Graph of the Year: The Shortfall of Nominal Spending Below What Is Necessary to Attain Potential Output
Liveblogging World War II: December 19, 1941

Quote of the Day: December 19, 2011

"The most momentous changes of all, though, were in textiles and coal, exactly the spheres of activity that would drive the British industrial revolution in the eighteenth century. Eleventh-century textile workers invented a pedal-powered silk-reeling machine, and in 1313 the scholar Wang Zhen’s Treatise on Agriculture described a large hemp-spinning version, adapted to use either animal or waterpower. It was, Wang noted, “several times cheaper than the women it replaces,” and was “used in all parts of north China which manufacture hemp.” So moved was Wang by this wizardry that he interrupted his technical account with bursts of poetry: It takes a spinner many days to spin a hundred catties, But with waterpower it may be done with supernatural speed!…"

--Ian Morris, Why the West Rules--for Now