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    Daily Digest 1/10 – Good News Friday: How To Talk Less and Listen More, Reducing the Environmental Impact Of What You Buy

    by Daily Digest

    Friday, January 10, 2020, 8:00 AM

This is Good News Friday, where we find some good economic, energy, and environmental news and share it with PP readers. Please send any positive news to [email protected] with subject header “Good News Friday.” We will save and post weekly. Enjoy!


These Dow stocks hold up the most during rough times for the market (Thomas R.)

U.S. stock averages continued to fall on Monday after President Donald Trump threatened to impose sanctions against Iraq on Sunday, shortly after Baghdad called for American and foreign troops to leave the country. With stocks falling and the Cboe volatility index, a fear-gauge, spiking, investors are wondering if markets are in for a tumultuous January. With Iran vowing to retaliate, investors might want to hide out before things get ugly.

Talk Less. Listen More. Here’s How. (jdargis)

It’s not about merely holding your peace while someone else holds forth. Quite the opposite. A lot of listening has to do with how you respond — the degree to which you facilitate the clear expression of another person’s thoughts and, in the process, crystallize your own.

We love to criticise the United States, but guess what? Their public schools are better than ours (exlxq1949)

Public high schools in Arlington also all have their own indoor swimming pools, tracks, baseball and football fields. In other words, they look like private schools in Australia.

At my daughter’s middle school, a counsellor invited her to a club during lunchtime for kids who had recently moved to the area, and she played Ultimate Frisbee as an extracurricular sport and percussion in the band.

JetBlue announces plans to become carbon neutral on domestic flights in a first for the US airline industry (TS)

The plan is an extension of initiatives already in place, which have seen JetBlue purchase more than 2.6 billion pounds of carbon dioxide offsets since 2008, according to the company’s website.

What if Democrats Tried Real Outreach? (tmn)

This method of deep organizing blows up business-as-usual electoral politics. It threatens the huge paychecks of political consultants and strategists on both sides of the aisle who parachute into communities for elections. The progressive political industry spent $5.7 billion on congressional races alone in 2018. Much of that went to the usual Beltway power brokers who focus on tired attack ads or the vote for so-and-so emails. Our model, however, keeps money and power in the communities whose votes will change the electorate.

Shutdown of US coal power facilities saved over 26,000 lives, study finds (TS)

“When you turn coal units off you see deaths go down. It’s something we can see in a tangible way,” said Jennifer Burney, a University of California academic who authored the study. “There is a cost to coal beyond the economics. We have to think carefully about where plants are sited, as well as how to reduce their pollutants.”

Study reveals what causes type 2 diabetes and how to reverse it (Thomas R.)

The theory proposed that type 2 diabetes results from the accumulation of fat in the liver, which induces insulin resistance and increases blood sugar production.

These effects, in turn, increase plasma insulin levels, precipitating “a self-reinforcing cycle” in which insulin stimulates fat production.

Having A Plant On Your Office Desk Helps Reduce Daily Stress, Study Finds (Thomas R.)

In an effort to produce as accurate results as possible, the study’s authors conducted their experiment in a real-life office setting and with actual employees, instead of a more scientifically traditional lab setting. More specifically, researchers wanted to determine just how much relief workers felt after intentionally looking at an indoor plant whenever they started to feel tired on the job. That being said, passive interaction with the plants were also considered.

I spent half my life on antidepressants. Today, I’m off the medication and feel all right. (Thomas R.)

I pulled myself back inside my apartment, scheduled an appointment with a new psychiatrist and made the decision to get off all the drugs before deciding whether to take my life. I needed to figure out my true baseline. If I didn’t like what I found, well, the window was always open.

Eating in a 6-hour window and fasting for 18 hours might help you live longer (Thomas R.)

Study author Mark Mattson, a professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University, hones in on two types: Daily time-restricted feeding (eating 6-8 hours a day and fasting for 16-18 hours) and 5:2 intermittent fasting (fasting two days a week, usually capping a fasting day at 500 calories).

The catch? Most Americans don’t intermittently fast (the norm is three meals a day plus snacks) and thus physicians are less inclined to consider fasting a solution to a broad range of health conditions, according to the review.

Clever “Flying-V” plane design is more fuel-efficient than today’s most advanced aircraft (thc0655)

Currently, the Flying-V is designed to fly on kerosene. However, the designers believe it can easily be adapted to make use of future innovations in jet propulsion technology, such as electrically-boosted turbofans. Chief Engineer Malcom Brown even states that the final concept for the Flying-V’s propulsion isn’t final yet, and that they are still exploring other possible technologies that could be added to the plane. “If these technologies mature, we can integrate them in the design,” Brown said. (Related: Battery-powered commercial jetliners could eliminate jet fuel entirely, making air travel vastly less expensive.)

Have you heard of microgreens? Two high school buddies with no farming background have turned them into a business. (Thomas R.)

Support from the state Department of Agriculture through its Colorado Proud Program, which promotes Colorado-grown products, has been important, said Meza and his partner, 33-year-old Demerling. The two, who’ve known each other since high school in North Canton, Ohio, officially launched Emerald Gardens Microgreens in 2017.

Low Carbon Life: How We Reduced the Environmental Impact of (Almost) Everything We Buy (Kara S.)

Clothes are an excellent example of the myriad ways buying less can improve your life. The most obvious is financial. The average American household has 2.5 people, spends $1,800 a year on clothes and shoes, and carries $5,700 in credit card debt. My family owns smaller, more thoughtful (“curated”) wardrobes; the four of us together spend about $400, we carry no revolving credit card debt, and we’re comfy and satisfied with what we wear, much more so than before we curated it. And that’s including shoes, socks and underwear, with two growing kids and one professional wardrobe.

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  • Fri, Jan 10, 2020 - 11:30am


    Matt Holbert

    Status: Member

    Joined: Oct 03 2008

    Posts: 96


    Re: Battery-powered airplanes

    (Related: Battery-powered commercial jetliners could eliminate jet fuel entirely, making air travel vastly less expensive.)

    It's obvious that the writer of this article doesn't understand embedded energy. Chances are they don't understand externalities either -- including 6-year olds mining lithium in the Congo. I suppose it's possible that they do understand these things but consider it worth it to have cheaper flights.

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  • Fri, Jan 10, 2020 - 12:46pm



    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: Oct 01 2008

    Posts: 1390


    understanding cult behavior and brain science

    This is a must listen for everyone.


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  • Sun, Jan 12, 2020 - 6:18am



    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: Apr 13 2011

    Posts: 2283

    Flying V Shaped Airplanes

    Delft believe that the Flying-V could be more aerodynamic than any other plane and use up to 20 percent less fuel.

    Cool looking shape.

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  • Sun, Jan 12, 2020 - 7:25am



    Status: Member

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 2025


    al-asad base tour

    Executive summary: US troops were warned a few hours before the strike.  US "areas" of the base were definitely targeted.  Some number of US troops were airlifted out prior to the attack, others sheltered in bunkers, while another group was out patrolling the perimeter (there was some concern there might be a base incursion following a rocket attack).


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  • Sun, Jan 12, 2020 - 10:42am



    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: Apr 13 2011

    Posts: 2283


    Who is trying to take your cookie?

    HughK originally told this story and Time2Help posted the cartoon version on FB (thanks T2H)

    So here we have 2 elements:

    1.  Redirection of resentment against a target.

    2.  The masking of the actual plunderer's identity.

    Masking the Elite

    One level of masking seems to be the abstractions of "corporations" and "corporate greed" which hides the names of the people benefiting.   Another is a swirling mix of economic system labels: "capitalism," "socialism," "government regulation" and "free markets."

    A third, and most effective, is the masking of ownership of said greedy corporations with horizontal and nested ownership that hides the HUMAN BEINGS pushing.  One example from "The Oligarch Takeover of US Pharma and Healthcare"

    Who owns big Pharma?

    And when we zero in on a corporate fund ownership, we find that the same funds own the funds that own the company in a tangled web.

    Vanguard and Blackrock own State Street, Dodge & Cox and Northern T.  Capital and Geode are major owners of Blackrock and State Street.  Blackrock is a major owner of Blackrock!    (stockzoa.com)  The human owners are hidden.


    Elite ownership and hiding that elite ownership

    Shadia Drury explains the thinking of Leo Strauss, a prime example of a strong advocate for having society lead by a mentally superior class of human beings he calls the philosopher-elite.  Drury's writing helps to make clear where the elite are coming from.   I will include enough detail are several noteworthy elements that illustrate the stunted psycho-spiritual development stage of the oligarchy.

    The natural inequality of human beings.  Strauss "recognized" the natural inequality of human beings.  There is a natural right of the strong to rule the weak, men to rule women, masters to own slaves.  Though true and important, he recognized that "the weak" were large in number, and would NOT feel good about their domination.  Which leads to....
    Strauss recognized that the ruling elite would need to remain hidden.  Their rule could be more effective from the shadows and the inevitable and natural backlash against the elite could be avoided by anonymity.
    He advocated consciously lying to shape public thinking.  The justification for lying was Plato's concept of the "noble lie" where lying for a noble cause was moral.  However, the moral cause that was used to justify the lie is the domination of the weak by their rightful rulers, the philosopher-elite.  Not so noble.   Strauss did not believe in "democracy" (allowing the ignorant vulgar masses to govern themselves) but was happy to use the fiction of democracy, when covertly guided covertly by the philosopher-elite, as a Machiavellian tool to deceive the masses.

    This is who is taking the cookies.  A group that considers itself superior, the rightful leaders, and hides behind the impersonal veil of "investment funds" and "banking."

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  • Sun, Jan 12, 2020 - 11:27am



    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: Apr 13 2011

    Posts: 2283


    Who is taking the cookies?

    HughK and Time2Help both posted this in other forums and times:

    So we have 2 elements here:

    1.  Directing indignation to a target, and,

    2.  The masking of the actual hoarding.


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  • Mon, Jan 13, 2020 - 7:26am

    Chris Martenson

    Chris Martenson

    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 5100


    Re: Battery powered airplanes

    The writer also doesn't understand energy density:

    Jet A, the standard kerosene fuel for commercial and military aircraft, has an energy density of 12,000 watt-hours per kilogram.

    The most advanced aviation batteries such as those powering small drones, have an energy density of 500 watt-hours per kilogram.

    Even after accounting for the fact that about two-thirds of jet fuel is lost as heat, fossil fuel still is six to eight times more energy dense than the most advanced batteries currently available.

    So, if we wander over to the actual weight designs of current aircraft we discover this:

    The Boeing 737-800 is an example of an average sized airplane. It has a maximum takeoff weight of about 80,000 kg (175,000 lbs).

    This includes the weight of the plane, which is about 41,000 kg (90,000 lbs), and the weight of the fuel which is about 18,000 kg (40,000 lbs). This leaves about 20,000 kg (45,000 lbs) for passengers, cargo, and crew.

    So a 737 has a fuel weight to cargo (passenger + luggage) weight of roughly 1:1

    Which means that if batteries were merely half as energy dense as jet fuel you'd still be carrying exactly nothing besides the batteries themselves (because you'd need twice the weight)

    But they remain 6x less energy dense.  So, not so much.


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  • Mon, Jan 13, 2020 - 10:00am

    Quercus bicolor

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Mar 19 2008

    Posts: 331


    More on energy density

    Not only that, but jet fuel is lost from the plane as it burns, making the latter part of the flight more efficient. This is not true for batteries.  The calculation y0u just performed suggests that 240,000 pounds of batteries can carry 175,000 pounds total weight (including them batteries themselves) on a long-haul 737 flight.  An obvious impossibility.   The only solution is to increase efficiency by flying slower, making the plane of high-tech materials so it weighs less, and, especially reducing the maximum range of the plane significantly.

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