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    Daily Digest 10/30 – Good News Friday: Learning To Fail Productively, Buying Coal To Save The Earth

    by DailyDigest

    Friday, October 30, 2015, 3:08 PM

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 best way to learn math is to learn how to fail productively (jdargis)

Kapur believes that struggle activates parts of the brain that trigger deeper learning. Students have to figure out three critical things: what they know, the limits of what they know, and exactly what they do not know. Floundering first elevates the learning from knowing a formula to understanding it, and applying it in unfamiliar contexts.

Jeb Bush’s Loss Is Democracy’s Gain (jdargis)

In the coming days, journalists will gorge themselves on stories about Jeb’s collapse. But collapse implies that Jeb had much real support to begin with. What he had was money. The media crowned him frontrunner on the assumption that he could turn that money into votes. Republicans, it was assumed, are orderly and hierarchical. Once the party elite gets behind someone—even someone like John McCain or Mitt Romney whom grassroots conservatives distrust—the unwashed eventually fall in line.

Freedom From Fries (jdargis)

Hers is a commonly voiced sentiment. Speed and convenience matter as much as ever to American diners. But increasingly people also demand the information that places like Sweetgreen offer. They want to know what they are eating and how it was made; they prefer to watch as their food is prepared, see the ingredients, and have a sense of where it all came from. And they are willing to pay more for what they perceive to be healthier fare. Most of these restaurants, where meals generally cost between eight and fifteen dollars, rely on a few ingredients, stress the quality of their food, and often treat the farms that supply their vegetables with the kind of reverence once reserved for fine wineries.

Copper Foam Could Revolutionize Battery Storage (Evan K.)

Another drawback of conventional batteries is the use of toxic chemicals, such as sulfuric acid, which can be problematic when they’re being made and when they need to be discarded. Prieto Battery’s products, however, use only non-toxic chemicals, including citric acid, the substance that makes many fruits tart.

Lithium-Air battery research shows potential paths to next-gen batteries (jdargis)

Whereas several earlier experiments on Li-O2 batteries have cycled by creating a chemical reaction that results in lithium peroxide (Li2O2), the Cambridge researchers built their battery to produce lithium hydroxide (LiOH) as a discharge product. The battery was composed of a lithium metal anode, a graphene oxide electrode, and a lithium iodide (LiI) additive, which acts as a mediator of redox reactions, as well as a dimethoxyethane solvent. The result was that the researchers were able to form and then remove lithium hydroxide during charge and discharge. (They also found that adding a little bit of water(!) to the battery helped.)

Save The Humans (jdargis)

The “Al Gore” climate movement model—which was effective, but severely flawed—was not created to stop climate chaos and simultaneously tackle poverty and its accompanying social inequities. Naomi recognizes that there is not enough power in the current environmental community alone to lead a global transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. The movement must expand, and to do so we need to re-frame the issue of climate change to make it an everyday, every-person issue.

Buy Coal Now! (jdargis)

The only way to evade dangerous levels of global warming, he believes, is by finding and funding a low-emissions power source, then deploying it across the world at scale. By investing in technology, Gates argues that he can provide many times his money’s worth to humanity as a whole.

Seaweed: A New Leaf (jdargis)

Seaweed, which requires neither fresh water nor fertilizer, is one of the world’s most sustainable and nutritious crops. It absorbs dissolved nitrogen, phosphorous, and carbon dioxide directly from the sea—its footprint is negative—and proliferates at a terrific rate. Smith’s kelp can grow as much as three-quarters of an inch a day, maturing from pinhead to ten-foot plant in the course of a winter, between hurricane seasons. It is resilient, built to take a lashing, but if a storm wipes out the crop he can just start over. Every year, he harvests between thirty and sixty tons of it, about the same per-acre yield as a potato farmer. Plentiful, healthy, and virtuous, kelp is the culinary equivalent of an electric car. “You’re not just gaining nutrition, you’re also gaining absolution from guilt,” Mark Bomford, the director of the Yale Sustainable Food Program, says. “This is your get-out-of-anxiety-free card.”

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 10/29/15

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Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."

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  • Fri, Oct 30, 2015 - 3:25pm


    Taz Alloway

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 18 2010

    Posts: 461

    USDA allegedly blocks neonic researcher results

    A prominent Agriculture Department scientist is alleging that he was suspended after complaining that the agency was blocking his research into the harmful effects of pesticides on pollinators, such as bees and butterflies.

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  • Fri, Oct 30, 2015 - 3:56pm


    Taz Alloway

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 18 2010

    Posts: 461

    When poop doesn't happen

    A study unveiled on Monday showed that the extinction or precipitous population declines of large land and sea mammals starting at the end of the last Ice Age and continuing through today has deprived ecosystems of a vital source of fertilization in their dung, urine and, after death, decomposing bodies.

    The scientists said these large mammals including whales, mammoths, mastodons, ground sloths, rhinos, huge armadillos as well as seabirds and migrating fish like salmon played a key role in making Earth fertile by spreading nutrients across oceans, up rivers and deep inland.

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  • Fri, Oct 30, 2015 - 4:08pm



    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 30 2009

    Posts: 2932

    Repost Of Today's News

    Central Banks of World Unite! Pact Seen Needed to Spur Inflation

    Bloomberg8 hours ago
    With inflation undershooting the goals of most major central banks, Nick Kounis, head of macro research at ABN Amro Bank NV, is recommending Federal …

    BOJ Refrains From Adding Stimulus Even as Inflation, Growth Wane

    Bloomberg11 hours ago
    The Bank of Japan declined to step up its monetary stimulus Friday even as it postponed its time-frame for reaching a 2 percent inflation target for the second …

    BOJ Pushes Out Timing to Reach 2% Inflation

    Bloomberg7 hours ago
    Takuji Okubo, principal and chief economist at Japan Macro Advisors, discusses the Bank of Japan keeping its record stimulus unchanged and pushing out its …

    BoJ cuts growth, inflation view as Japan economy stalls

    Daily Mail – ‎5 hours ago‎
    The Bank of Japan on Friday cut its growth outlook and pushed back the timeline for a key inflation target, but held off fresh easing even as Tokyo's blueprint for reviving the world's number three economy falters. The central bank's chief left the

    Global economic downturn fears prompt high street gloom

    The Guardian – ‎15 hours ago‎
    The news follows reports that businesses are being hit by weaker demand as the global economy loses steam and UK consumers worry about interest rate rises and more government spending cuts. Official figures this week showed UK GDP growth eased in …

    Singapore manufacturing and services sectors more pessimistic

    The Straits Times9 hours ago
    EDB said its latest quarterly survey that a bigger majority of manufacturers expect business to weaken due to soft global economic conditions, especially the …

    US Mint Silver Bullion Sales Headed for New Record

    Newsmax3 hours ago
    However, currently the dollar is stronger than its peers and deflation is more of a fear than inflation. But in times of economic uncertainty, investors usually want …

    Britain faces potential two-notch credit slip if it votes to leave EU

    The Guardian – ‎19 hours ago‎
    S&P is the last of the big three to keep a top triple-A rating on UK government debt. The Fitch credit ratings agency and Moody's both cut the UK to a notch below AAA in 2013. The “negative” outlook from S&P indicates it sees at least a one-in-three

    We don't even know the amount': Sessions slams debt hike

    Washington Examiner – ‎19 hours ago‎
    Sen. Jeff Sessions on Thursday ripped the bipartisan deal on the debt ceiling and the budget as a recipe for piling on more than $1 trillion in new debt by the time President Obama leaves office. "It erases that debt limit until March of 2017, allowing

    China Banks Enter Eye of Storm Adding Risky Debt to Wealth Funds

    Bloomberg14 hours ago
    The ability of Chinese lenders' $2.4 trillion of WMPs to generate the returns they … Banks are piling into riskier debt despite warnings of a leverage-fueled …

    Puerto Rico Bond Yields Reach Record High as Default Risks Mount

    Bloomberg57 minutes ago
    1, it would be the first default on the territory's direct debt. … The waters are a vital thoroughfare for the global economy, hosting $5 trillion of international …

    Treasury to Sell $54 Billion in Bills

    Wall Street Journal – ‎21 hours ago‎
    The Treasury Department will auction $54 billion in securities next week, comprising $26 billion in new debt and $28 billion in previously auctioned debt. Details (all with minimum denominations of $100): Monday: $28 billion in 13-week bills, a

    India's fiscal deficit reveals strains to budget plans

    Reuters2 hours ago
    So far he has raised only 127 billion rupees from the sale of shares in state … India's federal fiscal deficit has declined from 5.8 percent of GDP in 2011/12 to 4.0 …

    Modi Sees India Asset Sale Target Slip Away on Market Swings

    Bloomberg11 hours ago
    Jaitley instead set the goal at 695 billion rupees — almost triple from what the … Modi's biggest obstacles to reducing the fiscal deficit to an eight-year low. To hit it …

    Budget stalemate causes cuts at North Side social service agency (Illinois)

    WLS-TV17 hours ago
    Without a budget in place, the state is unable to pay some people who work in … it will have a ripple effect on the economy in Illinois," said Deana Giacometti, …

    Report: Health Spending Grows 3.4%, Rx Drug Spending Jumps 8.2%

    California Healthline – ‎Oct 29, 2015‎
    Meanwhile, spending on prescription drugs among individuals with such plans climbed significantly, in large part because of high-priced hepatitis C treatments (Herman, Modern Healthcare, 10/29). Harvoni, a first-of-its-kind hepatitis C treatment that

    Health providers pressured by insurance, drug costs

    CNBC2 hours ago
    Financial pressures stemming from negotiations with insurance companies and higher drug costs are making it critical for U.S. providers to become more …

    Why New Jersey's Notoriously Steep Property Taxes Aren't Going

    NJ Spotlight10 hours ago
    By allowing the smaller state payments, the pension system's current $40 billion unfunded liability is only expected to grow unless new actions are taken.

    East St. Louis cuts police force amid 2016 budget troubles

    WREX-TV52 minutes ago

    The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports ( ) that city manager Alvin Parks confirmed


    Chevron to Cut Up to 7000 Jobs

    Wall Street Journal – ‎2 hours ago‎
    Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected Chevron to post 76 cents a share in earnings on $29.76 billion in revenue for the third quarter. A 15% reduction in capital spending to $7.97 billion helped prop up earnings in the period. Foreign currency

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  • Fri, Oct 30, 2015 - 6:43pm

    Reply to #1


    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 06 2012

    Posts: 571

    Tall wrote:A prominent


    A prominent Agriculture Department scientist is alleging that he was suspended after complaining that the agency was blocking his research into the harmful effects of pesticides on pollinators, such as bees and butterflies.


    But, but..

    …he provided some of his research to a scientific journal without proper approval, and he violated official travel policies in connection with lectures he delivered in Philadelphia and Washington.

    From the WaPo article that Tall linked

    Dontchya love it when you bring up something the authorities didn't want you to talk about and so they ding you on some technicality?

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  • Fri, Oct 30, 2015 - 9:37pm



    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 30 2009

    Posts: 2932

    Saudi Arabia Downgrade by S&P

    Saudi Arabia downgraded after budget surplus turns negative

    WPTZ The Champlain Valley – ‎1 hour ago‎
    The dramatic plunge in oil prices over the past 18 years has caused a "pronounced negative swing" in Saudi Arabia's financial picture, S&P warned. The oil-rich kingdom has gone from a healthy budget surplus of 7% of GDP in 2013 to a projected deficit

    Saudi Arabia hit with S&P credit downgrade on weak oil

    MarketWatch – ‎1 hour ago‎
    Standard & Poor's Ratings Services on Friday lowered Saudi Arabia's long-term foreign currency sovereign credit rating to A+ from AA-, citing a widening budget deficit resulting from weaker oil prices. The ratings agency projected the country's fiscal

    UPDATE: Saudi Arabia Cut to 'A+' by S&P; Outlook Negative – ‎1 hour ago‎
    A pronounced negative swing in Saudi Arabia's fiscal balance has prompted our downgrade. The kingdom has run fiscal surpluses–at times substantial–over the 10 years to 2013 (averaging 13% of GDP). However, the sheer size of the shift in 2015 to a …


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