Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 5:04 pm
After three months, $330,000 and a high-profile media blitz, the world's first hamburger grown in a lab made its worldwide debut Monday.
The unveiling of "cultured beef," as the burger is branded, was a production worthy of the Food Network era, complete with chatty host, live-streamed video, hand-picked taste testers, a top London chef and an eager audience (made up mostly of journalists). Rarely has a single food gotten such star treatment.
Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 7:04 am
Silly me. I thought "rent-seeking" was something only landlords did.
But economists have their own way of looking at the world. To them, rent-seeking is a term for describing how someone snags a bigger share of a pie rather than making a pie bigger, as the venerable Economistexplains it.
So, a drugmaker can be seen as a rent-seeker if it cajoles doctors to prescribe more of a particular brand of medicine at the expense of a rival pharmaceutical company's wares.
Scrutinizing the books of government agencies can turn up lavish parties or illicit trips at the taxpayers' expense. But not every investigation turns out that way. And when they don't, the hunt for waste can appear to be a waste itself.
Such appears to be the case with a recent inquiry involving NASA and Viking re-enactors. This whole saga began with an idea from Ved Chirayath, an aeronautics graduate student at Stanford University who loves photography. He was talking over what to shoot one day with a colleague, and thought of Vikings.