Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 8/25 - Extremes Are The Enemy, Solar-Powered Commuter Pods In Development

Monday, August 25, 2014, 9:44 AM

Economy

Why You Should Take a Week-Long Break From All Screens (Arthur Robey)

After five days at the Institute, the children’s ability to read facial emotions improved tremendously in comparison to those who’d had their electronic devices for the week.

The number of errors they made on the test reduced by around one-third.

Want Milk or Toilet Paper? The Venezuelan Government Wants Your Fingerprints (jdargis)

Venezuela's central bank periodically publishes a scarcity index that quantifies the lack of staples. The last index, published in March, estimated that more than 26 percent of basic household goods were out of stock in the country's stores. The inability to buy essentials like rice, coffee, milk, cooking oil, and corn flour — which is used to make arepas, the national bread — reflects Venezuela's crippled economic condition, hampered by sky-high inflation and dwindling foreign currency reserves. Toilet paper, newsprint, and even coffins are scarce; production of the latter has lately dropped off upwards of 50 percent, forcing grieving families to delay funerals and burials in one of the most violent countries in the world.

Sales of New U.S. Homes Unexpectedly Fall to Four-Month Low (jdargis)

Stocks held gains after the figures as European equities climbed on prospects for increased stimulus and Burger King Worldwide Inc. rallied on merger activity. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced 0.5 percent to 1,999.14 at 10:16 a.m. in New York.

New Jersey Is Testing Solar-Power Commuter Pods (Bill J.)

Rather than having large train cars like trams or subways do, these fully enclosed “pods” are sized for small groups of people. The idea is for individuals or groups of friends to ride in one pod, as you would commute with a car. The JPods technology then navigates the pod along the rail network as close to your destination as it can get.

Dash of Salt Does No Harm. Extremes Are the Enemy. (jdargis)

Americans consume, on average, 3.4 grams of sodium per day, or about the equivalent of three and a half tablespoons of soy sauce. This is on the low end of the “safe zone” of 3-6 grams in the study. The United States Food and Drug Administration thinks that’s not low enough. It recommends 2.3 grams per day. The World Health Organization says it should be 2.0 grams. The American Heart Association goes even further and recommends we consume no more than 1.5 grams.

California High-Speed Rail—More Questions and Concerns (jdargis)

Here's a guide to upcoming installments. Today we'll hear a range of questions, complaints, fears, and outright denunciations of the system, drawn from mail that has arrived in the past few weeks. In the next installment, No. 9, we'll go into some further environmental, financial, and land-use aspects of the plan. Then in No. 10, I'll offer my unified field theory on why the 90 percent of Americans who don't live in California should care about the plan, and why I think it can be an important step for the state that has long been most influential in setting technological and environmental standards.

U.S. Warms To Clean Energy (James S.)

A review of monthly figures for new installations of electric power capacity in July shows that renewable energy is quickly becoming the energy source of choice in the United States.

New data from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) shows that 100 percent of new capacity installed in July came from renewable energy. For the month, there were 21 megawatts of new solar, 379 megawatts of wind, and 5 megawatts of new hydropower. Natural gas still accounted for more than half of new capacity for the first half of this year, but renewable energy is quickly catching up.

Methane Is Discovered Seeping From Seafloor Off East Coast, Scientists Say (jdargis)

Methane seeps occur in many places, but usually in areas that are tectonically active, like off the West Coast of the United States, or that connect to deep petroleum basins, as in the Gulf of Mexico. The Atlantic margin, as the region where the shelf meets the deeper oceanic crust is known, is tectonically quiet, and most of the seeps are not thought to be linked to oil and gas deposits.

“This is a large amount of methane seepage in an area we didn’t expect,” Dr. Skarke said. “That raises new questions for us.”

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 8/22/14

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."

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