On the flip side of that euphoria however, is the fact that the median wage rose just 2.4 percent and has remained effectively stagnant relative to inflation. And although the unemployment rate fell to a 17-year low of 4.1 percent, the labor force participation rate dropped to 62.7 percent, its lowest level in nearly four decades—particularly difficult for new entrants to the workforce, such as students graduating under a $1.3 trillion pile of unrepayable or very challenging student loan debt. (Not to worry though: Goldman Sachs is on that, promoting a way to profit from this debt by stuffing it into other assets and selling those off to investors, a la shades of the subprime mortgage crisis.)
Orwell operated with less lofty ambitions for mankind than did Wells. In reflecting on the utopian impulse, he wrote in “Why Socialists Don’t Believe in Fun” that creators of utopias resemble “the man who has a toothache, and therefore thinks that happiness consists in not having a toothache…. Whoever tries to imagine perfection simply reveals his own emptiness.”
Peak México (cmartenson)
In 2004, the Astronomer Royal in Britain, Sir Martin Rees, assigned humanity about a 50/50 chance of surviving through the 21st century. He was being generous. Earth has already passed tipping points in seven of ten essential life support systems for humans — biodiversity, climate change, nitrogen cycle, phosphorus cycle, ocean acidity, land fertility, and freshwater availability — and the other three — ozone, atmospheric aerosols and chemical/radioactive pollution — have yet to be fully quantified but may have already been exceeded as well.
Some types of inequality feel instinctively ok. Americans adore inventors and rags-to-riches heroes—people like Joy Mangano, whose invention of the Miracle Mop inspired the 2015 David O. Russel movie Joy. But innovators rising net worths contribute to inequality. Aspects of globalization and technological change, like outsourcing and robotics, also suppress worker wages while benefiting the rich.
Societies, governments, economic systems — what some consider to be complex adaptive systems — have a funny way of revealing to us something deeply disturbing about ourselves: That our need to survive is derived from self-interest.
Hidden in Plain Sight (Afridev)
According to Donahue’s analysis, the shooting unfolded like this: Oswald fired his first shot from a sixth-floor window of the Texas School Book Depository soon after the motorcade made the turn onto Elm Street. But his scope was not adjusted properly, according to the Warren Commission, and the bullet missed, hitting the pavement behind and to the right of Kennedy’s limousine. Fragments ricocheted up and struck the inside windshield trim. At least two caught the president in the scalp and caused him to cry out, “My God! I’m hit!”
The fact is, most existing studies on fitness trackers—including the two I cited above—hinge on devices that are several years old. (Think glorified pedometers that don’t connect seamlessly with the supercomputer in your pocket.) And while peer-reviewed research on the latest wave of workout gadgets is still sparse, signs suggest newer wearables are finally becoming more addictive.
The Dark Bounty Of Texas Oil (blackeagle)
Between January, 2015, and December, 2016, more than a hundred U.S. oil and gas producers declared bankruptcy, nearly half of them in Texas. This figure doesn’t count the financial impact on the pipeline, storage, servicing, and shipping companies that depend on the energy business, or the seventy-four billion dollars’ worth of debt that these bankruptcies left behind. As a gesture of sympathy, Ouisie’s Table, a Houston restaurant in the wealthy River Oaks neighborhood, began offering a three-course meal on Wednesday nights that was pegged to the price of a barrel of oil. When I visited in the early spring of 2016, the meal cost about thirty-eight dollars. (Ouisie’s Table dropped the practice when oil prices inched back up. As of December 13th, the Wednesday special would have cost $56.60.)
The flaw is this: the directive will use an expansive classification of bioenergy products, allowing countries, factories and power plants to claim credit as renewable fuel for using trees harvested specifically for use in power plants and not merely residues and wastes.
Burning wood by-products – that is, residues and production wastes – has been long practiced in Europe. This can benefit the climate thanks to a two-fold displacement effect.
“At this point we are requesting that all natural gas users within the region limit their usage as much as possible,” the county said in a post on Facebook Friday.
“This will help gas reach the end of the line and prevent additional houses from freezing.”
Summerside smart grid uses 46 per cent wind power (Uncletommy)
In P.E.I. wind energy has a very high capacity factor, up to 50 per cent, but that still means you get too much wind power at times and too little at other times. To increase the amount of wind energy the City was using they needed energy storage.
Gold & Silver
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