Veni, Vidi, Duci (Blog)

Seigniorage. What's that?

According to a recent Economist article, the last Canadian penny was minted on May 4, 2012. Besides not being worth much, it cost more to produce than it was worth. The same situation exists for the U.S. penny (which costs 2.4 cents to make) and nickel (which costs 11.2 cents to produce). However, the losses on the low-denomination coins are offset by profits the government makes by producing other notes and coins for (in many cases, far) less than face value. Accordign the the Economist, "this profit, known as seigniorage, is one of the great hidden sources of government revenue." It was even been suggested as a way to solve the 2011 U.S. debt ceiling crisis (see Wikipedia entry).

united states coins

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

Antipode: The Other Side of the World

As a kid, I remember being told about "digging a hole to China." Turns out, in order to do so, you'd have to be somewhere in South America--in Argentina, Chile, Uraguay, Paraguay, or southern Brazil. Or, one either the ocean floor of the South Atlantic or South Pacific. Digging through the core from where I grew up would have left me somewhat distant from the soutwest corner of Austraia. Digging down from our current home in Pebble Beach, CA would result in a location in the Indian Ocean, southeast of Madagascar. All of this neat information comes to you from Antipode Map. See graphic below. Special thanks to Dave, over at PhilosFX for pointing this out.

Screen Shot 2012-05-12 at 9.32.45 AM

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