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!
“The takeaway is that it’s a not-too-hot, not-too-cold report,” Mr. Gapen added. There was softness in the retail sector and temporary help services, he said, but the silver lining was a 17,000 increase in manufacturing employment. That was the first increase in factory hiring in five months.
The size of the year’s gain also suggests the uptick in wages is not a fluke, but an outgrowth of a tightening labor market in which employers have to pay more to hire and retain workers. A rise in the minimum wage in 19 states on Jan. 1 should provide an additional tailwind for salaries at the bottom end of the wage scale this year.
A Month Without Sugar (jdargis)
If you give up sugar for a month, you’ll become part of a growing anti-sugar movement. Research increasingly indicates that an overabundance of simple carbohydrates, and sugar in particular, is the No. 1 problem in modern diets. An aggressive, well-financed campaign by the sugar industry masked this reality for years. Big Sugar instead placed the blame on fats — which seem, after all, as if they should cause obesity.
But fats tend to have more nutritional value than sugar, and sugar is far easier to overeat. Put it this way: Would you find it easier to eat two steaks or two pieces of cake?
Sober Utopia: A Radical Rehab Experiment (jdargis)
Fort Lyon looks a bit like a college campus fallen into slight disrepair. The quad is fronted by a quasi-classical administration building, its massive portico propped with Ionic columns. Men’s and women’s dorms border the central green, and beyond that the land rolls for 550 acres, dotted with outbuildings and maintenance sheds, boiler plants and water pumps. Many of these buildings are locked and empty — too much territory for a skeleton crew of social workers and county employees to manage — and around campus the occasional window is blown out and boarded over, the scars of a violent hailstorm years back.
Last year, San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency was notably hit with ransomware—the attacker demanded about $73,000 in bitcoins. That attack failed when the MTA’s IT staff could restore from a previous backup. Conversely, in February 2016, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, the Los Angeles hospital held hostage by crypto-ransomware, decided to pay a ransom of 40 bitcoins—the equivalent of $17,000 at the time.
The new rules also put the United States in line with the European Union, where growth-promoting antibiotic use has been outlawed since the beginning of 2006. However, European countries discovered after their ban that routine antibiotic use continued, resistant bacteria kept emerging, and additional political action was necessary to reduce the threat.
Heat-resistant pottery may not sound like a huge deal, but it had a massive impact on the amounts and types of food that humans can eat, which in turn has a huge influence on how human societies are set up. The ability to cook plants opens up the diet to all kinds of products that are normally either gross or flat-out toxic: think of tough greens, grains, or potatoes and root vegetables (many of which are toxic when raw). The ability to boil these products can add easily found and nutritious foods to the diet, enabling settlements to form more permanently.
Gold & Silver
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