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    Daily Digest 3/4 – Good News Friday: Natural Light Brings Life to Zambia, A Toast To Civil Liberty

    by DailyDigest

    Friday, March 4, 2016, 4:03 PM


Man Slays IRS, Gets Life Savings Of $153,907.99 Back (Aaron M.)

The Institute filed a petition for Ken in July 2015, arguing that the IRS should give him his money back under a new policy – adopted in October 2014 – that supposedly protects innocent people. But the new policy came after Ken’s money was seized. On Feb. 18, the IRS sent the Institute of Justice a fax stating that the money would be returned.

Natural Light Brings Life and Light to Zambia (Michael W.)

“The lamps mean the girls can do their homework when they get back from school and can feel safer at night, instead of huddling together in the dark after sunset. And it’s particularly important for our children that they feel safe- many are carrying the mental baggage such as trauma of violence, rape or drugs,” says safe house manager Verann Delarey.

Jobs Report Shows Brisk U.S. Hiring in February (jdargis)

The Labor Department also revised its figures for December and January, adding 30,000 more jobs collectively for the two months.

Wall Street has been betting that the Federal Reserve would put off any interest rate increase at its next meeting later this month. But economists said the strong jobs report would at least give policy makers at the central bank pause. “This number will certainly spice up the Fed’s discussion,” Mr. Tannenbaum said.

We can afford to lose more genes than we’d thought (jdargis)

The researchers found naturally occurring knockouts in 781 genes in 821 people (meaning some of the same genes were knocked out in more than one person). A hundred and seven of these genes had already been identified in a similar study of Icelanders, another famously interrelated group. The researchers speculate that these genes are either really dispensable or really mutation-prone.

Why Drinking Beer in Central Park Is a Toast to Civil Liberty (jdargis)

This is a great development for NYC, not just because it’s one strike against America’s buzzkill open-container laws, but because crimes like public drinking and public urination—called “quality of life” or “broken window” offenses—are often used to target marginalized residents of the city, either (supposedly) to deter greater crimes, or just to let arrestees know they’re not welcome in certain neighborhoods. While issuing summonses for these offenses can still create a hostile environment and cause trouble for those without means or with adverse legal histories, the city’s new policies are a step toward reforming policing that improves life for a small percentage of the city’s residents while making life harder for many others.

Obama Says Enrollment in Affordable Care Act Reaches 20 Million (jdargis)

The law has been particularly successful in places like Milwaukee, where a coalition of local leaders, charities and health care companies have worked to sign up those who did not have health insurance.

Average insurance premiums in the city fell 2.1 percent for 2016 plans, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. “It’s an example of what community outreach can do even in the face of a governor who is not supportive of the A.C.A.,” said Drew Altman, the president and chief executive of the foundation, which focuses on health issues.

Innovative Project to Provide Renewable Energy 24/7 to Chilean Village (HughK)

The project includes the installation of a pumped-storage hydroelectric plant, which will pump seawater up a cliff on the coast using solar energy, to a natural storage basin at an altitude of 600 metres.

In the night-time, when no solar energy is available, the plant will generate electricity by releasing the stored water, which will rush down through the same tunnels. This will provide a steady round-the-clock supply of energy – 24 hours a day/seven days a week – overcoming the problem of intermittency of renewable energy sources.

A rare and beautiful “super bloom” of wildflowers is taking over Death Valley (jdargis)

The result is that for the past two months, the suddenly fertile desert is fostering an explosion of wildflowers, unofficially coined a “super bloom.” These super blooms happen about once every 10 years; the last ones in 2005 and 1998 were also due to an El Niño weather pattern, according to the National Park Service. “I never imagined that so much life could exist here in such staggering abundance and intense beauty,” Alan Van Valkenburg, a park ranger who has lived in Death Valley for 25 years, said in a press release.

Gold & Silver

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