School is a very demanding thing to commit to. Throw a job and an attempt at a social life into the mix and you may begin to wonder how you manage to find time to eat and sleep! However, throughout all the madness, I’ve found three helpful tips that help with time management and productivity. This is key to making the school-work-life balancing act run a little more smoothly.
My name is Celine and I am independently studying for a BSc in Economics. I’d like to take this time to properly introduce myself and try to give you an inkling of who I am, where my love for economics stems from and why I am excited about this blog.
I vividly remember being wide-eyed, young and confused as to why there were people homeless, hungry and in such obvious need of help. I turned to my father as I always did when searching for answers and asked why the elusive ‘they’ didn’t adequately address this issue. Why didn’t the men seated in the most powerful positions on earth simply print more money for these deprived people? Couldn’t they see that there were portions of their populations suffering? Shouldn’t ensuring that all persons are properly fed, clothed, and sheltered be the most pressing issue for every nation? Read the rest of this entry »
Ronald Coase passed away on Monday. I first became interested in attending the University of London after hearing him in a podcast with him. Coase was a Nobel Prize winner in Economics. He was also a University of London International Programmes Old Boy, or as we yanks would say, an alumni. He took the London Intermediate exam as an External student in 1929, then went on to study on campus at LSE.
I am too busy with work to highlight all of his achievements, but I will say from what I know of his work, he was one of the most unique minds in the field.
I have been extremely busy lately, not only a University of London student, I was recently hired as a science teacher at a school on the other side of Florida at Manatee School For the Arts (MSA). So I packed up my life and moved. School is starting tomorrow and I am a bit nervous, I have a science background, and am not so concerned about the material. I am very excited to teach for a number of reasons, but I will cover the economics aspect here. Manatee School For the Arts is a charter school: a school that receives public funds based on number of students, but otherwise has wide discretion in classes, staffing, and student acceptance. A charter school is one of many types of school reforms advocated by a well known economist, Milton Friedman. The video below does a better job summarizing his position than I would:
The Anglo-French relationship has quite a rich history, from a century of war, to the current rugby rivalry. As an American, I am too glad France came to our aid against our colonial oppressors. Unfortunately, the French crown was not quite as good at accounting as sticking it to their rival. The debt incurred supporting the American revolution was one of the causes of French one.
It seems this aptitude for accounting continues to present day. A French leader recently opposed Amazon’s discount and free shipping policies. Assuming Amazon still has the right to set its prices, I pose a question. What is the difference between a ₤10 book with free shipping, and an ₤8 book with ₤2 shipping? What is the difference between a ₤10 book with a 5% discount, and a ₤9.50 book?
In the US some bookstores have closed because of competition from online retailers; however others have adapted. Barnes & Noble, a large US chain bookstore has added a coffee shop, comfortable chairs, and social events to keep business. Even B&N may be experiencing a slowdown. There may be less consumer demand for bookstores in the digital world, and I for one miss even the bookstore of my childhood that is no longer in business, I even remember the quaint smell of the place. However, there has also been decrease in demand for farriers, cobblers, and candlestick makers in response to technological change. The world seems better off for it.
Recently Netflix, an American service that streams movies, resurrected a TV show called Arrested Development. During its original run, Arrested developed a die-hard fan base among college students (and won several Emmy’s), but had a lukewarm reaction from the American viewing public. The show was cancelled, but it’s hard to describe the fierce loyalty a small cadre of viewers have. I knew friends in college that would quote lines to each other, and watch the show religiously. When my cousin who lives in the Middle East heard there were new episodes coming out, but they would be unavailable in her country, she practically begged me to find a way to get her the episodes. I read on Facebook of friends who viewed all 15 episodes of the new season at once.
The show was not for everyone. If I were to compare the style to a British sitcom, it would be The Office, but Arrested relies more on word play, double entendre, interweaving plots, references to politics, and television culture. However somehow years after its cancellation, despite the show’s limited appeal, a company thought they could make a profit by creating new episodes. Read the rest of this entry »
In elementary and middle school social studies/history was my best subject. It was there that I learned Europe was an ancient place full of high culture. Europe was Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, Shakespeare’s plays, Michelangelo’s David, and Eiffel’s tower. Then I moved there for a year, and realized all of the history books could not prepare me for the pinnacle, the consummation, the true summit of culture… The Eurovision Song Contest!
Eurovision 2013 winner Emmelie de Forest of Denmark on stage. Picture: Sander Hesterman (EBU)
The Eurovision song contest is something so European, it just can’t be understood by non-Europeans; however it doesn’t matter they seem to understand it. Where does the kitschy melodramatic pop music come from, and why would a country want to win an award for it? Please note, if this insults you, I come from the state that foisted the likes of both N’Sync and the Backstreet Boys on the world. However, the Eurovision does have some important aspects. It was created after the second world war to bring Europeans together.
Another important aspect, of particular interest to students of Economics (as well as political science, and game theory) is the voting system for Eurovision. This gentleman explains some of the statistical nuances. I am no expert on voting systems, but my first impression. The Eurovision Song contest’s voting system isn’t “fair.”