Working in patent law, I somehow got on the mailing list for Intellectual Property Today.  In the back of the magazine each month is a Classified Services section.  This section contains, among other things, classified ads for Positions Available and Situations Wanted.  Typically, the Situations Wanted section includes ads from practitioners looking for overflow/contract work or patent search work, but the December issue had an ad that caught my eye.

US/China Position

Attorney with 12+ years experience as Corporate Legal/IP (primarily biotech & pharma) Counsel, seeking position with U.S. company having operations in China (or vice-versa).  Initially relocate to China to intensively learn Chinese language, business customs and operations; and then travel to China on as needed basis.  Email: (removed)

I guess there is something to be said for knowing what you want and going after it, and he plans not just to learn Chinese but to learn it intensively.

Worldmapper is a wonderful collection of world maps, using equal area cartograms, where territories are re-sized on each map according to a particular variable.  For example, this is a cartogram based on geographic area, pretty similar to the traditional world map with which we are all familiar.


This cartogram is based on population.  Notice that India and China are much larger proportionally, while Canada and Australia are much smaller.  Each country’s size is shown in proportion to its relative percentage of the world population.


Some interesting comparisons can be made, such as net immigration . . .


. . . versus net emigration.


Finally, having three young daughters, I didn’t find the toy imports surprising at all.


Most imports of toys (US$ net) are to the United States, followed by the United Kingdom. Toys are fun but not necessities. Thus toy imports give an indication of disposable incomes.

The lowest imports of toys (US$ net) per person are to territories in Africa and also Tajikistan (in the Middle East).

Interestingly enough, my daughters have some toys imported from Tajikistan, though I’m not sure I consider Tajikistan part of the Middle East.

Senator Grassley (R-Iowa) was on the radio this morning talking about the Senate’s minimum wage bill.  I ground my teeth and prepared to write about how I couldn’t comprehend that someone could become a senator without at least a basic economic understanding.  But, Senator Grassley started to take calls, and things got much better.

On biodiesel:

“Biodiesel can be made from a lot of things . . . .  You can even make it from left over oil from Kentucky Fried Chicken, for example.  Or from dead animals, by squeezing dead animal.”

I have this image of a giant orange press with cows going in one end and biodiesel draining from a spigot at the bottom.  Makes me wonder about BioWillie.  (Actually, I just had to add that because I like saying BioWillie.  It makes me laugh for some reason.)  Soybean oil accounts for about 90% of biodiesel fuel stocks, and Senator Grassley happens to be . . . a soybean farmer.  I know you didn’t see that coming.

On immigration:

“[paraphrasing] I’m not in favor of amnesty.  I voted for amnesty when we did it about twenty years back.  I thought it would take care of the illegal immigration problem.  But, it turns out that when you reward illegal behavior, you get more illegals.”

I guess I was wrong about the economic understanding.  Next, Congress will announce that its $5.58 billion/year appropriation to the National Science Foundation has paid off, and we now know that world is not, in fact, flat.