentions, making consumers more susceptible to make impulse buys.

Researchers measured the honesty of people from 15 different countries. Great Britain and South Africa were high on the honesty on the list. Japan and Korea were low.

Yale neuroscientists are able to keep pig brains alive in jars for up to 36 hours.

Scientists at the University of Alberta have found a way to use synthetic nucleotide guide molecules to improve the specificity of CRISPR-Cas9 by 10000x in certain instances.

Bacteria use distress signals to warn other bacteria about the presence of antibiotics.


In the top 3 cities in the country for eviction filings in 2016 — North Charleston, SC, Richmond, VA and Hampton, VA — over 1/3 of residents were asked to leave their homes in.  The NYT examines this and other trends based on 83M eviction records.

Despite the supposed “death of retail” at the hands of technology, US retail jobs have been booming since the Great Recession.

In Wales, police arrested a drug dealer based on fingerprints from photos of his hand on WhatsApp.

.62% of children in the US have been married, a disturbingly high figure.

In Washington DC, more than 900 students — a third of the capital’s entire 2017 graduating class — were not eligible for the diplomas they were given. The FBI, U.S. Education Department, and DC Office of the Inspector General are all investigating the DC School System for manipulating figures, but the scandal has received relatively scant coverage.


What happened to the One Laptop Per Child $100 laptop? OLPC, got the price down pretty low — to about $130 — but could not crack the promised $100 mark. Many partnerships with business governments fell through during the development process. The project languished but it still making and distributing computers.

Despite annual salaries approaching $1M/year for top jobs, AI researchers may be underpaid — at least in comparison to their quantitative trading brethren in the finance industry. That being said, the number of people employed as rank-and-file quantitative traders has dwindled over the past decade due to increasing automation of financial markets. It’s not unreasonable to anticipate a similar labor arc for AI practitioners.

A list of apparent “deceptions” in Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony to Congress.

Facebook has become the go-to eCommerce platform for emerging markets. In Vietnam, 34 percent of businesses run their online operations entirely through Facebook.

Developing striking, durable, non-toxic pigments is big business. A single pigment, titanium dioxide, is valued at about $13.2 billion annually, and accounts for about 2/3 of the pigments products globally — it’s responsible for the crisp whiteness of traffic lines, toothpaste, and powdered doughnuts. Ferrari red is worth about $300 million annually, but it has its problems; it’s subject to fading. The quest for the perfect red continues.

The Denver Post is cutting the entire editorial staff of The Cannabist, the first marijuana-focused news site operated by a mainstream media company in the US, demonstrating that even the green rush cannot slow the decline of print media.  


Brad Gobright and Jim Reynolds set a new record by climbing the nose of El Capitan in 2 hours, 19 minutes, and 44 seconds. The duo beat Alex Honnold and Hans Florine’s previous record by 5 minutes, once thought to be unbreakable.


The 100 most influential pages in comic books.


Tanzania’s government plans to charge around $920 in license fees for the privilege of blogging. Nominal per capita income in Tanzania is under $900.

In Japan, there are services where you like rent family members. Family Romance, named for Freud’s 1909 essay, “The Family Romance of Neurotics” is an example of one such company.


Scott Alexander’s recommendations for mental health care on a budget.


The newest edition of the APA Style guide now calls for two spaces after a period. Eye-tracking suggests that this practice can increase initial text processing.

The Burr Conspiracy: Aaron Burr was arrested and indicted for supposedly leading a treasonous effort to create an independent country located in the present-day Southwestern United States with land leased from the Spanish Crown. Burr was acquitted, but the trial destroyed his already faltering political career.a

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