This Week I Learned: Lawyers, Pirates, and Musical Elephants Edition

No real unifying theme this week, but some interesting trivia!

 

To start with, have a look at these charts showing the bifurcation of starting salaries for lawyers in the US. Striking, isn’t it? The accompanying article is here. The other articles at that site are also fascinating; I particularly like the explanation for why trousers are the standard garb for Western men. Can any readers comment on the accuracy of that “trousers hypothesis”?

 

In other news, the World Bank has released a new report on the economics of Somali piracy; here are two interesting articles on the highlights. Did you know that rank-and-file pirates “only” receive about US$30,000-US$75,000 per mission?

 

On a cheerier note, here is a nice BBC piece about the Thai Elephant Orchestra, which is exactly what you’d think. The elephants’ compositions have even been played by human musicians!

 

From a few months back, The Economist takes a look at the history of the Swiss embassy in Berlin, and I do mean history — that building has seen all the highs and lows of the 20th century.

 

Lastly, Twitter has been called “the land of the bots“, and I’ve seen my fair share of irritating spambots; but there is also an altruistic Twitter bot out there! Here it is.

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