Reboot Or Die Trying (jdargis)
Those early days of screenlessness were bewildering. My mind, wound up like a top for years, continued spinning. I experienced sporadic surges of angst and adrenaline, sure I was supposed to be doing… something. I’d pull my phone out every few minutes, even though no one was e-mailing me and I’d uninstalled all social-media apps. The habits and mental agitations of digital work life persisted like phantom limbs.
Technology is increasingly making work more accessible from home. But what’s so wrong with working so much? The economists note two setbacks to our hardworking culture: less of a social life, and possibly worse health conditions. Hamermesh, for one, says it’s not worth it: “We have driven ourselves to the point where we work more and get less and less for it.”
Bracing for Scotland’s Referendum (jdargis)
As Scotland prepares for its referendum on independence, many English and Scots that live in border towns feel an acute uncertainty that could remain no matter which way the vote goes.
An independent Scotland would raise questions about currency and finance, about where to base Britain’s fleet of nuclear submarines, about border security in a period of terrorism, about whether Scotland would still get BBC television and about whether members of Parliament from Scotland, the vast majority of them from the Labour Party, would lose their seats. And then, of course, there is the question of whether the United Kingdom would need to replace the Union Jack, and with what.
“Turkey in many ways is a wild card in this coalition equation,” said Juan Zarate, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and author of “Treasury’s War: The Unleashing of a New Era of Financial Warfare.” “It’s a great disappointment: There is a real danger that the effort to degrade and destroy ISIS is at risk. You have a major NATO ally, and it is not clear they are willing and able to cut off flows of funds, fighters and support to ISIS.”
Electric utility executives all over the world are watching nervously as technologies they once dismissed as irrelevant begin to threaten their long-established business plans. Fights are erupting across the United States over the future rules for renewable power. Many poor countries, once intent on building coal-fired power plants to bring electricity to their people, are discussing whether they might leapfrog the fossil age and build clean grids from the outset.
Breaking Bad? Try Breaking Graphite (jdargis)
The substance in question is called graphene. It’s made from graphite, a carbon crystal known most famously as the gray, slippery “lead” of pencils. The thinnest material ever made — just one carbon atom thick — graphene has novel properties that researchers hope will lead to twisty television and smartphone screens, super-fast conductors, targeted cancer treatments, sturdier tennis rackets and a zillion other things.
The Awful Reign Of The Red Delicious (jdargis)
For at least 70 years, the Red Delicious has dominated apple production in the United States. But since the turn of the 21st century, as the market has filled with competitors—the Gala, the Fuji, the Honeycrisp—its lead has been narrowing. Annual output has plunged. And even still, a gap is growing between supply and demand from American consumers. Earlier this month, Todd Fryhover, the president of the Washington Apple Commission—whose growers produce the majority of apples in the United States—recommended that this harvest, up to two-thirds of the state’s Red Delicious yield be exported.
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