China trade data well below expectations - “Trade data from the world’s second largest economy, China, came in well below expectations on Monday, heightening fears of a sharper slowdown. China’s exports rose 4.7% in November from a year ago, compared to market forecasts of a 8.2% jump. Imports fell 6.7% in the same period against predictions of a 3.9% rise.”
David Murray has gone rogue – “David Murray, and panel members Craig Dunn, former CEO of AMP, and Carolyn Hewson, former director of Schroders and BT Investment management, seem to have had a late life conversion, realising that the system they’ve been part of has failed. Consumers, it says, have not been getting fair treatment and the current regulatory framework ‘is not sufficient’. This is directly contrary to what the government, and the banks and retail super funds such as AMP, have been saying.”
It’s Brown, It’s Barrel-Aged, It’s … Gin? – “While many know gin for its light, bright and dry characteristics — citrusy, herbal flavors that go so well with tonic water — another gin sits at the opposite end of the spectrum. Malty, lightly tannic, and with the subtle sweetness and spice of a young whiskey, dark, barrel-aged gin is pushing the frontiers of this spirit forward. Dark gins are distilled the usual way, then spend months or even years resting in oak barrels — the same ones used to age whisky, wine and sherry. That final step yields surprisingly complex results. The wood tones down the intensity of the juniper, and adds notes of vanilla, caramel and often baking spices, somewhere between a bourbonlike gin and a ginlike bourbon.
UC Davis Economics Professor: There Is No American Dream – “A UC Davis economics professor has determined there is no American Dream. … [Gregory} Clark crunched the numbers in the U.S. from the past 100 years. His data shows the so-called American Dream—where hard work leads to more opportunities—is an illusion in the United States, and that social mobility here is no different than in the rest of the world.”
The pupils made their games using software made available with the popular medieval fantasy game Neverwinter Nights 2 – University of Sussex
Girls better than boys at making story-based computer games, Sussex study finds – “Researchers in the [Sussex] University’s Informatics department asked pupils at a secondary school to design and program their own computer game using a new visual programming language that shows pupils the computer programs they have written in plain English. Dr Kate Howland and Dr Judith Good found that the girls in the classroom wrote more complex programs in their games than the boys and also learnt more about coding compared to the boys. There are persistent concerns about the underrepresentation of women in computing – only 17% of the UK’s computer science graduates in 2012 were female, despite a promising reduction of the gender gap in maths-related subjects at school level.”