Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 1/5 - Good News Friday: First Solar-Powered Highway Unveiled, Cracking the Brain's Enigma Code

Friday, January 5, 2018, 11:04 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!


Want To Help Someone In A Poor Village? Give Them A Bus Ticket Out (blackeagle)

Mobarak is an economist at Yale University. But he grew up in Bangladesh, where he had heard a lot about the seasonal famine that plagues farmworkers like Islam. In fact, this period is so widespread — and so problematic — across Bangladesh it has a name. "It's called monga," says Mobarak. And he recalls that every year, the newspapers would be filled with reports about the latest multimillion-dollar aid program to get people through the monga season — sometimes straight-up food distribution efforts but more often food-for-work programs aimed at creating employment.

Newark commits to keeping its fiber network net neutral (sv)

Newark says its fiber network (as well as a lot of dark fiber coursing beneath the city) has helped attract companies that need access to its high-speed network. Newark is also gunning to be chosen to host Amazon's second headquarters, for which high-speed broadband is a requirement. So the city is appealing to the pro-net-neutralty leanings of the biggest tech companies as a differentiator. The city plans to expand Newark Fiber next year.

Cracking the Brain's Enigma Code (blackeagle)

Existing brain-computer interfaces typically use so-called ‘supervised decoders.’ These algorithms rely on detailed moment-by-moment movement information such as limb position and speed, which is collected simultaneously with recorded neural activity. Gathering these data can be a time-consuming, laborious process. This information is then used to train the decoder to translate neural patterns into their corresponding movements. (In cryptography terms, this would be like comparing a number of already decrypted messages to their encrypted versions to reverse-engineer the key.)

Hundreds of thousands of poor Americans will soon be able to move to better areas, thanks to this judge (sv)

Under the current system, families receiving public rental assistance have been concentrated in deeply segregated, high-poverty communities.

Four things every California employer should do before Jan. 1 (sv)

Starting Jan. 1, 2018, applications for employment in California may no longer ask applicants to disclose their criminal history or their salary history. The reason to "ban the box" asking whether an applicant has a criminal record is to avoid perpetuating the stigma of prior convictions and the premature disqualification of applicants who otherwise may have the right credentials for a particular job. The reason to ban discussion of an applicant's prior salary, unless the applicant volunteers the information, is to avoid perpetuating past salary levels that may have been influenced by gender.

Powerful Hollywood Women Unveil Anti-Harassment Action Plan (sv)

As more women stepped forward, and more men were accused of abuse, a group of female talent agents met at Creative Artists to discuss the problem and explore solutions. The group soon expanded to dozens and, eventually, about 150 participants (it has since doubled as the actresses who joined expanded to New York and London), who meet weekly at the agency and in living rooms across Los Angeles, as well as for daylong workshops.

China Unveils World's First Solar-Powered Highway (ZWW)

As solar power becomes increasingly popular, there's one issue standing in the way of its widespread adoption: space. Erecting enough solar panels to effectively offset the use of fossil fuel-based energies requires a lot of sunlit space, and that often gets in the way of other necessary developments—in rural areas, solar farms can displace food farms, and in urban areas, the space is either already taken by buildings or needs to be reserved for more.

Suck It Up: These People Will Inspire You To Ban Plastic Straws (ZWW)

Noel Hawkins from the Scottish Wildlife Trust, who supported the kids’ campaign said: “Living on the coast means we constantly see the impact of a throwaway attitude to plastic, both on our beaches and in our seas. Finding plastic drinking straws during beach cleans is particularly frustrating because there alternative products are available.

This may be a small step towards reducing the amount of plastic in our seas, but if the #NaeStrawAtAw campaign can be successful in Ullapool it can work anywhere. All it takes is for people to be aware there are alternatives to plastic straws, and say no if they are offered one in a pub or a restaurant.”

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 1/4/18

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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."


sand_puppy's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2011
Posts: 2087
The Saker Opines on Firearms

The Saker advises that there is a lull in the news about Russia at this time of the year and he is including his essay about civilian firearm ownership.

This is a "hot button" topic with lots of philosophical, legal, logistical and moral factors that converge at one issue:  the issue of civilians carrying firearms.

Summarizing a couple of main points:

So while this blog is definitely not a 2nd Amendment advocacy blog, but I cannot remain indifferent to the fact that we do live in a very dangerous world and that the upcoming year carries truly major risks for our planet.  Put bluntly, there is a fair chance that the international economic system will collapse as a result of a US attack on North Korea or Iran.  Should that happen, there is a fair chance that many western countries, including the USA, will enter one of the 5 stages of collapse defined by my friend Dmitri Orlov.   If that happens, law and order could break down very fast and, frankly, in many parts of the word they already have.  These are the latest stats this year for Chicago: Shot & Killed: 619 Shot & Wounded: 2911 Total Shot: 3530 Total Homicides: 670 [Typically, that is a city which has a most restrictive policy firearms thus only criminals are armed!].

High capacity semi-automatics are best for police and military where prolonged shootouts can happen.  He cites many other advantages of the semiautomatic handgun for police and soldiers.

But civilians have a very different needs.   For civilians firearms are a stop-gap personal protection tool of last resort when everything else has failed.

1.  The Saker really likes revolvers in large calibers (.357).

2.  Light enough to carry on a daily basis but only use rarely (once every few decades?).

3.  Typical encounters are very close distances, ~3 yards, and many occur inside your own home or car.

4.  1-3 rounds fired is most common

5.  You can't continue shooting beyond the point where the crime is stopped--even if the bad guy *deserves* every bullet in your 17 round magazine.  So very high capacity isn't too useful.

6.  When a revolver misfires, the management technique is to simply to pull the trigger again.  This is simple and very fast.  (Remember you are withing spitting distance of someone who is trying to shoot you.)

PeakGold's picture
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 3 2017
Posts: 78
RT on 60 mins this Sunday

Wow, CBS is actually listening and considering whether US intelligence is lying about Russian interference in the US election!? This is great...


Let's put Roger Stone in the spotlight instead.

PeakGold's picture
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 3 2017
Posts: 78
RT on 60 mins this Sunday

Wow, CBS is actually listening and considering whether US intelligence is lying about Russian interference in the US election!? This is great...


Let's put Roger Stone in the spotlight instead.

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