Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 5/5 - The Power Of Story, Why Can't America Have Great Trains?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015, 9:15 AM

Economy

Changing Human Circumstances (Dave G.)

Some countries nationalised their oil industries, including Russia in 1928, followed by Mexico ten years later. Other political factors also came into play. The so-called First Oil Shock came in 1973 when Saudi Arabia decided to ban exports to the United States and some of its allies in response to their support for the creation of the State of Israel, which led to a price surge from $17 to $54 a barrel. It was followed by the Second Oil Shock in 1979, occasioned by the fall of the Shah of Iran, when prices rose from $50 to $101, both being quoted in terms of 2013 dollars.

Russia and America: Stumbling to War (Dave G.)

Americans would do well to recall the sequence of events that led to Japan’s attack on the United States at Pearl Harbor and America’s entry into the Second World War. In 1941, the United States imposed a near-total embargo on oil shipments to Japan to punish its aggression on the Asian mainland. Unfortunately, Washington drastically underestimated how Japan would respond. As one of the post–World War II “wise men,” Secretary of State Dean Acheson, observed afterward, the American government’s

The Power Of Story (Dave G.)

Imagining herself in the young nurse’s position, Megan could appreciate just how difficult her life-threatening choices must have been. She was so moved by Sendler’s gumption and selflessness that she, Elizabeth, and two other friends wrote a play about Sendler. They called it Life in a Jar and performed it at schools and theatres. As word got out, the students’ quest to share what Sendler had done appeared on CNN, NPR, and the Today Show. The power of Sendler’s story had turned the project into something much bigger than the girls expected.

NASA has trialled an engine that would take us to Mars in 10 weeks (Arthur Robey)

The engine is controversial because it seems to violate one of the fundamental concepts of physics - the conservation of momentum, which states that for something to be propelled forward, it needs some kind of propellant to be pushed out in the opposite direction. But the EM Drive doesn't require any propellant in order to create thrust, it simply relies on electromagnetic waves.

Why Can't America Have Great Trains? (jdargis)

It's true: Compared with the high-speed trains of Western Europe and East Asia, American passenger rail is notoriously creaky, tardy, and slow. The Acela, currently the only "high-speed" train in America, runs at an average pace of 68 miles per hour between Washington and Boston; a high-speed train from Madrid to Barcelona averages 154 miles per hour. Amtrak's most punctual trains arrive on schedule 75 percent of the time; judged by Amtrak's lax standards, Japan's bullet trains are late basically 0 percent of the time.

The U.S. Production Decline Has Begun (Dave G.)

Much of the new capital from junk bonds and share offerings is being used to pay overhead and interest expense, and to pay down debt to avoid triggering loan covenant thresholds.Hedges help soften the blow of low oil prices for some companies but not enough to carry on business as usual when it comes to well completions.

What Is Holding The Green Revolution Back? (Tom K.)

In contrast, renewables projects are slow to develop, fraught with bureaucratic red-tape, and characterized by low margins. Given the much higher levels of profit in conventional energy, there is a real question as to whether major energy companies will ever be interested in shifting their resources to renewable fuels. Indeed, the irony of the green power revolution is that it has been accompanied by historically high conventional energy prices, which in turn has resulted in even greater interest in conventional energy.

Why diets don't work: Nobody has willpower (Arthur Robey)

The question that seems to hover over all this diet talk is whether any of the myriad weight loss schemes have worked. If one had, shouldn't it have survived the test of time? And if we've gone this long without a diet that has been shown to work - according to science, not simply the sellers of the fad - will there ever emerge one that actually does?

Lester Brown: 'Vast dust bowls threaten tens of millions with hunger' (Dave G.)

“We are pushing against the limits of land that can be ploughed and the land available for grazing and there are two areas of the world in which we are in serious trouble now,” Brown said.

The Drought: Which Crops Will Survive (jdargis)

But how much these crops rely on these particular sources of water turns out to be pretty interesting. Almonds, for example, do indeed use a lot of water, but almond farmers knew that all along, and have strategically placed almond orchards near reliable water sources so their crop, which could be hit hard by a drought, can be sure to snag enough water.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 5/4/15

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."

20 Comments

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Chinese factory replacing 95% of humans with robots

Building work starts on first all-robot manufacturing plant in China’s Dongguan

Construction work has begun on the first factory in China’s manufacturing hub of Dongguan to use only robots for production.

A total of 1,000 robots would be introduced at the factory initially, with the aim of reducing the current workforce of 1,800 by 90 per cent to only about 200.

Robots are set to take over in many factories in the Pearl River Delta.  Since September, a total of 505 factories ... have invested in robots... to replace more than 30,000 workers.

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Organic Trumps Conventional Across the Board

After a 30-year side-by-side comparison of organic and conventional agricultural systems, the Rodale Institute reports that organic systems match, or even outperform, conventional systems in terms of yield, profitability, and energy efficiency, while having positive effects on soil health, water quality, and rural communities.

http://foodtank.com/news/2015/04/organic-trumps-conventional-across-the-...

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Arthur, I KNEW you would like this rocket engine :-)

Arthur, I immediately thought of you when I heard of this new drive technology.

 

My short layman summary of what is "thought" to be happening -- electrical current is delivered to this bell shaped thingy and microwaves are formed therein.  Somehow (spooky music) the microwaves pull virtual particles from the quantum vacuum and eject them creating thrust.  A rocket operating with this would not need to carry a propellant, just an energy source to make electricity--something like a fuel cell with hydrogen and oxygen tanks.

 

Dr. White proposed that the EM Drive’s thrust was due to the Quantum Vacuum (the quantum state with the lowest possible energy) behaving like propellant ions behave in a MagnetoHydroDynamics drive (a method electrifying propellant and then directing it with magnetic fields to push a spacecraft in the opposite direction) for spacecraft propulsion.

 

In Dr. White’s model, the propellant ions of the MagnetoHydroDynamics drive are replaced as the fuel source by the virtual particles of the Quantum Vacuum, eliminating the need to carry propellant.

This model was also met with criticism in the scientific community because the Quantum Vacuum cannot be ionized and is understood to be “frame-less” – meaning you cannot “push” against it, as required for momentum.

So, if it works, we have to expand our understanding of the structure of the universe.  Very fun.

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How much water does it take to produce your favorite food?

Thanks for the drought resistant crop graph.

"Though we've shown them here to illustrate how much water vegetable farming uses, there really are few losers when it comes to veggies. In general, they consume far less water than animal products, nuts and grains."

Here is more information:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/13/food-water-footprint_n_5952862....

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Re: First all-robot mfg plant in China's Dongguan...
sand_puppy wrote:

Building work starts on first all-robot manufacturing plant in China’s Dongguan

Robots are set to take over in many factories in the Pearl River Delta.  Since September, a total of 505 factories ... have invested in robots... to replace more than 30,000 workers.

Skynet will be pleased.

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Water Trompe

Anyone familiar with this technology?  Passes the sniff test, but I'm not an engineer.

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Lester Brown on Vast Dust Bowls

Dave G.

Thank you for sharing an article on Lester Brown.  Moving down food chain whenever I can is something I can do easily.

 

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thc0655
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Trans Pacific Partnership

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/05/secrecy-eroding-support-for-trade-pact-critics-say-117581.html

If you want to hear the details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal the Obama administration is hoping to pass, you’ve got to be a member of Congress, and you’ve got to go to classified briefings and leave your staff and cellphone at the door.

If you’re a member who wants to read the text, you’ve got to go to a room in the basement of the Capitol Visitor Center and be handed it one section at a time, watched over as you read, and forced to hand over any notes you make before leaving.

 
And no matter what, you can’t discuss the details of what you’ve read.

“It’s like being in kindergarten,” said Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), who’s become the leader of the opposition to President Barack Obama’s trade agenda. “You give back the toys at the end.”

For those out to sink Obama’s free trade push, highlighting the lack of public information is becoming central to their opposition strategy: The White House isn’t even telling Congress what it’s asking for, they say, or what it’s already promised foreign governments...

“The access to information is totally at the whim of Ambassador Froman,” said Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas), who’s a hard no on fast track but says he’d like to see other ways of promoting international trade. “He likes to make available information that he thinks helps his case, and if it conflicts, then he doesn’t make the information available,” Doggett said.

Doggett, like other critics, pointed out that the cover sheets of the trade documents in that basement room are marked only “confidential document” and note they’re able to be transmitted over unsecured email and fax — but for some reason are still restricted to members of Congress.

“My chief of staff who has a top secret security clearance can learn more about ISIS or Yemen than about this trade agreement,” Doggett said.

“He’s incredibly condescending. It’s like, ‘You’d be all for this if only you hadn’t gotten an F in economics,’” said Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), who said he’s opposed to what he’s seen because it lacks labor standards and measures to address currency manipulation.

“We know when we’re being suckered,” said Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), who said he believes that the USTR quotes percentages instead of absolute values on trade statistics that give an overly positive impression. “It’s not only condescending, it’s misleading.”

"If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor."  "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan." "My health care plan won't add one dime to the deficit."  "The average family will save an average of $2,500 per year."
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Good thing he wasn't a cop

http://abcnews.go.com/US/utah-good-samaritan-kills-attempted-carjacking-suspect/story?id=30808789

So it's OK (at least in Utah) for a legally licensed citizen carrying a concealed firearm to shoot an unarmed carjacker when the carjacker lunges for the citizen's gun.  Good thing the citizen with a gun wasn't a cop (and the carjacker wasn't black).

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RE: Building work starts on first all-robot manufacturing plant

i, for one, welcome our new chinese robot overlords.

i notice the robots in the photos are kukas. kuka is very expensive, i've sold kuka parts. this is bullish for the economy. not only is this great because increased but, efficiency will bring down prices, but, it will also free up human beings to do something useful and creative with their lives - like, for example, in china, they can foment unrest and overthrow the oppressive, tyrannical state (glad we don't have that here in the good ol' us of a!).

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an oil glut without drilling rigs

an oil glut without drilling rigs; production, inventories and the fracklog..

"[incomplete wells] represent daily production of about 332,000 barrels of crude being left in the ground, effectively stored in the shale, such that if they were all fracked in short order, it would be like adding another Libya to the global oversupply...alternatively, we could just about shut down all the rigs in the country and still see oil and gas production rise for another half year..."

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Tip of the iceberg

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Warped minds.

This is the paragraph that has my attention SP.

So where does warp drive come into all of this? The NASA engineers also reported on the forums that they'd fired lasers into the EM Drive's resonance chamber and that some of the laser beams had travelled faster than the speed of light, at around 300,000 kilometres per second... suggesting that the EM Drive may have produced a warp bubble like the kind that allows travel faster than the speed of light in Star Trek.

But why Mars? Why the fascination with yet another gravity well, when we know how difficult they are to escape? Leave gravity wells for criminals and the weak minded.

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Trade Agreement

One of the leaked provisions of TPP is that corporations can sue for "buy local" policies that hurt their profits.

 http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/04/14/free-trade-agreements-fast-track.aspx

"Another major issue in these trade agreements relates to rules of procurement. For example, the US has many farm to school programs in place to support local farmers and local businesses, but public programs like these can be challenged by a foreign corporation saying, “We’re not eligible for that program, and that’s illegal under the trade rules.” As crazy as that sounds, that’s a very real concern. As noted by Lilliston, “the ‘Buy American’ provisions, which are very common in public procurement programs right now, could be under threat under trade rules.” Many states also have their own environmental regulations in place to protect human- and environmental health. These too could be challenged by these trade agreements."

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Oil tops $60 a barrel for first time in 2015

Oil tops $60 a barrel for first time in 2015

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Add treadmills to the list

SurveyMonkey CEO died of head trauma in exercise accident

AP wrote:

"Goldberg, husband of Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg, was found lying next to a treadmill on Friday at a resort in Punta Mita near Puerto Vallarta on Mexico's Pacific coast.

The official said he left his room at about 4 p.m. to exercise, and family members went to look for him after he didn't return. He was found at about 6:30 p.m. in a gymnasium lying by a treadmill in a pool of blood, with a blow to the lower back of his head. He apparently had slipped on the treadmill and hit the machine, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak to the press."

So that's high places, nailguns, hot tubs and now (possibly) treadmills. Be careful out there.

 

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Chinese Robots

Reflector!  I laughed like crazy when I read your post!   Yes, the Chinese people will love being out of work! 

....glad we don't have that here in...  a few degrees of separation though.  

 

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China mulls new monetary tool that ‘the world has never seen’

China mulls new monetary tool that ‘the world has never seen’

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Good news for dieters. (Blame your imbalanced biome. )
In a very real sense, you have two brains — one in your head, and one in your gut. Both are created from the same tissue during fetal development, and they’re connected via your vagus nerve, the tenth cranial nerve that runs from your brain stem to your abdomen.
 
It is now well established that the vagus nerve is the primary route your gut bacteria use to transmit information to your brain, which helps explain why mental health appears to be so intricately connected to your gut microbiome 1 — the bacteria and other microbes living in your gut.
http://wakeup-world.com/2015/08/12/scientific-links-between-processed-foods-and-depression/
 
And here is the Glyphos link.  
 
"Other processed food ingredients that can contribute to depression and/or other mental health problems include:
 
  • Genetically engineered (GE) ingredients can significantly alter your gut flora, thereby promoting pathogens while decimating the beneficial microbes necessary for optimal mental and physical health.
  • Glyphosate the most widely used herbicide on food crops in the world with nearly 1 BILLION pounds applied every year — has been shown to cause nutritional deficiencies, especially minerals, which are critical for brain function and mood control. It also causes systemic toxicity, and was recently declared a Class 2A probable human carcinogen. Roundup, in which glyphosate is the active ingredient, has also been shown to increase the antibiotic-resistance of E. coli and Salmonella
  • Artificial food additives, especially the artificial sweetener aspartame, can wreak havoc with your brain function. Both depression and panic attacks are known potential side effects of aspartame consumption. Other additives, such as artificial colorings, are also known to impact mood.
  • Gluten, a protein found in grains such as wheat, rye, and barley, may negatively impact mood and brain health.In fact, a number of studies indicate that wheat can have a detrimental effect on mood, promoting depression and even more serious mental health problems such as schizophrenia. Most non-organic wheat is also treated with glyphosate in a pre-harvest processed called desiccation, which adds to its problematic effects (see glyphosate above).To Heal Depression, Heal Your Gut
 
As noted by The Epoch Times:7
 
“In the last 20 years or so, scientists have developed a new respect for bacteria, and the paradigm is turning from a strategy of war, to one of co-existence. Science now considers a robust, diverse bacterial colony to be essential to good health.”
 
Which brings us back to preserving foods by fermentation.  And If that doesn't work try yellow soup. 
(It would seem very obvious to me that a huge market lies in the preparation of more palatable ways of taking the ingredients of yellow soup to improve the gut biome.) 
 
Footnote: Where the there's muck there's money.  Sovereign people could advertise the qualities of their biome with photos of their bodies. 
I wonder if there is a link between the biome and anorexia? Probably a very strong link.

 

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