Other News, Articles, Or Links Of Interest

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Other News, Articles, Or Links Of Interest

Not necessarily 3E or Crash Course-related links, but possibly tangentially-related articles of interest.

Why Would-Be Engineers End Up As English Majors (article and video)
"Undergraduates across the country are choosing to leave science, technology, engineering and math programs before they graduate with those degrees. Many students in those STEM fields struggle to complete their degrees in four years, or drop out, according to a 2010 University of California, Los Angeles, study."
http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/05/17/education.stem.graduation/index.html

Confronting The Coming American Worker Shortage
"With the job market inching toward recovery, most of America's collective attention is set squarely on there here and now. But signs of a coming shortage of skilled American workers have begun to draw concern from leaders in the public and private sectors, and for good reason. So dire are the predictions about the unprepared American worker that a group of executives from major companies appealed directly to state governors earlier this month, urging them to set higher standards for student proficiency in science and mathematics."
http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2011/05/20/confronting-the-coming-amer...

[removed per publisher request]

Are Our Children Getting Weaker?
"Children are getting weaker as they spend more time indoors on the computer rather than outside according to a recently published study in Acta Paediatrica."
http://www.care2.com/causes/health-policy/blog/are-our-children-getting-...

Getting Around: Fuel Use Of Various Modes Of Transportation
"How many gallons of fuel per passenger does it take to cover a distance of 350 miles?"
http://awesome.good.is/transparency/web/trans0209gettingaroundrev.html

Carpooling Quietly Booms In San Francisco
"Every weekday, between 6:00 and 9:30 in the morning, a stream of cars and a line of pedestrian commuters converge at a Safeway supermarket in the Rockridge neighborhood of Oakland, California. Without a single raised thumb, the individual passengers fill the empty seats in the waiting vehicles. Once a car has three people, it jumps onto the nearby Highway 24, bound for the Bay Bridge. Thirty minutes later, the Rockridge cars drop off their passengers in San Francisco. Once in the city, riders walk to work or hop on city buses. It's unregulated, efficient carpooling with total strangers."
http://www.good.is/post/carpooling-quietly-booms-in-san-francisco/

What Is Slugging?
"Slugging is a term used to describe a unique form of commuting found in the Washington, DC area sometimes referred to as "Instant Carpooling" or "Casual Carpooling". It's unique because people commuting into the city stop to pickup other passengers even though they are total strangers! However, slugging is a very organized system with its own set of rules, proper etiquette, and specific pickup and drop-off locations. It has thousands of vehicles at its disposal, moves thousands of commuters daily, and the best part, it’s FREE!"
http://slug-lines.com/slugging/about_slugging.asp

Mom Tries To Kill Kids, Self, Before "Tribulation" Comes
Some people sold their homes, cashed out their retirement savings, ran up their credit cards. This mom tried to kill her kids and herself.

How Do You Eat Safely In China?
Regulations can be onerous, or they can be controlled by corporations and made ineffective. But how about no regulation nor oversight at all?
http://business.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/19/how-do-you-eat-safely-in-china

Judge Orders 25-Year-Old Man To Leave Home And Find Job
"The man from Andalusia in southern Spain had taken the court action demanding a monthly allowance of $588 after his parents stopped giving him his spending money unless he tried to find a job."
http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/europe/04/27/spain.judge.find.job/index.ht...

Italian Father Ordered To Pay Allowance To 32-Year-Old 'Big Baby' (similar news from earlier this year)
"Millions of adult Italians who refuse to give up the comforts of their parents' home have found a champion in a judge who ordered a father to carry on paying a living allowance to his 32-year-old student daughter."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jan/17/italian-adults-living-at-home

Secrets Of A Mind-Gamer (enhancing ordinary memory to extraordinary levels by focused exercise)
"Even as late as the 14th century, there might be just several dozen copies of any given text in existence, and those copies might well be chained to a desk or a lectern in some library, which, if it contained a hundred other books, would have been considered particularly well stocked. If you were a scholar, you knew that there was a reasonable likelihood you would never see a particular text again, so a high premium was placed on remembering what you read."
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/02/20/magazine/mind-secrets.html...

After the Prosthetic Society
"In any realistic future, a lot of old skills are likely to be in high demand again. Professions that involve doing useful things with one's hands, brains, and a relatively simple toolkit are high on my list of hot career tracks in the 21st century. Some completely forgotten arts may see revivals; the old Art of Memory, a Renaissance system of mnemonic methods that allowed people to file and retrieve huge amounts of information at will, may be worth a second look when the energy cost of making and powering a Palm Pilot soars out of sight."
http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2006/05/after-prosthetic-society....

Ars Memorativa: The Art Of Memory, Part I and Part II
"In Roman schools of rhetoric, this approach to memory was refined into a precise and practical system. Students were taught to memorize the insides of large buildings according to certain rules, dividing the space into specific loci or "places" and marking every fifth and tenth locus with special signs. Facts to be remembered were converted into striking visual images and placed, one after another, in these loci; when needed, the rhetorician needed only to stroll in his imagination through the same building, noticing the images in order and recalling their meanings. At a more advanced level, images could be created for individual words or sentences, so that large passages of text could be stored in the memory in the same way. Roman rhetoricians using these methods reached dizzying levels of mnemonic skill; one famous practitioner of the Art was recorded to have sat through a day-long auction and, at its end, repeated from memory the item, purchaser and price for every sale of the day."
http://aoda.org/Articles/Ars_Memorativa.html
http://aoda.org/Articles/Ars_Memorativa_2.html

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Thanks Poet! If you have the

Thanks Poet!

If you have the time, This would be a great extra for the site - "tangentially-related articles of interest."

The first article that caught my eye was: How Do You Eat Safely In China?

Probably the best and most consistent piece of advice I have gotten is to diversify your diet. "Rotate your poisons," a food safety expert advised me

Good grief... I'd like to try and keep Gulf shrimp off my rotation of poisons. Then again, their advice was to avoid seafood altogether. :(

But if you check the food labels closely, you'll see an awful lot of food in U.S. markets is from China, as this comment states:

Blame America's Ultra-Wealthy, who in order to increase their profit margins, have worked to eliminate food safety laws in the USA and have begun to import chinese food products into the USA.
Been to a dollar store lately?  Read the labels!  Chinese food is everywhere!  I would not be suprised if it was radioactive, contaminated with lead, or full of bacteria.  The chinese simply don't care, they're greedier than the american wealthy overlords.

-------------------------

For some good laughs, I read the comments on this article "Raise Ceiling but Beware of 'Debt Bomb': Prince Alwaleed" (http://classic.cnbc.com/id/43106795/)

versionist | May 20, 2011 08:50 AM  ET
Oh thank God we have the Saudi prince's opinion on the matter. How about the Saudi's lower their terrorist ceiling?

 

Oresme | May 20, 2011 08:54 AM  ET

China told Obama to reform healthcare and now Prince Alwaleed of Saudi Arabia is telling Obama to raise taxes !!

OMG..... the US is indeed in a deep hole.

Only a global war or something to that effect can save the US and the dollar.

What about a global war on terror ? a trip to Mars ? building a city on the moon.

And that's only on the first page!

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Thanks Poet, I gave up the

Thanks Poet,

I gave up the Daily inDigestion when Davos stopped compiling it, but I found a couple links of interest in your post. Thanks for taking the time to share them. 

Best....Jeff

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Fast Food Jobs And Your Kids

Fascinating article on what's happening behind the scenes at Taco Bell and other fast food drive-thrus. Unwritten: Why your kids need to study harder in school - even if working there part-time during high school might be an exercise in character-development..

Taco Bell and the Golden Age of Drive-Thru (emphasis mine)
"With me on the line are Carmen Franco, 60, and Ricardo Alvarez, 36. The best Food Champions can prepare about 100 burritos, tacos, chalupas, and gorditas in less than half an hour, and they have the 78-item menu memorized. Franco and Alvarez are a precise and frighteningly fast team. Ten orders at a time are displayed on a screen above the line, five drive-thrus and five walk-ins. Franco is a blur of motion as she slips out wrapping paper and tortillas, stirs, scoops, and taps, then slides the items down the line while looking up at the screen. The top Food Champions have an ability to scan through the next five orders and identify those that require more preparation steps, such as Grilled Stuffed Burritos and Crunchwrap Supremes, and set those up before returning to simpler tacos and burritos. When Alvarez is bogged down, Franco slips around him and slides Crunchwrap Supremes into their boxes. For this adroit time management and manual dexterity, Taco Bell starts its workers at $8.50 an hour, $1.25 more than minimum wage."
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/11_20/b4228064581642.htm

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More...

Thanks for the encouragement!

More...

Two Illinois Charity Hospitals Seek State’s Permission To Close
"Safety net hospitals have closed in Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania and New York in recent years. Of the 15 hospitals that shut down in New York City last decade, five were safety net hospitals; another filed for bankruptcy."
http://www.nwherald.com/2011/05/09/two-illinois-charity-hospitals-seek-s...

The Fight Over Fracking: Josh Fox vs. Big Gas (Rolling Stone magazine, on gas drilling "fracking")
"...On the eve of the first anniversary of BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster, a well operated by Chesapeake Energy, the country’s second-biggest gas producer, malfunctioned in the rural northeastern Pennsylvania township of Leroy. Tens of thousands of gallons of toxic drilling waste flowed into the local environment, threatening fishing streams and forcing the evacuation of nearby residents. The spill dramatically illustrated the downside of the controversial technology described in Fox’s Oscar-nominated film: hydraulic fracturing, or 'fracking,' the process by which raw natural gas is extracted from shale rock sediment and brought to surface."
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-fight-over-fracking-josh-f...

The Ethanol Scam (Rolling Stone magazine, on ethanol)
"...We will plunge after 'solutions' that will make our problems even worse. Like believing we can replace gasoline with ethanol, the much-hyped biofuel that we make from corn."
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-ethanol-scam-20110323

Coal's Toxic Sludge (Rolling Stone magazine, on coal sludge)
"...Coal releases monstrous quantities of deadly compounds and gases - and it all has to go somewhere. The worst of the waste - heavy metals like arsenic, cadmium and mercury, all of which are highly toxic - are concentrated in the ash that's left over after coal is burned or in the dirty sludge that's scrubbed from smokestacks. Each year, coal plants in the U.S. churn out nearly 140 million tons of coal ash - more than 900 pounds for every American - generating the country's second-largest stream of industrial waste, surpassed only by mining. If you piled all the coal ash on a single football field, it would create a toxic mountain more than 20 miles high."
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/coals-toxic-sludge-20100317

The Great Recession's Lost Generation
"The brutal job market brought on by the recession has been hard on everyone, but especially devastating on the youngest members of the labor force. About 60% of recent graduates have not been able to find a full-time job in their chosen profession..."
http://money.cnn.com/2011/05/17/news/economy/recession_lost_generation/

Four Reasons Why You Still Need A College Degree
"...Corporations, large or small, automatically reject resumes that don’t have a college degree on them. This isn’t really a matter of standing policy so much as the fact that everybody in the entire company probably has a degree. I spent five years holding down jobs that really should have been done by computers or outsourced to India at this point. A lot of what I was doing didn’t require higher brain function, forget higher education, but without that degree, I never would have gotten in the door. There’s a reason for that: All the people fulminating about 'common sense' and 'education isn’t knowledge' don’t realize that public schools are so spotty they’re just no guarantee of quality. Anybody can probably name at least five guys from their high school who never should have been allowed to graduate."
http://www.thesmokingjacket.com/lifestyle/why-you-need-a-degree

What the Mayan Elders are Saying About 2012
"Carlos Barrios: 'Anthropologists visit the temple sites and read the inscriptions and make up stories about the Maya, but they do not read the signs correctly. It's just their imagination. Other people write about prophecy in the name of the Maya. They say that the world will end in December 2012. The Mayan elders are angry with this. The world will not end. It will be transformed.'"
"'We are no longer in the World of the Fourth Sun, but we are not yet in the World of the Fifth Sun. This is the time in-between, the time of transition. As we pass through transition there is a colossal, global convergence of environmental destruction, social chaos, war, and ongoing Earth Changes.'"
http://lettertorobin1.site.aplus.net/id435.html

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Chinese Prisoners - Hard Labor By Day, Gold Farming By Night

Just a little surreal with the online aspect...

China Used Prisoners In Lucrative Internet Gaming Work
"As a prisoner at the Jixi labour camp, Liu Dali would slog through tough days breaking rocks and digging trenches in the open cast coalmines of north-east China. By night, he would slay demons, battle goblins and cast spells.Liu says he was one of scores of prisoners forced to play online games to build up credits that prison guards would then trade for real money."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/25/china-prisoners-internet-gam...

I wonder exactly how much Blizzard or other companies crack down on subscription-paying gold farmers...

That said, on a general note, there are hundreds of prison factories in China. While it is illegal to send prison-made goods to the U.S., third-party companies in China often act as a go-between to "launder" the goods and sell them to American companies. It is also not illegal to for European companies to import prison-made goods from China.

Once the goods are in the open market, all that matters to the buyer is the price, not the terrible human cost behind it: unsafe working conditions, hazardous materials handling without protections, beatings for not meeting quota, etc.

Maybe I wasn't looking hard enough, but the articles I found tended to be rather dated (mostly from the 1990s). Is it a priority for the U.S. mass media to report on this?

Get Serious About Chinese Prison Labor (July 21, 1993) <---
"It's illegal for American companies to import goods made by prison labor. But according to human rights groups, China continues to make products for the export market in its prison factories, and U.S. companies continue to buy them."
http://www.nytimes.com/1993/07/21/opinion/get-serious-about-chinese-pris...

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What's It Worth? The Economic Value Of College Majors (And More)

Only about half of recent college graduates are even working full time...

Unfulfilled Expectations: Recent College Graduates Struggle in a Troubled Economy
"A new nationally representative survey of 571 graduates from four-year colleges and universities from the classes of 2006 through 2010 documents the difficulties young people encountered as they entered a volatile labor market that eventually plunged into a deep recession. While graduates are satisfied with their decision to complete a four-year degree, a large percentage reports they are struggling to find full-time, permanent jobs with benefits that will lead to fulfilling careers. Fifty-three percent of the graduates in the survey are working full time... Just under half of the graduates say they still rely on their parents for financial help. Nearly one in four graduates report that they still live with their parents."
http://news.rutgers.edu/medrel/news-releases/2011/05/unfulfilled-expecta...

Rather than using self-reported survey results usually filled out by the few recent college grads who found really nice jobs and massaged by colleges and departments, Georgetown University researchers used actual census data. This is much more realistic.

Select Findings From What's It Worth? The Economic Value Of College Majors (Georgetown University study)
"What’s It Worth demonstrates just how critical the choice of undergraduate major is to a student’s potential earnings. While everyone who attends college can expect a significant return on their investment, different undergraduate majors lead to markedly different careers - and significantly different wages. In one of the most extreme examples, for instance, the report finds that Counseling Psychology
majors make median earnings of $29,000 per year, compared to $120,000 for Petroleum Engineering majors.
"
http://www9.georgetown.edu/grad/gppi/hpi/cew/pdfs/whatsitworth-select.pdf (Select Findings, 16 pages)
http://www9.georgetown.edu/grad/gppi/hpi/cew/pdfs/whatsitworth-complete.pdf (Complete Report, 182 pages)

The following 4 articles all pull data from the Georgetown study (above).

The Value Of Your College Major: By The Numbers
"The question of whether college is really worth the rising cost (and the inevitable student-loan debt) has been hotly debated in recent months. The answer, according to new research out of Georgetown University, largely depends on whether students choose a lucrative major. The study used census data to compare earnings across 171 college majors, which were then grouped into 15 more general categories."
http://theweek.com/article/index/215614/the-value-of-your-college-major-...

College Students Deserve To Know What Degrees Will Pay
"The typical lifetime earnings of engineering and computer science majors are 50 percent higher than those of humanities majors, according to an analysis by researchers at Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce."

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/05/college-students-des...

Oh, the Humanities! College Grads With 'Fluffy' Majors Make Way Less Money
"A new study indicates that—shocker!—college students majoring in subjects such as social work, visual and performing arts, and theology can expect to make far less money than workers who majored in engineering, computer science, or business. Grads with degrees in the humanities, arts, education, and psychology tend to earn less upon getting out of college, and they also earn less over the course of their working lives. Basically, they just plain earn less."
http://money.blogs.time.com/2011/05/24/oh-the-humanities-college-grads-w...

Study Tells Students What Their Major Is Worth
"The choice of undergraduate major in college is strongly tied to a student's future earnings, with the highest-paying majors providing salaries of about 300 percent more than the lowest-paying, according to a study released Tuesday... Based on first-of-its-kind Census data, the report by Georgetown University in Washington also found that majors are highly segregated by race and gender."
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43139089/ns/business-personal_finance/

On to elementary through high school and how it's always about the money and the entrenched interests. Not the students' success. Really horrid. Really.

The Failure Of American Schools
"If the forces behind reform seem scattered and weak, those defending the status quo - the unions, the politicians, the bureaucrats, and the vendors - are well organized and well financed. Having spent eight years trying to ignite a revolution in New York City’s schools under Bloomberg’s leadership, I am convinced that without a major realignment of political forces, we won’t get the dramatic improvements our children need."
"Texas and California, for example, have very similar demographics. Nevertheless, even though Texas spends slightly less per pupil than does California, it outperforms California on all four national tests, across demographic groups. The gap is around a year’s worth of learning. That’s big. And the gaps are even bigger when we compare similar demographic groups in large urban districts. Low-income black students in Boston or New York, for example, are several years ahead of those in Detroit or Los Angeles on the national exams."
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/06/the-failure-of-ameri...

On a related note... Here's something from the National Inflation Association. Great video, but please do take it with a grain of salt. They're trying to push the idea that a college education is worthless. That's not really true at all. It is worth something - just have to be careful about keeping costs down and maximizing what you get out of it.

College Conspiracy


"College education is the largest scam in U.S. history!"


On to other things... How about movie theatres? Higher priced movie tickets, much lower quality screenings...

How Movie Theaters Are Shortchanging You
"As an article in The Boston Globe this week notes, some new 3D projectors may darken the picture by anywhere from 55 to 85 percent when screening 2D movies. So you may be seeing as little as 15 percent of the movie you paid for. Of course, this is just one way that the supposed upgrade of theaters has actually led to a downgrade in the quality of the movie-going experience."
http://blog.moviefone.com/2011/05/25/how-movie-theaters-are-shortchangin...

Oddly enough, Belarus isn't on the list below. Maybe because it was only compiled on May 25.

The 21 Countries Most Likely to Default
"We've ranked the top 21 countries by Monday's intraday credit default swap (CDS) price, or the cost to insure each country's debt. It isn't a perfect ranking of what country is likely to default first, or when, but it does show a growing consensus from market participants that the crises in these states is getting worse."
http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/05/the-21-countries-mos...

A Defiant 'Spanish Revolution' (44 pictures of demonstrations in Spain)
"Since May 15, residents of many cities around Spain have been demonstrating against the country's ongoing financial crisis, its politicians, and its bankers. The spontaneous protests are the largest since the country plunged into recession in 2008, and they're made up mainly of young people who have set up camps in main squares across the country. Called "los indignados" (the indignant), the May 15 Movement, or simply 15-M, they are fueled by frustration with austerity measures, apparent indifference from politicians, and serious joblessness. Spain's unemployment rate for those under 25 stood at 43.5 percent as of February -- the highest youth unemployment rate in the 27-nation European Union."
http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2011/05/a-defiant-spanish-revolution/...

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Why Would-Be Engineers End Up As English Majors

Why Would-Be Engineers End Up As English Majors

I started out in mechanical engineering before switching to architecture. While I was in the engineering school I noticed that a remarkable amount of students dropped out in their third year. That kind of freaked me out so I asked some third year students what the deal was.

The general consensus was that after doing their internships at engineering firms they realized that they weren't going to be doing anything creative but rather just sit and crunch numbers all day.

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Power Theft, E. Coli, School Lunch, Exiles, Language, Inequality

I bet this kind of theft occurs in lots of crowded Third World cities...

World’s Greatest Power Thieves Keep 400 Million Indians In Dark (May 31, 2011)
"About one-third of the 174 gigawatts of electricity generated in India annually is either stolen or dissipates in the conductors and transmission equipment that form the country’s distribution grid, Power Secretary P. Uma Shankar said in an interview. That’s more than any other nation, according to a 2010 report by Deloitte LLP analysts that also estimated India’s losses at 32 percent. In China the rate was 8 percent."
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-31/world-s-greatest-power-thieves-...

What We Can Learn From Germany's Scary E. Coli Outbreak (June 3, 2011)
"One particular reason the current outbreak in Germany is worrisome, as Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Robert Tauxe explained today in The New York Times, is its apparent resistance to 14 different antibiotic drugs. Tauxe asked the rhetorical question that should be on everyone's mind: 'Where has this organism been that it’s been exposed to so much antibiotics that it’s worth its while to be resistant?'"
http://www.good.is/post/what-we-can-learn-from-germany-s-scary-e-coli-ou...

Speaking of food, our school kids don't seem to be eating as well as our prisoners...

Infographic: School Cafeteria Food Vs. Prison Food (May 12, 2011)
"Hopefully you haven't gotten the chance to taste jailhouse cuisine, but if you're a product of the American school system, you probably have childhood memories of standing in line for grey mashed potatoes, half-thawed mystery meat, and slimy canned peaches. How do the trays measure up?"
http://www.good.is/post/infographic-school-cafeteria-food-vs-prison-food/

Now if you want to see what the French do with their school lunches, watch the video. Wow!

France's Gourmet School Lunches (September 26, 2010)
"Sunday Morning's Man in Paris David Turecamo explores France's strict diet regimen within the school system's gourmet lunch menu."
http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=6902333n

Saudi Arabia and France, where evil dictators go to retire...

Infographic: Where In The World Are Exiled Leaders? (May 26, 2011)
"With Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak now deposed and Libya's Colonel Gaddafi struggling to hold on to his own seat, we wonder where former exiled leaders slip away to after being ousted."
http://www.good.is/post/infographic-where-in-the-world-are-exiled-leaders/

Being bilingual has more benefits than just the ability to speak and understand another language. If you're bilingual, you'll want to read this!

The Bilingual Advantage (May 30, 2011)
"...Bilinguals showed Alzheimer’s symptoms five or six years later than those who spoke only one language. This didn’t mean that the bilinguals didn’t have Alzheimer’s. It meant that as the disease took root in their brains, they were able to continue functioning at a higher level. They could cope with the disease for longer... In terms of monolinguals and bilinguals, the big thing that we have found is that the connections are different. So we have monolinguals solving a problem, and they use X systems, but when bilinguals solve the same problem, they use others. One of the things we’ve seen is that on certain kinds of even nonverbal tests, bilingual people are faster. Why? Well, when we look in their brains through neuroimaging, it appears like they’re using a different kind of a network that might include language centers to solve a completely nonverbal problem. Their whole brain appears to rewire because of bilingualism."
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/31/science/31conversation.html

Interesting opinion article about what growing income inequality can lead to, in some real world instances.

Our Fantasy Nation?
"It has among the lowest tax burdens of any major country: fewer than 2 percent of the people pay any taxes. Government is limited, so that burdensome regulations never kill jobs. This society embraces traditional religious values and a conservative sensibility. Nobody minds school prayer, same-sex marriage isn’t imaginable, and criminals are never coddled. The budget priority is a strong military, the nation’s most respected institution. When generals decide on a policy for, say, Afghanistan, politicians defer to them. Citizens are deeply patriotic, and nobody burns flags...."
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/05/opinion/05kristof.html

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Chinese Men Find Mortgages A Prerequisite For Marriage

I guess when there are many millions fewer women than men, the women can afford to be more picky.

The video provides a lot more information than the article itself.

Chinese Men Find Mortgages A Prerequisite For Marriage (May 23, 2011)
"The difficulties Chinese men have finding partners is having a significant economic impact around the world as they hold back on spending in the hopes of saving sufficient money to attract a bride, as Justin Rowlatt reports. 'If I don't own my own home', he explained to me, 'no decent Chinese girl is ever going to consider marrying me.'"
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/newsnight/9491365.stm

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Portents Of The Future?

Increasing poverty, ignorance, and crime. Favelas, ghettos, barrios, inner city, outer shells, banlieus...

Portents of a dark future?

Brazil: Surviving Rio’s Favelas
"This photo essay depicts the life of favelas, or shantytowns, in Rio, Brazil, as the communities are deteriorated by gang violence. I document how the violent climate affects the residents and even people outside of the favelas."
http://www.gaia-photos.com/brazil-rio-favela-survival/

A story of slumtown mob vigilantes and an innocent life lost. South Africa.

Watching The Murder Of An Innocent Man
"'I know where these criminals live.' He was a wayward teenager, a bad boy wanting to become a worse boy, and this gave him credibility in the matter of where vicious criminals might be found. A few men lifted him onto their shoulders so that the crowd, already in the hundreds, could see him better. Then an older man, wiser about these things, said to put the boy down. More than likely, they were about to kill someone."
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/05/magazine/watching-the-murder-of-an-inn...

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Inside Syria' Slaughter: Dara'a, The 'Ghetto of Death'

Brutal. 

Inside Syria's Slaughter: A Journalist Sneaks Into Dara'a, The 'Ghetto of Death'
"Al-Balad, a neighborhood in the historic district of Dara'a, has become the ghetto of death. Since the end of March, it's been on permanent lockdown, surrounded by the Syrian army. From rooftops and balconies, soldiers shoot those who try to get into or out of the neighborhood... Electricity, water and phone lines have been cut. Without access to supplies, milk and essential foods have run out. The 15,000 residents under lockdown are facing famine. Every day, during the evening prayer, thousands of voices rise above the neighborhood for the rest of the city to hear: "Milk! Water!" they scream, their voices barely muted by bursts of gunfire."
http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2076778,00.html

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Even The McJobs Are Under Assault...

McDonald’s Replaces Cashiers with Touch-Screens
"The Financial Times reports that the worlds’ largest fast food chain plans to replace many of the cashiers at its 7,000 European restaurants with touch screen terminals that allow customers to order and pay electronically."
http://www.investorplace.com/41160/mcdonalds-nyse-mcd-touch-screen-menu-...

Do you want fries with your order? Press Yes or No.

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Technology Replaces Workers

The Mayekawa Automatic Chicken Deboner handles chickens at a rate of 1,500 birds an hour - ten times as fast as even the most skilled butcher - and sells for around $560,000.

Human workers perform at variable speeds, and cannot work at peak for long. Prolonged work like thise subject them to repetitive motion injuries and sick time.

Assuming a machine like this can work just 5 days per week, 24 hours per day, it can certainly replace 30 full-time workers who each cost $18,700 per year total (employee take-home pay would be lower) and pay for itself within 1 year.

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Justice In America

Ex-CEO gets 40-month sentence for role in $3 billion corporate fraud scheme.

Homeless, hungry man gets 15 years for stealing $100.

Sheesh.

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Which Sweet Potato Would You Eat?

I didn't even know they did that to potatoes and sweet potatoes...

German Wikipedia article on Chlorpropham
"Chlorpropham is harmful to humans and (according to latest EU classification, 30 adapting Directive 2008/58/EC) may be carcinogenic. Symptome: Irritationen der Haut, Augen und der Atmungsorgane. Symptoms:. Irritations of the skin, eyes and respiratory system. Adverse events reported. Depression, seizures, movement disorders, nerve damage, digestive disorders with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea." [Google Translate]
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorpropham

Google Translate of the article:
http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://de.wikipedia....

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Working Women Turning To Prostitution To Support Family

In Victorian-era England, rural women who migrated to the industrial towns to find jobs quickly realized the long hours and low pay of factory jobs didn't amount for much. Many turned to casual prostitution to supplement their factory income in order to support themselves and their families.

Here's a relevant link on circumstances of that time and age, from a Jack The Ripper: Case Study:
http://www.suite101.com/lesson.cfm/18593/1945/2

Or another, Working Women and Prostitution in Nineteenth-Century New York
http://www.stolaf.edu/people/kutulas/prostitutes.htm

It seems as America progresses more towards a societal income distribution structure like that of Victorian-era England, similar economic circumstances are leading women to make similar choices.

The Family Prostitute
"'We've seen over the course of the last couple of years a massive flow of women from all around the country,' says Marc Medoff, general manager of the Love Ranch. 'It's their first time in the sexual-entertainment business and they're showing up here - literally on our doorstep sometimes - for the purpose of seeking work to support their families: their husbands, their children, their parents. It's a zillion-fold increase. When things started to get really bad, in the fall of '07, we started seeing things increase and there's been no let-up.'"
http://www.laweekly.com/2010-09-02/news/the-family-prostitute/

I am sure Craiglist has seen a huge increase, along with casual prostitution amongst low-paid service workers.

Poet

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Poet wrote: In Victorian-era

Poet wrote:

In Victorian-era England, rural women who migrated to the industrial towns to find jobs quickly realized the long hours and low pay of factory jobs didn't amount for much. Many turned to casual prostitution to supplement their factory income in order to support themselves and their families.

Here's a relevant link on circumstances of that time and age, from a Jack The Ripper: Case Study:
http://www.suite101.com/lesson.cfm/18593/1945/2

Or another, Working Women and Prostitution in Nineteenth-Century New York
http://www.stolaf.edu/people/kutulas/prostitutes.htm

It seems as America progresses more towards a societal income distribution structure like that of Victorian-era England, similar economic circumstances are leading women to make similar choices.

The Family Prostitute
"'We've seen over the course of the last couple of years a massive flow of women from all around the country,' says Marc Medoff, general manager of the Love Ranch. 'It's their first time in the sexual-entertainment business and they're showing up here - literally on our doorstep sometimes - for the purpose of seeking work to support their families: their husbands, their children, their parents. It's a zillion-fold increase. When things started to get really bad, in the fall of '07, we started seeing things increase and there's been no let-up.'"
http://www.laweekly.com/2010-09-02/news/the-family-prostitute/

I am sure Craiglist has seen a huge increase, along with casual prostitution amongst low-paid service workers.

Poet

That's incredibly depressing.

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That's Why We Need To Get More People Aware And Prepared

Johnny Oxygen wrote:

That's incredibly depressing.

My concern is about how women, children, the elderly, minorities, the poor, and those with chronic conditions and mental or physical disabilities will fare. Especially those who are one or more of the above and poor.

All the more reason to try to get people - all people - as aware and as prepared as possible.

Poet

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New book: "The Limits to Growth Revisited"

New book: "The Limits to Growth Revisited"

by Ugo Bardi

This book has been a lot of work for me but, finally, it is done. "The Limits to Growth Revisited" has been published by Springer in June of this year.
In some respects, "The Limits to Growth Revisited" is a rather technical book. It goes in some depth in describing the controversy that flared between critics (mainly economists) and supporters of the system dynamics methods used for the 1972 study "The Limits to Growth" (LTG). But "LTG revisited" is not just a technical book. It also tells the whole story of the LTG study: how it was conceived, what were the political reactions to it, how it was demonized and misunderstood, and what is its relevance - also in its more recent versions of 1992 and 2004 - to the present situation of the world.

Writing this book has been a fascinating work. Re-examining the story of LTG opens up a whole new world that urban legends and propaganda had tried to bury under a layer of lies and misinterpretations. We all have heard of the "mistakes" that the authors of LTG, or their sponsors, the Club of Rome, are said to have made. But LTG was not "wrong": nowhere in the 1972 book you find the mistakes that are commonly attributed to it. LTG never predicted catastrophes to occur soon, never estimated that some specific mineral resources should run out by some specific date, it never contained prophecies of doom. In other words, LTG was not, and never was, "Chicken Little with a computer."

What caused the demonization of the study was, in large part, the fact that it was so new and so advanced for its times that it was widely misunderstood, often by its supporters as well as by its detractors. But the misunderstanding was enhanced by a media campaign very similar to the one that has been recently directed against climate science. The trick of these campaigns is always the same: find a single mistake and use it to demonize the whole concept. It doesn't matter that the mistake is real or an invention, it doesn't count whether it is relevant or not. The trick is to repeat the concept of "mistakes" a large number of times and that is enough to confuse the public and cloud the issue. In recent times, the method has been used to demonize climate science with the alleged mistake found in the "hockey stick" temperature reconstruction of past climate. For LTG, the "mistake" was found in a few numbers taken from just one of the many tables of the 1972 book. There was nothing wrong in these numbers, but the concept of the "mistakes of the Club of Rome" went viral and it is still widespread, and perhaps prevalent, whenever the LTG study is mentioned today.

Understanding the real message that LTG sent to us in 1972, and that it is still sending, takes a certain effort. First, you have to free your mind from the layers of legends that have accumulated around it over four decades, but that is not enough. You have to free yourself also from the common attitude that prevents us from understanding how complex systems behave. There is no fixed future for systems such as the world's economic system, only trends. But these systems still obey physical laws: the limits of natural resources, the finiteness of the world system, the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. And there are the constants of human behavior: mainly our tendency of preferring immediate satisfaction to a future one, a phenomenon known as "discounting the future."

All together, these factors push the world system to follow a well defined path. We cannot determine exactly what the future will be, but we can produce a "fan" of trajectories that show to us how where the system is heading to. The original 1972 LTG study had already identified the main factors that have been dominating the behavior of the world's economy. The combined effects of resource depletion and pollution accumulation (seen today mainly in terms of climate change) have been gradually reducing the ability of the industrial system of accumulating capital and of fuelling growth. These factors will, eventually, cause the world's industrial and agricultural systems to start a decline that could be defined as "collapse" which, later on, involves also the world's population.

It is not possible to determine exact dates for these events but, still, the insight that this kind of modelling offers to us is amazing. Just think how, already 40 years ago, the LTG study may have anticipated the worldwide financial crisis that occurred in 2008 and also the present debate on whether climate change or "peak resources" is the most important problem that we face. Dynamic modelling is a flexible tool, something that enhances the capability of the human mind to understand the world that surrounds us. The 1972 LTG study was the first to use this tool, but it is not the only possible way. Simpler dynamic models will tend to produce the same final outcome.

If we use this tool, and we use it wisely, we can discover that nothing of the future is written in stone. The future is something that we create every day with our actions. At the same time, we can also discover that the future has a life of its own, that it resents being forced into what we think it should be on the basis of obsolete ideologies. We will have to adapt to the future and that may not be painless but, if we try to understand the future, we may discover that it doesn't need to be our enemy.

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Please Keep It Short In Here!

DamnTheMatrix, thank you for sharing the information about the book. I've never read the original Limits To Growth, nor been exposed to the critiques of it, etc. I think I'm probably way too young for that - I wasn't even born when it was published. So if I ever do read the new edition, it'll not be with any pre-bias. I think a lot of my generation and younger would be in similar circumstances, and that's a good thing.

Everyone
Please, let's keep postings in this thread short. As in, as few words as possible. Per article: The title, a blurb to draw the reader's interest, and the link.

Reason: I personally just ignore and scroll past a lot of the (probably very important) postings in the Timeline/Stages for Collapse of our Way of Life thread is because of the cut-and-paste of entire articles. My eyes just glaze over. It's got over 1000 comments, but  no one ever really comments there anymore except the two main people who mostly spam up that thread with huge chunks of text. I'm sure a lot of other folks no longer bother reading that thread.

I'd rather not this thread become like that. Thanks!

Downsizing Boomers Looking to Sell Their Stuff (April 8, 2011) (In the May 2011 issue of SmartMoney magazine as "The Big Sell-Off", on the cover as "The Great American Sell-Off")
"Born into the giddy postwar climate of conspicuous consumption and weaned on decades of easy credit, they're a generation accustomed to regularly leaving offerings at the altar of retail. That is, until they hit the empty-nest, time-to-start-downsizing phase and begin wondering what to do with their mountains of accumulated stuff. With some 8,000 Americans turning 65 every day, on average, and the senior population expected to double by 2050, millions are facing a massive, multifaceted purge that's turning out to be much tougher than they thought it would be."
http://www.smartmoney.com/retirement/planning/downsizing-boomers-looking...

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Please Keep It Short In Here!

Poet wrote:
Reason: I personally just ignore and scroll past a lot of the (probably very important) postings in the Timeline/Stages for Collapse of our Way of Life thread is because of the cut-and-paste of entire articles. My eyes just glaze over. It's got over 1000 comments, but  no one ever really comments there anymore except the two main people who mostly spam up that thread with huge chunks of text. I'm sure a lot of other folks no longer bother reading that thread.

Really?  So how come it's had over 78,000 hits?  I've heard how Gen Ys have a short attention spam........

See, I'm the opposite.  I hate being redirected to other sites to read the full story on something that's drawn my attention...

Mike

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Damnthematrix wrote: Poet

Damnthematrix wrote:

Really?  So how come it's had over 78,000 hits?  I've heard how Gen Ys have a short attention spam........

See, I'm the opposite.  I hate being redirected to other sites to read the full story on something that's drawn my attention...

Mike, I contribute to the "hits". Everytime something posts in there, I go there to clear out the "1 New" or "2 New" in my Track. I'm sure a lot of folks do the same, too.

Anyways, I'm Gen X. I'm a voracious reader - used tor read 3 or 4 books per day back in my pre-college days - and I read very fast. But I tend to skim or scroll over huge blocks of scholarly news text that's too long, whereas the Daily Digest blurbs will always get read by me.

My Degree Isn't Worth The Debt! (Gallery of several people who say their college degree wasn't worth it.)
"Was my college degree worth it? Hell no. I graduated from one of the top engineering schools in the nation, thinking my starting salary would be between $70,000 and $80,000 a year. Such a specialized, technical degree is supposed to lead to a great career, so I was willing to take out the debt. Instead, I was hit with nine months of unemployment after graduating. And now that I finally have a job, I'm making about $15,000 a year less than I had hoped. Even if I were able to afford the $1,800 payments each month, it will probably take me 30 years to pay off my student loans."
http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2011/news/economy/1106/gallery.student_de...

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Poet wrote: Damnthematrix

Poet wrote:

Damnthematrix wrote:

Really?  So how come it's had over 78,000 hits?  I've heard how Gen Ys have a short attention spam........

See, I'm the opposite.  I hate being redirected to other sites to read the full story on something that's drawn my attention...

Mike, I contribute to the "hits". Everytime something posts in there, I go there to clear out the "1 New" or "2 New" in my Track. I'm sure a lot of folks do the same, too.

Anyways, I'm Gen X. I'm a voracious reader - used tor read 3 or 4 books per day back in my pre-college days - and I read very fast. But I tend to skim or scroll over huge blocks of scholarly news text that's too long, whereas the Daily Digest blurbs will always get read by me.

My Degree Isn't Worth The Debt! (Gallery of several people who say their college degree wasn't worth it.)
"Was my college degree worth it? Hell no. I graduated from one of the top engineering schools in the nation, thinking my starting salary would be between $70,000 and $80,000 a year. Such a specialized, technical degree is supposed to lead to a great career, so I was willing to take out the debt. Instead, I was hit with nine months of unemployment after graduating. And now that I finally have a job, I'm making about $15,000 a year less than I had hoped. Even if I were able to afford the $1,800 payments each month, it will probably take me 30 years to pay off my student loans."
http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2011/news/economy/1106/gallery.student_de...

Poet

To each his own. I'm glad I've hung around this long because of a few gems by certain people. I've noticed than on the Wealth Gap thread, some of the articles posted have lost their original link - pays to save the original if you can.

I'm with DMX, if it's worth reading, post it all, if it's not too long.

Unfortunately, the forum sites here are not what they used to be. I don't know if all the chatter from days gone by was worth much anyway - mostly nonsensical arguing.

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The California Dream Is Fizzling Out

xraymike79 wrote:

To each his own. I'm glad I've hung around this long because of a few gems by certain people. I've noticed than on the Wealth Gap thread, some of the articles posted have lost their original link - pays to save the original if you can.

I'm with DMX, if it's worth reading, post it all, if it's not too long.

Unfortunately, the forum sites here are not what they used to be. I don't know if all the chatter from days gone by was worth much anyway - mostly nonsensical arguing.

No disrespect to the posts in that thread meant, Mikes. You and others have posted some really good stuff. It just gets overwhelming after a while. I hope I've helped provide a few gems in your time.

The California Dream Is Fizzling Out
"California isn't what it used to be. Sure, America's most populous state, with 37.3 million people, is still home to Hollywood, "The OC," Silicon Valley and other cultural and economic engines. But for average Americans, the state seems to have lost its appeal."
http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/06/27/california.dream.census.slump/index.htm...

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White Collar Outsourcing With Technology

Outsourcing isn't just about factory jobs...

White Collar Outsourcing With Technology
"So somewhere in America, yet another small business owner has realized that, they could hire a data entry worker in the U.S. with a high school diploma for, say, $1,500 per month. That worker could be in the same office, in the same town, in the same state, or even in another part of the country - but at least they'd be living in the United States, earning wages and and spending it the American economy. But instead..."
http://minoritysurvival.com/2011/06/28/white-collar-outsourcing-with-tec...

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Rare Earths Mining: China's 21st Century Gold Rush

Eye-catching and informative video on rare earth minerals and mining. Gotta love the BBC.

Rare Earths Mining: China's 21st Century Gold Rush
"Rare earth metals have become some of the world's most valued resources. They are found in almost every car, gadget and household. After the US stopped the excavation of rare earth materials China now has a monopoly on its production."
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-13777439

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Urban Fish Farming: Wave Of The Future?

NPR has a story about what we have already discussed on this web site, aquaculture to raise fish and grow vegetables hydroponically. The article talks a little like he's on the cutting edge. Maybe he is, but probably not too far ahead of others who have been doing this for years.

Urban Fish Farming: Wave Of The Future?
"Schreibman didn't exactly invent aquaculture - the term is basically a catchall that refers to any alternative method of fish farming - but he's thought as much as anyone else about how to make it urban, by making his recirculation system small enough to run anywhere on a municipal water source. His utopian city is one with Jacuzzi-sized fish tanks on every roof, giving locavore owners more than 100 pounds of fish a year. Schreibman further sweetens the deal with something called hydroponics. By tweaking his filtration system to leave a certain amount of fish waste in the water, plants can be grown in the same tank."
http://www.npr.org/2011/07/03/137588931/urban-fish-farming-wave-of-the-f...

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Khan Academy Revolutionizing Learning

Why can't math - and many other subjects - be taught like this to all kids in America? If it were, our kids would be fantastic at math.

Every school kid should be watching Khan Academy to learn and master math skills.

Poet

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Khan Academy site looks amazing!

Poet,

Now that is a website my sons are going to be spending a lot of time on this summer.  I am not sure they will be as appreciative but I thank you.

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Belly Bombs, Boob Bombs, Buttock Bombs...

Thanks, Goes211. I think EVERY kid and math-illiterate adult needs to be familiar with Khan Academy. There is no excuse. I just went through a few exercises and watched a video just to see how easy and quick it was to get started right away!

That said, here's another interesting article...


As if our nation's air travel passenger screening procedures weren't invasive enough already...

TSA Warns Of Implant Bombs
"The Transportation Security Administration advised airlines that terror groups are believed to be experimenting with explosives that could be implanted in buttocks and breasts, allowing suicide bombers to pass through airport body scanners undetected. This raised the specter of a surgically altered world in which it must be asked: If Pamela Anderson has to undergo an MRI to get on an airplane, have the terrorists won?"
http://www.mercurynews.com/travel/ci_18421234

Would swabs truly defect an implanted bomb that has healed? Watch out for those airport X-ray machines to start scanning deeper...

Poet

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